Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh, thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh, thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life's journey would be.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win.
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
Today, Friday, May 31, 2019, is the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary within the Octave of the Ascension of Our Lord and the Commemoration of Saint Petronilla.
The month of May ends today. However, every day of our lives in each month of the year must be pledged to the service of the Most Blessed Trinity through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, she who is the Queen of Heaven and of Earth.
"May Crownings" have taken place all over the world this month in honor of the fact that Our Lady is the Queen of all hearts, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. How natural it is for our own hearts, so stained by sin and indifference, to perform public acts of love in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who made possible our salvation by her perfect fiat to the Father's will at the Annunciation. We wish to cling to Our Blessed Mother at all times, pledging to her over and over again our total consecration to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart so that all of our own joys and sorrows can given to her freely as her consecrated slaves to be used as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity and for the good of souls. She is the pathway to Heaven for us just as she was the pathway by which God came to earth to assume His Sacred Humanity without for one moment losing His Sacred Divinity.
Our Lady was crowned as the Queen of Heaven and Earth by her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in virtue of the crown of Heavenly gifts with which she was bestowed from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. as she was conceived without stain of Original and Actual Sin, thus preparing her, in anticipation of the merits that would be won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross by her Divine Son, to respond with promptness to Saint Gabriel the Archangel's message at the Annunciation. She is our model in sanctity and perfect abandonment to the will of God without complaint. She shows us how to serve God by helping us to know Him as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through the Catholic Church and how to love Him by cooperating more fervently with the graces He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through her own loving hands as the Mediatrix of All Graces.
Our Lady is the Queen of Martyrs as she permitted herself to suffer a martyrdom of love at the foot of the Cross, as explained by Father Frederick Faber in The Foot of the Cross/The Dolors of Mary, participating in the King of Martyrs' redemption of the human race:
The first hour of the three begins,--the three hours that were such parallels to the three days when she was seeking her lost Boy. In the darkness she has come close up to the Cross; for others fell away, as the panic simultaneously infected them. There is a faith in the Jews, upon which this fear can readily graft itself. But the executioners are hardened, and the Roman soldiers were not wont to tremble in darkness. Near to the Cross, by the glimmering light, they are dicing for His garments. The coarse words and rude jests pierced the Mother's heart; for, as we have said before, it belonged to her perfection that her grief absorbed nothing. Every thing told upon her. Every thing made its own wound, and occupied her, as if itself were the sole suffering, the exclusively aggravating circumstance. She saw those garments--those relics, which were beyond all price the world could give--in the hands of miserable sinners, who would sacrilegiously clothe themselves therewith. For thirty years they had grown with our Lord's growth, and had not been worn by use,--renewing that miracle which Moses mentions in Deuteronomy, that, through all the forty years of the desert, the garments of the Jews were not "worn out, neither the shoes of their feet consumed with age." Now sinners were to wear them, and to carry them to unknown haunts of drunkenness and sin. Yet what was it but a type? The whole of an unclean world was to clothe itself in the beautiful justice of her Son. Sinners were to wear His virtues, to merit by His merits, to satisfy in His satisfactions, and to draw, at will, from the wells of His Precious Blood. As Jacob had been blessed in Esau's clothing, so should all mankind be blessed in the garments of their elder Brother.
Then there was the seamless tunic she herself had wrought for Him. The unity of His Church was figured there. She saw them cast lots for it. She marked to whom it had fallen. One of her first loving duties to the Church will be to recover it for the faithful as a relic. Then it was the history of the Church rose before her. Every schism, which should ever afflict the mystical Body of her Son, was like a new rent in her suffering heart. Every heresy, every quarrel, every unseemly sin against unity, came to her with keenest anguish., there on Calvary, with the living Sacrifice being actually offered, and the unity of His Church being bought with so terrible a price. All this bitterness filled her soul, without distracting her from Jesus for a single moment. As holy pontiffs, with hearts broken by the wrongs and distresses of the Church, have been all engrossed by them, yet never for an instant lost their interior union with Jesus, so much more was it with His Mother's now. It was on Calvary she felt all this with an especial feeling, as it is in Lent, and Passiontide, and in devotion to the Passion, that we learn to love the Church with such sensitive loyalty.
Fresh fountains of grief were opened to her in the fixing of the title to the Cross. It had come from Pilate, and a ladder was set up against the cross, and the title nailed above our Saviour's Head. Every blow of the hammer was unutterable torture to Him, torture which had a fearful echo also in the Mother's heart. Nor was the title itself without power to extend and rouse her suffering. The sight of the Holy Name blazoned there in shame to all the world,-the Name, which to her was sweeter than any music, more fragrant than any perfume,-this was in itself a sorrow. The name of Nazareth, also, how it brought back the past, surrounding the Cross, in that dim air, with beautiful associations and marvellous contrasts. Everywhere in the Passion Bethlehem and Nazareth were making themselves felt, and seen, and heard, and always eliciting new sorrow from the inexhaustible depths of the Mother's heart. If He was a king, it was a strange throne on which His people had placed Him. Why did they not acknowledge Him to be their king? Why did they wait for a Roman stranger to tell it them as if in scorn? Why did they not let Him rule in their hearts? Ah! poor people! how much happier would it be for themselves, how many sins would be hindered, how many souls saved, how much glory gained for God! King of the Jews! would that it were so! Yet it was really so. But a king rejected, disowned, deposed, put to death! What a load lay upon her heart at that moment! It was the load of self invoked curses, which was to press to the ground that poor regicide people. She would have borne al her seven dolors over again to abolish that curse, and reinstate them, as of old, in the predilection of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was too late. They had had their day. They had filled up the measure of their iniquity. It rose to the brim that very morning, and the breaking of Mary's heart was a portion of their iniquity. But at least over her heart Jesus was acknowledged king, and reigned supreme. So was it with the dear Magdalen and the ardent John; and, as she thought of this, she looked upon them with a very glory of exceeding love. Is it that Jesus breaks the hearts over which He reigns or that He comes of special choice to reign in broken hearts? But as the the sense passed over her of what it was to have Jesus for a king,-of the undisputed reign which by His own grace He exercised over her sinless heart,--of the vastness of that heart, far exceeding by his own bounty the grand empire of the angels or the multitudinous perfections of the saints,--and of the endless reign which He would have in that beautiful "ivory palace" of hers which made Him so glad,--her love burst out afresh upon Him, as if the dikes of ocean had given away, and the continents and every gush of love was at the same time an exquisite gush of pain.
