26. A brother of the confraternity of Mary was one day invited by a friend to dine with him. He accepted the invitation, but wished to go, first of all, to a meeting of the confraternity; after which he forgot his promise. His friend was so much offended at this, that, meeting him, he was going to take his life; but, by a just judgment of God, he wounded and killed himself instead. As the brother was believed to be guilty of this crime, he was immediately taken before a court of justice and sentenced to death. He recommended himself to the Blessed Virgin, and she inspired him to beg to be led into the presence of the dead body, and then asked him how he had died. His former friend confessed that he had died by his own hands; and the brother was set at liberty.
28. Another brother of the confraternity, a fisherman in Naples, was ill for several days in consequence of the severity with which he had taken the discipline. As soon as he was somewhat recovered, being poor and having a family, he returned to his usual occupation, but at the same time said to the most Blessed Virgin, 'Lady, it is on thy account that I have sustained this loss: help me.' Mary did so, and caused him to take, on that occasion, as much fish as he could have taken during the whole time of his illness.
30. A young man, who was a member of the confraternity of the Blessed Virgin, left it, and abandoned himself to a dissolute life. One. night the devil appeared to him in a frightful form. He began to invoke our Blessed Lady. 'In vain,' said the enemy, 'dost thou invoke her whom thou hast abandoned; thy crimes have made thee mine.' The young man, trembling, fell upon his knees, and began to recite the formula of the brothers: 'Most holy Virgin Mother,' etc. The Mother of God then appeared. At her presence the devil took flight, leaving a dreadful stench and a hole in the wall. Mary then turned towards the young man and said, 'Thou didst not deserve my help; but I wish to show thee mercy, that thou mayest change thy life and rejoin the confraternity.'
In Braganza there was another young man, who, after giving up the
abandoned himself to so many crimes that one day, in despair, he went
drown himself in a river; but before doing so, he addressed Our Blessed
Lady, saying, 'O Mary, I once served thee in the confraternity; help
The most Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and said: 'Yes, and now what
thou going to do? Dost thou wish to lose thyself both in soul and body?
Go, confess thy sins, and rejoin the confraternity.' The young man,
hereby, thanked the Blessed Virgin, and changed his life.
33. A student was taught by his master to salute the most Blessed Virgin with these words, , Hail, O Mother of Mercy!' At his death Mary appeared to him And said, 'Son, dost thou not know me? I am that Mother of Mercy whom thou hast so often saluted.' The devout servant of the Blessed Virgin then extended his arms, as if to follow her, and sweetly expired.
35. In Turin, in the year 1610, there was an obstinate heretic, who even on his death-bed would not renounce his errors, notwithstanding all that was said to him by many priests who attended upon him during eight successive days. At length one of them almost forced him to have recourse to Mary, with these words, 'Mother of Jesus, help me.' The heretic, as if awaking from a profound sleep, then said, 'I wish to die a Catholic:' he was thereupon reconciled with the Church, and in two hours expired.
36. Another infidel, in India, was dying, abandoned by all, and having heard the power of Mary so much extolled by the Christians, he had recourse to her. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and said, 'Behold, I am she whom thou invokest; become a Christian.' He instantly found himself restored to health, was Baptized, and many were converted by this prodigy.
44. A great sinner was once in prayer at the feet of a Crucifix, earnestly entreating that he might receive a sign of pardon; but not receiving it, he addressed himself to Mary in sorrow, who then appeared to him. He saw her present his tears to her Son, saying, 'Son, shall these tears be lost?' He then understood that Christ had already pardoned him, and thenceforward led a holy life.
46. Blessed Bernard Tolomeo, the founder of the Olivetan Fathers, who from his childhood was tenderly devoted to Mary, was one day greatly tormented at his hermitage of Ancona, called Mount Olivet, with doubts as to his salvation, and as to whether our Lord had yet forgiven him his sins. The Divine Mother appeared to him, and said, 'My son, why dost thou fear? Take courage, God has pardoned thee, and is pleased with the life thou leadest; persevere, I will help thee, and thou wilt be saved.' The blessed man continued to lead a holy life until his happy death in the arms of Mary.
