MARY S PRAISE ON
PRINTED BY JOHN GRIFFIN
OUR LADY OF LOURDES.
Original stntue modelled under Bernadette s direction.
MARY S PRAISE
ON EVERY TONGUE
A RECORD OF HOMAGE PAID TO
OUR BLESSED LADY IN ALL AGES
AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
P. J. CHANDLERY, S.J.
Author of " Pilgrim Walks in Rome "
Fr. BERNARD FAUGH AN, S.J.
THE MANRESA PRESS, ROEHAMPTON, S.W.
W. E. BLAKE & SON, Limited
Catholic Church Supplies
123 Church St. Toronto, Canada
F. Thomas Bergh, O.S.B.
fPetrus Epus Southwarc.
THE IMMACULATE MOTHER OF GOD
THIS SIMPLE TRIBUTE OF AFFECTION
THROUGH THE HANDS OF HER LOVING CLIENT
ST. JOHN BERCHMANS,
In conformity with the decree of Pope Urban
VIII, the author hereby declares that any extra
ordinary events related in this volume of persons
not canonized or beatified, are to be accepted as
resting on mere human testimony, with no wish
to forestall the Church s judgment in the matter.
AUTHOR S PREFACE
following notes on Mary s Praise, originally
-*- intended only for private devotion and for instruc
tions to Religious, have been rearranged and prepared
for publication at the urgent request of several devout
persons, in the hope that they may serve to promote
greater devotion to our loving Mother, especially in Eng
land. The work, necessarily compressed to lessen the
expense of printing, differs in character from most English
works on the subject, inasmuch as it does not contain a
series of meditations or reflections on our Lady s life and
virtues, nor of devotional exercises in her honour : its aim
is rather to show the enthusiasm with which devotion to
her has been taken up in all countries and by all classes of
persons, especially in Catholic England, " Mary s Dowry."
It abounds in matters scriptural, patristic, historical and
biographical, and will be found touchingly suggestive of
holy thoughts, most helpful in private meditation and in
addresses to Sodalists and others. Such a work might
easily have been expanded into a volume three times the
size, but the price would then have made its purchase
prohibitive to many who might wish to possess a copy
for private devotion.
viii AUTHOR S PREFACE
Fr. Drive, S. J. (" Marie et la Compagnie de Jesus," p. 133)
relates that St. John Berchmans made the following request
to his friend and brother-scholastic Nicholas Ratka i : "If
you live, won t you write some book in honour of our
Lady, and particularly in honour of her Immaculate Con
ception ? " He added : "I have made a vow to write
such a book, and I have in my mind the plan I wish to
work out, viz., explaining the figures of the Immaculate
Conception, then the direct arguments, then the miracles,
Whether Nicholas Ratkai ever carried out this request
is unknown ; but the present writer, who during a pro
longed stay in Rome often knelt at the shrine of the youth
ful Saint, in the church of Sant Ignazio, may be permitted
to offer through his hands to our Immaculate Mother this
small tribute of loving affection, simple and imperfect
as it is, hoping that it may do some little good by making
her better known, better loved, and more widely praised.
MANRESA HOUSE, ROEHAMPTON.
FT is to me a strange phenomenon," wrote the late
* Cardinal Newman, " that so many learned and
devout men stumble at the doctrine of the Immaculate
Conception, and I can only account for it by supposing,
in matter of fact, they do not know what we mean by
the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception."
The Cardinal is right ; the " learned and devout men "
to whom he refers, in attacking the doctrine of the Imma
culate Conception, are assailing it, not in the sense in which
it is denned by the Church, but in the sense only in which
they themselves fancy it must be denned by Her.
There is a proverb which says : "He that understands
amiss, concludes worse." This being so, it may not be alto
gether out of place to give here in a foreword to this most
interesting and edifying volume, all in praise of God s
Mother, a short exposition of the doctrine without the
knowledge of which it is no easy matter to arrive at a true
estimate of Mary s dignity and sanctity.
And here, let me observe, that my experience teaches me
that one of the chief reasons why " learned and devout
men," outside the Church, do not understand the dogma
of the Immaculate Conception, is because they misunder
stand the doctrine of Original Sin. Not knowing the
rule, they cannot realize the exception to the rule ; not
recognizing the penalty, they cannot see the privilege ;
in other words, not appreciating what we mean by the
stain and guilt of Original Sin, they do not and cannot
know what is meant by exemption from it.
Besides personal sin, which may be mortal or venial,
there is another sin called a quasi-personal sin. It is the
sin inherited by the human family from Adam, who, as
origin and constituted head of the human family, has
transmitted to his posterity that state of forfeiture of
grace, into which he fell when he transgressed God s law
in the Garden of Paradise.
Revelation teaches us that Adam, having forfeited for
himself through an act of prevarication Sanctifying Grace,
together with all its formal effects, and those preternatural
gifts, with which God had dowered his being when He
created it, has, as our rightly constituted head, trans
mitted to us those fatal consequences of his lawlessness.
Accordingly, each member of the human family is con
ceived and is born in a state of forfeiture and disinherit
ance. Hence the cry of the royal psalmist : " Behold I
was conceived in iniquity, and in sin did my mother con
Since Adam s fall, Man, his descendant, comes into this
world despoiled of that divine life of grace which finally
develops into the life of glory. Ti]l reinstated in grace,
Man, being without supernatural life, is without a super
natural end to life. He is a wandering star, and, till grace
restores him to divine sonship, he is no heir of God or
co-heir with Christ.
I have stated the rule let me now pass on to its excep
tion. Mary is its exception. When we speak of her
Immaculate Conception we mean to say that Mary did
not incur the fatal consequences of Adam s fall from
Grace ; we mean to say that she, by the special favour of
God, was exempted from Original Sin, so that there was
no moment of her life, either after or before her birth,
in which she was in a state of forfeiture. On the contrary,
sinless and stainless in her origin, she started her race for
Heaven, enriched with a wealth of grace, short only of
It is not my purpose here to do more than set before the
readers of this book what is meant by the Immaculate
Conception. Once we begin to realize the meaning of the
doctrine, all Catholic outpouring of appreciation, eulogy
and love of God s great masterpiece, " the Woman clothed
with the Sun," becomes intelligible and reasonable.
This volume is a bouquet of flowers offered at Mary s
feet ; they symbolize her virtues, they are tokens of our
child-like, clinging love of her, who, as she gave to us her
Son, can win for us His grace and His love. What she
has been in the past, to sinner as well as to saint, may she
be to us, who sorely need her help. From her, as from no
library, we learn to know the workings of the Sacred
Heart ; from her, as from no Director, we may gather
the secrets of our sanctity ; and from her, as from no
other mother, we may be sure of guidance in life, of care in
sickness, of comfort in sorrow, and of special love and help
in death. Never can we tire of lifting up our eyes, our
hearts and our voices to this incomparable and ever blessed
" Above the Moon her face reflecting Heaven,
Beneath her feet the Earth with all its strife,
Thus is she pictured who to man hath given
The Source, the Author, and the Crown of Life.