She had enough of occupation in herself. But sorrow widens great hearts, just as it contracts little ones. She had taken to herself the thieves for her sons. She was greedy of children. She felt the value of them then, in the same way in which we know the value of a friend when we are losing him. His dead face looks it into us, and means more than his living expression did. She has wrestled in prayer for those two malefactors, and God has given her to see the work of grace beginning in the heart of one of them. Does this content her? Yes! with that peculiar contentment which comes of answered prayer, that is to say, she became more covetous because of what she had not. She counted that only a beginning. She pleaded, she insisted. One would have thought such prayer at such a time resistless. It is not Heaven that resists. Graces descend from above like flights of angels to the heart of the impenitent thief. They fluttered there. They sang for entrance. They waited. They pecked at the heart of flesh. They made it bleed with pain, with terror, with remorse. But it was its own master. It would not open. So near Jesus, and to be lost! It might well be incredible to Mary. yet so it was. The thief matches his hardness against her sweetness, and prevailed. Mary may not be queen of any heart where Jesus is not already king. But, oh, the unutterable anguish to her of this impenitence! His face so near the Face of Jesus, the sights of the spotless victim dwelling in his ear as silence dwells in the mountains, the very Breath of the Incarnate God reaching to him, the Precious Blood strewn all around him, like an overflow of waste water, as if there was more than men knew what to do with, and in the midst of all this to be damned, to commute the hot strangling throes of that crucifixion for everlasting fire, to be detached by his own will from the very side of the Crucifix, and the next moment to become part of a hopeless hell! Mary saw his eternity before her as in a vista. She took in at a glance the peculiar horror of his case. There came a sigh out of her heart at the loss of this poor wretched son, which had sorrow enough in it to repair the outraged majesty of God, but not enough to soften the sinner's heart.
Such were the outward, or rather let us call them the official, occupations of Mary during the first hour upon the Cross. Her inmost occupation, and yet outward also, was that which was above her, overshadowing her in the darkness, and felt more vividly even than if it had been clearly seen,--Jesus hanging upon the Cross! As our guardian angels are ever by our sides, engrossed with a thousand invisible ministries of love, and yet all the while see God, and in that one beatifying sight are utterly immersed, so it was with Mary on Calvary. While she seemed an attentive witness and listener of the men dividing our Lord's garments among them, and of the nailing of the title to the Cross, or appeared to be occupied with the conversion of the thieves, she did all those things, as the saints do things, in ecstasy, with perfect attention and faultless accuracy, and yet far withdrawn into the presence of God and hidden in His light. A whole hour went by. Jesus was silent. His Blood was on fire with pain. His body began to depend from the Cross, as if the nails barely held it. The Blood was trickling down from the wood all the while. He was growing whiter and whiter. Every moment of that agony was an act of communion with the Father. Mysteries, exceeding all mysteries that had ever been on earth, were going on in His Heart, which was alternately contracted and dilated with agony too awful for humanity to bear without miraculous support. It had divine support; but divine consolation was carefully kept apart. The interior of that Heart was clearly disclosed to the Mother's inward eye, and her heart participated in its sufferings. She, too, needed a miracle to prolong her life, and the miracle was worked. But with the same peculiarity. From her, also, all consolation was kept away. And so one hour passed, and grace had created many worlds of sanctity, as the laden minutes went slowly by, one by one, then slower and slower, like the pulses of a clock at midnight when we are ill, beating sensibly slower to reproach us for our impatient listening.
The second hour began. The darkness deepened., and there were fewer persons round the Cross. No diceing now, no disturbance of nailing the title to the Cross. All was as silent as a sanctuary. Then Jesus spoke. It seemed as if he had been holding secret converse with the Father, and He had come to a point when He could keep silence no longer. It sounded as if He had been pleading for sinners, and the Father had said that the sin of His Crucifixion was too great to be forgiven. To our human ears the word has that significance. It certainly came out of some depth, out of something which had been going on before, either His own thoughts, or the intensity of His pain, or a colloquy with the Father. "Father! forgiven them; for they know not what they do!" Beautiful, unending prayer, true of all sins and of all sinners in every time! They know not what they do. No one knows what he does when he sins. It is his very knowledge that the malice of sin is past his comprehension which is a great part of the malice of his sin. Beautiful prayer also, because it discloses the characteristic devotion of our dearest Lord! When He breaks the silence, it is not about His Mother, or the apostles, or a word of comfort that affectionate forlorn Magdalen, whom He loved so fondly. It is for sinners, for the worst of them, for His personal enemies, for those who crucified Him, for those who had been yelling after Him in the streets, and loading Him with the uttermost indignities. It is as if at Nazareth He might seem to love His Mother more than all the world beside, but that now on Calvary, when His agony had brought out the deepest realities and the last disclosures of His Sacred Heart, it was found that His chief devotion was to sinners. Was Mary hurt by this appearance? Was it a fresh dolor that He had not thought first of her? Oh, no! Mary had no self on Calvary. It could not have lived there. Had her heart cried out at the same moment with our Lord's, it would have uttered the same prayer, and in like words would have unburdened itself of that of which it was most full. But the word did draw new floods of sorrow. They very sound of His voice above her in the obscure eclipse melted within her. The marvel of His uncomplaining silence was more pathetic now that He had spoken. Grief seemed to have reached its limits; but it had not. The word threw down the walls, laid a whole world of possible sorrow open to it, and poured the waters over it in an irresistible flood. The well-remembered tone pieced her [Our Lady] like a spear. They very beauty of the word was anguish to her. Is it not often so that deathbed words are harrowing because they are so beautiful, so incomprehensibly full of love? Mary's broken heart enlarged itself, and took in the whole world, and bathed it in tears of love. To her that word was like a creative word. It made the Mother of God Mother of mercy also. Swifter than the passage of light, as that word was uttered, the mercy of Mary had thrown round the globe a mantle of light, beautifying its rough places, and giving lust re in the dark, while incredible sorrow made itself coextensive with her incalculable love.
