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Last Things – Invoke Our Blessed Mother on your death bed April 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, persecution, religious, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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God willing, this post may not be an immediate concern for any of us, but who knows?  It’s a good reminder, nonetheless, from the unjustly persecuted Fr. Stefano Manelli’s book Devotion to Our Lady:

If Our Lady was watching over us when we were newly born in Baptism, we ought to greatly 01 Annunciation - Jacopo Torriti 1296desire that She be at our side at our last hour.  Do we not ask this in every Hail Mary? – “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” It is on our deathbed that the final battle which determines our eternal fate is fought.  If we have Our Lady with us, we can be sure that then, as always, “she will crush the head” of the infernal serpent (Gen III:15).

For this reason, the Saints’ practice has been to pray and hope that they would have Our Lady at hand at the hour of death.  Note these touching words of St. Alphonsus in his Visits to the Blessed Virgin: “O Mary, my Mother, for the love You have for God I bet You to help me always, but especially during the last original_Praga-annunz-ai50-finalhours of my life. Do not leave me until You see me safe in Heaven, blessing and signing Your mercies for all eternity.  This I hope for.  May it come to be!”

St. Bonaventure wrote that “devoutly invoking the Virgin is a sign of salvation.”  A final prayer to Mary accompanied the passage of many Saints into life hereafter. Nor can we forget that Jesus seems to have said “Mother!” in the cry He uttered from the Cross before expiring (cf. Mt XXVII:50, Mk XV:37) –  a final, fond gesture of the sacred Humanity of the Son toward His sweet mother.  But let us consider the examples of some of the Saints:

  • St. Francis of Assisi died at the friary of St. Mary of the Angels at the feet of the heavenly Queen.
  • St. Anthony of Padua died singing the Marian hymn O gloriosa Domina! Escelsa super sidera…..
  • On his deathbed, St. Camillus of Lellis wanted a picture of Christ crucified with Our Lady at the foot of the Cross.  With what earnest he begged the Sorrowful Virgin to intercede for him!
  • St. Joseph Benedict Labre died afterr a final, lengthy prayer before Our Lady of the Mountains in Rome.
  • St. Joseph of the Cross was pronouncing his last words during his final agony when he said to a confrere, “Be mindful of Our Lady!”
  • St. Bernadette died as she prayed, “Holy Mary, pray for me, a poor sinner…..”
  • St. Vincent Gerosa, before expiring, said this final word, “Mary!”
  • A few days before her death, St. Gemma Galgani wrote a letter to Our Lady. At a certain point, addressing Jesus, she said, “Take my poor soul, O Jesus. Entrust it to Your Mother, and I shall not be afraid, even of hell.”  Just before she expired, she said, “My mother, I entrust my soul to you. Tell Jesus to have mercy on me.”
  • As St. Pio of Pietrelcina died, even up to his final inaudible breath, he kept murmuring the two names he loved, “Jesus-Mary.”

……Happy is the death of one who is calling upon Mary!  In those supreme moments one’s prayer to Our Lady draws down the heavenly comfort of feeling the presence of the Mother of all mercy. When one loves Our Lady, the recollection of that love gives him a filial confidence that he will be saved. St. Maddalena Sophia Barat in her pleasing way said, “The death of one truly devoted to Mary is a child’s leap into his mother’s arms.” 

————End Quote————

Always pray for the grace of a holy death!  So many people nowadays hope – or even pray – for a quick, sudden, Our Lady of the Expectation“painless” death.  This just shows how far detached so many people have come from consideration of their eternal destiny.  Praying for a holy death means that you pray you will have time to receive the Last Sacraments, Holy Viaticum, and all the graces and sacramentals possible prior to the soul escaping the body.  It also means having time to confess one’s sins!  And, as noted above, it provides time to exhort Our Lady and Our Blessed Lord to have mercy on us, to intercede for us, to aid us in being forgiven all our sins and dying in the State of Grace!

Pray for the Grace of a Holy Death, for you and all your family!  And remember, suffering born willingly, joyfully in this life will satisfy greatly our temporal debt due to our sins, and thus substantially reduce, or even eliminate, our sufferings in Purgatory!

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Comments

1. TG - April 2, 2014

Great post. Praying for a holy death for my loved ones and myself is one of my daily intentions. I also say a prayer for the dying in the a.m. and p.m. My Pieta prayer book has a beautiful prayer about dedicating the last 2 hours of your life to Our Lady.

tantamergo - April 2, 2014

Thank you. Those are great practices.

2. Woody - April 2, 2014

I thought you were done. What’s up?

tantamergo - April 2, 2014

You didn’t get my April Fool’s joke?

I’ll never be done.

Woody - April 2, 2014

Well, now we’re even.

tantamergo - April 2, 2014

Too dry for me, you got me.

3. Baseballmom - April 3, 2014

Beautiful post. I always pray for family and friends to have the “Grace of a holy and provided for death” – and pray for His Mercy as well.

4. Robert McDermott - April 3, 2014

What is the origin of the picture at the end of your post?

5. Terri - April 4, 2014

Great post!!! I do pray for a holy death for me and ALL of my family members daily as well. I will be storming heaven at the death bed of any of my family and INCLUDE at least the “three Hail Mary’s”, and also the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy”. Wish I would have known about it when my mom passed away in ’85, but it hadn’t come into view yet. Jesus promised St. Faustina when the Chaplet was recited in the presence of the dying that He would stand between the soul and God the Father not as a just judge but as a “merciful savior”. At least when my mom in law passed we said many Chaplets and several with her when she was still conscious…….don’t have to worry so much about her salvation. (She was a holy woman anyway in MHO…said the Rosary several times a day and went to daily Mass as often as possible….and was THRILLED when Fr. would come to her assisted living residence to hear confessions)

Good reminder about our Beloved Mother as she will NOT FAIL!

6. ikb - April 5, 2014

Gregorian masses are a great thing for people who have died. I had them said for my mother and there were also many additional masses said. something like 55 or so. the last two in my town, on those days I saw miraculous rainbow clouds in the sky…my mom is ok and I rest in peace and thanksgiving. never give up.

7. Last Things – Invoke Our Blessed Mother on your death bed | BroJo's UPDATES - April 5, 2014

[…] A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics,  April 2, 2014 […]

8. Charito Limio - April 6, 2014

I remember. When. I. Was. Young. Me n. My siblings. Will recite the Rosary. With my. Mom leading. The rosary. Thanks. To. My. Mom as. Young. As. We. We’re We. Did. It. Every. Night Before. Going. To. Bed. Now. As I go my. Work. I. Recite. My. Rosary. I. Feel. Safe. When. Praying. For. Myself. N. Family. N. My. Co-workers. N. The. People I. Work. For. Love, Chat.


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