A young man in Perugia once promised the Devil that if he would help him to commit a sinful act which he desired to do, he would give him his soul; and he gave him a writing to that effect, signed with his blood. The evil deed was committed, and the Devil demanded the performance of the promise.
He led the young man to a well, and threatened to take him body and soul to Hell if he would not cast himself into it. The wretched youth, thinking that it would be impossible for him to escape from his Enemy, climbed the well-side in order to cast himself into it, but terrified at the thought of death, he said to the Devil that he had not the courage to throw himself in, and that, if he wished to see him dead, he himself should thrust him in. The young man wore about his neck the Scapular of the Sorrowing Mary; and the Devil said to him: Take off that scapular, and I will thrust you in.
But the youth, seeing the protection which the divine Mother still gave him through that Scapular, refused to take it off, and after a great deal of altercation, the Devil departed in confusion. The sinner repented, and grateful to his Sorrowful Mother, went to thank Her, and presented a picture of this case, as an offering, at Her altar in the new Church of Santa Maria, in Perugia.
- St Alphonsus Ligouri