The words of Jesus on the Cross might almost have been a dolor by themselves. They were all of them more touching in themselves than any words which ever have been spoken on the earth. The incomparable beauty of our Lord's Soul freights each one of them with itself, and yet how differently? The sweetness of His Divinity is hidden in them, and for ages on ages it has ravished the contemplative souls who loved Him best. If even to ourselves these words are continually giving out new beauties in our meditations, what must they be to the saints, and then, far beyond that, what were they to His Most Blessed Mother? To her, each of them was a theology, a theology enrapturing the heart while it illumined he understanding. She knew they would be His last. Through life they had been but few, and now in less than two hours He will utter seven, which the world will listen to and wonder at until the end of time. To her they were not isolated. They recalled other unforgotten words. There were no forgotten ones. She interpreted them by others, and others again by them, and so they gave out manifold new meanings. Besides which, she saw the interior from which they came, and therefore they were deeper to her. But the growing beauty of Jesus had been consistently a more copious fountain of sorrow all through the Three-and-Thirty Years. It was not likely that law would be abrogated upon Calvary. And was there not something perfectly awful, even to Mary's eye, in the way in which His divine beauty was mastering every thing and beginning to shine out in the eclipse? It seemed as if the Godhead were going to lay Itself bare among the very ruins of the Sacred Humanity, as His bones were showing themselves through His flesh. It was unspeakable. Mary lifted up her whole soul to its uttermost height to reach the point of adoration due to Him, and tranquilly acknowledged that it was beyond her power. her adoration sank down into profusest love, and her love condensed under the chill shadow into an intensity of sorrow, which felt its pain intolerably everywhere as the low pulsations of His clear gentle voice ran and undulated through her inmost soul.
The thought which was nearest to our Blessed Saviour's Heart, if we may reverently venture to speak thus of Him, was the glory of His Father. We can hardly doubt that after that, chief among the affections of the created nature which He had condescended to assume, stood the love of His Immaculate Mother. Among His seven words there will be one, a word following His absolution of the thief at Mary's prayer, a double word, both to her and of her. That also shall be like a creative word, creative for Mary, and still more creative for His Church. He spoke out of an unfathomable love, and yet in such mysterious guise as was fitted still more to deepen His Mother's grief. He styles her "Woman," as if He had already put off the filial character. He substitutes John for Himself, and finally appears to transfer to John His own right to call Mary Mother. How many things were there here to overwhelm our Blessed Lady with fresh affliction! She well knew the meaning of the mystery. She understood that by this seeming transfer she had been solemnly installed in her office of the second Eve, the mother of all mankind. She was aware that now Jesus had drawn her still more closely to Himself, had likened her to Himself more than ever, and had more their union more complete. The two relations of Mother and Son were two no longer; they had melted into one. She knew that never had He loved her more than now, and never shown her a more palpable proof of His love, of which, however, no proof was wanting. But each fresh instance of His love was a new sorrow to her; for it called up more love in her, and with more love, as usual, more sorrow. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title The Dolors of Mary, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 244-252.)
The path to Our Lady's Queenship ran through that same Holy Cross. She stood at the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross, watching bravely as she cooperated perfectly with Him to effect our Redemption as the Co-Redemptrix and the Mediatrix of all graces, which she showed to Saint Catherine Laboure flow forth from her very hands. Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart suffered as one with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Which was formed out of that same Immaculate Heart and which we honor in a special way all throughout this month of June.
The Blessed Virgin Mary felt every hurt that our sins imposed upon her Divine Son in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. No one with a single nature (Our Lord was the Theandric Person, having two natures hypostatically united together at the moment of His Incarnation by the power of God the Holy Ghost as He was conceived as a man in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb) has ever suffered as Our Lady suffered during her Divine Son's Passion and Death. No event in the history of the world (war, atrocity, genocide, natural disaster) is the equal of what Our Lord wrought for us on the wood of the Holy Cross, the Sacrifice that remains the one and only true Holocaust, as He paid back in His Sacred Humanity the debt of sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God.
Thus it is that Our Lady's perfect communion of suffering should merit for her the Crown of Glory above all Glories in Heaven. The Mother of the King of Kings has been crowned in Heaven as the Queen of All Saints. She must be honored on earth, starting in our own individual lives, as the Queen of our hearts and souls. There is not a day that can pass without our saying three Hail Marys immediately upon our awaking and just before we go to bed. There is not a day that can pass without meditating on at least five decades of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, if not all fifteen decades. We must offer to her salutations throughout the course of our day, having a ready supply of Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars to pass out to those we meet who are in need either of returning to the Faith or converting to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. We want to be so used to saluting Our Mother and Our Queen during the course of the day that we will be invoking her merciful protection at the hour of our deaths.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote so beautifully about Our Lady in The Glories of Mary, commented on how Our Blessed Mother is the Queen of Mercy:
The Church honors the Virgin Mary with the glorious title of Queen because she has been elevated to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings. If the Son is King, says Saint Athanasius, His Mother must necessarily be considered Queen. From the moment that Mary consented to become the Mother of the Eternal Word, she merited the title of Queen of the World and of all creatures. If the flesh of Mary, says Saint Arnold, was the flesh of Jesus, how can the Mother be separated from the Son in His Kingdom? It thus follows that the Regal Glory must not only be considered as common to the Mother and the Son, but must even be the same.
Mary, then, is Queen, but let all learn for their consolation that she is a mild and merciful Queen, desiring the good of all sinners. Therefore, the Church salutes her in prayer and names her the Queen of Mercy. The very name of Queen signifies, as Albert the Great remarks, compassion and provision for the poor; differing in this from the title of empress, which signifies severity and rigor. The greatness of kings and queens consists in comforting the wretched so that, whereas tyrants have only their own advantage in view, kings should be concerned with the good of their subjects. Therefore, at the consecration of kings, their heads are anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, to denote that in ruling they should always show kindness and good-will toward their subjects.
