Mary, Queen of Martyrs
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Who can ever have a Heart so-Hard, that it will not Melt, on-hearing the most Lamentable Event, which once occurred-in the World? There was a Noble and Holy Mother, who had an only Son. This Son was the most Amiable that can be Imagined — Innocent, Virtuous, Beautiful, Who Loved His Mother most-Tenderly; so-much-so that He had never caused her the Least Displeasure, but, had ever shown her all Respect, Obedience, and Affection; hence, this Mother had Placed-all her Affections on-Earth, in this Son. Hear, then, what Happened. This Son, through Envy, was Falsely Accused-by His Enemies; and though the Judge ‘Knew’, and himself ‘Confessed’, that He was Innocent, yet, that he might not Offend His Enemies, he Condemned Him to the Ignominious Death, that they had Demanded. This Poor Mother had to Suffer the Grief of-Seeing that Amiable and Beloved Son, Unjustly Snatched-from her, in the Flower-of His Age, by a Barbarous Death; for, by Dint-of Torments, and Drained-of all His Blood, He was made to Die on an Infamous Gibbet, in a Public Place-of Execution, and this before her own Eyes.
Devout Souls, what say you? Is not this Event, and is not this Unhappy Mother, Worthy-of Compassion. You already Understand, of Whom I speak. This Son, so-Cruelly Executed, was our Loving Redeemer, Jesus; and this Mother, was the Blessed Virgin Mary; who, for the Love she Bore us, was Willing to-see Him Sacrificed-to Divine Justice, by the Barbarity-of Men. This Great Torment, then, which Mary Endured-for us – a Torment which was more-than a Thousand Deaths, Deserves both our Compassion and our Gratitude. If we can make no-other Return, for so-much Love, at-least let us give a Few Moments this Day, to-consider the Greatness-of the Sufferings, by-which Mary became the Queen of Martyrs; for the Sufferings of her Great Martyrdom, exceeded those-of all the Martyrs; being, in the First (1st) Place, the Longest, in Point-of Duration; and, in the Second (2nd) Place, the Greatest, in Point-of Intensity.
Comparison of the Suffering-of Mary, vs. Martyrs
||* Location-of Suffering
* Intensity-of Suffering
||* Soul (Heart)
* Almost Infinite (∞)
|Short – Ends
First (1st) Point ─ As Jesus is called the King-of-Sorrows and the King-of-Martyrs, because He Suffered during His Life, more-than all other Martyrs; so also is Mary with-Reason, called the Queen-of-Martyrs, having Merited this Title-by Suffering the most Cruel Martyrdom possible, after that-of her Son. Hence, with Reason, was she called-by Richard of-Saint-Lawrence, “the Martyr of martyrs“; and of her can the Words-of Isaiah with all Truth be said, “He will Crown thee with a Crown of Tribulation“; that is to say, that that Suffering itself, which exceeded the Suffering-of all the other Martyrs ‘United’, was the Crown by which she was Shown-to-be the Queen-of-Martyrs. That Mary was a True Martyr cannot be Doubted, as Denis-the-Carthusian, Pelbart, Catharinus, and others prove; for it is an Undoubted Opinion, that Suffering, Sufficient-to Cause Death, is Martyrdom, even though Death does not Ensue-from it. Saint John the Evangelist is Revered-as a Martyr, though he did not Die, in the Caldron-of Boiling Oil, but he came-out more-Vigorous, than he went-in. Saint Thomas says, “that to have the Glory-of Martyrdom, it is Sufficient-to Exercise Obedience, in its Highest Degree, that is to say, to be Obedient unto Death“. “Mary was a Martyr“, says Saint Bernard, “not by the Sword-of the Executioner, but by Bitter Sorrow-of Heart“. If her Body was not Wounded-by the Hand-of the Executioner, her Blessed Heart was Transfixed-by a Sword-of-Grief, at the Passion-of her Son; Grief which was Sufficient-to have Caused her Death, not Once (100), but a Thousand (103) Times. From this we shall see that Mary was not-only a Real Martyr, but that her Martyrdom, Surpassed all-others; for it was Longer-than that of all others, and her Whole Life may be said to have-been a Prolonged-Death.
