Various Practices of Devotion
in Honor of the Divine Mother,
by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori
"The Queen of Heaven is so Gracious and Liberal", says Saint-Andrew-of-Crete,
"that she Recompenses her Servants with the Greatest Munificence for the most Trifling Devotions". Two (2)
Conditions, however, there are: the First (1st) is, that when we 'Offer' her our
Devotions, our Souls should be Free-from Sin; otherwise
she would 'Address' us, as she did a Wicked Soldier, 'Spoken' of
by Saint-Peter-Celestine. This Soldier every Day 'Performed' some
Devotion in Honor of our Blessed Lady. One Day he was
Suffering Greatly from Hunger, when Mary 'Appeared' to him, and 'Offered' him some Most
Delicious Meats, but in so-Filthy a Vessel, that he could not 'Bring' himself to 'Taste' them. "I am the Mother of God",
the Blessed Virgin then said, "and am Come to Satisfy thy Hunger". "But,
O Lady", he 'Answered', "I cannot Eat out of so-Dirty a Vessel". "And how", 'Replied'
Mary, "canst thou Expect that I should Accept thy Devotions, Offered to me with so-Defiled a Soul,
as thine"? On 'Hearing' this, the Soldier was Converted, became a Hermit, and Lived in a Desert for
Thirty (30) Years. At Death, the Blessed Virgin, again 'Appeared' to him, and 'Took'
him herself to Heaven.
In the First (1st) Part of this Work, we said that it was Morally Impossible for a Client-of Mary
to be Lost; but this must be 'Understood', on-condition-that he 'Lives' either without Sin, or
at-least, with the Desire to 'Abandon' it; for then the Blessed Virgin will
Help him. But should any One, on the other hand, 'Sin' in the Hope that Mary will
Save him, he thereby would 'Render' himself Unworthy and Incapable-of her
Protection. The Second (2nd) Condition is Perseverance, in
Devotion to Mary: "Perseverance alone", says Saint-Bernard,
"will Merit a Crown". When Thomas-à-Kempis was a
Young Man, he used every Day to have 'Recourse' to the Blessed Virgin with certain
Prayers; he One Day 'Omitted' them; he then 'Omitted'
them for some Weeks, and finally 'Gave' them up, altogether. One
Night he saw Mary in a Dream; she 'Embraced' all his Companions, but when his Turn
came, she said, "What dost thou expect, thou who hast given up thy Devotions? 'Depart', thou art Unworthy of my
Caresses". On 'Hearing' this, Thomas 'Awoke' in Alarm, and 'Resumed' his Ordinary
Hence, Richard-of-Saint-Lawrence with-Reason 'Says', that "he who Perseveres in his Devotion to Mary,
will be Blessed in his Confidence, and will Obtain all he Desires". But as no one can be Certain-of this Perseverance , no one
before Death, can be Certain-of Salvation. The Advice Given-by the
Venerable-John-Berchmans, of the Society-of-Jesus, Deserves our Particular Attention. When this Holy Young
Man was Dying, his Companions 'Entreated' him , before he 'Left' this World, to 'Tell' them what
Devotion they could 'Perform', which would be Agreeable-to our Blessed Lady. He 'Replied' in the following Remarkable Words:
"Any Devotion, how ever Small, Provided it is Constant". I therefore now 'Give' with Simplicity, and in a Few Words, the various
Devotions which we can 'Offer' to our Mother, in-order-to 'Obtain'
her Favor; and this I consider the Most Useful Part of my Work. But I do not so-much 'Recommend' my Dear Reader,
to 'Practice' them All, as to 'Choose' those which 'Please' him most, and to
'Persevere' in them, with Fear that if he 'Omits'
them, he may Lose the Protection-of the
Divine Mother. O, how many are there now in Hell, who would have been
Saved, had they only 'Persevered' in the Devotions which they once 'Practiced', in-Honor-of
to Obtain Final Perseverance
Eternal Father, I Humbly Adore and Thank You, for having Created me, and for having
Redeemed me. I Thank You for having made me a Christian, by giving me the
True Faith, and for Adopting me as Your Child in Baptism. I Thank You for
having given me Time-to Repent, after my many Sins, and for having Pardoned
all my Offenses. I Renew my Sorrow for them, because I have Displeased You.
I Thank You also for having Preserved me from Falling-again, as I would have
done, if You had not Held me up, and Saved me. But my Enemies, do not cease
Fighting-against me, nor will they, until I Die. If You do not Help me
Continually, I will Lose Your Grace again. I, therefore, Pray-for
Perseverance till Death. Your Son Jesus, has Promised that You will give us
whatever we Ask-for in His Name. By the Merits-of Jesus Christ, I beg You,
for myself and for all those who are in Your Grace, the Grace-of Never-more
being Separated-from Your Love. May we always Love You in this Life, and in
Mary, Mother of God, Pray to Jesus for me. So I
Hope. So may it be.