49. In Mexico there was a wicked woman, who, having fallen sick, repented, and made a vow to Mary, that if she recovered, she would make her the offering of her hair. She got well, and made the promised offering to a statue of the Blessed Virgin. She, however, relapsed into sin; again fell ill, and died impenitent. One day after this had occurred, Mary spoke from the statue to the Jesuit father John Mary Salvaterra, in the presence of a great concourse of people, and said, 'Take this hair from my head, for it belongs to an impure soul, who is already damned; it does not, therefore, become the head of the Mother of purity.' The father obeyed, and without delay threw it into the fire.
50. A Saracen named Petran having made many Christians in Spain slaves, they recommended themselves to the Blessed Virgin. Mary appeared to the Saracen, and said, 'Petran, how dost thou dare hold my devout servants in slavery? Release them immediately; obey.' 'And who art thou,' the Moor replied, 'that I am to obey thee?' 'I am,' she said, 'the Mother of God; and because they have had recourse to me, my will is that thou shouldst set them at liberty.' Petran then felt himself changed; he set the Christians free, and offered himself to the Blessed Virgin. Mary first of all instructed him, then Baptized him herself, in a place where a church and Benedictine monastery were afterwards built.
55. When Saint Francis Borgia was in Rome, an ecclesiastic came to speak to him. The Saint being engaged, sent Father Acosta to him; and he said, 'Father, I am a priest and a preacher, but am living in sin, and I despair of the Divine mercy. I one day preached a sermon against those who are obstinate in sin, and afterwards despair of God's mercy; upon which a person came to Confession to me, and having related all my own sins to me, told me that he despaired of the Divine mercy. As it was my duty, I told him that he must change his life, and have confidence in God. On hearing this, the penitent stood up and reproved me, saying: 'Thou who preachest to others, why dost thou not change thy life, and have confidence? Know,' he added, 'that I am an Angel, who have come to help thee; change thy life, and thou wilt be forgiven.' With these words he disappeared. I gave up my sins for a few days; but an occasion presented itself, and I again fell. On another day I was saying Mass, and Jesus Christ, in the Sacred Host, audibly said these words to me: 'Why dost thou thus ill-treat Me, when I treat thee so well? After this I resolved to amend; but on the next occasion again fell. A few hours ago I was in my room, when a young man appeared before me, and drawing a chalice from under his cloak, and from it a consecrated host, said, 'Dost thou know this Lord whom I hold in my hand? Dost thou remember the many graces He has granted thee? But now receive the punishment due to thine ingratitude;' and with these words he drew a sword to kill me. I then cried out, 'For the love of Mary, do not kill me, and I will indeed change my life.' He replied, 'This was the only means which could save thee; learn to make a good use of it; it is the last mercy thou wilt receive.' With these words he left me. I immediately came here to entreat you to receive me amongst you.' Father Acosta encouraged him; and the priest, by the advice of Saint Francis Borgia, entered another Order of strict observance, in which he persevered in sanctity until death.< style="color: rgb(0, 102, 0);"> 56. In the year 1228, on a Saturday, a priest was saying Mass in honor of the most Blessed Virgin, when some Albigensian heretics came, and cut out his tongue. In this state he went to the monastery of Cluny, where the good religious welcomed him with the greatest charity, and deeply compassionated the sufferings which he still endured from the loss of his tongue. But the good priest's keenest grief was, that he could no longer say Mass, recite the Divine office, or the office of the Blessed Virgin, as he used to do. On the Feast of the Epiphany he begged to be carried to the church, and there, before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, he begged her to restore him the tongue which he had lost for love of her, that he might be able to praise her as he had formerly done. Behold, Mary appeared to him with a tongue in her hand, and said, 'Since thou hast lost thy tongue for the faith and for the honor thou hast shown me, I now give thee a new one.' When she had said this, she with her own hands put the tongue in his mouth; and in the same instant the priest, raising his voice, recited the' Hail Mary.' The monks immediately flocked round him, and the priest declared his wish to remain amongst them to become a religious that there he might always continue to praise his benefactress. The scar remained, so as to make the miracle evident to all.