Miraculous Stories of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Her Intercession. part 3.


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)

49. A very sinful woman who lived in Mexico,
having fallen ill, repented of her life, and
made a vow to Mary, that if she would restore
her to health she would present her with her
hair. She was cured, and she cut off her hair,
making an offering of it to the statue of the
Virgin. But the woman again fell into sin,
again fell ill, and died impenitent. Then Mary
[706] one day afterwards spoke from that statue
to Father Giaramaria Salvaterra, and said: Take
those locks from my head, for they belong to
a lost and sinful soul, and are not befitting
the head of the mother of purity. The Father
obeyed her, and threw them himself instantly
into the flames.1
50. A Saracen, named Petran, made captive
several Christians in Spain, who recommended
themselves to the holy Virgin. Mary appeared
to the Saracen, and said to him: "Petran, how
dare you to hold my servants slaves? Release
them immediately - obey." And the Moor answered:
"Who are you whom I am to obey?"
"I am," said she, "the mother of God; and
because they have had recourse to me, I wish
you to give them their liberty." Then the heart
of Petran was changed, he set the Christians free,
and presented himself to the Virgin. She first
instructed him, and then she herself baptized
him in a fountain, near which a church was built,
and a Benedictine monastery.
51. A certain canon, while he was repeating
some devotions in honour of the heavenly mother,
fell into the river Seine and was drowned, and
being in mortal sin, the devils came to take him
to hell. But Mary appeared at the same time,
and said to them: "How have you dared to
take possession of one who died praising me?"
Then turning to the sinner, she said: "Repent,
and be particularly devout to my Conception."
[707] He was restored to life, became a religious,
and never ceased to thank his deliverer, and everywhere
to propagate the devotion to her immaculate
52. Whilst the monks of Clairvaux were
reaping in the fields, and praising the queen of
heaven, most holy Mary was seen caressing them,
and two other saints wiping their sweat.
53. The brother of the King of Hungary recited
every day the office of Mary. Once when
he was very ill, he made a vow of chastity to
the Virgin, if she would restore him to health:
and he immediately recovered. But his brother
having died, he was about to be married, and
just as the nuptials were to be celebrated, he
retired apart to recite his accustomed office.
When he came to the words: Thou art fair
and comely, etc. : "Quam pulchra es et decora,"
etc., he saw Mary, who said to him: "If I am
fair as you say, why do you leave me for another
spouse? Know, that if you leave her, you shall
have me for a spouse, and the kingdom of heaven
instead of the kingdom of Hungary." After
this the prince withdrew into a desert near
Aquileia, where he lived a holy life.
54. St. John Climacus relates that there was
a devout religious, named Carcerio, who was
accustomed often to repeat little songs in praise
of Mary, and always saluted her images with a
"Hail Mary." He was once afflicted with so
painful a malady, that in the paroxysms of his
[708] suffering he bit his lips and tongue. He lost
his speech, and was at the point of death. While
the religious were recommending his soul to
God, the mother of God appeared to him and
said: "I have come to cure you, for I do not
wish that mouth should suffer with which you
have so often praised me. Arise, you are healed,
continue to praise me. Having said this, she
sprinkled him with some drops of her milk, and
immediately he was cured, and never ceased to
praise her, until, visited again by his Lady at his
death, he sweetly expired in her arms.