Thou beauteous promise of Creation s dawn,
Destined restorer of our fallen state,
Brightest Star that ushered in Redemption s morn,
Shine on our darkness, Oh! Immaculate ! "
BERNARD VAUGHAN, S.J.
Our Lady greatly honoured
I By God the Father . . .* . i
II By God the Son ,~~ . . . 4
III By God the Holy Ghost. . 6
IV By the Angels . . . . . / 8
V By Patriarchs and Prophets . . . 1 1
VI By Figures in the Old Law . . .13
VII By the Apostles . . . , . . 16
VIII By Early Christians . . . .18
IX By Early Fathers of Eastern Church . 21
X By Early Fathers of Western Church . 24
XI By Decrees of Councils . . . .27
XII By Invocations in Ancient Liturgies . 29
XIII By Saints of the XII Cent. . . < . 31
XIV By Saints of the XII Cent, (cont.) . " . 34
XV By Saints of the XIII Cent. . .36
XVI By Saints of the XIII Cent. (cont.). . 4
XVII By Saints of the XIV Cent. . 7 43
XVIII By Saints of the XV Cent. . ,- 45
XIX By Saints of the XVI Cent. . . , . * 47
XX By Saints of the XVI Cent, (cont.) . 50
XXI By Saints of the XVII Cent. . . > . 52
XXII By Saints of the XVII Cent, (cont.) . 55
XXIII By Saints of the XVIII Cent. . * .h, 57
XXIV By Popes . ~ .,! . . 60
Our Lady greatly honoured
XXV By English Cardinals . . . -63
XXVI By Religious Orders .... 64
XXVII By the Society of Jesus . . .68
XXVIII By Catholic England, Mary s Dowry . 71
XXIX By Catholic England, Ancient Devotions. 75
XXX By Catholic England, Shrines . . -77
XXXI By Catholic England, Shrines (cont.) ; 80
XXXII By Catholic England, Abbeys, Colleges . 84
XXXIII By Catholic England, Pilgrimages . 85
XXXIV By Faithful Ireland . . : , . 87
XXXV By Catholic Scotland . : k ... 92
XXXVI By Catholic Wales . V . . . 95
XXXVII In the United States . f , . 96
XXXVIII In Canada . : , . - . ,. . IOO
XXXIX In France . ... . . ; ; . .103
XL In Spain . . . * . . 105
XLI in Italy. . . . . . .108
XLII In Belgium and Holland. ... . no, 113
XLIII In Poland % . . . . .116
XLIV In Germany and Austria , . . 118
XLV In Portugal . . . . . - 121
XLVI In Greece. In Mexico and S. America . 122
XLVII In Japan . .- .- . . . 125
XLVIII In India and China . . . .127
XLIX By Kings of England and Scotland. . 128
L By Kings of other nations . . . 131
LI By Cities and Kingdoms. . . . 133
LII By Poets and Artists . . . "V 136
LIII By Musicians . ., . . . .139
LIV By Children . -, - . ; ... 141
LV By Commanders of Armies and Navies . 144
LVI By Warriors and Soldiers V . . 147
LVII By Discoverers . . . . . 150
Our Lady greatly honoured
LVIII By Trade and other Guilds . . .151
LIX By non-Catholic writers . . . 153
LX By non-Catholic writers (cont.) . .156
LXI By Builders of Churches . . .160
LXII By Erection of Lady Chapels . .163
LXI 1 1 By Pilgrimages in Italy . . .166
LXIV By Pilgrimages in France . . .171
LXV By Spanish Shrines . . . .175
LXVI By Belgian and Swiss Shrines . .176
LXVII By Institution of Feasts . . . .177
LXVIII By Institution of Sodalities. . . 182
LXIX By remarkable Sodalists . . .184
LXX By illustrious Scholars. . . .186
LXXI By Devotion of the Rosary. . . 188
LXXII ,By Devotion of the Angelus . . 192
LXXIII By Devotion of the Scapular . . 193
LXXIV By Devotion of the Mirac. Medal . 195
LXXV By Devotion of the Little Office, etc. . 197
LXX VI In her Immaculate Conception. The
Dogma . . ... . . 200
LXX VI I In her Immaculate Conception. The
Controversy ..... 204
LXXVIII In her Immaculate Conception. The Defi
nition ...... 208
LXXIX In her Immaculate Conception: and Eng
LXXX In her Nativity. Her Privileges . . 212
L&XXI In her Divine Maternity . ... 215
LXXXII In her Perpetual Virginity v .. . 218
LXXXIII In her Glorious Assumption. . . 220
LXXXIV In her title of Mother of Mercy . > 224
LXXXV In her Immaculate Heart . . . 227
LXXXVI By England s Consecration to her . 230
Our Lady greatly honoured
LXXXVII By Devotion to her Seven Dolours . 234
LXXXVIII By Ordinary Duties done for her . . 236
LXXXIX By Spiritual Exercises offered to her . 239
XC By special acts of Homage . . . 240
XCI By loving trust in her as a Mother . 243
XCII By imitating her Virtues . . . 245
XCIII By imitating the practices of Saints . 246
XCIV By devotion to special Pictures . . 249
XCV By helping to convert Sinners . ,- T 253
XCVI By helping the Holy Souls . . .254
XCVII By honour paid her at Pontmain, Pelle-
voisin . . ; - . . 256
XCVIII By reciting the Magnificat . . . 257
XCIX By invoking her in war-time . . 259
C By praise of her Humility , . .260
CI By reverence for her spotless Purity . 261
CII By proclaiming her Privileges . . 263
CHI By defending her Honour , " * . 264
CIV Prayers of Saints. . . , . . 267
Appendix I Council of Ephesus . .-- ". .270
,, II Apparition at Pontmain . . . 273
III Blessed Sophie Barat . . . .279
Addendum Subscribers ...... 280
MARY S PRAISE ON EVERY TONGUE
OUR LADY GREATLY HONOURED BY GOD THE FATHER
HE adopted her as His queenly Daughter, " more
beloved by Him," says St. Ephrem, " than all
His creatures." 1 He made her to be
i. The first in the order of nature, the greatest and best
beloved, after the Sacred Humanity of Jesus. " I came
out of the mouth of the Most High, the first born before
all creatures." Ecclus. xxiv. 5. " From the beginning and
before the world was I created," etc. xxiv. 14. These
words, spoken of the Incarnate Wisdom of God, are applied
by the Church to our Lady, the Divine decree selecting her as
the privileged Mother of the Word made flesh being eternal
as was the decree of the Incarnation. Pope Pius IX, in the
Bull of definition of the Immaculate Conception, speaks thus
of Mary : " God chose and prepared from the beginning
and before time for His only Son, a Mother of whom He
would be born in the happy fulness of time, and He loved
her above all creatures ; so that, by an extraordinary
predilection, He placed in her alone the utmost plenitude
of His complacency. Therefore, far above all angelical
spirits and all Saints, He filled her so admirably with the
abundance of all celestial gifts, taken from the treasure of
1 In speaking of Mary as surpassing all creatures in grace, glory,
dignity, we exclude, of course, the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ,
for He is Creator as well as creature. Mary ranks above all mere
M.P. 1 B
2 MARY HONOURED
His divinity, that, always exempted from all stain of sin,
all fair and all perfect, she received such fulness of sanctity
and innocence that, under God, no greater sanctity can
be imagined, nor any one except God understand the per
fection thereof." Brev. Rom. d. 9 Dec. lect 4, 5.
2. The first of all His creatures, after the Sacred Human
ity of Jesus, in the order of grace. The sanctifying grace
Mary received in her conception exceeds all the grace which
has been given to any other mere creature, not only at
the beginning of such creature s existence, but even at the
consummation of its perfection. This is the opinion
of Suarez, and, after him, of nearly all the theologians
who in the last three centuries have explicitly treated
of this subject. " It is piously believed and probable,"
he says, " that the grace received by the blessed Virgin
in her first sanctification was more intense, greater, and
more perfect than the consummated grace of angels and
men." And the reason is, according to St. Augustine,
St. Bernard, and St. Thomas, that the grace bestowed
on her must have been proportionate to her sublime
dignity of Mother of God, which excels whatever greatness
and magnificence we can imagine in angels and men.
3. The first of all creatures, after the Sacred Humanity
of Jesus in the order of glory. An anonymous writer in
a little work on the Immaculate Conception, printed at
Trichinopoly in 1904, has the following reflection : " Have
you never stopped to contemplate in a moment of joyous
admiration the sky on a beautiful night resplendent
with stars ? What a marvellous sight is offered by these
numberless lights scintillating in the blue vault of heaven !
But, observe, at the advent of the dawn, when the rays
of the sun set the horizon aflame, the stars disappear
from sight. The stars are the Saints ; however admirable
they may be, they disappear when compared with Mary.
Those myriads of Angels, that innumerable multitude of
virgins, anchorites, confessors, martyrs and apostles, so
glorious that it seems nothing can equal them, all vanish
BY GOD THE FATHER 3
before the sunlike splendour of the Virgin conceived without
sin. Quasi aurora consurgens. Like the morning
light she advances full of grace, and sheds a light a thousand
times more resplendent than theirs."
St. Epiphanius (d. 403) exclaims : " Hail, full of grace !
For, God alone excepted, she is superior to all. By nature
she is far more beautiful than the very Cherubim and the
whole Angelic host. To show her forth no heavenly nor
earthly tongue at all suffices, nay not even that of the
Angels." Livius, 215.
St. Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373) says that she is
higher beyond compare than Cherubim and Seraphim, and
more glorious by far. Ibid. 213.
St. Sophronius, see 4.
4. The most privileged of all human creatures by her
sinlessness, her Immaculate Conception. In consequence
of Adam s sin committed in his capacity of first parent
and fountain-head of the human race, all his children
become partakers of his guilt and its appalling conse
quences. We are born deprived of sanctifying grace and
of the gratuitous gifts which accompanied it ; we are at
our birth no longer children of God, but children of wrath,
and deserve to be banished for ever from the Kingdom of
heaven, because God does not find in us the divine grace
which was to have been our inheritance. Mary, with her
Divine Son, alone of all mankind, was preserved by God
from contracting the stain of original sin. This great
privilege will be referred to later.
Father Gallifet, S.J., in his little work on Devotion to
the Blessed Virgin, assures us that we may say without
danger of error, that in elevating Mary to the dignity of
the Divine Maternity, the Eternal Father has made of her,
after Jesus Christ, the most perfect image of His Divinity,
the most complete and admirable expression of His divine
perfections, p. 21.
4 MARY HONOURED
OUR LADY GREATLY HONOURED BY GOD THE SON
HE chose her to be His Mother, a dignity so sublime
that we can conceive nothing grander that God
could bestow on a creature. " God," says St. Bonaventure,
" could make a grander world, a greater heaven ; but a
greater mother than the Mother of God He could not make."
In speculo B. Virginis, cap. 8.
In making her to be His Mother, God the Son made her
to be in some way like Himself, i.e. a sharer in His perfec
tions, virtues, privileges, power and honour. 1
1. A sharer in His perfections.
(a) Jesus is Goodness itself by His Divine Essence, i.e.
He contains within Himself all Divine, all possible perfec
tions in an infinite degree. Mary, His Mother, surpasses
all creatures in goodness, just as she surpasses them in
dignity : her soul is adorned with all created perfections
in a sublime degree.
(b) Jesus is Wisdom itself, the Incarnate Wisdom of
God, full of grace and truth. Mary, His Mother, is super-
naturally enlightened above all other creatures, and there
fore is styled by the Church " Seat (or throne) of Wisdom."
(c) Jesus is Omnipotent. Mary is spoken of by the
Saints as " Omnipotentia supplex," i.e. all-powerful in
prayer, an all-powerful intercessor.
2. A sharer in His virtues.
Jesus is most humble, patient, charitable, merciful,
holy. After Him there is none among creatures so holy,
humble, charitable and merciful as Mary.
3. A sharer in His titles and qualities.
(a) Jesus is our King, our Father, our Advocate, our life,
hope, consolation. Mary is our Queen, Mother, mediatrix,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
1 Adapted from Father Gallifet, p. 25.
BY GOD THE SON 5
(b) Jesus is the Way to Life. Mary is the gate by which
we are to enter heaven. Januacoeli. She is the mystical
ladder whereby we are to ascend to that blessed abode.
(c) Jesus is our Light and Guide. " Ego sum via, veritas
et vita." St. John xiv. 6. Mary is the star (maris stella)
that guides us safely to the harbour of salvation.
(d) Jesus is the Author of Grace. Mary is the dispenser
of grace. St. Bernard says God wills that we should
receive all His good gifts through Mary.
(e) Jesus is the Sun of Justice. Mary is the mirror of
justice reflecting the full radiance of His virtues.
4. A sharer in His privileges.
(a) Jesus is sinless by nature. " Holy, innocent, un
spotted." Hebr. vii. 26. Mary, through His merits, was
preserved from all stain of sin, original and actual, as
beseemed the Mother of such a Son.
(b) Jesus was preserved from the corruption of the
grave : " Thou wilt not allow Thy Holy One to see corrup
tion." Psal. xv. 10 ; Acts ii. 27 ; xiii. 35. Mary was
also raised from the tomb after three days, according to
the Tradition of the Church.
(c) Jesus ascended into heaven with His sacred body
and soul. So Mary was assumed gloriously into heaven
(d) Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Mary occupies a throne the nearest to her Divine Son s
that can be given to a creature.
5. A sharer in His power, riches and glory.
Jesus is the Lord of the earth. " The earth is the
Lord s and the fulness thereof." Psal. xxiii. i. He is
the Author of grace, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Apoc. xix. 1 6 ; Dent. x. 17. Mary is the Queen of angels
and men, the dispenser of the rich treasures of heaven.
