MAY, THE MONTH OF MARY (MAY 10) – MARY HOPE OF THE DYING
One comes into the world weeping and dying we pour out our last tear; this land is rightly called the valley of tears and a place of exile, from which we must all one day leave.
Few are the joys of present life and very much sufferings; all this is providential, because if one did not suffer, one would be too attached to the earth and would not aspire to Heaven.
The greatest suffering for everyone is death, both for the pains of the body, and for the separation from all earthly affection and especially for the thought of one’s appearance before Jesus Christ the Judge. The hour of death, certain for everyone, but uncertain for the exact day, is the most important hour of life, because eternity depends on it.
Who can help us in that supreme moments? Only God and Our Lady.
The mother does not abandon her children in need and the more serious the need, the more she intensifies her care. The Celestial Mother, the dispenser of divine treasures, runs to help the souls, especially if they are about to leave for eternity. The Church was divinely inspired in the Ave Maria to include a particular plea: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death!
How many times during this life we have repeated this prayer! And can Our Lady, with Her gentle and maternal Heart, remain indifferent to the cry of Her children?
The Virgin on Calvary assisted the agonizing Son Jesus; She did not speak, but he contemplated and prayed. As the Mother of all believers in those moments, She also turned her gaze to the multitude of adopted children, who in the course of the centuries would find themselves in agony and would implore Her help.
For us Our Lady prayed on Calvary and let us be consoled that on our death-bed She will help us. But we must do everything to deserve Her assistance.
Every day let us offer Her some act of special homage, even a small one, as could be the recital of three Hail Mary, with the ejaculation or little prayer: “Dear Mother Virgin Mary, help me save my soul!”
We often ask that you free us from sudden death; that death does not seize us when we unfortunately are in mortal sin; that we can receive the Holy Sacraments and not only the Extreme Unction, but especially the Viaticum; that we can overcome the assaults of the devil during agony, because it is then that the enemies of soul double their effort; and finally obtain the serenity of the spirit, to die in the kiss of the Lord, fully conformed to the will of God. The devotees of Mary often die peacefully and sometimes have the joy of sensibly seeing the Queen of Heaven, who comforts them and invites to eternal joy. This is how the child Domenico Savio, now a saint, he died exclaiming with joy: “Oh, what a beautiful thing I see!”
St. Vincent Ferrer was urgently called to a very serious sick person who refused the sacraments.
The Saint told him: Do not be stubborn! Do not give Jesus so much displeasure! Put yourself in the grace of God and you will acquire peace of heart. The sick man, even more angrily, protested that he did not want to confess.
St. Vincent thought of turning to Our Lady, sure of being able to obtain the good death to that unhappy one. Then he added: Well, you must confess at any cost!
He invited all those present, family and friends, to recite the Rosary for the sick. As they were praying, the Most Holy Virgin with the Child Jesus appeared all over the sinner’s bed, all covered in blood.
The dying man could not resist this sight and cried out: Lord, forgiveness. . . pardon! I want to confess!
Everyone was crying with emotion. St. Vincent was able to confess and give him the Holy Viaticum and had the joy of seeing him breathe his last breath while he affectionately kissed the Crucifix.
In the hands of the deceased was placed the rosary crown, as a sign of the triumph of the Madonna.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Spend the day in particular recollection and think from time to time: If I had to die today, would I have a clear conscience? How would I like to be found on the point of death?
Prayer to Mary:
– Mary, Mother of mercy, have pity of the dying!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI