I once knew a family with a very pious mother and a young son who was an officer. While in service, the young man forgot God and began leading a loose life. His mother tried ever so hard to influence him, but it was all in vain, and she fervently prayed to the Mother of God for the salvation of his soul.
On her deathbed, she took his promise to fulfil her last will. The son agreed. Her last wish was for him to go to church after her funeral and venerate the miraculous image of the Queen of Heaven. The request of his dying mother struck the young officer like a thunderbolt. Fulfilling it seemed terrible to him in the light of his dissipated life and the mood of his soul at that time. His faith was not yet completely extinguished, and he understood what blasphemy was.
When she died, despite the depth of his fall and the awe before the sacred, he considered it impossible to break the officer’s word and forced himself to go.
It felt as if a storm was arising in his soul as he was approaching the church, making it more and more difficult for him to walk. But the remaining sense of duty made him enter. He saw the icon of the Mother of God that he was supposed to venerate. Sweat beaded on his face, and he couldn’t budge. With great effort he took a step forward and stopped again. It took him over an hour to overcome a few steps, the distance between him and the icon. When finally he summoned all his strength and kissed the icon, he immediately fell unconscious.
When he came to his senses, he was already a different person, as if the veil fell from his eyes. He saw all the depth of his fall and all the bitterness that he had caused his mother.
After that he completely changed his life. He began attending church and fervently prayed for the forgiveness of his sins and for the repose of his mother, whose prayers saved his soul.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds
Source: Mother’s tears. About the Great Power of Motherly Prayer for Children. / Comp. G.P. Chinyakova. – Moscow: Covcheg. Paraclite, 2001 .– 224 p.