Feast of the Annunciation
Celebrated 25th March -
Nine Months (Period of Gestation)
Prior to the Nativity, 25th December


The Annunciation of Mary - by BERUGUETE, Pedro - from Monastery of Miraflores, Burgos

In this Depiction of the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel 'Announces' the Will-of-God to Mary, whose Purity is Symbolized by the White Lilies, and whose Prior Knowledge of the Messiah is Symbolized by the Holy Book at the Right, 'Containing' the Words of the Inspired Writers of Genesis and Isaiah, of which she had Intimate prior-Knowledge. The Holy Spirit is 'Depicted' above Gabriel, 'Awaiting' Mary's 'Fiat'.

 

Angels and Man are both 'Created' in the Image and Likeness of God; i.e. Rational (Intellect + Will) Beings

God - Unity (1) of Three (3) Persons

Angels

Man - Unity (1) of Body + Soul

Uncreated
Pure Spirit

Created
Pure Spirit

Body

Soul - Grace resides
within the Soul's Essence

Intellect

Will

Intellect

Will

Mortal:
Subject to
Suffering and
Death

Intellect

Will

Infinite (∞)
Knowledge
and Wisdom

Absolutely
Good and
Loving

Limited
by
Nature

United with
God's Will by
Beatific Vision

Limited
by
Nature

Weakened
by
Original Sin

In the Incarnation of the Eternal Word,
Mary could not have 'Humbled' herself, more-than she did 'Humble' herself:
God, on-the-other-hand, could not have 'Exalted' her, more-than He did 'Exalt' her.

 

The Annunciation of Mary
Celebrated 25th March -
Nine Months prior to the Nativity, 25th December

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

"Whosoever shall 'Exalt' himself, shall be 'Humbled'; and he that shall 'Humble' himself, shall be Exalted" - ("Qui autem se exaltaverit, humiliabitur; et qui se humiliaverit, exaltabitur" Matthew 23:12). These are the Words of Our Lord, and cannot 'Fail'. Therefore, God having 'Determined' to 'Become' Man, that He might 'Redeem' Lost Man, and thus 'Show' the World His Infinite (∞) Goodness, and having to 'Choose' a Mother on Earth, He 'Sought' amongst Women for the One that was the Most-Holy, and the Most- Humble. But amongst All, One there was, whom He 'Admired', and this One was the Tender Virgin Mary, who, the more-Exalted were her Virtues, so-much the more Dove-like was her Simplicity and Humility, and the more-Lowly was she in her own Estimation. "There are Young Maidens without Number: One is My Dove, My Perfect One" - ("Adolescentularum non est numerus; una est Columba mea, Perfecta mea" Canticles 6:7,8). Therefore God 'Said': This One shall 'Be', My 'Chosen' Mother. Let us now 'See' how Great was Mary's Humility, and consequently, how Greatly God 'Exalted' her. Mary could not have 'Humbled' herself more than she did 'Humble' herself in the Incarnation of the Word; this will be the First (1st) Point. That God could not have 'Exalted' Mary more than He did 'Exalt' her; this will be the Second (2nd).

 

Mary could not have 'Humbled' herself more than she did 'Humble' herself

The Holy Spirit, in the Sacred Canticles, 'Speaking' Precisely-of the Humility of the Most Humble Virgin, 'Says': "While the King was at His Repose, my Spikenard 'Sent-forth' the Odor thereof" - ("Dum esset Rex in accubitu suo, nardus mea dedit odorem suum" Canticles 1:11). Saint-Antoninus, 'Explaining' these Words, 'Says' that "Spikenard, being a Small and Lowly Herb, was a 'Type-of' Mary, the Sweet Odor of whose Humility, Ascending to Heaven so-to-say, 'Awakened' the Divine Word, Reposing in the Bosom of the Eternal Father, and 'Drew' Him into her Virginal Womb" - ("Nardus est herba parva, sed significant Beatam Virginem, quae dedit odorem suae humilitatis; qui odor usque ad coelum ascendit, et in coelo accumbentem quasi evigilare fecit, et in utero suo quiescere" P. 4, t. 15, c. 21, #2). So that Our Lord, 'Drawn' as it were by the Sweet Odor of this Humble Virgin, 'Chose' her for His Mother, when He was Pleased-to 'Become' Man, to 'Redeem' the World.

But He, for the Greater Glory and Merit of this Mother, would not 'Become' her Son, without her Previous 'Consent'. The Abbot-William 'Says', "He would not 'Take' Flesh from her, unless she 'Gave' it" - ("Nec Carnem volebat sumere ex ipsa, non dante ipsa" Delrio, In Cant. i. 2). Hence, when this Humble Virgin (for so it was 'Revealed' to Saint-Elizabeth-of-Hungary) was in her Poor Little Cottage, 'Sighing' and 'Beseeching' God more 'Fervently' than ever, and with Desire more than ever Ardent, that He would 'Send' the Redeemer; Behold, the Archangel-Gabriel 'Arrives', the Bearer of the Great Message. He 'Enters' and 'Salutes' her, 'Saying': "Hail, Full-of-Grace; the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst Women" - ("Ave, gratia Plena! Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus" Luke 1:28). Hail, O Virgin Full-of Grace; for thou wast always Full-of-Grace, above all other Saints. The Lord is with thee, because thou art so Humble. Thou art Blessed amongst Women, for all others 'Fell' under the Curse-of-Sin; but thou, because thou art the Mother of the Blessed One, art, and always wilt be Blessed, and Free-from every Stain.

