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


Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge-of-Sinners (Refugium Peccatorum)

 

O how Prompt does a Sinner
(Desirous-of Amendment, and who Flies-to her Feet)
Find this Good Mother to Embrace and Help him,
far more so than any Earthly Mother

 

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 IV
Mary is the Mother of Penitent Sinners.

Our Blessed Lady told Saint Bridget that she was the Mother, not only of the Just and Innocent, but also of Sinners; Provided they were Willing-to Repent - ("Ego sum Quasi Mater omnium peccatorum se volentium emendare" Rev. 1. iv. c. 138). O how Prompt does a Sinner (Desirous-of Amendment, and who Flies-to her Feet), 'Find' this Good Mother to Embrace and Help him, far-more-so than any Earthly Mother! Saint Gregory VII 'Wrote' in-this-sense, to the Princess Matilda, saying: "Resolve to Sin no more, and I Promise that undoubtedly thou wilt find Mary more ready to Love thee, than any Earthly Mother" - ("Pone finem in-voluntate peccandi, et invenies Mariam, indubitanter promitto, promptiorem carnali matre in tui dilectione" Lib. i. ep. 47).

But whoever 'Aspires' to be a Child-of this Great Mother, must First (1st) 'Abandon' Sin, and then may Hope to be 'Accepted' as-such. Richard-of-Saint-Laurence, on the Words-of Proverbs, "Up Rose" her Children ("Surrexerunt filii ejus" Proverbs 31:28), 'Remarks' that the Words "Up Rose", come First, and then the Word "Children", to Show that no one can be a Child-of Mary, without First (1st) 'Endeavoring' to-Rise-from the Fault, into which he has Fallen; for he who is in Mortal Sin, is not Worthy to be 'Called' the Son-of such a Mother - ("Nec dignus est, qui in mortali peccato est, vocari filius tantae Matris" De Laud. B. V. lib. ii. p. 5). And Saint-Peter-Chrysologus says that he who Acts-in a different Manner-from Mary, 'Declares' thereby, that he will not be her Son. "He who does not the Works of his Mother, Abjures his Lineage" - ("Qui genitoris opera non facit, negat genus" Serm. 123).

Mary Humble, and he Proud;
Mary Pure, and he Wicked;
Mary Full-of Love, and he Hating his Neighbor.

He Gives-thereby, Proof that he is not, and will not be, the Son-of his Holy Mother. The Sons-of Mary, says Richard-of-Saint-Laurence, are her Imitators, and this Chiefly in Three (3) Things; in "Chastity, Liberality, and Humility; and also in Meekness, Mercy, and such like" ("Filii Mariae, imitators ejus in castitate, humilitate, mansuetudine, misericordia" Loco cit).

Whilst 'Disgusting' her by a Wicked Life, who would Dare even-to 'Wish' to be the Child-of Mary? A certain Sinner, once said to Mary, "Show thyself a Mother"; but the Blessed Virgin replied, "Show thyself a Son" - ("Monstra te esse matrem . . . Monstra te esse filium" Aur. Aff. Scamb. p. 3, c. 12). Another 'Invoked' the Divine Mother, calling her the Mother-of-Mercy, and she 'Answered': "You Sinners, when you want my Help, call me Mother-of-Mercy, and at the same time, do not cease by your Sins, to make me a Mother-of-Sorrows and Anguish" (Pelb. Stell. 1. xii. p. ult. c. 7). "He is Cursed-of God", says Ecclesiasticus, "that Angereth His mother" - ("Maledictus a Deo, qui exasperate matrem" Ecclesiasticus 3:18). "That is Mary" - ("Matrem, id est Mariam" De Laud. B. M. l. 2, p. 1), says Richard-of-Saint-Laurence. God 'Curses' those, who by their Wicked Life, and still more by their Obstinacy-in-Sin, Afflict this Tender Mother.

I say, by their Obstinacy; for if a Sinner, though he may not as-yet have 'Given-up' his Sin, Endeavors-to do so, and for this Purpose, 'Seeks' the Help of Mary, this Good Mother will not Fail to Assist him, and make him 'Recover' the Grace-of-God. And this is Precisely what Saint Bridget heard one-Day, from the Lips-of Jesus Christ, Who, Speaking-to His Mother, said, "Thou Assistest him who Endeavors to Return to God, and thy Consolations are never Wanting, to any one" - ("Conanti surgere ad Deum tribuis auxilium, et neminem reliquis vacuum a consolatione tua" Rev. 1. 4, c. 19). So-long-then, as a Sinner is Obstinate, Mary cannot Love him; but if he (Finding himself Chained-by some Passion, which keeps him a Slave-of-Hell) 'Recommends' himself to the Blessed Virgin, and 'Implores' her, with Confidence and Perseverance, to 'Withdraw' him from the State-of-Sin in-which he is, there can be no-Doubt, but this Good Mother will 'Extend' her Powerful Hand to him, will 'Deliver' him from his Chains, and 'Lead' him to a State-of-Salvation.

