The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
TENTH AND LAST DEVOTION
I UNITE in this various practices of devotion in honor of Mary. 1. To celebrate, or cause to be celebrated, or at least to hear Mass in honor of the holy Virgin. It is true that the holy sacrifice of the Mass can be offered only to God, to whom it is offered principally in acknowledgment of his supreme dominion; but as the sacred Council of Trent declares, this does not prevent it from being offered to God in gratitude for the graces bestowed on the saints and his most holy mother,and in commemoration of them, that they may deign to intercede for us. And therefore it is said in the Mass: "That it may avail to their honor, but to our salvation." This offering of the Mass, as also the repeating three "Our Fathers," "Hail Marys," and "Glories" to the most holy Trinity, in gratitude for the graces granted to Mary, she herself revealed to a soul, were very pleasing to her; for the Virgin not being able fully to thank the Lord for all the favors bestowed on her, is pleased when her children help her to thank God. 2d. To reverence the saints who are most closely united to Mary, as St. Joseph, St. Joachim, and St. Ann. The Virgin herself recommended to a nobleman the devotion to St. Ann her mother. And we should also honor the saints who had the most special devotion to the divine mother, as St. John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist, St. Bernard, St. John of Damascus, the defender of her images, St. Ildephonsus, the defender of her virginity, &c. 3d. To read every day some book which treats of the glories of Mary. To preach, or at least recommend to all, particularly to one's relatives, devotion to the divine mother. The Virgin one day said to St. Bridget: "Make thy children my children." To pray daily for the living and dead who were most devoted to Mary.
Let us here enumerate many other indulgences granted by the Pontiffs to those who, in various ways, honor this queen of heaven:
1st. To those who say: "Blessed be the holy and immaculate conception of the blessed Virgin Mary," an indulgence of one hundred years is granted; and when after the word "immaculate," the word "most pure" is added, according to Father Crasset, other indulgences are granted, applicable to the souls in purgatory.
2d. For the Salve Regina," forty days.
3d. Litanies, two hundred days.
4th. To those who bow the head at the names of Jesus and of Mary, twenty days.
5th. To those who repeat five "Our Fathers" and "Hail Marys" in honor of the passion of Jesus and the dolors of Mary, ten thousand years.
And for the convenience of devout souls, I will here mention other indulgences, attached by the Sovereign Pontiffs to other devotions:
1st. To him who hears Mass, three thousand eight hundred years.
2d. Benedict XIV. granted seven years indulgence to those who make the Christian acts, with the intention of receiving in life and in death the holy sacraments; and if they are continued for a month, plenary indulgence applicable to the souls in purgatory, or to themselves at the article of death.
3d. To those who recite fifteen "Our Fathers" and "Hail Marys," for sinners, remission of the third part of their sins.
4th. Pope Benedict XIV. has granted more indulgences to those who make mental prayer for half an hour every day, and plenary once a month, after confession and communion.
5th. To those who recite the prayer; Soul of Christ, "Anima Christi," etc., three hundred days.
6th. Those who accompany the viaticum, obtain five years indulgence, and with lights seven years; and those who cannot do this, if they accompany it reciting an "Our Father" and "Hail Mary," one hundred days.
7th. Those who kneel before the most holy Sacrament, gain two hundred days.
8th. Those who kiss the cross, one year and forty days. Those who bow the head at the "Glory be to the Father," thirty days.
9th. To priests who before Mass recite: I wish to celebrate Mass, &., "Ego volo celebrare missam," etc., fifty days are granted.
10th. To those who kiss the regular scapular, five years.
Other indulgences may be found in the works of Father Viva. Let every one endeavor, when seeking the above-named indulgences, to make an act of contrition, that he may be in a disposition to gain them.
I omit other devotions, which are to be found in other books, as the seven joys, the twelve privileges of Mary, and the like, and let us terminate this work with the beautiful words of St. Bernardine: "Oh woman, blessed among all women, thou art the honor of the human race, the salvation of our people. Thou hast a merit that has no limits, and an entire power over all creatures. Thou art the mother of God, the mistress of the world, the queen of heaven. Thou art the dispenser of all graces, the glory of the holy Church. Thou art the example of the just, the consolation of the saints, and the source of our salvation. Thou art the joy of paradise, the gate of heaven, the glory of God. Behold, we have published thy praises. We supplicate thee then, oh mother of mercy, to strengthen our weakness, to pardon our boldness, to accept our service, to bless our labors, and impress thy love upon the hearts of all, that after having honored and loved thy Son on earth, we may praise and bless him eternally in heaven. Amen."
And with this, my dear reader and brother, lover of our mother Mary, I leave you, saying to you, continue joyfully to honor and love this good Lady; endeavor also to promote the love of her wherever you can, and do not doubt, but securely trust that if you persevere in true devotion to Mary, even until death, your salvation will be certain. I finish, not because I have nothing more to say of the glories of this great queen, but that I may not weary you. The little that I have written may indeed be enough to charm you with this great treasure of devotion to the mother of God, with which she will correspond with her powerful patronage. Accept, then, the desire I have had by this my work, to see you safe and holy, to see you become a loving and ardently devoted child of this most amiable queen. And if you know that this book of mine has aided you somewhat, I pray you of your charity recommend me to Mary and ask of her the grace that I ask for you, namely, that we may both meet in paradise at her feet, together with all her other dear children.
And last of all, I turn to thee, oh mother of my Lord, and my mother Mary. I pray thee to accept these my poor labors, and the desire I have had to see thee praised and loved by all. Thou knowest how much I have desired to complete this my little work on thy glories, before my life, which is now drawing to a close, should end. I now say that I die content, leaving on the earth this book of mine, which will continue to praise and to preach thee, as I have endeavored always to do in these years since my conversion, which through thee I have obtained from God. Oh immaculate Mary, I recommend to thee all those who love thee, and especially those who will read this my book; and most especially those who will exercise the charity of recommending me to thee; oh Lady, give them perseverance, make them all saints, and thus bring us all to praise thee together in heaven. Oh, my most sweet mother, it is true that I am a poor sinner, but I glory in loving thee, and I hope great things from thee, among others, that I may die loving thee. I hope in the sufferings of my death, when the devil will place my sins before me, that first the passion of Jesus, and next, thy intercession, may give me comfort to quit this miserable life in the grace of God, to come to love him and thank thee, oh my mother, through all eternity. Amen. Thus I hope, thus may it be.
Oh Lady, say for us to thy Son: "They have no wine." How bright and clear is the intoxicating cup of this wine! The love of God inebriates us even to contempt of the world; it warms and strengthens, renders us insensible to temporal things, and inclined to heavenly things. Thou art a fruitful field, full of virtues, full of graces. Thou didst come forth as a bright and ruddy dawn; for original sin being destroyed in the womb of thy mother, thou wast born bright in the knowledge of truth, and ruddy with the love of virtue; no enemy has power against thee, for a thousand bucklers hang upon thee, all the armor of the valiant men; for there is no virtue which does not shine in thee, and thou in thyself dost possess all that belongs to every saint.
Oh our Lady, our mediatrix, our advocate, commend us to thy Son. Oh blessed one, obtain by the grace which thou didst merit, that he who, through thy means has deigned to become a partaker of our infirmity and misery, thou also interceding, may make us partakers of his blessedness and glory.
Live Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.