Holy Mother of God . . .

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Mary Introduction

Mary's Litany

So simply said, yet so deep a mystery.  Her response of "Yes" to the angel completed what the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said . . . "the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name Him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).  A mystery which is of a realm above nature; a mystery in which the desire of divinity touches humanity; a mystery which reveals the deep love God has for his creation; becomes immediate in our lives.

How can a creature of God become His mother?  This reveals a "point of accessibility" to God's divinity and perfection.  He so loves His creation that He wishes us to share Himself with us forever.  Mary is His willing vessel through whom God's Son came to us and His divine Son showed us the depth of God's love when He took on our human nature while He was yet God.

The Hail Mary prayer consists of three parts: That which the angel Gabriel spoke when he saluted her when he asked for her acceptance of God's plan that she become the Mother of God made flesh; The second was Elizabeth's salute when Mary visited her upon hearing from the angel that her cousin was expecting a child; And finally, a statement added by the Council of Ephesus asking for Mary's assistance throughout our lives and at the hour of death.

Mary was raised to the dignity of Mother of God rather for sinners than for the just, since Jesus Christ declares that he came to call not the just, but sinners. (1)     
        St. Anselm of Canterbury
 

Although God could create the world out of nothing, yet when it was lost by sin, he would not repair the evil without the cooperation of Mary. (2)      
        St. Anselm of Canterbury

The Mother of God is my Mother.  How firm, then, should be our confidence, since our salvation depends on the judgment of a good brother and a tender mother. (3)      
        St. Anselm of Canterbury

The prayers of the Blessed Virgin, being the prayers of God's mother, have in them something of a command. (4)
        St. Antonius

He who asks favors of God without the intercession of Mary is like a bird who tries to fly without wings. (5)
       St. Antonius

That which is given to the mother redounds to the son; the honor given to the queen is honor bestowed on the king. (6)
       St. Ilephonsos of Toledo

You were pre-ordained in the mind of God, above all creatures, that you might beget God himself in man. (7)
        St. Bernadine of Sienna

To be the mother of God is the greatest grace which can be conferred on a creature.  It is such that God could make a greater world, a greater heaven, but he cannot exalt a creature more than by making her his mother. (8)    
        St. Bonaventure

To be the mother of God is the highest dignity after that of being God.  Mary could not have been more closely united to God than she was without becoming God. (9)      
        St. Albertus Magnus

My mother, Mary is very strange; if I bring her flowers, she says she does not want them; if I bring her cherries, she will not take them, and if I then ask her what she desires, she replies: "I desire thy heart, for I live on hearts." (10)
        St. Joseph of Cupertino

Those who place their hopes in creatures alone are most certainly cursed by God.  As the Prophet Jeremiah says.  But those who hope in Mary as Mother of God, she is able to obtain graces and eternal life for them, are truly blessed and acceptable to the Heart of God. (11)
        St. Alphonsus Liguori

The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy. (12)
        St. John Damascene

The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God. (13)
        St. Irenaeus

If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, such a one is a stranger to the Godhead. (14)
       St. Gregory Nazianzen

She is more Mother than Queen. (15)
        St. Therese of Lisieux

Can anyone fail to see that there is no surer and more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ and obtaining through him the perfect adoption of sons, that we may be holy and immaculate in the sight of God? (16)
        St. Pius X, pope

When one reflects that with her alone did Jesus spend thirty years in that family union of Son and Mother, surely there is no doubt that through Mary the surest way of knowing Christ is opened to us . . . Nobody ever knew Christ so profoundly as she did, and nobody can ever be more competent as a guide and teacher of the knowledge of Christ. (17)
        St. Pius X, pope

The Most Blessed Trinity has willed to shower an abundance of grace and divine treasurers on all the poor children of Adam when they humbly and lovingly acknowledge that God has chosen to raise Mary to be His mother. (18)
        St. Vincent Pallotti

Oh Mary, as long as a person does not believe that you are divine, all should praise the treasures of God in you.  Be pleased, then, O Immaculate Mother, to make possible for everyone on earth to honor God in you. (19)
        St. Vincent Pallotti

My child, Mary tells her spiritual children, when you invoke me as "Mother of God" I will pray affectionately that you are fortified with the power of the Father, enlightened with the wisdom of the Son-Jesus and sanctified with the love of the Holy Spirit. (20)
        St. Vincent Pallotti

