Preserved from All Sin, Filled With All Grace
Thomas A. Droleskey
Conciliarism has produced many things in its sorry, Modernist wake. One of the most noticeable is ignorance. That is, conciliarism has left most Catholics ignorant concerning the perennial truths of the Faith, including those truths conciliar officials proclaim to defend, such as the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Most Catholics today are clueless about the meaning of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady in her mother's womb, confusing this doctrine with that of her perpetual virginity. Similarly, most Catholics today do not believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, having been convinced by the signs and symbols and art and architecture and music associated with the Novus Ordo Missae that the Eucharist is now and has always been but a "symbol" of Our Lord.
The overwhelming prevalence of ignorance in the lives of Catholics who adhere to the conciliar structures is such that even well-meaning priests display it all too frequently.
To wit, a priest in Normal, Illinois, used a sermon on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1977 to deny the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, signifying his confusion about the nature of the feast that was being celebrated and signifying his own dissent from the defined teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the perpetual virginity of Our Lady. A colleague of mine in the Department of Political Science at Illinois State University, where was I teaching at the time, wrote a vigorous letter of protest to the then Bishop of Peoria, the now-deceased Edward O'Rourke. The priest remained at the parish for some time thereafter. He was not happy that he was corrected by a layman about the offense he had given to the Mother of God.
This ignorance has multiplied exponentially in the past twenty-nine years. Indeed, most of the students I taught during the first phase of my college teaching career, which spanned from January of 1974 to July of 2003, were Catholics. The lack of knowledge they possessed about the Faith never ceased to amaze me. They knew next-to-nothing about the Faith, and the little that they thought they knew was wrong, the product of bad catechesis taught by catechists trained in the ethos of conciliarism. One young student, who was not trying to be a "wise guy," asked "Whose Judas?" when I mentioned the name of Our Lord's betrayer during a lecture at Nassau Community College in March of 1983. This young lady had been through thirteen years of Catholic education. Her father was a major figure in a prominent parish in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. She had never learned about Judas Iscariot, perhaps, as I explained at the time, because she had been taught by Judas's apostles in the contemporary ecclesiastical structures.
This kind of ignorance is what the devil has desired from the beginning of the Church to sow within the souls of Catholics. Our adversary has raised up all manner of heretics to spout all manner of heresies in order to confuse and bewilder the sheep of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's true Sheepfold, that of Peter, the Pope. Modernism, being the synthesis of all heresies, is particularly insidious as its chief exponents claim to be manifesting "God's love" for His people while they undermine the doctrines that He has entrusted to His true Church to be taught in all of their holy integrity until the end of time. Modernists want to posit a false conflict between "God's love" and specific doctrinal issues, leading most Catholics into the belief that such doctrinal issues are simply irrelevant as long as we know that "God loves us" "just the way we are."
The belief, re-stated by Benedict XVI on December 7, 2006, that "God's love" transcends the particular ecclesiastical issues of the day is not of God. It is very much of the devil, who has used Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry as two of the chief vehicles by which to infiltrate Catholic thought and pastoral practice and liturgical worship with a sappy sentimentality that undermines the Deposit of Faith that one must accept in all of its component parts in order to get home to Heaven. Saint John the Evangelist Himself noted this when he wrote the following:
For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy. (1 John 5: 3)
There is no conflict between "God's love" and the doctrines He has entrusted to Holy Mother Church, some of which have been defined de fide over the course of the centuries but were contained in everything He revealed to His Church by the time of close of the era of Revelation, which occurred with the death of Saint John the Evangelist in the early part of the Second Century A.D. The doctrine of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception is one of those doctrines defined lately, only 152 years ago now. However, the solemn proclamation of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, in the Papal Bull
Ineffabilis Deus was but a reiteration of the consistent teaching of the Church over the centuries.
Writing nearly a century before the solemn proclamation issued by Pope Pius IX, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori summarized the conclusions of numerous theologians, most of whom are canonized saints, in his discourse on the subject that is contained in The Glories of Mary:
GREAT indeed was the injury entailed on Adam and all his posterity by his accursed sin; for at the same time that he is thereby, for his own great misfortune, lost grace, he also forfeited all the other precious gifts with which he had originally been enriched, and drew down upon himself and all his descendants the hatred of God and an accumulation of evils. But from this general misfortune God was pleased to exempt that Blessed Virgin whom He had destined to be the Mother of the Second Adam-----Jesus Christ-----Who was to repair the evil done by the first. Now, let us see how becoming it was that God, and all the Three Divine Persons, should thus preserve her from it; that the Father should preserve her as His Daughter, the Son as His Mother, and the Holy Ghost as His Spouse.
First point.-----In the first place it was becoming that the Eternal Father should preserve Mary from the stain of Original Sin, because she was His Daughter, and His first-born daughter, as she herself declares: "I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-born before all creatures." [Eccl. 24: 5] For this text is applied to Mary by sacred interpreters, the holy Fathers, and by the Church on the solemnity of her Conception. For be she the first-born inasmuch as she was predestined in the Divine decrees, together with the Son, before all creatures, according to the Scotists; or be she the first-born of grace as the predestined Mother of the Redeemer, after the prevision of sin, according to the Thomists; nevertheless all agree in calling her the first-born of God. This being the case, it was quite becoming that Mary should never have been the slave of Lucifer, but only and always possessed by her Creator; and this she in reality was, as we are assured by herself: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways." [Prov. 8: 22] Hence Denis of Alexandria rightly calls Mary 'the one and only daughter of life.' She is the one and only daughter of life, in contradistinction to others who, being born in sin, are daughters of death.
Besides this, it was quite becoming that the Eternal Father should create her in His grace, since He destined her to be the repairer of the lost world, and the mediatress of peace between men and God; and, as such, she is looked upon and spoken of by the holy Fathers, and in particular by Saint John Damascene, who thus addresses her: 'O Blessed Virgin, thou wast born that thou mightest minister to the salvation of the whole world.' For this reason Saint Bernard says, 'that Noah's ark was a type of Mary; for as, by its means, men were preserved from the deluge, so are we all saved by Mary from the shipwreck of sin: but with the difference, that in the ark few were saved, and by Mary the whole human race was rescued from death.' Therefore, in a sermon found amongst the works of Saint Athanasius, she is called 'the new Eve, and the Mother of life;' and not without reason, for the first was the Mother of death, but the most Blessed Virgin was the Mother of true life. Saint Theophanius of Nice, addressing Mary, says, 'Hail, thou who hast taken away Eve's sorrow!' Saint Basil of Seleucia calls her the peacemaker between men and God: 'Hail, thou who art appointed umpire between God and men!' and Saint Ephrem, the pacificator of the whole world: 'Hail, reconciler of the whole world!'
