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Sins Cancelled, Book Becomes White

St. Alphonsus de Liguori
It is related by Rupensis and by Boniface that in Florence there lived a young girl named Benedetta (the blessed), although she might better have been called Maladetta (the cursed), from the scandalous and wicked life she led.

praying girl

A young woman has recourse to Our Lady

Happily for her, St. Dominic happened to preach in that city and, from mere curiosity, she went one day to hear him. But the Lord touched her heart during the sermon, so that, weeping bitterly, she went to make her confession to the saint. St. Dominic heard her confession, gave her absolution, and directed her to say the Rosary.

But the unhappy girl, by the force of her evil habits, returned to her wicked life. The Saint heard of it, and going to her, he induced her to confess once more. One day, in order to confirm her in her good life, God showed her Hell and some persons there, who had been already condemned on her account. Then, opening a book, God made her read in it the frightful record of her sins.

The penitent shuddered at the sight and, full of confidence, had recourse to Mary. She begged her help and learned that this Divine Mother had already obtained for her from God time enough to mourn for her numerous sins.

The vision disappeared and Benedetta devoted herself to a good life, but always saw open before her eyes that dark record in the book. One day, she addressed herself to her advocate in these words: "O my Mother, it is true that for my sins I should now be deep in Hell. But since thou, by thy intercession, hast liberated me from it by obtaining for me time for repentance, most merciful Lady, I ask of thee one other favor. I will never cease to weep for my sins, but do thou obtain for me that they may be cancelled from that book."

death and meditation

A clean page, gained through penance and the intercession of Our Lady

After this prayer, Mary appeared to her and told her that, in order to obtain what she asked, she must preserve an eternal remembrance of her sins and of the mercy of God towards her. Still more, she must meditate often on the Passion of her Son, which He suffered for love of her. Also, she must bear in mind that many had been damned who had committed fewer sins than she had done. Our Lady then revealed to her that a child of only eight years of age, for just one mortal sin, had been that day condemned to Hell.

Benedetta faithfully took these words to heart and obeyed the Holy Virgin. Finally, one day she beheld Our Lord Jesus Christ, who showed her that dreaded book, and said to her: "Behold, thy sins are cancelled; the book is white. Inscribe on it now acts of love and of virtue."

Benedetta did this, led a holy life and died a holy death.


Excerpt from St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary,
NY: PJ Kenedy & Sons, 1988, pp. 327-329
Posted March 23, 2019


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