A Scriptural Hymn in Honour Of Mary

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Mary: Mother of Divine Grace and the Throne of Grace


A Scriptural Hymn to the Mother of God
The following hymn is composed entirely of Scripture verses from the Douay Rheims (with some very minor adjustments). Not a single text has been chosen arbitrarily; on the contrary, I have drawn only upon Catholic liturgical texts (Mass propers, principally), the Church Fathers, and the writings of the Saints.

At the bottom of the page you will find the lyrics set to a particular version of the ‘Te Deum’ (for private use only), with Scriptural references to the side. To hear the melody, try this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypZEKyjQSK0

THE KING’S DAUGHTER
King’s Daughter, Queen all fair, Mother of the Sun of Justice.
Woman clothed with the Sun, most beautiful among women.
In thy light we shall see Light: fair as the moon, bright as the sun, unspotted mirror.
Mother of my Lord, Emmanuel: Mother of our Everlasting Saviour.
Virgin. Mother. Mary, glorious things are said of thee.
Blessed art thou by the Most High, perfect handmaid above all women.
Thou hast surpassed them, Mother of All the Living.
Full of Grace, thou art the honour of our people:
House of God, a garden enclosed, most blessed Tree of Life.
Wonderful tabernacle: the Gate of Heaven and the Throne of Grace.
Thou art the Mother of Holy Hope.
Thou hast prevented our ruin, brought our enemies to nought.
By thee, Mary, He hath fulfilled His mercy.
Let thy voice sound in my ears!

Little ones, blessed are they that keep my ways.
Come to me, I am an infinite treasure to men: children, my spirit is sweet above honey.
I am the firstborn before all creatures: in me is all grace and all good things; be filled with my fruits.
Come, drink the Wine which I have mingled, Wine springing forth virgins.
He that shall find me shall find the True Light.
I love them that love me; with me are riches and glory: give me thy heart and magnify the Lord with me!
Where thou shalt dwell I also will dwell: at the breasts you shall be carried.
If thou wilt follow the words of thy handmaid, the Lord God will do with thee a perfect thing.
Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye; let us extol His Name.
For the dwelling in me is of all rejoicing.
I will keep thee; my bands are a healthful binding: I will draw thee with bands of love.
Forget not the groanings of thy Mother: O put me as a seal upon thy heart!

My Mother, speak to the King for us: deliver us from death.
The King said: My Mother, ask: for I must not turn away thy face;
what wilt thou? it shall be given to thee.
Thou art the Mother of Fair Love; draw me: we will see Him with thee!

Giorgi G. (1777), Madonna della neve detta del Piano di Medicina

Some Scriptural References to Mary (i.e. Marian types, symbols) from the Latin Vulgate

Some Pertinent Quotations from ‘The Glories of Mary’ by St. Alphonsus
+ She was seen by St. John clothed with the sun: ‘And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun.’ She is said to be clothed with the sun, because, as ‘There is no one that can hide himself from His heat,’ so there is no one living on the earth who is deprived of the love of Mary.”

+ “There were anciently, in Judea, cities of refuge; and criminals, who sought protection in them, were free from the penalty of their offences. Now, there are not so many cities of refuge, but instead of these there is one only, Mary; of whom it was spoken: ‘Glorious things are said of thee, oh city of God: Gloriosa dicta sunt de te, civitas Dei.’ But with this difference, that not all criminals could find refuge in those ancient cities, nor for all sorts of crime; but under the mantle of Mary all offenders may find protection, whatsoever crimes they have committed. It is sufficient for anyone to have recourse to her for protection. “I am the city of refuge for all those who flee to me,” as St. John of Damascus says, speaking in her name.”

+ “Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all. If Mary has surpassed all in the riches of grace, she then possessed original justice, as Adam and the angels had it.”

+ ‘In me is all grace of the way and of the truth: In me gratia omnis vise et veritatis.’ In me are all the graces of true blessings that you men can desire in your life. Yes, our mother and our hope, well do we know, to use the words of St. Peter Damian, that all the treasures of the divine mercies are in thy hands.”

+ “St. Lawrence Justinian applies to Mary that other text of Ecclesiasticus: ‘Her bands are a healthful binding: Vincula illius alligatura salutaris’: and then adds: “Wherefore bands? unless to bind her servants, that they may not go astray into unlawful fields.” Mary binds her servants that they may not take too much liberty, and thus cause their ruin. Oh, mother of God, in thee l place all my hopes: thou must save me from falling again into sin. Oh my Lady, do not abandon me; obtain for me the grace to die rather than to lose the grace of God.”

