Queen of Prophets . . .

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In order to understand the Bible's New Testament, we must study the Old Testament.  In order to understand Christ and his message, we must study the role Mary was given as cooperator with God's plan for the world's redemption.  From the first account of man's fall from God's grace, as recorded in Genesis, God responds with the promise of a redeemer and a woman through whom the power of Lucifer would be crushed.  Mary, a sinless creature of God became Co-Redemptress  with Christ's mission.  The advent and role of Mary in our salvation is alluded to in numerous prophecies throughout the Old Testament.  It is the title, Mother of God, and Queen of Prophets, which leads us through the Old Testament to the moment in history when God became man through Mary as The Word made flesh.     

Mary was predestined in the eternal foreknowing counsel of God and she was prefigured by various figures and foretold by the Holy Spirit through the words of the prophets. (1)
        St. John of Damascus

# # #   Canticle of Canticles
 

"Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?" (2)
        Cantle of Canticles 8:5

She (Mary) it is that comes up, clinging to the Eternal Word, as a vine to a vine-stock. (3)
        St. Ambrose

# # #    Daniel

"A stone was cut out by no human hand." (4)
        Daniel 2:34

This prophecy signifies that Christ would be born a virgin of a virgin.  'Hands' is to be understood of the marital act. (5)
        St. Jerome

# # #   Ecclesiastes

"As a plane-tree by the waters in the streets was I exalted." (6)
        Ecclesiastes 24:19

Mary was that noble plant of God which always grew by the streams of divine grace. (7)
       
St. Alphonsus de Liguori

"I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. (8)
       
Ecclesiastes 24:24

"In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life, and of virtue." (9)
        Ecclesiastes 24:25

"Of the way," because by Mary all graces are dispensed to wayfarers.  "Of the truth," because the light of truth is imparted by her.  "Of life," for by Mary we hope to obtain the life of grace in this world, and that of glory in heaven.  "Of virtue," for through her we acquire virtues, and especially the theological virtues, which are the principal virtues of the saints. (10)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Mary, by her intercession, obtains for her servants the gifts of divine love, holy fear, heavenly light, and holy perseverance. (11)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori


# # #   Ezekiel

"Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, facing the east; but it was closed.  He said to me: This gate is to remain closed; it is not to be opened for anyone to enter by it; since the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it, it shall remain closed." (12)
        Ezekiel 44:1-2

Only Christ opened the closed doors of the virginal womb, which continued to remain closed, however.  This is the closed eastern gate, through which only the high priest may enter and exit and which nevertheless is always closed. (13)
        St. Jerome

Mary is the good gate that was closed and was not opened.  Christ passed through it, but he did not open it. (14)
        St. Ambrose

Jesus as God does not break the virginal seals: in such case He exits the womb as He entered; thus was he born, as He was conceived: without passion He entered, without corruption He exited, according to the prophet Ezekiel who says: "This gate will remain closed" (15)
        St. Proclus of Constantinople

# # #    Genesis

"I will put enmities between you and the women and your seed and her seed.  She shall crush your head and you shall lie in wait for her heel." (16)
        Genesis 3:15

The truth about Mary as new Eve constitutes a rudimentary but extremely important Marian doctrine left to us by Christian antiquity.  It is the first meditation on her and on her mission, the fullest profile of her, the view of her that has been handed down to us in the patristic writings. (17)
        St. John Henry Newman

By disobeying, Eve became the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race.  In the same way Mary, though she also had a husband, was still a virgin, and by obeying, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. (18)
        St. Irenaeus

Mary was included in Eve; yet it was only when Mary came, that we knew who Eve was. (19)
        St. Augustine

The Lord has spoken it: Satan is cast out of heaven.  And Mary has trodden on him who struck at the heel of Eve.  And Blessed be He, who by His birth has destroyed the foe. (20)
        St. Ephrem the Syrian

Because the serpent had struck Eve with his claw, the foot of Mary bruised him. (21)
        St. Ephrem the Syrian

Death came through Eve; life through Mary. (22)
        St. Jerome

# # #   Isaiah

"In the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it." (23)
        Isaiah 2:2

It is a mountain on the top of mountains; for the perfection of Mary is resplendent above that of all the saints.  She would not have become the Lord's house had not the divinity of the Word assumed humanity and come to dwell in her womb. (24)
        St. Gregory the Great, pope

Mary was the mountain in which God was well pleased to dwell. (25)
        St. John Damascene

# # #    Isaiah

"The holy virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (God with us)." (26)
        Isaiah 7:14

Through the prophetic spirit God announced beforehand that things which are unimaginable and believed to be impossible for human beings would take place, in order that when it occurred it would be believed and received by faith because it had been promised. (27)
        St. Justin martyr

You will not doubt, therefore, the motherhood of a virgin if you want to believe the nativity of a God who does not relinquish the government of the universe and comes in flesh among human beings; who bestows fecundity on his mother yet does not diminish her integrity. (28)
        St. Augustine

