Chapter I (cont'd)
Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae
Mary, Our Queen, Our Mother


The Annunciation - by MURILLO, Bartolomι Esteban - from Museo del Prado, Madrid

 

She is Truly our Mother;
not indeed Carnally, but Spiritually;
of our Souls, and of our Salvation

 

Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes,
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Hail our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope.
To you do we Cry, Poor Banished Children-of-Eve,
to you do we Send-up our Sighs,
Mourning and Weeping in this Valley-of-Tears.
Turn then, most Gracious Advocate
your Eyes-of-Mercy, toward us.
And after this, our Exile,
Show us the Fruit of your Womb, Jesus.
O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.

 

Nota Bene: Bible verses quoted in this Book are from the English Douay-Rheims Translation, Commissioned-by the Catholic Church.

 

Chapter I (cont'd)
Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae
Mary, Our Queen, Our Mother

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Chapter I, Section II
How much our Confidence in Mary should be Increased,
Because she is our Mother.

It is not without a Meaning, or by-Chance, that Mary's Clients call her Mother; and indeed they seem unable to Invoke her under any other name, and never Tire-of 'Calling' her Mother. Mother, Yes! For she is Truly our Mother; not indeed Carnally, but Spiritually; of our Souls and of our Salvation.

Sin, by Depriving our Souls of Divine Grace, Deprived them also of Life. Jesus our Redeemer, with an Excess-of Mercy and Love, came to 'Restore' this Life, by His own Death on the Cross, as He Himself declared: "I am Come, that they may have Life, and may have it more Abundantly" - ("Ego veni ut vitam habeant, et abundantius habeant" — John 10:10). He says "more Abundantly"; for, according-to Theologians, the Benefit of Redemption, far-Exceeded the Injury, done by Adam's Sin. So that by Reconciling us with God, He made Himself the Father-of-Souls in the Law-of-Grace, as it was 'Foretold' by the Prophet Isaiah: "He shall be called the Father of the World to come, the Prince-of-Peace" - ("Pater future saeculi, princes pacis" — Isaiah 9:6). But, if Jesus is the Father-of our Souls, Mary is also their Mother; for she, by-Giving us Jesus, Gave us True Life; and afterwards, by 'Offering' the Life-of her Son on Mount Calvary for our Salvation, she 'Brought' us Forth, to the Life-of-Grace.

On Two (2) Occasions, then, according-to the Holy Fathers, Mary became our Spiritual Mother.

The First (1st), according-to Blessed-Albert-the-Great (De Laud. B. M. l. 6, c. 1.), was when she Merited to 'Conceive' in her Virginal Womb, the Son-of-God. Saint-Bernardine-of-Sienna says the same-thing, more distinctly; for he tells us, "that when at the Annunciation, the most Blessed Virgin gave the 'Consent', which was Expected-by the Eternal Word, before becoming her Son; she, from that Moment, asked our Salvation of God with Intense Ardor, and took it to Heart in such a way, that from that Moment, as a most Loving Mother, she Bore us in her Womb" ("Virgo per hunc consensum, in Incarnatione filii omnium electorum salutem viscerosissime expetiit et procuravit; et omnium salvationi per hunc consensum se dedicavit, ita ut ex tunc omnes in suis visceribus bajularet, tanquam verissima mater filios suos" — Pro Fest. V. M. s. 8, a. 2, c. 2).

In the Second (2nd) Chapter of Saint Luke, the Evangelist, Speaking-of the Birth-of our Blessed Redeemer, says that Mary "Brought-forth her First-born Son" - ("Peperit Filium suum primogenitum" — Luke 2:7). Then, remarks an Author, "since the Evangelist asserts that on this Occasion, the most Holy Virgin brought-forth her First-Born, must we suppose that she had afterwards other children"? But then he replies to his own question, saying, "that as it is of Faith, that Mary had no other children according-to the Flesh, than Jesus, she must have had other Spiritual Children, and we are those Children". This was Revealed-by Our Lord to Saint Gertrude ("Si primogenitus, ergo alii filii secuti sunt secundomeniti . . . Carnales nullos habuit Beata Virgo praeter Christum; ergo spirituals habeat necesse est" — Spann. Polyanth. litt. m. t. 6), who was One day 'Reading' the above Text, and was 'Perplexed' and could not 'Understand' how Mary, being only the Mother of Jesus, could be said to have Brought-forth her First-Born. God 'Explained' it to her, saying, that Jesus was Mary's First-Born according-to the Flesh, but that all Mankind were her Second-Born, according to the Spirit (Insin. l. 4, c. 3).

