Dominican Contemplative Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Turris Eburnea – Ora Pro Nobis

2015.08.29 BVM Tower of Ivory DSCN0174

We give you another inspirational true story from the Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori for your meditation on this blessed Saturday in memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary…

If our sins are great, the power of Mary is greater…

This example is not recorded in any book, but a priest, a companion of mine, related it to me, as having happened to himself. This priest was hearing confessions in a certain church (to compromise no one, I do not mention the name of the place, though the penitent gave him leave to publish the fact), when a young man stood before before him, who seemed to wish, but at the same time to fear, to go to confession. The Father, after looking at him several times, at length called him, and asked him if he wished to make his confession. He replied that he did; but as his confession was likely to be very long, he begged to be taken to a private room.

There the penitent began by telling him that he was a foreigner, and of noble birth, but who had led such a life that he did not believe it was possible for God to pardon him. Besides the other innumerable shameful crimes and murders he had committed, he said that, having entirely despaired of salvation, he had set about committing sins, no longer from inclination, but expressly to outrage God, out of the hatred he bore him. He said, that among other things, he wore a a crucifix, and that he beat it out of contempt; and that just before, on that very morning, he had made a sacrilegious communion, and for what purpose? It was that he might trample the sacred particle under his feet. And he had indeed already received it and had only been prevented from executing his horrible intention by the people who observed him. He then consigned to the confessor the consecrated host, wrapped in a piece of paper.

Having done this, he said that as he was passing before the church he had felt himself strongly impelled to enter it; that, unable to resist, he had done so. After entering, he was seized with great remorse of conscience, together with a certain confused and irresolute desire to make his confession. For this reason he had placed himself before the confessional, but while standing there he felt so confused and timid, that he wished to go away, but it seemed as if some one had retained him by force: “Until,” he said, “you, Father, called me; and now I find myself here making my confession, and I know not how.”

The Father then asked him if he had practiced any act of devotion during that time; meaning towards the Blessed Virgin; for such conversions only come through the powerful hands of the Mary.

“None, Father. Devotions, indeed! I looked on myself as damned.”

“But reflect again,” said the father.

“Father, I did nothing,” he repeated. But putting his hand to his breast to uncover it, he remembered that he wore the Scapular of Mary’s dolors.”

Ah, my son,” said the confessor to him, “do you not see that our blessed Lady has obtained for you so extraordinary a grace? “And know,” he added, “that to her, this church is dedicated.”

On hearing this, the young man was moved, and began to weep; then, continuing the confession of his sins, his compunction increased to such a degree that with a loud sob he fell fainting at the father’s feet.  When he had been restored to consciousness, he finished; and the father with the greatest consolation absolved hims and sent him back to his own country entirely contrite, and resolved to change his life, giving the father full permission to to preach and publish everywhere the great mercy that Mary has shown him.

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