But now, it certainly would not be becoming to choose an enemy to treat of peace with the offended person, and still less an accomplice in the crime itself. Saint Gregory says, 'that an enemy cannot undertake to appease his judge, who is at the same time the injured party; for if he did, instead of appeasing him, he would provoke him to greater wrath.' And therefore, as Mary was to be the mediatress of peace between men and God, it was of the utmost importance that she should not herself appear as a sinner and as an enemy of God, but that she should appear in all things as a friend, and free from every stain.
Still more was it becoming that God should preserve her from Original Sin, for He destined her to crush the head of that infernal serpent, which, by seducing our first parents, entailed death upon all men; and this our Lord foretold: "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head." [Gen. 3: 15] But if Mary was to be that valiant woman brought into the world to conquer Lucifer, certainly it was not becoming that he should first conquer her, and make her his slave; but it was reasonable that she should be preserved from all stain, and even momentary subjection to her opponent. The proud spirit endeavoured to infect the most pure soul of this Virgin with his venom, as he had already infected the whole human race. But praised and ever blessed be God, Who, in His infinite goodness, preendowed her for this purpose with such great grace, that, remaining always free from any guilt of sin, she was ever able to beat down and confound his pride, as Saint Augustine, or whoever may be the author of the commentary on Genesis, says: 'Since the devil is the head of Original Sin, this head it was that Mary crushed: for sin never had any entry into the soul of this Blessed Virgin, which was consequently free from all stain.' And Saint Bonaventure more expressly says, 'It was becoming that the Blessed Virgin Mary, by whom our shame was to be blotted out, and by whom the devil was to be conquered, should never, even for a moment, have been under his dominion.'
But, above all, it principally became the Eternal Father to preserve this His daughter unspotted by Adam's sin, as Saint Bernardine of Sienna remarks, because He destined her to be the Mother of His Only-begotten Son: 'Thou wast preordained in the mind of God, before all creatures, that thou mightest beget God Himself as man.' If, then, for no other end, at least for the honour of His Son, Who was God, it was reasonable that the Father should create Mary free from every stain. The angelic Saint Thomas says, that all things that are ordained for God should be holy and free from stain: 'Holiness is to be attributed to those things which are ordained for God.' [1 p. q. xxxvi. art. 1, concl.] Hence when David was planning the temple of Jerusalem, on a scale of magnificence becoming a God, he said, "For a house is prepared not for man, but for God." [1 Paralipom. (Chronicles) 29: 1] How much more reasonable, then, is it not, to suppose that the Sovereign Architect, who destined Mary to be the Mother of His Own Son, adorned her soul with all most precious gifts, that she might be a dwelling worthy of God! Denis the Carthusian says, 'that God, the artificer of all things, when constructing a worthy dwelling for His Son adorned it with all attractive graces.' And the Holy Church herself, in the following prayer, assures us that God prepared the body and soul of the Blessed Virgin, so as to be a worthy dwelling on earth for His Only-begotten Son. 'Almighty and Eternal God Who by the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin and Mother Mary, that she might become a worthy habitation for Thy Son,' . . .
We know that a man's highest honour is to be born of noble parents, "And the glory of children are their fathers." [Prov. 17: 6] Hence in the world the reputation of being possessed of only a small fortune, and little learning, is more easily tolerated than that of being of low birth; for, whilst a poor man may become rich by his industry, an ignorant man learned by study, it is very difficult for a person of humble origin to attain the rank of nobility; but, even should he attain it, his birth can always be made a subject of reproach to him. How, then, can we suppose that God, Who could cause His Son to be born of a noble mother by preserving her from sin, would on the contrary permit Him to be born of one infected by it, and thus enable Lucifer always to reproach Him with the shame of having a mother who had once been his slave and the enemy of God? No, certainly, the Eternal Father did not permit this; but He well provided for the honour of His Son by preserving His Mother always Immaculate, that she might be a Mother becoming such a Son. The Greek Church bears witness to this, saying, 'that God, by a singular providence, caused the most Blessed Virgin to be as perfectly pure from the very first moment of her existence, as it was fitting that she should be, who was to be the worthy Mother of Christ.'
It is a common axiom amongst theologians that no gift was ever bestowed on any creature with which the Blessed Virgin was not also enriched. Saint Bernard says on this subject, 'It is certainly not wrong to suppose that that which has evidently been bestowed, even on only a few, was not denied to so great a Virgin.' Saint Thomas of Villanova says, ' Nothing was ever granted to any Saint which did not shine in a much higher degree in Mary from the very first moment of her existence.' And as it is true that 'there is an infinite difference between the Mother of God and the servants of God,' according to the celebrated saying of Saint John Damascene, we must certainly suppose, according to the doctrine of Saint Thomas, that 'God conferred privileges of grace in every way greater on His Mother than on His servants.' [3 p. q. xxvii, art. 1, concl.] And now admitting this, Saint Anselm, the great defender of the Immaculate Mary, takes up the question and says, 'Was the wisdom of God unable to form a pure dwelling, and to remove every stain of human nature from it? Perhaps God could not prepare a clean habitation for His Son by preserving it from the common contagion? 'God,' continues the same Saint, 'could preserve Angels in Heaven spotless, in the midst of the devastation that surrounded them; was He, then, unable to preserve the Mother of His Son and the Queen of Angels from the common fall of men?' And I may here add, that as God could grant Eve the grace to come immaculate into the world, could He not, then, grant the same favour to Mary?
Yes, indeed! God could do it and did it; for on every account 'it was becoming' as the same Saint Anselm says, 'that that Virgin, on whom the Eternal Father intended to bestow His Only-begotten Son, should be adorned with such purity as not only to exceed that of, all men and Angels, but exceeding any purity that can be conceived after that of God.' And Saint John Damascene speaks in still clearer terms; for he says, 'that our Lord had preserved the soul, together with the body of the Blessed Virgin, in that purity which became her who was to receive a God into her womb; for, as He is holy, He only reposes in holy places.' And thus the Eternal Father could well say to His beloved daughter, 'As the lily among thorns; so is my love among the daughters.' [Cant. 2: 2] My daughter, amongst all my other daughters, thou art as a lily in the midst of thorns; for they are all stained with sin, but thou wast always Immaculate, and always my beloved.
Second point.-----In the second place it was becoming that the Son should preserve Mary from sin, as being His Mother. No man can choose his mother; but should such a thing ever be granted to anyone, who is there who, if able to choose a queen, would wish for a slave? If able to choose a noble lady, would he wish for a servant? Or if able to choose a friend of God, would he wish for His enemy? If, then, the Son of God alone could choose a Mother according to His Own heart, His liking, we must consider, as a matter of course, that He chose one becoming a God. Saint Bernard says, 'that the Creator of men becoming Man, must have selected Himself a Mother whom He knew became Him.' And as it was becoming that a most pure God should have a Mother pure from all sin, He created her spotless. Saint Bernardine of Sienna, speaking of the different degrees of sanctification, says, that 'the third is that obtained by becoming the Mother of God; and that this sanctification consists in the entire removal of Original Sin. This is what took place in the Blessed Virgin: truly God created Mary such, both as to the eminence of her nature and the perfection of grace with ,which He endowed her, as became Him Who was to be born of her. Here we may
apply the words of the Apostle to the Hebrews: "For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest; holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners." [Heb. 7: 26] A learned author observes that, according to Saint Paul, it was fitting that our Blessed Redeemer should not only be separated from sin, but also from sinners; according to the explanation of Saint Thomas, who says, 'that it was necessary that He, Who came to take away sins, should be separated from sinners, as to the fault under which Adam lay.' [3. p. q. iv. art. 6, ad 2] But how could Jesus Christ be said to be separated from sinners if He had a Mother who was a sinner?
