Most Sacred Heart

PRAYERS OF ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

FOR PARDON OF SINS

See, Mother of my God! at thy feet a wretched sinner, who has recourse to thee. I am not worthy that thou shouldst even cast thine eyes upon me; yet well I know that thou, beholding Jesus, thy Son dying for sinners, dost thyself yearn to save them.

O Mother of mercy! look on my miseries and have pity on me. Men say thou art the refuge of the sinner, the hope of the despairing, the aid of the abandoned; be thou, then, my refuge, my hope, and my aid.

It is thy prayers which must save me. For the love of Jesus Christ be thou my help, reach forth thy hand to the poor fallen wretch who cries to thee for succor.

I know that thy heart delights to aid the sinner when thou canst; help me, then, now whilst thou canst.

My sins have forfeited the grace of God and my own soul. Behold me in thy hands. O tell me what to do that I may regain my Saviour's grace, and lo! I do it.

He bids me go to thee for help; he wills that I should seek thy tender pity's refuge, that so not thy dear Son's merits only, but thine own prayers too may help to save me.

To thee, then, I have recourse; pray thou to Jesus for me, and make me know and feel what thou canst do for one who trusts in thee. Be it done unto me according to my hope. Amen.

Three Hail Marys.

FOR HOLY PERSEVERANCE

Most holy Mary, queen of heaven! I who was once the slave of Satan, now dedicate myself to thy service forever. I offer myself to honor and to serve thee while I live. Accept me as thy willing servant and cast me not from thee as I deserve.

Mother! in thee have I placed all my hope. All blessing and thanksgiving be to God, who, in his mercy, giveth me this trust in thee.

True it is that in the past I was miserably fallen in sin. But through the merits of Jesus Christ, and by thy prayers, I hope God has pardoned me my sins.

Yet it is not enough, my Mother! to be forgiven, whilst the thought appals me that I may still lose the grace of God. Danger is ever nigh, the devil sleeps not, fresh temptations assail me.

Protect me, then, my sovereign mistress! help me against the assaults of hell. O never, never, let me sin again, and offend Jesus thy Son. No never, never more suffer me to risk my soul, heaven, and my God, by sin. For this one grace I ask thee, Mary! this I desire; this may thy prayers obtain for me. Such is my hope. Amen.

Three Hail Marys.

FOR A GOOD DEATH

Holiest Mary, Mother of goodness! Mother of mercy! when I reflect on my sins and on the moment of my death, I tremble and am filled with confusion. My sweetest Mother! in the blood of Jesus, and in thy intercession are my hopes.

Comfort of the afflicted! abandon me not at my death agony; fail not to console me in that great affliction. If even now I am so tormented with remorse for sin, connected by the uncertainty of forgiveness, by the danger of a relapse, and the rigor of divine justice, how will it be then?

Mother! before death overtakes me, obtain for me a great sorrow for my sins, a true amendment, and a constant fidelity to God in all that yet remains to me of life.

And when, indeed, my hour is come, then do thou, Mary! be my hope, be thou mine aid in the anguish in which my soul will be overwhelmed; when the enemy sets before my face my sins, oh! comfort me then, that I may not despair.

Obtain for me at that moment to invoke thee often, that with thine own sweet name and that of thy most holy Son upon my lips, I may breathe forth my spirit. This grace thou hast granted to many of thy servants: I, too, desire it and hope to obtain it.

Three Hail Marys.

FOR PRESERVATION FROM HELL

Mother of God, most holy Mary! how often, by my sins, have I merited hell! Ere now the judgment had gone forth against my first mortal sin, hadst not thou, in thy tender pity, stayed awhile God's justice, and then softening my hard heart drawn me on to take confidence in thee.

And oh! how often, in dangers which beset my steps, had I fallen, hadst not thou, loving Mother! that thou art, preserved me by the graces which thou didst obtain for me.

My queen! what will thy pity and thy favor have availed me, if I perish in the flames of hell? If ever I have not loved thee, now, after God, I love thee above all things. Ah suffer not that I turn away from thee and from God, who through thee hath granted me so many mercies.

