Miraculous Stories of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Her Intercession. part 2.

annunciation-to-the-blessed-virgin-mary-svitozar-nenyuk (1)

From St Alphonsus De Liguori, The Glories of Mary,
Arranged and edited by Br. Sean, a choir monk, 2009
from an etext at www.archive.org
(page numbers as in book)

17. A devout servant of Mary always inculcated
it upon her daughter that she should often recite
the "Hail Mary," especially when she was
in any danger. One day when this girl was resting
after a ball, she was attacked by a demon,
who in a visible form, bore her off with him.
He had already seized her, but she began
"Hail Mary," and the enemy disappeared.
18. A woman of Cologne who had criminal
intercourse with an ecclesiastic, found him one
day hanging in her room dead. After this she
entered into a monastery, where the devil assailed
her in a bodily form, so that she knew not
what to do in order to be delivered from him.
A companion suggested to her to say the "Hail
[692] Mary;" and when she did so the demon said:
"Accursed may she be who has taught you this,"
and appeared no more.
19. A certain baron who led a very sinful life
was accidentally visited in his castle by a religious,
who, enlightened by God, begged him
to assemble together all his servants. They all
came except the chamberlain. He at last was
forced to come in, and the Father said to him:
"Now, I command you in the name of Jesus
Christ to tell who you are." And he answered:
"I am a devil from hell, who for fourteen years
have served this villain, waiting until some day
he should omit those seven "Hail Marys" which
he is in the habit of reciting, that I might then
strangle him and take him to the flames of hell."
The religious then commanded the devil to depart.
He obeyed, and disappeared. The baron
then threw himself at his feet, was converted,
and led a holy life.2
20. The blessed Francis Patrizii, who greatly
loved the devotion of the "Hail Marys," recited
five hundred every day. Mary made known to
him the hour of his death. He died as a saint; and
after forty years a most beautiful lily sprung
from his mouth, which was then transported
into France, and on the leaves of it was written
the "Hail Mary," in letters of gold.
21. Cesarius relates that a Cistercian laybrother
could say no other prayer but the" Hail
[698] Mary," and recited it continually with the
greatest devotion. After his death there sprung up
from the place where he was buried a tree, on
whose leaves were written these words: Hail
Mary, full of grace: "Ave Maria, gratia plena."
22. Three devout virgins, by the advice of
their confessor, recited one year, for forty days,
the whole Rosary, as a preparation for the feast
of the purification of Mary. On the vigil the heavenly
mother appeared to the first of these three
sisters with a rich garment, embroidered with
gold, thanked her, and blessed her. Then she appeared
to the second with a simple garment, and
also thanked her. But she said to her: "Oh
Lady, why have you brought my sister a richer
garment?" "Because she has clothed me,"
said Mary, "more richly than you have done."
She afterwards appeared to the third with a
canvas garment, and she at once asked pardon
for her tepidity in honouring her. The next
year all three fervently prepared for the same
feast, saying the Rosary with great devotion,
when behold, on the evening preceding the
festival, Mary appeared to them in glory, and
said to them: "Be prepared, for tomorrow
you shall come to paradise." And, in fact, the
next day they went to church, related to the
confessor what had occurred, and received communion
in the morning. At the hour of compline
they saw again the most holy Virgin, who came
to take them with her, and amid the songs of
[694] angels, one after the other sweetly expired.
23. Father Crasset relates that a certain
military officer told him, that after a battle he
found a soldier on the battle-ground who held
in his hand a Rosary and the scapular of Mary,
and asked for a confessor. His forehead had
been pierced by a musket-ball, which had passed
through the head and came out behind, so that
the brain was visible and protruded through
each opening, and he could not live without a
miracle. He however raised himself, made his
confession to the chaplain with great compunction,
and after receiving absolution, expired.
24. The same author adds that this very
captain told him of being present when a trumpeter
of his company received a pistol-shot from
some one near, and when he examined his breast
where he said that he had been hit, he found
that the ball had been stopped by the scapular
of the Virgin, which the man wore, and that it
had not even touched the flesh. He took it and
exhibited it to the whole company.