Kings, then, should principally occupy themselves with works of mercy, but they should not neglect the exercise of justice toward the guilty when it is required. But Mary is not a queen of justice, intent on the punishment of the guilty, but rather a Queen of Mercy, intent only on compassion and pardon for sinners. Accordingly, the Church calls her Queen of Mercy. "These two things which I heard: that power belongs to God, and yours, O Lord, is kindness" (Psalm 62:12-13). The Lord has divided the kingdom of God into two parts, Justice and Mercy. He has reserved the kingdom of justice for Himself, and He has granted the kingdom of mercy to Mary. Saint Thomas confirms this when he says that the holy Virgin, when she consented to be the Mother of the Redeemer, obtained half (½) of the kingdom of God by becoming Queen of Mercy, while Jesus remained King of Justice. (Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, The Glories of Mary.)
The Divine Office for today's great Marian feast included the following reflection from that devoted client of the Mother of God, Saint Bonaventure, the great spiritual son of Saint Francis of Assisi:
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the great King by reason of a noble kind of conception, according to the message given her by the Angel. Behold, he said, thou shalt conceive and shalt bring forth a son; and again, the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he shall be king over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. This is as if to say in so many words, Thou wilt conceive and bear a son who is King, eternally reigning on the royal throne, and as Queen thou wilt be seated on the royal throne. For if it becometh a son to give honour to his mother, it is also fitting that he share his royal throne with her; and so the Virgin Mary, because she conceived him on whose thigh was written, King of kings and Lord of lords, was Queen not only of earth but also of heaven as soon as she conceived the Son of God. This is indicated in the Apocalypse where it saith: A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown.
Mary the Queen outshineth all others in glory, as the Prophet clearly showeth in the Psalm which particularly concerns Christ and the Virgin Mary. It first saith of Christ: Thy throne, O God, standeth forever and ever, and shortly thereafter of the Virgin: The Queen taketh her place at thy right hand, that is, in the position of highest blessedness, for it referreth to glory of soul. It continueth: In garments of gold, by which is meant the clothing of glorious immortality which was proper to the Virgin in her Assumption. For it could not be that the garment which clothed Christ, the garment completely sanctified on earth by the incarnate Word, should be the food of worms. As it was fitting for Christ to grant the fullness of grace to his Mother at her Conception, so was it fitting that he grant her the fullness of glory at her Assumption. And so we are to hold that the Virgin, glorious in soul and body, is enthroned next to her Son. (The Divine Office, Feast of the Queenship of Mary.)
Pope Pius XII, who instituted this feast of the Queenship of Mary in 1954, elucidated the reasons why the Church has always considered Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Writing in Ad Caeli Reginam, October 11, 1954, Pope Pius explained:
From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He "will reign in the house of Jacob forever,""the Prince of Peace," the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.
Hence it is not surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary "the Mother of the King" and "the Mother of the Lord," basing their stand on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever, and on the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her "the Mother of my Lord." Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her Son.
So it is that St. Ephrem, burning with poetic inspiration, represents her as speaking in this way: "Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honored above it. For heaven was not Thy mother, but Thou hast made it Thy throne. How much more honorable and venerable than the throne of a king is her mother." And in another place he thus prays to her: ". . . Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me."
St. Gregory Nazianzen calls Mary "the Mother of the King of the universe," and the "Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the whole world," while Prudentius asserts that the Mother marvels "that she has brought forth God as man, and even as Supreme King."
And this royal dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is quite clearly indicated through direct assertion by those who call her "Lady," "Ruler" and "Queen."
In one of the homilies attributed to Origen, Elizabeth calls Mary "the Mother of my Lord." and even addresses her as "Thou, my Lady."
The same thing is found in the writings of St. Jerome where he makes the following statement amidst various interpretations of Mary's name: "We should realize that Mary means Lady in the Syrian Language." After him St. Chrysologus says the same thing more explicitly in these words: "The Hebrew word 'Mary' means 'Domina.' The Angel therefore addresses her as 'Lady' to preclude all servile fear in the Lord's Mother, who was born and was called 'Lady' by the authority and command of her own Son."
Moreover Epiphanius, the bishop of Constantinople, writing to the Sovereign Pontiff Hormisdas, says that we should pray that the unity of the Church may be preserved "by the grace of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and by the prayers of Mary, Our Lady, the holy and glorious Virgin and Mother of God."
The Blessed Virgin, sitting at the right hand of God to pray for us is hailed by another writer of that same era in these words, "the Queen of mortal man, the most holy Mother of God."
St. Andrew of Crete frequently attributes the dignity of a Queen to the Virgin Mary. For example, he writes, "Today He transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human form."
And in another place he speaks of "the Queen of the entire human race faithful to the exact meaning of her name, who is exalted above all things save only God himself."
Likewise St. Germanus speaks to the humble Virgin in these words: "Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings." He likewise calls her the "Queen of all of those who dwell on earth."
She is called by St. John Damascene: "Queen, ruler, and lady," and also "the Queen of every creature." Another ancient writer of the Eastern Church calls her "favored Queen," "the perpetual Queen beside the King, her son," whose "snow-white brow is crowned with a golden diadem."
And finally St. Ildephonsus of Toledo gathers together almost all of her titles of honor in this salutation: "O my Lady, my Sovereign, You who rule over me, Mother of my Lord . . . Lady among handmaids, Queen among sisters."
The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all.
The Supreme Shepherds of the Church have considered it their duty to promote by eulogy and exhortation the devotion of the Christian people to the heavenly Mother and Queen. Simply passing over the documents of more recent Pontiffs, it is helpful to recall that as early as the seventh century Our predecessor St. Martin I called Mary "our glorious Lady, ever Virgin." St. Agatho, in the synodal letter sent to the fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council called her "Our Lady, truly and in a proper sense the Mother of God. And in the eighth century Gregory II in the letter sent to St. Germanus, the patriarch, and read in the Seventh Ecumenical Council with all the Fathers concurring, called the Mother of God: "The Queen of all, the true Mother of God," and also "the Queen of all Christians."