But, what does the Humble Mary 'Answer', to a Salutation, so Full-of Praises? Nothing; she 'Remains' Silent, but 'Reflecting' upon it, is 'Troubled': "Who, having-Heard, was Troubled at his Saying, and Thought with herself, what Manner-of Salutation this should be" - ("Quae cum audisset, turbata est in sermone ejus, et cogitabat quails esset ista salutation"). Why was she 'Troubled'? Did she 'Fear' an Illusion, or was it her Virginal Modesty, which 'Caused' her to be 'Disturbed' at the Sight of a Man, as some 'Suppose', in the Belief that the Angel 'Appeared' under a Human Form? No, the Text is Clear: "She was 'Troubled' at his Saying" - ("Turbata est in sermone ejus"). "Not at his Appearance, but at what he Said" - ("Non in vultu, sed in sermone ejus" In Fer. 4 p. Dom 4 Adv.), 'Remarks' Eusebius-Emissenus. Her Trouble, then, 'Arose' entirely-from her Humility, which was 'Disturbed' at the Sound-of Praises, so-far 'Exceeding' her Own Lowly Estimate, of herself. Hence, the more the Angel 'Exalted' her, the more she 'Humbled' herself, and 'Entered'-into the 'Consideration'-of her Own Nothingness. Here, Saint-Bernardine 'Remarks', that "had the Angel said, O Mary, thou art the Greatest Sinner in the World, her Astonishment would not have been so-Great; the Sound of so-High Praises, 'Filled' her with Fear" - ("Si dixisset: Tu, O Mari! es lascivior quae sit in mundo; non ita admirata fuisset; unde turbata fuit de tantis laudibus" T. III. Quardr. S. 37, p. 3). She was 'Troubled'; for, being so-Full-of Humility, she 'Abhorred' every Praise-of herself, and her only Desire was that her Creator, the Giver of every Good Thing, should be 'Praised' and 'Blessed'. This, Mary herself 'Revealed' to Saint-Bridget, when 'Speaking' of the Time in which she 'Became' Mother-of-God: "I Desired not my Own Praise, but only that my Creator, the Giver-of-All, should be Glorified" - ("Nolui laudem meam, sed solius Datoris et Creatoris" Rev. l. 2, c. 23).

Virgin Annunciate - by ANTONELLO da Messina -
from Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, Palermo

 

The Blessed Virgin was already well-'Aware', from the Sacred Scriptures, that the Time 'Foretold' by the Prophets, for the 'Coming'-of the Messiah, had 'Arrived'; that the Weeks-of-Daniel were 'Completed'; that already, according-to the Prophecy-of-Jacob, the Scepter-of-Judah had 'Passed' into the Hands-of-Herod, a Strange King: she already Knew that a Virgin was to be the Mother of the Messiah. She then 'Heard' the Angel 'Give' her Praises which, it was Evident, could 'Apply'-to no other than to the Mother-of-God. Hence, may not the Thought, or at-least some Vague Impression, have 'Entered' her Mind, that perhaps she was this 'Chosen' Mother-of-God? No, her Profound Humility did not even 'Admit' such an Idea. Those Praises only 'Caused' Great Fear in her: "so-much-so", as Saint-Peter-Chrysologus 'Remarks', "that as Christ was Pleased to be Comforted by an Angel, so was it Necessary that the Blessed Virgin should be 'Encouraged' by One" - ("Sicut Christus per Angelum confortari voluit, ita decuit Virginem per Angelum animari" Suarez, De Inc. q. 30, a. 2). Saint-Gabriel, 'Seeing' Mary so 'Troubled' and almost 'Stupefied' by the Salutation, was 'Obliged' to 'Encourage' her, 'Saying', "Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found Grace with God" - ("Ne timeas, Maria; invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum" Luke 1:30). 'Fear' not, O Mary, and 'Be' not 'Surprised' at the Great Titles by which I have 'Saluted' thee; for, if thou in thine Own Eyes art so Little and Lowly, God, Who 'Exalts' the Humble, has 'Made' thee Worthy to 'Find' the Grace ' Lost' by Men; and therefore He has 'Preserved' thee from the Common Stain of the Children-of-Adam. Hence, from the Moment of thy Conception, He has 'Honored' thee with a Grace, Greater-than that of All the Saints; and therefore He now Finally 'Exalts' thee, even to the Dignity of 'Being' His Mother. "Behold, thou shalt Conceive in thy Womb, and shalt Bring-forth a Son: and thou shalt call His Name Jesus" - ("Ecce concipies in utero, et paries filium, et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum" - Luke 1:31).

Cestello Annunciation - by BOTTICELLI, Sandro - from Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Within the Essence of Mary's Soul, Resides the Supernatural Order consisting-of Sanctifying Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sin 'Destroys' the Supernatural Order, but Mary is Sinless. Strength is Manifested in our 'Control' of the Will of our Soul. Mary's 'Fiat' is an 'Act' of her Will, and Reflects her Absolute Unity with the Will-of-God.
 

And now, why this 'Delay', O Mary? "The Angel 'Awaits' the Reply" ('Says' Saint-Bernard); "and We also, O Lady, on whom the Sentence-of-Condemnation 'Weighs' so Heavily, 'Await' the Word-of-Mercy" - ("Exspectat Angelus responsum; expectamus et nos, O Domina! verbum miserationis, quos miserabiliter permit sentential damnationis"); We, who are already 'Condemned' to Death. "Behold, the Price of our Salvation is 'Offered' thee; we shall be Instantly 'Delivered', if thou 'Consentest'" - ("Ecce offertur tibi pretium salutis nostrae; statim liberabimur, si consentis"), 'Continues' the same Saint-Bernard. Behold, O Mother of us All, the Price of our Salvation is already 'Offered' thee: that Price will be the Divine Word, 'Made' Man in thee; in that Moment, in which thou 'Acceptest' Him for thy Son, we shall be 'Delivered' from Death. "For thy Lord Himself 'Desires' thy Consent, by which He has 'Determined' to 'Save' the World, with an Ardor equal-to the Love with-which He has Loved thy Beauty" - ("Ipse quoque omnium Dominus, quantum concupivit decorum tuum, tantum desiderat et responsionis assensum, in qua nimirum proposuit salvare mundum" De Laud. V. M. hom. 4). "Answer then, O Sacred Virgin", 'Says' Saint-Augustine, or some other Ancient Author; "why Delayest thou 'Giving' Life to the World?" - ("Responde jam, Virgo sacra! vitam quid tricas mundo?" Serm. 120, E. B. app.). 'Answer' Quickly, O Lady; no-longer 'Delay' the Salvation of the World, which now 'Depends'-upon thy 'Consent'.

The Ghent Altarpiece: Mary of the Annunciation -
by EYCK, Jan van - from Cathedral of St Bavo, Ghent

Instantly, with Mary's Fiat, and by the Power of the Holy Spirit, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ became 'Present' in the Most Pure Womb of the Blessed Mary. By God's Grace, Mary, the Little Jewish Girl, is Now the:

Daughter of God-the-Father,
Mother of God-the-Son, and
Spouse of the Holy-Spirit

Grace is from God (Person of the Holy Spirit), and Works-in the Depth-of the Soul, whose Powers it Employs. It is a Light which Issues-forth to do Service, under the Guidance-of the Holy Spirit. The Divine Light Permeates the Soul, and Lifts it above the Turmoil-of Temporal Things, to Rest-in God. Without Mary's Fiat, the Gates-of-Heaven would be Closed to Man, Forever.
 

