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


"Mary, Help"

The following is a very simple story, we may say, which has been very often told; it lays claim to no miraculous intervention, and yet, each time that our tender Mother has vouchsafed to show the same merciful pity, is a fresh motive of love and gratitude to all her devoted clients:

"There lived at Liege, a family, who were in great distress; they had formerly been in better circumstances, but they had gradually been reduced to such a state of poverty, that the father was forced to do the ordinary work of a day laborer. Unaccustomed as he was to such employment, the hard work told upon his health, while the menial tasks he had to perform, were like gall to his natural pride. Added to this, his wife was prostrated by a serious illness and his two eldest children fell sick.

 "One evening he returned home, after a long day's toil, and, worn out as he was, he sat down beside his wife's bed, to watch by her through the night. He was so oppressed with grief and harassed by anxiety, that he seemed on the verge of despair; his wife, who was a pious Christian, endeavoured, in vain, to console him, then, his eldest daughter said to him: 'Dear father, say a "Hail Mary," and our Blessed Lady will help you.' 'I can't pray any more,' he answered bitterly, and so saying, he sprang up, and rushed into the dark night. For a long time he wandered aimlessly about, until, at last, a flood of tears relieved his aching heart, and falling on his knees, he cried: 'O Mary, have pity on me; O Mary, help!' after which, feeling his confidence revive, he stretched out his hands towards Heaven, and recited an Ave Maria.

"As he rose from his knees, he thought he saw something lying on the ground, and, stooping down, found a pocket-book full of bank notes. He was returning home, with the intention of restoring it to its owner, when he met a gentleman, who inquired whether he had seen a pocket-book. 'Here it is,' replied the poor man. The gentleman was full of gratitude, and gave him one of the bank notes, asking, at the same time, whether he was in want. With tears of joy, the happy man exclaimed: 'I was, a moment ago, but now I am no longer.'

"Some days later, the gentleman came and made minute inquiries, as to the circumstances of the family, and gave them most generous and permanent assistance. Gladness now returned once more to the poor cottage; the mother speedily recovered, and the children grew strong again; distress and want were at an end, and, by degrees, the father regained his former position.

"He often recalled, with deepest gratitude, the help which our Blessed Lady had tendered to him in his hour of need, and would relate how he had been saved from despair through one 'Hail Mary.' "


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