The Protestant Boy and the Virgin Mary

A beautiful story of how our heavenly Mother’s love touched the heart of a young boy, calling him into the Church.A six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his fellow Catholics pray the Hail Mary. He liked it so much that he memorized it and prayed it every day. “Look, mommy, what a beautiful prayer,” he told his mother one day.

“Do not say it again,” replied the mother. “It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who worship idols and think that Mary is a goddess. She is a woman like any other. Come on. Take this Bible and read it. It contains everything we have to do.” From that day on, the boy stopped praying his Hail Mary every day and spent more time reading the Bible.

One day, while reading the Gospel, he saw the passage on the Annunciation of the Angel to the Virgin. Full of joy, the boy ran to his mother and said: “Mommy, I found the Hail Mary in the Bible: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women’. Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?” She did not answer. On another occasion, he found the scene of Elizabeth’s salutation to the Virgin Mary and the beautiful canticle of the Magnificat, in which Mary announced: ‘from now on all generations shall call me blessed’. He did not say anything to his mother and began to pray the Hail Mary every day again, as he used to do. He felt pleasure in telling those beautiful words to the Mother of Jesus, Our Savior.

When he turned fourteen, one day he heard his family discussing about Our Lady. They all said that Mary was an ordinary woman. The boy, after hearing their erroneous reasoning, could not take it anymore and, full of indignation, he interrupted them saying: “Mary is not like any other son of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONG WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus and consequently, the Mother of God. There is no greater dignity to which a creature can aspire. The Gospel says that all generations shall call her blessed, while you try to despise her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or the Bible you claim is the foundation of the Christian religion.”

The impression made by the boy’s words on his mother was so deep that she often wept inconsolably: “Oh, God, I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of the Popes!” And indeed, a short time later, the son was convinced that the Catholic religion was the only authentic one, he embraced it and became one of his most ardent apostles.

A few years after his conversion, the protagonist of our story found his sister already married. He wanted to greet her and hug her, but she rejected him and said indignantly: “You have no idea how much I love my children. If one of them wanted to become Catholic, I would first bury a dagger in their heart than allow them to embrace the religion of the Popes.”

Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion. However, she would soon change her mind, as happened to St. Paul on his way to Damascus. It happened that one of her children fell seriously ill. The doctors gave no hope for his recovery. As soon as her brother found out, he looked for her in the hospital and spoke to her with affection, saying: “Dear sister, you naturally want your child to be cured. Very well, then do what I’m going to ask you. Let us pray together a Hail Mary and promise God, that if your child recovers, you will study the Catholic doctrine. And in case you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you will embrace it no matter what sacrifices this implies.”

His sister was initially reluctant, but she wanted her son to recover, so she accepted his brother’s proposal and prayed with him a Hail Mary. The next day, her son was completely healed. The mother fulfilled her promise and began studying the Catholic doctrine. After intense preparation, she received Baptism in the Catholic Church along with her entire family. How much she thanked her brother that he had been an apostle to her.

This story was told by Father Francis Tuckwell in one of his homilies. “Brothers,” he concluded, “the Protestant boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism, devoted his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who speaks to you now. How much I owe to the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady! You too, my dear brothers, dedicate yourselves completely to serving Our Lady and do not let a single day pass without saying the beautiful prayer of the Hail Mary as well as your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and against which ‘the gates of hell will never prevail’.”

 

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13 Responses to The Protestant Boy and the Virgin Mary

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Great story. I forget that some Protestants have such abrasive and ugly thoughts about and for Catholicism.

  2. johnhenrycn says:

    Fr Tuckwell reminds me of a 4 year old Protestant boy I used to know.

  3. A very moving story, and it would be even more moving if there more information about Father Tuckwell. Otherwise, some people might think the story is apocryphal. When did Father Tuckwell live? Was he an American? British? Where did he study? Where was he ordained? Where did he work? I tried to google answers to those questions, but found nothing.

