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The Glories of Mary #10: Mary, Our Hope

By November 14, 2009November 21st, 2009Glories of Mary

The Promptitude of Mary in assisting those who invoke her.

We read in the life of St Francis de Sales that he experienced the efficacy of this prayer.  When he was about seventeen years of age he was living in Paris, where he was pursuing his studies. At the same time he devoted himself to exercises of piety and to the holy love of God, in which he found the joys of paradise.  Our Lord, in order to try him, and to strengthen the bands which united him to himself, allowed the evil spirit to persuade him that all that he did was in vain, as he was already condemned in the eternal decrees of God. The darkness and spiritual dryness in which God was pleased at the same time to leave him (for he was then insensible to all the sweeter thoughts of the goodness of God) caused the temptation to have greater power over the heart of the holy youth: and, indeed, it reached such a pitch that his fears and interior desolation took away his appetite, deprived him of sleep, made him pale and melancholy; so much so, that he excited the compassion of all who saw him.

As long as this terrible storm ,lasted, the saint could only conceive thoughts and utter words of despondency and bitter grief.  “Then,” said he, “I am to be deprived of the grace of my God, who up to now has shown himself so lovely and sweet to me!  O Love, O Beauty, to which I have consecrated all my affections, I am no longer to enjoy Your consolation!  O Virgin, Mother of God, the fairest among all the daughters of Jerusalem, then I am never to see you in heaven!  Ah, Lady, if I am not to behold your beautiful countenance in Paradise, at least permit me not to blaspheme you in hell!”  Such were the tender sentiments of that afflicted, but at the same time loving heart.  The temptation had lasted a month, when it pleased our Lord to deliver him by the means of that comfortress of the world, the most Blessed Mary, to whom the saint had some time before consecrated his virginity, and in whom, as he declared, he had placed all his hopes.  One evening, on returning home, he entered a church, and saw a tablet hanging on the wall.  He read it, and found the following well known prayer; commonly called “ the prayer of St Bernard:”  “Remember, O most pious Virgin Mary, that it never has been heard of in any age, that any one having recourse to your protection was abandoned.”  Falling on his knees before the alter of the divine Mother, he recited this prayer with tender fervor, renewed his vow of chastity, promised to say the Rosary every day, and then added:  “My Queen, be my advocate with your Son, whom I dare not approach.  My Mother, if I am so unfortunate as not to be able to love my Lord in the next world, and whom I know to be so worthy of love, at least do you obtain that I may love him in this world as much as possible.  This is the grace that I ask and hope for from you.”  Having thus addressed the Blessed Virgin, he cast himself into the arms of divine mercy, and resigned himself entirely to the will of God.  Scarcely had he finished his prayer, when in an instant he was delivered from his temptation by his most sweet Mother.  He immediately regained the peace of his soul and with it his bodily health; and from that time forward lived most devout to Mary, whose praises and mercy he constantly extolled, both in his sermons and writings, during the remainder of his life.

O Mother of God, Queen of angels and hope of men, give ear to one who calls upon you and has recourse to your protection.  Behold me this day prostrate at your feet; I, a miserable slave of hell, devote myself entirely to you.  I desire to be forever your servant.  I offer myself to serve and honor you to the utmost of my power during the whole of my life.  I know that the service of one so vile and miserable can be no honor to you, since I have so grievously offended Jesus, your Son and my Redeemer.  But if you will accept one so unworthy for your servant, and by your intercession change me, and thus making me worthy, this very mercy will give you that honor which so miserable a wretch as I can never give you.  Receive me, then, and reject me not, O my Mother.  The Eternal Word came from heaven on earth to seek for lost sheep, and to save them he became your Son.  And when one of them goes to you to find Jesus, will you despise him?  The price of my salvation is already paid; my Saviour has already shed his blood, which suffices to save an infinity of worlds.  This blood has only to be applied even to such a one as I am.  And that is your office, O Blessed Virgin; to you does it belong, as I am told by St Bernard, to dispense the merits of this blood to whom you please.  To you does it belong, says St Bonaventure, to save whomsoever you will, “whomsoever you will, will be saved.”  Oh, then, help me, my Queen; my Queen, save me.  To you do I this day consecrate my whole soul; do you save it.  O salvation of those who invoke you, I conclude in the words of the same saint, “O salvation of those who call upon you, do you save me.”


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