Saint Ambrose says, 'that Christ chose this vessel into which He was about to descend, not of earth, but from Heaven; and He consecrated it a temple of purity.' The Saint alludes to the text of Saint Paul: "The first man was of the earth, earthly: the second man from Heaven, heavenly." [1 Cor. 15: 47] The Saint calls the Divine Mother 'a heavenly vessel,' not because Mary was not earthly by nature, as heretics have dreamt, but because she was heavenly by grace; she was as superior to the Angels of Heaven in sanctity and purity, as it was becoming that she should be, in whose womb a King of Glory was to dwell. This agrees with that which Saint John the Baptist revealed to St. Bridget, saying, 'It was not becoming that the King of Glory should repose otherwise than in a chosen vessel, exceeding all men and Angels in purity.' And to this we may add that which the Eternal Father Himself said to the same Saint: 'Mary was a clean and an unclean vessel: clean, for she was all fair; but unclean, because she was born of sinners; though she was conceived without sin, that My Son might be born of her without sin.' And remark these last words, 'Mary was conceived without sin, that the Divine Son might be born of her without sin.' Not that Jesus Christ could have contracted sin; but that He might not be reproached with even having a Mother infected with it, who would consequently have been the slave of the devil.
The Holy Ghost says that "the glory of a man is from the honour of his father, and a father without honour is the disgrace of the son." [Eccles. 3: 13] 'Therefore it was,' says an ancient writer, 'that Jesus preserved the body of Mary from corruption after death; for it would have redounded to His dishonour, had that virginal flesh with which He had clothed Himself become the food of worms.' 'For,' he adds, 'corruption is a disgrace of human nature; and as Jesus was not subject to it, Mary was also exempted; for the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary.' But since the corruption of her body would have been a disgrace for Jesus Christ, because He was born of her, how much greater would the disgrace have been, had He been born of a mother whose soul was once infected with the corruption of sin! For not only is it true that the flesh of Jesus is the same as that of Mary, 'but,' adds the same author, 'the flesh of our Saviour, even after His resurrection, remained the same that He had taken from His Mother.' 'The flesh of Christ is the flesh of Mary; and though it was glorified by the glory of His resurrection, yet it remains the same that was taken from Mary.' Hence the Abbot Arnold of Chartres says, 'The flesh of Mary and that of Christ are one; and therefore I consider the glory of the Son as being not so much common to, as one with that of His Mother.' And now if this is true, supposing that the Blessed Virgin was conceived in sin, though the Son could not have contracted its stain, nevertheless His having united flesh to Himself which was once infected with sin, a vessel of uncleanness and subject to Lucifer, would always have been a blot.
Mary was not only the Mother, but the worthy Mother of our Saviour. She is called so by all the holy Fathers. Saint Bernard says, 'Thou alone wast found worthy to be chosen as the one in whose virginal womb the King of kings should have His first abode.' Saint. Thomas of Villanova says, 'Before she conceived, she was already fit to be the Mother of God.' The holy Church herself attests that Mary merited to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, saying, 'the Blessed Virgin, who merited to bear in her womb Christ our Lord;' and Saint Thomas Aquinas, explaining these words, says, that 'the Blessed Virgin is said to have merited to bear the Lord of all; not that she merited His Incarnation, but that she merited, by the graces she had received, such a degree of purity and sanctity, that she could becomingly be the Mother of God;' that is to say, Mary could not merit the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, but by Divine grace she merited such a degree of perfection as to render her worthy to be the Mother of a God; according to what Saint Peter Damian also writes: 'Her singular sanctity, the effect of grace, merited that she alone should be judged worthy to receive a God.'
And now, supposing that Mary was worthy to be the Mother of God, 'what excellency and what perfection was there that did not become her?' asks Saint Thomas of Villanova. The angelic Doctor says, 'that when God chooses anyone for a particular dignity, He renders him fit for it;' whence he adds, 'that God, having chosen Mary for His Mother, He also by His grace rendered her worthy of this highest of all dignities.' 'The Blessed Virgin was Divinely chosen to be the Mother of God, and therefore we cannot doubt that God had fitted her by His grace for this dignity; and we are assured of it by the Angel: "For thou hast found grace with God; behold, thou shalt conceive," . . . [3 p. q. xxvii. art. 4, concl.] And thence the Saint argues that 'the Blessed Virgin never committed any actual sin, not even a venial one. Otherwise,' he says, 'she would not have been a Mother worthy of Jesus Christ; for the ignominy of the Mother would also have been that of the Son, for He would have had a sinner for His Mother." [Ibid.] And now if Mary, on account of a single venial sin, which does not deprive a soul of Divine grace, would not have been a Mother worthy of God, how much more unworthy would she have been, had she contracted the guilt of Original Sin, which would have made her an enemy of God and a slave of the devil? And this reflection it was that made Saint Augustine utter those memorable words, that, 'when speaking of Mary for the honour of our Lord,' whom she merited to have for her Son, he would not entertain even the question of sin in her; 'for we know,' he says, 'that through Him, Who it is evident was without sin, and Whom she merited to conceive and bring forth, she received grace to conquer all sin.'
Therefore, as Saint Peter Damian observes, we must consider it as certain 'that the Incarnate Word chose Himself a becoming Mother, and one of whom He would not have to be ashamed.' Saint Proclus also says, 'that He dwelt in a womb which He had created free from all that might be to His dishonour.' It was no shame to Jesus Christ, when He heard Himself contemptuously called by the Jews the Son of Mary, meaning that He was the Son of a poor woman: "Is not His Mother called Mary?" [Matt. 8: 55] for He came into this world to give us an example of humility and patience. But, on the other hand, it would undoubtedly have been a disgrace, could He have heard the devil say, 'Was not His Mother a sinner? Was He not born of a wicked Mother, who was once our slave?' It would even have been unbecoming had Jesus Christ been born of a woman whose body was deformed, or crippled, or possessed by devils: but how much more would it have been so, had He been born of a woman whose soul had been once deformed by sin, and in the possession of Lucifer!