“The Passion of Jesus“, as Saint Bernard says, “commenced-with His Birth“. So also did Mary, in all-things, Like-unto her Son, Endure her Martyrdom throughout her Life. Amongst other Significations-of the Name-of Mary, as Blessed Albert-the-Great asserts, is that of a “Bitter-Sea“. Hence, to her is applicable the Text-of Jeremiah: “Great as the Sea, is thy Destruction“. For, as the Sea is all Bitter and Salt, so-also was the Life-of Mary always Full-of Bitterness, at the Sight-of the Passion-of the Redeemer, which was ever Present-to her Mind. “There can be no-Doubt, that, Enlightened-by the Holy Ghost, in a Far Higher Degree than all the Prophets, she, far better than they, Understood the Predictions Recorded-by them in the Sacred Scriptures, concerning the Messiah“. This is Precisely-what the Angel Revealed-to Saint Bridget; and he also added, “that the Blessed Virgin, even before she became His Mother, Knowing how much the Incarnate Word was to-Suffer for the Salvation-of Men, and Compassionating this Innocent Savior, Who was to be so-Cruelly, put-to Death, for Crimes not His own, even then began her Great Martyrdom“.
Her Grief was Immeasurably-increased when she became the Mother-of the Savior; so that at the Sad Sight-of the many Torments which were to be Endured-by her Poor Son, she indeed Suffered a Long Martyrdom, a Martyrdom which Lasted her Whole Life. This was Signified-with Great Exactitude, to Saint Bridget, in a Vision which she had in-Rome, in the Church-of Saint Mary-Major, where the Blessed Virgin, with Saint Simeon, and an Angel, bearing a very Long Sword, Reddened-with Blood, appeared-to her, Denoting-thereby the Long and Bitter Grief, which Transpierced the Heart-of Mary, during her Whole Life. When the above-named Rupert, supposes Mary, thus Speaking:
“Redeemed Souls, and my Beloved Children, do not Pity me Only-for the Hour in-which I Beheld my Dear Jesus, Expiring-before my Eyes; for the Sword-of Sorrow, Predicted-by Simeon, Pierced my Soul during the Whole-of my Life: when I was giving Suck-to my Son, when I was Warming Him in my Arms, I already Foresaw the Bitter Death that awaited Him. Consider, then, what Long and Bitter Sorrows, I must have Endured.
Wherefore Mary might well say, in the Words-of David, “My Life is Wasted with-Grief, and my Years in-Sighs“. “My Sorrow is continually before me“. “My Whole Life was spent in-Sorrow and in-Tears; for my Sorrow, which was Compassion-for my Beloved Son, never Departed-from before my Eyes, as I always Foresaw the Sufferings and Death, which He was One Day to-Endure“. The Divine Mother herself, Revealed-to Saint Bridget, that “even after the Death and Ascension-of her Son, whether she Ate, or Worked, the Remembrance-of His Passion was ‘Ever’, Deeply Impressed-on her Mind, and Fresh-in her Tender Heart“. Hence Tauler says, “that the most Blessed Virgin spent her Whole Life in-Continual Sorrow“; for her Heart was always Occupied with-Sadness, and with-Suffering.
Therefore, Time, which usually Mitigates the Sorrows-of the Afflicted, did not Relieve Mary; nay, even it Increased her Sorrow; for, as Jesus, on the one-hand, Advanced-in Age, and always appeared more-and-more Beautiful and Amiable; so also, on the other-hand, the Time-of His Death always Drew-nearer, and Grief always Increased, in the Heart-of Mary, at the Thought-of having to Lose Him on-Earth. So that, in the words Addressed-by the Angel to Saint Bridget: “As the Rose Grows-up amongst Thorns, so the Mother-of-God Advanced-in Years, in the Midst-of Sufferings; and as the Thorns increase-with the Growth-of the Rose, so also did the Thorns-of her Sorrows, increase-in Mary, the Chosen Rose-of the Lord, as she Advanced-in Age; and so much the more-Deeply did they Pierce her Heart“. Having now considered the Length-of this Sorrow, in Point-of Duration, let us Pass-to the Second (2nd) Point – its Greatness, in Point-of Intensity.
