The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
NOVENA OF MEDITATIONS
NOVENA OF MEDITATIONS FOR THE NINE DAYS PRECEDING THE FEAST OF THE PURIFICATION OF MARY, WHICH COMMENCES ON THE 24TH OF JANUARY.
The above-mentioned meditations are upon the Litany of Loretto, and can be used for all the Novenas preceding the principal festivals of the Divine Mother.
1st. "SANCTA MARIA, ora pro nobis:" Holy Mary, pray for us. Since in the Litanies of our Lady the Church instructs us to repeat so many times the petition that she will pray for us, "Ora pro nobis," it is well before meditating upon the titles by which the holy Virgin is invoked, to consider of how great value with God are the prayers of Mary. Blessed is that person for whom Mary prays! Jesus is pleased when his most beloved mother prays to him, and grants all she asks. One day St. Bridget heard Jesus speaking with Mary, and thus saying to her: "My mother, ask what thou wilt of me, for thy petition cannot be in vain." And then he added: "Thou didst deny me nothing on earth, I will deny thee nothing in heaven." St. Bernard says: To be heard by this Son is to be graciously heard: "A Filio audiri est exaudiri." It is enough that Mary speaks, her Son grants whatever she asks. Therefore let us always pray to this divine mother if we wish to obtain eternal salvation, and let us say with St. Andrew of Candia, or perhaps of Jerusalem: We, then, supplicate thee, oh most holy Virgin, to grant us the aid of thy prayers with God; prayers that are more precious than all the treasures of the earth; prayers that obtain for us a great abundance of graces; prayers that confound our enemies, and triumph over their forces,
2d. "Sancta Maria:" Holy Mary. The name of Mary is a name of salvation. This name came not from earth, but from heaven; and therefore St. Epiphanius says, that it was not given to Mary by her parents, but was bestowed upon her by the express will of God. Hence it is that after the name of Jesus, the name of Mary is superior to every name, for God has filled it with grace and sweetness in order that through it every blessing may be obtained by him who names it. St. Bernard said: Oh Mary, thy name cannot be pronounced without in flaming the heart of him who utters it with love to thee. And the blessed Henry Suso exclaimed: Oh Mary, what must thou thyself be if thy name is so amiable and gracious! Name full of blessings. St. Bonaventure said that the name of Mary cannot be invoked without profit to him who invokes it. But more than all, this name has the power to overcome the temptations of hell. Ah, my Lady, if I had always invoked thee in my temptations, I should never have fallen. For the future I shall never cease to invoke thee, saying: "Mary, help me; Mary, succor me." And do thou obtain for me the grace always to invoke thee in the perils of my soul.
3d. "Sancta Dei genitrix;" Holy mother of God. If the prayers of the saints avail much with God, how much more will the prayers of Mary avail! The former are the prayers of servants, but the latter are the prayers of a mother. St. Antoninus says that the prayer of Mary has the force of a command with Jesus Christ: "Oratio Virginis habet rationem imperil;" and hence he adds, that it is impossible for this mother to ask a favor of the Son that the Son will not grant her: "Impossibile est eam non exaudiri." Therefore St. Bernard exhorts us to ask through Mary for every grace that we wish from God: "Quaeramus gratiam, et per Mariam quaeramus;" for she is the mother, and is always graciously heard: "Quia mater est, et frustrari non potest." Oh great mother of God, pray to Jesus for me. Look upon the miseries of my soul, and have pity on me. Pray, and never cease to pray for me until thou seest me safe in paradise. Oh Mary, thou art my hope; do not abandon me. Holy mother of God, pray for us; "Sancta Dei genitrix, ora pro nobis."