Ah I indeed, God, Who is Wisdom itself, well knew how to prepare Himself a becoming dwelling, in which to reside on earth: "Wisdom hath built herself a house." [Prov. 9: 1] "The Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle. . . . God will help it in the morning early." [Ps. 14: 5, 6] David says that our Lord sanctified this His dwelling "in the morning early;" that is to say, from the beginning of her life, to render her worthy of Himself; for it was not becoming that a holy God should choose Himself a dwelling that was not holy: "Holiness becometh Thy house." [Ps. 92: 5] And if God declares that He will never enter a malicious soul, or dwell in a body subject to sin, "for wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins," [Wisd. 1: 4] how can we ever think that the Son of God chose to dwell in the soul and body of Mary, without having previously sanctified and preserved it from every stain of sin? For, according to the doctrine of Saint Thomas, 'the Eternal Word dwelt not only in the soul of Mary, but even in her womb.' [3 p. q. xxvii. art. 4, concl.] The holy Church sings, 'Thou, O Lord, hast not disdained to dwell in the Virgin's womb.' Yes, for He would have disdained to have taken flesh in the womb of an Agnes, a Gertrude, a Teresa, because these virgins, though holy, were nevertheless for a time stained with Original Sin; but He did not disdain to become man in the womb of Mary, because this beloved Virgin was always pure and free from the least shadow of sin, and was never possessed by the infernal serpent. And therefore Saint Augustine says, 'that the Son of God never made Himself a more worthy dwelling than Mary, who was never possessed by the enemy, or despoiled of her ornaments.'
The devil hates Our Lady, knowing that she is the Singular Vessel of Devotion in which the One he hates, God, assumed a perfect human nature without for one second losing His Sacred Divinity. The devil hates Our Lady for her perfect obedience to the will of the Father at the Annunciation. He hates her for giving birth to the New Adam Who would cancel out the blood debt that had been contracted by Adam when he sinned by disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. The devil hates Our Lady because he knows that she has crushed his head and will continue to crush his head until he is chained up in Hell for all eternity at the end of time. The devil hates Our Lady because he knows, as Blessed Louis de Montfort taught, it is necessary to have devotion to her in order to be saved:
The pious and learned Jesuit, Suarez, Justus Lipsius, a devout and erudite theologian of Louvain, and many others have proved incontestably that devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary to attain salvation. This they show from the teaching of the Fathers, notably St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, deacon of Edessa, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure. Even according to Oecolampadius and other heretics, lack of esteem and love for the Virgin Mary is an infallible sign of God's disapproval. On the other hand, to be entirely and genuinely devoted to her is a sure sign of God's approval.
Thus it is that the devil has used Protestantism as a special means of "election," shall we say, to denigrate Our Lady and devotion to her. Make no mistake about it, ladies and gentlemen: Protestantism is from the devil, who inspired a prideful, lustful Augustinian monk, steeped in guilt over his sins and despairing of the efficacy of the graces made available to him in the Sacrament of Penance to overcome his sins, to deny that Our Lord had established a visible, hierarchical Church upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, that alone was the means by which men are to be instructed in the truths of the Holy Faith and the sole means by which the souls of men are to be sanctified until the end of time. The devil used all of the permutations from have flowed from Father Martin Luther's apostasy to create a veritable cottage industry in the over 33,000 different Protestant sects that have arisen in the past 489 years to disparage the role Our Lady played in the salvation of mankind and to portray her as nothing other than another "sinner" who had all of the faults and weaknesses of any other human being.
This is very important to keep in mind when discussions arise with your family and friends over The Nativity Story, which was the subject of Easy for Blasphemers to Endorse Blasphemy on this site three days ago. The Nativity Story, which has the imprimatur, so to speak, of Benedict XVI himself, without whose permission it would have been impossible for the motion picture to have made its world premiere at the Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City on Sunday, November 26, 2006, blasphemes Our Lady and Saint Joseph and Saints Joachim and Anne by portraying them according to Protestant disbelief in and contempt for the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. As many Catholics are indeed ignorant of the spiritual and bodily privileges of Our Lady as a result of her Immaculate Conception, perhaps it would be good to consult Adolph Tanquerey's A Manual of Dogmatic Theology to illustrate a few pertinent points (and I thank Father Ephrem Cordova, C.M.R.I., for his graciousness in loaning me this two-volume set that my old seminary professor, the late John Joseph Sullivan, used in his dogmatic theology courses at Holy Apostles Seminary during the time I was there in the 1983-1984 academic year).
Tanquery explained the Catholic teaching about Our Lady in great detail. Let me have him speak for himself:
THE BLESSED VIRIGN MARY BEHELD OBJECTIVELY
A. The Divine Maternity of Mary
827. I. Thesis: The Blessed Virgin Mary is truly the Mother of God. In opposing the Nestorians, the Council of Ephesus made this a matter of faith: "If anyone does not confess that the Emmanuel in truth is God and that on this account the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God, let him be anathema." The meaning of this thesis is that the Blessed Virgin brought forth Christ who is God.
a. Proof of thesis from Scripture. The Gospels narrate that the Blessed Virgin conceived and brought forth Christ who is truly God. Wherefore Elizabeth under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, called the Blessed Virgin the mother of the Lord: "Whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me"?
b. Proof of thesis from Tradition.
1) Through the first three centuries the Fathers professed that Mary gave birth to God; "Christ, born of Mary, is Emmanuel or God with us".
2) By the beginning of the fourth century the name God-bearing is given to Mary and the use of this appellation is so frequent that Julian the apostate reproached the Christians because they would not stop calling Mary God-bearing; and John of Antioch warned his friend Nestorius lest he stir up the crowds by persistently opposing this title.
3) In the fifth century, with Nestorius openly denying the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, St. Cyril vigorously defend and fought for this Catholic dogma, and the Council of Ephesus, to the great joy of the people, defined the Blessed Virgin as Theotokos.
c. Proof from Reason.
The Blessed Virgin conceived and brought forth the person who is God, namely Christ; But generation is not terminated at nature, but at the person who subsists and continues in the begotten nature; for example, the mother of Peter, although she produces his body only, is rightfully called the mother of Peter himself.
828 2. The Excellency of this dignity.
a. In Itself: the dignity of Mother of God far surpasses all other dignities, with the exception of the hypostatic union, because it proximately belongs to the order of the hypostatic union. For, in producing the matter of Christ's body, in willingly conceiving, giving birth to, and nourishing that body, the Blessed Virgin was, so to speak, the instrumental cause of the hypostatic union and the cooperator with the divine persons in the great work of the Incarnation. Consequently, because she is the mother of God, she has a certain infinite dignity from the infinite good which is God.
b. In its consequences--As the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin contracted special relations with the three divine persons:
1) In some manner she shares in the fruitfulness of the Father because she brings forth in time the same Son whom the Father alone generates from all eternity as one consubstantial to Himself.
2) She contracts a special affinity and a wonderful union with the Word in the Incarnation through generation, in the entire course of life through intimate communion, in the Passion through compassion, in glory through a glorious blessedness.
3) In a certain manner she has become the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, for the formation of Christ's body in the Blessed Virgin's womb is attributed to the Holy Spirit.
