There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.
One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.
On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.
As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.
When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”
“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”
And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”
She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.
From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.