Et Jesum, benedictum Fructum ventris
tui nobis post hoc exilium ostende
And after this, our Exile, show unto Us
the Blessed Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Chapter VIII, Section I
Mary Delivers her Clients from Hell
It is Impossible for a Client-of Mary, who is Faithful in Honoring and Recommending himself to
her, to be Lost. To some, this Proposition may Appear, at First Sight, Exaggerated; but any one to
whom this might seem to be the case, I would Beg-to-Suspend his Judgment, and, First-of-all, Read what I have to-Say, on this Subject.
When we say that it is Impossible, for a Client-of Mary to be Lost, we must not be Understood as
Speaking-of those Clients, who Take-Advantage of this Devotion, that they may
'Sin', more-Freely. And therefore, those who Disapprove-of the Great Praises, Bestowed-on the
Clemency-of this most Blessed Virgin, because it Causes the
Wicked to Take-Advantage of it, to
Sin with Greater Freedom, do-so without Foundation, for such Presumption, People 'Deserve'
Chastisement, and not Mercy, for their Rash
Confidence. It is therefore, to be Understood-of those Clients who, with a Sincere 'Desire' to Amend, are
Faithful in 'Honoring' and 'Recommending' themselves to the Mother
of God. It is, I say, Morally Impossible that such as these, should be Lost. And I find that Father
Crasset (Vér. Dév. p. 1, t. 1, q. 7), in his Book on Devotion 'Towards' the Blessed Virgin Mary, says
the same thing. As did also Vega, before him, in his Marian Theology, Mendoza, and other Theologians. And that we may see that they did not Speak-at Random, let us Examine
what other Saints and Learned-Men, have said on this Subject; and let no one be Surprised, if many of these Quotations are alike, for I have Wished-to give them all,
in-order-to Show how Unanimous the various Writers have been, on the Subject.
Saint Anselm says, "that as it is Impossible for one, who is not Devout-to Mary, and consequently not
Protected by her, to be Saved; so is it Impossible, for one who Recommends himself to her, and consequently is Beloved-by her, to be Lost" -
("Sicut, O Beatissima! omnis a te aversus et a te despectus necesse est ut intereat, ita omnis ad te converses et a te respectus impossibile est ut
pereat" Orat. 51). Saint Antoninus 'Repeats' the same thing, and almost in the same Words: "As it is
Impossible for those, from-whom Mary Turns her Eyes-of-Mercy, to be Saved; so also are those, towards-whom she 'Turns' these Eyes, and for whom she 'Prays', necessarily
Saved and Glorified" - ("Sicut impossibile est, quod illi, a quibus Maria oculos suae misericordiae avertit, salventur; ita necessarium
quod hi, ad quos convertit oculos suos, pro eis advocans, justificentur et glorificentur" P. 4, tit. 15, c. 14, #7). Consequently, the Clients-of
Mary, will necessarily be Saved.
Let us 'Pay' particular-attention to the First (1st) Part of the Opinions of these Saints,
and let those Tremble, who 'Make' but little Account-of their Devotion-to this
Divine Mother, or from Carelessness, Give it up.