We wish also to recall that Our predecessor of immortal memory, Sixtus IV, touched favorably upon the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, beginning the Apostolic Letter Cum praeexcelsa with words in which Mary is called "Queen," "Who is always vigilant to intercede with the king whom she bore." Benedict XIV declared the same thing in his Apostolic Letter Gloriosae Dominae, in which Mary is called "Queen of heaven and earth," and it is stated that the sovereign King has in some way communicated to her his ruling power.
For all these reasons St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in collecting the testimony of past ages, writes these words with evident devotion: "Because the virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of 'Queen'."
Furthermore, the sacred liturgy, which acts as a faithful reflection of traditional doctrine believed by the Christian people through the course of all the ages both in the East and in the West, has sung the praises of the heavenly Queen and continues to sing them. (Pope Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam, October 11, 1954.)
Our Lady wants us to have the highest place in Heaven possible next to herself.
Do we aspire to this? Do we pray for this? Do we work for this?
Do we ask her help to achieve it?
Do we despise the world and all of its allures so as to show forth our love and appreciation for all that she suffered to help redeem us as she watched her Divine Son suffer and die on the wood of the Holy Cross?
Do we seek to console the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son through her Sorrowful and Immaculate for our own many sins and lukewarmness and ingratitude when we assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, mindful that she, the Queen of All Saints, is there present along with all of the angels and saints, including her chaste spouse, Good Saint Joseph, the Just and Silent Man of the House of David?
Do we seek to spend time with her Divine Son in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament (if this is at all possible during this time of apostasy and betrayal), aware that she beckons us to spend time with Him as a foretaste of an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven itself.
Do we seek to give her everything, including the problems facing Holy Mother Church today, without doubting her Motherly care for a single moment?
Do we fly unto her patronage readily and without any delay at all?
Do we realize that she brought us forth in great pain as the adopted sons and daughters of the Living God as the fifth sword of sorrow that had been prophesied by Simeon pierced her heart and soul as she watched her Divine Son breathe His last on the Cross?
Do we ever truly meditate on the price she paid to help to purchase us for the possibility of attaining to Heavenly glories?
A soul that clings to Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints, will not be seeking to make "royalty" out of political figures or sports stars or entertainers.
A soul that clings to Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints, will seek only to honor Christ the King and herself as Our Immaculate Queen.
A soul that clings to Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints, will want to comport himself or herself as he would in the presence of Our Lady herself.
Men who want to cling to Our Lady must dress modestly (no shorts, thank you, ever) and speak nobly.
Women who want to cling to their perfect role model must dress as women (no pants, thank you, ever, anywhere, at any time; yes, even young girls, that is, toddlers, must never wear pants) as they bear within themselves the impress of Our Lady herself, who would never want to confuse the roles between men and women by taking on the appearance of a man (which Saint Joan of Arc did only on the express command of God and to protect her own purity in the midst of men).
Women must comport themselves as would Our Lady, mindful of the dignity of their femininity and of the example that they must give to their own daughters to strive for the Heavenly perfections of the Queen of All Saints herself.
We should want to watch nothing and listen to nothing that Our Lady herself would NOT waste her time on, things that would only pollute her matchlessly beautiful soul.
The Apostles had the privilege of knowing Our Lady personally.
A handful of select saints have had the privilege of seeing her in this earthly life before they died. Each of these saints reported that they had never seen anything or anyone as beautiful as Our Lady.
Saint Catherine Laboure lived almost her entire life as a consecrated religious keeping the marvelous vision of Our Lady to herself and her spiritual director.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous longed only for Heaven and to be with Our Lady there after she had the privilege of seeing her in Lourdes, France, in 1858.
Jacinta and Francisco Marto ached to be with Our Lady as soon as possible, suffering all of the torments of their painful deaths to help save sinners from Hell.
Juan Diego wanted only to be of service to the Virgin of Guadalupe, as she herself wanted to be known, once this valiant widower was given the privilege of being an instrument of helping to convert millions of indigenous Americans to Catholicism following the miraculous image she left on his tilma.
Although we have never seen Our Lady in person, we must have the same burning desire as these visionaries to have souls as beautiful as possible so that we can die in a state of Sanctifying Grace and thus see the radiant beauty of the Queen of All Saints as she is enthroned in the glory of Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Our Lady is our sure refuge and our only hope in these troubling times. She wants us to take our rest in her Immaculate Heart.
Above and beyond all ecclesiastical and civil controversies and problems, we must rely tenderly and with complete confidence in Our Lady, doing our part to fulfill her Fatima Message, especially by the keeping of the five First Saturdays in our own daily lives. We can undo a debt for a multitude of sins by spreading the glories of Mary and by making her known to one and to all, by living as the consecrated slaves of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Saint Louis de Montfort and Father Maximilian Kolbe spent their entire priestly lives devoted to building up the City of Mary Immaculate.
Why can't we do so as we look forward to the Reign of Mary as the fruit of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart?
Why can't we exhibit the love and devotion that Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Alphonsus de Liguori and Saint Louis de Montfort and Father Maximilian Mary Kolbe, among so many others, exhibited for the Mother of God, the Queen of the Angels, the Queen of Apostles, the Queen of Heaven and of Earth.
We must seek to please Our Lady, especially since has told us through the Venerable Mary of Agreda how her glorious Queenship is neglected by men, who busy themselves with their worldliness and their sins:
783. My daughter, if anything could lessen the enjoyment of the highest happiness and glory which I possess, and if in it I could be capable of any sorrow,without a doubt it would give me great sorrow to see the holy Church and the rest of the world in the arduous state it is in today while knowing men have me in heaven as their Mother, Advocate and Protectress in order to assist, aid and guide them to eternal life. This being so, and the Almighty having conceded to me so many privileges as his Mother and by the titles of which thou hast written, and all this having been done in order to direct and apply them to the benefit of mortals as the Mother of clemency, seeing myself obliged to remain idle when it comes to their own good, and knowing because they do not call upon me from their whole heart so many souls are lost, would cause me great sorrow in my sincere desire to have mercy on them. But though I cannot experience this sorrow now, yet I have a just complaint against men, for while they earn eternal punishment they refuse to me the glory of helping them to save their souls.