6. A sharer in the honour paid to Him.
No cathedral, no church is consecrated to Him without
an altar or chapel dedicated to her. Her name, associated
with His, is constantly on the lips of the faithful. Her
6 MARY HONOURED
praises are chanted with His in the Divine Office. Her
festivals, Nativity, Presentation, Assumption, Dolours,
correspond in some way to His. In paintings and statues
she is generally represented with the Child Jesus in her
arms, showing how inseparable they are in the devotion of
7. A sharer in His dignity.
Jesus is exalted above all angels and men. Hebr. i. 3, 4.
Mary, as His Mother, holds a rank superior to that of all
other creatures (see St. Epiphanius, St. Ephrem, in i),
a rank by which she is intimately connected with the
OUR LADY GREATLY HONOURED BY GOD THE HOLY GHOST
i. T T E chose her to be His chaste Spouse, Cant. i.
JTi 9 sq. ; ii. i sq., united to Him in purest, holiest
love, her heart being inflamed with greater, more intense
love than burns in any of the highest angels.
He WTought in her by a stupendous miracle the mystery
of the Incarnation. " The Holy Ghost shall come down
upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall over
shadow thee." Luke i. 35. The Incarnation, being a
mystery of infinite love, is " appropriated " to the Holy
Ghost, the Spirit of love.
He preserved her a pure and spotless Virgin, and at the
same time made her the most blessed of mothers. " Be
hold a Virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son." Isai.
He enriched her with fulness of grace, lavishing upon her
the riches of His treasure house. " Hail, full of grace ! "
She alone, says St. Ephrem, because of her dignity as
Mother of God, received more grace than all angels and
He raised her to a dignity, which " in its operation comes
BY THE HOLY GHOST 7
closer than anything else to the confines of the Divinity."
St. Thomas, 2, 2, q. 103, art. 4, ad 2.
He loved her alone, says Suarez, more than all the
Saints. " He prizes this one pearl," says Father Segneri,
more than a countless multitude of inferior j ewels . Devout
Client of Mary, p. 54.
He enabled her to heap up greater treasures of grace
and merit than all .the Saints. " Many daughters have
gathered together riches : thou hast surpassed them all."
Prov. xxxi. 29.
In the very first instant of her Conception, i.e. at the
moment of the creation of her soul and its union with the
body, He gave her more grace than to any Saint on earth
or Seraph in heaven. Suarez, 3 p. torn. 2, D. 4, i.
He enriched her with surpassing beauty and glory. See
Faber, Blessed Sacrament, 275.
2. Privileges bestowed upon her by the Holy Ghost.
(a) Sanctifying Grace, i.e. Sanctity, the greatest ever given
to any creature, and that from the first moment of her
Immaculate Conception :
(b) suppression of concupiscence, Fomes peccati, that
distressing heritage of evil passions and propensities we all
derive from Adam :
(c) confirmation in grace, so as never to forfeit or lessen
it by sin or imperfection of any kind :
(d) continual progress in grace by heroic acts of virtue,
whereby grace was intensified within her to a degree alto
gether inconceivable :
(e) the use of reason from the first moment of her being :
(/) the lovely grace of virginity conjoined with the joys
of motherhood :
(g) the miraculous conception and birth of the Divine
Child without the least detriment to her virginity :
(h) the preparing her to be a beautiful temple of the
Word made flesh. " Wisdom hath built for herself a house,
etc." Prov. ix. i.
8 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED BY THE ANGELS
A CCORDING to Suarez (torn. 2, in 3 p. disp. 22) the
jL\ Angels began to honour our Lady from the first
moment of their creation, for it is thought that the mystery
of the Incarnation was then revealed to them, so they must
have begun at once to honour her who was to be the Incar
nate Word s Virgin Mother.
At her birth we may well believe that the Angels hovered
in reverential homage over the cradle of her who was to
be their Queen, and who far surpassed them in sanctity,
rank, and beauty of grace.
At the Annunciation the heavenly messenger Gabriel,
as he entered her chamber, must have bent his shining brow
before her, the most glorious creature of God, the master
piece of the Creator, after the Sacred Humanity of Jesus.
At our Saviour s Nativity, the Angels, according to
Suarez (torn. 2, in 3 p. disp. 22), adored the Divine Child,
and then paid homage to His spotless Mother.
At her tomb, St. John Damascene tells us, the songs of
Angels were heard for three consecutive days. Serm. i,
de dormit. Virginis.
At her Assumption the Angels escorted her with heavenly
psalmody on her entrance into heaven, says the Saint,
and exclaimed, " Who is this that cometh up from the
desert, flowing with delights, leaning on her Beloved ? "
Cant. viii. 5.
St. Francis of Assisi is said to have heard the Angels
singing the praises of our Lady in the little chapel of St.
Mary of the Angels, known as the Portiuncula.
A venerable tradition in Rome has it that, during the
great pestilence of A.D. 590, as the procession of penance to
avert the scourge filed past Ara Coeli, St. Gregory the
Great heard Angel-voices singing high above the church
the anthem " Regina Coeli."
BY THE ANGELS g
On the night of the feast of our Lady s Nativity Sept.
8 St. Felix de Valois is said to have sung her office with
the Angels, she being present in the choir. Brev. Rom.
The Angels thus honour our Lady because she is far
greater than they, she being the Mother of God, Mother
of the King of kings, whereas they are only His servants.
St. Bernard says : " The greatness of an Angel is to be
the servant of God ; but Mary has received a far greater
dignity, for she is His Mother, and so is raised far above the
St. Ephrem (d. 373) speaks of our Lady as " more
pleasing to God, more resplendent than the Cherubim, more
glorious than the Seraphim." Livius, 213.
St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (d. 638),
addressing our Lady says : " Who shall worthily set forth
thy glory ? Thou art the exaltation of humanity : thou
art made much higher than the Angels ; thy brightness
throws the splendour of the Archangels into shadow : thou
lookest down on the lofty seats of the Thrones ; thoumakest
the exalted heights of the Dominations to seem low ; thy
rank taketh precedence before that of the Principalities :
compared with thee the Powers are weakness ; thine eyes
see further than the contemplation of the Cherubim can
reach ; the Seraphim have six wings, but thy flight is
nobler than theirs ; in a word, thou hast far excelled every
other work of God ; thou wast far purer than any other
creature ; and thou hast been chosen out of all to be made
His Mother." De Annunt. Deiparae.
St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), speaking of our Lady
as far superior to the Angels, says : " The Blessed Virgin
was truly a wondrous work of God. For what creature
could ever compare in greatness and glory with her ? She
alone by her dignity transcends heaven and earth. What
creature was ever as holy as she was ? Not the Prophets, nor
the Apostles, nor the Martyrs, nor Patriarchs ; not the Angels,
nor the Thrones, nor Dominations ; not the Cherubim
io JtARY HONOURED
nor Seraphim ; none among created beings visible or
invisible can compare with her in excellence. She is at
once the handmaid and the Mother of God, a Virgin and
yet a Mother. She is the Mother of Him who was born of
the Father from all eternity ; whom Angels and men confess
to be Lord of all things. Would you know how far this
Virgin surpasses in dignity the Powers (i.e. Angels) of
Heaven ? They with fear and trembling stand before God
covering their face with their wings : she offers up (as inter
cessor) the human race to Him to whom she gave birth.
