Novena of Mary's Titles;
by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori
Meditate and Pray on the Following Discourses
- First Meditation -
"Comfortress-of-the-Afflicted" - Saint-Germanus 'Says', "O Mary, who, after thy Son, is as Solicitous for the
Whole Human Race, as thou art? who Protects us in our Trials, as thou dost?" Who, O Mary, Watches-over our Interests, as thou dost?
who is Solicitous as thou art for us, in our Afflictions? "No",
'Replies' Saint Antoninus, "no Saint can be Found, who Compassionates us in our Miseries, as does this Most Tender Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary".
And as the Miseries, which Afflict us the most, are Disorders of the
Soul, Blessed-Henry-Suso 'Calls' Mary, "the most-Faithful Comfortress-of-Sinners". We need only 'Show'
Mary the Wounds of our Soul, and she
Immediately 'Helps' us by her Prayers, and Consoles us. Nay, even as
Richard-of-Saint-Victor 'Writes', her Compassion 'Anticipates' our Wants,
and she 'Relieves' us, before we 'Invoke' her. Let us 'Say', then, with Saint-Bonaventure:
O Mary, Console us always,
But especially at the Hour-of-our-Death;
Come at that Last Hour, and Receive our Souls,
And Present them thyself, to thy Son,
Who will Judge us.
- Second Meditation -
Mary, Help-of-Christians - "Terrible as an Army
Set-in-Array" - Canticles 6.3
"Help-of-Christians" - Saint-John-Damascen 'Calls' Mary, "the
'Prepared' and 'Always-Ready' Help-of-Christians, by which they are Delivered from Dangers". The Help of Mary is, as Saint-Cosmas-of-Jerusalem
'Writes', "All Powerful to-Deliver us from Sin and Hell". Saint-Bernard, 'Addressing' Mary, 'Says',
"Thou art an Invincible Warrior, in Defense-of thy Servants, Fighting against the Devils who Assail them". For this Reason, she is 'Called'
an Army, in the Sacred Canticles: "Thou art . . . Terrible, as an Army Set-in-Array" - Canticles 6:3.
Ah, my Queen, had I always had Recourse to thee,
I should never have been Conquered by my Enemies;
From henceforth, thou shalt be my Strength;
In my Temptations I will always have Recourse to thee;
From thee do I Hope for Victory.
- Third Meditation -
Crucifixion (detail of Mary's Martyrdom) -
by MANTEGNA, Andrea -
from Musée du Louvre, Paris
"Queen-of-Martyrs" - With Reason, is Mary Called the Queen-of-Martyrs, for
her Martyrdom, in the Death of her Son
on the Cross, 'Exceeded' the Sufferings of All the Martyrs. "There stood-by the
Cross-of-Jesus, His Mother". Mothers Fly-from their Children, when they see them Dying and are are Unable-to 'Help' them. Mary did not
'Fly', but Remained-with Jesus, until she saw Him Expire.
"She stood by the Cross", and whilst Jesus was in His Agony,
she 'Offered' the Life-of her Son to the Eternal Father, for our
Salvation; but in Doing-so, she also was in Agony, and 'Experienced' a
Torment Greater-than any Death.
O my Afflicted Mother, be Graciously Pleased, by the Merits-of the Sorrows
which thou didst Endure at the Foot-of the Cross, to Obtain me True Sorrow for my Sins, and Love for Jesus, my Redeemer;
and by the Sword which Transpierced thy Heart, when thou didst see Him Bow-down His-Head and Expire,
I Beseech thee to Help me at the Hour-of my Death, and then to Obtain me Eternal Salvation,
that I may Love thee with thy Jesus, for ever.