55. When St. Francis Borgia was in Rome,
an ecclesiastic came to speak with him; but the
saint being much occupied, sent Father Acosta
to him. The ecclesiastic said to him: "Father,
I am a priest and a preacher, but I live in sin,
and distrust the divine mercy. After preaching
a sermon one day against the obstinate, who
afterwards despair of pardon, a person came
to me to make his confession, who narrated
to me all my sins, and at length told me that he
despaired of the divine mercy. In order to do
my duty, I told him that he must change his
life, and trust in God; then that penitent rose
to his feet and reproached me, saying: And
you, who preach thus to others, why do you
not amend, and why do you distrust? Know,
said he, that I am an angel come to your aid;
amend and you will be pardoned. And when
he had said this he disappeared. I abstained
for several days from my sinful practices, but
when [709] temptation came I again returned
to my sins. On another day, as I was celebrating
Mass, Jesus Christ sensibly spoke to me
from the host, and said: 'Why do you thus maltreat
me, when I treat you so well?' After this I
resolved to amend, but at the next temptation fell
again into sin. A few hours ago, a youth came
to me in my apartment, and drew from under
his mantle a chalice, and from this a consecrated
host, saying: 'Do you know this Lord whom I
hold in my hand? Do you remember how
many favours he has done you? Now behold
the punishment of your ingratitude', and saying
this he drew a sword to kill me. I then cried:
'For the love of Mary do not kill me, for I will
indeed amend'. And then he said: 'This was
the only thing that could save you: make a good
use of this grace, for this is the last mercy for
you'. When he had said this he left me, and I
came immediately here, praying you to receive
me among you." Father Acosta consoled him,
and the priest, by the advice also of St. Francis,
entered another order of strict observance,
where he persevered in holiness till his death.
56. In the year 1228, while a priest was celebrating
Mass on a Saturday, in honour of the
most holy Mary, some Albigensian heretics
came and cruelly cut out his tongue. In this
condition he went to the monastery of Cluny,
where the good religious received him with much
charity, greatly compassionating the suffering
he endured from the loss of his tongue. But what
[710] caused the greatest suffering to this devout
priest was that he could no longer say Mass and
recite the divine office, and that of the blessed
Virgin, as he had been accustomed to do. The
feast of Epiphany having arrived, he begged to
be carried into the church, and before the altar
of the holy Virgin prayed her to restore the
tongue which he had lost through love of her,
that he might sing her praises as he did before.
Then Mary appeared to him with a tongue in her
hand, and said to him: "Since you have lost the
tongue for the faith, and for the honour you
have paid me, I give you in return a new one."
Having said this, with her own hands she placed
the tongue in his mouth, and immediately
the priest, raising his voice, recited the "Hail
Mary." The religious quickly assembled, and
the priest wished to remain with them, and to
become himself a religious, that there he might
always praise his benefactress. The mark of the
scar was always seen on his tongue.
57. It was in 589 that the famous plague prevailed
in Rome, when men were attacked with
sneezing, and fell down dead. St. Gregory the
Great, when he was carrying in procession
through the city an image belonging to the church
of St. Mary Major, in the place now called the Castle
of St. Angelo, saw an angel in the air, who was
replacing in its scabbard a sword dripping with
blood. Then he heard the angels singing: Oh,
Queen of heaven rejoice, Alleluia; for he whom
you didst deserve to bear, Alleluia, is risen again,
[711] as he said, Alleluia: "Regina caeli, laetare,
Alleluia; quia querm meruisti portare, Alleluia;
resurrexit, sicut dixit, Alleluia." And St. Gregory
responded: "Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia." Immediately
the plague ceased, and they then began
to celebrate the greater Litanies every year on the
25th of April.
58. A city of France, called Avignon, was
once besieged by enemies. The citizens prayed
to Mary to defend them, and placed an image of
her which they had taken from the church, at
the gate of the city. One of the citizens having
concealed himself behind the image, a soldier
shot an arrow at him, saying: "This image shall
not save you from death." But the image presented
her knee, and the arrow remained fixed in
it, and may be seen there even to this day; and
thus she saved the life of her servant. And the
enemy, moved by this prodigy, raised the siege.
59. There was in Naples a Moor, a slave of
Don Octavius del Monaco, who, although he
had often been exhorted to leave his Mahometan
sect, remained obstinate, but yet never failed
every evening to keep lighted, at his own expense,
a lamp before an image of Mary which
was in the house. And he said: "I hope that this
Lady will grant me some great favour." One night
the blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him
he must become a Christian. Still the Turk resisted,
but she placed her hand upon his shoulder,
and said to him: "Now no longer resist, Abel;
[712] be baptized and called Joseph." In the
morning he immediately went to be instructed,
and was baptized August 10th, 1648, with eleven
other Turks. Let it be observed that when the
heavenly mother appeared to him, after she had
converted him, she was about to depart, but the
Moor seized her mantle, saying : "Oh Lady,
when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let
me see you." In fact she one day promised him
this, and when he was in affliction he invoked
her, and Mary appeared again to him, saying :
"Have patience," and he was consoled.
