The Blessings of Mary
Taken from
Irish Ursulines, 1920 with IMPRIMATUR


Conversion with the Scapular

The circumstances under which a renowned American General and his wife were converted to Catholicism, during the war between the North and South American States, are so noteworthy, and show so clearly that they owed this inestimable grace to the Mother of God, that it will be for the greater honour of our Lord, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, to make them known to all who have not yet heard or read about them.

Whilst the cannons roared, and the cries of the wounded and dying were heard on every side, a soldier who had been struck by a ball was led to the General. The latter found that though the ball had struck the man over his heart, yet he was not even wounded, and it was most evident that his Scapular, worn on the very spot where the ball had pierced, had been the means of saving his life. The General could account for the wonderful occurrence in no other way, and when the grateful soldier had unfolded to him more in detail the efficacy of wearing our Lady's livery under his uniform, the Mother of God vouchsafed to enlighten the understanding of the brave officer, who had so promptly acknowledged Her power, winning for him the grace of conversion, and, from being a zealous Protestant, he became a fervent Catholic.

His wife knew nothing of this change, for, as she was a bigoted Protestant, he concealed the fact from her; but he prayed very earnestly, and especially invoked our Lady on her behalf. Nevertheless, when he returned home after the war, he was not without anxiety, lest the peace of the house should be disturbed by his change of religion, so he resolved, at least at first, to keep it a secret.

On the first Sunday after his return, when the bells were calling the faithful to Mass, the General left the house unperceived, and went to the Catholic church. Here he knelt down in the bench assigned to him, and was soon absorbed in devout prayer. A little later a lady entered the same bench without the General perceiving anything, or taking notice of his companion. Mass being ended, he rose to leave the church, and saw, with joyful surprise, that his wife had been next to him, and had signed her forehead, mouth, and heart with the cross.

Unknown to each other, they had embraced the Catholic religion, the wife naturally attributing the grace she had received to the prayers of her husband. Who can describe the happiness and joy of these two new converts, when side by side, they left the church! The love which bound them together as husband and wife, was now augmented by their union in the One True Fold.

Thus, did that faithful practice of wearing the Scapular, bear fruit a hundredfold.

The same General relates another interesting fact concerning a trumpeter who was struck down near him. He declared that the ball had wounded him in the breast, but when the Captain examined him, he found that the ball had fastened itself to our Lady's Scapular, which the man wore, and had not penetrated into the flesh. The Captain held up the ball, and showed it to all who were standing near.


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