The Glories of Mary


The Sistine Madonna - by RAFFAELLO Sanzio - from Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

 

The Praise of Mary, is an Inexhaustible Fount;
the more it is Enlarged, the Fuller it gets,
and the more you Fill it, so-Much-the-More, is it Enlarged

 

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

 

The Glories of Mary

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Introduction

 

One way of 'Approaching' this Important Work, is to 'Examine' its Structure. As with most of his Works-of Popular Devotion, Alphonsus 'Opens' The Glories, with a Prayer to Jesus and Mary (23-24). This opening Supplication is followed by a Brief Explanatory Note to his Readers, of the Theological Correctness of some of his Terms; for example, Mary's Mediation-of-Grace, and her Cooperation-in the Work-of-Redemption (25-27). This, in turn, is Followed-by an Introduction, where he 'Explains' his Reasons-for Writing the Book, and Points-out the Common Bond he Shares-with his Readers, by Virtue-of Mary's Spiritual Motherhood (29-33).

 

Prayer to Jesus and Mary

Theological Correctness of Terms

Rationale for Book

 

The Body-of the Book, is Divided-into Two (2) Parts, the First (1st) of which consists-of a Phrase-by-Phrase Exposition-of the Salve Regina (26-285) and the Second (2nd)of which, Comprises a Series-of Shorter Tracts, on various Marian Feasts (287-461), Dolors (463-544), Virtues (545-590), Devotional Practices, and Prayers (591-616). (The Grimm Edition, 'Divides' Part Two (2), into Four (4) Separate Parts, to-Turn the entire Opus, into Five (5) Parts.) At the End-of the Work, Alphonsus 'Offers' a Brief Conclusion, where he 'Expresses' his Hope, that his Work will 'Deepen' his Readers' Devotion-to Mary. He also 'Turns'-to Mary herself, and 'Expresses' his Joy, that he has 'Left' on-Earth a Book, that will Continue-to 'Praise' and 'Extol' her, long-after his Death (616-617). This Conclusion is followed-by a Hymn to-Mary, where Alphonsus 'Asks'-for the Grace, to Love her until Death (617).

 

First Part
Explanation of the Salve Regina

As already mentioned, Alphonsus provides-in Part One a Phrase-by-Phrase Exposition-of the Salve Regina. Each Phrase of this Popular Marian Prayer, is 'Examined'. In doing so, Alphonsus 'Reveals' the Depth-of-Meaning, Present-in this Simple Prayer, in Venerable Praise-of God's Mother. By Gathering the Sayings-of the Fathers, Doctors, and Saints of the Church on the various Themes, covered-in the Prayer - Mary as our-Advocate, our-Help, our Compassionate Mother-of-Mercy, he 'Steeps' his Readers in the Tradition-of the Church, and 'Gives' them a Sense-of 'Being' in the Midst-of the Communion-of-Saints. This Literary Device, naturally Carries-over into the Prayer itself. After Reading The Glories, one's Recitation-of the Prayer, cannot Help but take-on Deeper and Fresher Dimensions. Alphonsus, in-effect, is 'Sharing'-with his Readers, the Fruits-of his own Meditations, and Extensive Reading-on the various Themes, Covered-by the Prayer.

 

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.

 

Chapter I
Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae
Mary, Our Queen, Our Mother

How Great should be our Confidence-in Mary, who is the Queen-of-Mercy

How much our Confidence-in Mary should be Increased, because she is Our Mother

The Greatness of the Love, which this Mother Bears us

Mary is the Mother-of Penitent Sinners

 

Chapter II
Vita, Dulcedo
Mary, Our Life, Our Sweetness

Mary is our Life, because she Obtains for us, the Pardon of our Sins

Mary is also our Life, because she Obtains-for us, Perseverance

Mary is our Sweetness; she Renders Death, Sweet-to her Clients

 

Chapter III
Spes nostra! Salve
Mary, Our Hope

Mary is the Hope of All

Mary is the Hope of Sinners

 

Chapter IV
Ad te clamanus, exsules filii Evae
Mary, Our Help

The Promptitude of Mary, in Assisting those who Invoke her

The Greatness of the Power of Mary, to Defend those who Invoke her, when Tempted by the Devil

 

Chapter V
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hoc lacrymarum valle
Mary, Our Mediatress

The Necessity of the Intercession of Mary, for our Salvation

The same Subject, Continued

 

Chapter VI
Eia ergo, Advocata nostra!
Mary, Our Advocate

Mary is an Advocate, who is able to Save All

Mary is so Tender an Advocate, that she does not Refuse to Defend the Cause, even of the most Miserable

Mary is the Peace-maker, between Sinners and God

 

Chapter VII
Illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
Mary, Our Guardian

Mary is All Eyes, to Pity and Succors us, in our Necessities

 

Chapter VIII
Et Jesum, benedictum Fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exilium ostende.
Mary, Our Salvation

