The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
SOME DEVOUT PRAYERS OF VARIOUS SAINTS TO THE HOLY MOTHER.
THE following prayers are added, not only for the use of the faithful, but also because they show the great idea which the saints entertained of the power and mercy of Mary, and their great confidence in her patronage.
PRAYER OF ST. EPHREM.
OH immaculate and wholly pure Virgin Mary! mother of God, queen of the universe, our most excellent Lady, thou art superior to all the saints, thou art the only hope of the Fathers, and the joy of the blessed. By thee we have been reconciled to our God. Thou art the only ad vocate of sinners, the secure haven of the ship wrecked. Thou art the consolation of the world, the redemption of captives, the joy of the sick, the comfort of the afflicted, the refuge and salvation of the whole world. Oh great princess! mother of God! cover us with the wings of thy compassion: have pitv on us. We have no hope but in thee, oh most pure Virgin! We are given to thee, and consecrated to thy service; we bear the name of thy servants; do not permit lucifer to draw us down to hell. Oh immaculate Virgin! we are under thy protection; therefore, unitedly we have recourse to thee, and supplicate thee to prevent thy Son, whom our sins have offended, from abandoning us to the power of the devil.
Oh full of grace! illuminate my intellect, loosen my tongue that it may sing thy praises, and especially the Angelic Salutation, so worthy of thee. I salute thee, oh peace! oh joy! oh salvation and consolation of the whole world! I salute thee oh greatest of miracles! paradise of de light! secure haven of those who are in danger! fountain of grace! mediatrix of God and men!
PRAYER OF ST. BERNARD.
WE raise our eyes to thee, oh queen of the world. After having committed so many sins we must appear before our Judge, and who will appease him? None can do it better than thou, oh blessed Lady, who hast loved him so much, and hast been so tenderly beloved by him. Open thy heart, then, oh mother of mercy, to our sighs and prayers. We fly to thy protection; appease the anger of thy Son, and restore us to his favor. Thou dost not abhor the sinner, however loathsome he may be; thou dost not despise him, if he sends up his sighs to thee, and with contrition asks thy intercession; thou, with thy kind hand, dost deliver him from despair; thou dost encourage him to hope, dost comfort him, and dost not leave him until thou hast reconciled him to his Judge.
Thou art that only one in whom the Saviouf found his rest, and with whom he has deposited all his treasures. Hence all the world, oh Mary, honors thy chaste womb, as the temple of God, where the salvation of the world had its beginning. In thee was effected the reconciliation between God and man. Thou art the enclosed garden, oh great mother of God, whose flowers have never been gathered by the sinner s hand. Thou art the beautiful garden, in which God has placed all the flowers which adorn the Church, such as the violet of thy humility, the lily of thy purity, and the rose of thy charity. Who can be compared to thee, oh mother of grace and of beauty? Thou art the paradise of God. From thee hath sprung up the fountain of living water, that waters all the earth. Oh, how many favors hast thou bestowed upon the world, by meriting to be the channel of the waters of salvation!
Of thee the Holy Ghost speaks when he says: Who is she that arises like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun? Thou art, then, come into the world, oh Mary, as a resplendent dawn, preceding, with the light of thy sanctity, the coming of the Sun of Justice. The day in which thou didst appear in the world may truly be called the day of salvation, the day of grace. Thou art fair as the moon; for aa there is no planet more like the sun, so there is no creature more like God than thou art. The moon illuminates the night with the light which it re ceives from the sun, and thou dost illuminate our darkness, with the splendor of thy virtues; and thou art fairer than the moon, because in thee is found neither stain nor shade. Thou art bright as the sun, I mean as that Sun which hath created the sun; he has been chosen among all men, and thou among all women. Oh sweet, oh great, oh most lovely Mary, thy name can not be pronounced by any one that thou dost inflame with thy love; neither can those who love thee think of thee without feeling themselves encouraged to love thee more.
Oh blessed Lady, help our weakness. And who is more fit to speak to our Lord Jesus Christ than thou, who dost enjoy, so near to him, hia sweet conversation? Speak, speak, oh Lady, be cause thy Son listens, and thou wilt obtain from him whatever thou shalt demand.
PRAYER OP ST. GERMANUS.
OH my only Lady, who art the sole consolation which I receive from God; thou who art the only celestial dew that doth soothe my pains; thou who art the light of my soul when it is surrounded with darkness; thou who art my guide in my journeyings, my strength in my weakness, my treasure in my poverty ; balm for my wounds, my consolation in sorrow; thon who art my refuge in misery, the hope of my salvation, graciously hear my prayer, have pity on me, as is befitting the mother of a God who hath so much love for men. Thou who art our defence and joy, grant me what I ask; make me worthy of enjoying with thee that great happiness which thou dost enjoy in heaven. Yes, my Lady, my refuge, my life, my help, my defence, my strength, my joy, my hope, make me to come with thee to paradise. I know that, being the mother of God, thou canst obtain this for me if thou wilt. Oh Mary, thou art omnipotent to save sinners, thou needest nothing else to recommend us to thee, for thou art the mother of true life.