Through her we may obtain pardon of our sins. Hail, then,
O Mother, heavenly being, Virgin-throne of God, the glory
and bulwark of the Church : pray for us constantly to
Jesus thy Son our Lord, that through thee we may find
mercy in the day of judgment, and attain to the good things
laid up for those who love God." Brev. Rom. Offic.
B.M.V., lect. 5, 6.
Venerable Mary d Agreda in her treatise Cite Mystique,
Pt. i,bk. i, c. 14 says that Mary, conceived in the most
perfect innocence, immediately received the Angels that
God had destined for her as a guard of honour. St. Bridget
of Sweden in her Revelations, Bk. i, c. 9 tells us that her
holy soul as soon as it was created and united to the body,
was confided to the care of Angels day and night.
NOTE. Theologians do not fear to affirm with St.
Alphonsus (Glories of Mary and Sermon on the Nativity),
Contenson, de Rhodes, Cambalot and others, that the
grace Mary received in the moment of her conception sur
passed all that had ever been given to all the Angels and
men together. Petit alot, 45. For, they say, God at that
instant loved Mary more than all the elect together ; and,
as a mark of that love, He prepared for her a glory without
parallel ; He destined her for a dignity which left far
behind all other dignities put together.
BY PATRIARCHS AND PROPHETS u
MARY HONOURED BY PATRIARCHS AND PROPHETS
ST. SOPHRCNIUS in his sermon on the Annunciation
(d. 638) says that our blessed Lady was " foretold
by the Prophets, foreshadowed in types and figures to the
Patriarchs, described by the Evangelists, saluted most
courteously by the Angels."
1. She was foretold to Adam and Eve after their fall, as
the privileged Woman who was destined to crush the ser
pent s head, and who with her Divine Child was to be the
enemy of the serpent, and to be completely victorious over
him. Such a prediction must have filled them with great
reverence for her, who was thus wonderfully to be associated
with the Messiah in the work of Redemption. St. Bridget
of Sweden is said to have learnt by revelation that Adam
felt inexpressible joy at the announcement of a Virgin
Mother of the future Redeemer.
This revelation, with the joy it imparted, was passed
on from father to son, through the long ages of expectation
till it reached the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
and the leader of God s people Moses, and finally received
its confirmation in the prophetic words of Isaias and others.
2. She was foretold by the Prophet Isaias, vii. 14 (Matt.
i. 23), in the words : " Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and
bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel,"
i.e. " God with us." Here Emmanuel is Christ, and
the Virgin His Mother. On this prophecy see Catholic
Encyclopedia, vol. xv. p. 464. C. The patristic testi
mony on Mary as the Virgin of Prophecy, see Livius,
ch. i, p. 36 sq.
The same prophet, c. xi. i to 9, speaks of a rod that
shall come forth out of the root of Jesse, and a flower that
shall rise out of his root ; " And the Spirit of the Lord
shall rest upon Him." According to St. Jerome and many
other Fathers of the Church, the virgin-flower that bios-
12 MARY HONOURED
somed on the virgin-stem was Jesus the Son of Mary. St.
Anselm says this rod or stem represents our Lady, and this
flower her Divine Son, on whom rested the fulness of the
Godhead. De Conceptu. Virg.
3. She was foretold by Jeremias, xxxi. 22. "The Lord
hath created a new thing upon the earth, a woman shall
encompass a man." This passage refers to the virginal
conception of the Man-God. As the Word Incarnate
possessed from the first moment of His conception all
perfections, His Mother is rightly said to " encompass a
man " : and such a condition of a newly conceived child is
rightly called " a new thing upon the earth." " O woman,
blessed above women," exclaims St. Methodius, " who both
knew not man, and compassed a man in thy womb. Mary
compassed a man by giving faith to the Angel, whereas
Eve lost a man by consenting to the serpent." Serm. 119.
In Nat. Dom. iii. 3. Livius, 113.
4. She was also foretold (a) by the Royal Psalmist,
xliv. 10, " The Queen stood on Thy right hand in a vesture
of gold surrounded with variety," i.e. wrought about with
varicoloured embroidery : (b) by Solomon in the Canticle
of Canticles, iv. 7, " Thou art all fair, my Beloved, and there
is no stain in thee " : (c) by Solomon in the book of
Proverbs, viii. 22 sq., " The Lord possessed me in the begin
ning of His ways, before He made anything from the
beginning, etc." This passage is applied by the Church
to our Lady : (d) by Ecclesiasticus, xxiv. 12, "He that
made me rested in rty tabernacle." From these and other
passages of the inspired books, as from a casket of jewels,
the Church has enriched our Lady s office.
St. Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 806),
referring to the Patriarchs, thus addresses our Lady : " O
Mary, where shall I find words to praise thee ? Hail,
maiden Mother, blessed art thou among women ; thy glory
is in thy guilelessness, and thy name is a name of purity.
In thee is the curse of Adam done away and the debt of
Eve paid. Thou art the Ark of Noah and the bond of
IN THE OLD LAW 13
reconciliation with God in a new generation. Thou art
the exceeding glory of the kingdom and priesthood of
Melchisedech ; thou art the unshaken trust of Abraham,
the burnt offering of Isaac. Thou art the ladder that Jacob
saw going up to heaven, and the most noble of all his chil
dren. O purest ! thou art the book of Moses, the law-giver,
whereon the New Covenant is written with the finger of
God. Thou art Aaron s rod that budded. Thou art as
David s daughter, all glorious within, wrought about with
divers colours. Hail, just hope of the Patriarchs ! Hail,
special honour of all the Saints ! Hail, source of health to
all dying creatures ! Hail, O Queen, ambassadress of
peace ! Hail, advocate of all under heaven ! Hail, thou
that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, even the Lord
that was before thee and from thee, and that is with us.
To Him with the Father, and the most holy and life-giving
Spirit, be ascribed all praise now and ever, world without
end. Amen." Petitalot, 22, 23.
On Prophecies of Mary, see Ibid. 16 seq.
