Devotion to Mary —
A Great Sign of Predestination
by Larry Wethington
One of the greatest means of salvation is devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The saints are unanimous in saying that, "A devout client of Mary shall never perish." St. Thomas Aquinas said that "many souls are now in Heaven, through the prayers of Mary, who otherwise would not be there." Mary Herself assures us in one of Her promises of the Rosary, to St. Dominic, "Devotion of My Rosary is a great sign of predestination." Why is this?
We see in the order of nature that God first plants the fruit tree in the world and then the fruit comes into the world through the tree. St. Paul tells us in Rom. 1:20 that the spiritual world of God is seen through the visible things He has made, "For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made ..." Scripture clearly tells us that Jesus was the fruit of Mary, "blessed is the fruit of Thy womb." (St. Luke 1:42) Now what did God do when He planned to send Jesus, the fruit of life, into the world? He first began by planting Mary, the spiritual tree, in the world. And we know in the order of nature if we cut down the tree, we cut down the fruit. So that the saints tell us, "He who wishes to have the fruit of life, which is Jesus Christ, must have the tree of life, which is Mary."
Now what must a tree do in order to bear good fruit? It must be planted in good ground. It must be nourished and strengthened by the power of God. Now the good ground is our predestinate soul which Mary must be planted in. This tree must be nourished by the Spirit of God by our love and devotion to Her. And in this way, Jesus, the fruit of life, will flourish there. This is a great mystery, and one that few understand. But the Scripture tells us that Mary must take root in us, the elect, which is symbolized by Jacob. "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated." (Rom. 9:13)
Here is the Scripture which the Church applies to Mary. "Then the Creator of all things commanded, and said to Me: and He that made Me (Mary), rested in My tabernacle (dwelt within My womb), and He said to Me: Let Thy dwelling be in Jacob (the elect), and Thy inheritance in Israel, (the people of God), and take root in My elect." (Ecclus. 24:12-13) "And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of My God His inheritance, and My abode is in the full assembly of saints." (Ecclus. 24:16) "I am the Mother of fair love, (Jesus, ‘Who is charity,’ 1 John. 4:16), and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In Me is all grace of the way and of the truth, (Jesus, ‘the way, the truth, and the life,’ St. John 14:6) in Me is all hope of life and of virtue." (Ecclus. 24:24-25) And how can we hope to have life and be virtuous if Jesus, the fruit of life, is not flourishing in our soul? And then She invites us to come to receive the graces of Jesus Christ from Her, "Come over to Me, all ye that desire Me and take your fill of My fruits." (Ecclus. 24:26)
This is why, in Her numerous apparitions to souls, She continually urges us to pray the Rosary. This is why, at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, approved by the Church; approved by God Himself by the great miracle of Oct. 13, 1917, (St. Mark 16:20); confirmed also by the fulfillment of many prophecies, (St. John 14:29); this is why Mary told the children, "In order to save souls, God wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved ..." God wants Mary rooted in our souls, as I have just proven from Scripture, for our salvation. This is why St. Alphonsus de Liguori says that "devotion to Mary is morally necessary for our salvation." This is why St. Louis de Montfort said, "I have no better way of knowing if a man is for God than if he likes to say the Hail Mary and the Rosary." This is why, whether you be Catholic or non-Catholic, you should say the Hail Mary and Rosary every day, if you wish to be one of the predestinate. Even if you are a non-Catholic you should familiarize yourself with the Message of Fatima, for Pope John Paul II said, "The message of Fatima is addressed to every human being."
It is quite interesting to note that St. John the Apostle, who was privileged to be entrusted first with Mary as his own at the foot of the cross, gives us a summary of the mysteries of the Rosary in the first chapter of his Gospel. (St. John 1:11-12) The entire Rosary has three sets of mysteries: The Joyful, which commemorates Jesus coming into the world; the Sorrowful, which commemorates His Passion and Death; the Glorious, which commemorates His Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of the Holy Ghost, Mary’s Assumption and Coronation. St. John says, "He came unto His own," (the Joyful mysteries); "His own received Him not," (the Sorrowful mysteries); "but to all who did receive Him, He gave power to become the sons of God," (the Glorious mysteries). St. John knew about the Rosary.