But 'See', Mary already 'Answers'; she 'Says' to the Angel: "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it Done to me, according-to thy Word" - ("Ecce ancilla Domini; Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum" Luke 1:38). O, what more-Beautiful, more-Humble, or more-Prudent Answer, could all the Wisdom of Men and Angels together have 'Invented', had they 'Reflected' for a Million Years? O Powerful Answer, which 'Rejoiced' Heaven, and 'Brought' an Immense Sea-of Graces and Blessings into the World! Answer which had scarcely 'Fallen' from the Lips-of Mary, before it 'Drew' the Only Begotten Son-of-God from the Bosom of His Eternal Father, to 'Become' Man in her most-Pure Womb! Yes indeed; for Scarcely had she 'Uttered' these Words, Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it Done to me According to thy Word, when-Instantly, the Word was made Flesh - ("Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis" John 1:14); the Son-of-God 'Became' also, the Son-of Mary. "O Powerful Fiat!" 'Exclaims' Saint-Thomas-of-Villanova; "O Efficacious Fiat! O Fiat to be Venerated above every other Fiat! For with a Fiat, God Created Light, Heaven, Earth; but with Mary's Fiat", 'Says' the Saint, "God 'Became' Man, like us" - ("O Fiat potens! O Fiat Efficax! O Fiat Super Omne Fiat, Perpetuo Honore Venerandum!" De Ann. conc. 1).

Let us, however, not 'Wander' from our Point, but 'Consider' the Great Humility of the Blessed Virgin, in this Answer. She was Fully Enlightened as to the Greatness of the Dignity of a Mother-of-God. She had already been 'Assured' by the Angel, that she was this Happy Mother, 'Chosen' by Our Lord. But with all this, she in no-Way 'Rises' in her own Estimation, she does not 'Stop' to 'Rejoice' in her Exaltation; but 'Seeing', on the One Side, her own Nothingness, and on the Other, the Infinite (∞) Majesty-of-God, Who 'Chose' her for His Mother, she 'Acknowledges' how Unworthy she is, of so-Great an Honor, but will not 'Oppose' His Will in the Least Thing. Hence, when her Consent is 'Asked', what does she 'Do'? what does she 'Say'? Wholly 'Annihilated' within herself, yet all 'Inflamed' at the same Time, by the Ardor of her Desire to 'Unite (1)' herself thus, still more-Closely to God, and 'Abandoning' herself Entirely-to the Divine Will, she 'Answers', Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. 'Behold' the Slave of the Lord, 'Obliged' to do that-which her Lord 'Commands'. As if she Meant to 'Say': Since God 'Chooses' me for His Mother, who have Nothing of my own, and since all that I have, is His Gift, who can ever 'Think' that He has done-so on-account-of my own Merits? Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. What Merit can a Slave ever have, that she should 'Become' the Mother of her Lord? Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. May the Goodness of God alone be 'Praised', and not His Slave: since it is All His Goodness, that He 'Fixes' His Eyes on so-Lowly a Creature as I am, to 'Make' her so-Great.

"O Humility!", here 'Exclaims' the Abbot-Guerric; "as Nothing in its Own Eyes, yet Sufficiently Great for the Divinity! Insufficient for itself, Sufficient for Him, Whom the Heavens cannot Contain" - ("O humilitas, angusta sibi, ampla Divinitati! Insufficiens sibi, sufficiens ei quem non capit orbis!" In Assumpt. s. 3). O Great Humility of Mary! which 'Makes' her Little to herself, but Great before God. Unworthy in her Own Eyes, but Worthy in the Eyes of that Immense Lord, Whom the World cannot 'Contain'. But, the 'Exclamation' of Saint-Bernard on this Subject, is still more-Beautiful, in his Fourth (4th) Sermon on the Assumption of Mary, in which, 'Admiring' her Humility, he 'Says': "And how, O Lady, couldst thou Unite in thy Heart, so Humble an Opinion of thyself, with so-Great Purity, with such-Innocence, and so-Great a Plenitude-of-Grace, as thou didst Possess?" - ("Quanta humilitatis virtus cum tanta puritate, cum innocentia tanta, imo cum tantae gratiae plenitudine!") "And how, O Blessed Virgin", 'Continues' the Saint, "did this Humility and so-Great Humility, ever Take so Deep Root in thy Heart, seeing thyself thus 'Honored' and 'Exalted' by God? Whence thy Humility, and so-Great Humility, O Blessed One?" - ("Undo tibi humilitas, et tanta humilitas, O Beata?") Lucifer, 'Seeing' himself 'Endowed' with Great Beauty, 'Aspired' to 'Exalt' his Throne above the Stars, and to 'Make' himself like God: "I Will Exalt my Throne above the Stars-of-God . . . I will be Like the Most High" - ("Super astra Dei exaltabo solium meum . . . similes ero Altissimo" Isaiah 14:13,14). O what would that Proud Spirit have 'Said', and to what would he have 'Aspired', had he ever been 'Adorned' with the Gifts of Mary! The Humble Mary did not 'Act' thus; the Higher she 'Saw' herself 'Raised', the more she 'Humbled' herself. Ah, Lady! 'Concludes' Saint-Bernard, by this Admirable Humility thou didst indeed 'Render' thyself Worthy to be 'Regarded' by God with Singular Love; Worthy to 'Captivate' thy King with thy Beauty; Worthy to 'Draw', by the Sweet Odor of thy Humility, the Eternal Son from His 'Repose', from the Bosom-of God, into thy most-Pure Womb. "She was indeed Worthy to be Looked-upon by the Lord, whose Beauty the King so-Greatly Desired, and by whose most Sweet Odor, He was Drawn-from the Eternal Repose of His Father's Bosom" - ("Digna plane quam respiceret Dominus, cujus decorum concupisceret Rex, cujus odore suavissimo ab aeterno illo paterni sinus attraheretur accubitu" In Assumpt.. s. 4).