The King’s Daughter (with notation and Scriptural references)

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What The World Needs Now…

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… is SAINTS! ‘Save me, O Lord, for there is now no saint: truths are decayed from among the children of men’ (Ps. 11:2).

It is said of St. Teresa of Avila that, by a single burning prayer, she – or rather, God acting in her – converted 10,000 criminals! Bl. John Massias obtained the release of 1.2 million souls from Purgatory. On the day St. Mechtilde died it was revealed to St. Gertrude, her intimate confidante, that no soul was lost (Rev. Auguste Saudreau notes this; another work says that “not one Christian soul” was lost. I defer to the experts; I have not read the Latin original.) Such anecdotes could be multiplied.

The question is: how do we account for this? Blosius provides the answer:

“Those, indeed, who are united to God without any medium, and allow Him freely to work in them, are the most dear friends of God, and in one little hour are of more advantage to the Church than others who have not attained to this union can be in many years.”
– Ven. Louis de Blois (Blosius), O.S.B. (‘A Book of Spiritual Instruction’)

An Extremely Powerful Prayer of Thanksgiving For Holy Communion

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Some time within the last year or so, I began to pray Mary’s Magnificat as part of my thanksgiving for Holy Communion, in imitation of Bl. Mary d’Oignies and other holy souls who have profited immensely thereby. What profit there is in clinging to the Mother of God, the sole Spouse of Christ! We cannot separate Jesus and Mary: in Christ, we are sons in the Son; in Mary, we are spouses in the Spouse. To be all hers is to the best way to be all His.

In addition to the Magnificat, I also like to add various Scriptural passages, including the first verse of Psalm 102: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME bless His Holy Name.’

I was very pleased, then, to discover the prayer of St. John Eudes at the time of receiving Holy Communion:

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His Name.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath shewed might in His Arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
(Lk. 1:46-55; Ps. 102:1)

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Why did I write ‘Soul’, rather than ‘soul’? Listen to Our Lord’s words to Ven. Anne-Marguerite Clement (‘Divine Communications’, Vol. II, p. 156, Saudreau, OP):

“Since I have indeed given you My heart, why can I not give you My Soul as well? Yes: I will that It shall be yours, in order that, even as we have but one Heart, so may we also have but one Soul; and so you shall be able to say continually in Me and by Me: Benedic, anima mea, Domino: bless the Lord, O my soul.”

Read also Our Lord’s words to Mother Deleloe (which I have shared before):

“What more can you desire than to have within you the true source of all good, My Divine Heart?… All these great things are yours, all these treasures and riches are for the heart that I have chosen… Draw as much as you desire of these infinite delights and riches.”

The Value of Love: St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Describes the Reward of St. Aloysius

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“A SINGLE ACT OF LOVE is more pleasing to God and of more value than the whole material universe, as a diamond is more precious than a huge rock.”
– Fr. Lukas Etlin, OSB

“Oh! how much glory Louis [Aloysius], the son of Ignatius, possesses! I would never have believed it, unless Thou, O my Jesus, had shown him to me… It seems to me in a certain manner that there could scarcely be so much glory in Heaven as that which Louis enjoys… I say that Louis is a great Saint… I would like to be able to go through the whole world, and say that Louis, son of Ignatius, is a great Saint; and I would like to be able to show his glory to everyone, that God might be glorified… He possesses so much glory
because of his interior work… Who could ever relate the value and the merit of interior works? There is no comparison between the interior and the exterior. . . . Louis, whilst on earth, kept his mouth open to the Word (she meant to say that this Saint loved the interior inspirations of the Word and tried to fulfill them)… Louis was a hidden martyr; because he who loves Thee, my God, knows that Thou art so great and infinitely amiable, that it is a great martyrdom to him to see that he does not love Thee as much as he wishes to love Thee; and that Thou art not loved, but rather offended by creatures… He made himself a martyr also… Oh! how much he loved Thee on earth! hence he now rejoices in Heaven in great fullness of love!” (‘The Life of St. Mary Magdalen De-Pazzi,’ Fabrini)

“Ah! God does not account of things as men do; of very slight weight are their appreciations, in His Judgment! Even in the case of the Saints themselves, the mere fractional number of years, or brilliant deeds, goes far less to the filling up of a life-time, in His view, than does LOVE. The usefulness of a human existence ought surely to be measured, as a matter of fact, by the amount produced in it, of WHAT IS LASTING.”
– Dom Gueranger

Jesus Lives On In The Church (Pt. 3): The Mystical Tradition (cont.)

