He might have grown up to into a man this way, if God had not stopped him by means of a dream. One day at school he fell asleep on his books. As he was sleeping, he dreamed that he was going through a field which was soft and marshy. He could scarcely walk, because at every step he took his feet sank deeper and deeper into the mire, and they became completely covered with mud.
He could see that along the side of this terrible field there was a splendid road, with gardens on one side of it. They were full of beautiful trees and he could smell the sweet fragrance of flowers. Coming down this road, the boy thought he saw Our Blessed Lady, surrounded by a multitude of holy women dressed in white. Then the boy saw someone who was very dear to him but who he had not seen in long time. He saw his own deceased mother with the women.
His heart was filled with joy when he saw his mother and he tried at once to run to her and throw himself into her arms. But he could not move from the spot where he stood. His feet were implanted so firmly in the soft ground. He stretched out his arms towards her, trying as hard as he could to free himself, but all his efforts were in vain. The boy was stuck in the thick mud and couldn’t get out. He was forced to stay back.
Our Blessed Lady then said to him : "My child, if you wish to come to me, and to be with your good mother in Heaven, you must become a better boy than you are; for you will never reach us in Heaven if you continue to be lazy and disobedient. You must henceforth be diligent and pious, and you must do every thing your Superiors tell you to do, for in doing that you will serve God, and those who serve God on earth will one day see Him in Heaven."
When Ansgar awoke he saw that he had been dreaming, but the dream seemed to be always before his mind. From that day he became a better boy. In a very short time he was at the head of his class, and none of his companions were ever able to get above him. His teachers wondered how this sudden change had been brought about, and how one who had given them so much trouble had become so good and obedient all at once. But the boy kept his secret to himself, and told no one. It was only long afterwards, when he became an apostle among the Danes, that people knew of the dream, and of the firm resolution he had taken in consequence of it to become a faithful child of God, and to spend all his life in serving Him.
Ansgar is now a Saint in Paradise because he became a pious and obedient boy in school. If we imitate the good example he has given us, we shall also one day share with him his eternal happiness.