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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Exclusive Representation of the Nativity Scene.
On the borders of Holland and Germany, near Nijmegen, there is the village of Kevelaer, where many pilgrims go every year to honor a miraculous image of Mary. Among the drivers of the cars that transported the pilgrims was a good family man, a Protestant by birth. Inspired by the example of the faithful, who prayed aloud during the journey, he recited the Hail Mary with them wholeheartedly.
Having become ill, on returning from these pious excursions, and feeling close to death, he asked his wife to get him a Catholic priest. “But send for your Protestant minister instead,” said the astonished wife; “what need have you of another?” The patient insisted, and he was satisfied.
When the priest arrived, he told her that, since his illness, he had been repeating the words he had been touched by on his trips to Kevelaer: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us poor sinners;” and it was, he added, the Blessed Virgin who prompted me to call you. I like this Hail Mary prayer so much; how touching it is!
The priest questioned him, and finding him in excellent spirits, he conferred the sacraments. For several days, the sick man did not cease to thank the Blessed Virgin who had obtained such a great grace for him. He died of the death of the predestined. His family, edified and touched by such a consoling spectacle, converted entirely to Catholicism.
What power in the Ave Maria! With what devotion and confidence should we not recite it! The Archangel Gabriel, in greeting Mary, did so with a heavenly reverence and sincere veneration; how much more should we, inferior to the Angels, not greet our Sovereign with profound religion, sustained attention, and filial love! If this were the case, would not our prayers have all the power over the heart of a Mother like Mary? She is so fond of the humility, candor, and trust that befit children of the heavenly Father, brothers of Jesus, the most perfect model of the feelings that should animate children toward their heavenly Mother. The life of Jesus in Nazareth was above all a simple, modest, hardworking life, the very opposite of vanity and flabbiness. Mary loves to see these qualities in those who honor her with the frequent Hail Mary greetings.