Mary 'Delivers' her Clients, from-Hell

Mary 'Succors' her Clients, in-Purgatory

Mary 'Leads' her Servants, to-Heaven

 

Chapter IX
O Clemens, O Pia!
Clemency and Compassion of Mary

How Great are the Clemency and Compassion, of Mary

 

Chapter X
O dulcis Virgo Maria
Sweetness of the Name of Mary

The Sweetness of the Name of Mary, during Life and at Death

 

Prayers

Beautiful and Fervent Prayers to the Divine Mother

 

Second Part
Discourses on the Principle Feasts-of-Mary

This Section Focuses-on the Seven (7) Major Marian Feasts:

Mary's Immaculate Conception,
her Birth,
her Presentation,
the Annunciation,
the Visitation,
her Purification, and
her Assumption.

Using the same-Method found in Part One, Alphonsus tries to Bridge whatever Gaps might Exist, between the Reader's Personal Devotion-to Mary, and the Church's Liturgical Celebrations.

 

  Mary's Immaculate Conception

  Discourse 2 - Immaculate Conception

  The Birth of Mary

  The Presentation of Mary

  The Annunciation of Mary

  Discourse 2 - The Annunciation of Mary

  The Visitation of Mary

  Discourse 2 - Visitation

  The Purification of Mary

  The Assumption of Mary

  Discourse 2 - Assumption

 

Third Part
The Dolors of Mary

This next Section, Focuses-on the Sorrows-of-Mary. It 'Emphasizes' her Participation in the Sufferings-of her Son, Showing that she 'Collaborated'-in the Work-of Redemption, not just at Jesus' Birth, but also during the Way-of the Cross. It begins with a Discourse-on Mary, under the Title-of "Queen-of-Martyrs" (463-481), then 'Offers' a Sermon-on the Dolors-of-Mary (482-492), before Entering-into an Extended Reflection, on each of her Seven (7) Sorrows:

Simeon's Prophecy,
the Flight into Egypt,
the Loss of Jesus in the Temple,
her Meeting-with Jesus on the Way-to Calvary,
the Death of Jesus,
the Piercing of His Side, and Descent from the Cross,
and His Burial (493-537).

It Concludes with a Series-of Hymns, 'Commemorating' Mary's Suffering, to be Used during Communal Services, 'Pertaining' to the Passion-of the Lord, Mary's Words-of-Sorrow on Calvary, the "Stabat Mater" (538-544). The Thrust of this Section, is to Demonstrate Mary's Total Unity (1), with the Suffering-of her Son. Her "Yes" to-God, Means that her Life is Inexorably Tied-to her Son's, in All Respects. Mary's Sorrows, moreover, make her 'Approachable'. In them, the Readers see someone Human, like themselves, who will Listen-to them, Understand what they themselves are Going-through, and 'Lend' a Helping Hand.

 

Mary is the Queen of Martyrs

First Dolor - Simeon's Prophecy

Second Dolor - The Flight into Egypt

Third Dolor - The Loss of Jesus in the Temple

Fourth Dolor - The Meeting of Jesus and Mary, when He was Going-to Death

Fifth Dolor - The Death of Jesus

Sixth Dolor - The Piercing-of the Side-of Jesus, and His Descent from the Cross

Seventh Dolor - The Burial of Jesus

 

Fourth Part
The Virtues of Mary

This Next Section, Focuses-on the Ten (10) Virtues, most-closely Associated-with Mary:

Humility,
Charity towards God,
Charity towards her Neighbor,
Faith,
Hope,
Chastity,
Poverty,
Obedience,
Patience, and a
Spirit of Prayer (547-587).

In Alphonsus's Day, these Virtues were those, most-closely Associated-with the Life-of-Perfection, and Especially (although not Exclusively) with Religious Life. Today, he most likely would 'Emphasize' these Virtues, as-Expressions-of Discipleship, a Concept which 'Spans' the various "States-of-Life" in the Church, and which would Appeal-to All Members-of Christ's Body, regardless of their State in-Life: Priestly, Religious, Lay. In this Treatise, Alphonsus Departs-from his Usual Methodology, by 'Omitting' the 'Example' and by 'Incorporating' a 'Prayer', in its Shortened Form, at the End. The Reason for 'Omitting' the 'Examples' here, should be Obvious. Mary herself is the Example-par-Excellence, of the Virtues he is Extolling. There is no-Need to 'Point-to' Anyone or Anything else. Mary's Life, Speaks-for itself, as a Model-of Christian Living, for All to 'Admire', and 'Seek'-to Imitate. To 'Substantiate' this Point, the Treatise 'Ends' with some appropriate Hymns, in Praise-of Mary's Life. Alphonsus's Goal here, is to 'Present' Mary as the Model Christian. Rooted in Humility, "the Foundation and Guardian of Virtues" (547), her following-of Christ, Extends-throughout her Life, and to every Dimension-of her Being. Mary, in-other-words, was Jesus' closest-Disciple, and 'Led' the Kind-of-Life, that all Christians should 'Aspire' to.

