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But should we unhappily presume on our liberty to tear ourselves for a moment from her arms and stretch out our hands to Satan, our heavenly Mother would still come to our aid, by preventing this cruel tyrant from exercising over us the power into which our fault has betrayed us, and by forcing him to give us time to gain our pardon.
In a touching allegory Holy Scripture describes this manifestation of Mary’s mercy. The sons of Respha had been delivered up to the Gabaonites, who crucified them. By their bodies, keeping untiring watch to defend their remains from the birds of the air by day and from the beasts of the field by night, was their mother. Nor did she leave them until king David had them taken down from the cross, and had them buried with the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son. Such is the image of Mary, watching over fallen souls, in order to prevent hell from completing the work of their destruction, and ceaselessly drawing upon them the cleansing waters of sorrow and repentance: donec stilleret eos aqua de cælo . . . until there fall upon them dew from heaven.