Hence, Bernardine-de-Bustis 'Says' that "Mary 'Merited' more by 'Saying' with-Humility, 'Behold the Handmaid of the Lord!', Than All Pure Creatures could Merit together, by all their Good Works" - (Beata Virgo plus meruit, dicendo humiliter: 'Ecce ancilla Domini,' quam simul mereri possent omnes purae creaturae"). Thus, 'Says' Saint-Bernard, this Innocent Virgin, although she 'Made' herself 'Dear' to God by her Virginity, yet it was by her Humility, that she 'Rendered' herself Worthy, as-far-as a Creature can be Worthy, to 'Become' the Mother of her Creator. "Though she 'Pleased' by her Virginity, she 'Conceived' by her Humility" - ("Etsi placuit ex virginitate, tamen ex humilitate concepit" De Laud. V. M. hom. 1). Saint-Jerome 'Confirms' this, 'Saying' that "God 'Chose' her to be His Mother, more on-account-of her Humility, than All her other Sublime Virtues" - ("Maluit Deus de Beata Maria incarnari propter humilitatem, quam propter aliam quamcumque virtutem" Euseb. De Morte Hier). Mary herself also 'Assured' Saint-Bridget of the same thing, 'Saying' "How was it that I Merited so-Great a Grace, as to be 'Made' the Mother of my Lord, if it was not that I Knew my own Nothingness, and that I had Nothing, and Humbled myself" - ("Unde promerui tantam gratiam, nisi quia cogitavi et scivi, me nihil a me esse vel habere?" Rev. l. 2, c. 23). This, she had already 'Declared' in her Canticle, Breathing-forth the most Profound Humility, when she said: "Because He hath 'Regarded' the Humility of His Handmaid . . . He that is Mighty, hath done Great Things to me" - ("Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae . . fecit mihi magna qui potens est"). On these Words, Saint-Laurence-Justinian 'Remarks', that the Blessed Virgin, "did not 'Say', He hath 'Regarded' the Virginity, or the Innocence, but only the Humility" - ("Non aid: Respexit virginitatem, innocentiam; sed humilitatem tantum" De Vita sol. c. 14); and by this Humility, as Saint-Francis-de-Sales 'Observes', Mary did not mean to 'Praise' the Virtue of her own Humility, but she Meant to 'Declare' that God had 'Regarded' her Nothingness (Humility, that is Nothingness) - ("Humilitatem, id est, nihilitatem"), and that, out of His Pure Goodness, He had been 'Pleased' thus, to 'Exalt' her.

In Fine', Saint-Augustine 'Says' that Mary's Humility was a Ladder, by-which Our Lord Deigned to 'Descend' from Heaven to Earth, to 'Become' Man in her Womb; "Mary's Humility", he 'Says', "became a Heavenly Ladder, by which God 'Came' into the World" - ("Facta est certe Mariae humilitas scala coelestis, per quam descendit Deus ad terras" Serm. 208. E. B. App.). This is 'Confirmed' by Saint-Antoninus, who 'Says' that the Humility of Mary was her most Perfect Virtue, and the One that Immediately 'Prepared' her to 'Become' the Mother-of-God. "The Last Grace of Perfection is Preparation-for the Conception-of the Son-of-God, which Preparation is 'Made' by Profound Humility" - ("Ultima gratia perfectionis est praeparatio ad Filium Dei concipiendum; quae praeparatio fuit per profundam humilitatem" P. 4, t. 15, c. 6, #2). The Prophet-Isaiah 'Foretold' the same thing: "And there shall Come-forth a Rod out of the Root of Jesse, and a Flower shall Rise-up out of his Root" - ("Et egredietur virga de radice Jesse, et flos de radice ejus ascendet" Isaiah 11:1). Blessed-Albert-the-Great 'Remarks' on these Words, that the Divine Flower, that is to say, the Only-Begotten Son-of-God, was to be 'Born', not from the Summit, nor from the Trunk, of the Tree-of-Jesse, but from the Root, precisely to 'Denote' the Humility of the Mother: "By the Root, Humility-of-Heart is 'Understood'" - ("In radice humilitas cordis intelligitur"). The Abbot-of-Celles 'Explains' it more-Clearly still, 'Saying': "Remark that the Flower Rises, not from the Summit, but out of the Root" - ("Nota quod non ex summitate virgae ascendit flos" De Sanct. s. 56). For this Reason, God 'Said' to His Beloved Daughter, "Turn away thy Eyes from Me, for they have made Me Flee-away" - ("Averte oculos tuos a me, quia ipsi me avolare fecerunt" Canticles 6:4). Saint-Augustine 'Asks', "Whence have they made Thee Flee, unless it be from the Bosom of Thy Father, into the Womb of Thy Mother?" - ("Unde avolare, nisi a sinu Patris in uterum Matris?" De Ass. conc. 3). On this same Thought, the Learned-Interpreter-Fernandez 'Says', that the Most Humble Eyes-of-Mary, which she always kept 'Fixed'-on the Divine Greatness, never Losing Sight-of her own Nothingness, did such Violence to God Himself, that they 'Drew' Him into her Womb: "Her most Humble Eyes 'Held' God in-such-a-way 'Captive', that the Blessed Virgin, with a kind of most Sweet Violence, 'Drew' the Word Himself 'of' God-the-Father, into her Womb" - ("Ita illius oculi humillimi Deum tenuerunt, ut, suavissima quadam violentia, ipsummet Dei Patris Verbum in uterum suum attraxerit" In Gen. xxiv. Sect. 1). "Thus it is that we can Understand", 'Says' the Abbot-Franco, "why the Holy Ghost 'Praised' the Beauty of this His Spouse, so Greatly, on-account-of her Dove's Eyes"; "How Beautiful art thou, My Love! how Beautiful art thou! Thine Eyes are Dove's Eyes" - ("Quam pulchra es, Amica mea! quam pulchra es! oculi tui columbarum" Canticles 4:1). For Mary, 'Looking' at God with the Eyes of a Simple and Humble Dove, 'Enamored' Him to such a Degree, by her Beauty, that with the Bands-of-Love she 'Made' Him a Prisoner in her Chaste Womb. The Abbot thus 'Speaks': "Where on Earth could so Beautiful a Virgin be Found, who could Allure the King-of-Heaven by her Eyes, and by a Holy Violence, 'Lead' Him Captive, Bound in the Chains-of-Love?" - ("Ubinam terrarium tam speciosa, quae Filium Dei de sinu Patris alliceret; ut vinculis charitatis p9ia violentia captivum traberet" De Grat. Dei, l. 6). So that, to 'Conclude' this Point, we will 'Remark', that in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, as we have already Seen at the Commencement-of our Discourse, Mary could not have Humbled herself more, than she did 'Humble' herself. Let us now 'See' how it was, that God, having 'Made' her His Mother, could not have 'Exalted' her more, than He did 'Exalt' her.