Second (2nd) Point. Ah, Mary was not only Queen-of-Martyrs, because her Martyrdom was Longer-than that of all-others, but also because it was the Greatest-of all Martyrdoms. Who, however, can Measure its Greatness? Jeremiah seems unable to find anyone, with whom he can Compare this Mother-of-Sorrows, when he considers her Great Sufferings, at the Death-of her Son. “To what shall I compare thee or to what shall I liken thee, O Daughter-of Jerusalem … for Great as the Sea, is thy Destruction: who shall Heal thee? Wherefore Cardinal Hugo, in a Commentary-on these Words, says, “O Blessed Virgin, as the Sea in Bitterness, exceeds all other Bitterness, so does thy Grief, exceed all other Grief“. Hence, Saint Anselm asserts, that “had not God, by a Special Miracle, Preserved the Life-of Mary in-each, Moment-of her Life, her Grief was such, that it would have Caused her Death“. Saint Bernadine-of-Sienna, goes so-far-as to Say, “that the Grief-of Mary was so Great that, were it Divided amongst all Men, it would Suffice-to cause their Immediate Death“.
But let us consider the Reasons, for-which Mary’s Martyrdom was Greater-than that of all Martyrs. In the First (1st) Place, we must remember that the Martyrs endured their Torments, which were the Effect-of ‘Fire’ and other ‘Material Agencies’, in their Bodies; Mary Suffered hers in her Soul, as Saint Simeon foretold: “And my own Soul, a Sword shall Pierce“. As if the Holy Old Man had said: “O most Sacred Virgin, the Bodies of other Martyrs, will be Torn-with Iron, but thou wilt be Transfixed, and Martyred in thy Soul, by the Passion of thine own Son“. Now, as the Soul is more Noble than the Body, so-much Greater were Mary’s Sufferings, than those of ‘All’ the Martyrs, as Jesus Christ Himself said to Saint Catherine-of-Sienna: “Between the Sufferings of the Soul, and those of the Body, there is no comparison“. Whence the Holy-Abbot Arnold-of-Chartres says, “that whoever had been Present-on Mount Calvary, to Witness the Great Sacrifice-of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld Two Great Altars, the One in the Body-of Jesus, the other in the Heart-of Mary; for, on that Mount, at the same-time that the Son Sacrificed His Body by-Death, Mary Sacrificed her Soul by-Compassion“.
Moreover, says Saint Antoninus, “while other Martyrs Suffered by-Sacrificing their own Lives, the Blessed Virgin Suffered by-Sacrificing her Son’s Life, a Life that she Loved far-more-than her own; so that she not only Suffered-in her Soul, all that her Son Endured-in His Body, but moreover, the Sight-of her Son’s Torments, brought more-Grief to her Heart, than if she had Endured them all in her own Person“. No one can Doubt-that Mary Suffered in her Heart, all the Outrages which she saw Inflicted-on her Beloved Jesus. Any one can Understand-that the Sufferings-of Children, are also those of their Mothers, who Witness them. Saint Augustine, considering the Anguish, endured-by the Mother-of the Maccabees, in Witnessing the Tortures-of her Sons, says, “She, seeing their Sufferings, Suffered-in each one; because she Loved them all, she Endured-in her Soul, what they Endured-in their Flesh“. Thus also, did Mary Suffer all those Torments, Scourges, Thorns, Nails, and the Cross, which Tortured the Innocent Flesh-of Jesus, all entered at-the-same Time, into the Heart-of this Blessed Virgin, to-complete her Martyrdom. “He Suffered-in the Flesh, and she in her Heart“, writes that Blessed Amadeus. “So much so“, says Saint Lawrence-Justinian, “that the Heart of Mary became, as it were, a Mirror-of the Passion-of the Son, in which might be seen, Faithfully Reflected, the Spitting, the Blows and Wounds, and all that Jesus Suffered“. Saint Bonaventure also remarks that “those Wounds –which were Scattered-over the Body-of our Lord, were all United in the Single Heart-of Mary“.