They say that the Salvation of those, who are not Protected-by
Mary, is Impossible. Many Others, 'Declare' the same thing; such as Blessed
Albert, who says that, All those who are not thy Servants, O Mary, will Perish" - ("Gens quae non
servierit tibi peribit" Bibl. Mar. Is. n. 20). And Saint Bonaventure: "He who Neglects the Service of the
Blessed Virgin, will Die in his Sins" - ("Qui neglexerit illam, morietur in peccatis suis"). Again,
"He who does not Invoke thee, O Lady, will never get to Heaven" - ("Qui te non invocat in hac vita, non
perveniet ad regnum Dei"). And, on the "99th Psalm", the Saint even says, "that not only those from whom
Mary Turns her Face will not be Saved, but that there will be no-Hope of their Salvation" - ("A quibus averteris vultum tuum non erit
spes ad salutem" Psalt. B. V. ps. 116, 86, 99). Before him, Saint-Ignatius-the-Martyr said, "that it was
Impossible for any Sinner to be Saved, without the Help and Favor of the Most Blessed Virgin; because those who are not Saved-by the Justice-of-God, are with Infinite Mercy,
Saved-by the Intercession-of Mary" - ("Impossibile est aliquem salvari peccatorem, nisi per tuum, O Virgo! auxilium et favorem; quia,
quos non salvat Dei Justitia, salvat sua intercessione Mariae misericordia infinita" Ap. Lyr. Tris. Mar. l. ii. m. 45). Some doubt as to whether this Passage is
Truly-of Saint Ignatius, but, at all events, as Father Crasset remarks, it was Adopted-by
Saint-John-Chrysostom. It is also 'Repeated' by the Abbot-of-Celles (Cont. de V. M. in prol.). And in the same
sense, does the Church Apply-to Mary the Words-of-Proverbs, "All that Hate
me, Love Death - ("Omnes qui me oderunt, diligent mortem" Proverbs 8:36): that is, all who do not
Love me, Love Eternal Death. For, as
Richard-of-Saint-Laurence says, on the Words of the same Book, "She is like the Merchant's Ship" -
("Facta est quasi navis institoris" Proverbs 31:14), "All those who are out-of this Ship, will be Lost,
in the Sea-of the World" - ("In mare mundi submergentur omnes illi, quos non suscepit Navis ista" De Laud. V. l. 11). Even
the Heretical Oecolampadius, Looked-upon Little Devotion-to the
Mother-of-God, as a Certain Mark-of Reprobation: and therefore
he said, "Far be it from me, ever to Turn-from Mary" - ("Nunquam de me audietur, quasi averser Mariam, erga quam
minus bene affici, reprobatae mentis certum existimem indicium" S. de Laud. D. in M.).
But, on the other hand, Mary says in the Words Applied-to her by the
Church, "He that Harkeneth to me, shall not be Confounded" - (Qui audit me non
confundetur" Ecclesiasticus 24:30); that is to say, he that 'Listeneth' to what I 'Say', shall not be
Lost. On which Saint Bonaventure says, "O Lady, he who Honors thee, will be
Far-from Damnation" - ("Qui praestat in obsequio tuo, procul fiat a perditione" Psalt. B. V. ps. 118). And this will still
be the Case, Saint Hilary 'Observes', even should the Person, during the Past Time, have Greatly Offended
God. "However Great a Sinner, he may have been", says the Saint,
"if he Shows himself Devout to Mary, he will never Perish" - ("Quantumcumque quis fuerit peccator, si Mariae
devotus exstiterit, nunquam in aeternum peribit).
For this Reason the Devil does his Utmost with Sinners,
in-order-that, after they have Lost the Grace-of-God,
they may also Lose Devotion-to
Mary. When Sarah saw Isaac, in-company-with Ishmael, who was Teaching him Evil Habits, she 'Desired' that Abraham would
Drive-away both Ishmael and his mother, Agar: "Cast out this Bond-woman and her son" - ("Ejice ancillam hanc et
filium ejus" Genesis 21:10). She was not Satisfied-with the son being turned-out-of the House, but Insisted on the mother going also, thinking that otherwise
the son, coming-to see his mother, would continue to Frequent the House. The Devil, also, is not Satisfied-with a
Soul Turning-out Jesus Christ, unless
it also Turns-out His Mother:
Cast out this Bond-woman and her Son. Otherwise, he Fears that
the Mother will again, by her Intercession, Bring-back
her Son. "And his Fears are well-grounded", says the learned
Paciucchelli: "for he who is Faithful in Serving the Mother-of-God, will soon Receive God Himself, by the Means-of
Mary" - ("Qui Dei Genitrici perseveranter obsequitur, non multa mora, et Deum ipsum in se recipient"
In Salv. Reg. exc. 5).