From what has been said, we can 'Understand' that Passage-of the Sacred Canticles: "Thy Belly is like a Heap-of-Wheat, set about with Lilies" - ("Venter tuus sicut acervus tritici, vallatus lilies" — Canticles 7:2), and which applies to Mary. And it is explained by Saint Ambrose, who says: "That although in the most pure Womb-of-Mary, there was but One (1) Grain-of-Corn, which was Jesus Christ, yet it is Called a Heap-of-Wheat, because all the Elect were Virtually contained-in it" and as Mary was also to be their Mother, in Bringing-forth Jesus, He was Truly, and is Called, the First (1st)-Born of many Brethren ("Unum granum frumenti fuit in utero Virginis, Christus Dominus; et tamen 'acervus tritici' dicitur, quia granum hoc virtute omnes electos continent, 'ut sit ipse primogenitus in multis fratribus'" — Ap. Novar. Umbra V. c. 63). And the Abbot-Saint-William 'Writes', in the same sense, saying, "that Mary, in bringing forth Jesus, our Savior and our Life, brought forth many unto Salvation; and by giving Birth to Life itself, she gave Life to many" - ("Inillo uno fructu, in uno Salvatore omnium Jesu, piurimos Maria peperit ad salutem; pariendo Vitam, multos peperit ad vitam" — Delrio, In Cant. iv. 13).

Crucifixion -
by LIEFERINXE, Josse -
from Musιe du Louvre, Paris

 

The Second (2nd) Occasion, on which Mary became our Spiritual Mother, and 'Brought' us Forth-to the Life-of-Grace, was when she 'Offered' to the Eternal Father, the Life-of her Beloved Son, on Mount Calvary, with so Bitter Sorrow and Suffering. So that Saint Augustine declares that "as she then Co-operated by her Love, in the Birth of the Faithful to the Life-of-Grace, she became the Spiritual Mother of all who are Members of the One Head, Christ Jesus" - ("Mater membrorum ejus, quia cooperate est charitate, ut fideles in Ecclesia nascerentur" — De S. Virginitate, c. vi). This we are given-to Understand by the following Verse-of the Sacred Canticles, and which refers to the most Blessed Virgin: "They have made me the Keeper in the Vineyards; my Vineyard I have not kept" - ("Posuerunt me custodem in vineis; vineam meam non custodivi" — Canticles 1:5). Saint William says, that "Mary, in-order-that she might Save many Souls, Exposed her Own to Death" - ("Ut multas animas salvas faceret, animam suam morti exposuit" — Delrio, In Canticles 1:6); Meaning, that to Save us, she Sacrificed the Life-of her Son. And who but Jesus, was the Soul of Mary? He was her Life, and all her Love. And therefore the Prophet Simeon 'Foretold' that a Sword-of-Sorrow would one Day Transpierce her own most Blessed Soul - ("Et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius" — Luke 2:35). And it was Precisely the Lance, which Transpierced the Side-of Jesus, Who was the Soul of Mary. Then it was, that this most Blessed Virgin, brought us forth by her Sorrows, to Eternal Life: and thus we can all Call ourselves, the Children-of the Sorrows-of Mary. Our most Loving Mother was always, and in-All, United (1) to the Will-of-God." "And therefore", says Saint Bonaventure, "when she saw the Love of the Eternal Father towards Men, to be so-Great that, in-order-to Save them, He 'Willed' the Death of His Son; and, on-the-other-hand, seeing the Love of the Son in Wishing to Die for us: in-order-to Conform herself to this Excessive Love of both the Father and the Son towards the Human Race, she also with her entire Will, Offered and Consented to, the Death of her Son, in-order-that we might be Saved" - ("Nullo modo est dubitandum, quin Mariae animus voluerit tradere etiam Filium suum pro salute generic humani, ut Mater per omnia conformis esset Patri et Filio" — In Sent. l. i. D. 48, a. 2., q. 2).