Thus was our Blessed Lady, through the Compassion-of her Loving Heart for her Son, Scourged, Crowned-with Thorns, Insulted, and Nailed-to the Cross. Whence the same Saint, considering Mary on Mount Calvary, Present-at the Death-of her Son, Questions her in these Words: “O Lady, tell me, where didst thou stand? Was it only at the Foot-of the Cross? Ah, much-more than this, thou wast on the Cross itself, Crucified with thy Son“. Richard of-Saint-Lawrence, on the Words-of the Redeemer, Spoken-by Isaiah the Prophet, “I have Trodden the Wine-Press alone, and of the Gentiles, there is not a Man with Me“, says, “It is True, O Lord, that in the Work of Human Redemption, Thou didst Suffer ‘Alone’, and that there was not a Man, who Sufficiently Pitied Thee; but there was a Woman with Thee, and she was Thine own Mother; she Suffered-in her Heart, all that Thou didst Endure-in Thy Body“.
But all this is saying too-Little, of Mary’s Sorrows, since, as I have already Observed, she Suffered-more, in Witnessing the Sufferings-of her Beloved Jesus, than-if she had herself Endured-all the Outrages and Death of her Son. Erasmus, speaking-of Parents in-General, says, that “they are more-Cruelly Tormented-by their Children’s Sufferings, than by their Own“. This is not always True, but in Mary, it evidently was so; for it is certain that she Loved her Son and His Life, beyond-all comparison, more-than herself or a Thousand Lives-of her own. Therefore Blessed Amadeus Rightly-affirms, that “the Afflicted Mother, at the Sorrowful Sight of the Torments of her Beloved Jesus, Suffered far more than she would have done, had she herself endured His Whole Passion“. The Reason is Evident, for, as Saint Bernard says, “the Soul is more where it Loves, than where it Lives“. Our Lord Himself had already said the same thing: “Where our Treasure is, there also is our Heart“. If Mary, then, by Love, Lived-more in her Son than in herself, she must have Endured far-Greater Torments in the Sufferings and Death of her Son, than she would have done, had the most Cruel Death in the World, been Inflicted-upon her.
Here we must Reflect-on another Circumstance, which Rendered the Martyrdom-of Mary, beyond-all Comparison, Greater-than the Torments-of all the Martyrs: it is, that, in the Passion-of Jesus, she Suffered much, and she Suffered, moreover, without the least-Alleviation. The Martyrs Suffered under the Torments Inflicted-on them by Tyrants; but the Love of Jesus, Rendered their Pains, Sweet and Agreeable. A Saint Vincent, was Tortured-on a Rack, Torn-with Pincers, Burnt-with Red-Hot Iron Plates; but, as Saint Augustine remarks, “it seemed as if it was ‘One’ who Suffered, and ‘Another’ who Spoke“. The Saint addressed the Tyrant with such Energy and Contempt-for his Torments, that it seemed as-if ‘One’ Vincent Suffered and ‘Another’ Spoke; so Greatly did God Strengthen him, with the Sweetness-of His Love, in the midst-of all he Endured.
A Saint Boniface, had his Body Torn-with Iron Hooks; Sharp-Pointed Reeds were Thrust-between his Nails and Flesh; melted-Lead was Poured-into his Mouth; and in the midst-of all, he could not Tire saying, “I give Thee Thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ“. A Saint Mark and a Saint Marcellinus, were Bound-to a Stake, their feet Pierced-with Nails; and when the Tyrant addressed them, saying, “Wretches, see to what a State you are Reduced; Save yourselves from these Torments“, they answered: “Of what Pains, of what Torments dost thou Speak? We never Enjoyed so Luxurious a Banquet, as in the Present Moment, in which we Joyfully Suffer-for the Love-of Jesus Christ“. A Saint Lawrence, Suffered; but when Roasting-on the Gridiron, “the ‘Interior-Flame’ of Love“, says Saint Leo, “was more-Powerful in-Consoling his Soul, than the ‘Flame-Without’, in Torturing his Body“. Hence, Love Tendered him so-Courageous, that he ‘Mocked’ the Tyrant, saying, “If thou Desirest to Feed-on my Flesh, a Part is Sufficiently Roasted; Turn it, and Eat“. But how, in the Midst-of so-many Torments, in that Prolonged-Death, could the Saint thus Rejoice? “Ah!” replies Saint Augustine, “Inebriated with the Wine-of Divine Love, he felt neither Torments nor Death“.