60. A certain parish priest of Asella, named
Baldwin, became a Dominican, and when he
was in his novitiate there came to him the temptation
that he could do greater good in the
world in his parish, and he resolved to return.
But going to take his leave of the altar of the
Rosary, Mary appeared to him with two vessels
of wine ; she gave him to drink of the first, but
the novice had hardly tasted it, when he turned
away his mouth, for although the wine was good,
yet it was full of dregs ; the second he pronounced
good, and free from dregs : "Now,"
said the most holy Virgin, "there is the same
difference between the life in the world, and the
life in religion, which is under obedience."
Baldwin persevered, and died a good religious.
61. Another novice, also overcome by temptation,
was about to leave his monastery, but
stopping to say a "Hail Mary" before an image
[713] of the Virgin, he felt himself nailed, as it were,
to the floor, from which he could not rise. He repented,
and made a vow of persevering. He then
recovered his liberty, asked pardon of the master
of novices, and persevered.
62. The blessed Clement, a Franciscan, one
morning delayed going to the common table,
that he might stop and recite certain accustomed
devotions to the most holy Virgin; but she
spoke from her image, and directed him to go
with the others, because obedience pleased her
more than all other devotions.
63. While Angela, a daughter of the King
of Bohemia, was in a monastery, Mary appeared
to her, and an angel said to her: "Arise, Angela,
and fly to Jerusalem, for your father wishes to
give you in marriage to the prince of Hungary."
The devout virgin immediately set on her journey,
and again the heavenly mother appeared to
her and encouraged her to continue her journey.
She was received in Jerusalem among the Carmelites,
and afterwards was commanded by the
blessed Virgin herself to return to her own
country, where she lived a holy life till her
64. St. Gregory relates that there was a
young woman named Musa, who had great devotion
to the mother of God; but being, through
the evil example of her companions, in danger
of losing her innocence, one day Mary appeared
to her with many saints, and said to her: "Musa,
[714] do you too wish to be one of these? " Musa
answered, "Yes;" and Mary added: "Withdraw
from your companions, and prepare, for in one
month from now you shall come with me."
Musa retired from her companions, and related
the vision. On the thirtieth day she was at the
point of death, and the most holy Virgin again
appeared to her and called her. She answered:
"Behold, Lady, I come," and sweetly expired.
65. Anna Caterina Gonzaga was married to
Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria, but her husband
dying, she entered the religious order of the
Servites, and had a crown made, on the globes of
which were carved the sorrows of the Virgin.
She said that for this crown she renounced all
the other crowns of earth; and, in fact, refused
marriage with the Emperor Rodolph II When
she heard that her younger sister had been
crowned empress, she said: "Let my sister enjoy
her imperial crown; for these garments with
which Mary my queen has clothed me are to me
a thousand-fold dearer." The most holy Virgin
appeared to her many times during her life, and
at last this good religious died a holy death.
66. A young clerical student playing one
day at ball with other young men, and fearing
he should lose a ring in his play, which had been
given him by a lady, he placed it on the finger
of an image of Mary which was near; and he
immediately felt impelled to make a promise to
the Virgin to quit the world and choose her
for his spouse. He made the promise, and Mary
[715] pressed his finger in token that she accepted
it. But after some time he wished to marry another,
and Mary appeared to him and reproached him
for his infidelity; wherefore he fled into a desert
and led to the last a holy life.
67. About the year 850, Berengarius, Bishop
of Verdun, in Lorraine, having entered a church
where a certain priest named Bernerio was saying
the office of Mary prostrate before the choir,
stumbled against him, and in his vexation struck
him with his foot. In the night the most holy
Virgin appeared to him, and said: How is it
that you struck with your foot my servant who
was engaged in praising me? Because I love
you," she added, "you must pay the penalty."
