Stories of Mary 14:
“Forced to Confess”
She could find no peace, and was forced,
As it were, to go to confession.
No sinner need ever fear that he shall be rejected by Mary, if he has recourse to her mercy. No, for she is Mother of Mercy, and as such, desires to save even the most miserable.
Mary is that happy ark in which he who takes refuge will never suffer the shipwreck of eternal ruin.
Even the brutes were saved in the time of the deluge in the ark of Noah; so, under the mantle of Mary, even sinners are saved.
St. Gertrude one day saw Mary with her mantle extended, beneath which many wild beasts, lions, bears, and tigers had sheltered themselves; and Mary not only did not cast them from her, but received them with pity and caressed them.
And by this the saint understood that the vilest sinners, when they flee to Mary, are not cast out, but welcomed and saved from eternal death. Let us enter, then, into this ark, and seek refuge under the mantle of Mary; for she certainly will not reject us, and will surely save us.
It is narrated by Father Bevius, of a very sinful person named Helen, that having gone to church she accidentally heard a sermon on the rosary.
As she went out she bought one but carried it hidden, so that it should not be seen. Afterwards, she began to recite it, and although she recited it without devotion, the most holy Virgin infused into her heart such consolation and sweetness in it, that she could not cease repeating it.
And by this she was inspired with such a horror of her evil life, that she could find no peace, and was forced, as it were, to go to confession. She confessed with so much contrition, that the confessor was amazed.
Having finished her confession, she went immediately before an altar of the blessed Virgin to thank her advocate. She recited her rosary, and the divine Mother spoke to her from her image and said,
“Helen, you have too long offended God and me; henceforth change your life, and I will bestow upon you many of my favours.”
The poor sinner, in confusion, answered: “Ah, most holy Virgin, it is true that hitherto I have been very sinful, but thou, who art all-powerful, assist me; I give myself to thee, and will pass the remainder of my life in doing penance for my sins.”
Assisted by Mary, Helen bestowed all her goods upon the poor, and commenced a rigorous penance. She was tormented by dreadful temptations, but she continued to recommend herself to the mother of God, and always, with her aid, came off victorious.
She was favoured also with many supernatural graces, as visions, revelations, and prophecies. At last, before her death, of which she had been warned a few days previously by Mary, the Virgin herself came with her Son to visit her; and in death, the soul of this sinner was seen, in the form of a beautiful dove, ascending to Heaven.
Behold, oh Mother of my God, Mary, my only hope, behold at thy feet a miserable sinner, who implores thy mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole Church, and by all the faithful, the Refuge of Sinners; thou then art my refuge; it is thine to save me. Thou knowest how much thy Son desires our salvation. Thou knowest also what Jesus Christ suffered to save me.
I offer to thee, oh my mother, the sufferings of Jesus; the cold which He endured in the stable, the steps of His long journey into Egypt, His toils, His sweat, the Blood that He shed, the torments which caused His death before thy eyes upon the cross; show thy love for this Son, whilst I, for the love of Him, beg thee to aid me.
Extend thy hand to a fallen creature, who asks pity of thee. If I were a saint, I would not ask for mercy; but because I am a sinner, I have recourse to thee, who art the Mother of mercies. I know that thy compassionate heart finds consolation in succouring the wretched, when thou canst aid them, and dost not find them obstinate in their sins.
Console then, today, thy own compassionate heart, and console me; for thou hast a chance to save me, a poor wretch condemned to hell; and thou canst aid me, for I will not be obstinate.
I place myself in thy hands; tell me what I must do, and obtain for me strength to do it, and I will do all I can to return to a state of grace.
I take refuge beneath thy mantle. Jesus Christ wishes me to have recourse to thee, that, for thy glory and His, since thou art His Mother, not only His Blood, but also thy prayers, may aid me to obtain salvation.
He sends me to thee that thou mayest assist me. Oh Mary, I hasten to thee, and in thee I trust. Thou dost pray for so many others, pray, and say also one word for me. Say to God, that thou desirest my salvation, and God certainly will save me. Tell Him that I am thine; this is all I ask from thee. Amen.
“Stories of Mary” are taken from the Glories of Mary, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus Liguori; New Revised Edition, P.J. Kennedy & Sons. Copyright 1888 by P.J. Kennedy