 

Introduction

Mary's Humility

Mary's Love for God

Mary's Love for Her Neighbor

Mary's Faith

Mary's Hope

Mary's Chastity

Mary's Poverty

Mary's Obedience

Mary's Patience

Mary's Spirit of Prayer

 

Fifth Part
Various Practices-of-Devotion,
in Honor of the Divine Mother

In this Section, Alphonsus 'Outlines' the various Popular Devotions, close-to the Heart-of-Mary:

the Hail Mary,
Novenas in her Honor,
the Rosary,
her Office,
Fasting,
Visiting her Images,
Wearing her Scapular,
Confraternities dedicated-to her,
Giving Alms in her Honor,
Having Recourse to her,
to Name but a Few (593-616).

Before doing so, he Reminds his Readers, that such Devotional Practices, 'Assure' Mary's Graciousness and Protection, only if they are Performed Free-from Sin (or at-least the Desire to be Free-from it), and with Perseverance (591-592). In this, the most Practical Section in the entire Book, Alphonsus takes Great Pains, not only to 'Describe' the Makeup of each Devotion, but also to 'Delineate' the various Ways of Putting it into Practice. His Aim in all of this, is to Provide his Readers, with as-many Choices as-possible, so that they will be able to-make Appropriate Selections, that Fit into the Exigencies, of their own Lives. Appearing at the End, as it does, this Practical Orientation 'Serve' as a Useful Guide-to Marian Devotion, as 'Practiced' in Alphonsus's Day. By Ending-on the Question-of Praxis, he 'Encourages' his Readers to 'Reflect' on the Ways, in which they can best 'Express' their Devotion-to Mary, the Mother-of their Lord.

 

Introduction

First Devotion

Second Devotion

Third Devotion

Fourth Devotion

Fifth Devotion

Sixth Devotion

Seventh Devotion

Eighth Devotion

Ninth Devotion

Tenth Devotion

Conclusion

 

Appendix

For Alphonsus, Mary was a close Collaborator-with Jesus, in the Work-of-Redemption. Without her, God's Mysterious Plan-of-Salvation, would never have 'Borne' Fruit. Included in this Appendix are various additional Meditations, Novenas, Prayers, Consecrations, Acclamations, Sermons, and Examples, 'Reflecting' his Deep and Affectionate, Devotion-to the Blessed Mother.

 

Meditations

Feast of the Purification of Mary
(Aka Presentation of the Lord/Candlemas; Celebrated 2nd February, 40 Days after Christmas)

Solemnity of the Annunciation
(Aka Feast of the Incarnation; Celebrated 25th March, 9 months before the Nativity of Our Lord on 25th December)

Feast of the Visitation
(Celebrated 31st May)

Feast of the Assumption
(Celebrated 15th August)

Feast of the Nativity of Mary
(Celebrated 8th September)

Feast of the Presentation of Mary
(Celebrated 21st November)

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
(Celebrated 8th December)

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Celebrated 19th March)

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
(A Holy Day of Obligation, Celebrated 1st January. Aka World Day for Peace, Circumcision of the Lord and Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus)

 

For Alphonsus, Mary was a close-Collaborator with-Jesus, in the Work-of-Redemption. Without her, God's Mysterious Plan-of-Salvation, would never have 'Borne' Fruit. Included in this Appendix are various additional Meditations, Novenas, Prayers, Consecrations, Acclamations, Sermons, and Examples, 'Reflecting' his Deep and Affectionate Devotion-to the Blessed Mother.

 

Novena of the Titles of Mary

First Day

Second Day

Third Day

Fourth Day

Fifth Day

Sixth Day

Seventh Day

Eighth Day

Ninth Day

 

For Alphonsus, Mary was a close-Collaborator with-Jesus, in the Work-of-Redemption. Without her, God's Mysterious Plan-of-Salvation, would never have 'Borne' Fruit. Included in this Appendix are various additional Meditations, Novenas, Prayers, Consecrations, Acclamations, Sermons, and Examples, 'Reflecting' his Deep and Affectionate Devotion-to the Blessed Mother.

 

Prayers, Consecrations, and Acclamations to the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

For Alphonsus, Mary was a close-Collaborator with-Jesus, in the Work-of-Redemption. Without her, God's Mysterious Plan-of-Salvation, would never have 'Borne' Fruit. Included in this Appendix are various additional Meditations, Novenas, Prayers, Consecrations, Acclamations, Sermons, and Examples, 'Reflecting' his Deep and Affectionate Devotion-to the Blessed Mother.

 

Sermon for the Feast of the Annunciation

Sermon on the Dolors of Mary

Sermon for the Feast of Saint Joseph

Examples of Mary's Intercession for Her
Devout Clients