MARY FORESHADOWED IN THE OLD LAW
SPEAKING in praise of Mary the Fathers of the Church
have borrowed from the inspired books comparisons
an d titles from objects and persons, tafcen as typical of her
ln comparable virtue and greatness.
i. Objective types. Thus, Mary is by them compared
to the virgin-soil of the terrestrial paradise, which, at
the command of God, produced without seed all kinds
of vegetation, and in its midst the tree of life ;
to the earthly paradise, the abode of innocence, the
place of delights, protected by Angels, inaccessible to
venomous serpents. Livius, 65 ;
to the Ark of Noah, riding safely above the deluge,
14 MARY HONOURED
protected from the corrupt waters of sin, destined to save
the human race. Livius, 74 ;
to the mysterious ladder of Jacob, uniting earth and
heaven, down which Angels come to succour us, and again
lead us upward to heaven ;
to the burning bush seen by Moses, that was unconsumed
by the flames. So Mary was untouched by the flames of
passion and sin. Livius, 76 ;
to the impregnable tower of David, from which a thousand
shields are hanging to arm the strong (Cant. iv. 4) : so
devotion to Mary is a tower of strength against the
to the ark of the covenant, made of incorruptible setim-
wood, covered with plates of gold, and containing the
tables of the law : so Mary is the living ark bearing in her
chaste womb the Law-giver Himself. Livius, 74 ;
to a garden perpetually closed, where the spirit of evil
never set foot even for a moment ;
to the white fleece of Gideon, wet with the dew (of grace)
while the surrounding ground was parched and dry : and
again preserved dry when all around was saturated with
sin. Judges vi. 37, 39 ;
to the dove of the ark, the harbinger of peace and recon
to the rod of Aaron budding and blossoming miracu
lously. Numb. xvii. 5 ; Isaias vii. 14 ;
to the throne of Solomon (2 Paralip. ix. 17), Mary holding
enthroned in her arms the Incarnate Wisdom of God ;
to the cloud of Elias vision (3 Kings xviii. 44) bringing
fertilizing showers (grace) to the barren earth ;
to the gate of the temple ; Mary being the gate of heaven.
Ezech. xliv. 2 ; Psal. cxvii. 20 ;
to the rose of Jericho, because of her sweet charity.
Ecclus. xxiv. 18;
to the lily amid thorns, because of her sinlessness. Cant,
Still using the language of the Prophets, the early Fathers
IN THE OLD LAW 15
ancTwriters of the Church also speak of our Lady as the
holy Jerusalem, the sublime throne of God, the dwelling-
place of Divine Wisdom, the Queen abounding in riches,
most beautiful and lovely in her purity, a spotless earth,
a fountain ever clear sealed up by the Holy Ghost, an
incorruptible wood never attacked by the worm of sin, a
flower blooming on a withered stem, a daughter of life and
blessing, spotlessly conceived and born among us children
of wrath and death, etc.
2. Persons as types or figures of Mary here briefly
indicated. The Fathers also see her prefigured
(a) in Eve, the mother of all the living in the order of
nature ; Mary being our Mother in the higher order of
grace. But Eve was the author of our ruin, Mary through
her Divine Son of our restoration ; Eve was deceived by
the Angel of darkness, Mary was reassured by the Angel of
On the patristic idea of Mary as the Second Eve, see
Livius, 36 seq.
(b) in Sara, the mother of a son in whom all Israel was
to be blessed, she being a person of surpassing beauty,
made fruitful miraculously according to the Angel s pro
mise. Gen. xviii. 10 ;
(c) in Rebecca, the mother of Jacob, clothing him in the
garments of Esau, and obtaining for him his father s bless
(d) in Debbora and Jahel, those valiant women who
saved Israel from Sisera. Judges iv. 4, 21 ;
(e) in Judith triumphing over Holofernes, the enemy of
God s people ;
(/) in Esther delivering her people from oppression and
1 6 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED BY THE APOSTLES AND EARLY SAINTS
i. OHE was honoured and revered
O (a) by her venerable parents SS. Joachim
and Anna, knowing she was an extraordinary gift from
heaven, and a pledge of innumerable blessings :
(b) by St. Joseph who was tenderly devoted to her, and
was the witness of her holy life :
(c) by the Angel Gabriel who came with a salutation
from heaven, and addressed her as " full of grace," and as
chosen to be the Mother of God :
(d) by her cousin St. Elizabeth addressing her as "Mother
of the Lord " :
(e) by St. John the Baptist, who at the sound of her
salutation leaped for joy in his mother s womb :
(/) by the woman in the crowd who, speaking of our Lord,
exclaimed : " Blessed is the womb that bore thee." Luke
2. By the Apostles.
Jesus, hanging on the cross, bequeathed with His dying
lips His holy Mother to St. John, this beloved disciple
representing all the members of the true Church. " After
that He saith to the disciple, Behold thy Mother. And
from that hour the disciple took her to his own." John
xix. 27. The loving affection of St. John for our Lady,
his Mother, is dwelt upon with great feeling by many of the
Saints. St. Thomas Villanova writes : "By the above
words Woman, behold thy son. Son, behold thy
Mother/ Our Lord implanted in Mary s virginal heart a
maternal love for John, a stronger and more fervent love
than that which nature inspires a mother to feel. And
reciprocally He infused into the Apostle a filial regard for
the Virgin Mary, such as no son (Jesus excepted) ever felt
for his mother. It was not a bond of nature but of grace,
a bond nobler and more intimate than the union that results
from human adoption." Concio i a de S. Joan. Apost.
BY THE APOSTLES 17
The other Apostles also cherished a most tender affec
tion for Jesus immaculate Mother. With her they spent
their novena of preparation for the coming of the Holy
Ghost. She was their counsellor, guide, instructor, consoler
in the arduous work of spreading the Gospel and planting
the Church. They were all, except St. Thomas, present
at her happy death in Jerusalem, 1 and they bore her spot
less body with the tenderest reverence to the tomb. That
tomb may be regarded as the first sanctuary of our Lady
after her death.
St. James the Greater, Apostle of Spain, is said to
have erected the renowned sanctuary of our Lady of the
Pillar at Saragossa. Spinelli, 687. Segneri, 89.
St. James the Less in his Liturgy, quoted by the
early Fathers, shows his regard for our Lady by a com
memoration of her at Mass both before and after the con
secration. Harper, Peace through the Truth, ist series,
St. Luke the Evangelist is thought to have learnt from
her the mysteries concerning our Lord s infancy, which he
relates in his Gospel.
3. By other Early Saints.
St. Barnabas is believed to have dedicated to her the
church he built in Milan. Spinelli, 687.
St. Denis the Areopagite attests that he himself was
present, when several of the Apostles, among them being
St. Peter, came from different parts of the world to visit
her, with no other object than to contemplate her, the
greatest work (after our Lord s sacred Humanity) of the
Divine Creator. Segneri, 88, at foot of page. On St. Denis
and our Lady, see Orsini, 269, note.
Fr. Segneri in his Devout Client, p. 89, tells us that
St. Martha, sister of Lazarus, erected a chapel to her in
Marseilles 2 : also that Zacheus, the converted publican,
3 See 83.
2 These early traditions are uncertain and to be admitted with
1 8 MARY HONOURED
maybe considered the founder of the sanctuary of Roc-
St. Denis, Bishop of Paris, Martyr (d. 275), according to
tradition, brought a picture of her to that city, and placed
it in the purified temple of Ceres, known afterwards as
" Notre Dame des Champs."
St. Protentianus, Bishop of Sens and Martyr (IV Cent.),
is said to have blessed at Chartres the statue which the
Druids had previously erected to the Virgin who was to
bear a Son (Virgin! pariturae), and to have placed it in the
chapel of Notre Dame delaGrotte built by him. Catho
lic Encyclopedia, vol. iii. p. 635.