Mary, Mother-of-Mercy

All of God's Mercies, that are Dispensed-to Men, shall Pass through the Hands-of-Mary.
She is Queen-of-Mercy, as Jesus is King-of-Justice - Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Jesus 'Honors', Fourth (4th) Commandment, Mary and Joseph in a Special Manner, by Listening-to and 'Granting' their Prayers and Petitions.
 

The Doctrine that all Prayers and Works 'Performed' in a State-of-Sin are Sins, was Condemned as Heretical by the Sacred Council-of-Trent (Sess. vi. can. 7). Saint Bernard says (De Div. s. 81), that although Prayer, in the Mouth-of a Sinner, is Devoid-of Beauty, as it is Unaccompanied-with Charity, Nevertheless it is Useful, and 'Obtains' Grace, to 'Abandon' Sin; for, as Saint Thomas 'Teaches' (Summa), the Prayer of a Sinner, though without Merit, is an Act which 'Obtains' the Grace-of-Forgiveness, since the Power-of-Impetration is Founded-not on the Merits of him who 'Asks', but on the Divine Goodness, and the Merits and Promises of Jesus Christ, Who has said, "Every one that Asketh, Receiveth" - ("Omnis enim qui petit, accipit" Luke 11:10). The same thing must be said-of Prayers, Offered-to the Divine Mother. "If he who Prays", says Saint Anselm, "does not Merit to be Heard, the Merits of the Mother, to whom he Recommends himself, will 'Intercede' Effectually" - ("Si merita invocantis non merentur, merita tamen Matris intercedunt, ut exaudiatur" De Excell. Virg. c. 6).

Therefore, Saint Bernard 'Exhorts' all Sinners to have 'Recourse' to Mary, 'Invoking' her with Great Confidence; for though the Sinner does not himself 'Merit' the Graces which he 'Asks', yet he 'Receives' them, because this Blessed Virgin 'Asks' and 'Obtains' them from God, on-account-of her own Merits. These are his Words, 'Addressing' a Sinner: "Because thou wast Unworthy to Receive the Grace thyself, it was given to Mary, in order that, through her, thou mightest Receive all" - ("Quia indignus eras, cui donaretur, datum est Mariae, ut per illam acciperes quidquid haberes" In Virg. Nat. s. 3). "If a Mother", continues the same Saint, "knew that her Two Sons bore a Mortal Enmity to each other, and that each Plotted against the other's Life, would she not Exert herself to her Utmost, in-order-to Reconcile them? This would be the Duty of a Good Mother. And thus it is", the Saint goes on to say, "that Mary 'Acts'; for she is the Mother-of-Jesus, and the Mother-of-Men. When she sees a Sinner at Enmity with Jesus Christ, she cannot endure it, and does all in her Power to make Peace between them. O Happy Mary, thou art the Mother of the Criminal, and the Mother of the Judge; and being the Mother of both, they are thy Children, and thou canst not-Endure Discords amongst them" ("O Maria! tu Mater rei, tu Mater judicis: cum sis Mater utriusque, discordias inter tuos filios nequis sustinere" Ap. S. Bonav. Spec. B. V. lect. 3).

This most Benign Lady, only 'Requires' that the Sinner should 'Recommend' himself to her, and 'Purpose' Amendment. When Mary sees a Sinner at her feet, 'Imploring' her Mercy, she does not Consider the Crimes with which he is 'Loaded', but the Intention with which he 'Comes'; and if this is Good, even should he have Committed all Possible Sins, the most Loving Mother 'Embraces' him, and does not Disdain to Heal the Wounds of his Soul; for she is not only called the Mother-of-Mercy, but is so Truly-and-Indeed, and shows herself such by the Love and Tenderness with which she 'Assists' us all. And this is precisely what the Blessed Virgin herself said to Saint Bridget: "However much a Man Sins, I am ready immediately to receive him when he Repents; nor do I pay attention to the Number of his Sins, but only to the Intention with which he Comes: I do not disdain to Anoint and Heal his Wounds; for I am called, and truly am, the Mother-of-Mercy" - ("Quantumcumque homo peccet, si ex vera emendatione ad me reverses fuerit, statim parata sum recipere revertentem; nec attendo quantum peccaverit, sed cum quail voluntate venit; nam non dedignor ungere et sanare plagas ejus, (quia) vocor (et vere sum) Mater misericortiae" Rev. l. 2, c. 23. l. 6, c. 117).

