Holy Virgin of Virgins . . .

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Mary had chosen to live as a virgin.  This was seen, when in her early teens, she responded to the angel's greeting that she would bear a son whom she would call Jesus.  Her life was dedicated to giving herself entirely to God.  Human love expressed through conjugal love was not chosen and was over-shadowed as she freely offered her entire love to her creator.  Her response, "I do not know man," (Luke 1:34), signals her modest and chaste attitude toward her chosen life and the future as announced by the angel.  Her sinless nature and the singular privilege of becoming the mother of God's Son, granted to her by her creator, lifted Mary's pure virginity to the highest level of humanity next to that of divinity.  She is the perfect example of human cooperation with God's love.  "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word" (cf.1:38), was not only Mary's perfect fiat to God's request, but a model for all who dedicate their love and life to God by imitating her virginity. 

Mary was compared to a lily among thorns, because all other virgins were thorns, either to themselves or to others; but the Blessed Virgin was so neither to herself nor to others. (1)
        Denis the Carthusian

This innocent Virgin, although she made herself dear to God by her virginity, yet it was by her humility that she rendered herself worthy, as far as a creature can be worthy, to become the Mother of her Creator. (2)
                                         St. Bernard

Mary's humility, became a heavenly ladder, by which God came into the world. (3)
        St. Augustine
 

For Mary, looking at God with the eyes of a simple and humble dove, enamored him to such a degree by her beauty, that with the bands of love she made him a prisoner in her chaste womb. (4)
        St. Alphonsus Liguori

However hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such strength, that if it is only pronounced, that heart will be wonderfully softened. (5)
        Blessed Raymond Jordano

The beauty of the Blessed Virgin was an incentive to chastity in all who beheld her. (6)
         St. Thomas

Mary was such, that her life alone was a model for all.  Let the virginity and life of Mary be to you as a faithful image, in which the form of virtue shines brilliantly.  Then learn how to live, what to correct, what to avoid, and what to retain. (7)
        St. Ambrose

For good reason is Mary called the Virgin of virgins; for she without the counsel or example of others, was the first who offered her virginity to God. (8)
        Blessed Albertus Magnus

Mary brings all virgins who imitate her to God, as David had already foretold: 'After her shall virgins be brought . . . into the temple of the King.' (9)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Mary would never have found so much grace, had she not been most moderate in her food; for grace and gluttony cannot subsist together. (10)
        St. Bonaventure

In the war of the senses, cowards conquer.  That is to say those who fly from dangerous occasions.  (11)
         St. Philip Neri

My daughter, among all my other daughters, you are as a lily in the midst of thorns; for they are all stained with sin, but you were always immaculate, and always my beloved. (12)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

The Virgin is the One who continues to listen, always ready to do the Lord's will; she is an example for the believer who lives in search of God. (13)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Mary is a virgin attentive to God's word, she lives in complete harmony with his will; she treasures in her heart the words that come to her from God and, piecing them together like a mosaic, she learns to understand them more deeply. (14)
        Benedict XVI, pope

When one looks at Mary, we recognize the loftiness and beauty of God's plan for everyone: to become holy and immaculate in love in the image of our Creator. (15)
        Benedict XVI, pope

In Mary's fruitful virginity, God has given "to men the goods of eternal salvation because by means of her we have received the Author of Life."  After having given flesh to the Only-Begotten Son of God, Mary became the mother of believers and of all humanity. (16)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Let us look at Mary Most Holy, a humble Handmaid of the Lord.  The Virgin is the model of a spiritual person who is totally free because she is immaculate, immune to sin and all holy, dedicated to the service of God and neighbor.  May she help us with her motherly care to follow Jesus, to know the truth and to live freedom in love. (17)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Mary, a virgin not only undefiled but a virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin. (18)
        St. Ambrose

A Virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns. (19)
        Theodotus of Ancrya

If some disturbance overtakes me, some embarrassment, I turn very quickly to the Blessed Virgin and as the most tender of mothers she always takes care of my interests.  (20)
        St. Therese of the Child Jesus (Lisieux)

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