PRAYER OF BLESSED RAYMOND JORDANO THE ABBOT OF CELLES SURNAMED THE IDIOT.
DRAW me after thee, oh Virgin Mary, that I may run to the odor of thy perfumes. Draw me, for I am held back by the weight of my sins and by the malice of my enemies. As no one goes to thy Son unless the divine Father draws him, so I would dare to say, in a certain sense, that no one goes to him if thou dost not draw him with thy holy prayers. It is thou who teachest true wisdom; thou who dost obtain pardon for sinners, because thou art their advocate. It is thou who dost promise glory to him who honors thee, because thou art the treasurer of graces.
Thou hast found grace with God, oh most sweet Virgin, because thou hast been preserved from the stain of original sin, filled with the Holy Spirit, and hast conceited the Son of God. Thou hast received all these graces, oh Mary most humble, not only for thyself, but also for us, that thou mayest help us in all our ne^cessities. And thou, indeed, dost so; thou dost succor the good by preserving them in grace; and the bad, by bringing them to receive the divine mercy; thou dost aid the dying by protecting them against the snares of the devil; and thou dost aid them also after death by receiving their souls, and leading them to the kingdom of the blessed.
PRAYER OF ST. METHODIUS.
THY name, oh mother of God, is full of all graces and divine blessings. Thou hast comprehended him who is incomprehensible, and nourished him who nourishes all living creatures. He who fills heaven and earth and is Lord of all, has chosen to have need of thee, since thou hast clothed him with that garment of flesh that he had not before. Rejoice, oh mother and handmaid of God! rejoice! rejoice! thou hast for a debtor him to whom all creatures owe their being. We are all debtors to God, but God is a debtor to thee. Hence it is, oh most holy mother of God, that thou hast greater goodness and greater charity than all the other saints, and more than all others hast near access in heaven to God, because thou art his mother. Ah, we pray thee that we may celebrate thy glories, and may know how great is thy goodness, being mindful of us and of our miseries.
PRAYER OF ST. JOHN DAMASCENE.
I SALUTE thee, oh Mary ! thou art the hope of Christians; receive the petition of a servant who tenderly loves thee, especially honors thee, and places in thee all the hope of his salvation. From thee I have life, thou dost restore me to the favor of thy Son; thou art the certain pledge of iny salvation. I implore thee, then, to deliver me from the burden of my sins; dispel the darknes of my mind; banish earthly affections from my heart; repel the temptations of my enemies, and so order my life, that I may reach, by thy means and by thy guidance, the eternal felicity of paradise.
PRAYER OF ST. ANDREW OF CANDIA, OR OF JERUSALEM.
I SALUTE thee, oh full of grace! the Lord is with thee. I salute thee, oh cause of our joy, by whom the sentence of our condemnation has been already revoked, and changed into a judgment of benediction. I salute thee, oh temple of the glory of God, sacred house of the King of Hea- Ten. Thou art the reconciliation of God with men. I salute thee, oh mother of our joy. In truth thou art blessed, for thou alone, among all women, hast been found worthy of being th mother of thy Creator. All nations call thee blessed.
Oh Mary, if I put my confidence in thee I shall be saved; if I am under thy protection I have nothing to fear, for to be thy servant is to have the secure armor of salvation, which God does not grant except to those whom he will save.
Oh mother of mercy, appease thy Son. Whilst thou wast on earth thou didst only occupy a small part of it; but now that thou art raised above the highest heaven, the whole world con siders thee as the propitiatory of all nations. We supplicate thee, then, oh holy Virgin, to grant us the aid of thy prayers with God; pray ers which are dearer and more precious to us than all the treasures of earth; prayers that render God inclined to forgive our sins; and wilt thou obtain for us abundant graces to receive the par don of them and to practise virtue? prayers that conquer our enemies, confound their designs, and triumph over their forces.
PRAYER OF ST. ILDEPHONSUS.
I COME to thee, oh mother of God, I supplicate thee to obtain for me the pardon of my sins, and that I may be purified from all the errors of my life. I pray thee to grant me thy grace, that I may unite myself with affection to thy Son and to thee; to thy Son as to my God, to thee as to the mother of my God.
PRAYER OF ST. ATHANASIUS.