Mary is the Mother of Sinners who wish-to Repent, and as a Mother, she cannot do otherwise than 'Compassionate' them; nay more, she seems to-Feel the Miseries of her Poor Children, as if they were her own. When the Canaanitish Woman 'Begged' Our Lord to 'Deliver' her Daughter from the Devil who 'Possessed' her, she said, "Have Mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my Daughter is Grievously troubled-by a Devil" - ("Miserere mei, Domine, Fili David!  filia mea male a daemonio vexatur" Matthew 15:22). But since the Daughter, and not the Mother, was Tormented, she should rather have said, "Lord, take Compassion-on my Daughter", and not, Have Mercy on me; but no, she said, "Have Mercy on me", and she was Right; for the Sufferings of Children are felt by their Mother, as if they were their own. And it is precisely thus, says Richard-of-Saint-Laurence, that Mary Prays to God when she 'Recommends' a Sinner to Him, who has had Recourse-to her; she Cries-out for the Sinful Soul, "Have Mercy on me!" "My Lord", she seems to say, "this Poor Soul that is in Sin, is my Daughter, and therefore, Pity not so much her, as me, who am her mother" ("Maria clamat pro peccatorice anima: Miserere mei" De Laud. B. M. l. 6).

Would that All Sinners had 'Recourse'-to this Sweet Mother! for then certainly, All would be 'Pardoned' by God. "O Mary", exclaims Saint Bonaventure, in Rapturous Astonishment, "thou Embracest with Maternal Affection, a Sinner despised-by the Whole World, nor dost thou Leave him, until thou has 'Reconciled' the Poor Creature with his Judge" - ("O Maria! peccatorem toti mundo despectum materno affectu complecteris; nec deseris, quousque horrendo Judici miserum reconcilies" In Spec. B. V. lect. 5); meaning that the Sinner, whilst in the State-of-Sin, is Hated and Loathed by All, even by Inanimate Creatures; Fire, Air, and Earth would Chastise him, and Avenge the Honor of their Outraged Lord. But if this Unhappy Creature Flies-to Mary, will Mary Reject him? Oh, no: provided he Goes-to her for Help, and in-order-to 'Amend', she will 'Embrace' him with the Affection-of a Mother, and will not let him go, until, by her Powerful Intercession, she has 'Reconciled' him with God, and 'Reinstated' him in Grace.

In the Second Book-of-Kings (2Kings 14:5), we read that a Wise Woman-of-Thecua, 'Addressed' King David in the following Words: "My Lord, I had Two Sons, and for my Misfortune, One Killed the Other; so that I have now Lost One, and Justice Demands the Other, the only One that is left; take Compassion on a Poor Mother, and let me not be thus Deprived of both". David, 'Moved' with Compassion towards the Mother, Declared that the Delinquent should be Set-at-Liberty, and Restored-to her. Mary seems to say the same thing, when God is Indignant against a Sinner who has 'Recommended' himself to her. "My God", she says, "I had Two Sons, Jesus and Man; Man took the Life of my Jesus, on the Cross, and now Thy Justice would Condemn the Guilty One. O Lord, my Jesus is already Dead, have Pity on me, and if I have Lost the One, do not make me Lose the Other also".

Most certainly God will not Condemn those Sinners Who have 'Recourse' to Mary, and for whom she Prays, since He Himself 'Commended' them to her, as her Children. The Devout Lanspergius, 'Supposes' Our Lord Speaking, in the following Terms: "I Recommended all, but especially Sinners, to Mary, as her Children, and therefore is she so-Diligent and so-Careful in the Exercise of her Office, that she Allows none of those Committed-to her Charge, and especially those who Invoke her, to Perish; but as-far-as she can, Brings all to Me" - ("Mariae . . . peccatores in filios commendavi; . . . propterea adeo est sedula, ut, officio suo satisfaciens, neminem eorum, quantum in se est, qui sibi commissi sunt, praecipue se invocantium, perire sinat, sed, quantum valet, omnes mihi reducat" Alloq. l. 1, p. 4, can. 12). "And who can ever tell", says the Devout Blosius, "the Goodness, the Mercy, the Compassion, the Love, the Benignity, the Clemency, the Fidelity, the Benevolence, the Charity, of this Virgin Mother towards Men? It is such that no Words can Express it" - ("Hujus Matris bonitas, misericordia, fidelitas, charitas erga hominess, tanta est, ut nullis verbis explicari posit" Sacell. An. p. 3, c. 5).