 

God could not have Exalted her more, than He did Exalt her

To 'Understand' the Greatness to-which Mary was 'Exalted', it would be Necessary to 'Understand' the Sublimity and Greatness of God. It is Sufficient, then, to 'Say' simply, that God 'Made' this Blessed Virgin His Mother, to 'Understand' that God could not have 'Exalted' her more than He did 'Exalt' her. Arnold-of-Chartres, then, Rightly 'Asserts' that God, by 'Becoming' the Son of the Blessed Virgin, "Established her in a Rank far-above that of All the Saints and Angels" - ("Maria constituta est super omnem creaturam" De Laud B. M.). So that, with the Exception-of God Himself, there is no-one who is so-Greatly Exalted ("Nulla comparatione, caeteris superis est gloriosior"); as Saint-Ephrem also 'Asserts': "Her Glory is Incomparably Greater than that of All the other Celestial Spirits". This is 'Confirmed' by Saint-Andrew-of-Crete, 'Saying', "God 'Excepted', she is Higher than All" - ("Excepto Deo, omnibus altior" In Dorm. S. M. s. 3). Saint-Anselm also 'Says', "No one is Equal to thee: God alone is Above thee, and all that is not God, is Inferior to thee" - ("Nihil tibi, Domina, aequale; omne enim quod est, aut supra te est, aut subtus te; quod supra, solus Deus; quod infra, omne quod Deus non est" De Conc. B. M.). In Fine', 'Says' Saint-Bernardine, "the Greatness and Dignity of this Blessed Virgin are such, that God alone Does, and Can, 'Comprehend' it" - ("Tanta fuit perfectio Virginis, ut soli Deo cognoscenda reservetur" Pro Fest. V. M. s. 4, a. 3, c. 1).

In this Reflection, we have more-than Sufficient, 'Remarks' font color="#FF8080">Saint-Thomas-of-Villanova, to Take-away the Surprise which might be 'Caused', on 'Seeing' that the Sacred Evangelists, who have so-fully 'Recorded' the Praises of a John-the-Baptist and of a Magdalene, say so-little-of the Precious Gifts of Mary: "It was Sufficient to 'Say' of her, 'Of whom was Born Jesus'". "What more could you Wish the Evangelists to have 'Said', of the Greatness-of this Blessed Virgin?" 'Continues' the Saint. "Is it not enough that they 'Declare' that she was the Mother-of-God? In these Few Words, they 'Recorded' the Greatest, the Whole, of her Precious Gifts; and since the Whole was therein 'Contained', it was unnecessary to 'Enter' into Details" - ("Sufficit quod scriptum est, quia de illa natus est Jesus. Quid ultra requires? Sufficit tibi quod Mater Dei est. Ubi ergo totum erat, pars scribenda non fuit" De Nat. V. conc. 2). And why not? Saint-Anselm 'Replies', "that when we 'Say' of Mary, she is the Mother-of-God, this alone 'Transcends' every Greatness that can be 'Named' or 'Imagined' after that of God" - ("Hoc solum de Sancta Virgine praedicari, quod Dei Mater sit, excedit omnem altitudinem quae, post Deum, dici vel cogitari potest" De Excell. V. c. 2). Peter-of-Celles, on the same Subject, 'Adds': "Address her as Queen-of-Heaven, Sovereign-Mistress of the Angels, or any other Title-of-Honor you may Please, but never can you Honor her so-much as by Simply 'Calling' her the Mother-of-God" - ("Si coeli Reginam, si Angelorum Dominam, vel quodlibet aliud protuleris, non assurget ad hunc honorem, quo praedicatur Dei Genitrix" De Pan. c. 21).

The Reason of this is Evident: for, as the Angelic-Doctor 'Teaches', the Nearer a Thing 'Approaches' its Author, the Greater is the Perfection that it 'Receives' from him; and therefore Mary, being of all Creatures, the Nearest to God, she, more than All Others, has 'Partaken' of His Graces, Perfections, and Greatness. He 'Says', "The Blessed Virgin Mary was the Nearest Possible to Christ; for from her it was, that He Received His Human Nature, and therefore she must have Obtained a Greater Plenitude of Grace from Him, than All Others" - ("Beata autem Virgo Maria propinquissima Christo fuit, quia ex ea accepit humanam naturam; et ideo prae caeteris majorem debuit a Christo gratiae plenitudinem obtinere" P. 3, q. 27, a. 5). To this, Father-Suarez 'Traces' the Reason for which "the Dignity of Mother-of-God, is above every other Created Dignity"; for he 'Says', "It 'Belongs' in a certain-way to the Order of Hypostatic Union; for it Intrinsically 'Appertains' to it; and has a Necessary Conjunction with it" - ("Dignitas matris est altioris ordinis; pertinet enim quodammodo ad ordinem unionis hypostaticae; illam enim intrinsice respicit, et cum illa necessariam conjunctionem habet" De Incar. P. 2, d. 1, s. 2). Hence, Denis-the-Carthusian 'Asserts', that "after the Hypostatic Union, there is none more-Intimate, than that of the Mother-of-God with her Son" - ("Post hypostaticam conjunctionem non est alia tam vicina, ut unio Matris Dei cum Filio suo" De Laud. V. M. l. I, c. 35). This, Saint-Thomas 'Teaches', is the Supreme, the Highest Degree-of-Union that a Pure Creature can have with God: "It is a sort-of Supreme Union with an Infinite Person" - ("Est suprema quaedam conjunction cum Persona infinita"). Blessed-Albert-the-Great also 'Asserts', that "to be the Mother of God is the Highest Dignity, after that of being God" - ("Immediate post esse Deum, est esse Matrem Dei" Super Miss. r. ad 3, q. 140). Hence he 'Adds', that "Mary could not have been more-Closely United-to God, than she was, without Becoming God" - ("Magis Deo conjungi, nisi fieret Deus, non potuit").

Nota Bene

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ within the Womb of Mary implies Three (3) Facts:

The Divine Person of Jesus Christ;
The Human Nature of Jesus Christ;
The Hypostatic Union of the Human with the Divine Nature in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.

Hypostatic Union - A Theological Term used with Reference-to the Incarnation, within the Womb of Mary, to 'Express' the Divinely Revealed Truth that in Jesus Christ, One (1) Divine Person, 'Subsists' in Two (2) Natures, the Divine and the Human. The Natures are not 'Joined' in a Moral or Accidental Union; nor Mixed, Fused or Co-Mingled; but they are Substantially 'United' for Eternity.

