Father Auriemma narrates that a poor little shepherdess loved Mary so much that she found all her delight in going to a little chapel of Our Lady on a mountain, and there in solitude, while her sheep were feeding, conversing with her Beloved Mother and paying her homage to Her.
When she saw that the figure of Mary, in relief, was unadorned, she began, by the poor labor of her hands, to make a drapery for it. One day, having gathered some flowers in the fields, she wove them into a crown, and then ascending the altar of that little chapel, placed it on the head of the figure, saying: “Oh, my Mother, would that I could place on Thy head a crown of gold and gems; but as I am poor, receive from me this poor crown of flowers, and accept it as a token of the love I bear thee.” Thus, this devout maiden always endeavored to serve and honor her beloved Lady.
Years later, it happened that two religious passing that way, weary with travelling, stopped to rest under a tree; one fell asleep and the other watched, but both had the same vision. They saw a company of beautiful virgins, and among them there was One who, in loveliness and majesty, surpassed the rest. One of the brothers addressed Her, and said: “Lady, who art thou? and where art thou going?”
“I am the mother of God,” she replied, “and I am going to the neighboring village, with these holy virgins, to visit a dying shepherdess, who has many times visited me.” She spoke thus and disappeared.
These two good servants of God proposed to each other to go and visit her also. They went towards the place where the dying maiden lived, entered a small cottage, and there found her lying upon a little straw. They saluted her, and she said to them: “Brothers, ask of God that He may permit you to see the company that surrounds me.”
They were quickly on their knees, and saw Mary, with a crown in Her hand by the side of the dying girl, consoling her. Then those holy virgins began to sing, and with that sweet music the blessed soul was released from the body. Mary crowned her, and took her soul with Her to paradise.
This beautiful story shows us what will happen at the end of our lives, if we honor Our Mother in Heaven. She, as a good Mother will take care of us. She will come to take us to heaven. We should do the same as this shepherdess did: visit Her often and not dishonor Her with our deeds.
If we do these things, we can be sure that She will come for us at the moment of our death in order to take us to heaven. This, and nothing else, is Her mission: to take souls to heaven. Let us ask Our Blessed Mother that She may grant us the grace never to dishonor Her with our deeds so that at the moment of our death She may never forget us, Her children who honor Her.