Saint Ephrem, then, was Right in-Calling Devotion-to our Blessed Lady
"a Charter-of-Liberty" - ("Charta libertatis" Or. de Laud.), our
Safeguard from Hell ("Patrocinatrix damnatorum"). The same
Saint also 'Calls' the Divine Mother, "the only Hope of those,
who are in Despair". That which Saint Bernard says is certain True, "that neither the Power, nor the Will,
to Save us, can be Wanting-to Mary" - ("Nec facultas ei deesse poterit, nec voluntas" In Assumpt. s. 1); the
"Power" cannot be Wanting, for it is Impossible that her
Prayers should not be Heard; as Saint Antoninus says, "It is Impossible that a
Mother-of-God should Pray in Vain" - ("Impossibile erat Deiparam non exaudiri" P. 4, tit. 15, c. 17); and
Saint Bernard says the same thing: "that her Requests can never be Refused, but that she Obtains whatever she
Wills" - ("Quod quaerit, invenit; et frustrari non potest" De Aquaed.). The "Will" to
Save us, cannot be Wanting, for Mary is Our
Mother, and Desires our Salvation, more-than we can 'Desire' it
ourselves. Since, then, this is the Case, how can it be possible for a Client-of Mary to be Lost?
He may be a Sinner, but if he 'Recommends'
himself to this Good Mother, with Perseverance and
Purpose-of-Amendment, she will 'Undertake' to 'Obtain' him
Light, to 'Abandon' his Wicked State, Sorrow for
his Sins, Perseverance in Virtue, and, finally, a
Good Death. And what Mother would not 'Deliver' her Son from
Death, if it only Depended-on her 'Asking' the Favor to 'Obtain' it, from the Judge? And can we think that Mary,
who Loves her Clients with a
Mother's most Tender Love, will not Deliver her Child
from Eternal Death, when she can do it, so-Easily?
Ah! Devout Reader, let us 'Thank' Our Lord, if we See-that He has 'Given' us
Affection-for the Queen-of-Heaven, and Confidence in
her: "for", says Saint-John-Damascene, "God
only 'Grants' this Favor, to those whom He is Determined-to Save". The following are the Beautiful Words of the Saint, and with which
he 'Rekindles' his Own and Our Hope: "O Mother of God, if I place my Confidence in
thee, I shall be Saved. If I am under thy Protection, I have nothing to Fear, for the Fact-of being thy Client, is the Possession-of a Certainty-of Salvation, and which God
only Grants to those, whom He Intends-to Save" (Crasset, Vér. Dév. p. 1, tr. 1, q. 6). Therefore, Erasmus 'Salutes' the
Blessed Virgin in these Words: "Hail! O Terror of Hell; O Hope of Christians; Confidence in thee is a Pledge-of
Salvation" - ("Salve, inferorum Formido, Christianorum Spes! quo major est tua praecellentia, hoc certior est nostra
fiducia" Paean ad Virg.).
O, how Enraged is the Devil, when he sees a
Soul, 'Persevering'-in Devotion to the Divine
Mother! We read in the Life-of Blessed-Alphonsus-Rodriguez, who was very
Devout to Mary, that Once, when in Prayer, finding himself much
Troubled by the Devil, with Impure Thoughts, this
Enemy said, "Give up thy Devotion to Mary, and I will cease-to Tempt thee".
Mary - Tabernacle-of-God
"I have Loved, O Lord, the Beauty of Thy House . . .
take not away my Soul, O God, with the Wicked" -
"Wisdom hath built Herself a House" -
We read in Blosius, that God 'Revealed'-to Saint-Catherine-of-Sienna,
"that in His Goodness, and on-account-of the Incarnate Word, He had 'Granted' to Mary, who was His Mother, that no one, not even a Sinner,
who Devoutly Recommends himself to her, should ever Become the Prey-of-Hell" - ("Mariae, Filii mei Genitrici, a bonitate mea concessum
est, propter incarnate Verbi reverentiam, ut quicumque etiam peccator, ad eam cum devota veneratione recurrit, nullo modo diripiatur a daemone infernali"
Conc. An. fid. p. 2, c. 1). Even the Prophet David, 'Prayed' to be Delivered-from
Hell, for the Sake-of the Love he 'Bore' to Mary. "I have
Loved, O Lord, the Beauty of Thy House . . . take not away my Soul, O God, with the Wicked" - ("Domine, dilexi decorum Domus tuae . . .:
ne perdas cum impiis, Deus, animam meam" Psalm 25:8,9). He says-of "Thy House", for Mary
was the House that God Himself 'Constructed' for His Dwelling
on-Earth, and in which He could find 'Repose', on becoming Man, as it is written in the Book-of-Proverbs, "Wisdom
hath built herself a House" - ("Sapientia aedificavit sibi Domum" Proverbs 9:1).