Thus Mary is also called at times the complement to the Trinity because de facto the Trinity has made use of the Blessed Virgin as an instrument for the purpose of accomplishing the work of the Incarnation.
From the dignity of the Divine Maternity proceed all the privileges granted to the Blessed Virgin, her most perfect sanctity, and her supernatural relations with creatures.
B. The Sanctity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
We shall treat first her Immaculate Conception; secondly, her positive sanctity, and in particular, her virginity.
I. The Immaculate Conception
829. State of the Question.
a. The idea is explained in the Bull Ineffabilis in which Pius IX defined that "the doctrine which maintains that the Most Blessed Virgin, at the first instant of her conception was preserved immune from all stain of original sin by a singular grace and privilege of the Almighty God in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, has been revealed by God, and therefore must be certainly and unalterably believed by all the faithful". In this definition there are three points to be considered in some detail:
1) The blessed Virgin was preserved from the blemish of original sin, but not from the debt, remote at least, because as a natural descendant from Adam she would have to contract that debt; and thus she differs from Christ Who was entirely immune from debt. But she was free from the actual infection of original sin and hence was adorned with sanctifying grace from the first moment since there is no medium between the state of sin and the state of grace.
2) This privilege was granted to the Blessed Virgin at the first moment of her conception, that is, at the instant in which her rational soul was infused into her body.
3) This privilege was conferred on the Blessed Virgin not by her own right as it was conferred on Christ, but from the gratuitous concession of God and, indeed, because of the foreseen merits of Christ.
b. Errors. The Protestants, the Jansenists in Holland, the Old Catholics and the Modernists attack this truth.
830. Thesis: In the first instant of her conception, in view of the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin was preserved from all stain of original sin. This thesis is de fide from the Bull Ineffabilis already quoted.
A. This thesis is not proved by Scripture alone, but with the help of Tradition.
1. In the Protoevangelium it is foretold that: "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she (in Hebrew it) shall crush thy head".
In this text it is stated that there will be a particular future hatred between the devil or sin, and the woman or the Blessed Virgin; and that she, together with her Son, will gain a complete victory over the devil and over sin. For although the pronoun "it," in the Hebrew text, refers directly to the seed of the woman, namely Christ, it must also be referred indirectly to His mother, in order that the antithesis, enuntiated in the first part, may be complete. But such a complete victory there would not be if the Blessed Virgin, at the first moment of her conception, had been stained with sin.
2. In the angelic salutation this proof is implicitly contained: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee". Herein fullness of grace is attributed to Mary, which, in order that it be perfect, must reach to the first instant of conception.
831 B. Proof from Tradition.
From the history of dogma. In this history we find three periods.
1. In the first the Immaculate Conception has been implicitly set forth in the dogma of her divine Maternity and of her most perfect Purity.
2. In the second period controversy has arisen in the Latin Church.
3. In the third period the dogma appears more clearly revealed and his solemnly defined.
The first period: the period of implicit faith. In the patristic age the dogma was implicitly declared. This is evident from the places in which Mary is compared to Eve by Sts. Justin, Irenaeus, Ephrem, etc.; in fact mary is called more perfect than Eve; she is said to be endowed with greater grace. But all of these statements would not be true if Mary had been marked with original sin. Furthermore, many of the Fathers assert with certainty that the Blessed Virgin is the purest, is completely immaculate at all times, is unimpaired, that she was pure at ever moment, that sin never had dominion over her; even more, she is called super-holy, super-innocent, in all ways at all times pure from all stain; holier than the saints, more elegant and spotless than celestial minds, alone holy, alone innocent, alone immaculate, alone, always untouched, alone always blessed. But these terms implicitly embrace the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.
The second period, the period of controversy--From the twelfth to the sixteenth century this truth was at times beclouded in the Latin Church chief because of the difficulty of examining all the documents of Tradition. None the less:
a. Belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin grew with the years among the Pastors, among the faithful, and among the theologians.
b. The Feast of the Conception, already celebrated during the seventh century in the Greek Church and in the Western Church first in Sicily and at Naples, was accepted by the Greeks; in the ninth century it was celebrated in Ireland; from here it spread into England, into Normandy, through almost all of France, thence into Germany, and in a short time throughout the universal Church. The object of this feast was the sanctification of Mary in the womb, not at any moment whatsoever, but at the very infusion of the soul--this fact is apparent from the different titles of the Feast (the Conception of Blessed Ann, the Prophecy of the God-bearing's Conception, etc.) and from the homilies of the Fathers, from the declaration of Sixtus IV in 1482 and of other Pontiffs.
c. In many constitutions Pontiffs forbade anyone to dare to speak, to preach, to discuss, to dispute in opposition to this pious doctrine: thus, for example, Sixtus IV, Alexander VII. When the Council of Trent issued its decree concerning original sin, it solemnly declared: "It is not its intention to include in this decree, which deals with original sin, the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.
The third period, the period of Catholic faith--Finally, after the Bishops, Churchmen, Regular Orders, and Emperors and Kings had over a long time earnestly requested the Holy See to declare the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary a dogma of Catholic faith, Pius IX, having asked the Bishops of the Catholic world for their thoughts and feelings about the definition of this subject, in accordance with his supreme and infallible authority defined the doctrine solemnly.
832. C. Proof from Reason
On the part of Christ, it was entirely fitting that His mother be immune from all stain of sin that she might be a worthy mother of His Holiness; it was fitting also that the Savior be triumphant over sin by a preventive Redemption even at the instant of animation, and, especially, at the first moment of His Mother who was His future Co-Redemptrix in the work of Redemption.
On the part of the Holy Trinity, it was proper that a creature so intimately united with the Holy Trinity never be associated with anything displeasing to the Trinity.
1. The Blessed Virgin experienced no stirring of concupiscence since concupiscence is the result of original sin: wherefore the fomes of sin was fettered in the Virgin from the beginning, rather let us say it was entirely extinct.
2. The Blessed Virgin committed no actual sin, mortal or venial, as is plainly evident from the statement of the Council of Trent: "If anyone says that a man once justified can sin no more... or on the contrary that he can during his whole life avoid all sins, even those that are venial, except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard to the Blessed Virgin, let him be anathema." (A. Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Volume II, Desclee, 1959, pp. 97-102.)
Before continuing on with the narrative from Tanquerey's A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, it is perhaps useful to summarize the text above in light of the blasphemies contained in The Nativity Story, blasphemies that are made all the more difficult for Catholics across the ecclesiastical divide to recognize and condemn precisely because of the confusion and ignorance generated by conciliarism.
First, as should be evident from Tanquerey's text, Our Lady never sinned. This was a privilege of her having been preserved from all stain of Original and Actual Sin from the first moment of her conception in Saint Anne's womb. She had the gift of integrity that had been lost by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Our Lady conducted herself with dignity at every moment of her life. She was never a "run of the mill" girl at at any age of her life. She never disobeyed her parents. She never threw a temper tantrum.
