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How St. Francis de Sales was tried

 

While St. Francis was studying in Paris he was plagued by a recurring temptation. He was then seventeen years of age. It seemed to him that someone was continually whispering in his ear these words: “God destines you to be eternally lost; nothing will help you avoid your fate.” This idea too such hold of the young man’s mind that he could not sleep and did not care to eat. He gradually grew thin and sick looking. In desperation, he sought out the help of the Mother of God. He went into a church, knelt down before her statue and prated the well-known prayer: “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help and sought thy intercession, was left unaided.” Again and again he knelt before that same image and repeated the same prayer. Then suddenly he felt himself completely freed from the temptation. His health returned and he regained his former joyous, cheerful frame of mind. From that time on he cherished a deep devotion to the Mother of God.

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