"No", says Saint-Ignatius-the-Martyr; "he who is Devout to the Virgin Mother,
will certainly never be Lost" - ("Numquam peribit, qui Genitrici Virgini devotus, sedulusque exstiterit"
Lohner, Bibl. t. 70, #3). And Saint Bonaventure 'Confirms' this, saying, "Thy Lovers, O Lady, enjoy Peace in this Life,
and will never see Eternal Death" - ("Pax multa diligentibus te, Domina: anima eorum non videbit mortem in aeternum"
Psalt. B. V. ps. 67). The Devout Blosius 'Assures' us, "that the Case never did, and never will Occur, in-which a Humble
and Attentive Servant of Mary, was Lost" - ("Fieri non potest, ut pereat, qui Mariae sedulous et humilis cultor fuerit"
Par. An. fid. p. 1, c. 18).
"O, how many would have remained Obstinate in Sin, and have been Eternally Lost", says Thomas à Kempis,
"if Mary had not 'Interposed' with her Son, that He might show them Mercy!" - ("Quot fuissent aeternaliter
condemnati, vel in desperatione permansissent obstinate, nisi benignissima Virgo Maria pro eis interpellasset ad Filium!" Ad Nov. s. 23). It is also the
Opinion-of many Theologians, and of Saint Thomas (Summa Theologica) in particular,
that for many who have Died in Mortal Sin, the Divine
Mother has 'Obtained' from God, a 'Suspension'-of their Sentence,
and a 'Return'-to Life, to do Penance.
Trustworthy Authors give us many Instances, in which this has Occurred.
(In view of these Examples and of those that we 'Read' farther-on, there arises the Twofold
Question, De jure et de factor. Question de jure: Can God 'Hinder', and can the
Blessed Virgin 'Obtain' by her Prayers, that
Condemnation-to Hell, be not put in 'Execution'? With these Theologians, and notably-with Saint
Alphonsus, there is no one who could not 'Answer', Yes. Question de facto: Has it happened,
thanks to the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin, that Sinners Condemned-to
Hell have not been 'Plunged' into it, and that by a Good Confession,
they have 'Effaced' the Sentence-of their Condemnation? 'Yes'; for the facts that I cite, says
Saint Alphonsus, are affirmed by Trustworthy Authors as Real and Public facts. ED).
Amongst others, Flodoardus, who Lived about the Ninth (9th) Century, 'Relates' in his Chronicles,
that a certain Deacon-named-Adelman, who was Apparently Dead, and was being
Buried, 'Returned'-to Life, and said "that he had seen Hell, to which he was Condemned, but that, at the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin,
he had been Sent-back to this World, to do Penance" (Chron. Eccl. Rem. Anno 934).
Surius relates a similar case (4 Dec. S. Ann. l. 1, c. 35) of a Roman Citizen named Andrew, who had
Died Impenitent, and for whom Mary 'Obtained' that he should
'Come' to-Life again, that he might be Pardoned. Pelbertus (Stellar. B. V. l. 12, p. 2, a. 1) says,
"that in his time, when the Emperor Sigismund was Crossing the Alps with his Army, a Voice was Heard coming from a Skeleton, asking for a Confessor,
and Declaring that the Mother-of-God, for whom he had Tender Devotion when a Soldier, had 'Obtained' that he should thus Live, until he had been able to make his Confession;
and, having done so, the Soul Departed" -
(This is Undoubtedly a very-strange Fact. However, who will Dispute it, either by-Limiting the
Power-of-God or the Influence-of the Blessed Virgin, or by Refusing to-Believe the Authority-of a Writer such as Father
Pelbart, who, in a Book Dedicated-to Pope Sixtus IV, Relates in-detail this Prodigy, as having happened at his Time in the Presence-of an Illustrious Emperor and the
Members-of his Court, several of whom, as they were yet Living, could have Convicted him of Falsehood, if he had not told the Truth! This Reflection is made by Father
Crasset: it may also be applied-to other Examples, not-less Wonderful. Moreover, the Miracle of-which there is Question here, is
Affirmed-by a Great Number of Most Respectable Authors; among them Lyraeus, is distinguished-by his most Circumstantial Narrative in his
"Trisagion Marianum", l. 1, son. 31. ED).
