The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
NOVENA OF MEDITATIONS
1st. "Consolatrix afflictorum:" Comforter of the afflicted. St. German us writes: Oh Mary, who has so great care of our welfare as thou hast? Is there any one who relieves us in our afflictions as thou dost? No, replies St. Antoninus: There is none among the saints who compassionates our miseries as this most pious Lady. And because the miseries which most afflict us are the maladies of the soul, the blessed Henry Suso calls Mary: The most faithful consoler of sinners: "Consolatrix fidelissima peccatorum." We need only show to Mary the wounds of our souls, and she immediately comes to our aid with her prayers, and consoles us. Even as Richard of St. Victor teaches, her piety prevents us and relieves us before we invoke her: "Velocius occurrit quam invocetur." Let us say to her, then, with St. Bonaventure: Oh Mary, always console us, but especially at the hour of our death. Come, then, and take our souls, and present them to thy Son, who is to be our Judge.
2d. "Auxilium Christianorum:" Help of Christians. St. John of Damascus calls her: Aid prepared and ready to free us from all dangers. The help of Mary is, as St. Cosmas of Jerusalem declares, omnipotent to save us from sin and from hell. St. Bernard addressed her in these words: Thou art invincible in the defence of thy servants: " Tu bellatrix egregia," doing battle with the demons who assail them. And for this reason Mary is called in the sacred Canticles: Terrible as an army set in array: " Terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata." Ah, ray queen, if I had always had recourse to thee I should never have been conquered by my enemies. From henceforth thou must be my strength; in my temptations I will always invoke thee, and from thee I hope for victory.
3d. "Regina martyrum:" Queen of martyrs. Mary is justly called queen of martyrs; for her martyrdom, on the death of her Son on the cross, exceeded the sufferings of all the martyrs. And there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother: "Stabat juxta crucem mater ejus." Mothers fly from their children when they see them dying before their eyes and cannot help them; Mary does not fly, but remains with Jesus until she sees him expire: "Stabat juxta crucem." And while Jesus is in his agony she is offering to the eternal Father the life of her Son for our salvation; but in offering it she also endures the agony of death, and experiences a suffering; greater than that of every death. Oh my afflicted mother, by the merits of the sufferings thou didst endure at the foot of the cross, obtain for me a true sorrow for my sins and love for Jesus my redeemer. And by that sword which pierced thy heart when thou didst see him bow his head and expire, I pray thee to assist me at the moment of my death, and obtain for me then eternal salvation, that I may come to love thee forever with thy Son Jesus.