In the mountains of Trent lived a notorious robber, who, when he was one day admonished by a religious to change his course of life, answered, that for him there was no remedy. “Do not say so,” said the religious ; “do what I tell you ; fast on Saturday in honor of Mary, and on that day do no harm to any one, and she will obtain for you the grace of not dying under the displeasure of God.” The obedient robber fol- lowed this advice, and made a vow to continue to do so. That he might not break it, he from
that time went unarmed on Saturdays. It happened that on a Saturday he was found by the officers of justice, and that he might not break his oath, he allowed himself to be taken without resistance. The judge, when he saw that
he was a gray-haired old man, wished to pardon him ; but, through the grace of compunction which he had received from Mary, he said that he wished to die in punishment of his sins.
He also made a public confession of all the sins of his life in that same judgment-hall, weeping so bitterly that all present wept with him. He was beheaded, and buried with but little ceremony, in a grave dug nearby. But afterwards the mother of God appeared, with four holy virgins, who took the dead body from that place, wrapped it in a rich cloth embroidered with gold, and bore it themselves to the gate of the city; there the blessed Virgin said to the guards: “Tell the bishop from me, to give an honorable burial, in such a church, to this dead person,
for he was my faithful servant.” And this was done. All the people of the place thronged to the spot, where they found the corpse with the rich pall, and the bier on which it was placed. And from that time, says Cesarius, all persons in that region began to fast on Saturdays.
+A devout servant of Mary, who lived in Portugal, fasted on bread and water every Saturday of his life, in honor of Mary, and chose for his advocates with the blessed Virgin, St. Michael and St. John the Evangelist. At the
hour of his death the queen of heaven appeared to him, with those saints, who were praying for him, and the holy Virgin, looking upon her ser- vant with a joyful countenance, said to those saints: “I will not depart from here without taking this soul with me.”
+In one of our missions, after the sermon
on Mary which it is our custom to preach, a very old man came to one of the Fathers of our congregation, to make his confession. He was full of consolation, and said : “Our Lady has done me a favor.” “And what favor has she
done you?” asked the confessor. “For thirty-five years, Father, I have made sacrilegious confessions, because I was ashamed of one sin, and yet I have passed through many dangers, and have been several times at the point of death, and if
I had died then I certainly would have been
lost; and now our Lady has done me the favor
to touch my heart;” and when he said this he wept so bitterly, that he seemed to be all tender- ness. After the Father had heard his confesion, he asked him what devotion he had practic- ed, and he answered that he had never failed on Saturday to keep a strict fast in honor of Mary, and therefore the Virgin had taken pity on him, aud he gave the Father permission to publish
the fact in his sermons.
+In the country of Normandy a certain robber was beheaded, and his head was thrown into a trench; but afterwards it was heard cry- ing: “Mary, give me confession.” A priest went to him and heard his confession; and question- ing him as to his practices of devotion, the rob- ber answered that he had no other except that of fasting one day of the week in honor of the holy Virgin, and that for this our Lady had obtained for him the grace to be delivered from hell by that confession.
~Excerpts from “The Glories of Mary” by St.Alphonsus Liguori