"Let us, then", says Saint Bernard, "Cast ourselves at the Feet of this Good Mother, and Embracing them, let us not Depart until she Blesses us, and thus Accepts us for her Children" - ("Beatis illius pedibus provolvamur; teneamus eam, nec dimittamus, donec benedixerit nobis" In Sign. magn). And who can ever 'Doubt' the Compassion of this Mother? Saint Bonaventure used to say; "Even should she take my Life, I would still Hope in her; and, Full-of-Confidence, would Desire to Die before her Image, and be certain of Salvation". And thus should each Sinner 'Address' her when he has 'Recourse' to this Compassionate Mother; he should say:

"My Lady and Mother, on-account-of my Sins, I Deserve that thou shouldst Reject me, and even that thou shouldst thyself Chastise me according-to my Deserts; but shouldst thou Reject me, or even Take my Life, I will still Trust in thee, and Hope with a Firm Hope that thou wilt Save me. In thee is all my Confidence; only Grant me the Consolation of Dying before thy Picture, Recommending myself to thy Mercy; then I am Convinced that I shall not be Lost, but that I shall Go and Praise thee in Heaven, in Company with so many of thy Servants who Left this World, Calling on thee for Help, and have all been Saved by thy Powerful Intercession" - ("Etiamsi occiderit me, sperabo in eam; et totus confidens, juxta ejus imaginem mori desidero, et salvus ero" Paciucchelli, In Ps. 86, exc. 3).

Read the following Example, and then say if any Sinner can Doubt-of the Mercy and Love, of this Good Mother.

 

Example

A Noble Youth named Eskil, was sent by the Prince, his Father, to Hildesheim, a City-of-Saxony, to Study; but he gave himself up to a Disorderly Life. He afterwards Fell so Dangerously Ill, that he Received Extreme Unction. While in this State he had a Vision: he found himself Shut-up in a Fiery Furnace, and Believed himself already in Hell; but he then seemed to Escape from it by a Hole, and took Refuge in a Great Palace, in an Apartment of-which, he saw the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who said to him: "Presumptuous Man that thou art, dost thou Dare to Appear before me? Depart hence, and go to that Fire which thou hast Deserved". The Young Man then 'Besought' the Blessed Virgin to have Mercy on him; and then Addressed himself to some Persons who were there Present, and Entreated them to 'Recommend' him to Mary. They did so, and the Divine Mother replied, "But you do not know the Wicked Life which he Leads, and that he does not even Deign to Salute me with a Hail Mary". His Advocates replied: "But, Lady, he will Change his Life"; and the Young Man added, "Yes, I Promise in Good Earnest to-Amend, and I will be thy Devout Client". The Blessed Virgin's Anger was then 'Appeased', and she said to him, "Well, I Accept thy Promise; be Faithful to me, and meanwhile, with my Blessing, be Delivered from Death and Hell". With these Words, the Vision disappeared. Eskil returned-to himself, and, 'Blessing' Mary, 'Related' to others, the Grace which he had 'Received': and from that Time, he led a Holy Life, always 'Preserving' Great Devotion to Our Blessed Lady. He became Archbishop-of-Lunden in Sweden, where he Converted many to the Faith. Towards the End of his Life, on Account of his Age, he Renounced his Archbishopric, and became a Monk-in-Clairvaux, where he Lived for Four (4) Years, and Died a Holy Death. Hence he is Numbered by some Authors, amongst the Cistercian Saints (Manriquez, Ann. Cisterc. 1151, c. 13; 1181, c 2).

 

Prayer

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O my Sovereign Queen and Worthy Mother of my God, most Holy Mary; I, seeing myself as I do, so-Despicable and Loaded-with so many Sins, ought not to Presume to Call thee Mother, or even to Approach thee; yet I will not Allow my Miseries to Deprive me of the Consolation and Confidence that I Feel, in Calling thee Mother; I know Well, that I Deserve that thou shouldst Reject me; but I Beseech thee to Remember all that thy Son Jesus has Endured for me, and then Reject me if thou canst. I am a Wretched Sinner, who, more than all others, have Despised the Infinite (∞) Majesty-of-God: but the Evil is done. To thee have I Recourse; thou canst Help me; my Mother, Help me. Say not that thou canst not do so; for I know that thou art all-Powerful, and that thou Obtainest whatever thou Desirest-of God; and if thou Sayest that thou wilt not Help me, tell me at least to whom I can Apply, in this my so-Great Misfortune. "Either Pity me", will I say with the devout Saint Anselm, "O my Jesus, and Forgive me, and do thou Pity me, my Mother Mary, by Interceding for me, or at-Least 'Tell' me to whom I can have Recourse, who is more Compassionate, or in whom I can have Greater Confidence, than in thee" ("Aut miseremini miseri, tu parcendo, tu interveniendo; aut ostendite, ad quos tutius fugiam misericordiores; et monstrate, in quibus certius confidam potentiores" Orat. 50).

 Amen