Lady most worthy of all love! suffer not that I be doomed to hate and curse thee forever in hell. Couldst thou bear to see a servant whom thou lovest, lost forever? O Mary! say not so. Say not that I shall be among the lost, yet lost am I assuredly, if I abandon thee. But who can have the heart to leave thee? How can I ever forget the love which thou hast borne me? No, it is impossible for him to perish who hath recourse to thee, and who, with loyal heart, confides in thee.

Leave me not to myself, my Mother! or I am lost. Let me ever have recourse to thee. Save me, my hope! save me from hell, and first from sin, which alone can cause my eternal ruin.

Three Hail Marys.

FOR OBTAINING PARADISE

Queen of heaven! sitting enthroned above the nine choirs of Angels, nighest to God, from this vale of tears I, a wretched sinner, hail thee, praying thee, in thy love, to turn on me those gracious eyes of thine.

See, Mary! see the danger in which I am and ever shall be, whilst I live upon this earth, of losing my soul, paradise, and God. In thee, Lady! is my hope. I love thee and I sigh after the time when I shall see thee and praise thee in heaven's courts.

O Mary! when will that blessed day come that I shall see myself safe at thy feet? When shall I kiss that hand so often outstretched to minister graces to me? Alas! too true it is, my Mother! that in my life I have often been ungrateful; but if I reach heaven, there I will love thee for all eternity, and make reparation for my ingratitude by ever blessing and praising thee.

Thanks be to God for having given me such trust in the precious blood of Jesus, and in thy powerful intercession. In these, thy true servants have ever hoped, and none of them has been disappointed. No, neither shall I be deceived in mine.

O Mary! pray to thy Son Jesus, and I will pray him too, by all the merits of his passion, to strengthen and increase this my hope.

Three Hail Marys.

FOR OBTAINING THE LOVE OF JESUS AND MARY

Mary! of all creation the noblest, highest, purest, fairest, holiest work of God! O that all men knew thee, and loved thee, my queen! as thou deservest to be loved!

Yet great is my consolation, Mary! that so many blessed souls in heaven, and so many just souls still on earth, are filled with love for thy beauty and goodness. But above all I rejoice in this, that God himself loves thee alone more than all men and angels.

I too, loveliest queen! I a miserable sinner dare to love thee, mean though my love be. I would I had greater love, more tender love: this thou must gain for me, since to love thee is the surest mark of predestination, and a grace which God vouchsafes to the elect.

Then, too, my Mother! when I reflect upon the debt I owe thy Son, I see that his love for me demands in return an immeasurable love. Do thou, who desirest nothing else than to see him loved, pray that I may obtain this grace—a great love of Jesus Christ. Obtain it, thou who obtainest from God what thou wilt. Not goods of earth, nor honor, nor riches do I covet, but that which thine own heart desires most—to love my God alone. Oh can it be that thou wilt not aid me in a desire so acceptable to thee! Impossible! even now I feel thy help, even now thou prayest for me.

Pray Mary! pray; and never cease to pray, till thou dost see me safe in paradise, sure of possessing and loving my God and thee, my dearest Mother! for ever and ever. Amen.

Three Hail Marys.

FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

O my most holy Mother! on the one hand I see the graces which thou hast obtained for me; and on the other, the ingratitude I have shown thee. The ungrateful are unworthy of all favors; yet not for this will I distrust thy mercy.

Great advocate, have pity on me! Thou Mary! dost bestow every grace which God vouchsafes to us sinners, and, therefore, did he make thee mighty, rich and kind that so thou mightest succor us.

I wish to save my soul. In thy hands I place my eternal welfare; to thee I intrust my soul. I wish to be of those who are thy especial servants: cast me not, then, away.

Thou art seeking the wretched to console them. Do not abandon a wretched sinner, who has recourse to thee. Speak for me, Mary! thy Son grants what thou askest. Take me under thy protection, and it is enough, because with thee to guard me, I fear no ill. No, not my sins, because thou wilt obtain God's pardon for them; nor the devils, because thou art far mightier than hell; nor my judge, Jesus Christ, for at thy prayer, he will lay aside his wrath.

Protect me, then, my Mother! obtain for me pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, holy perseverance, a good death, and paradise. It is true, I merit not these graces; yet do thou only ask them of our God, and lo! they shall be mine. Pray, then, to Jesus for me. Mary, my queen! in thee I trust; in this trust I rest, I live; in this trust I hope to die. Amen.

Three Hail Marys.

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