784. The Church has never been ignorant of the value of my intercession and the power I have in heaven in order to assist all, for I have testified to the certainty of this truth by so many thousands of thousands of miracles, prodigies and favors which I have worked for my devotees. With those who have called upon me in their needs I have always shown myself generous, and the Lord has shown himself generous to them on my account; however, though many are the souls whom I have helped, they are few in comparison with those whom I could help and desire to help. The world runs on, and the centuries move along very quickly; mortals are slow in turning to God and knowing Him; the children of the Church are hindered and entangled in the snares of the demon; the sinners increase in number and their guilt is augmented, because charity is growing cold even after God became incarnate, teaching the world by his life and doctrine, redeeming it by his Passion and Death, giving the efficacious evangelical law, contributing his part regarding creatures, making his Church illustrious by so many miracles, enlightenments, benefits and favors for itself and for his saints. And beyond this He is opening up his mercies by his goodness, and by my hand and intercession, constituting me as their Mother, Helper, Protector and Advocate; yet my punctual and copious fulfillment of these offices is not enough. After all this, what wonder is it divine justice is so irritated, since the sins of men merit the chastisement which threatens them and which they have only begun to feel? For by these circumstances the malice of men has already reached the highest point possible. (The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God: The Coronation, Book 8, Chapter XXII.)
We must never refuse Our Lady the glory of helping us save our immortal souls, which have been redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of her Divine Son's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Yes, despite what Jorge Mario Bergoglio believes, Our Lady has indeed enjoyed special privileges from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception. (For a refresher, see No Special Privileges).
As noted at the beginning of this article, this feast has been transferred because of the Octaves of Corpus Christi. It is, though, altogether fitting that this feast should be celebrated in June as the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the font of Divine Mercy, would not have beat a single beat had not Our Lady enfleshed the Word by consenting to be the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. We must honor Our Lady at all times, hoping and praying that we who crown her statues with blossoms in this life will be able to crown her with our kisses in Heaven.
The following pray to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, found in The Raccolta, is very appropos of today's feast, coming as it does during the Octave of the the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. I invite the readers of this site in joining me in the daily recitation of this prayer:
Remember, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, what ineffable power thy divine Son hath given thee over His own adorable Heart. Filled with confidence in thy merits, we come before thee and beg they protection. O heavenly Treasurer of the Heart of Jesus, that Heart which is the inexhaustible source of all graces, which thou mayest open to us at thy good pleasure, in order that form it may flow upon mankind the riches of love and mercy light and salvation, that are contained therein; grant unto us, we beseech thee, the favors which we see (state your intentions). W can never, never be refused by thee, and since thou art our Mother, O Lady of the Sacred Heart, graciously receive our prayers and grant our request. Amen. ( As found in The Raccolta: A Manual of Indulgences, Prayers and Devotions Enriched with Indulgences, approved by Pope Pius XII, May 30, 1951, and published in English by Benziger Brothers, New York, 1957, No. 439, p. 334. An indulgence of 500 days. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this prayer is devoutly recited daily for a month.)
We ask Our Lady to pray for us in this life so that we may know after our deaths a Heaven reward us for having shielded ourselves with her Brown Scapular and for using well her weapon of the Most Holy Rosary.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and the hour of our death. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, be my love.
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
Bring flowers of the fairest,
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us, especially on your feast day today!
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Dominic de Guzman, pray for us.
Blessed Alan de la Roche, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Catherine Laboure, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Father Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.
Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos, pray for us.
Saint Petronilla, pray for us.
The Coronation of Our Lady as found in The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God:
The Coronation: Book Eight, Chapter XXII
775. When Jesus Christ our Savior took leave of his disciples in order to enter upon his suffering He told them not to be disturbed in their hearts due to the things He had told them, because in the house of his Father, which is eternal happiness, there are many mansions (Jn. 14:1-2). He further assured them there was room and reward for all, though their merits and good works be diverse, and no one should be disturbed in his peace and hope though he see others more favored or advanced, because in the house of God there are many grades and many dwellings in which each one shall be content with what shall belong to him without envy, for this is one of the great blessings of that eternal felicity. I have said most holy Mary was assigned to the supreme position and state on the throne of the most blessed Trinity (763), and many times have I made use of this phrase in order to declare such great mysteries, as also has been done by the Saints and in Holy Scriptures themselves (Apoc. 1:4; 3:21).* And though regarding this no further remark is necessary, nevertheless for those with less understanding I will say that God, since He is a most pure Spirit without a body and altogether infinite, immense and incomprehensible, has no need of a material throne or seat, for He fills all creation and is present in all creatures. He is comprehended or circumscribed by none, but He himself comprehends and encompasses all things. The saints do not see the Divinity with corporeal eyes,† but with those of the soul; yet since they see Him in some certain location (in order to adapt ourselves to our terrestrial and material ways of thinking and speaking), we say He is upon the royal throne of the most blessed Trinity, though in reality He has his glory within Himself and communicates it to his saints. But I do not deny that in heaven the humanity of Christ our Savior and his Blessed Mother hold a place more eminent than the rest of the saints, and among the Blessed who are in body and soul there is some kind of order in their relative position nearer or farther from Christ our Lord‡ and the Queen, yet here is not the place to inquire into the manner into which this arrangement is made in heaven.
776. Thus we call the throne of the Divinity that from whence God manifests Himself to the saints as the principal cause of their glory and as the eternal God, infinite, who depends upon no one, and all creatures depend upon his will; and He manifests Himself as Lord, as King, as Judge and Master of all that has being. This dignity Christ our Redeemer possesses insofar as He is God by essence, and insofar as He is Man by the hypostatic union by which He communicates his divinity to his most sacred humanity. Hence in heaven He is the King, the Lord, and the supreme Judge, and the saints, though their glory exceeds all human calculation, are as servants and inferiors of that inaccessible Majesty. After Christ our Savior, most holy Mary participates in this excellence in a degree inferior to her most holy Son, yet otherwise ineffable and proportionate to the being of a mere creature nearest to the Godman; hence, She assists forever at the right hand of her Son as Queen (Ps. 44:10), Lady, and Mistress of all creation, her dominion extending as far as that of her divine Son, though in a different manner.