Who would ever dare to snatch children from the bosom of Mary, when they have taken refuge there?  What power of hell, or what temptation, can overcome them, if they place their confidence in the patronage of this great Mother, the Mother of God, and of them? (21)
        St. Bellarmine

As many creatures as there are who serve God, so many they are who serve Mary: for as angels and men, and all things that are in heaven and on earth, are subject to the empire of God, so are they also under the dominion of Mary. (22)
          St. Bernardine of Sienna

Jesus is the mediator of justice; Mary obtains for us grace; for, as many have said, it is the will of God to dispense through the hands of Mary whatever graces He is pleased to bestow upon us.  With God, the prayers of the saints are the prayers of His friends, but the prayers of Mary are the prayers of His mother. (23)
        St. Alphonsus Liguori

Her glory is incomparably greater than that of all the other celestial spirits. (24)
          St. Ephrem

The humility of Mary was her most perfect virtue, and the one that immediately prepared her to become the Mother of God. (25)
        St. Antoninus

If Mary, was made Mother of God on account of sinners, how can I, however great my sins may be, despair of pardon. (26)
         St. Anselm 
 

God grant that a hymn of thanksgiving may rise from our lips; for the Blessed Trinity, in choosing Mary as the Mother of Christ, a Man like us, has brought each one of us under the shelter of her maternal cloak.  She is the mother of God and our Mother. (27)
        St. Josemaria Escriva

Can anyone fail to see that there is no surer and more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ and obtaining through him the perfect adoption of sons, that we may be holy and immaculate in the sight of God? (28)
        St. Pius X, pope

When one reflects that with her alone did Jesus spend thirty years in that family union of Son and Mother, surely there is no doubt that through Mary the surest way of knowing Christ is opened to us . . . Nobody ever knew Christ so profoundly as she did, and nobody can ever be more competent as a guide and teacher of the knowledge of Christ. (29)
        St. Pius X, pope

We nourish the great hope that the beloved Mother of God, crowned with new glory on earth, may contemplate with loving gaze, and bind to herself those who languish in spiritual apathy, or loath dally in the snares of vice, or who, having lost the straight way of truth, do not recognize that sublime dignity of hers with which the privilege of her bodily Assumption into Heaven is strictly connected. (30)
        Pius XII, pope

It is right and proper to affirm that Mary, whom Jesus made his constant companion from the house of Nazareth to the place of Calvary, knew, as no other knew, the secrets of his Heart, distributes as by a mother's right the treasures of his merits, and is the surest help to the knowledge and love of Christ. (31)
        St. Pius X, pope

'Be it done' expressed her consent to God's plan.  Thus did she become the Mother of God and Queen, receiving the royal office of watching over the unity and peace of the human race. (32)
        Pius XII, pope

Her dignity as Mother of God brought singular graces and extraordinary privileges upon Mary . . . an intimate participation in all the mysteries of the live of Christ, in his sufferings, in his death and resurrection, in the continuation of his work in the Church, and in his sovereignty over all creatures.  All this she was given because she was the Mother of God, and because as such she was called upon to play a unique role in the redemption of the world. (33)
        Benedict XVI, pope

It was not only the glory of the Mother of God to have presented to God the only begotten who was to be born of human members the material by which she was prepared as a victim for the salvation of mankind, but hers also the office of tending and nourishing that Victim, and at the appointed time of offering him at the altar. (34)
        St. Pius X, pope

She is the mighty Mother of God.  But - what is still sweeter - she is gentle, exquisite in tenderness, and of limitless love and kindness. (35)
        Leo XIII, pope

The Mother of God, minister of heavenly graces, was placed at the zenith of power and of glory in heaven to give the help of her patronage to men searching their way on earth among many fatigues and dangers. (36)
        Pius XI, pope

Mary was made Mother of God to obtain salvation for many who, on account of their wicked lives, could not be saved according to the rigor of Divine justice, but might be saved with the help of her sweet mercy and powerful intercession. (37)
     St. John Crysostom

If the prayers of the saints are very powerful with God, how great must be the power of those of Mary! (38)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

It is impossible for the Son not to grant a grace for which the Mother asks. (39)
        St. Antoninus

Ask for every grace which we desire from God through Mary.  Because she is a mother, and is always graciously heard. (40)
        St. Bernard

O great Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.  See the miseries of my soul, and pity me.  Pray and never cease to pray, until you see me safe in Paradise.  O Mary, you are my hope; abandon me not.  "Holy Mother of God, pray for us." (41)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