Saint-Bernardine 'Says', that "to 'Become' Mother-of-God, the Blessed Virgin had to be 'Raised' to a Sort-of Equality-with the Divine Persons, by an almost Infinity-of-Graces" - ("Quod femina conciperet et pareret Deum, oportuit eam elevari ad quamdam aequalitatem divinam, per quamdam infinitatem gratiarum" Pro Fest. V. M. s. 5, c. 12). And as Children are, Morally Speaking, 'Regarded' One with their Parents, so that their Properties and Honors are in-Common, it 'Follows', says Saint-Peter-Damian, that God, Who 'Dwells' in Creatures in Different Ways, 'Dwelt' in Mary in an Especial Way, and was Singularly 'Identified' with her, Making Himself One and the Same thing with her. "The Fourth Mode", he 'Says', "in which God is in a Creature, is that of Identity; and this He is, in the Blessed Virgin Mary, for He is One with her". Thence he 'Exclaims' in those Celebrated Words, "Let every Creature be Silent and Tremble, and Scarcely Dare 'Glace' at the Immensity of so Great a Dignity. God Dwells in the Blessed Virgin, with whom He has the Identity of One Nature" - ("Quarto modo inest Deus uni creaturae, videlicet Mariae Virgini, identitate, quia idem est quod illa: hic taceat et contremiscat omnis creatura, et vix audeat aspicere tantae dignitatis immensitatem; habitat Deus in Virgine, cum qua unius naturae habet identitatem" In Nat. B. V. s. 1).


"Let every Creature be Silent and Tremble,
and Scarcely Dare 'Glace' at the Immensity of so Great a Dignity.
God Dwells in the Blessed Virgin, with whom He has the Identity of One Nature
"

- Saint-Peter-Damian -

Therefore, Saint-Thomas 'Asserts' that when Mary 'Became' Mother-of-God, by Reason of so-Close a Union with an Infinite (∞) Good, she 'Received' a Dignity, which Father-Suarez 'Calls' "Infinite in its Kind" - ("Dignitas Matris Dei suo genere est infinita" Loco supra cit). The Dignity of Mother-of-God is the Greatest Dignity, that can be 'Conferred' on a Pure Creature. For although the Angelic Doctor 'Teaches' that "even the Humanity of Jesus Christ, could have Received Greater Habitual Grace from God, since Grace is a 'Created' Gift, and therefore its Essence is Finite; for all Creatures have a 'Determined' Measure-of-Capacity, so that it is yet in God's Power to make another Creature, whose 'Determined' Measure is Greater" - ("Cum enim gratia habitualis sit donum creatum, confiteri oportet quod habeat essentiam finitam. Est cujuslibet creaturae determinate capacitates mensura, quin posit aliam creaturam majoris capacitates facere" Comp. Theol. c. 215), yet since His Humanity was Destined-to a Personal Union with a Divine Person, it could not have, for its Subject, anything Greater; or, as the Saint 'Expresses' himself in another Place, "Though the Divine Power could Create something Greater and Better than the Habitual Brace of Christ, nevertheless it could not 'Destine' it to anything Greater than the Personal Union of the only-Begotten Son of the Father" - ("Virtus divina, licet posit facere aliquid majus et melius, quam sit habitualis gratia Christi; non tamen posset facere, quod ordinaretur ad aliquid majus, quam sit unio personalis ad Filium unigenitum a Patre" P. 3, q. 7, a. 12). Thus, on the other hand, the Blessed Virgin could not have been 'Raised' to a Greater Dignity than that of Mother-of-God. "Which Dignity is in a certain manner Infinite, inasmuch as God is an Infinite Good; in this respect, then, she could not have been 'Made' Greater" - ("Beata Virgo ex hoc quod est Mater Dei, habet quondam dignitatem infinitam ex bono infinito, quod est Deus: et ex hac parte, non potest aliquid fieri melius" P. 1, q. 25, a. 6). Saint-Thomas-of-Villanova 'Says' the same thing: "There is something Infinite in Being the Mother of Him Who is Infinite" - ("Utique habet quondam infinitatem, esse matrem Infiniti" De Nat. V. conc. 3). Saint-Bernardine also says, that "the State to which God 'Exalted' Mary in 'Making' her His Mother, was the Highest State that could be 'Conferred' on a Pure Creature: so that He could not have 'Exalted' her more" - ("Status maternitatis Dei erat summus status, qui purae creaturae dari posset" Pro Fest. V. M. s. 8, a. 3). This Opinion is 'Confirmed' by Blessed-Albert-the-Great, who says, that "in Bestowing on Mary the Maternity-of-God, God 'Gave' her the Highest Gift of which a Pure Creature is Capable" - ("Deus Beatissimae Virgini summum donum donavit, cujus pura creatura capax fuit, scilicet Dei maternitatem" Sup. Miss. q. 138).

Hence that 'Celebrated' Saying-of Saint-Bonaventure, that "to be the Mother-of-God is the Greatest Grace that can be 'Conferred' on a Creature. It is such, that God could 'Make' a Greater World, a Greater Heaven, but that He cannot 'Exalt' a Creature more, than by 'Making' her His Mother" - ("Quid mirabilius quam esse Dei Matrem? ipsa est qua majorem Deus facere non posset: majorem mundum posset facere Deus, majus coelum; majorem matrem quam matrem Dei non posset facere" Spec. B. V. lect. 9, 10). But no one has so-well 'Expressed' the Greatness of the Dignity to-which God had 'Raised' her, as the Divine Mother herself, when she 'Said', "He that is Mighty, hath done Great Things in me" - ("Fecit mihi magna qui potens est"). And why did not, the Blessed Virgin 'Make-Known', what were the Great Things 'Conferred' on her, by God? Saint-Thomas-of-Villanova 'Answers', that Mary did not 'Explain' them, because they could not be 'Expressed': "She did not 'Explain' them, because they were Inexplicable" - ("Non explicat quaenam haec magna fuerint, quia inexplicabilia" Umbra Virg. exc. 14).