777. After establishing most holy Mary in this place and on this supereminent throne, the Lord declared to the courtiers of heaven all the privileges She would enjoy in virtue of this participation in His Majesty. The Person of the eternal Father, as the first principle of all things, speaking to the angels and saints said: “Our Daughter Mary was chosen according to our pleasure from among all creatures, the first for our delights, who never fell from the title and position of a true Daughter such as We had given Her in our divine mind. She has a claim to our dominion, which We shall recognize by crowning Her as the legitimate and peerless Lady and Sovereign.” The incarnate Word said: “To my true and natural Mother belong all the creatures who were created and redeemed by Me, and of all things over which I am King She shall be the legitimate and supreme Queen.” The Holy Ghost said: “Since She is called my beloved and chosen Spouse, She deserves to be crowned as Queen for all eternity.”
778. Having thus spoken, the three divine Persons placed upon the head of most holy Mary a crown of such new splendor and value that the like has never been seen either before or after by any mere creature. At the same time there issued a voice from the throne which said: “My Beloved and elect among the creatures, our kingdom is thine. Thou art the Queen, Lady and Superioress of the Seraphim and of all our ministers the Angels, and of the entire universe of our creatures. Attend, command, and reign prosperously over them (Ps. 44:5), for in our supreme consistory We give Thee empire, majesty and dominion. Being filled with grace beyond all the rest, Thou hast humbled Thyself in thy own estimation to the lowest place; receive now the exaltation due to Thee,* and participate in the dominion of our Divinity over all things created by our hands by our omnipotence. From thy royal throne unto the center of the earth Thou shalt command all things, and by the power We now give Thee Thou shalt subject hell and all its demons and inhabitants; they shall all fear Thee as the supreme Empress and Mistress of those caverns and dwellings of our enemies. In thy hands and into thy will We place the powers and effects of all causes, their operations and their conservation, so Thou mayest dispense the influences of the heavens, the rain of the clouds, and the fruits of the earth; all of them do Thou distribute according to thy disposition, and our own will shall be attentive in order to execute thy will. Thou shalt be the Queen and Mistress of all mortals in order to command and detain death and preserve their lives.† Thou shalt be the Empress and Lady of the Church Militant, its Protectress, its Advocate, its Mother, and its Teacher. Thou shalt be the special Patroness of the Catholic kingdoms; and if they and the other faithful, and all the children of Adam, call upon Thee from their heart, and serve and oblige Thee, Thou shalt relieve and help them in their labors and necessities. Thou shalt be the Friend, the Defender, and the Captainess of all the just and our friends; all of them Thou shalt comfort, console, and fill with blessings to the degree they oblige Thee by their devotion to Thee. For all this We make Thee the Depositary of our riches and the Treasurer of our goods; We place into thy hands the helps and favors of our grace so Thou mayest dispense them. We desire to grant nothing to the world which does not pass through thy hands,‡ and We desire to deny nothing which Thou dost desire to concede to men. Grace shall be diffused in thy lips (Ps. 44:3) for all Thou dost desire and ordain in heaven and on earth, and everywhere shall angels and men obey Thee; because whatever is ours is thine, just as Thou hast always been ours, and Thou shalt reign with Us forever.”
779. In the execution of this decree and privilege conceded to the Lady of the universe, the Omnipotent commanded all the courtiers of heaven, angels and men, to render obedience to Mary most holy and recognize Her as their Queen and Lady. There was another mystery concealed in this wonder, namely it was to recompense the divine Mother for the veneration and homage which with profound humility She had rendered to the angels and saints when She was a viator and they appeared before Her (as I have written throughout this History), despite the fact that She was the Mother of God himself, and full of grace and sanctity above the angels and saints. While they were comprehensors when the most pure Lady was yet a viator, it was appropriate for her greater merit for Her to humble Herself beneath all of them since the Lord thus ordained it; but now, when She was in possession of the reign due to Her, it was just for all to give Her homage and veneration, and recognize themselves as her inferiors and vassals. This they did in that most happy state in which all things are reduced to their due order and proportion. This recognition and homage was given to Her by the angelic spirits and the souls of the saints; in the manner in which they adored the Lord with fear,* homage and reverence, they rendered the same proportionately to his divine Mother, and the saints who were in heaven in their bodies prostrated themselves and venerated their Queen with bodily actions. All these demonstrations and the Coronation of the Empress of heaven redounded wonderfully to her glory, to the new joy and jubilation of the saints, and to the complaisance of the most blessed Trinity. Altogether festive was this day, and of new and accidental glory for heaven. Those who received more of this glory were her most chaste spouse St. Joseph, St. Joachim, St. Anne, and all the other relatives of the Queen, and especially her thousand Guardian Angels.
780. Within the glorious body of the great Queen, over her Heart, was visible to the saints a small globe or monstrance of singular beauty and splendor, which particularly caused and still causes their admiration and rejoicing. It was there as a reward and testimony of her having enclosed as in a worthy tabernacle the incarnate Word in the most Blessed Sacrament, and for having received Him in such a worthy, pure and holy manner, without any defect or imperfection, but with highest devotion, love and reverence attained by none of the other saints. Regarding the other rewards and crowns corresponding to her peerless works and virtues nothing that can be said could give any idea, and thus I refer it to the beatific vision, where each one shall perceive them in proportion as his works and devotion shall have merited. In chapter XIX (742) I mentioned the Transition of our Queen happened on the thirteenth of August, while her resurrection, Assumption and Coronation happened on Sunday the fifteenth, the day on which it is celebrated in the Church. Her sacred body remained in the sepulchre thirty-six hours just as the body of her divine Son, for her Transition and her resurrection both took place at three o’clock. According to the computation given above this wonder happened in the year of our Lord fiftyfive, which had advanced as many days as intervene between the Nativity of the Lord and the fifteenth of August.
