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Mary our comfort, and our hope

O may that word be given

To be the last we sigh on earth,

The first we breathe in Heaven.


Adelaide A. Procter. 

FATHER MICHAEL DE LA FONTAINE, S. J., was one of the first missionaries who labored for the salvation of the people of Peru, South America.  His greatest care when instructing the new converts was to inspire them with a sovereign horror of sin, and to lead them to great devotion towards the Mother of God, by speaking of the virtues of that admirable Virgin, and teaching them to recite the beads in her honor. 


Mary, on her part, did not refuse the favors asked of her.  One day, when exhausted with fatigue, he lay prostrate in the dust, not having strength to rise, he was visited by her whom the church styles the "Comforter of the Afflicted." She reanimated his courage, by saying to him, "Have confidence, my son ; your fatigues will take the place of purgatory for you; bear your sufferings patiently and, on leaving this life your soul will be received into the abode of the blessed." 


This vision was for Father de la Fontaine during life, but especially at the hour of his death, a source of abundant consolation. In gratitude for this favor, he each week practiced some particular penance.  At the moment when he expired, a religious of eminent virtue saw his soul take its flight to Heaven in company of the Blessed Virgin, the Prince of the Apostles, St. John the Evangelist, and of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus. 


He died on February 11, 1606, at Valencia, in Spain. 


O Christ! of Thy beautiful Mother

Must I hide her name down in my heart?

But ah! even there you will see it

With Thy Mother’s name, how can I part?


On Thy name all divine have I rested

In the days when my heart-trials came;

Sweet Christ, like to Thee I am human,

And I need Mary s pure human name.


Did I hear a voice? or was I dreaming?

O I heard or I sure seemed to hear

"Who blames you for loving my mother

Is wronging My heart do not fear.


"I am human even here in My heavens;

What I was I am still all the same;

And I still love my beautiful Mother

And thou, child of Mine, do the same."


1 was happy; because I am human

And Christ in the silences heard,

"Our Father," "Hail Mary," "Our Father,"

Repeated faithfully word after word.


Rev. Abram J. Ryan. 

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