HEARKEN oh most holy Virgin, to our prayers, and remember us. Dispense to us the gifts of thy riches, and the abundant graces with which thou art filled. The archangel salutes thee and calls thee full of grace. All nations call thee blessed; the whole hierarchy of heaven blesses thee, and we, who are of the terrestrial hierarchy, also say to thee: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;" pray for us, oh mother of God, our Lady and our Queen.
PRAYER OF ST. ANSELM.
WE pray thee, oh most blessed Lady, by that grace which God bestowed on thee when he so greatly exalted thee, rendering all things possible to thee with him; we pray thee to obtain for us that the fulness of grace which thou hast merited may make us to share thy glory. Be pleased, oh most merciful Lady, to procure for us the good for which God consented to become man in thy chaste womb. Be not slow to hear us. If thou wilt deign to supplicate thy Son, he at once will graciously hear thee. It is enough that thou wilt save us, for then we cannot but be saved. Who can restrain the bowels of thy compassion? If thou hast not compassion on us, thou who art the mother of mercy, what will become of us when thy Son shall come to judge us?
Come, then, to our succor, oh most compassionate mother, without regarding the multitude of our sins. Remember again and again that our Creator has taken human flesh from thee, not to condemn sinners, but to save them. If thou hadst been made mother of God only for thine own advantage, it might be said that it would be to thee of little importance whether we were saved or condemned; but God has clothed himself with thy flesh for thy salvation and for that of all men. What will it avail us that thou art so powerful and so glorious, if thou dost not render us partakers of thy felicity ? Aid us and protect us; remember the need we have of thy assistance. We recommend ourselves to thee; save us from damnation, and make us serve and love eternally thy Son Jesus Christ.
PRAYER OF ST. PETER DAMIAN.
HOLY VIRGIN, mother of God, succor those who implore thy assistance. Turn to us. But, having been deified, as it were, hast thou for gotten men? Ah, certainly not. Thou kuowest in what peril thou hast left us, and the wretched condition of thy servants; no, it is not befitting a mercy so great, to forget so great misery as ours. Turn to us with thy power, because he who is powerful hath given thee omnipotence in heaven and on earth. To thee nothing is im possible, for thou canst raise even the despairing to the hope of salvation. Thou must be compassionate as thou art powerful.
Turn to us, also, in thy love. I know, oh my Lady, that thou art all kindness, and dost love us with a love that no other love can surpass. How dost thou appease the anger of our Judge when he is on the point of punishing us for our offences! All the treasures of the mercy of God are in thy hands. Ah, may it never happen that thou shouldst cease from doing us good: thou seekest but the occasion of saving all sinners, and of bestowing thy mercy upon them; for thy glory increases when, by thy means, penitents are pardoned, and the pardoned come to paradise. Turn, then to us, that we may come to see thee in heaven; for the greatest glory we can obtain next to seeing God, is to see thee, to love thee, and to be under thy protection. Ah, graciously hear us, since thy Son wishes to honor thee, by granting all thy requests.
PRAYER OP ST. WILLIAM, BISHOP OF PARIS.
OH mother of God, I fly to thee and I implore thee not to cast me off, for the whole Church of the faithful calls thee, and proclaims thee the mother of mercy. Thou art so dear to God, that thou art always graciously heard; thy compassion has never been wanting to any one; thy most gracious condescension has never despised any sinner, however enormous his sin, who has recommended himself to thee. Does the Church falsely and in vain call thee her advocate, and the refuge of the unhappy? No; let my sins never prevent thee from exercising thy great office of mercy by which thou art the advocate, the mediatrix of reconciliation, the only hope, and the most secure refuge of sinners. Let it never be that the mother, who, for the good of the whole world, brought forth him who is the fountain of mercy, should refuse her mercy to any sinner who has recourse to her. It is is thy office to reconcile God to man; let then thy compassion move thee to help me, for it is greater than all my sins.
PRAYER TO THE MOST HOLY MARY.
TO BE SAID EVERY DAY AT THE END OF THE VISIT.
OH most holy, immaculate Virgin, and my mother Mary, to thee who art the mother of my Lord, the queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I, the most miserable of all, have recourse to-day. I adore thee, oh great queen, and thank thee for all the favors thou hast hitherto granted me, especially for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, oh most amiable Lady, and through the love I bear thee promise that I will always serve thee, and do all that I can that thou mayest also be loved by others. I place in thee all my hopes of salvation; accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, oh thou mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or obtain for me the strength to conquer them always until death. From thee l ask a true love for Jesus; from thee I hope to die a good death. Oh, my mother, by the love thou bearest to God, I pray thee always to help me, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Do not leave me until thou seest me actually safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies throughout all eternity. Amen. Thus I hope. Thus may it be.
END OF THE FIRST PART,