781. We have left the great Lady at the right hand of her divine Son, reigning through all the ages of eternity. We now return to the Apostles and disciples, who in flowing tears surrounded the sepulchre of most holy Mary in the valley of Josaphat. St. Peter and St. John, who had been the most constant in their attendance, noticed the celestial music had ceased, for they failed to hear it on the third day. Being enlightened by the Holy Ghost, they conjectured the most pure Mother had arisen and had entered heaven body and soul like her divine Son. They conferred about this matter and came to the conclusion that it must be so, and St. Peter, as the head of the Church, decided that regarding such a wonderful truth all possible testimony must be taken and made known to those who had witnessed her death and burial. For this purpose on the same day he called together the Apostles, disciples, and the other faithful at the sepulchre. He proposed to them his reasons for the judgment all had made, and the necessity of manifesting the truth of this wonder to the Church, which would be venerated in all the future ages and render such glory to the Lord and his most blessed Mother. All approved of the decision of the Vicar of Christ, and at his order the stone which sealed the sepulchre was immediately removed. This being done they saw the grave despoiled of the sacred body of the Queen of heaven and the tunic in the same position as when it had covered Her, showing She must have passed through the tunic and the stone of the sepulchre without disturbing any part of them. St. Peter took out the tunic and the mantle and with all the others venerated it, since they were now certain of the resurrection and Assumption of most holy Mary into heaven. In joy mingled with sorrow they wept sweet tears at this prodigy and sang psalms and hymns of praise and glory to the Lord and his Blessed Mother.
782. In their affectionate wonder all of them remained spellbound looking at the sepulchre until the Angel of the Lord descended and manifested himself to them, saying: “Ye men of Galilee, why art thou astounded and detained here?* Thy Queen and ours now lives body and soul in heaven and reigns in it forever with Christ. She sends me to confirm thee in this truth, and to tell thee on her part that She recommends to thee anew the Church, the conversion of souls, and the spread of the Gospel. She desires to tell thee to return then to thy ministry with which thou art charged, and from her glory She shall take care of thee.” At this message the Apostles were consoled; they experienced her protection in their wanderings, and much more in the hour of their martyrdom, for to each of them did She appear in that hour to present their souls to the Lord. Other particulars concerning the Transition and resurrection of most holy Mary were not manifested to me, and hence I have not written of them, nor during this entire divine History have I had any choice except to record what I have been taught and commanded to write.
INSTRUCTION GIVEN ME BY THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, MARY MOST HOLY.
783. My daughter, if anything could lessen the enjoyment of the highest happiness and glory which I possess, and if in it I could be capable of any sorrow, without a doubt it would give me great sorrow to see the holy Church and the rest of the world in the arduous state it is in today while knowing men have me in heaven as their Mother, Advocate and Protectress in order to assist, aid and guide them to eternal life. This being so, and the Almighty having conceded to me so many privileges as his Mother and by the titles of which thou hast written, and all this having been done in order to direct and apply them to the benefit of mortals as the Mother of clemency, seeing myself obliged to remain idle when it comes to their own good, and knowing because they do not call upon me from their whole heart so many souls are lost, would cause me great sorrow in my sincere desire to have mercy on them. But though I cannot experience this sorrow now, yet I have a just complaint against men, for while they earn eternal punishment they refuse to me the glory of helping them to save their souls.
784. The Church has never been ignorant of the value of my intercession and the power I have in heaven in order to assist all, for I have testified to the certainty of this truth by so many thousands of thousands of miracles, prodigies and favors which I have worked for my devotees. With those who have called upon me in their needs I have always shown myself generous, and the Lord has shown himself generous to them on my account; however, though many are the souls whom I have helped, they are few in comparison with those whom I could help and desire to help. The world runs on, and the centuries move along very quickly; mortals are slow in turning to God and knowing Him; the children of the Church are hindered and entangled in the snares of the demon; the sinners increase in number and their guilt is augmented, because charity is growing cold* even after God became incarnate, teaching the world by his life and doctrine, redeeming it by his Passion and Death, giving the efficacious evangelical law, contributing his part regarding creatures, making his Church illustrious by so many miracles, enlightenments, benefits and favors for itself and for his saints. And beyond this He is opening up his mercies by his goodness, and by my hand and intercession, constituting me as their Mother, Helper, Protector and Advocate;† yet my punctual and copious fulfillment of these offices is not enough. After all this, what wonder is it divine justice is so irritated, since the sins of men merit the chastisement which threatens them and which they have only begun to feel? For by these circumstances the malice of men has already reached the highest point possible.
785. All this, my daughter, is true; but my kindness and clemency exceeds even such malice, inclines toward the infinite Good, and detains his justice; and the Most High still desires to be generous with his infinite treasures, and is resolved to favor those who know how to earn my intercession and oblige me so I may with efficacy interpose my intercession for them in the divine presence. This is the secure way and the powerful means of enhancing the Church, of remedying the Catholic kingdoms, of spreading the faith, of preserving families and states, and of converting souls to the grace and friendship of God. In this cause, my daughter, I have desired thee to labor and assist me as far as thou art able assisted by divine virtue. And this shall consist not only in the writing of my Life, but in imitating it by the observance of my counsels and salutary doctrine which thou hast so abundantly received in that which thou hast written as well as in other innumerable favors and blessings corresponding to this which the Almighty has worked in thee. Consider well, my beloved, thy strict obligation of obeying me as thy only Mother, as a legitimate and true Teacher and Superior, since I grant all these and other benefits to thee with singular condescension; and thou hast many times renewed and ratified the vows of thy profession into my hands, and in them hast promised me special obedience. Do thou remember the promises thou hast so often given to the Lord and to his Angels, and all the times we have manifested to thee our will for thee to exist, live and work as one of them, and participate in mortal flesh in the conditions and operations of an angel, and for thy conversation and interaction to be with those most pure spirits; and just as they communicate with each other among themselves, and as the higher illumine and inform the lower, so shall they illumine and inform thee of the perfections of thy Beloved and the light which is necessary in order to exercise all of the virtues, and principally of the mistress of them all, which is charity, by which thou mayest be inflamed in the love of thy sweet Master and of thy neighbor. To this state thou must aspire with all thy powers so the Most High may find thee worthy to accomplish in thee his most holy will, and so thou mayest serve Him in all He desires of thee. May his powerful right hand give thee his eternal blessing, manifest to thee the joy of his countenance, and grant thee peace;‡ make sure not to become unworthy of it. (The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God: The Coronation, Book 8, Chapter XXII.)