Index to Older Stories
St. Pelagia, an actress of Antioch, led a very extravagant, sinful life, although she had been enrolled among those preparing for baptism. At the time when she lived such a scandalous life in that populous city, a council was held. During the sermon Pelagia glittering with gold and jewels passed by. The bishops turned away their faces, whilst St. Nonnus fixed his eyes upon her and said: "God according to His infinite mercy will grant mercy to that woman, the work of His hands." She ws touched at these words and shed plentiful tears. She wrote a letter to St. Nonnus, who granted her request. In the presence of the bishops she was baptized. Immediately thereupon she divided her jewels and riches among the poor, took the veil and went to Mount Olivet, where she buried herself, as it were, in a cave, and bewailed her sins with most bitter tears. Often she was tempted most severely; but having recourse to Mary, the ever-blessed Virgin, she nevermore lost Jesus by sin until her penitential, holy death.
O holy Mother Mary, receive me under thy protection, as thou didst thy divine Son. Often have I lost Him by sin; assist me in finding Him again. Often have I disobeyed His holy commandments but obtain thou for me the virtue of obedience, that I nevermore lose Him on earth, and be with Him forever in heaven. Amen.
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