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SOME REVELATIONS ON THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT (cont.)

(4) A Vision of Bl. Marie d’Oignies
“In the life of Bl. Marie d’Oignies it is related that Our Lord was accustomed, on the occasion of different Feasts, to show Himself to her in the Blessed Sacrament under a form in harmony with the mystery being celebrated.” (‘Christ in His Mysteries’)

(5) A Revelation to Mother Jeanne Deleloë* (d. 1660)
“At Christmastide,” she writes, “during all those solemnities of our Saviour’s Birth, I received great favours; His Majesty often gave me a vivid light so that I knew these divine mysteries as if they were then really taking place.” (‘Christ, the Ideal of the Monk,’ Bl. Columba Marmion)

*“Often, during her ecstasies, she was heard reciting the Divine Office; but a curious thing was that she pronounced the verses alternatively, as if the inhabitants of Heaven were repeating the psalms with her; she recited the whole without omitting a single syllable, whatever was the Office of the day…
We likewise see St. Catherine of Siena asking Our Lord to teach her to read in order to be able to chant the Psalms and praises of God during the Canonical Hours. Often, too, Our Lord walked up and down with her in her cell and recited the Office with the Saint. It was as two religious might have done.”
(ibid.)

(6) A Vision of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
“God also granted her to see Jesus in the heart of the sisters after they had received Holy Communion; and sometimes she manifested in what form she saw Him in each of them,
He showing Himself to her in some as a child, in others at the age of twelve, and in others still at the age of thirty-three years, in others as suffering and crucified, and in others as risen and glorious; and this diversity occurred according to the various meditations the sisters were engaged in, or according to the capacity and the merits of each of them.” (‘The Life of St. Mary Magdalen De-Pazzi,’ Fabrini)

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St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi in ecstasy

(7) Another Vision of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
“One morning, it being Easter Sunday, whilst she was mistress of novices, and sitting at the table with unwonted joy and gladness, a novice waitress could not keep herself from asking her the cause of so great a joy. To whom Magdalen made answer: “Because I see Jesus resting in the breast of all the sisters, glorious and risen, as Holy Church to-day represents Him to us; and His presence is the cause of my being so joyful.” (ibid.)

The Saints are Eager to Share Their Spiritual Goods

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St. Mechtilde on the Feast of St. Agnes
“St. Mechtilde, when chanting… the responsory, ‘Amo Christum’ (“I love Christ”), interiorly complained to Our Lord that she had not, like Agnes, loved Him with her whole heart from childhood. Upon which He said to St. Agnes:
“Give her all that thou hast.”

By that word St. Mechtilde understood that God has conferred upon the Saints the privilege of being able to bestow all that His grace has worked in them upon those who (i) love them,
(ii) who thank Him, in their name,
(iii) and delight in the gifts He has bestowed on them.

St. Agnes, having done as Our Lord desired, Mechtilde was filled with ineffable joy, and asked the Queen of Virgins to give thanks for her [Agnes] to her Divine Son. Mary, complying with her request, gave her [Mechtilde] a share of all her riches, so, with them and the gifts of Agnes, she loved, honoured, and fully glorified God, for the past and for the present.

O admirabile commercium! Oh, most precious friendship with the Saints! We give them our praises, our thanksgivings, our love; and they, in return, make us participators in
all the gifts which God has so lavishly bestowed upon them for His glory.”
(Rev. Andre Prevot, SJ, ‘Love, Peace, and Joy: A Month of the Sacred Heart According to St. Gertrude,’ Benziger Brothers)

A Powerful Practice: Communicating in Honour of the Saints
Next time you participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, unite yourself to the Divine Victim and offer Him – an infinitely pleasing, living Oblation – to the Father in honour of a Saint or Saints. Also, receive Holy Communion in honour of a particular Saint, asking them to give you a share in their riches. A suitable petition would be the following: ‘I beseech thee that in me may be thy double spirit.’ (4 Kg. 2:9)

