Mary's Childpage 1 / 5
Near a great forest there lived a woodcutter with his wife. He had but one child, a three-year old girl. Now they were so poor that they no longer had their daily bread, and they did not know how they were to feed her.
One morning the woodcutter, filled with sorrow, went out to his work in the woods. While he was chopping wood suddenly there stood before him a beautiful tall woman with a crown of shining stars on her head.
She said to him, "I am the Virgin Mary, mother of the Baby Jesus. You are poor and needy. Bring your child to me. I will take her with me and be her mother and care for her."
The woodcutter obeyed, fetched his child, and turned her over to the Virgin Mary, who took her up into heaven with her. There the child fared well. She ate sweetened bread and drank fresh milk. Her clothes were of gold, and the little angels played with her.
When she was fourteen years old, the Virgin Mary summoned her one day and said, "Dear child, I am about to make a long journey. Take care of these keys to the thirteen doors of heaven. You may open twelve of these doors, and behold the glorious things inside, but the thirteenth door, to which this little key belongs, is forbidden for you. Be careful not to open it, or you will be unhappy."
The girl promised to be obedient, and when the Virgin Mary was gone, she began to examine the dwellings of the kingdom of heaven. Each day she opened one of them, until she had been to all twelve. An apostle, surrounded by great brilliance, sat in each one. She rejoiced in the magnificence and splendor, and the little angels who always accompanied her rejoiced with her.
Now only the forbidden door remained, and she felt a great desire to know what was hidden behind it. She said to the little angels, "I will not open it all the way, nor will I will go inside, but I will only unlock it so that we can see just a little through the crack."
"Oh no," said the little angels, "that would be a sin. The Virgin Mary has forbidden it, and it might easily lead to unhappiness for you."