MARY, MOTHER OF MERCY: Refuge For Even The Hardest, Most Despairing Sinners! (part 1)

Even if you are the worst sinner in the world; even if you are already in despair, fly to Mary and invoke her aid; she shows mercy to everyone who calls upon her with a sincere desire to turn from sin!

Quotes taken from ‘The Glories of Mary’ by St. Alphonsus Liguori (Doctor of the Church):

+ “By my omnipotence, venerated mother, I have granted thee the pardon of all sinners, in whatever way it pleases thee, who devoutly invoke the aid of thy mercy. “ +

– Words of Jesus to Mary (revealed to St. Bridget)

+ “No matter how numerous a person’s sins may be, if he turns to me with a sincere purpose of amendment, I am prepared forthwith to receive him graciously, for I do not regard the number of sins he has committed, but look only upon the dispositions with which he comes to me; for I feel no aversion. in healing his wounds, because I am called and am in truth the Mother of Mercy.” – Our Lady to St. Bridget (this quote alone was taken from another work)

+ “To thee nothing is impossible, for thou canst raise even the despairing to the hope of salvation. Thou must be compassionate as thou art powerful.” (Taken from prayer of St. Peter Damian)

+ How consoling is the promise that our Lord himself made on this subject to St. Bridget. We read in her revelations, that one day this saint heard Jesus speaking with his mother, and that he said to her:“Mother, ask of me whatever thou wilt, for I will refuse nothing that thou dost ask; and be assured,” he added, “that all those who for love of thee seek any favour, although they are sinners, if they desire to amend, I promise to hear them!” The same thing was revealed to St. Gertrude, who heard our Redeemer himself say to Mary, that he had in his omnipotence permitted her to exercise mercy towards sinners who invoke her, in whatever manner it should please her.

+ As the mother, then, must have the same power as the Son, justly was Mary made omnipotent by Jesus, who is omnipotent; it being, however, always true, that whereas the Son is omnipotent by nature, the mother is so by grace. And her omnipotence consists in this, that the Son denies nothing that the mother asks; as it was revealed to St. Bridget, who heard Jesus one day addressing Mary in these words: “Oh my mother, thou knowest how I love thee; ask from me, then, whatever thou dost desire, for there is no demand of thine that will not be graciously heard by me.” And the reason that he added was beautiful: “Mother, when thou wast on earth, there was nothing thou didst refuse to do for love of me; now that I am in heaven, it is just that I refuse nothing which thou dost ask of me.” Mary is, then, called omnipotent in the sense in which it can be understood of a creature, who is not capable of any divine attribute. She is omnipotent, because she obtains by her prayers whatever she wishes.

+ The Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget that she closed the eyes of her Son, when he was taken down from the cross, but she could not close his arms: “Ejus brachia flectere non potui.” Jesus Christ giving us to understand by this, that he desired to remain with open arms to receive all penitent sinners who return to him. Oh world, continues Mary, behold, then, thy time is the time of levers: “Et ecce, tempus tuum, tempus aman din.”! Now that thy Son, oh world, has died to save thee, this is no longer for thee a time of fear, but of love: a time to love him who has desired to suffer so much in order to show thee the love he bore thee.

+ No sinner need ever fear that Mary will spurn him when he calls on her for mercy. Never! Because Mary is the Mother of Mercy and she burns with the desire to help unfortunate sinners. Mary is that blessed ark, says Saint Bernard, where anyone who takes refuge will escape the shipwreck of eternal damnation. At the time of the deluge, even the brute animals were saved in Noah’s ark. And so, under Mary’s protection, even sinners are saved. One day in a vision, Saint Gertrude saw Mary with her cloak spread wide open. Under its folds were many wild animals: lions, bears, tigers – all of whom had taken refuge there. The saint noticed that Mary did not chase the beasts away. She welcomed them kindly and caressed them. From this, Saint Gertrude concluded that even the most sordid sinners are not only not rejected by Mary, but are even welcomed and saved by her from eternal death. Let us then enter this ark, let us take refuge under the cloak of Mary and she will most certainly not spurn us, but will secure our eternal salvation.

+ The Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget that there is no sinner living so cold in divine love, that if he invokes her holy name, with the resolution to amend, the devil will not instantly depart from him. And she at another time assured her of this, telling her that all the demons so greatly venerate and fear her name, that when they hear it pronounced they immediately release the soul which they held in their chains.