Do this often and you will see that the Saints do not forget! In this way do we discover one of the many reasons why the great Bl. Cardinal Schuster wrote the following: “The love of God is displayed chiefly through the Divine Liturgy.” (p. 149, vol. 3, ‘The Sacramentary’)

The Devil’s Greatest Enemy (Pt. 3): Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

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PHOTO: An edited copy of a painting belonging to Ven. Marthe Robin (d. 1981). The words, ‘Marie Mediatrice’ (Mary, Mediatrix), interestingly, were the last intelligible words of the great Cardinal Mercier (d. 1926), who died shortly after offering the Mass of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. There is much more to the story…

The Enemy of the Woman: A Roaring Lion
Lucifer is a ‘murderer from the beginning’ (Jn. 8:44), the Father of Lies, who, full of malice and hatred, ‘as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Pt. 5:8). “I am a wretched creature,” he said to a Saint, “who cannot love.”

The Son of the Woman: A Consuming Fire
The Son of God and of Mary, on the other hand, seeks only to give Himself to souls, to consume us in that same Fire of infinite Love with which the Father loves Him – hence the Sacrament of His Love. His greatest sorrow is when we hinder His Divine action, when we place obstacles before ‘the perfect Will of God’ (Rom. 12:2), which seeks only to gather up souls and ‘take them up in His Bosom’ (Is. 40:11).

The Handmaid That Is All-Powerful Over Hell
Lucifer is bent on destruction; seething with hatred for all that he has lost, he turns his hatred against the souls created in God’s image. But he is no match for God, ‘for all things are possible with God’ (Mk. 10:27). ‘Who,’ says St. Michael the Archangel, ‘is like God?’

Nor is he a match for Mary, who, as we have seen in the two previous posts, has been chosen by God to crush the head of the ancient Serpent. She is the New Eve; she is the helper of Christ, the New Adam.

We cannot fathom the power of Mary’s intercession. Would you like, nevertheless, to know something of it? Then consider the following: Mary is the instrument of “the instrument of the Divinity” (St. John Damascene).

What does this mean? It means that Jesus took His Sacred Humanity (the instrument of the Divinity) from Mary – namely, that immaculate Flesh and Blood which He gave ‘for the life of the world’ (Jn. 6:51). What dignity, what sublime prerogatives must then belong to Mary, if, as St. Leonard of Port Maurice writes, “our good and loving Master promised us in the Gospel that for a cup of cold water, given in His Name, He will bestow the Kingdom of Heaven” (cf. Mk 9:40; Mt. 10:42)! It is one thing to give a cup of water in His Name; it is quite another to give Him that Immaculate Body by which He would work all His miracles, and through which all grace descends to man! This is that Divine Masterpiece that was fitted for Him (cf. Heb. 10:5) and fashioned by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin (cf. Lk. 1:35; Ps. 18:6) ‘in the day of His espousals, and in the day of the joy of His Heart’ (Cant. 3:11).

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Mary: Mediatrix of All Graces
“Every grace,” writes St. Bernardine of Siena, “that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed
(1) from God to Christ,
(2) from Christ to the Virgin,
(3) from the Virgin to us.”

The dignity of Mary is truly impenetrable to our limited minds; her greatness is, to quote St. Thomas, “quasi-infinite.” No, He is not exaggerating. Just ask yourself: What greater dignity could God bestow on Mary than that which He has already been pleased to bestow?

It is because Mary is Mother of God, and, by extension, the true ‘Mother of all the Living’ (Gen. 3:20) – that is, in the spiritual order – that she is necessarily the Mediatrix of All Graces. Were this not the case, she would not truly be ‘full of grace’ (Lk. 1:28), nor would the Church, which exists mystically in her virginal womb (cf. Cant. 7:2; Jn. 16:21; Ps. 86:5, etc.), have access to ‘every best gift, and every perfect gift’ (James 1:17) from on high.

In a word, if Mary is not Mediatrix of All Graces, how shall Christ be begotten in souls? How shall we attain to ‘the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ’ (Eph. 4:13)? Do we not know that Jesus has but one Mother, not only physically but also mystically? One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her’ (Cant. 6:8).