The Mystical Wine Press - by Da Siena - from the Vatican
"I have Trodden the Winepress alone" - Isaiah 63.3

 

It is True that, according-to the Prophecy-of Isaiah, Jesus, in Dying-for the Redemption of the Human Race, 'Chose' to be Alone. "I have Trodden the Winepress alone" - ("Torcular calvavi solus" — Isaiah 63:3); but, seeing the Ardent Desire of Mary, to Aid-in the Salvation of Man, He 'Disposed' it so, that she, by the Sacrifice and Offering of the Life of her Jesus, should 'Co-operate' in our Salvation, and thus 'Become' the Mother of our Souls. This, Our Savior 'Signified', when, before Expiring, He Looked-down from the Cross on His Mother and on the Disciple Saint John, who 'Stood' at its Foot, and, First (1st), 'Addressing' Mary, He said, "Behold thy Son" - ("Ecce filius tuus" — John 19:26); as it were saying, Behold, the whole Human Race, which by the offer thou makes of My Life for the Salvation of all, is even now being Born-to the Life-of-Grace. Then, Turning-to the Disciple, He said, "Behold thy Mother" - ("Ecce mater tua" — John 19:27). "By these words, says Saint-Bernardine-of-Sienna, "Mary, by Reason of the Love she bore them, became the Mother, not only of Saint John, but of all Men" - ("Intelligimus in Joanne omnes, quorum, per dilectionem, Beata Virgo facta est Mater" — T. I. s. 51, a. 1, c. 3). And Silveira remarks, that Saint John himself, in 'Stating' this fact in his Gospel, says, "Then He said to the Disciple, Behold thy Mother". Here, 'Observe'-well, that Jesus Christ did not 'Address' Himself to-John, but to the Disciple, in-order-to show that He then, 'Gave' Mary to All who are His Disciples, that-is-to-say, to All Christians, that she might be their Mother. "John is but the Name of One, whereas the word Disciple is applicable to All; therefore our Lord makes use of a Name, common-to All, to Show that Mary was given-as a Mother to us" - ("Joannes nomen est particulare; . . . Discipulus, commune; ut denotetur, quod Maria dabatur omnibus in Matrem" — In Evang. l. viii, c. 17, q. 14).

The Church Applies-to Mary, these Words of the Sacred Canticles: "I am the Mother of Fair Love" - ("Ego mater pulchrae dilectionis" — Ecclesiasticus 24:24); and a Commentator 'Explaining' them, says that the Blessed Virgin's Love, 'Renders' our Souls Beautiful-in the Sight-of God, and also 'Makes' her, as a most Loving Mother, 'Receive' us as her Children, "she being all-Love, towards those whom she has thus Adopted" - ("Quia tota est amor erga nos, quos in filios receipt" — Paciucch. In Psalm 86, exc. 22). And what Mother, exclaims Saint Bonaventure, Loves her Children, and Attends-to their Welfare, as thou Lovest us, and Carest-for us, O most Sweet Queen! "For dost thou not Love us and Seek our Welfare, far more without comparison, than any Earthly Mother?" - ("Nonne plus sine comparatione nos diligis, ac bonum nostrum procuras, quam mater carnalis?" — Stim. Div. Am. p. 3, c. 19).