25. A noble youth, named Eschylus, being
sent by the prince, his father, to Hildesheim, a
city of Saxony, to study, abandoned himself to
a dissolute life. He fell ill, and was near dying,
and while in that state he had a vision. He saw
himself shut up in a furnace of fire, and believed
himself to be already in hell; and then he escaped
from it through a hole and took refuge in a
great place, where he found the most holy Mary
[695] in the hall, and she said to him: "Rash man,
do you dare to appear before me? Depart
from here and go to the flames which you
merit." The young man besought the Virgin
to have mercy on him, and then turned to some
persons who were near, and implored them to
recommend him to Mary. They did so, and
the heavenly mother answered: "You do not know
the sinful life he has led, and that he had not
even thought of saying a Hail Mary in my
honour." But his advocates answered: "Oh
Lady, he will change his life;" and the youth
added: "Yes, I promise really to amend, and
I will be your servant." Then the Virgin's anger
was appeased, and she said to him: "Well, I accept
your promise, be faithful to me, and meanwhile
with my blessing, be delivered from hell
and death." When she had said this, the Virgin
disappeared. Eschylus came to himself, and
blessing Mary, related to others the grace he
had received. He led ever after a holy life,
always preserving a great affection towards the
blessed Virgin, and was made Archbishop of
the Church of Lude, in Denmark, where he converted
many to the faith. Towards the close
of his life, being old, he resigned the archbishopric
and became a monk of Clairvaux,
where he lived four years, and died a holy death.
Hence he has been numbered by some writers
among the saints of the Cistercian order.
26. A member of the brothers of the confraternity
of Mary was invited one morning by
[696] a friend to dine with him. He promised to go
but went first to the meeting of the confraternity,
and after that he forgot his promise. His friend
was so much offended by this, that one day when
he met him he attempted to kill him; but, by a
just judgment of God, he killed himself. His
friend was immediately taken before the court,
found guilty of the murder, and was condemned
to death. He recommended himself to the Virgin,
and, inspired by her, begged to be led into
the presence of the dead body, and then asked
him how he had died. He confessed that he died
by his own hands, and his friend was set at
27. In the year 1604, at Dola, a member of the
same confraternity was very ill. On a feast-day
he said to himself: "At this hour my brothers
are assembled and occupied in praising Mary,
and am I here"? He rose from his bed and went
to the assembly, when suddenly the fever left
him, and he was restored to health.
28. A fisherman, belonging to the same confraternity
in Naples, had been ill for several
days through the severe discipline he had practised
in the meeting of the confraternity. Being
somewhat better, as he was poor and had a
family, he returned to his fishing, saying to the
most holy Virgin: "Oh, my Lady, for you I have
suffered this evil, do help me;" and our blessed
Lady allowed him to take as many fish as he
would have taken in all the time he had lost.
[697] 29. Another member was going to be imprisoned
for debt; he recommended himself to
Mary, and the most holy Virgin inspired his
creditors to release him from his debt, and so
they did.
30. A young man who had been a member of
the confraternity of the 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 the blessed Virgin. "In
vain," said his enemy to him, "do you invoke
her whom you have abandoned; your sins have
made you mine." The youth in terror fell on
his knees, and began to recite the formula of the
brothers: "Oh most holy Virgin mother," etc.
Then the mother of God appeared to him, at
whose presence the demon fled, leaving behind
him a great stench, and an opening in the wall.
And Mary then turned to the youth, and said:
"You did not merit my help, but I wish to
take pity on you, that you may change, and
return to the confraternity."
31. In Braganza there lived another youth
who left the confraternity and abandoned himself
to such vicious ways, that one day in despair
he was going to throw himself into a river.
But first he turned to our Lady and said: "Oh
Mary, I have served you in the confraternity,
will you help me?" The most holy Virgin appeared
to him and said: "What are you doing?
Do you wish to destroy both soul and body ?
Go, make your confession, and return to the con-
[698] fraternity." The youth, encouraged by this,
thanked the Virgin, and amended his life.
32. There was once a religious in Spain, who
in a fit of passion killed his superior. After
committing this crime he fled into Barbary,
where he renounced his faith and married, leading
afterwards so bad a life that he did nothing
good but say a "Hail, Holy Queen," daily. One
day, being alone, he repeated this devotion, and
behold Mary appeared to him, rebuked him, and
encouraged him to amend his life, promising
him her assistance. He then returned to his
house, and was so sorrowful that his wife
questioned him as to the cause, and he in tears
told her his condition, and the vision he had
seen. She took compassion on him, gave him
money to enable him to return to his own
country, and also consented that he should take
one of their children with him. He returned to
the monastery, where he shed so many tears of
compunction that he was again received,
together with his son. He persevered in his holy
life, and died with the reputation of a saint.