The Testimony of Saints, Mystics, Scholars
Suffice to say, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Veronica Giuliani, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi, Bl. Dina Belanger, Ven. Marthe Robin, Mother Magdalene of Jesus (Palmyre Ryckaert), Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity, among many other mystics, did not invent this doctrine, nor did St. Alphonsus, St. Bernard, St. Ildeponsus or anyone else. Conversely, it is all there in the Scriptures, if only one is willing to receive the Word from her who gave Him to us – namely, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who says to us: In me is all grace of the WAY and of the TRUTH, in me is all hope of LIFE and of virtue’ (Ecclus. 24:25).

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Ven. Marthe Robin

The Devil’s Most Hated Books
This all brings us to an interesting question: What books does Satan hate most? Generally speaking, he despises all that is holy, all that leads us to ‘the Way, and the Truth, and the Life’ (Jn. 14:6). It is precisely for this reason that he hates books that give praise to our Blessed Mother, for she, more than all the other Saints combined, draws us to the Blessed Fruit of her womb. This is the teaching of St. Bonaventure, among others.

Now, it is obvious enough that the Devil hates the Scriptures; but, more specifically, which Scriptures does he particularly detest? How about John, Chapter 6, which speaks of the Sacrament of Love and Unity? Absolutely. The Psalms? No doubt. But the Devil has a unique hatred for the following books of the Bible (among others):
+ Esther
+ Judith
+ Ecclesiasticus
+ Wisdom.

Why is this? It is because these inspired Books speak so forcefully, so highly, and so frequently of his sworn enemy – that is, ‘the Woman’ (Gen. 3:15; Jn. 2:4; Jn. 16:21; Jn. 19:26 Apoc. 12:1), who will crush his head! Do not be fooled: the Reformation did not give us the complete set of inspired texts; on the contrary, it presented us with an incomplete revelation of God and of the Divine Plan. No Bible is complete without the aforementioned Books (or, in the case of Esther, the complete Book).

Two other books that are much hated by Hell are St. Louis de Montfort’s classic, ‘True Devotion to Mary,’ as well as the abridged version of this book, ‘The Secret of Mary.’ The demons tried to destroy the former, as St. Louis de Montfort prophesied; the latter was brought by Our Lady herself to Ven. Marthe Robin, to whom she communicated her desire that this book spread across the globe. Indeed it has. But not enough.

Concluding Words…
Listen to Our Lord’s words from the Cross: ‘BEHOLD THY MOTHER’ (Mt. 12:47). Take note that these words are not qualified by any further statement. Why? Because we are always to keep our eyes on Mary. She has only Love for her children. To give us her Son is her sole purpose and joy. She it is, above all others, who will help us to taste and see that the Lord is sweet’ (Ps. 33:9); her ‘spirit is sweet above honey and her ‘inheritance above honey and the honeycomb’ (Ecclus. 24:27). Do not hesitate to give yourself to her without reserve: ‘Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable’ (Prov. 3:17).

[N.B. This year, Pentecost Sunday happens to fall on May 31, which is the traditional date for the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. It is also the 99th anniversary of said Feast being established.]

A Quick Anecdote
About 2 months ago, it occurred to me that Romans 8:32 could reasonably be applied to Mary. Later that evening, I opened a Marian devotional work from the 19th century and found the very text applied to Mary by St. Albert the Great. Coincidence? Somehow I think not.

‘SHE that spared not even HER own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath SHE not also, with Him, given us all things?’
– Rom. 8:32

 

 

The Devil’s Greatest Enemy (Pt. 2): Mary, the New Judith

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‘Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou most mighty.’
– Ps. 44:4

“Judith is one of the types of Mary, who crushed the head of the serpent.”
– Dom Gueranger, OSB

Our portrait of the Mother of God – not to mention our portrait of the Church, of which she is Mother – will be radically incomplete if we lack knowledge of the Old Testament types/figures of Mary. The book of Judith, for instance, as with the book of Esther, will be of little use to us if we do not see in them a mirror of Mary. Let us look, then, at some central passages in the book of Judith, bearing in mind that Mary, the true Judith, surpasses all her types: ‘Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all’ (Prov. 31:29). “She has surpassed all the daughters (Saints) in nature, in grace, in glory. She has surpassed all the souls of men, all the intelligences of Angels” (St. Bonaventure).

N.B. Under each subheading below, the first verse is taken from the book of Judith, while the second (relevant) verse is taken from another Book of the Scriptures. Pay close attention to the clear connections with Mary’s Magnificat (in red).