So that, the more the Holy Martyrs Loved Jesus, the less did they ‘Feel’ their Torments and Death; and the Sight-alone, of the Sufferings-of a Crucified God, was sufficient-to Console them. But, was our Suffering Mother also Consoled-by Love-for her Son, and the Sight-of His Torments? Ah, No!!!; for this very Son, Who Suffered, was the Whole Cause-of them, and the Love she bore Him, was her ‘Only’ and most-Cruel Executioner; for Mary’s Whole Martyrdom, consisted-in Beholding and Pitying her Innocent and Beloved Son, Who Suffered so much. Hence, the Greater was her Love for Him, the more Bitter and Inconsolable was her Grief. “Great as the Sea, is thy Destruction; who shall Heal thee“? Ah, Queen-of-Heaven, Love hath Mitigated the Sufferings-of other Martyrs, and Healed their Wounds; but who hath ever Soothed thy Bitter Grief? Who hath ever Healed, the too-Cruel Wounds of thy Heart “Who shall Heal thee“, since that very Son Who could give thee Consolation was, by His Sufferings, the only Cause-of thine, and the Love which thou didst bear Him, was the whole Ingredient-of thy Martyrdom. So that, as other Martyrs, as Diez remarks, are all Represented-with the Instruments-of their Sufferings — a Saint Paul with a ‘Sword’, a Saint Andrew with a ‘Cross’, a Saint Lawrence with a ‘Gridiron’ — Mary is Represented-with her Dead Son, in her arms; for Jesus Himself, and He alone, was the Instrument-of her Martyrdom, by Reason-of the Love she bore Him. Richard of-Saint-Victor, confirms in a few-words, all that I have now said: “In other Martyrs, the Greatness of their Love, Soothed the Pains of their Martyrdom; but in the Blessed Virgin, the Greater-was her Love, the Greater-were her Sufferings, the more-Cruel was her Martyrdom“.
It is Certain that, the more we Love a Thing, the Greater is the Pain we ‘Feel’, in Losing it. We are more-Afflicted at the Loss-of a Brother, than at that-of a Beast-of-Burden; we are more Grieved-at the Loss-of a Son, than at that of a Friend. Now, Cornelius-a-Lapide says, “that to Understand the Greatness-of Mary’s Grief, at the Death of her Son, we must Understand the Greatness-of the Love, she bore Him“. But who can ever Measure, that Love? Blessed Amadeus says that “in the Heart of Mary, were United Two kinds-of Love, for her Jesus — Supernatural Love, by which she Loved Him as her God, and Natural Love, by which she Loved Him as her Son“. So that, these Two (2) Loves, became One (1); but so-Immense a Love, that William-of-Paris even says that the Blessed Virgin, “Loved Him as-much-as it was Possible, for a Pure Creature to Love Him“. Hence, Richard of-Saint-Victor affirms that, “as there was no Love like her Love, so there was no-Sorrow, like her Sorrow“. And if the Love-of Mary towards her Son was Immense, Immense also, must have been her Grief in Losing Him, by Death. “Where there is the Greatest Love“, says Blessed Albert-the-Great, “there also is the Greatest Grief“.