These, and other such Examples, however, must not 'Encourage' Rash Persons to Live-in-Sin, with the
Hope that Mary will 'Deliver' them from Hell, even should they
Die in this State; for as it would be the Height-of Folly for any one to throw himself into a Well, with a
Hope that Mary would 'Preserve' his Life, because she has
Occasionally 'Preserved' some, under similar-circumstances, still Greater Folly would it be, to 'Run' the Risk of
Dying-in-Sin, in the Hope that the
Blessed Virgin would Save him from Hell. But these Examples, 'Serve' to Revive our
Confidence with the Reflection, that if the Divine Mother, has
been Able-to 'Deliver' from Hell, even Some who have Died in Sin,
how much more will she be-able-to 'Preserve' from a similar Lot, those who, during Life, have 'Recourse' to
her, with a Purpose-of Amendment, and who 'Serve' her
"What, then, will be our Lot, O Tender Mother", let us 'Ask' with Saint Germanus,
"who are Sinners, but Desire to Change, and have Recourse to thee, who art the Life of Christian?" - ("Quid
autem de nobis fiet, O Sanctissima Virgo, O Vita Christianorum!" De Zona Virg). As Anselm says, "that he
will not be Lost, from whom thou once Prayest" ("Aeternum vae non sentiet ille, pro quo semel oraverit Maria"). O,
Pray, then, for us, and we shall be Preserved-from Hell.
"Who", 'Exclaims' Richard-of-Saint-Victor, "will Presume to say, if I have thee to
Defend me, O Mother-of-Mercy, that the Judge will be Unfavorable to me, when I am Presented-before the Divine Tribunal!" -
("Si accedam ad judicium, et Matrem misericordiae in causa habuero mecum, quis Judicem denegabit propitium?" In Cant. c. 39)
Blessed-Henry-Suso used to say, "that he had Placed his Soul in the Hands-of Mary, and that if he was Condemned, the
Sentence must Pass-Through her Hands" - ("Si Judex servum suum damnare voluerit, per manus tuas piissimas noc taciat"
Hor. Sap. aet. l. 1, c. 16); being Confident that if it was in-such
Hands, this Tender Virgin would certainly 'Prevent' its Execution. The same do I
Hope for myself, O my own Most Holy Queen; and therefore I will always 'Repeat' the Words-of
Saint Bonaventure: "In thee, O Lady, have I Placed all my Hopes; and thus I Confidently Trust, that I shall never be
Lost, but Praise and Love thee Forever in-Heaven" ("In te, Domina, speravi; non confundar in aeternum"
Psalt. B. V. ps. 30).
In the Year 1604, in a City-of-Belgium, there were Two (2) Young Men Students, but who,
instead-of Attending-to their Studies, gave themselves up to a Life-of-Debauchery. One Night, they were both in the House, with
an Evil Companion, when one of them, named Richard, 'Returned' Home, leaving his Companion there. After he had Reached Home,
and had begun to Undress, he Remembered he had not that day, said some "Hail Marys", that he was in the Habit of 'Reciting'.
Feeling very-Sleepy he was Loth to-'Say' them; he did himself Violence, and Repeated them, though without-Devotion, and
half-Asleep. He then Lay-down, and had Fallen into a Sound Slumber, when he was suddenly Roused-by a Violent Knocking at the Door, and without its Opening,
he saw his Companion, Deformed and Hideous, Standing-before him.