Behold the miracle of the mother of the Lord!  She is a virgin when she conceives, a virgin when she brings forth, a virgin after birth.  What glorious virginity!  What splendid fruitfulness!  The world's goodness is born and there is no pain of childbirth.  The womb is emptied, a child is brought forth, and still virginity is not violated.  Clearly Mary was a fit habitation for Christ not because of the nature of her body but because of the grace of her virginity. (29)
        St. Maximus of Turin

Isaiah tells of the mystery of our faith and hope: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel." (30)
        St. Jerome

Then, since Ahaz does not ask for a sign, neither in the depths nor from the heights, so that you might understand that he who descended into the lowest regions of the earth is the same who rose above all heavens, the Lord himself gave a sign: a sign truly extraordinary and portentous, far superior to the common law of nature: the same woman is both virgin and mother; and though remaining in the holy condition of virginity, she also obtains the blessing of childbearing. (31)
        St. Basil

# # #  Isaiah

"There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse and a flower shall come up out of the root." (32)
        Isaiah 11:1

For Christ sprouted in the womb of the virgin like a shrub upon the earth; like a flower of good fragrance, He was sent forth in the splendor of the new light and came up from His mother's vitals for the redemption of the entire world. (33)
        St. Ambrose

The root is the household of the Jews, the rod is Mary, the flower of Mary is Christ.  She is rightly called a rod, for she is of royal lineage, of the house and family of David.  Her flower is Christ, who destroyed the stench of worldly pollution and poured out the fragrance of eternal life. (34)
        St. Ambrose

The shoot is the Mother of the Lord, simple, pure, and sincere, who was not joined to any seed coming from without. (35)
        St. Jerome

In this shoot, undoubtedly, the Blessed Virgin Mary was foretold, who descended from the line of Jesse and of David.  Made fertile by the Holy Spirit, she brought forth a new flower of human flesh from her maternal womb, while still remaining a virgin in giving birth. (36)
        St. Leo the Great, pope

# # #   Jeremiah

"How long will you waver, O faithless daughter?  For the Lord has created a new thing on earth: a woman encompasses a man." (37)
        Jeremiah 31:22

The Lord has done a new thing on earth.  Without seed of man, without carnal act, without conception, the woman will enclose the man in the haven of her womb ... the perfect man will be contained in the woman's womb for the normal period. (38)
        St. Jerome 

# # #   Micah

"You Bethlehem, out of you shall He come forth who is to be the ruler of Israel.  He will give them up even to the time she who is in labor shall bring forth." (39)
        Micah 5:1

# # #  Proverbs

"The Lord created me." (40)
        Proverbs 8:22

We understand what was written about the Incarnation of the Lord: "The Lord created me" to mean that the Lord Jesus was created from the Virgin to redeem the Father's works.  And truly, one cannot doubt that this was said in reference to the mystery of the Incarnation, when the Lord assumed flesh to free his works from slavery to corruption and to destroy, by the suffering of his body, the one who held the power of death. (41)
        St. Ambrose

# # #   Proverbs

"Wisdom has built her house." (42)
        Proverbs 9:1

When the Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin and the power of the Most High overshadowed her, the new man was formed in her.  He is called new because he was fashioned by God, not in the usual human way, but differently, so that he would become a dwelling of God, not made by human hands.  For the Most High does not dwell in places made by hands; not that is, in dwellings built by human effort. (43)
        St. Gregory of Nyssa

# # #  Psalm

"Yet you are he who took me from the womb." (44)
        Psalm 22:9

Heed well the expression: "You brought me forth from the womb."  It means that Christ was conceived and brought forth from the Virgin's womb without the involvement of man. (45)
        St. Cyril of Jerusalem

# # #  Psalm

"At your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir." (46)
        Psalm 45:9

"The earth has yielded its increase: God, our God has blessed us." (47)
        Psalm 67:6

The earth and its increase (or fruit) point to what this fruit is.  It is the virgin from the Virgin, the Lord from the handmaid.  God from a human creature, the Son from a mother, the fruit from the earth. (48)
        St. Jerome

The earth has yielded its fruit, because the Virgin did not conceive her Son by man's doing but because the Holy Spirit stretched out his shadow over her. (49)
        St. Gregory the Great, pope

"Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might." (50)
        Psalm 132:8

The ark is truly the holy Virgin, gilded within and without, who received the treasure of universal sanctification.  Arise, O Lord, from the Father's bosom, to raise up again the ruined race of our first parent. (51)
        St. Jerome

The ark is without doubt the Virgin Mother of God.  for if you Jesus art the gem, with reason is she the ark; and because Jesus art the sun, the Virgin will necessarily be called heaven; if you, Jesus are the unfading flower, the Virgin must assuredly be the plant of incorruption and paradise of immortality. (52)
        St. Hesychius of Jerusalem

What would we say that the ark was if not holy Mary, since the ark carried within it the tables of the covenant, while Mary bore the master of the same covenant?  The one bore the law within itself and the other Gospel, but the ark gleamed within and without with the radiance of earthly gold, the other with heavenly. (53)
        St. Maximum of Turin 

# # #   Song of Solomon

"A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed." (54)
        Song of Solomon 4:12

Our Lady, is the mother of our Lord, who was a mother and a Virgin. (55)
        St. Jerome

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