The Rosary, Her Ladder to Heaven
There was once a woman named Ellen who led a life of scandalous sin.
One day, in a tired, depressed moment, when the glamour seemed to have gone out of life, Ellen entered a church. By chance, the sermon being preached was about the beauty and power of the Rosary. Ellen was impressed.
On leaving the church, she bought a set of beads, but concealed them so no one in her circle would know. As she prayed her beads, something wonderful began to happen. She felt such sweetness, and consolation that she could not stop reciting the Hail Marys.
By and by her wicked life loomed before her in all its horror, and, one day, she could not help but look for a priest to hear her full confession. She confessed her sins with so much feeling and contrition that the confessor was amazed.
After her confession, feeling the lightest she had ever felt, Ellen knelt before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and recited her Rosary. Lo, and behold she heard a voice coming from the statue: “Ellen, you have already offended my Son and me so much. From now on, change your life and I will grant you a large share of graces.”
“O, Most Holy Virgin, my lady,” cried the poor sinner, “it is true that until now I have been wickedly sinful, but you can do all; help me! On my part, I abandon myself to you, and I will spend the rest of my life doing penance for my sins.”
True to her word, Ellen distributed all her goods among the poor, and began a rigorous life of mortification. Habit dies hard, so she was tormented with terrible temptations, but she always had recourse to the Blessed Mother and her Rosary, and with her help, was always victorious.
As time went on, Ellen was favored with many graces, with visions and revelations and even the gift of prophecy. Finally sickening and near death, she received visits of the Blessed Virgin and her divine Son who came to cheer and console her. And as Ellen breathed her last, her soul was seen flying toward heaven in the form of a beautiful dove.
The Rosary was her ladder to heaven.
Adapted from The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
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.