Then his leg became withered, but he lived and
died a saint; and after many years his body, except
that leg, remained uncorrupted.
68. A young man who was left wealthy at the
death of his parents, by play and dissipation with
his friends, lost all that he had, but always preserved
his chastity. An uncle, who found him
reduced to such poverty by his vices, exhorted
him to say every day a part of the Rosary, promising
him that if he would persevere in this devotion
he would procure for him a good marriage.
The youth persevered, and having amended
his life, he was married. On the evening of
his nuptials he rose from the table to go and
recite his Rosary, and when he had finished it,
Mary appeared to him and said: Now I will reward
you for the honour you have paid me: I do
[716] not wish that you should lose your chastity;
in three days you shall die, and shall come to me
in paradise. And this really happened, for immediately
a fever attacked him. He related the vision,
and on the third day died in perfect peace.
69. The devout author of the book in honour
of the most holy Rosary, entitled, "The Secret
of every Grace," relates that St. Vincent Ferrer
once said to a man dying in despair: "Why will
you ruin yourself when Jesus Christ wishes to
save you?" And he answered, that in spite of
Christ he would be damned. The saint replied:
"And you, in spite of yourself, shall be saved."
He began to recite the Rosary with the persons
of the house, and behold, the sick man asked to
make his confession, made it weeping, and then
70. The same author also relates that a poor
woman, who was buried by an earthquake under
the ruins of a house, was found alive and uninjured,
with her children in her arms, by some
persons who were employed by a priest to remove
the stones. When she was asked what devotion
she had practised, she said she had never failed
to say the Rosary and visit a chapel of the most
holy Mary.
71. He also relates that another woman who
led a wicked life because she thought it the only
means by which she could gain a livelihood was
counselled to recommend herself to Mary by saying
the Rosary; she did so, and behold one night
[717] the Blessed Mother appeared and said to her:
"Quit your sinful life: as for your support, trust
in me, and I will think of that." The next morning
she went to confession, and Mary most holy
provided for her wants.
72. A person of impure life who had not the
courage to quit his sins, began to say the Rosary,
and was delivered from his vices.
73. Another person who maintained a sinful
friendship was seized with abhorrence of his
sin by saying the Rosary. He yielded again to
temptation, but by means of the Rosary finally
freed himself from it.
74. A good priest who was attending a woman
on her death-bed, who bitterly hated her husband,
not knowing by what means to convert
her, withdrew to say the Rosary, and at the last
moment that woman saw her sinfulness, repented,
and forgave her husband.
75. Finally, the same author relates, that once
making a mission to the convicts in the galleys
of Naples, he found some who obstinately refused
to make their confession. He suggested to
them that at least they should have themselves
enrolled in the confraternity of the Rosary, and
begin to recite it. They consented to do so, and
they had no sooner recited one than they desired
to make their confession, and did so, the first
time for many years. These modern examples
serve to revive our confidence in Mary, seeing
that she is at the present time the same that she
always has been towards those who have recourse
to her.
[718] 76. St. Gregory relates (Dial. Bk. 1, ch. 9)
that a holy Bishop of Ferento was from childhood
devoted to relieving the poor. It happened one day
that a certain priest, his nephew, sold a horse for
ten crowns of gold, and took the money and locked
it up. The bishop not having anything to give
when some poor persons came to beg of him,
broke open the chest and distributed the money
to them. His nephew made such a disturbance
when he discovered it, that the holy prelate, not
knowing what to do, went for help to a church
dedicated to Mary. When behold, he saw ten
crowns lying on the drapery of the statue; he
took them and gave them to his nephew.
77. A Lutheran lady of Augsburg in Germany,
who was a very obstinate heretic, happening
to pass one day a small Catholic chapel, went in
through curiosity. She saw there an image of
Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms, and
felt moved to make an offering to it. She accordingly
went home, took a silk cloth, and brought
it to the altar of the Virgin. When she had
returned home the most holy Virgin enlightened
her to see the errors of her sect, and she went
immediately to seek some Catholics, abjured
heresy, and was converted to God.