St. Pothinus, first Bishop of Lyons, Martyr is, thought
to have erected a shrine to her in Lyons in the II century.
Crasset, Tract V. Q. 5, p. 352. Catholic Encyclopedia,
vol. ix. p. 472.
St. Cyril of Alexandria, speaking of our Lady at the
Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), refers to the help in their
work the Apostles received from her. " Hail, thou by
whom the only Son of God giveth light to them that sit in
darkness and in the shadow of death ; by whom the pro
phets have spoken ; by whom the Apostles have preached
salvation to the world ; by whom the dead are raised to
life ; by whom Kings reign. Who can give utterance to
the praises of which Mary is worthy ! "
MARY HONOURED BY THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
IN THE CATACOMBS
IN the Catacombs has been found a series of fresco-paint
ings of the three first centuries, in which our Lady is
constantly represented holding her Divine Son in her arms.
One of these, discovered by Count De Rossi in the Cemetery
of St. Priscilla, goes back, so experts in archaeology tell
BY EARLY CHRISTIANS ig
us, almost to the time of the Apostles. Many learned
persons, skilled in the knowledge of Greco-Roman monu
ments, have studied this fresco, and consider it to be of
not later date than the days of the early Antonines. Dar-
ras, vol. vi. p. 10, speaking of it says : " Suddenly throwing
the flame of his torch upon the side wall of a recess, De
Rossi showed me a beautiful picture of the Virgin Mary
holding the Child Jesus in her arms. The Virgin was
seated on a chair, the outlines of which were almost defaced
by time. Round her face was a veil which fell gracefully
over the shoulders, after the manner of Jewish women.
She wore a robe with short sleeves, and above it a mantle.
The Infant-God, seated in the arms of His Mother, and
leaning on her breast, turns His head towards the beholders,
and seems by His gesture to invite them to take refuge in
Mary s arms. A star of five flaming rays appears above the
Virgin, and bathes her forehead with a celestial light. On
the left a young man stands upright, clad in a pallium ; he
raises his right hand and points to the Virgin and the star.
His left hand holds a roll of parchment, of which a feeble
trace can only be distinguished. This figure is (thought
to be) Isaias, pronouncing, as he points to the star which
was to rise upon Jacob, the famous prophecy : Behold a
Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be
called Emmanuel/ The writer adds that in presence of
that picture he felt so impressed that he fell upon his knees,
and the tears started to his eyes. Others describe the picture
as wonderfully artistic, the Infant being almost Raphael-
esque in conception and design.
A copy of this fresco * was greatly admired by Pope Leo
XIII, who blessed it and expressed his pleasure on hearing
that it was to be placed in the little church of St. George,
belonging to the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, Via
S. Sebastiano, Piazza di Spagna. It has since become an
object of great veneration, and a special feast of the Queen
1 Prepared through the generosity of Mr. A. G. Fullerton.
20 MARY HONOURED
of Prophets l has been instituted by the Sacred Congrega
tion of Rites, with a proper Mass and Office, the solemnity
attracting each year crowds of pious persons to come
and kneel before (this copy of ) one of the earliest and most
touching representations of the Madonna.
Elsewhere in the Catacombs are to be seen frescoes of
the Annunciation, of our Lady with the Divine Infant in
her arms in the act of welcoming the Magi. Further
discoveries in the Catacombs may reveal other representa
tions of the Blessed Virgin and Child, but those we have are
sufficient proof that love and veneration for our Lady was
cherished by the early Christians, and that the Mother and
her Divine Child were considered by them as inseparable.
Strange to relate, during the very period when the Chris
tians were driven to hide themselves and their worship in
the Catacombs, they had an oratory in a public place in
Rome erected by Pope St. Callixtus I, and dedicated to our
Lady about the year 223, not long before his martyrdom.
The historian Lampridius tells us, that at the time men
tioned, the Christians were in possession of a place of
assembly in Trastevere, their right to which was, however,
disputed by the corporation of popinarii, or tavern-keepers.
The question was brought before the Emperor Alexander
Severus, who decided in favour of the Christians, saying
that it was better that God should be worshipped there, in
whatever fashion it might be, than that the place should
be given over to drinking bouts and revelry. See Pilgrim
Walks in Rome, p. 320. Such was the origin of Santa
Maria in Trastevere, the oldest of our Lady s many
sanctuaries in Rome.
1 This title was suggested for the picture by Cardinal Parocchi.
See Our Lady, Queen of Prophets, p. 54.
BY EASTERN FATHERS 21
MARY HONOURED BY THE EARIA F.vrr~*><5 O F THE
ORIGEN (d. 253). " In the company of the many
my Jesus cannot be found. Learn where those
who seek may find Him, and that thou too, seeking with
Joseph and Mary, mayest find Him." Homil. xviii. in
Luc. " Blessed art thou amongst women. For of so great
a grace no other woman was ever partaker, nor can be ;
since one only is the Divine Conception ; one alone the
Divine Birth ; one alone is she who gave birth to Him who
is God and man." Livius, 144.
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 270). " All the
celestial powers salute thee, (O Mary,) and, what is more,
He who is Lord of all the celestial powers has chosen thee,
the holy and all-adorned one from among all creatures (to
be His Mother). Thou hast been made the holy one, and
more glorious, more pure, and more saintly than all the
rest of human kind ; having a mind whiter than snow, and
thy soul more purified than the finest gold." Livius, 123
seq., where also see the Saint s wonderful panegyric of our
Vision of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. St. Gregory
of Nyssa relates in his life of this Saint that he was disturbed
in considering some ideas of Origen, his master, upon the
adorable Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, which did not
agree with the common teaching of Catholics. One night
he saw before him a venerable old man of a sacred and
almost divine beauty, who said he had come to remove his
doubts ; and immediately he pointed to a Lady of ravishing
beauty surrounded with light. These the Saint soon
recognized as the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Evan
gelist. Our Lady invited St. John to unveil and explain
the mystery, and, on the explanation being given, the vision
disappeared. Petitalot, 381 ; Livius, 316.
22 MARY HONOURED
St. Basil the Great (d. 379) speaking of the Purification
says : " This Virgin was not subject to the law of purifica
tion in Deuteronomy : since without human generation
she became JErnmanuel s Mother pure and holy and unde-
filed ; and," after having become Mother, remained still a
Virgin." Livius, 105.
St. Athanasius (d. 373). Addressing our Lady he cries
out : "It becomes thee, as being Mother of God, Queen,
Lady and Mistress, for the sake of the King, Lord, God and
Master, l^orn of thee, to be mindful of us, as thou standest
near Him who . . . grants thee all graces : whence thou
art called full of grace/ as though full of all joy on account
of the coming of the Holy Ghost upon thee. ... Be mind
ful of us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the
riches of thy graces, O thou, full of grace." Orat. in Deip.