+ This the blessed Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget: “I am,” she said to her, “the queen of heaven and the mother of mercy; I am the joy of the just, and the gate of entrance for sinners to God; neither is there living on earth a sinner who is so accursed that he is deprived of my compassion; for everyone, if he receives nothing else through my intercession, receives the grace of being less tempted by evil spirits than he otherwise would be; no one, therefore,” she added, “who is not entirely accursed” (by which is meant the final and irrevocable malediction pronounced against the damned), “is so entirely cast off by God that he may not return and enjoy his mercy if he invokes my aid. I am called by all the mother of mercy, and truly the mercy of God towards men has made me so merciful towards them.” And then she concluded by saying, “Therefore he shall be miserable, and forever miserable in another life, who in this, being able, does not have recourse to me, who am so compassionate to all, and so earnestly desire to aid sinners.”

+ The Blessed Virgin herself revealed this to St. Bridget, saying: “As a mother who sees her son exposed to the sword of the enemy, makes every effort to save him, thus do I, and will I ever do for my children, sinful though they be, if they come to me for help.”

+ Mary assured St. Bridget that she was mother not only of the just and innocent, but also of sinners, provided they wish to amend. When a sinner becomes penitent, and throws himself at her feet, he finds this good mother of mercy more ready to embrace and aid him than any earthly mother could be. This St. Gregory wrote to the princess Matilda: “Desire to cease from sin, and I confidently promise you will find Mary more prompt than an earthly mother in thy behalf.” But whoever aspires to be the son of this great mother, must first leave off sinning, and then let him hope to be accepted as her son. St. Jerome wrote to the virgin Eustochium, that Mary not only assists her dear servants in their death, but also comes to meet them in their passage to the other life, to encourage them and accompany them to the divine tribunal, And this agrees with what the blessed Virgin said to St. Bridget, speaking of her servants when they are at the point of death: “Then I, their most loving Lady and mother, hasten to them in death, that they may have consolation and comfort.”

+ In the Revelations of St. Bridget, Mary is called the star going before the sun: *idug vadens ante solem.” By which we are to understand, that when devotion to the divine mother first dawns in a sinful soul, it is a certain sign that God will soon come to enrich her with his grace. The glorious St. Bonaventure, in order to revive in the hearts of sinners confidence in the protection of Mary, represents to us the sea in a tempest, in which sinners who have fallen from the bark of divine grace, tossed about by remorse of conscience, and by the fear of divine justice, without light and without a guide, have almost lost the breath of hope, and are nearly sinking in despair; at this critical moment the saint, pointing to Mary, who is commonly called “The star of the sea,” raises his voice and exclaims : Oh poor, lost sinners, do not despair, lift your eyes to that beautiful star, take courage and trust, for she will guide you out of the tempest, and bring you to the port of safety…”

************ The blessed Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget, that no sinner in the world is so great an enemy to God, that if he has recourse to her and invokes her aid, does not return to God and is not restored to his favour. And the same St. Bridget heard one day Jesus Christ saying to his mother, that she could obtain the divine favour even for Lucifer, if he would humble himself so far as to ask her help. That proud spirit would never stoop to implore the protection of Mary, but if such a thing could happen, Mary would take pity upon him, and the power of her prayers would obtain from God his pardon and salvation. But what cannot happen to the devil may well happen to sinners who seek the help of this mother of mercy. ************

+ This divine mother, in her revelations to St. Bridget, said: “I am the mother of all the souls in purgatory; and all the sufferings which they merit for the sins committed in life are every hour, while they remain there, alleviated in some measure by my prayers.”

+ Who, oh holy Virgin, exclaims the blessed Eutychian, has ever sought thy powerful protection, which can relieve the most miserable and rescue the most degraded, and has been abandoned by thee? No, this has never happened, and never will happen. Let him be silent concerning thy mercy, oh blessed Virgin, whose necessities have been neglected by thee after he has implored thy aid.

+ And, therefore, says the blessed Albertus Magnus, as we are indebted to Jesus for what he suffered for love of us, we are also to Mary for the martyrdom which she, in the death of her Son, voluntarily suffered for our salvation. I have added voluntarily, since, as the angel revealed to St. Bridget, this our so merciful and kind mother was willing to suffer any pain, rather than to see souls unredeemed or left in their former perdition. It may be said that this was the only consolation of Mary in the midst of her great sorrow at the passion of her Son, to see the lost world redeemed by his death, and men, who were his enemies, reconciled with God. Grieving, she rejoiced, says Simon da Cassia, because the sacrifice was offered for the redemption of all, by which wrath was appeased.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, ora pro nobis!

Mother of Mercy, ora pro nobis!

Hope of the despairing, ora pro nobis!