  4. kathleen says:

    @ Robert John

    I know nothing about Fr Tuckwell, but according to the spelling and style of writing in this article I would say he is definitely an American.

    Apologies for not including a link to the original website, Catholicity blog, where the article came from – (that was my omission). From the other articles at this site I would judge it to be totally orthodox, and thus a reliable source of information. There was no comment section there, so I couldn’t let them know I was reblogging this very moving story.

    The longer I live the more I am entranced by the wonderful stories I hear of converts to the Catholic Church. These often (almost always) have some connection to Our Blessed Mother Mary. She invariably is the One who touches the curiosity or the heart of the non-Catholic and sets the ball rolling towards conversion.

    It was that way with my own mother, who, when she was a little girl out with her mother and siblings, found a Rosary on the pavement. She thought it was a pretty necklace and picked it up in delight. Her mother (my Granny) told her it was “a ‘thing’ Roman Catholics use to pray to Mary” and simply dismissed it. But my mother kept the Rosary with her and often looked at it. Later on, at only 18 years old and having studied the history of the Catholic Faith, she converted to Catholicism.

  5. Toad says:

    Not so long ago on CP&S – (A year? Six months?) I would put forward some contrarian view, usually in question form. It would be published, and cordially discussed. Often, I would be given a good-natured verbal kicking – and quite right too. I didn’t mind at all – enjoyed it, in fact.
    Now, I’m censored and gagged constantly, as on this ‘thread.’
    Why? What has happened? Have I changed? Or has CP&S?

  6. Thank you very much for all this detailed information. And your mother’s experience is very moving as well.

    I suppose you’ve heard the story that Bishop Fulton Sheen used to tell:

    One day the Good Lord was making a tour of heaven, and after seeing some of the souls there, he went over to St. Peter and said, “Peter, are you really sure that some of the people you let past the door truly belong here?”

    Peter, who seemed to be in an exasperated frame of mind answered, “Lord, I know what you mean, but with some of these people, well, as fast as I turn them away from the door, Your Mother pulls them in through the window!”

  7. mmvc says:

    RJB :o)

  8. geoffkiernan says:

    Toad: Perhaps one day the penny will drop….

  9. kathleen says:

    @ Robert John yesterday

    Thank you 😊. And such a lovely story of Our Blessed Lady, “refuge of sinners”.

  10. kathleen says:

    Geoff to Toad:
    ”Perhaps one day the penny will drop…”

    For his sake I certainly hope so, but after more than seven and a half years he is still spinning on his merry-go-round of relativism; still asking the same old questions; still refusing to even begin to try to understand the replies; still relishing in mockery and ridicule of everything Sacred and Divine; still blaming God for the sins of men; still feeling he has the right to spout his profanities and nonsense here without being moderated, etc, etc.

    If only he would – just for this once – take a little spoonful of ‘humility’, then sit down to absorb and ponder this year’s Lenten meditations of St Alphonsus Liguori.

    And if only he could discover just how much God loves him and waits for him to open the doors of his heart….

  11. Toad says:

    ”…still blaming God for the sins of men;”

    Not so, Kathleen. I blame God for nothing whatsoever, good or bad.
    Because I don’t believe He is responsible for anything on earth, including disease, bad weather, and earthquakes. They are the price we pay for existence on a living and unstable planet.
    Nor do I blame His supposed sparring partner, The Devil, in whom I do not believe one bit.
    Sins ‘R Us. …As you very rightly say

    Seven and a half years? Well, you can hardly fault me for tenacity. More like idiocy.
    Geoff is almost certainly right.

  12. johnhenrycn says:

    Other wonderful news from Cardinal Sarah, and also from Pope Francis, concerning Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, who led Fr Tuckwell and me home to Rome.
    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/memorial-of-mary-mother-of-the-church-added-to-liturgical-calendar-43501

  13. Marian Catholic says:

    What an amazing story. It’s almost as if the Virgin Mary had appeared to the boy as she had to Bernadette or the three shepherd children of Fatima. The young lad was surely filled with an abundance of wisdom.

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