33. A pupil had been instructed by his master
to salute the most holy Virgin in these words:
"Hail, oh mother of mercy." When he was at
the point of death Mary appeared to him, and
said: "My son, do you not know me? I am
that mother of mercy whom you have saluted so
many times." Then this servant of the Virgin
extended his arms as if to follow her, and gently
breathed his last.
[699] 34. There was once a sinner who was so
abandoned, that he practiced no other devotion
than that of reciting daily "To your patronage...,"
"Sub tuum presidium...." The Virgin one day
so greatly enlightened him, that he abandoned
his sins, entered religion, led for fifty years an
exemplary life, and thus died.
35. In the year 1610, there lived in Turin an
obstinate heretic, who even on his death-bed
would not be converted by all that was said to
him by the various priests who were with him
for eight successive days. At length one of them,
almost by force, brought him to have recourse to
Mary, with these words: Mother of Jesus, help
me: "Mater Jesu, assiste mihi." And the heretic,
as if awakened from sleep, exclaimed, "I will die
a Catholic;" and indeed he became reconciled to
the Church, and died in two hours.
36. Another infidel, who was living in India,
was about to die, abandoned by all, but as he had
heard the Christians so much extol the power of
Mary, he had recourse to her, and the blessed
Virgin appeared to him, and said: "Behold I
am she whom you invoke; become a Christian."
He was immediately restored to health, and baptized,
and many were converted by the prodigy.
37. There lived in Madrid, in the year 1610, a
very devout servant of Mary, who had a special
devotion to an image of her called "Mary of
Antioch." He married a woman, who through
suspicion and jealousy left him no rest. Every
[700] Saturday he went barefoot, and early in the
morning, to visit that image; but his wife, who
suspected him of going elsewhere, once in particular,
attacked him so violently, that blinded by
impatience, he took a rope and hung himself.
But just as his soul was departing, when he
could no more help himself, he invoked the help
of Mary; and behold a most beautiful lady appeared,
who approached him and cut the rope.
The people without saw this, and then he narrated
the fact. By this the wife was so filled with
compunction, that ever afterwards they lived in
peace, and devoted to the heavenly mother.
38. Another person, of Valentia, in 1613, committed
a great crime, which he was ashamed
to confess, and therefore made sacrilegious confessions.
But, being troubled with great remorse
of conscience, he went one day to visit the altar
of Our Lady of Halle, that he might obtain relief.
When he arrived at the door of the church,
which stood open, he felt himself thrust back by
an invisible power. Then he determined to make
his confession, and immediately entered. After
making a general confession, he went home
entirely consoled.
39. The blessed Adam, a Cistercian, went one
evening to visit an altar of the most blessed Virgin
in a church; but finding the doors closed, he
knelt outside to make his devotions. He was
hardly on his knees when he saw the door opening
of itself, and he entered. There he beheld the
[701] Queen of Heaven, in the midst of great splendour,
and she said to him: "Adam, approach; do
you know who I am?" Adam answered: "No,
Lady; who are you?" "I am," she said, "the
mother of God. Know, that as a reward for your
devotion to me, I will always take care of you."
And then she placed her blessed hand upon his
head, and cured him of the great pain he was
suffering there.
40. A servant of Mary went one day to visit
a church of our blessed Lady, without the knowledge
of her husband, and she was prevented by
a severe storm from returning that night to her
own house. She felt a great fear lest her husband
should be very angry with her ; but she
recommended herself to Mary, and when she returned
home, her husband was very kind and
gracious to her. Upon questioning him, she
found that the evening before, the heavenly mother
had taken her form, and attended to all the little
affairs of the household like a servant. She then
related the occurrence to her husband, and they
both afterwards practiced great devotion to the
blessed Virgin.