Father Paul Leonard, M.Div., writer, lecturer; Joe Scheidler, pro-life activist; and Father Gruner on the set of FATIMA: "The Moment Has Come." See TV schedule.
Mary’s prayers are powerful in moving the Heart of Her Son to give us mercy, either to be reconciled to Him if such be the need, or persevering in His grace. St. Bridget once heard Jesus say to Mary in a vision, "Ask of Me what Thou wilt. As Thou didst refuse Me nothing on earth, so I will refuse Thee nothing in Heaven." We see this in Scripture (St. John 2:1-11), where Mary intercedes for the wedding couple. Jesus says it is not His hour. From all eternity He has not ordained that this should be the time to start working miracles. But yet, at the prayer of Mary, the water is made wine and Jesus provides for their needs. He refused Her not even though His hour had not yet come — He changed the course of His divine providence for Mary, and if, unfortunately, you are on the wrong road, He will change the course of your soul if only you will be devoted to Her.
In the book, The Mystical City of God, revelations to Venerable Mary of Agreda, Spain, in the 1600’s, it says, a little before the Ascension of Christ, Mary had a vision of the Holy Trinity amid the choirs of angels and saints. Mary of Agreda heard the three Divine Persons, addressing the choir of holy angels and the saints, saying: "This is the Queen of all created things in Heaven and earth; (Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever ... The Queen stood on Thy right, in gilded clothing," Ps. 44:7,10), She is the Protectress of the Church, the Mistress of creatures, the Mother of piety, the Intercessor of the faithful, the Advocate of sinners, the Mother of beautiful love and holy hope; She is mighty in drawing Our will to mercy and clemency. In Her shall be deposited the treasures of Our grace and Her most faithful heart shall be the tablet whereon shall be written and engraved Our holy law. In Her are contained the mysteries of Our Omnipotence for the salvation of mankind. She is the perfect work of Our hands, (One is My dove, My perfect one is but one ... The daughters saw Her, and declared Her most blessed ... Cant. 6:8), through whom the plenitude of Our desires shall be communicated and satisfied without hindrance in the currents of Our divine perfections. Whoever shall call upon Her from his heart shall not perish; whoever shall obtain Her intercession shall secure for himself eternal life. What She asks of us, shall be granted, and we shall always hear Her requests and fulfill Her will; for She consecrated Herself perfectly to what pleases us."
To encourage you to love and honor Her and to call upon Her faithfully, following is a marvelous story which shows Her power and solicitude for our souls.
Among the five thousand who were first converted and who received Baptism in Jerusalem, there was also a young girl of poor and humble parentage. This young woman, busying herself with her household duties, took ill and for many days she dragged on in her sickness without improvement. As happens to many other souls, she on that account fell from her first fervor, and in her neglect committed some sins endangering her baptismal grace. Lucifer, who never relaxes in his thirst for the ruin of souls, approached this woman and attacked her with fiercest cruelty, being thus permitted by God to do so for His greater glory and that of His Most Blessed Mother. The demon appeared to her in the form of another woman and with much cajolery told her to withdraw from those people, who were preaching the Crucified, and not to believe anything they said, because it was all falsehood; that, if she would not follow this advice, she would be punished by the priests and judges who had crucified the Teacher of that new and counterfeit religion; whereas, if she obeyed, she would live peacefully and free from danger. The girl answered: "I will do what thou sayest; but what shall I do in regard to that Lady, Whom I have seen with these men and women and Who appears to be so kind and peaceful? I desire Her good will very much." The demon replied: "This One, Whom thou mentionest, is worse than all the rest, and Her thou must shun before all. It is most important that thou withdraw from Her snares."
Infested with this deadly poison of the ancient serpent, the soul of this simple dove was brought near to eternal death and her body, instead of being relieved, dropped into more serious illness and was in danger of a premature end. One of the 72 disciples who visited the faithful, was informed of the dangerous illness of the girl; for from her neighbors he heard that one of his own, living in that house, was on the point of expiring. The disciple entered in order to visit her and encourage her according to her necessities. But the sick girl was so ensnared by the demons, that she did not receive him or answer him one word, although he zealously sought to exhort and instruct her; she on the contrary sought to hide and stop her ears in order not to hear him. From these signs the disciple saw the imminent peril of this soul, although he did not know the cause. Eagerly he hastened to report to the Apostle Saint John, who without delay visited the patient, admonishing her and speaking to her words of eternal life, if she would only listen. But she treated him in the same way as the disciple, obstinately resisting the efforts of both. The Apostle saw many legions of devils surrounding the girl, and, though they retired at his approach, they failed not, immediately afterward, to renew the illusion with which they had filled the unhappy girl.