"Who art thou?" he cried out. "What! Dost thou not know me?" "Ah,
yes! but how thou art Changed; thou seemest to me a Devil". "Truly", he exclaimed, "Poor
Unfortunate Creature that I am, I am Damned; and how? When I was Leaving that Wicked House, a Devil Came and Strangled me; my Body is in the Street, and my Soul in
Hell; and thou must Know", added he, "that the same Fate 'Awaited' thee, had not the Blessed Virgin Preserved thee in
Consideration-of that little Act-of-Homage of the 'Hail Mary'. Fortunate art thou, if only thou Knowest how to take Advantage-of this Warning, sent thee by the
Mother-of-God". With these words he 'Opened' his Mantle, and, 'Showing' the Flames and Serpents by which he was
Tormented, he Disappeared. Richard immediately Burst-into Sobs and Tears, and,
'Casting' himself Prostrate on the Ground, he 'Returned' Thanks to Mary, his Protectress;
and, whilst 'Thinking' how to Change his Life, he Heard the Bell of the Franciscan Monastery 'Ringing' for Matins. "Ah! it is
there", says he, "that God Calls me to do Penance". He went Immediately to the Convent, and 'Implored' the Fathers to
'Admit' him. But they were hardly Willing to do so, 'Knowing' his Wicked Life; but he, Sobbing
Bitterly, told all that had taken place; and Two (2) Fathers, being sent to the Street, and having 'Found' the
Strangled Body, which was as-Black-as a Coal, they 'Admitted' him. From that Time forward, Richard led a most Exemplary Life, and at-last went-to 'Preach' the Gospel
in the Indies, and thence to Japan, where he had the Happiness of 'Giving' his Life for Jesus
Christ, being Burnt Alive for the Faith - (Lyraeus, Tris. Mar. l. 3). (In the
Church of Ham-sur-Heure, in Hainault, there is a Picture of the Martyrdom of
Father-Richard-of-Saint-Anne, with the following Inscription: "The Blessed
Father-Richard-of-Saint-Anne, born at Ham-sur-Heure in 1589, made his Religious Profession as a
Recollect at Nivelles, April 13, 1605, and having been 'Ordained' Priest in the Philippine Isles, was
Martyred at Nagasaki, September 10, 1622, being Put-to
Death by a Slow Fire". He was Beatified in 1867. (See Annals of the
Franciscan Missions, May, 1867. ED.).
O Mary, my Most Dear Mother, in what an Abyss-of-Evils should I not now be, if thou hadst not so-many Times 'Delivered' me,
with thy Compassionate Hand! How many Years ago should I not have been in-Hell, hadst thou not Saved me, by thy Powerful Prayers! My Grievous Sins,
already 'Drove' me there; Divine Justice had already Condemned me; the Devils already 'Longed' to-Execute the Sentence; and thou didst Fly-to my Aid,
and Save me, without being even Called or Asked. And what Return can I make to thee, O my Beloved Protectress, for so many Favors, and for such Love?
Thou also didst 'Overcome' the Hardness of my Heart, and didst Draw me to thy Love and to Confidence in thee. And into how many other Evils,
should I not have Fallen, if with thy Compassionate Hand, thou hadst not so-often 'Helped' me in the Dangers, into which I was on the Point-of-Falling!
Continue, O my Hope, to Preserve me from Hell, and from the Sins, into which I may still Fall. Never 'Allow' me to have this Misfortune
to 'Curse' thee in Hell. My Beloved Lady, I Love thee. Can thy Goodness ever Endure, to see a Servant-of thine that Loves thee, Lost? Ah! then,
'Obtain' that I may never more be Ungrateful to thee and to my God, Who for the Love of thee, has 'Granted' me so-many Graces. O Mary, tell me,
shall I be Lost? Yes, if I 'Abandon' thee. But is this possible? Can I ever Forget the Love, thou has 'Borne' me? Thou, after God, art the Love of my Soul.
I can no-longer Trust myself, to Live without Loving thee. O most-Beautiful, most-Holy, most-Amiable, sweetest Creature in the World,
I Rejoice in thy Happiness. I Love thee, and I Hope always to Love thee, both in-Time and in-Eternity.