When an opinion tends in any way to the honor of the most Blessed Virgin, when it has some foundation, and is not repugnant to the faith, nor to the decrees of the Church, nor to truth, the refusal to hold it, or to oppose it because the reverse may be true, shows little devotion to the Mother of God. (42)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Another purpose for which the Blessed Virgin Mary was made the Mother of God was, that she might obtain salvation for many who, on account of their wicked lives, could not be saved according to the rigor of divine justice, but might be so with the help of her sweet mercy and powerful intercession. (43)
        St. John Chrysostom

For scarcely had Mary said the words, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word, when instantly the Word was made flesh; the Son of God became also the Son of Mary. (44)
        St. Bernard

Mary desires praise not only for herself, but only that her Creator, the giver of all, should be glorified. (45)
        St Bridget

As Christ was pleased to be comforted by an angel, so was it necessary that the Blessed Virgin be encouraged by one. (46)
        St. Peter Chrysologus

O Mother of us all, the price of our salvation is already offered you: that price will be the divine Word, made man in you; in that moment in which you accepted him for your Son we shall be delivered from death. (47)
        St. Bernard

For your Lord himself desires your consent, by which he has determined to save the world, with a desire equal to the love with which he has loved your beauty. (48)
        St. Bernard

God chose Mary for his Mother in this world because he did not find on earth a Virgin more holy and more perfect than she was, nor any dwelling more worthy than her most sacred womb. (49)
        St. John Chrysostom

On account of the divine maternity, it was becoming that Jesus should confer, as a natural debt, greater graces on Mary than he granted to all other saints and angels. (50)
        Fr. Suarez

The measure whereby we may know the greatness of the grace communicated to Mary is her dignity of Mother of God. (51)
        Benedict Fernandez

O Blessed Virgin, you were born that you might minister to the salvation of the whole world. (52)
        St. John Damascene

When the Blessed Virgin said "Yes", freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature: a rational soul and a body, which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary.  The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person: Jesus Christ, true God and, true Man; the only-begotten and eternal Son of the Father and, from that moment on, as Man, the true son of Mary. (53)
        St. Josemaría Escrivá

Our Lady is the Mother of the Incarnate Word, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity who has united our human nature to himself for ever, without any confusion of the two natures. (54)
        
St. Josemaría Escrivá

The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loud and clear by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: Mother of God. (55)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Mary is our safety, the Love that never fails, the refuge ever open to us, the hand ever ready to caress and console. (56)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

If we become identified with Mary and imitate her virtues, we will be able to bring Christ to life, through grace, in the souls of many who will in turn become identified with him through the action of the Holy Spirit. (57)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

If we imitate Mary, we will share in some way in her spiritual motherhood.  And all this silently, like Our Lady, without being noticed, almost without words, through the true and genuine witness of our lives as Christians, and the generosity of ceaselessly repeating her words 'be it done' which renew as an intimate link between ourselves and God. (58)
        St. Josemaría Escrivá

Mary teaches us as a mother does, and, being a mother, she does so quietly.  We need to have a sensitivity of soul, a touch of refinement, in order to understand what she is showing us, by what she does more than by what she promises. (59)
        St. Josemaría Escrivá

The Holy Gospel points the way for us to understand our Mother's example: 'Mary treasured up all these sayings, and reflected on them in her heart.'  Let us try to imitate her, talking to Our Lord, conversing like two people in love about everything that happens to us, even the most insignificant incidents.  Nor should we forget that we have to weigh them, consider their value, and see them with the eyes of faith, in order to discover the Will of God. (60)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Our Mother is always interceding with her Son so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us in such a way that we can cry out, 'You are the Son of God.' (61)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

The great heroines of the Old Testament - Judith, Esther, Deborah - won a measure of human glory even here on earth, for they were acclaimed and exalted by the people.  Mary's throne, by contrast, like that of her Son, is the Cross.  During the rest of her life, until she was taken body and soul into Heaven, what most impresses us about her is her quiet presence.  St. Luke, who knew her well, describes her as being close to the first disciples, in prayer.  This was the way she lived to the end of her days on earth, she who was to be praised by all creatures for all eternity. (62)
        St. Josemaría Escrivá

