From Glories of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouiri
Wherefore the graces are very great which Jesus promises to those who are devoted to the dolors of Mary. Pelbart relates, that it was revealed to St. Elizabeth, that St. John the Evangelist, after the blessed Virgin was assumed into heaven, desired to see her again.
This favor was granted him; his dear mother appeared to him, and Jesus Christ with her; and he then heard Mary asking of her Son some peculiar grace for those who were devoted to her dolors; and Jesus promised her for them the four following special graces:
1st. That those who invoke the divine mother by her sorrows, before death will merit to obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2d. That he will protect such in their tribulations, especially at the hour of death.
3d. That he will impress upon them the memory of his passion, and that they shall have their reward for it in heaven.
4th. That he will commit such devout servants to the hands of Mary, that she may dispose of them according to her pleasure, and obtain for them all the graces she desires. In proof of this, let us see in the following example how devotion to the dolors of Mary may aid our eternal salvation.
We read in the revelations of St. Bridget, that there was once a lord as noble by birth as he was low and sinful in his habits. He had given himself by an express compact as a slave to the devil, and had served him for sixty years, leading such a life as may easily be imagined, and never approaching the sacraments.
Now, this prince was about to die and Jesus Christ, in his compassion, commanded St. Bridget to tell his confessor to visit him, and exhort him, to make his confession.
The confessor went, and the sick man told him that he had no need of a confessor, for that he had often made his confession. The confessor visited him a second time, and that poor slave of hell persevered in his obstinate determination not to make his confession. Jesus again directed the saint to tell the confessor to go to him again.
He obeyed, and this third time related to him the revelation made to the saint, and that he had returned so many times because the Lord, who desired to show him mercy, had directed him to do so.
On hearing this the dying man was moved, and began to weep.
But how, he exclaimed, can I be pardoned, when for sixty years I have served the devil, made myself his slave, and have laden my soul with innumerable sins?" "Son," answered the father, encouraging him, "do not doubt: if you repent of them, in the name of God I promise you pardon." Then beginning to gain confidence, he said to the confessor:
"Father, I believed myself lost, and despaired of salvation ; but new I feel a sorrow for my sins, which encourages me to trust; and as God has not yet abandoned me, I wish to make my confession." And in fact on that day he made his confession four times with great sorrow; the next day he received communion, and on the sixth he died, contrite and entirely resigned.
After his death, Jesus Christ further revealed to St. Bridget, that this sinner was saved, and was in purgatory, and that he had been saved by the intercession of the Virgin, his mother; for the deceased, although he had led so sinful a life, yet had always preserved devotion to her dolors, when ever he remembered them he pitied her.
Oh my afflicted mother! queen of martyrs and of sorrows, thou hast shed so many tears for thy Son, who died for my salvation, and yet what will thy tears avail me, if I am lost?
By the merits, then, of thy dolors, obtain for me a true sorrow for my sins, and a true amendment of life, with a perpetual and tender compassion for the passion of Jesus and thy own sufferings. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for me, obtain for me that I, who am deserving of hell, may also suffer something for love of you. O Lady, I will say to thee with St. Bonaventure, if I have offended thee, wound my heart in punishment; if I have served thee, now I beg to be wounded as a reward. It is a shameful thing to see our Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with him, and I uninjured. Finally, oh my mother, by the grief thou didst experience on seeing thy
Son before thy eyes bow his head and expire upon the cross, I entreat of thee to obtain for me a good death. Ah, do not cease, oh advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted and struggling soul in that great passage that it has to make into eternity.
And, because at that time it may easily be the case that I shall have lost the use of speech with which to invoke thy name, and that of Jesus, who are all my hope, therefore I now invoke thy Son and thee to succor me at that last moment, and I say: Jesus and Mary, to you I commend my soul. Amen.