Mary was born a saint, and a great saint; for the grace with which God enriched her from the beginning was great, and the fidelity with which she immediately corresponded to it was great.
There were two young noblemen in Madrid, of whom the one encouraged the other in leading a wicked life, and in committing all sorts of crimes. One of them one night in a dream saw his friend taken by certain dark men, and carried to a tempestuous sea. They were going to take him in a similar manner, but he had recourse to Mary, and made a vow that he would embrace the religious state; on which he was delivered from those men. He then saw Jesus on a throne, as if in anger, and the Blessed Virgin imploring mercy for him. After this his friend came to pay him a visit, and he then related what he had seen; but his companion only turned it into ridicule, and he was shortly afterwards stabbed and died. When the young man saw this his vision was verified, he went to confession, and renewed his resolution to enter a religious Order, and for this purpose he sold all that he had; but instead of giving it to the poor, as he had intended, he spent it in all sorts of debauchery. He then fell ill, and had another vision. He thought he saw hell open, and the divine Judge, who had already condemned him. Again he had recourse to Mary, and she once more delivered him. He recovered his health and went on worse than ever. He afterwards went to Lima in South America, where he relapsed into his former illness; and in the hospital of that place he was once more touched by the grace of God, confessed his sins to the Jesuit Father, Francis Perlino, and promised him that he would change his life; but again he fell into his former crimes. At last the same Father, going into another hospital in a distant place, saw the miserable wretch extended on the ground, and heard him cry out: “Ah, abandoned wretch that I am! For my greater torment this Father is come to witness my chastisement. From Lima I came here, where my vices have brought me to this end; and now I go to hell.” With these words he expired, without even leaving the Father time to help him.
O holy and heavenly Infant, You who are the destined Mother of my Redeemer and the great mediatrix of miserable sinners, pity me. Behold at your feet another ungrateful sinner who has recourse to you and asks your compassion. It is true, that for my ingratitude to God and to you I deserve that God and you should abandon me; but I have heard, and believe it to be so (knowing the greatness of your mercy), that you do not refuse to help any one who recommends himself to you with confidence. O most exalted creature in the world! Since this is the case, and since there is no one but God above you, so that compared with you the greatest saints of heaven are little; O saint of saints, O Mary! Abyss of charity, and full of grace, comfort a miserable creature who by his own fault has lost the divine favour. I know that you are so dear to God that he denies you nothing. I know also that your pleasure is to use your greatness for the relief of miserable sinners. Ah, then, show how great is the favour that you enjoy with God, by obtaining me a divine light and flame so powerful that I may be changed from a sinner into a saint; and detaching myself from every earthly affection, divine love may be enkindled in me. Do this, O Lady, for you can do it. Do it for the love of God, who has made you so great, so powerful, and so compassionate. This is my hope. Amen.