It is with good reason that the Popes have called Mary Co-Redemptrix.  'So fully, in union with her suffering and dying Son, did she suffer and nearly die; so fully, for the sake of the salvation of men, did she abdicate her mother's rights over her Son, and immolate him, insofar as it was in her power, to satisfy the justice of God, that it can rightly be said that she redeemed mankind together with Christ.' (63)
        St. Josemaría Escrivá

Now we are safe.  Nothing should worry us now, because Our Lady, the crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is omnipotent in her supplication before our Father God.  Jesus cannot deny anything to Mary, nor to us, who are children of his own Mother. (64)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

In the eyes of our Mother Mary we never cease to be little, because she opens to us the way to the kingdom of Heaven, which will only be given to those who become little children. (65)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

How should we honor Mary?  By keeping close to her, talking to her, showing her that we love her, pondering in our hearts the scenes of her life on earth and telling her about our struggles, successes and failures. (66)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

When the feasts of Our Lady come round, let us not be sparing in our tokens of affection.  Let us raise our hearts to her more often, asking her for what we need, thanking her for her constant, motherly care and entrusting to her the people we love.  Though, naturally, if we really want to act as good children, every day is a good day for loving Mary, just as every day is a good day for those who really love one another. (67)
        St. Josemaría Escrivá

 

There is one creature who achieved deep and lasting happiness here on earth because she is God's masterpiece: our most holy Mother Mary.  She lives now and is protecting us.  She is there, body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  She is the same person who was born in Palestine, who gave herself to God while still a child, who received the message from St. Gabriel the Archangel, who gave birth to our Savior and who stood beside him at the foot of the Cross. (68)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Mary is the one who is full of grace and the sum of all perfections; and she is also our Mother.  Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything we ask for, and, like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers.  Like any mother also, she knows and understands our weaknesses.  She encourages us and makes excuses for us.  She makes the way easy for us and, even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us. (69)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

If we truly get to know Mary our Mother, how quickly the supernatural virtues would grow in us! (70)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Let us not be shy about repeating short prayers and aspirations to her throughout the day.  There is no need to say them out loud, we can say them in our heart.  Christian devotion has gathered together many of these loving words of praise in the Litany which accompanies the Holy Rosary.  But each one of us is free to think up new ones, and address new praises to her, telling her with our heart - with a holy bashfulness that she understands and approves - what we would not dare to say out loud. (71)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

It is not enough just to know Mary is our Mother and to think and to talk about her as such.  She is your Mother and you are her son.  She loves you as if you were her only child in this world.  Treat her accordingly: tell her about everything that happens to you, honor her and love her.  No one will do it for you or as well as you, if you do not do it yourself. (72)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Let us have recourse to our Mother Mary; she will accompany us and help us make firm and constant progress. (73)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá


The divine Motherhood of Mary is the source of all the perfections and privileges with which she is endowed.  Because of it, she was conceived immaculate and is full of grace; because of it, she is ever virgin, she was taken up body and soul to heaven and has been crowned Queen of all creation, above the angels and saints.  Greater than she, none but God. (74)
        
St. Josemaría Escrivá

We will never be able to give sufficient thanks to our Mother for bringing us into such intimacy with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (75)
        
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Redemption has not only freed us from sin and reconciled us with Our Lord.  It has also made us into children of God and has given us a Mother, the very Mother who gave birth to the Word when he took human nature.  Could there ever be a greater, more generous, outpouring of love? (76)
        
St. Josemaría Escrivá

We read these words in the Bible, 'As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor: and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches.'  ( Ecclesiastics 24:23)  May our souls and the souls of all Christians be full of that sweet fragrance which is devotion to our Mother, and may it bring us to trust entirely in her who watches over us at all times. (77)
        
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Mary is also the Mother of knowledge, for it is with her that we learn the most important lesson of all, that nothing is worthwhile if we are not close to Our Lord.  (78)
       
 St. Josemaría Escrivá

Mothers don't keep a record of their children's tokens of affection; nor do they weigh them up or measure them with petty calculations.  A tiny sign of affection is as sweet as honey to them, and they give themselves generously in return, bestowing much more than they receive.  If good earthly mothers react in this way, just imagine what we can expect from our Holy Mother Mary. (79)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

If we become identified with Mary and imitate her virtues, we will be able to bring Christ to life, through grace, in the souls of many who will in turn become identified with him through the action of the Holy Spirit. (80)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

It is not enough just to know Mary is our Mother and to think and to talk about her as such. (81)
       