O Blessed are they, who Live-under the Protection of so Loving and Powerful a Mother! The Prophet David, although she was not yet 'Born', sought Salvation from God, by 'Dedicating' himself as a Son-of Mary, and thus Prayed: "Save the Son of Thy Handmaid" - ("Salvum fac filium ancillae tuae" — Psalm 85:16) "Of what Handmaid?" asks Saint Augustine; and he answers, "Of her who said, Behold the Handmaid of the Lord" ("Cujus ancillae? Quae ait: Ecce ancilla Domini"). "And who", says Cardinal Bellarmine, "would ever dare to Snatch these Children from the Bosom-of-Mary, when they have taken Refuge there? What Power-of-Hell, or what Temptation, can 'Overcome' them, if they place their Confidence in the Patronage of this Great Mother, the Mother of God, and of them?" - ("Quam bene nobis erit sub praesidio tantae Matris? Quis nos detrabere audebit de sinu ejus? Quae nos tentatio, quae tribulation superare poterit, confidentes in patrocinio Matris Dei et nostrae? — De Sept. Verb. l. i. c. 12). There are some who say that when the Whale sees its Young in Danger, either from Tempests or Pursuers, it 'Opens' its Mouth, and 'Swallows' them. This is Precisely what Novarinus 'Asserts' of Mary: "When the Storms-of-Temptations Rage, the most Compassionate Mother of the Faithful, with Maternal Tenderness, Protects them as-it-were, in her own Bosom, until she has Brought them into the Harbor-of-Salvation" - ("Fidelium piissima Mater, furente tentationum tempestate, materno affectu eos velut intra viscera propria receptos protegit, donec in beatum portum reponat").

O most Loving Mother! O most Compassionate Mother! Be thou ever Blessed; and ever Blessed be God, Who has 'Given' thee to us for our Mother, and for a Secure Refuge in all the Dangers of this Life. Our Blessed Lady herself, in a Vision, 'Addressed' these words to Saint Bridget: "As a mother, on Seeing her Son, in the midst-of the Swords of his Enemies, would use every Effort to Save him, so do I, and will-do for all Sinners, who Seek my Mercy" - ("Ita ego facio, et faciam omnibus peccatoribus, misericordiam meam petentibus" — Rev. l. iv. Cap. 138). Thus it is that in every Engagement with the Infernal Powers, we shall always certainly 'Conquer', by having Recourse-to the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, Saying and Repeating, again-and-again: "We Fly-to thy Patronage, O Holy Mother of God; we Fly-to thy Patronage, O Holy Mother of God" - ("Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei genitrix!"). Oh, how many Victories have not the Faithful gained-over Hell, by having Recourse-to Mary with this Short, but most Powerful Prayer! Thus it was that the Great Servant-of God, Sister-Mary-Crucified, of the Order-of-Saint-Benedict, always 'Overcame' the Devils.

Be of Good Heart, then, all you who are Children-of Mary. Remember that she 'Accepts' as her Children, all those who 'Choose' to be so. Rejoice! Why do you Fear to be Lost, when such a Mother 'Defends' and 'Protects' you? "Say, then, O my Soul, with Great Confidence: I will Rejoice and be Glad; for whatever the Judgment to be Pronounced-on me may be, it Depends-on and must Come-from my Brother and Mother" - ("Dic, anima mea, cum magna fiducia exsultabo et laetabor, quia quidquid judicabitur de me, pendet ex sentential Fratris et Matris mea" — Solil. c. 1). "Thus", says Saint Bonaventure, "it is that each one who Loves this Good Mother, and Relies on her Protection, should Animate himself to-Confidence, Remembering that Jesus is our Brother, and Mary our Mother". The same Thought makes Saint Anselm Cry-out with Joy, and Encourage us, saying: "O, Happy Confidence! O Safe Refuge! The Mother-of-God is my Mother, How firm, then, should be our Confidence, since our Salvation depends on the Judgment of a Good Brother and a Tender Mother" - ("O beata fiducia! O tutum refugium! Mater Dei est Mater nostra; qua igitur certitudine debemus sperare, quorum salus, de boni Fratris et piae Matris pendet arbitrio!" — Or. 51). It is, then, our Mother who Calls us, and Says, in these Words of the Book-of-Proverbs: "He that is a Little One, let him Turn-to me" - ("Si quis est parvulus, veniat ad me" — Proverbs 9:4). Children have always on their Lips, their Mother's Name, and in every Fear, in every Danger, they immediately 'Cry' out, Mother! Mother! Ah, most Sweet Mary! Ah, most Loving Mother! This is precisely what thou Desirest: that we should 'Become' Children, and 'Call' on thee in every Danger, and at all Times have Recourse-to thee, because thou 'Desirest' to Help and Save us, as thou hast Saved All, who have had Recourse-to thee.