Hence Saint-Bernard, with-Reason 'Says', "that for this Blessed Virgin, who was to be His Mother, God 'Created' the Whole World" - ("Propter hanc totus mundus factus est" In Salve Reg. s. 3). And Saint-Bonaventure, that its Existence 'Depends' on her Will. He 'Says', 'Addressing' her, "The World, which thou with God didst 'Form' from the Beginning, 'Continues' to 'Exist' at thy Will, O Most Holy Virgin" - ("Dispositione tua Virgo, perseverat mundus, quem et tu cum Deo fundasti ab initio" Psalt. B. V. ps. 118); the Saint, 'Adhering' in this to the Words-of-Proverbs, 'Applied' by the Church, to Mary: "I was with Him, Forming all things" - ("Cum eo eram cuncta componens" Proverbs 8:30). Saint-Bernardine 'Adds', that it was for the Love of Mary, that God did not 'Destroy' Man after Adam's Sin: "He Preserved it, on-account-of His most Singular Love, for this Blessed Virgin" - ("Propter singularissimam dilectionem quam habebat ad Virginem, praesevavit" Pro Fest. V. M. s. 5, c. 2). Hence, the Holy Ghost, with Reason, 'Sings' of Mary: "She has Chosen the Best Part" - ("Optimam partem elegit" Off. Assumpt. evang.); for this Virgin Mother, not only 'Chose' the Best Things, but she 'Chose' the Best Part of the Best Things; "God, Endowing her in the Highest Degree", as Blessed-Albert-the-Great 'Asserts', "with all the General and Particular Graces and Gifts Conferred-on all other Creatures, in consequence of the Dignity 'Granted' her of the Divine Maternity" - ("Beatissima Virgo fuit gratia plena, quia omnes gratias generales et speciales in summon habuit" Bibl. Mar. Luc. n. 13). Thus, Mary was a Child, but of this State, she had only the Innocence, not the Defect-of-Incapacity; for from the very First (1st) Moment of her Existence, she had always the Perfect-Use-of-Reason. She was a Virgin, without the Reproach-of-Sterility. She was a Mother, but at the same-Time, 'Possessed' the Precious Treasure-of-Virginity. She was Beautiful, even Most Beautiful, as Richard-of-Saint-Victor 'Asserts' (In Cant. s. 26), with Saint-George-of-Nicomedia (Or. de Ingr. B. V.), and Saint-Denis-the-Areopagite, who (as it is believed) had the Happiness of Once 'Beholding' her Beauty; and he 'Declared', that had not Faith 'Taught' him that she was only a Creature, he should have 'Adored' her as God. Our Lord Himself, also 'Revealed' to Saint-Bridget, that the Beauty of His Mother, 'Surpassed' that of All Men and Angels. 'Allowing' the Saint to 'Hear' Him 'Addressing' Mary, He 'Said': "Thy Beauty Exceeds that of all Angels, and of all Created Things" - ("Omnes angelos, et omnia quae create sunt, excessit pulchritude tua" Rev. l. I, c. 51). She was most Beautiful, I say; but without Prejudice to those who 'Looked' upon her, for her Beauty 'Banished' all Evil Thoughts, and even 'Enkindled' Pure Ones, as Saint-Ambrose 'Attests': "So Great was her Grace, that not only it 'Preserved' her Own Virginity, but 'Conferred' that Admirable Gift-of-Purity, on those who 'Beheld' her" - ("Tanta erat ejus gratia, ut, non solum in se virginitatis gratiam reservaret, sed etiam his, quos viseret, integritatis insigne conferret" Inst. Virg. c. 7)." This is 'Confirmed' by Saint-Thomas, who 'Says', "that Sanctifying Grace not only 'Repressed' all Irregular Motions in the Blessed Virgin herself, but was also Efficacious for others; so that, notwithstanding the Greatness of her Beauty, she was never 'Coveted' by Others" - ("Gratia sanctificationis non tantum repressit in Virgine motus illicitos, sed etiam in aliis efficaciam habuit; ita ut, quamvis esset pulchra corpore, a nullo unquam concupisci potuit" In Sent. iii. d. 3, q. 1, a. 2, s. 1). For this Reason, she was 'Called' Myrrh, which 'Prevents' Corruption, in the Words-of Ecclesiasticus, 'Applied' to her by the Church: "I Yielded a Sweet Odor, like the best Myrrh" - ("Quasi myrrha electa, dedi suavitatem odoris" Ecclesiasticus 24:20: Off. B. V. resp. 4). The Labors of Active Life, when 'Engaged' in them, did not 'Interrupt' her Union with God. In her Contemplative Life, she was 'Wrapped' in Him, but not so as-to 'Cause' her to 'Neglect' her Temporal-Affairs, and the Charity due to her Neighbor. She had to Die, but her Death was 'Unaccompanied' by its Usual Sorrows, and not Followed by the Corruption of the Body.

In conclusion, then, this Divine Mother is Infinitely (∞) Inferior-to God, but Immensely Superior-to All Creatures; and as it is Impossible-to 'Find' a Son more Noble than Jesus, so is it also Impossible-to 'Find' a Mother, more Noble than Mary. This Reflection should 'Cause' the Clients of so-Great a Queen, not only to 'Rejoice' in her Greatness, but should also 'Increase' their Confidence in her Powerful Patronage; for, 'Says' Father-Suarez, as she is the Mother-of-God, "she has a certain Peculiar Right to His Gifts" - ("Unde fit, ut singulare jus habeat ad bona Filii sui" De Inc. p. 2, d. 1, s. 2), to 'Dispense' them to those for whom she Prays. Saint-Germanus, on the other hand, 'Says', "that God cannot do otherwise than Grant the Petitions of this Mother; for He cannot but Acknowledge her for His True and Immaculate Mother". Here are his Words, 'Addressed' to this Blessed Virgin: "For thou, who by thy Maternal Authority, hast Great Power with God, Obtainest the very great Grace-of-Reconciliation, even for those who have been Guilty of Grievous Crimes. It is Impossible that thou shouldst not be Graciously 'Heard'; for God, in all things, Complies with thy Wishes, as being those of His True and Spotless Mother" - ("Tu autem, quae maternal in Deum auctoritate polles, etiam iis qui enormiter peccant, eximiam remissionis gratiam concilias; non enim potes non exaudiri, cum Deus tibi, ut verae ac immaculatae Matri suae, in omnibus morem great" In Dorm. V. M. s. 2).

Therefore, Power to Succor us is not Wanting to thee, O Mother-of-God, and Mother of us All. The Will is not Wanting: "neither the Power, nor the Will can Fail her" - ("Nec facultas ei deesse poterit, nec voluntas" In Assumpt. s. 1) For thou well Knowest (will I say, 'Addressing' thee in the Words-of thy Servant, the Abbot-of-Celles) that "God did not Create thee for Himself only; He Gave thee to the Angels as their Restorer, to Men as their Repairer, to the Devils as their Vanquisher; for through thy Means, we Recover Divine Grace, and by thee, the Enemy is Conquered and Crushed" - ("Non solum sibi ipsi te fecit; sed te Angelis dedit in instaurationem, hominibus in reparationem, daemonibus in hostem; per te, Deus homini pacificator, diabolus vincitur et conteritur" Cont. de V. M. c. 4).