Second, having been preserved from all stain of Original and Actual Sin and having been filled with Sanctifying Grace from the first moment of her conception Our Lady sought to please God in every single one of her thoughts, words and deeds. There was no trace of selfishness in Our Lady whatsoever. She sought only to please God, not herself.
Third, the integrity possessed by Our Lady produced in her a perfect balance in her verbal and non-verbal expressions. Everything she said and did was perfectly proportionate to the moment. Nothing she said and did ever indicated anything other than balance, beauty and perfection.
Tanquerey developed these points in his own narrative, which is continued below:
2. The Positive Sanctity of the Blessed Virgin
834. In order that we may have some knowledge of the greatness of Mary's sanctity, we must give some consideration to the great measure of grace she received at the first moment, and to the manner in which she increased this grace in the course of her life.
a. At the first moment of her conception the Blessed Virgin received greater grace than individual men or Angels at their first sanctification. this is certain for the grace conferred by God on each one is proportionate to the dignity and office of each one. But he office or work of Mary who was already destined to be the Mother of God surpasses any other dignity.
b. the grace of Mary received during life, particular in a threefold way:
1. Through meritorious acts which were innumerable and most fervent;
2. Through the Incarnation of the Word which, according to theologians, bestowed on the Virgin grace proportionate to her divine maternity;
3. Through the Sacraments, namely Baptism and the Eucharist, which Mary received with the most perfect dispositions.
From these Mary is deservedly called the abyss of grace, the sea of all graces.
835. Corollary: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
1. In the perfection of beatitude Mary surpasses the Angels and men.
2. The Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Virgin, even in regard to her body, has been assumed into heaven. This truth can be proved neither from Scripture nor from the explicit testimony of the Fathers. But it is apparent from the consensus of the Latin Church and of the Greek Church: in the fifth century there is little evidence, but from the sixth century the doctrine is clearly handed down by the Fathers and in the Greek and Latin liturgies. Also, from the fifth century the Feast of the Assumption was accepted by both Churches.
There are what we may call reasons of appropriateness for this great privilege of the Assumption. For just as Christ gained a triple victory, over sin through impeccability, over concupiscence through absolute integrity, over death through a glorious resurrection and ascension, so similarly it was proper that the Blessed Virgin, who had been so intimately associated with her Son, be a sharer in this threefold triumph, namely that she gain victory over sin through her Immaculate Conception, over concupiscence through her virginal maternity, over death through her quickened resurrection and her Assumption into heaven.
Since the thirteenth century this view has been predominant. The great theologians of the scholastic period believed in Mary's Assumption. St. Thomas teaches that Mary was free from the malediction of returning to the earth. On the reform of the Breviary under Pope Pius V new lessons advocating the bodily assumption were introduced. Pope Benedict XIV in the eighteenth century declared that the doctrine was a pious and probable opinion, and that he did not wish to declare that it did not belong to the depositum fidei. In the year 1849 the first petitions for definition were addressed to the Holy See. At the Vatican Council nearly two hundred bishops went on record in favor of dogmatisation. Through the first half of the twentieth century the movement has gathered momentum. As the Era became more and more "Mary's Age", the desire to have her Assumption proclaimed authoritatively become greater. After seeking out the thoughts and feelings of all the bishops of the Catholic world on the definition of the subject, and learning that they almost unanimously longed for the definition, Pope Pius XII confirmed: "the unanimous doctrine of the ordinary Church teaching office, and the unanimous belief of the Christian people" in a solemn definition on November 1, 1950. "Mary, the Immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven". (Munifcentissimus Deus).
3. Mary's Perpetual Virginity
836. Thesis: Mary was always a virgin: before the birth, during the birth, after the birth. This thesis is de fide according to the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church and according to the Lateran Council (649): "If anyone refuses to confess, in accordance with the holy fathers, that Mary was properly speaking and of a truth the holy mother of God and always an immaculate virgin, that is, that she conceived God the Word Himself, specifically and truly, of the Holy Ghost without seed, and gave birth, without corruption while her virginity continued unimpaired after the brith, let him be condemned.."
A. Scripture clearly teaches that Mary conceived Christ in a virginal manner. St. Luke narrates that the Blessed Virgin, at the time that the Angel told her that she would give birth to the Son of the Most High replied in these words: "How shall this be done because I know not man"?, that the angel replied: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee". St. Matthew, however, relates that the Angel said to Joseph, who was minded to put away his pregnant spouse: "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost". Nothing is stated explicitly about Mary's virginity at the time of the birth and after the birth; but from the words "I know not man" the Fathers correctly infer that Mary had made the resolution of preserving perpetual virginity.
837. B. Tradition.
1. All the Fathers, even the most ancient, in affirming, contrary to the Ebionists and the Corinthians, that Christ is God, teach at the same time that Christ was born of a virgin and thereby deny that God was born of a non-virgin. Thus Aristedes states that Mary conceived without seed; St. Justin often repeats that Christ was born of a virgin; St. Irenaeus not only says as much, but also insists that this is one of those truths which must be believed and which are contained in the rule of faith. St. Hippolytus testifies that this truth is the tradition of the Apostles. In all symbols it is contained.
2. In the fourth century St. Jerome, opposing Helvidius, showed that Mary in the birth remained a virgin. Similarly did St. Augustine: "If her (Mary's) integrity were destroyed by the birth of Christ, He would not be born of a virgin and the entire Church would be falsely acknowledging Him as born of a virgin, the Church which daily imitates His mother and bears His members and is a virgin".
This teaching the Fathers illustrate with comparisons: just as Christ rose from the sealed tomb and entered into the midst `of the disciples through closed doors, so in being born he broke forth, the seal of virginity remaining inviolate; just as the ray of sun penetrates the crystal without any injury to the crystal, so Jesus came forth from his mother's womb, her virginity unimpaired.
3. Mary remained a virgin even after birth.
a. The Fathers rejected the opinion of many Apollinarists, of Helvidius, of Jovinian, as madness and blasphemy, sacrilege, impiety, perfidy, heresy. Among the Latins St. Ambrose writes: "There have been those who denied that she (Mary) continued on as a virgin. We have preferred to ignore so great a sacrilege". Didymus, one of the Greek Fathers, calls Mary always a virgin.
b. The Fathers gave this doctrine not as a private opinion, but as the belief of the Church; they appeal to the understanding and affections of the Christian people: "Who ever existed that dared to invoke the name of holy Mary and, having called upon her, did not add: virgin? thus the name of virgin has been given to Mary and never will there be a change; for that holy one remained inviolate". In passing we mention the fact that many Protestants have no hesitancy in acknowledging that this was the belief of the early Church.
