VARIOUS EXAMPLES APPERTAINING TO THE MOST BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
8. Blessed Alan relates that there was a lady named Dominica, who for a time said the Rosary, but having afterwards given it up, she fell into such poverty that one day in despair she gave herself three stabs with a knife. When she was on the point of expiring, and the devils were already preparing to take her to Hell, the most Blessed Virgin appeared to her, and said, 'Daughter, although thou hast forgotten me, I would not forget thee on account of the Rosary which at one time thou didst recite in my honor. But now, if thou wilt continue to recite it, I will not only restore thee to life, but will also restore thee the property thou hast lost.' Dominica recovered her health, and, persevering in the recitation of the Rosary, regained her property and on her death-bed was again visited by Mary, who praised her for her fidelity; and she then died a holy death.
9. In Saragossa there was a nobleman named Peter, a relation of Saint Dominic, but who was a most wicked man. One day when the Saint was preaching he saw Peter enter the church, and begged our Lord to manifest the state of that miserable sinner to the congregation. In an instant Peter appeared as a monster from Hell, surrounded and dragged about by many devils. Every one, even his wife, who was in the church, and the servants who accompanied him, began to fly. Saint Dominic then sent him word by a companion that he should recommend himself to Mary, and begin to recite the Rosary, which he also sent him. When Peter had received the message he humbled himself, sent to thank the Saint, and then had himself the grace to see the devils who surrounded him. He then confessed his sins with many tears to the Saint, from whom he received the assurance that they were already forgiven. He persevered in saying the Rosary; and became so holy, that one day our Lord made him appear in church in the presence of the whole congregation crowned with a triple crown of roses.
10. In the mountains of Trent there lived a famous robber, who, when he was one day admonished by a religious to change his life, replied that for him there was no remedy. 'No,' said the religious; 'do what I tell you. Fast on Saturdays in Mary's honor, and on that day never molest anyone, and she will obtain you the grace not to die at enmity with God.' The poor robber followed this advice, and even bound himself to it by vow; and that he might not break it, he from that time forward always went unarmed on Saturdays. It so happened that one Saturday he met the officers of justice; and rather than break his vow he allowed himself to be made a prisoner without resistance. The judge, seeing that he was an old gray-haired man, wished to save him from death; but, having already received the grace of compunction from Mary, he said that he wished to die in punishment for his sins. He then in the hall of justice made a public confession of all the crimes of his life; and this he did with so many tears, that all who were present wept. He was beheaded, and, a grave being dug, was buried with little ceremony. But afterwards the Mother of God, accompanied by four virgins, was seen to take the body from that place, and wrap it in a rich cloth embroidered with gold. They then carried it to the city gate. There our Blessed Lady herself said to the guards, 'Tell the bishop, in my name, to give honorable burial in such a church to this man, for he was my faithful servant.' This was done. All the people thronged to the place, where they found the body, the rich pall, and the bier on which it was placed. Cesarius relates that from that time all the people of that district began to fast on Saturdays.
11. In Portugal there was a devout client of Mary, who during his life practiced the devotion of fasting on bread and water every Saturday, and chose Saint Michael and Saint John as his advocates with the Blessed Virgin. At the hour of his death the Queen of Heaven appeared to him, accompanied by those two Saints, who were praying for him. The Blessed Virgin looked at him with a joyful countenance, and thus answered the prayers of the Saints: 'I will not depart hence without taking this soul with me.'
12. In one of our missions, after the sermon on Mary which it is always customary in our congregation to preach, a very old man came to make his confession to one of the fathers. Filled with consolation, he said, 'Father, our Blessed Lady has granted me a grace.' 'What grace has she granted you?' the confessor asked. 'You must know, father,' he replied, 'that for five-and-thirty years I have made sacrilegious confessions, for there is a sin which I was ashamed to confess; and yet I have passed through many dangers, have many times been at the point of death, and had I then died, I should certainly have been lost; but now our Blessed Lady has touched my heart with grace to tell it.' This he said weeping, and shedding so many tears, that he quite excited compassion. The father, after hearing his confession, asked him what devotion he had practised. He replied that on Saturdays he had never failed to abstain from milk-diet in honor of Mary, and that on this account the Blessed Virgin had shown him mercy. At the same time he gave the father leave to publish the fact.
13. In Normandy a robber had his head cut off by some enemies, and it was thrown into a ditch; but yet it was afterwards heard to say, 'Mary, give me the grace to go to confession.' A priest hastened to him, and having heard his confession, asked him what devotion he had practiced. The robber replied that all he had done was to fast once a week in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and that for this she had obtained him the grace to be delivered from Hell by means of that confession.
my Lord, I see full well that my ingratitude towards God and thee, and
this too for so many years, has merited for me that thou shouldst
abandon me, and no longer have a care of me, for an ungrateful soul is
no longer worthy of favors. But I, O Lady, have a high idea of thy
goodness; I believe it to be far greater than my ingratitude. Continue,
then, O refuge of sinners, and cease not to help a miserable sinner,
confides in thee. O Mother of Mercy, deign to extend a helping hand to
a poor fallen wretch, who asks thee for pity. O Mary, either defend me
thyself, or tell me to whom I can have recourse, and who is better able
to defend me than thou, and where I can find with God a more clement
powerful Advocate than thou, who art His Mother. Thou, in becoming the
Mother of our Savior, wast thereby made the fitting instrument to save
sinners, and wast given me for my salvation. O Mary, save him who has
to thee. I deserve not thy love, but it is thine own desire to save
that makes me hope that thou lovest me. And if thou lovest me, how can
I be lost? O my own beloved Mother, if by thee I save my soul, as I
to do, I shall no longer be ungrateful, I shall make up for my past
and for the love thou hast shown me, by my everlasting praises, and all
the affections of my soul. Happy in Heaven, where thou reignest, and
reign for ever, I shall always sing thy mercies, and kiss for eternity
those loving hands which have delivered me from Hell as often as I have
deserved it by my sins. O Mary, my liberator, my hope, my Queen, my
my own sweet Mother, I love thee; I desire thy glory, and I will love
for ever. Amen, amen. Thus do I hope.