78. In the city of Cesena there lived two
very bad men who were friends. One of them,
named Bartholomew, in the midst of all his vices
practised the devotion of reciting everyday
the "Stabat Mater" in honour of the sorrowful
Mary. Once when he was repeating this hymn
[719] Bartholomew had a vision, in which he
seemed to stand with his sinful companion in a
lake of fire, and saw the most holy Virgin, moved
to pity, offer her hand and take him from the
flames. She directed him to seek pardon from
Jesus Christ, who showed himself willing to pardon
him through the prayers of his mother.
The vision ended, and Bartholomew at the
moment heard the report that his friend had
been mortally wounded and was dead. Then he
knew the truth of the vision, and quitting the
world, entered the order of Capuchins, where he
led a most austere life, and died in the fame of
79. The blessed Jerome, founder of the Sommaschian
Fathers, being governor of a certain
place, was taken by the enemy, and confined
in the dungeon of a tower. He recommended
himself to Mary, and made a vow to
make a pilgrimage to Treviso in her honour, if
she would rescue him. Then the most holy
Virgin appeared to him surrounded by a great
light, and with her own hands undid his chains,
and gave him the keys of the prison. He fled
from the prison, and, setting out for Treviso to
fulfil his vow, he found himself immediately
surrounded by the enemy. Again he had recourse
to his deliverer, and she again appeared
to him, took him by the hand, and led him safely
through the midst of his enemies, accompanying
him even to the gates of Treviso, where she
disappeared. He made the visit, deposited his
[720] chains at the foot of the altar of Mary, and
then devoted himself to a holy life, by which he
has merited recently to be ranked by the holy
Church among the number of the blessed.
80. A priest who had a special devotion to
the sorrows of Mary often remained alone in a
chapel to commiserate the sorrows of his Lady,
and, moved by compassion, was accustomed
with a little cloth to wipe, as it were, the tears
of a statue of the sorrowful Virgin which was
in that place. Now this good priest, in a severe
illness, when he was given up by his physicians,
and was going to breathe his last, saw a beautiful
lady by his side, who consoled him with her
words, and with a handkerchief gently wiped
the sweat from his brow, and with this cured
him. When he found himself well, he said:
"But, my Lady, who are you who practice
such charity towards me?" "I am she," answered
Mary, "whose tears you have so often
dried," and she disappeared.
81. A noble lady, who had an only son, was
informed one day that he was killed, and that
his murderer had by chance taken refuge in her
own palace; but when she called to mind that
Mary pardoned the executioners of her Son, she
wished also to pardon that criminal for love of
the sorrowful Mary; and not only did she pardon
him, but provided him with a horse, money,
and clothes, that he might make his escape.
Then her son appeared to her, and told her that
he was saved, and that for her generous act
[721] done towards his enemy, the heavenly mother
had delivered him from purgatory, where he
should otherwise have had to suffer for a long
time, but that he was then already entering
82. The blessed Bionda performed a similar
heroic act. Some enemies also killed her only
son, though he was innocent, solely by reason
of the hatred they bore to his father, who was
dead; and with unheard-of cruelty gave the
heart of the murdered youth to his mother to
eat. Now she, according to the example of the
most holy Mary, began to pray for her son's murderers,
and to do them all the good she could.
These acts so pleased the heavenly mother, that
she called her to join the third order of the Servites,
where she merited to lead so holy a life,
that both before and after her death many
miracles were performed through her.