 

Example

In the History-of the Foundation-of the Society-of-Jesus in the Kingdom-of-Naples (Schinosi, l. 5, ch. 7), we read the following Account-of a young Scotch Nobleman, named William Elphinstone. He was Related-to King James, and Lived for some time in the Heresy, in which he was Born. Enlightened by Divine Grace, he began to-Perceive his Errors. Having gone to France, with the help of a Good Jesuit Father, who was also a Scotchman, and still more, by the Intercession-of the Blessed Virgin, he at-last 'Discovered' the Truth, 'Abjured' his Heresy, and 'Became' a Catholic. From France he went to Rome, and there a Friend, finding him one day Weeping and in Great Affliction, inquired the Cause-of his Grief. He answered that during the Night, his mother, who was Lost, Appeared-to him, and said: "It is well for thee, son, that thou has Entered the True Church; for as I died in-Heresy, I am Lost". From that Moment, he Redoubled his Devotions towards Mary, 'Choosing' her for his only Mother, and by her, he was Inspired-with the Thought-of 'Embracing' the 'Religious State', and he 'Bound' himself to do so, by Vow. Being in Delicate Health, he went to Naples for a Change-of-Air, and there it was the Will-of-God that he should Die, and Die as a Religious; for shortly after his arrival, finding himself at the Last Extremity, by his Prayers and Tears, he 'Moved' the Superiors to-Accept him, and in Presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament, when he received it as Viaticum, he Pronounced his Vows, and was declared a Member-of the Society-of-Jesus. After this, it was most-Touching to-Hear with what Tenderness, he 'Thanked' his Mother Mary, for having 'Snatched' him from Heresy, and led him to-Die in the True Church, and in the House-of-God, surrounded by his Religious Brethren. This made him exclaim: "Oh, how Glorious is it to Die in the midst of so many Angels!" When 'Exhorted' to Repose a little, Ah", he replied, "this is no time for Repose, now that I am at the Close of my Life". Before Expiring, he said to those who surrounded him: "Brothers, do you not see the Angels of Heaven here-Present, who Assist me?;". One of the Religious, having heard him 'Mutter' some words, asked him what he said. He answered, that his Guardian Angel had Revealed-to him that he would Remain but a very Short Time in Purgatory, and that he would soon Go-to Heaven. He then entered-into a Colloquy with his Sweet Mother Mary, and like a Child that 'Abandons' itself to 'Rest' in the Arms of its Mother, he exclaimed, "Mother, Mother!" and Sweetly Expired. Shortly afterwards, a Devout Religious, Learnt-by Revelation, that he was already in Heaven.

 

Prayer

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mary_ani_bottom.jpg (11422 bytes)

 

O most Holy Mother Mary, how is it possible that I, having so-Holy a Mother, should be so-Wicked? a Mother all Burning-with the Love of God, and I Loving Creatures; a Mother so-Rich in Virtue, and I so-Poor? Ah, Amiable Mother, it is True that I do not Deserve any-longer to be thy Son, for by my Wicked Life, I have Rendered myself Unworthy-of so-Great an Honor. I am Satisfied that thou shouldst 'Accept' me for thy Servant; and in-order-to be 'Admitted' amongst the Vilest-of them, I am ready-to 'Renounce' all the Kingdoms-of the World. Yes, I am Satisfied. But still thou must not 'Forbid' me to Call thee Mother. This name Consoles and Fills me with Tenderness, and Reminds me of my Obligation-to Love thee. This name Excites me to Great Confidence in thee. When my Sins and the Divine Justice, 'Fill' me most with Consternation, I am all-Consoled at the Thought that thou art my Mother. Allow me then, to Call thee Mother, my most Amiable Mother. Thus do I Call thee, and thus will I always Call thee. Thou, after God, must be my Hope, my Refuge, my Love in this Valley-of-Tears. Thus do I Hope to Die, Breathing-forth my Soul into thy Holy Hands, and saying:

"My Mother, my Mother Mary, Help me, have Pity on me!"

Amen