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A story for every day...

Our Lady of the Assumption

Young man saved from a fire by the protection of the Blessed Virgin.

My parents, he says, had sent me to the minor seminary to complete my education. I was studying philosophy. On the day of the Assumption of the year 1811, I had the good fortune to receive the scapular. As the ceremony took place only in the evening, the various exercises of the house prevented me from reciting the prayers that the confreres are accustomed to make every day. The moment of bedtime arrived, and I only remembered my omission when, having returned to my small room and already in my bed, I was about to extinguish my candle, which a sort of fear had made me keep lit until that moment; I then put it on the bedside table, without thinking of the consequences that this imprudence could have, and I began to recite the prayers of the scapular. It was about nine hours… Towards three quarters past nine I woke up, although I was deeply asleep. A strong feeling of fear, caused by the memory of the lighted candle, made me sit up in my bed with a start, and I was turning to extinguish it, when I saw myself in the middle of the fire and the smoke. It was undoubtedly the movement I made to lie down, when while saying my prayers, I was seized by sleep, which made the candle fall on my pillow: it burned, my mattress also burned, the wood of bed, on the side of my head, was only one burning coal; my small room was filled of a smoke so thick, that as soon as I had opened the door to call for help, the house was all filled of it at once. As for me, I did not feel the slightest pain. I did not lose the tip of a single hair from my head, and the doctor, when he saw the next day on the walls and on the bed the traces of the fire, which we had had great difficulty in extinguishing, was astonished that, if the flames had spared me, I would not, at least, have been suffocated by the smoke. I cannot believe how calm I felt after an event that could have been so tragic for me. I thanked Our Lady of the Scapular, and I have no doubt that it was this good Mistress who deigned to take care of my life, for the sake of the intention I had of praying to Her, an intention which I nevertheless fulfilled so badly.

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