83. St. Thomas of Canterbury, when he was
a young man, found himself one day in conversation
with several other youths, each of whom
boasted of some foolish love affair. The holy
youth declared that he, too, loved a great lady,
and was beloved by her, meaning the most holy
Virgin. Afterwards, he felt some remorse at
having made this boast; but behold, Mary appeared
to him in his trouble, and with a gracious
sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do
you fear? You had reason to say that you loved
me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure
your companions of this, and as a pledge of the
[722] love I bear you, show them this gift that I
make you." The gift was a small box, containing
a chasuble, of a blood-red colour, as a sign that
Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained
for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr,
which indeed happened, for he was first made
priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in
England, where he was at one time persecuted
by the king, and fled to the Cistercian monastery
at Pontignac, in France. While he was there,
wishing one day to mend his hair-cloth shirt that
he usually wore, which was ripped, and not being
able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to
him, and, with especial kindness, took the haircloth
from his hand, and repaired it as it should
be done. After this he returned to Canterbury,
and died a martyr, having been put to death on
account of his zeal for the Church.
84. A young woman in the Papal States, who
was very devout towards Mary, met in a certain
place a chief of the bandits. Fearing some outrage,
she implored him, for love of the most holy
Virgin, not to molest her. "Do not fear," he
answered, "for you have prayed me in the name
of the mother of God; and I only ask you to recommend
me to her." And, in fact, he accompanied
her himself along the road to a place
of safety. The following night Mary appeared
in a dream to the bandit, and thanking him for
the act he had performed for love of her, told
him she would remember it, and would one day
[723] reward him. The robber, at length, was arrested,
and condemned to death; but behold, the
night previous to his execution, the blessed Virgin
visited him again in a dream, and first asked
him: "Do you know who I am?" He answered,
"It seems to me I have seen you before." "I am
the Virgin Mary," she continued, "who have
come to reward you for what you have done for
me. You will die tomorrow, but you will die
with so much contrition that you will come at
once to paradise." The convict awoke, and felt
such contrition for his sins that he began to
weep bitterly, all the while giving thanks aloud
to our blessed Lady. He sent immediately for
a confessor, to whom he made his confession
with many tears, relating the vision he had seen,
and begged him to make public this grace that
had been bestowed on him by Mary. He went
joyfully to execution, after which, as it is related,
his countenance was so peaceful and happy,
that all who saw him believed that the promise
of the heavenly mother was fulfilled.
85. The blessed Joachim Piccolomini, who
had a very great devotion to Mary, even from
childhood, used to visit three times a day an
image of the sorrowful mother, which was in a
neighbouring church, and abstained from all food
on Saturday in her honour. Moreover, he rose
at midnight to meditate upon her sorrows. But
let us see how Mary rewarded him. At first
she appeared to him when he was young, and
directed him to enter into religion in the order
[724] of her Servants, which he did. Towards the
close of his life, she again appeared to him, with
two crowns in her hand : one of rubies, as the
reward of the compassion he had cherished for
her sorrows; and the other of pearls, as the reward
of his chastity which he had consecrated to her.
Finally, at death she appeared to him again,
when he asked of her the favour to die on the
day on which Jesus Christ died, and the most
holy Virgin consoled him by telling him : "Make
ready now, for tomorrow (Friday) you will
die suddenly, as you desire, and tomorrow you
shall be with me in paradise." And thus it happened,
for while they were chanting in the
church the passion according to St. John, at the
words : There stood near the cross of Jesus his
mother : "Stabat juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus,"
he was attacked with the faintness of death;
at the words : And bowing his head he gave
up his spirit: "Et inclinato capite tradidit
spiritum," this blessed one also gave up his
spirit to God; and at the same moment the
church was filled with a great splendour, and
a most sweet fragrance.
86. Father Alphonso Salmerone, of the Society
of Jesus, being a most devout servant of the
blessed Virgin, died saying : "To paradise, to
paradise; blessed be the hour that I have served
Mary! Blessed the sermons, the toils, the thoughts
that I have had for you, oh my Lady! To paradise."
87. A youth named Guido, who wished to join
[725] the order of Camaldoli, was presented to
St. Romuald by the prince, his father, whose
name was Farnulf. The holy founder received
him with pleasure. One day Mary appeared to
this good youth, her servant, with the infant
Jesus in her arms. Esteeming himself unworthy
of such a favour, he stood trembling, but the heavenly
mother drawing near to him, said : "Why do
you doubt? What do you fear, Guido? I
am the mother of God, this is my son Jesus, who
wishes to come to you;" and saying this, she
placed him in his arms. Guido had not been
three years in religion when he fell dangerously
ill. St. Romuald saw the poor youth writhing
and trembling, and heard him saying : "Oh
Father, do you see all the Moors in this cell"?