839 C. Reason shows that it is altogether fitting that:
1. Christ was conceived and born of a virgin:
a. In keeping with the dignity of the Father: for, because the first person of the Holy Trinity is Christ's father, it was not proper that this dignity be transferred to some man;
b. In keeping with Christ's impeccability: it was not appropriate that Christ be liable to original sin through a natural conception;
c. In keeping with Christ's dignity: it was altogether fitting that he who has begotten by the Father alone be born in time in a virginal manner.
2. Mary preserved her virginity perpetually:
a. Because of the perfection of Christ--it was fitting that He be the only begotten of His mother, just as He is the only begotten of the Father;
b. Because of the dignity and sanctity of God's mother, who would appear most ungrateful if she were not content with so great a Son and had of her own accord lost her virginity which had been miraculously preserved.
II. THE RELATIONS OF MARY WITH CREATURES
These are four in particular which proceed from her divine maternity: The Blessed Virgin is first, the mother of Christians, secondly, the cooperatrix in the Redemption, thirdly, the queen of creatures, fourthly, the mediatrix of grace.
839 A. Mary is the spiritual mother of men.
1. This is proved from her divine maternity: Mary is the mother of Christ, the head of the mystical body the members of which are men. But the fact that she is the mother of the head makes her mother of her members. Mary's spiritual motherhood is proved also from the title of donation or gift since Christ dying on the cross gave us to her as sons, saying to John (and through extension to all Christians): "Behold thy mother".
2. The manner in which Mary is our spiritual mother. Truly she bears us spiritually because she is the meritorious (de congruo) and exemplar cause of our justification; in a secondary degree, however, dependently on Christ.
840 B. Mary is Christ's cooperatrix in the Redemption; she is co-redemptrix. She cooperated in man's salvation secondarily and dependently on Christ by consenting both to the Incarnation of the World and to the death of Christ.
1. Proof from Scripture. In the Gospel story the Angel announces to Mary the conception of the Son of God who will be the Savior of the world. Mary, however, with the greatest humility gives her consent. Also, she is associated in the work of the Passion and therefore of the Redemption: she stands at the cross, suffering along with the suffering Christ.
2. Proof from Tradition. The Fathers compare Eve, who wsa the cause of death, to Mary, who is the cause of our salvation. Thus writes St. Irenaeus. This doctrine Pius X and Benedict XVI confirm, the latter with these words: "She (Mary) with Christ redeemed the human race".
841 C. Mary is the Queen of men and of all creatures. She is the Mother of Christ Who is the King of men and of all creatures. So we say: Hail, Queen" and we call her Queen in the Litany of Loretto. She carries on a royal rule of benevolence and of mercy.
842 D. Mary is the universal mediatrix of grace, a secondary mediatrix and one dependent on Christ, universal, however, because no grace is dispensed without her intervention.
1. Proof from Scripture: Mary gave to us Christ, the source of all grace; therefore, indirectly and at least in cause she offers all graces to us. Too, directly, and efficaciously as co-redemptrix she intercedes in order to obtain all graces.
2. Proof from Tradition. The Fathers teach that no grace is granted without her intervention; for example, St. Ephraem and St. Bernard. The same doctrine the Holy Pontiffs Leo XIII and Pius X state explicitly. Also, the Liturgy affords an argument which rests on the existence of the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace. The prayers of this office are a further proof.
3. Proof from Reason. Through Mary God gave to us Christ, the universal principle of grace; therefore even the individual graces He always grants through her. Besides, it is quite proper that the Blessed Virgin, who united herself efficaciously to Christ's merits, should be similarly associated with Him in the distribution of all graces.
III. DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
843 A. State of the Question.
1. Errors. The cult which Catholics pay to the Blessed Virgin Protestants bitterly attack as superstitious, illusive, even idolatrous.
2. Catholic doctrine. The cult of the Blessed Virgin is not the cult of latria, which is due to God alone, nor is it the simple cult of dulia due to the saints. But it is the cult of hyperdulia because of her singular supernatural superiority. Therefore devotion to Mary embraces:
1) Veneration and reverence because of the dignity of the divine maternity conferred on her and because of her outstanding holiness;
2) Invocation and confidence because she is a powerful and also a merciful mediatrix with Christ;
3) Filial, love because she is our spiritual Mother; this love leads us on to an imitation of her virtues.
844 B. Thesis: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is altogether legitimate and beneficial. This is de fide from the ordinary universal magisterium of the Church.
1. Proof from Scripture.
a. God teaches us how great a veneration we must have for Mary when, through the Angel Gabriel, He thus addressed her: "Hail, full of grace"; similarly when, through the mouth of Elizabeth, He says to the Blessed Virgin: "Blessed art thou among women".
b. Christ instructs us how great a confidence we must have in Mary when He performs His first miracle at the request of the Blessed Virgin.
c. Finally, why denying upon the cross. Christ shows us with what great love we must cherish the Blessed Virgin when to John and to all Christians He addresses these words: "Behold thy mother".
2. Proof from Tradition.
That devotion to the Blessed Virgin flourished in the first centuries is evident from the images found in the catacombs, from the temples, erected as soon as peace was granted to the Church, from the encomiums of the Fathers, from all the Liturgies.
3. Proof from Reason.
This cult is proper:
a. It is in way offensive to God because ultimately it is referred to God, the author of all the gifts which we venerate to Mary;
b. It is an imitation of God's way of acting: because He sent His word to us through Mary, it is right that we approach Jesus through Mary.
c. It is very profitable for obtaining graces more efficaciously: as in human affairs we obtain favors from the King through intercession of the Queen, so we gain many graces from the Supreme King through the intervention of the Queen of heaven.
Corollary. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is proper, pious, and salutary. Pope Pius XII has set aside August 22 as the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (Tanquerey, pp. 102-111)
As noted before Marian doctrines and devotions are hated by the devil. They are hated by the Protestant minions who helped to influence the development of the "reformed" liturgy in the conciliar church. There was even as early as the Ordo Missae of 1965, which went into effect on November 29, 1964, a watering down of Marian doctrine, something that became even more pronounced in the Novus Ordo Missae itself (as I point out in G.I.R.M. Warfare). It should come as absolutely no surprise, therefore, that men who have created a synthetic religion to cater to the needs of "modern" man, including Protestants, should endorse a motion picture that offends God by blaspheming the perfect, immaculate vessel through which He chose to enter human history. Confused and misinformed and malformed Catholics will be reaffirmed in their confusion and misinformation and deformation, delighting Protestants no end as their half-millennium of lies about Our Lady are enshrined in a motion picture that is endorsed by the Vatican itself.
Pope Pius XI explained in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, that there are no such things as "fundamental" and "non-fundamental" parts of the Catholic Faith. An authentic follower of Our Lord must adhere to everything contained in the Deposit of Faith that He entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church. There is no room for dissent. There is no room for compromise. There is no room for "dialogue" with the descendants of those who have for half a millennium blasphemed and excoriated Marian doctrines and devotions. This is what Pope Pius X wrote:
Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
We can do several things in the midst of the apostasy being spread by the conciliar church.