Let us now Imagine-to ourselves, the Divine Mother Standing-near her Son, Expiring-on the Cross, and Justly applying-to herself the Words-of Jeremiah, thus addressing us: “O all ye that Pass-by the Way, Attend and See, if there be any Sorrow like-to my Sorrow. O you who Spend your Lives upon Earth, and Pity me not, Stop awhile to Look at me, now that I Behold this Beloved Son, Dying-before my Eyes; and then see if, amongst all those who are Afflicted and Tormented, a Sorrow is to be found like unto my Sorrow“. “No, O most Suffering of all mothers“, replies Saint Bonaventure, “no more Bitter Grief than thine can be found; for no Son more Dear than thine, can be found“. Ah, “there never was a more Amiable Son in the World, than Jesus“, says Richard of-Saint-Lawrence; “nor has there ever been a mother, who more Tenderly Loved her Son, than Mary! But since there never has been in the World, a Love like-unto Mary’s Love, how can any Sorrow be found like-unto Mary’s Sorrow“?
Therefore, Saint Ildephonsus did not hesitate to assert, “to say that Mary’s Sorrows were Greater than all the Torments-of the Martyrs, United, was to say too Little“. And Saint Anselm adds, that “the most Cruel Tortures, Inflicted-on the Holy Martyrs, were Trifling, or as Nothing, in Comparison-with the Martyrdom-of Mary“. Saint Basil-of-Seleucia also writes, “that as the Sun, exceeds all the other Planets in-Splendor, so did Mary’s Sufferings, exceed those of all the other Martyrs“. A Learned Author, concludes with a Beautiful Sentiment. He says that, so-Great was the Sorrow-of this Tender Mother, in the Passion-of Jesus, that she alone, Compassionated-in a Degree, by-any-means Adequate-to its Merits, the Death-of a God, made Man.
But here, Saint Bonaventure, Addressing this Blessed Virgin, says, “And why, O Lady, didst thou also go, to Sacrifice thyself on Calvary? Was not a Crucified God, sufficient-to Redeem us, that thou, His Mother, wouldst also go to be Crucified with Him“? Indeed, the Death-of Jesus was more-than-Enough, to Save the World, and an Infinity (∞)-of Worlds; but this Good Mother, for the Love she bore us, Wished also to-Help the Cause-of our Salvation, with the Merits-of her Sufferings, which she Offered-for us, on Calvary.
Therefore, Blessed Albert-the-Great says, “that as we are under Great Obligations-to Jesus, for His Passion Endured-for our Love, so also are we under Great Obligations-to Mary, for the Martyrdom which she Voluntarily Suffered-for our Salvation, in the Death-of her Son“. I say Voluntarily, since, as Saint Agnes revealed-to Saint Bridget, “our Compassionate and Benign Mother was Satisfied, rather-to Endure any Torment, than-that our Souls should not be Redeemed, and be left-in their former State-of-Perdition“. And, indeed, we may say that Mary’s only Relief-in the Midst-of her Great Sorrow-in the Passion-of her Son, was to-See the Lost World Redeemed-by His Death, and Men, who were His Enemies, Reconciled-with God. “While Grieving, she Rejoiced“, says Simon-of-Cassia, “that a Sacrifice was Offered-for the Redemption-of all, by which He Who was Angry, was Appeased“.
So Great a Love, on the Part-of Mary, Deserves our Gratitude, and that Gratitude should be Shown, by at-least Meditating-upon and Pitying her, in her Sorrow. But she Complained-to Saint Bridget, that very-Few did so, and that the Greater Part-of the World, lived-in Forgetfulness-of them: “I look around at all who are on Earth, to see if by-chance, there are any who Pity me, and Meditate-upon my Sorrows; and I find that there are very few. Therefore, my Daughter, though I am Forgotten-by many, at least do Thou, not Forget me; consider my Anguish, and Imitate, as-far-as thou canst, my Grief“.