41. A certain cavalier, of the city of Doul, in
France, named Ansaldo, received in the battle
a wound from an arrow, which entered so deep
into the jaw-bone, that it was not possible to
extract the iron. After four years of suffering,
the afflicted man could endure the pain no longer,
and being besides very ill, he thought he
would again try to have the iron extracted. He
[702] recommended himself to the blessed Virgin,
and made a vow to visit every year a sacred image
of her which was in that place, and make an
offering of a certain sum of money upon her altar
if she granted this request. He had no sooner
made the vow than the iron, without being
touched, fell into his mouth. The next day, ill
as he was, he went to visit the image, and scarcely
had he placed the promised gift upon the
altar, when he felt himself entirely restored to
42. There was once a Spaniard who held sinful
intercourse with a relative. A devout virgin,
while she was at prayer, saw Jesus on his
throne, who was on the point of sending that
criminal to hell; but his holy mother obtained
thirty days grace for him, because he once had
honoured her. By the command of the heavenly
mother herself, his female companion told the
whole to her confessor, who made it known to the
young man, and he at once made his confession,
with many tears and promises of amendment.
But because he did not remove the temptation
from him, he fell again into sin, went again to
confession, again made a resolution, and again
relapsed. As he did not go to see the Father
again, the Father went to his house to find him,
but was very rudely dismissed. The last of the
thirty days had arrived, the Father went to the
house again, but in vain ; he desired the servant,
however, to give him notice if there was any accident;
and indeed at night that miserable sinner
[703] was attacked with violent pains. The Father
was called, and endeavoured to relieve him, but
the unhappy man exclaimed : "My heart has been
pierced with a lance, and I am dying. Then
giving a groan of despair, he expired.
43. There lived once in Milan a man named
Masaccio, so addicted to gambling, that one
day he lost at play the very clothes he wore. In
a violent rage at his loss, he took a knife and
struck an image of the blessed Virgin, and blood
burst forth from it into his face. He was so
much moved that he burst into tears, and offered
thanks to the Virgin that she had obtained
for him time for repentance. He afterwards
entered a Cistercian monastery, and led such a
holy life that he even received the gift of prophecy;
after being forty years a religious, he died
a holy death.
44. A very sinful man, once kneeling in tears
at the foot of the cross, prayed that he might receive
a sign of pardon. But when he found
that his prayer was not granted, he turned to an
image of the sorrowful Mary, who then appeared
to him, and he saw her present his tears to
her Son, saying: My Son, shall these tears be lost?
"Fili, istae lacrymae peribunt?" And then he
was given to understand that Christ had already
pardoned him, and from that time be led a holy
45. A man of advanced age, during one of our
missions, after the usual sermon on the powerful
[704]  intercession of Mary, which it is our custom
always to preach in the missions, came to
make his confession to one of our Fathers, named
Father Cesar Sportelli, who lately died in the
fame of sanctity, and was found uncorrupted
many months after his death. Kneeling at the
feet of his confessor, he said: "Father, our Lady
has had pity on me." "This is her office," answered
the Father. "But you cannot give me
absolution," said the other, "for I have never
made my confession." And, in fact, although
he was a Catholic, he had never made his confession.
The Father encouraged him, heard
his confession, and gave him absolution with
great consolation.
46. The blessed Bernard Tolomeo, founder of
the Olivetan Fathers, who, from his childhood,
had a great devotion to Mary, was one day greatly
tormented in his hermitage at Accona, called
Mt. Olivet, with the fear that he would not be
saved, and that God had not yet pardoned him;
but the heavenly mother appeared to him, and
said: "What do you fear, my son? Take courage;
God has already pardoned you, and is pleased
with the life you lead; go on, and I will help
and save you." The blessed religious continued
to lead a holy life till he died a happy death
in the arms of Mary.
47. There lived in Germany a young girl, called
Agnes, who had been guilty of incest in the
first degree. She fled into a desert, and there
gave birth to a child. The devil, in the form of
[705] a religious, appeared to her, and persuaded
her to throw the child into a pond. But afterwards,
when he proposed to her to throw herself
in also, she said: "Mary, help me," and the devil
48. A soldier once made a compact with the
devil, that he would sell his wife to him for a
certain sum of money. He was taking her to a
wood to fulfil his promise, when he passed before
a church dedicated to the Virgin. His wife
begged him to allow her to pay her devotion to
Mary in that church; but as she entered it,
Mary came forth from it, and taking the form
of the woman, accompanied the husband. When
they reached the wood, the demon said to the
man: "Traitor, why have you brought me, in
stead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of
God?" "And you," said Mary, "how have
you dared to think of injuring my servant?
Go, flee to hell." And then turning to the
man, she said: "Amend your life, and I will aid
you." She disappeared, and that wretched man
repented, and amended his life.