Pious Devotions, Preparation For Death, Preparation for Heaven, Spiritual Direction, spiritual warfare, Visions of the Saints

The Efficacious Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori:  “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” The chief thing is to persevere faithfully until death in this devotion.

Numerous examples show how agreeable the three Hail Marys Devotion is to the Divine Mother and what special graces it draws, during life and at the hour of death, on those who never omit it for a single day.

Many great saints have practiced and recommended the devotion of the “Three Hail Mary”. Here are the names of but a few of them: St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Bruno, St. Bonaventure, St. John Berchmans, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney (Cure of Ars), St. Anthony of Lisbon and of Padua, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. John Baptist de Rossi, St. Gerard Majella, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Marcellinus Champagnat, and, above all, the great Marian doctor St. Alphonsus Liguori who, in his writings recommended this devotion about twenty times.

This practice was revealed to St. Melchtilde while she was beseeching Our Blessed Mother to assist her in her hour of death. Our Lady appeared to her and said: “I will, certainly. But I also want you to say three special Hail Marys to me every day.

“The first Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Father, Whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you.”

“The second Hail Mary will be said in honor of the Son of God Who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled.”

“The third Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Holy Ghost Who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight.”

Our Blessed Mother also revealed to St. Gertrude the Great: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation.”

St. Leonard of Port Maurice, the celebrated missionary, had the Three Hail Marys recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or night; moreover he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice. He gave this devotion of Three Hail Marys as a penance in the confessional, especially for those who were struggling with sins of impurity.

Astonishing conversions, increase in virtues, cure of the sick, temptations conquered, business difficulties solved, holy death.and salvation.” 

– the promise made by the Blessed Virgin to St. Mechtilde.

The “Three Hail Marys”, are in the words of St Alphonsus Maria Liquori: “the best safeguard for chastity”

-This statement was recorded and attributed to St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori by St. Pius X; “that it is true, has been confirmed by our experiences as well as those of many missionaries” (according to Frassinetti). Even the number of graces and favors obtained through the practice of this devotion show us just how pleasing it is to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Here is the personal testimony of a sinner who used the devotion with good results: “For the last three years, I have been the slave of a bad habit against the virtue of purity. How could I get rid of this terrible passion? I tried every means available, but all proved useless. I used to give in to very serious sins and even to sacrileges. This was most disheartening. “Then, one day, someone recommended to me the devotion of the “Three Hail Marys”. And now, it is not yet quite one month since I started to pray the “Three Hail Marys” every morning and every night without fail. I cannot explain what has happened within me, but I do know and can assure you that, since the very first moment, it has produced wonderful results within me: I have not succumbed to the impure temptations since then. When I have been weak and just about ready to succumb, something or another has happened which has stopped me from giving in; and, indeed, I do know that it was something stronger than my desire of sinning.”

According to St. Gertrude (1256–1301), the Blessed Virgin Mary promised the following: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor of beauty so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with Heavenly consolation.”

Later on, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, “had the three Ave Marias recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or and night; moreover, he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) adopted this pious practice and highly recommended it. He told parents to train their children to acquire the habit of saying three Hail Marys in the morning and evening. After each Hail Mary, he advice that the following prayer be said: “By thy Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy.”

According to the St. Martha Catholic Church of the Pallottine Fathers, after Night Prayers, “Many Saints have had the practice of adding three “Hail Mary’s” here in honor of Mary’s purity for the grace of a chaste and holy life.”  Thus, it has been recommended as a daily practice for people who have received confirmation that they pray the Three Hail Marys for “purity of mind, heart and body” after examination of conscience.

Practice: Recite morning and evening, three Hail Marys in honor of the three great privileges bestowed upon Our Blessed Mother by the most Blessed Trinity with this invocation at the end: for the morning: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this day.” For the evening: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this night.”

(Pope St. Pius X gave his Apostolic Blessing to this practice and the devotion was raised to an Archconfraternity by Pope Benedict XV.)

Spiritual Direction

St.Gertrude on the Importance of the Morning Offering

St. Gertrude, tells us of a wicked man, full of hate for God, who on arising in the morning made this impious act: “O God, I believe in You, but I hate You with all the power of my soul. I wish that every act I do this day be an act of hate and blasphemy against You. I wish that every step I take, every word I say, every single act I do be a blasphemy against You, a blasphemy like to those that the devils in Hell are ever uttering.” Not satisfied with this diabolical act of wickedness, he repeated these words many times each day so that his every act was a blasphemy and an act of hate against God.

Now the Saint asks, why do not Christians do the contrary? Why do they not make their Morning Offering with great deliberation? It will only need a moment. It will make their every act an act of the love of God, as truly as the acts of that wicked man were acts of diabolical hate. Better still, if they sometimes during the day repeat this offering in a few words. For instance, when one is walking: “O my God, I wish that every step be an act of love for You.” What is to prevent us saying a few times every day: “O my God, every word I say I wish to be an act of love for You.” When writing we may pause for a moment and say to God: “My God, every word I write I wish to be an act of love for You.” Some ladies, when sewing, have the pious custom of saying, “O my Jesus, I wish that every stitch I give be an act of love for You.” The wonderful thing is that we thus make every act an act of great merit for ourselves. For every such act, we shall have a great reward in Heaven.