Seeing her obstinacy, the Apostle betook himself in great affliction to the Most Blessed Mary in order to ask for help. Immediately the great Queen turned Her interior vision upon the sick one and She recognized the unhappy and dangerous condition in which the enemy had drawn that soul. The kind Mother bewailed this simple sheep, thus deceived by the bloodthirsty infernal wolf; and prostrate upon the floor She prayed for her rescue.
The Most Blessed Mary continued for some time in this petition; but She received no answer from the Lord, in order that Her invincible heart and Her charity toward Her neighbor might be put to the proof. The most prudent Virgin bethought Herself of what had happened to the prophet Eliseus (4 Kings 4:34), who had vainly sent his staff with his servant Giezi to resuscitate the boy and had found that he himself must touch and stretch himself over his body in order to restore him to life. Neither the disciple nor the Apostle were powerful enough to awaken from sin and from the stupor of satan that unfortunate girl; therefore the great Lady resolved to go and heal her in person. This resolve She recommended to the Lord in Her prayer, and, although She received no answer, She considered that the work itself was a sufficient warranty to proceed. She arose therefore to leave Her room and to walk with Saint John to the dwelling of the sick woman, which was at some distance from the Cenacle. But no sooner had She taken the first steps than the holy angels, at the command of the Lord, approached to bear Her upon the way. As God had not manifested His intention, She asked them, why they thus detained Her; to which they answered: "There is no reason why we should consent to Thy walking through the city, when we can bear Thee along with greater propriety." Immediately they placed Her upon a throne of resplendent clouds, on which they bore Her along and placed Her in the sick-room. The dying girl, being poor and now speechless, had been forsaken by all and was surrounded only by the demons, who waited to snatch off her soul.
But as soon as the Queen of Angels made Her appearance all the evil spirits vanished like flashes of lightning and as if falling over each other in their dismay. The powerful Queen commanded them to descend into hell and remain there until She should permit them to come forth, and this they were forced to do without the least power of resistance. The kindest Mother then approached the sick woman and taking her by the hand and calling her by her name, spoke sweetest words of life. Instantly a complete change came over the girl, and she began to breathe more freely and recover herself. Then she said to the heavenly Mary: "My Lady, a woman came to me, who persuaded me to believe that the disciples of Jesus were deceiving me and that I had better immediately separate myself from them and from Thee; otherwise, if I should accept their way of life, I should fall into great misfortune." The Queen answered: "My daughter, she, who seemed to thee a woman, was thy enemy, the devil. I come in the name of the Most High to give thee eternal life; return then to His true Faith, which thou hast received, and confess Him with all thy heart as thy God and Redeemer, Who, for thy salvation and that of all the world, has died upon the Cross. Adore and call upon Him for the pardon of thy sins."
"All this," the patient answered, "I have believed before; but they told me it was very bad, and that they would punish me if I should ever confess it." The heavenly Teacher replied, "My friend, do not fear this deceit; but remember that the chastisement and pains which are really to be feared are those of hell, to which the demons wish to bring thee. Thou art now very near death and thou canst avail thyself of the remedy I now offer thee, if thou wilt only believe Me; and thou shalt thus free thyself of the eternal fire, which threatens thee on account of thy mistake." Through this exhortation and the graces procured for this poor woman by Mary, she was moved to abundant tears of compunction and implored the Blessed Lady further to assist her in this danger, declaring herself ready to obey all Her commands. Then the loving Mother made her openly profess her faith in Jesus Christ and elicit an act of contrition in preparation for Confession. At the same time She sent for the Apostles to administer the Sacraments to her. The sick girl, repeating the acts of contrition and love, and invoking Jesus and Mary, who was directing her, happily expired in the arms of her Protectress.
Say the Hail Mary at least 3 times a day for your salvation. St. Leonard of Port-Maurice said the Hail Mary three times morning and evening to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins, and he promised in a special manner, eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice.