The Blessings of Mary
Taken from A GARLAND FOR OUR LADY
Irish Ursulines, 1920 with IMPRIMATUR
A Wonderful Cure Through the Intercession
of Our Blessed Lady
In the month of November, 1880, a young woman about twenty-five years of age, of the parish of St. Joseph's, Preston, fell so dangerously ill that her life was despaired of. However, after receiving the Last Sacraments she rallied somewhat, but still suffered from an acute affection of the heart, pronounced incurable by the doctor, and had several other serious ailments. Whilst giving edification by her patience and resignation to the will of God, she clung to life, and desired to recover both to be better prepared for death and also to be able still to help her aged mother, of whom she was the only support. Her occupation had been that of working in a factory.
She made several Novenas for her recovery, but with no apparent result. One means indeed she had found out from the commencement of her illness for calming the palpitation of the heart in attacks of more than usual violence; and this was to press to her heart a medal of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. On the whole, instead of anything like improvement, she was gradually sinking, and the end was thought to be not far off. She was in this state when a Mission was opened in the parish by three Redemptorist Fathers, and placed by them under the special protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. The invalid felt deep regret that she was not able to attend it. She took a lively interest in it, and prayed for its success, and derived very much pleasure from listening every evening to the accounts her companions gave her of all they had heard in the church, and especially of the striking instances that were told of the merciful intercession of Our Lady. All this inspired her with renewed confidence in the Blessed Virgin.
The Mission closed on December 21st, and on Christmas Day the sick girl began a Novena, in which the members of the Sodality of Christian Doctrine and other pious persons took part. Instead, however, of getting any better she grew every day worse; her sufferings and weakness increased to such a degree that her mother thought her very near death. The morning of the ninth day arrived. Having to prepare for Holy Communion, she gave hardly any thought to her bodily condition. Shortly, however, after receiving Communion she realized with full consciousness that some great and wonderful change had taken place. She felt herself, in fact, no longer ill at all, but quite well, and yet was hardly able to believe that she had indeed recovered. She rose from her bed, and whereas before she could not have stood up without support, she now walked with ease and a firm step across the room, and called out to her mother, who was downstairs: "Mother, I am cured, I am cured!" She was, in fact, restored to perfect health. Dressing herself without further delay, and declining help, she went downstairs, and walked to the church to return fervent thanks to Our Lady. The following Sunday she assisted without difficulty at three Masses and at Benediction. In the course of a fortnight after her recovery she returned to her ordinary work in the factory. The doctor, after three examinations, pronounced her radically and completely cured.
It would be too long to speak here of the sensation produced among the inhabitants of Preston, Protestants as well as Catholics, by this miraculous cure, and to recount the happy results in the town and parish of devotion to Our Lady. For all this we must refer the reader to the letter of the Rev. J. Walmsley to the Very Rev. Father Manson, Superior-General of the Redemptorists, which appeared in La Sainte Famille, March, 1882, and from which this account has been abridged.