THE BOOK OF JUDITH: A FORESHADOWING OF MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS

+ CHAPTER 13

Leads Us Into the Church
Judith: ‘Open the gates, for God is with us, Who hath shown His power in Israel.’ (v. 13)
‘Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates…’. (Prov. 8:34)

Loved and Honoured by All
‘And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest…’ (v. 15)
‘And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted…’ (Ecclus. 24:3; cf. Prov. 31:28)

The Spouse of Mercy Incarnate
Judith: ‘And by me His handmaid He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel: and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night.’ (v. 18)
Mary: ‘He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy.’ (Lk. 1:54)

Immaculate
Judith: ‘And the Lord hath not suffered me His handmaid to be defiled: but hath brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing for His victory, for my escape, and for your deliverance.’ (v. 20)
‘Thou art all fair, O My love, and there is not a spot in thee.’ (Cant. 4:7)

The Instrument by Which Hell is Conquered
‘The Lord hath blessed thee by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to nought.’ (v. 22)
Mary: ‘He hath showed might in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble.’ (Lk. 1:51-52)

Greater than All Those Who Prefigured Her
‘Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.’ (v. 23)
‘Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all.’ (Prov. 31:29)

Always to be Praised
‘Because He hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord, for ever…’ (v. 25)
Mary: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord… behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.’ (Lk. 1:46, 48)

Laid Down Her Life for Us
‘… thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulations of thy people; but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.’ (v. 25)
Prophecy of Simeon: ‘And thy own soul a sword shall pierce…’ (Lk. 2:35)

Deserving of Reverence
‘… he [Achior] fell down at her feet, and reverenced her…’ (v. 30)
‘And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.’ (Lk. 1:41)

Gives Life to the Elect
‘Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob…’ (v. 31)
‘Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in My elect.’ (Ecclus. 24:13)

Her Soul Magnifies The Lord
‘… in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee.’ (v. 31)
‘My soul doth magnify the Lord… O magnify the Lord with me: and let us extol His Name together.’ (Lk. 1:46; Ps. 33:4)

+ CHAPTER 14

Leads Us Into Battle
Judith: ‘… let every man take his arms: and rush ye out, not as going down beneath, but as making an assault.’ (v. 2)
‘Thy neck is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.’ (Cant. 4:4)

+ CHAPTER 15

The Glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem
‘… they all blessed her with one voice saying: Thou art the glory of Jerusalem…’ (v. 10)
‘God is wonderful (gloriosus) in His Saints: the God of Israel is He Who will give strength and power to His people.’ (Ps. 67:36)

The Joy of the Church
‘… thou art the joy of Israel…’ (v. 10)
‘The dwelling in thee is as it were of all rejoicing.’ (Ps. 86:7)

The Honour of Our Race
‘… thou art the honour of our people.’ (v. 10)
Mary: ‘Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His Name.’ (Lk. 1:49)

Ever-Blessed
‘… the Lord hath strengthened thee, and therefore thou shalt be blessed for ever.’ (v. 11)
‘And among the blessed she shall be blessed…’ (Ecclus. 24:4; cf. Prov. 31:28)

+ CHAPTER 16

Glorifies the Holy Name of God
Judith: ‘… extol and call upon His Name.’ (v. 2)
‘… let us extol His Name together.’ (Ps. 33:4)

Visits Us With Her Divine Son
‘He hath set His camp in the midst of His people, to deliver us from the hand of all our enemies.’ (v. 4)
Zachary: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people… Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us.’ (Lk. 1:68, 71)

The First to Intone the New Canticle*
Judith: ‘… let us sing a new hymn to our God.’ (v. 15)
‘Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He hath done wonderful things.’ (Ps. 97:1)
* This fact deserves a post of its own. Given time, I will write something brief at some stage.

Invites us all to serve God
Judith: ‘Let all Thy creatures serve Thee…’ (v. 17)
Mary: ‘Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.’ (Jn. 2:4)

Invites us to Fear of the Lord
Judith: ‘But they that fear Thee, shall be great with Thee in all things.’ (v. 19; cf. Ps. 33:10)
Mary: ‘And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.’ (Lk. 1:50)

The New Sanctuary
‘And the people were joyful in the site of the sanctuary: and for three months the joy of this victory was celebrated with Judith.’ (v. 24)
‘And Mary abode with her [Elizabeth] about three months.’ (Lk. 1:56)