"God did not Create thee for Himself only;
He Gave thee to the Angels as their Restorer,
to Men as their Repairer,
to the Devils as their Vanquisher;
for through thy Means, we Recover Divine Grace,
and by thee, the Enemy is Conquered and Crushed
"
-
Abbot-of-Celles -

 

If we really Desire to 'Please' the Divine Mother, let us often 'Salute' her with the "Hail Mary". She once 'Appeared' to Saint-Mechtilde (Spir. Grat. L. 1, c. 67), and 'Assured' her that she was 'Honored' by nothing more than this Salutation. By its Means, we shall certainly 'Obtain' even Special Graces, from this Mother-of-Mercy, as will be seen in the following Example.

 

Example

The Event 'Recorded'-by Father-Paul-Segneri, in his "Christian Instructed" (Crist. Istr. P. 3, r. 34, #2), is Justly Celebrated. A Young Man, of Vicious Habits and Laden-with-Sins, went to Confession to Father-Nicholas-Zucchi in Rome. The Confessor 'Received' him with Charity, and, Filled-with Compassion for his Unfortunate State, 'Assured' him that Devotion to Our Blessed Lady, could 'Deliver' him from the Accursed Vice, to which he was 'Addicted'; he therefore 'Imposed' on him as his Penance, that he should say a "Hail Mary", to the Blessed Virgin, every Morning and Evening, on 'Getting'-up and on 'Going'-to Bed, until his next Confession; and, at-the-same-time, that he should 'Offer' her his Eyes, his Hands, and his Whole Body, 'Beseeching' her to 'Preserve' them as something 'Belonging'-to herself, and that he should 'Kiss' the Ground Three (3) Times. The Young Man 'Performed' the Penance, but at First, there was only Slight 'Amendment'. The Father, however, 'Continued' to 'Inculcate' the same Practice on him, 'Desiring' him never to 'Abandon' it, and at-the-same-time, 'Encouraged' him to 'Confide'-in the Patronage-of-Mary. In the mean-time, the Penitent 'Left' Rome with other Companions, and during Several Years, 'Traveled' in different Parts of the World. On his 'Return', he again 'Sought'-out his Confessor, who, to his Great Joy and Admiration, 'Found' that he was entirely 'Changed', and 'Free'-from his Former Evil Habits. "My son", said he, "how hast thou Obtained so Wonderful a Change from God?" The Young Man 'Replied', "Father, our Blessed Lady 'Obtained' me this Grace, on-account-of that Little Devotion, which thou Taughtest me". Wonders did not 'Cease' here. The same Confessor 'Related' the above-Fact from the Pulpit; a Captain 'Heard' it, who for many Years had 'Carried' on Improper Intercourse with a certain Woman, and 'Determined' that he also would 'Practice' the same Devotion, that he too might be 'Delivered' from the Horrible Chains which 'Bound' him a Slave of the Devil (for it is Necessary that Sinners should 'Have' this Intention, in-order-that the Blessed Virgin may be-able-to 'Help' them), and he also 'Gave-up' his Wickedness, and 'Changed' his Life.

But still more. After Six (6) Months he 'Foolishly', and 'Relying' too-much on his Own Strength, went to 'Pay' a 'Visit' to the Woman, to See if she also was Converted. But, on 'Coming-up' to the Door of the House, where he was in Manifest Danger of Relapsing-into-Sin, he was 'Driven-back' by an Invisible Power, and 'Found' himself as-far-from the House, as the Whole Length of the Street, and 'Standing' before his own Door. He was then Clearly Given-to 'Understand' that Mary had thus 'Delivered' him from Perdition. From this we may 'Learn' how Solicitous our Good Mother is, not only to 'Withdraw' us from a State-of-Sin, if we 'Recommend' ourselves to her, for this Purpose, but also to 'Deliver' us from the Danger of 'Relapsing' into it.

 

Prayer

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O Immaculate and Holy Virgin! O Creature, the most-Humble and the most-Exalted before God! Thou wast so-Lowly in thine own-Eyes, but so-Great in the Eyes of thy Lord, that He 'Exalted' thee to such a Degree, as to Choose thee for His Mother, and then made thee Queen-of-Heaven and Earth I therefore 'Thank' God, Who so-Greatly has 'Exalted' thee, and 'Rejoice' in 'Seeing' thee so-Closely 'United' with Him, that more cannot be 'Granted' to a Pure Creature. Before thee, who art so Humble, though 'Endowed' with so Precious Gifts, I am Ashamed to 'Appear', I who am so-Proud in the Midst-of so-many Sins. But, Miserable as I am, I will also 'Salute' thee, Hail, Mary, Full-of-Grace. Thou art already Full-of-Grace; 'Impart' a Portion of it, to me. Our Lord is with thee. That Lord, Who was Always with thee, from the First Moment of thy Creation, has now 'United' Himself more-Closely to thee, by 'Becoming' thy Son. Blessed art thou amongst Women. O Lady, Blessed amongst all Women, 'Obtain' the Divine Blessing for us also. And 'Blessed' is the Fruit-of thy Womb. O Blessed Plant, which hath 'Given' to the World, so Noble and Holy a Fruit! "Holy Mary, Mother of God!" O Mary, I 'Acknowledge' that thou art the True Mother-of-God, and in Defense-of this Truth, I am Ready to Give my Life, a Thousand Times. 'Pray' for us Sinners. But if thou art the Mother-of-God, thou art also the Mother-of our Salvation, and of us Poor Sinners; since God 'Became' Man to 'Save' Sinners, and made thee His Mother, that thy Prayers might have Power to 'Save' any Sinner. 'Hasten', then, O Mary, and 'Pray' for us, now, and at the Hour-of our Death. 'Pray' always: 'Pray' now, that we 'Live' in the Midst-of so many Temptations and Dangers of 'Losing' God; but still more, 'Pray' for us at the Hour of our Death, when we are on the Point-of 'Leaving' this World, and being 'Presented' before God's Tribunal; that, being 'Saved' by the Merits of Jesus Christ and by thy 'Intercession', we may Come one day, without further Danger of being Lost; to 'Salute' thee and 'Praise' thee with thy Son in Heaven, for all Eternity.

Amen