Mary, Help of Christians . . .

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Mary's Litany

A title for the Blessed Virgin Mary added to the Litany by Pius V after the battle of Lepanto in 1571.  The Christian fleet had sailed under a blue, Marian banner at this battle, and the Pope attributed the victory to her intercession.  The navy of the Holy League, consisting of ships from a coalition of southern European Catholic states, defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire.  This allowed continued free access between the countries of Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. 

What dignity, O virgin, could be more highly prized that to be the Mother of those of whom Christ deigned to be father and brother? (1)       
        St. Anselm of Canterbury

Hear us, loving one; be with us, be favorable to us; help us, most powerful mother, that our minds may be cleansed from stains and our darkness illuminated. (2)      
        St. Anselm of Canterbury

As breathing is not only a sign but a cause of life, so the name of Mary, which is constantly found on the lips of God's servants, both proves that they are truly alive, and at the same time causes and preserves their life, and gives them every help. (3)      
        St. Germanus of Constantinople

To serve Mary and to be her courtier is the greatest honor we can possible possess; for to serve the queen of heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern. (4)      
        St. Jerome

With reason did the Most Holy Virgin predict that all generations would call her blessed, for all the Elect obtain eternal salvation through the means of Mary.  (5)
        St. Ildephonsus

Before, by yourself, you couldn’t.  Now, you’ve turned to our Lady, and with her, how easy!  (6)
        St. Josemaria Escriva

A man is no true Christian if he has no devotion to the Mother of Jesus Christ.  (7)
        St. John Eudes

let us run to her, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.  (8)
        St. Francis de Sales

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, brought Mary into his home, into his life.  Spiritual writers have seen these words of the Gospel as an invitation to all Christians to bring Mary into their lives.  Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to approach her confidently, to appeal to her as our mother, asking her to "show that you are our mother." (9)
        St. Josemaria Escriva

Are not Jesus and Mary the two sublime loves of the Christian people? . . . One of them is the source and the other the channel of grace for giving us a new birth into spiritual life. (10)
        Pius XII, pope

It is God's will that through her, his own Mother, we have all things; in his supreme goodness he has constituted her the unerring support of Christianity. (11)
        Leo XIII, pope

We do not doubt that the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and the tender Mother of men, will be favorable to the wishes and prayers that countless crowds of Christians, gathered from every part of the world, will multiply at her shrine, and that she will add her intercessions to theirs, so that the joint prayerful entreaty will, as it were, do violence to heaven and touch the God of infinite mercy. (12)
        Leo XIII, pope

To heal the ills of society no remedy is more timely than recourse to her who, having given for the world's salvation the person of her Son, delights in being hailed as the Help of Christians. (13)
        Leo XIII, pope

One might say that Mary's only occupation was to take care of the Christian people . . . above all of attracting all souls to love and seek God. (14)
        St. Pius X, pope

Now that the anniversary of manifold and exceedingly great favors obtained by a Christian people through the devotion of the Rosary is at hand, we desire that the same devotion should be offered by the whole Catholic world with the greatest earnestness to the Blessed Virgin, in order that by her intercession her divine Son may be appeased and moved to compassion towards us in the miseries which afflict us. (15)
        Leo XIII, pope

The help of Mary is all-powerful to deliver us from sin and hell. (16)
        St. Cosmas of Jerusalem

Mary is an invincible warrior in defense of her servants, fighting against the devils who assail them. (17)
        St. Bernard.

My Queen, had I always had recourse to you, I should never have been conquered by my enemies; from now on you shall be my strength: in my temptations I will always have recourse to you; from you do I hope for victory. (18)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Who are those whom God loves, and why does he love them?  Does God have favorites?  Does he love only certain people, while abandoning the others to themselves?  The Gospel answers these question by pointing to some particular people whom God loves. . . Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon and Anna. . .  the shepherds and the Wise Men from the East, the "Magi."   These are people who were watchful, ready to receive God's Word through the Angel's proclamation.  Their life was not closed in on itself; their hearts were open.  In some way, deep down, they were waiting for something; they were waiting for God.  Their watchfulness was a kind of readiness - a readiness to listen and to set out.  They were waiting for a light which would show them the way.  That is what is important for God.  He loves everyone, because everyone is his creature. (19)
        Benedict XVI, pope

The maternal vocation and mission of the Virgin toward those who believe in Christ actually began when Jesus said to her: "Woman, behold your son!" (20)
        Benedict XVI, pope

As in the Upper Room, the Blessed Virgin always constitutes the living memorial of Jesus.  It is she who enlivens their prayers and sustains their hope.  Let us ask her to guide us on our daily journey and to protect with special love those Christian communities that live in conditions of greater difficulty and suffering. (21)
        Benedict XVI, pope

In the days that followed the Lord's Resurrection, the Apostles stayed together, comforted by Mary's presence, and after the Ascension they persevered with her in prayerful expectation of Pentecost.  Our Lady was a mother and teacher to them, a role that she continues to play for Christians of all times. (22)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Mary foresees with maternal intuition all her children's needs and intervenes effectively to sustain them: this has been the experience of the Christian people ever since its first steps in Jerusalem. (23)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Mary, at the foot of the Cross, on the strength of Jesus' own word, you became the mother of believers. (24)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Rediscovering Mary helps us to make progress as Christians and to come to know the Son. (25)
        Benedict XVI, pope

Love for Our Lady is the driving force of catholicity.  In Our Lady we recognize all God's tenderness, so, fostering and living out Our Lady's, Mary's, joyful love is a very great gift of catholicity. (26)
        Benedict XVI, pope

O Mary, let us feel your maternal gaze.  Guide us to your Son.  May we not be Christians on display, but Christians ready to get our hands dirty in building, with your son Jesus, His kingdom of love, joy and peace. (27)
        Francis I, pope

 

 

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