St. Josemaría Escrivá

The Angel's greeting Mary, "Hail, Mary" means in itself "be glad" or "rejoice."  This is the first word that resounds in the New Testament as such, because the Angel's announcement to Zechariah of the birth of John the Baptist is the word that still rings out on the threshold between the two Testaments.  It is only with this dialogue which the Angel Gabriel has with Mary that the New Testament really begins. (82)
        Benedict XVI, pope

"Do not fear, Mary," the Angel says.  In fact, there was reason for her to fear, for it was a great burden to bear the weight of the world upon herself, to be the Mother of the universal King, to be the Mother of the Son of God: what a burden that was!  It was too heavy a burden for human strength to bear!  But the Angel said: "Do not fear!  Yes, you are carrying God, but God is carrying you.  Do not fear!" (83)
        Benedict XVI, pope

God sent forth his Son, born of woman.  He is the Son of God, he is generated by God and at the same time he is the son of a woman, Mary.  He comes from her.  He is of God and of Mary.  For this reason one can and must call the Mother of Jesus the Mother of God. (84)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Let us ask Mary, the Mother of God to obtain for us the gift of a mature faith: a faith that we would like to resemble hers as far as possible, a clear, genuine, humble and at the same time courageous faith, steeped in hope and enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God, a faith devoid of all fatalism and wholly set on cooperating with the divine will in full and joyful obedience and with the absolute certainty that God wants nothing but love and life, always and for everyone. (85)
        Benedict XVI, pope

The description "Mother of God," clearly explains Mary's mission in salvation history.  All other titles attributed to Our Lady are based on her vocation to be the Mother of the Redeemer, the human creature chosen by God to bring about the plan of salvation, centered on the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Word. (86)
        Benedict XVI, pope

By learning from Mary, we can understand with our hearts what our eyes and minds do not manage to perceive or contain on their own. (87)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Mary is always Mother of God, is is always Mary, yet she is, so to speak, "inculturated": she has her face, her own special countenance, in Guadalupe, Aparecida, Fatima, Lourdes, in all the countries of the earth.  Thus, in this very way she shows herself as Mother: by being close to all.  Consequently, all people draw closer to one another through this love for Our Lady. (88)
        Benedict XVI, pope

O my sovereign Mistress who received such cruel wounds on Calvary, wound our hearts, renew in them your sorrowful Passion and that of your divine Son, unite our hearts to your wounded heart that they may participate in the same wounds. (89)
        St. Bonaventure

O Mother of God, open to us the door of your compassion, by always praying for us; for your prayers are the salvation of all men. (90)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

The title of Mary as our mother is not merely symbolic.  Mary is our mother in the most real and lofty sense, a sense which surpasses that of earthly maternity.  She begot our life of grace for us because she offered up her entire being, body and soul, as the Mother of God.  That is why an intimate bond exists between Mary and ourselves.  She loves us, she knows us, she exerts herself to bring each one of us into the closest possible relationship with the Lord - that which we are above all supposed to be. (91)
        St. Edith Stein

There's room for the great ones, and it's in a stable the Queen of Heaven must give birth to a God.  O my dearest Mother, how lovable I find you, how great I find you in such a poor place! (92)
        St. Therese of the Child Jesus (Lisieux)

The Saints assert that anyone who prays to the mother of God in time of temptation will be preserved from sin, and that whoever approaches her with perfect trust throughout his life will surely be saved. (93)
        St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Our Lady knows us well, she is a mother, she is familiar with our joys and difficulties, our hopes and disappointments. (94)
        Francis I, pope

The Christmas season, should be considered as a time particularly suited to devotion to the mother of the Lord, for it is a prolonged commemoration of the divine, virginal and salvific motherhood of her whose "inviolate virginity brought the Savior into the world." (95)
        Pius VI, pope

The celebration of the Solemnity of Mary the holy Mother of God is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in the mystery of salvation.  It it also exalts the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the "holy Mother. . .  through whom we were found worthy to receive the Author of life." (96)
        Paul VI, pope

Mary is the approach to the problem of our salvation, and is solicitous for the whole human race; made Queen of heaven and earth by the Lord, exalted above all choirs of angels and saints, and standing at the right hand of her only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she intercedes powerfully for us with a mother’s prayers, obtains what she seeks, and cannot be refused. (97)
        Pius XII, pope

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’. (98)
          St. Alphonsus Liguori

Limitless is the difference between God’s servants and His Mother. (99)
          St. John Damascene

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