Mary Frees a Woman From the Devil’s Power
In the marvelous book, City of God, in which Maria of Agreda, a nun and mystic, writes the life of the Blessed Mother, as shown her in visions, she relates wonderful details.
When the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to conceive a Son by the power of the Holy Ghost, he also spoke of her barren cousin’s miraculous pregnancy.
Without revealing to St. Joseph her own state, the Blessed Lady told her holy spouse what she had learned of Elizabeth, and of God’s will that they visit her and her husband Zachariah.
Promptly harnessing their donkey, Saint Joseph helped his bride on, and taking the reins, set out on the ninety-mile trip. Unbeknownst to the holy man, Mary was already the temple of God-made-man, then only a four-day-old resplendent little fetus in her virginal womb, now the living Ark of the Covenant.
When Mary met her cousin in the latter’s home, Elizabeth understood the full reality of the Virgin’s divine pregnancy and broke out into her famous song, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42)
At the same time, the little God-made-man stood up within Mary’s cloister, and sanctified Elizabeth’s six-month-unborn son, the future John the Baptist, by cleansing him of Original Sin, at which His baby cousin leapt for joy.
We also know that the Holy Virgin Mary went on to spend three months at her cousins’ home.
The Blessed Lady and the Bad-Tempered Woman
A beautiful detail Venerable Maria of Agreda tells us of this visit is that wherever Mary went, her burning charity made her ever so attentive to the needs of those around her.
Zachariah and Elizabeth being wealthy and noble, had a large household and several servants. One such, was a woman whose many sins had allowed the devil sway over her, so that her attitude was spiteful restless and angry, and was much given to swearing and cursing. Still she knew how to make herself agreeable to her employers. For fourteen years many devils surrounded her, making sure of their prey, and rendering her life miserable.
But when this woman came into the presence of Holy Mary, the devils took flight not able to bear the virtue emanating from the Immaculate Virgin and the “Presence” she carried within her.
Freed from the constant, nefarious influence of her demons, the poor woman felt lighter and brighter around the holy maiden, and began to feel a great attraction to her company, offering to serve her with affection and respect, for, despite her many vices, she enjoyed helping those in need.
Mary Most Holy was aware of the state of the woman’s soul, and the danger it ran in the grip of demons. So the sweet queen turned an eye of mercy on her, interceded with the God she carried in her womb, and obtained for her pardon, remedy and salvation.
In virtue of the authority granted her, Most Holy Mary commanded the demons to leave the creature alone and never to disturb her again. Though the fiends did not understand whence her power, they could not resist her and fled in confusion.
Thus, the happy woman was snatched from Satan’s claws. Gently admonishing the poor soul and teaching her the way of salvation, the Blessed Lady changed her into a person of meek and amiable disposition, in which the woman persevered to the end of her life, always grateful and aware to whom she owed so great a favor.
By Andrea F. Phillips
DAILY QUOTE for May 5, 2021
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Hilary of Arles
One of the stories that particularly touched me was Jacinta's final illness with the dreaded flu of the time and her death — alone in a hospital far from home.