Friday, November 10, 2017

The Protestant Boy and the Virgin Mary


A six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his fellow Catholics pray the Hail Mary. He liked it so much that he memorized it and prayed it every day. "Look, mommy, what a beautiful prayer," he told his mother one day.

"Do not say it again," replied the mother. "It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who worship idols and think that Mary is a goddess. She is a woman like any other. Come on. Take this Bible and read it. It contains everything we have to do.” From that day on, the boy stopped praying his Hail Mary every day and spent more time reading the Bible.

One day, while reading the Gospel, he saw the passage on the Annunciation of the Angel to the Virgin. Full of joy, the boy ran to his mother and said: "Mommy, I found the Hail Mary in the Bible: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women’. Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?" She did not answer. On another occasion, he found the scene of Elizabeth's salutation to the Virgin Mary and the beautiful canticle of the Magnificat, in which Mary announced: 'from now on all generations shall call me blessed'. He did not say anything to his mother and began to pray the Hail Mary every day again, as he used to do. He felt pleasure in telling those beautiful words to the Mother of Jesus, Our Savior.

When he turned fourteen, one day he heard his family discussing about Our Lady. They all said that Mary was an ordinary woman. The boy, after hearing their erroneous reasoning, could not take it anymore and, full of indignation, he interrupted them saying: "Mary is not like any other son of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONG WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus and consequently, the Mother of God. There is no greater dignity to which a creature can aspire. The Gospel says that all generations shall call her blessed, while you try to despise her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or the Bible you claim is the foundation of the Christian religion."

The impression made by the boy's words on his mother was so deep that she often wept inconsolably: "Oh, God, I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of the Popes!" And indeed, a short time later, the son was convinced that the Catholic religion was the only authentic one, he embraced it and became one of his most ardent apostles.

A few years after his conversion, the protagonist of our story found his sister already married. He wanted to greet her and hug her, but she rejected him and said indignantly: "You have no idea how much I love my children. If one of them wanted to become Catholic, I would first bury a dagger in their heart than allow them to embrace the religion of the Popes."

Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion. However, she would soon change her mind, as happened to St. Paul on his way to Damascus. It happened that one of her children fell seriously ill. The doctors gave no hope for his recovery. As soon as her brother found out, he looked for her in the hospital and spoke to her with affection, saying: "Dear sister, you naturally want your child to be cured. Very well, then do what I'm going to ask you. Let us pray together a Hail Mary and promise God, that if your child recovers, you will study the Catholic doctrine. And in case you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you will embrace it no matter what sacrifices this implies."

His sister was initially reluctant, but she wanted her son to recover, so she accepted his brother's proposal and prayed with him a Hail Mary. The next day, her son was completely healed. The mother fulfilled her promise and began studying the Catholic doctrine. After intense preparation, she received Baptism in the Catholic Church along with her entire family. How much she thanked her brother that he had been an apostle to her.

This story was told by Father Francis Tuckwell in one of his homilies. "Brothers," he concluded, "the Protestant boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism, devoted his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who speaks to you now. How much I owe to the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady! You too, my dear brothers, dedicate yourselves completely to serving Our Lady and do not let a single day pass without saying the beautiful prayer of the Hail Mary as well as your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and against which 'the gates of hell will never prevail'."

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