"My son," said the saint to him, "do you remember
any thing you have not confessed?" "Yes,
Father," he answered, " I remember having disobeyed
the prior, by not picking up certain
brooms, and now I confess it." St. Romuald
absolved him, and then the scene changed; the
devils fled, and the Virgin again appeared with
Jesus, at the sight of whom Guido died in perfect
88. A Cistercian nun in Toledo, called Mary,
being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother
appeared to her, and Mary said to her: "Oh
Lady, the favour you do me of visiting me emboldens
me to ask you another favour, namely,
that I may die at the same hour that you died
and entered into heaven. "Yes," answered
[726] Mary. "I will satisfy you; you shall die at
that hour, and you shall hear the songs and
praises with which the blessed accompanied my
entrance into heaven; and now prepare." When
she had said this she disappeared. The religious
who heard the nun talking to herself, believed
her wandering in mind, but she related to them
the vision, and the promised grace, and awaited
the desired hour; and when she knew it had arrived,
by the striking of the clock (the writer
does not tell us what hour it was), she said:
"Behold, the predicted hour has come; I hear
the music of the angels; at this hour my queen
ascended into heaven; rest in peace, for I am
going now to see her;" and saying this she expired,
while her eyes became bright as stars, and
her face glowed with a beautiful colour.
89. In the city of Sens, in France, there lived
towards the eighth century St. Opportuna, the
daughter of a prince of royal blood. This holy
virgin, who had a great devotion to Mary, became
a religious in a neighbouring monastery,
and being at the point of death, she saw St. Cecilia
and St. Lucia standing beside her in the
dawn of the morning. "My sisters, be welcome,
she said to them; "what message do you bring
me from my queen?" And they answered:
"She is waiting for you in paradise." After
this the devil appeared to her, and the saint
boldly sent him away, saying: "Brute beast,
what have you to do with me who am the servant
of Jesus? " The hour of her death, which
[727] she herself had predicted, having arrived,
after receiving the holy viaticum, she turned towards
the door, and said: "Behold the mother
of God who comes to take me. Sisters, I commend
you to her. Adieu, we shall see each other
no more." Thus saying, she raised her arms,
as if to embrace her Lady, and gently expired.
In India a young man who was just about to
[559] leave his apartment in order to commit
sin, heard a voice saying: "Stop, where are you
going? He turned around and saw an image, in
relief, of the sorrowful Mary, who drew out the
sword which was in her breast, and said to him:
"Take this dagger and pierce my heart rather
than wound my Son with this sin." At the sound
of these words the youth prostrated himself on
the ground, and with deep contrition, bursting
into tears, he asked and obtained from God and
the Virgin pardon of his sin.
A young man in Perugia once promised the
devil that if he would help him to commit a sinful
act which he desired to do, he would give
him his soul; and he gave him a writing to that
effect, signed with his blood. The evil deed was
committed, and the devil demanded the performance
of the promise. He led the young man to
a well, and threatened to take him body and soul
[576] to hell if he would not cast himself into it. The
wretched youth, thinking that it would be impossible
for him to escape from his enemy, climbed the
well-side in order to cast himself into it, but terrified
at the yought of death, he said to the devil
that he had not the courage to throw himself in,
and that, if he wished to see him dead, he himself
should thrust him in. The young man wore
about his neck the scapular of the sorrowing
Mary; and the devil said to him: "Take off that
scapular, and I will thrust you in." But the youth,
seeing the protection which the Mother of God
still gave him through that scapular, refused to
take it off, and after a great deal of altercation,
the devil departed in confusion. The sinner repented,
and grateful to his sorrowful mother,
went to thank her, and presented a picture of
this case, as an offering, at her altar in the new
church of Santa Maria, in Perugia.