Our Lord said to one of His great servants: “Any Christian can make an act of love in a moment that will last for all Eternity.” Yet another time, He said: “One act of love gives Me more pleasure than a thousand hideous blasphemies give Me pain.” Now if one mortal sin deserves the awful pains of Hell for all eternity, surely one act of love, one good act must obtain a great reward for all eternity in Heaven. For every little cup of water we give to a poor man in God’s name, God gives an eternal reward. No sin, however small, goes without punishment. For every idle word that man shall speak he shall have to render an account for it in the Day of Judgment. So no good act goes without its special reward. What a wondrous thought! Every good act, no matter how small, will have an eternal reward in Heaven! This is what Our Lord tells us: “Taste and see how sweet My yoke is, how light My burden.”

God’s Religion is truly most beautiful and consoling. Surely, then, every intelligent Christian should make his Morning Offering with great attention and deliberation. It means only one short minute. It is, as we have explained, so easy. If he does not do it, what countless merits he loses and what glory and love he takes from God.

To obtain the protection of God’s Holy Mother we would do well to say daily this beautiful little prayer after the Morning Offering: My Mother and my Queen, I offer to thee this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my head, my soul, my whole being. Since I belong to thee, dearest Mother, protect me as thine own property and possession.

On rising in the morning we should drop on our knees for a moment and make the following offering to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord: Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the pure hands of Mary I offer Thee all the prayers, works and sufferings of this day and of all my life for the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart, for the Apostleship of Prayer and for all my own intentions. (Some like to add:) Every breath I draw this day, every beating of my heart, every step I take, every word I say, every movement of my body and mind I wish to be an act of love for Thee such as Thy Blessed Mother herself performed.

~Source:”How to Be Happy,How to Be Holy”

Spiritual Direction

St.Maximilian Kolbe’s Bullet Proof Plan For Life

On the night before he was ordained on April 27, 1918, Saint Maximilian Kolbe made a retreat and wrote out the following bullet-point plan for his life. As you will see, he was committed, determined, and serious about his walk with Christ.

St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Bullet-Point Plan for His Life

– Follow very faithfully the timetable of each day, and you will be safe.

– This very day begin to serve God.

– It may be that this is the last day of your life.

– Live it as if it were, indeed, the last day.

– Tomorrow is uncertain, yesterday is no longer yours. Only the present belongs to you.

– There is an ear which hears all, an eye which scrutinizes all the movements of the heart, a hand which takes note of all.

– Not being punished is the most terrible chastisement of all.

– If you want to avoid judgment, stop passing judgment. (Mt 7:1)

– St. Francis de Sales: “Fidelity in observing the rule is the sacrifice God prefers above all others; it is a mortification and a penance.”

– Love the most Blessed Virgin very deeply.

– Every action you perform will remain forever.

– Choose the least desirable things in food, clothes, tasks, and you will be dear to Jesus.

– Silence.

– The souls in Purgatory. Pray and work for sinners, for Holy Church.

– Make up by your fervor, for the time you have lost.

– Be a man, a Christian, a Religious.

Be a man:

Don’t blush for your convictions

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Have a sense of duty, fulfill it well, without being

concerned whether anyone is watching you. Act instead with a noble ambition.

Don’t worry about the evil in others.

Be a Catholic:

When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before whom you kneel.

Be a Religious:

A good intention in work is like the number ‘1’ in front of a lot of zeroes.

Men deprive themselves of great treasures when they work without a good intention.

As you arise in the morning, so you will be all day long.

Every action you do is noted down. Nothing will fail to be either rewarded or punished.

You might die this very day!

Be recollected; whoever pours himself out on exterior things quickly loses the graces he has acquired. A full jewel box is always kept closed.

– Humility:

Avoid all those words which can draw down on you glory, esteem, or the appreciation of others.

Let us listen unwillingly (without interest or reflection) and with interior reluctance to the words of those who praise or commend us. It is dangerous to listen to one’s own praise in the mouths of others. It makes one lose his good judgment. When others praise us let us keep our sins before our eyes. In this way we shall judge ourselves unworthy of any commendation, and consequently, we shall find an occasion for being ashamed of ourselves and for humbling ourselves.

Rejoice when you hear others praised.

Jealousy, attachment to one’s own glory, is a defeat.

Never do anything so that men may see and esteem you.

Never do anything out of human respect.

Do everything perfectly, because you are working in God’s presence, for God and not for men. In every situation think more about loving than about working.

Don’t offer excuses when you make a mistake. Don’t cast the blame on others. Do not offend by sarcasm those who correct you. Do not renounce in advance your errors which someone is trying to point out to you.

Practice for a long time and with zeal until you succeed in willing that your defects may not be hidden any longer, and until you learn how to rejoice when the others judge you imperfect. Do this to make up for your errors.

When you are reproved unjustly, do not excuse yourself.

Cut short all thoughts of pride.

Consider every friar superior to yourself, and yourself the least of all. Recognize everyone as better than yourself, not only in your thoughts, but also in your external deportment.

If you consider another superior to yourself, then:

You will converse with him more calmly.

You will never insult him in words, nor do anything to displease him; you will not suspect him.

It will be easy for you to accept a harsh or disrespectful word from him.

Willingly accept every opportunity for humbling yourself. Don’t be offended at:

A harsh word.

An imperious tone of voice.

Not being respected as much as you would like to be.

Welcome occasions of being disregarded and humiliated, first with patience, then willingly, without raising any difficulties and finally with joy. That will be perfect humility.

Make acts of humility (as also of the other virtues on which you are in your interior examining yourself), beginning with a rather small number of them; then increase these continually, and make more and more progress. This, in fact, is how one acquires a good habit and makes it grow strong.

Humility is the foundation of the virtues.