Most Renowned
‘… she was most renowned in all the land of Israel.’ (v. 25)
‘And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise.’ (Ecclus. 24:4)

Perpetual Virgin
‘And chastity was joined to her virtue, so that she knew no man all the days of her life…’ (v. 26)
Mary: ‘How shall this be done, because I know not man?’ (Lk. 1:34)

Honoured Above All Saints in the Church’s Liturgy
‘And on festival days she came forth with great glory.’ (v. 27)
‘And a great sign appeared in Heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.’ (Apoc. 12.1)

Our_Lady_of_Grace_sheltering_under_the_folds_of_her_mantle_the_first_Grand_Masters_of_the_Military_Order_of_Montessa

‘… there is great delight in her friendship,
and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands…
love her, and she shall preserve thee…

forget not the groaning of thy Mother.’
(Wis. 8:18; Prov. 4:6; Ecclus. 7:29; cf. Jn. 16:21, Apoc. 12:2)

A Miracle of St. Therese: The Conversion of Fr. Hyacinthe Loyson

Hyacinthe_Loyson_by_Pierre_Petit,_1870
[Source: ‘Collected Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux,’ Translated by F.J. Sheed, The Catholic Book Club, London, 1974]

Two Letters of St. Therese to her sister, Celine:
“He wants His little Flower to save Him souls, and for that He wants only one thing, that His flower should look at Him while it suffers its martyrdom… and this mysterious gaze passing between Jesus and His small flower will work marvels and will give Jesus a multitude of other flowers, particularly a certain faded, withered lily [Fr. Hyacinthe] that must be changed into a rose of love and repentance.” (26 April 1891)

“Dearest Celine, he is indeed guilty, more guilty perhaps than any sinner has ever been who was yet converted; but cannot Jesus do what He has never done before? And if He did not wish it, would He have put into the heart of His poor little brides a desire He could not fulfil? … No, it is certain that He desires more than we to bring back this poor lost sheep to the fold; a day will come when he will open his eyes…” (8 July 1891)

saint-therese-of-lisieux37
Fr. Hyacinthe
“Hyacinthe Loyson died in Paris 9 February 1912, at the age of eighty-five, under major excommunication. He was assisted at the end by a priest of the Armenian Church, a representative of the schismatic Greek Church, and three Protestant pastors. It is worth observing that the poor erring creature had never ceased to repeat the invocation: ‘O my sweet Jesus.’ Therese, who had prayed for him throughout her religious life, offered her last Communion for him, in 1897, on 19 August, which at that time was the feast day of St. Hyacinthe.”

Details given under all reserves to the Lisieux Carmel:

From the abbey of St. Maurice at Clervaux (19 August 1912):
“At the moment of the unhappy man’s death, a privileged soul saw him supernaturally enlightened upon the whole extent of the sins of his life. This sight was the occasion of a terrifying temptation to despair over which, happily, he triumphed.”

From Pere Flamerion, S.J., grand exorcist of France (25 August 1912):
“You have asked us in the Virgin’s name if Hyacinthe is damned; we are forced to answer you that he is saved, through the intercession of Therese and the prayer of holy souls in the cloister, saved by a glance cast upon him by Our Lord before he was judged, an instant before.”

800px-Christ_on_the_Cross_with_St._Mary_and_St._John,_from_The_Passion_of_Christ,_plate_19_MET_DP835961

‘His hands are turned and as of gold, full of hyacinths.’
– Cant. 5:14

A Saint Tells Us How to Become “a great Saint”

Crucifix_by_Veit_Stoss
A Petition to be Made During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

“Why is it you do not ask great graces at this favourable time? I earnestly advise and exhort you to ask God in every Mass, the grace to become a saint.

Do you think I advise you to ask too much? Well, I tell you it is not too much. Has not our good and loving Master promised us in the Gospel that for a cup of cold water, given in His Name, He will bestow the Kingdom of Heaven? How then can He refuse us a hundred heavens, were there so many, in return for the Blood of His Beloved Son, offered to Him on the Altar?

How can you, therefore, doubt that He will give you every virtue, and all the perfection required to make you a saint, and a great saint in Heaven?

O blessed Mass! Let your heart’s desires be then multiplied a thousand-fold, and ask as much as you will; remembering always that you are asking of God, Who cannot grow poor by giving, and, therefore, the more you ask, the more will He give you.
– St. Leonard of Port Maurice, ‘The Hidden Treasure’