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Our Lady Rewards Those Devoted
to Her Sorrows

St. Alphonsus de Liguori
The Blessed Joachim Piccolomini, who had a very great devotion to Mary, even from childhood, used to visit an image of the sorrowful Mother in a neighboring church three times a day. He also abstained from all food on Saturday in her honor. Moreover, he rose at midnight to meditate upon her dolors.

Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

Our Lady is grateful for those who share her sorrows

But let us see how Mary rewarded him. At first she appeared to him when he was young and directed him to enter into religion in the Order of her Servants, which he did. Towards the close of his life, she again appeared to him with two crowns in her hand: one of rubies, as the reward for the compassion he had cherished for her sorrows; and the other of pearls, as the reward for his chastity, which he had consecrated to her.

Finally, as his death approached, she appeared to him again, and he asked her the favor to die on the day on which Jesus Christ died. The Most Holy Virgin consoled him by telling him, "Make ready now, for tomorrow (Friday) you will die suddenly, as you desire, and tomorrow you shall be with me in Paradise."

And thus it happened, for while they were chanting in the church the Passion according to St. John, at the words, “There stood near the cross of Jesus his Mother” [Stabat juxta crucem Jesu Mater ejus], he felt the weakness and faintness of death.

And at the words, “And bowing his head, He gave up His spirit” [Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum], Blessed Joachim expired. At the same moment the church was filled with a splendorous light and a most sweet fragrance.

*

In the city of Cesena two very bad men who were friends lived. One of them, named Bartholomew, despite his many vices practiced the devotion of reciting the Stabat Mater every day in honor of the sorrowful Virgin Mary. Once when he was saying these words Bartholomew had a vision, in which he seemed to stand with his sinful companion in a lake of fire, and he saw the Most Holy Virgin, moved by pity, offer him her hand and take him from the flames. She directed him to seek pardon from Jesus Christ, who showed Himself willing to pardon him through the prayers of His Mother.

The vision ended, and shortly afterwards Bartholomew heard the news that his friend had been mortally wounded and was dead. Then he knew the truth of the vision. Quitting the world, he entered the Capuchin Order, where he led a most austere life and died in the fame of sanctity.

*

Our Lady descent of the cross

Our Lady's incomparable sorrow at the death of Her Son

Fr. Engelgrave relates that a certain religious was so tormented by scruples, that at times he was almost driven to despair. But having great devotion to Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, he had recourse to her in the agony of his spirit, and was much comforted by contemplating her dolor.

Death came, and the Devil tormented him more than ever with scruples and tempted him to despair. But then our merciful Mother, seeing her poor son so afflicted, appeared to him and said to him: "And why, oh my son, art thou so overcome with sorrow, thou who hast so often consoled me by your compassion for my sorrows? Be comforted, Jesus sends me to thee to console thee. Be comforted, rejoice, and come with me to Paradise." And at these words the devout religious tranquilly expired, full of consolation and confidence.

*

Blessed Benvenuta Bojani once asked the Blessed Virgin for the grace to share the pain the Mother of Christ felt at the loss of her Divine Son. Mary appeared to her with the Divine Child in her arms. At the sight of the beautiful babe, Blessed Benvenuta fell into an ecstasy, but the vision suddenly disappeared. The pain the Saint felt at that moment was so great that she begged the Virgin to help her lest she die of grief.

After three days, the Blessed Virgin appeared to her again and said, “My daughter, your suffering is only a small part of that which I endured at the loss of my Divine Son.”


St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Glories of Mary,
P.J. Kenedy, N.Y. 1852, Part IV, pp. 510-537
Posted on September 15, 2012

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