To Understand, how Pleasing it is to the Blessed Virgin, that we should-Remember her Dolors, we need only know that, in the Year 1239, she appeared-to Seven (7) Devout Clients-of hers (who were afterwards Founders-of the Religious Order of the ‘Servants-of-Mary’ – ‘Servites’), with a Black Garment in her hand, and Desired them, if they Wished-to Please her, Often-to Meditate-on her Sorrows: for this purpose, (and to remind them of her Sorrows) she expressed her Desire, that in-Future, they should wear that Mourning Dress. Jesus Christ Himself, Revealed-to the Blessed Veronica-da-Binasco, that He is, as-it-were, more-Pleased in-seeing His Mother ‘Compassionated’, than Himself; for thus He addressed her: “My daughter, Tears shed-for My Passion are Dear-to Me; but as I Love My Mother Mary, with an Immense Love, the Meditation-of the Torments, which she Endured-at My Death, is even more-Agreeable to Me“.
Wherefore, the Graces promised-by Jesus, to those who are Devoted-to the Dolors-of Mary, are very Great. Pelbert relates that it was Revealed-to Saint Elizabeth, that after the Assumption-of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven, Saint John-the-Evangelist, desired-to see her again. The Favor was Granted him; his Dear Mother appeared-to him, and with her, Jesus Christ also appeared; the Saint then heard Mary ask her Son to-Grant some Special Grace to all those who are Devoted-to her Dolors. Jesus Promised her Four (4) Principal Ones:
First, that those, who before Death, Invoke the Divine Mother, in the Name-of her Sorrows, should obtain True Repentance-of all their Sins.
Second, that He would Protect all, who have this Devotion in their Tribulations, and that He would Protect them, especially-at the Hour-of Death.
Third, that He would Impress-upon their Minds, the Remembrance-of His Passion, and that they should have their Reward-for it, in Heaven.
Fourth, that He would Commit such Devout Clients, to the Hands-of Mary, with the Power-to Dispose-of them, in whatever Manner she might Please, and to Obtain for them, all the Graces she might Desire.
In Proof-of this, let us see in the following-Example, how Greatly, Devotion-to the Dolors-of Mary, Aids-in Obtaining Eternal (∞) Salvation.
– End of Liguori Sermon –
In the Revelations-of Saint Bridget, we read that there was a Rich Man, as Noble by-Birth, as he was Vile and Sinful in his Habits. He had given himself, by an Express-Compact, as a Slave-to the Devil; and for Sixty (60) Successive Years, had-Served him, Leading such-a-Life as may be Imagined, and never Approaching the Sacraments. Now, this Prince was Dying; and Jesus Christ, to show him Mercy, commanded Saint Bridget to tell her Confessor, to Go and Visit him, and Exhort him to-Confess his Sins. The Confessor went, and the Sick Man said that he did not-Require Confession, as he had often-Approached the Sacrament-of-Penance. The Priest went a Second (2nd) Time; but this Poor Slave of-Hell, Persevered-in his Obstinate Determination, not to Confess. Jesus again told the Saint to-Desire the Confessor to-Return. He did so; and on this Third (3rd) Occasion, told the Sick Man, the Revelation made-to the Saint, and that he had Returned so-many Times, because Our Lord, Who Wished-to Show him Mercy, had so-Ordered. On Hearing this, the Dying Man was ‘Touched’, and began-to Weep: “But how“, he exclaimed, “can I be Saved; I, who for Sixty Years have Served the Devil as his Slave, and have my Soul Burdened-with Innumerable Sins“? “My son“, answered the Father, Encouraging him, “doubt not; if you Repent-of them, on the Part-of God, I Promise you Pardon“. Then, Gaining Confidence, he said to the Confessor, “Father, I Looked-upon myself as-Lost, and already Despaired-of Salvation; but now I feel a Sorrow-for my Sins, which gives me Confidence; and since God has not yet Abandoned me, I will make my Confession“. In fact, he made his Confession, Four (4) Times on that Day, with the Greatest Marks-of Sorrow, and on the Following Morning, Received the Holy Communion. On the Sixth (6th) Day, Contrite and Resigned, he Died. After his Death, Jesus Christ again Spoke-to Saint Bridget, and told her that, that- Sinner was Saved; that he was then in-Purgatory, and that he Owed his Salvation to the Intercession-of the Blessed Virgin, His Mother; for the Deceased, although he had Led so-Wicked a-Life, had nevertheless always Preserved Devotion-to her Dolors, and whenever he Thought-of them, Pitied her.