The story of Esther
We publish a short story of Esther. The story shows how Esther was assisted through Our Lady.
Esther Leggues was the daughter of protestant parents, residing at St. Malo (France): she received from heaven a very lively faith. From the age of five years she was fond of following the catholic children to church; and even privately visited the Ursuline Nuns, for whom she had contracted great esteem. At six years of age, she resolved to profess the Catholic religion, and she even then began to abstain on the days commanded, without any regard to the presence of her parents, who used flesh meat. Her mother was so irritated at this, that she frequently struck her: — Esther remained firm, but conducted herself with great sweetness and respect for her parents. She continued daily to recite the Catholic prayers, and especially to address the mother of God in the words of the Angel: "Hail Mary".
One day when her Catholic companions 3 pretended to flee away from her as a Huguenot, — the name by which protestants were then known in France, — the poor child began to cry, and said, with tears in her eyes; "although all should abandon me, I will endeavour to secure my salvation as well as I can; and although alone, I will be protected by God, and assisted by the Blessed Virgin".
From that period her young friends became still more attached to her, and favoured more and more her pious intentions. One of them kept her beads for her, which Esther would have been afraid to have at home. At the age of ten years, this extraordinary child asked to receive confirmation from the bishop of St. Malo, who, seeing the liveliness of her faith, was unable to refuse her request, and accordingly confirmed her. She promised to observe the laws of the church, even were her father and mother to kill her, as they sometimes threatened. Meanwhile her parents resolved to bring her to a protestant church. As soon as Esther was aware of this, she besought God to take her out of life; and her prayer was heard, for some short time afterwards she fell dangerously ill. When her companions visited her, she told them that her beads had been taken from her, but that she continued to recite the rosary by reckoning the decades on her fingers. After a few days sickness, she resigned her pure soul to the hands of her Creator, whom she served so innocently, and loved with such early and strong affection.
Taken from "New month of Mary" by Fr. Francis Patrick Kenrick