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Story: At the very start of his ministry in Florence, Savonarola the Italian political reformer (1452-1498) noticed an elderly woman who used to come and pray regularly before that statue of the Virgin Mary.


One day, Savonarola took an elderly priest aside , who had been serving in the cathedral for many years, and said,


"Look how devoted this woman is. She comes every day to offer prayers to the blessed Mother of Jesus. What a marvellous act of faith."


But the elderly priest replied,


"Do not be deceived by what you see. Many years ago when the sculptor needed a model to pose for this statue of the blessed Mother, he hired a beautiful young woman to sit for him. This devout worshiper you see here everyday is that young woman. She is worshiping who she used to be."