First, we must know what the Catholic Church teaches perennially about the Faith, including articles pertaining to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is why the entirety of Adolph Tanquerey's treatment of Our Lady in A Manual of Dogmatic Theology has been provided herein. Please make sure to share this with those you know who do not understand the privileges Our Lady enjoyed as a result of her Divine Maternity, including that of her Immaculate Conception.
Second, we must be totally consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, offering to her with hearts full of confidence and love all of prayers and penances and sufferings and humiliations and mortifications and fasting and almsgiving, indeed, everything we experience, be it good or bad, in the course of of a day, trusting that she will offer them to the Blessed Trinity to be used as she sees fit for His greater honor and glory and for the good of souls.
Third, we must say as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit. One set of mysteries should be prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, if at all possible.
Fourth, we must wear the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal. We must distribute blessed Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars to those we meet during the course of a day, asking the Holy Ghost to enlighten us to say something that will help to plant a seed or two of the true Faith in the souls of those to whom we give these sacramentals.
Fifth, we must keep the Nine First Fridays and the Five First Saturdays, mindful that our reward in eternity will be great if we spread devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Sixth, we must make acts of reparation for the offenses being given to Our Lady in the world and that receive the endorsement of the counterfeit church, that is, the conciliar church. Here is one recommendation for such an act of reparation, a "Salutation to Mary," written by Saint John Eudes in the Seventeenth Century. A copy of this salutation (which a booklet tells us to "undertake to widely spread and make known this Salutation to the Glory of Mary") was found in a book belonging to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque after her death. As Pere Paul de Moll, O.S.B., wrote:
This salutation is so beautiful! Recite it daily. From her throne in Heaven the Blessed Virgin will bless you, and you must make the Sign of the Cross. You! Yes! If only you could see--Our Lady blesses you. I know it!
Offered for the conversion of a sinner it would be impossible not to be granted.
Here is the Salutation to Mary:
Hail Mary! Daughter of God the Father.
Hail Mary! Mother of God the Son.
Hail Mary! Spouse of God the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary! Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity.
Hail Mary! Pure Lilly of the Effulgent Trinity. God.
Hail Mary!! Celestial Rose of the ineffable Love of God.
Hail Mary! Virgin pure and humble, of whom the King of Heaven willed to be born and with thy milk to be nourished.
Hail Mary! Virgin of Virgins.
Hail Mary! Queen of Martyrs, whose soul a sword transfixed.
Hail Mary! Lady most blessed: Unto whom all power in Heaven and earth is given.
Hail Mary! My Queen and my Mother! My Life, my sweetness and my Hope.
Hail Mary! Mother most Amiable.
Hail Mary! Mother most Admirable.
Hail Mary! Mother of Divine Love.
Hail Mary! IMMACULATE! Conceived without sin!
Hail Mary Full of Grace. The Lord is with Thee! Blessed art Thou amongst Women and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus!
Blessed be thy Spouse, St. Joseph.
Blessed be thy Father, St. Joachim.
Blessed be thy Mother, St. Anne.
Blessed be thy Guardian, St. John.
Blessed be thy Holy Angel, St. Gabriel.
Glory be to God the Father, who chose thee.
Glory be to God the Son, who loved thee.
Glory be to God the Holy Ghost, who espoused thee.
O Glorious Virgin Mary, may all men love and praise thee.
Holy Mary, Mother of God! Pray for us and bless us, now, and at death in the Name of Jesus, thy Divine Son!
We give thanks to God this day for giving us His Singular Vessel of Devotion, the Mystical Rose, our dear Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without stain of Original or Actual Sin in the womb of her saintly mother, Good Saint Anne. We make acts of reparation for the offenses shown to so great a mother, without whom we not not have been redeemed and without a tender devotion to whom no man can be saved. We pledge ourselves during this Advent season to prepare for the commemoration of her Divine Son's Nativity in Bethlehem by giving ourselves to Him through her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, making of our own lives a gift of total service and oblation that she made of her own life on earth and from her regal throne in Heaven itself. There is no greater Christmas gift that we can give than that of ourselves as to the Blessed Trinity as the consecrated slaves of His Daughter's, Mother's and Spouse's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. And we we look forward to the day when that same Heart, preserved from all sin and filled with all grace from the first moment of conception, will triumph in the midst of the world, ushering in the glories of Tradition in the Church and Christendom in the world.
May we pray this prayer composed by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori at the end of the Discourse on the Immaculate Conception found in The Glories of Mary:
Ah, my Immaculate Lady! I rejoice with thee on seeing thee enriched with so great purity. I thank, and resolve always to thank, our common Creator for having preserved thee from every stain of sin; and I firmly believe this doctrine, and am prepared and swear even to lay down my life, should this be necessary, in defense of this thy so great and singular privilege of being conceived immaculate. I would that the whole world knew thee and acknowledged thee as being that beautiful 'Dawn' which was always illumined with Divine light; as that chosen 'Ark' of salvation, free from the common shipwreck of sin; that perfect and immaculate 'Dove' which thy Divine Spouse declared thee to be: that 'enclosed Garden' which was the delight of God; that 'sealed Fountain' whose waters were never troubled by an enemy; and finally, as that 'white Lily,' which thou art, and who though born in the midst of the thorns of the children of Adam, all of whom are conceived in sin, and the enemies of God, wast alone conceived pure and spotless, and in all things the beloved of thy Creator.
Permit me, then, to praise thee also as thy God Himself has praised thee: "Thou art all fair, and there is not a spot in thee." O most pure Dove, all fair, all beautiful, always the friend of God. "O how beautiful art thou, my beloved! how beautiful art thou!" Ah, most sweet, most amiable, immaculate Mary, thou who art so beautiful in the eyes of thy Lord,-----ah, disdain not to cast thy compassionate eyes on the wounds of my soul, loathsome as they are. Behold me, pity me, heal me. O beautiful lodestone of hearts, draw also my miserable heart to thyself. O thou, who from the first moment of thy life didst appear pure and beautiful before God, pity me, who not only was born in sin, but have again since Baptism stained my soul with crimes. What grace will God ever refuse thee, who chose thee for His daughter, His Mother, and Spouse, and therefore preserved thee from every stain, and in His love preferred thee to all other creatures? I will say, in the words of Saint Philip Neri, 'Immaculate Virgin, thou hast to save me.' Grant that I may always remember thee; and thou, do thou never forget me. The happy day, when I shall go to behold thy beauty in Paradise, seems a thousand years off; so much do I long to praise and love thee more than I can now do, my Mother, my Queen, my beloved, most beautiful, most sweet, most pure, Immaculate Mary. Amen.
Vivat Christus Rex! Vivat Maria Regina Immaculata!
Our Lady of Good Success, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Andrew, pray for us.
Saint Sabbas, pray for us.
Saint Barbara, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gregory Lalamont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Eustace and Family, pray for us.
Pope Saint Stephen I, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Juan Diego, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and arm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.