St. Ephrem Syrus (d. 373). He is one of the glories
of the Eastern Church, and one of the inspirers of its
liturgy. He thus addresses our Lady : " O holy Mother
of God ! protect us under the wings of thy piety and
.mercy : all our hope is in thee : from our mother s breast
we have been dedicated to thee : thou art the port of our
refuge, O Virgin undefiled, we are wholly under thy tutelage
and protection." Serm. de laudibus B.V.M. " Have
compassion on our infirmities, Immaculate Virgin. Who
can go to Him who was born of thee, with such assurance as
thou ? Thou canst do all things in thy quality of Mother
of God (i.e. by thy intercession). Nothing that thou
wiliest is impossible. Despise not my sighs nor deceive my
expectation. By thy maternal prayers do violence to the
mercy of thy Son, and deign to restore thy unhappy servant
to his old and pristine glory. Yea, Virgin above all praise,
all that thou wilt thou canst do with God whom thou didst
bring forth." Ibid. The Saint s wonderful praise of our
Lady, see Livius, 383 to 395.
St. Epiphanius of Salamis 1 (d. 403) speaks of " the
1 In Cyprus.
BY EASTERN FATHERS 23
fragrant perfume that breathes over the world through
the virtue of_the holy children of virginity, which had its
beginning from holy Mary." Haeres, 25, p. 750 ; Livius,
302. His words denouncing false devotion to our Lady,
viz. adoring her as though she were a goddess : See in
Livius, 302. Defending our Lady s honour against here
tics he writes : " With what shameless boldness do they
attack that stainless Virgin, who merited to be the dwell
ing-place of God ; who out of the infinite number of
Israelites was elected for this one end, that she might be
consecrated as the vessel and habitation for the Divine
Childbirth alone." Elsewhere he exclaims : " Hail, full
of grace : for, God alone excepted, she is superior to all.
By nature she is far more beautiful than the very Cherubim,
and the entire Angelic host . To show her forth no heavenly
nor earthly tongue suffices, nay not even that of the
Angels." Livius, 215. The following beautiful prayer
occurs in his writings : " Succour me, O Mother of God !
O Mother of mercy ! during my life avert from me the
attacks of my enemies, and at the hour of death preserve
my miserable soul, and repel the dark aspect of the devils.
In the tremendous day of Judgment preserve me from
eternal damnation : finally place me among the Saints,
and render me heir to the inaccessible glory of thy Son."
St. John Chrysostom (d. 407). (See above under 4.)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386) shows that Mary is
both the rod of Aaron and of Jesse. (See above, 6.)
His words are : " Blossoming rod of Aaron : (Num. xvii.
5) . Truly thou (0 Mary) wert the rod, and thy Son the
flower ; since from the root of David and Solomon budded
forth Christ, our Creator, Almighty God and Lord, the
alone Most High. Of Him who is God and man art thou
the Mother, Virgin before (His) birth, Virgin in birth,
and Virgin after birth." Livius, 108.
St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444). Preaching on our
Lady s excellence he exclaims : " What man is there who
may enumerate the multitudinous graces of Mary ? O
24 MARY HONOURED
Miracle ! The wonder strikes me dumb with amazement."
His words at the Council of Ephesus. (See n.)
St. Basil of Seleucia (d. 448) says : " What gifts
sufficiently worthy of her can we offer of whom all earthly*
things are unworthy ? " His touching words on Mary
contemplating the Holy Child : See Livius, 395, 6.
St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 446), says :
" Mary is the glory of virgins, the joy of mothers, the
support of the faithful, the diadem of the Church, the
express model of the true faith, the seat of piety, the robe
of virtue, the dwelling-place of the Holy Trinity." Orat. 6.
St. James of Batnae (d. 521). "If any stain or defect
had been in her soul, the Lord would have sought out
another Mother for Himself, who should be free from all
St. Sophronius of Constantinople (d. 638). (See
St. Tarasius of Constantinople (d. 806). (See 5.)
St. John Damascene (d. 754), the last of the Greek
Fathers. (See 83.)
MARY HONOURED BY THE EARLY FATHERS OF THE
ST. IRENAEUS, Bishop of Lyons (d. 202), speaks of
Mary as the Second Eve, as unfallen Eve, bearing a
part in man s Redemption similar to that which the first
Eve, by her transgression, had in his Fall. Livius, 37
St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397). " Evil came by the
woman (Eve), so good has come by a woman : for by Eve
we fell, by Mary we stand ; by Eve we were prostrated,
by Mary we are raised ; by Eve we were reduced to slavery,
by Mary we are made free (through her Divine Son). Eve
took from us length of days, Mary restored to us immor-
BY WESTERN FATHERS 25
tality ; Eve caused us to be condemned by an apple of
the tree, Mary wrought our pardon by the gift of the
tree ; because Christ also hung upon the tree as fruit.
As therefore we died through a tree, so by a tree are we
brought to life. All (the evil) that was done by Adam
is washed out by Mary " (i.e. through the Blood of her
Divine Son). Livius, 52, 53.
St. Jerome (d. 420). " After Mary had brought forth
to us the strong infant God, the curse was removed. Death
came by Eve, life by Mary." Ad Eustochium de custod.
Virginit. " The most holy Virgin is a garden enclosed
whereinto sin and Satan have never entered to sully the
blossoms ; a fountain sealed, sealed with the seal of the
Trinity." Serm. de Assumpt. " Come from Lebanon,
My spouse, come. Not unjustly is she bidden to come
from Lebanon, for Lebanon is so named on account of
its stainless and glistening whiteness. The earthly Leba
non is white with snow, but the lovely heights of Mary s
holiness are white with purity and grace, brilliantly fair,
whiter far than snow, sparkling with the gifts of the Holy
Ghost. She is undented like a dove, all clean, all upright,
full of grace and truth. She is full of mercy and of righte
ousness that hath looked down from heaven, and, there
fore, is she without stain, because in her hath never been
any corruption." Ibid.
St. Augustine of Hippo (d. 430). The life of Mary
was such as to be a rule of conduct for all Christians. Her
example shows us what we ought to correct, what we
ought to avoid, what we ought to do." Again : " For
the honour and respect due to the Lord, I always except
Mary when there is question of sin." De natura et gratia.
He here asserts that she was untouched by original sin.
Elsewhere he says : " Mary is the Mother of the members
of Christ, which we are ; because by her charity she
co-operated in giving faithful children to the Church."
De sancta Virginit.
St. Peter Chrysologus of Ravenna (d. 450). " In
26 MARY HONOURED
lodging God in her breast, Mary gave glory to heaven,
peace to earth, salvation to the lost, life to the dead ;
she united heavenly things with earthly ones, and caused
an intercourses to exist between God Himself and the
creature." Serm. 64.
St. Gregory of Tours (d. 594). His words on the
death and Assumption of our Lady. (See in 83.)
Livius, 360. His story of the little Jewish boy pre
served miraculously by our Lady from being burnt to
death. See Livius, 322.
St. Peter Damian (d. 1071). "All creatures/ he
says, " were groaning and sighing (before Mary s birth).
At length she was born, and appearing in this gloomy
shadowy world, beautiful in her comeliness she ravished
God Himself, and drew down upon her the eyes of the
Divinity." Serm. de Annunt. " Forthwith the name of
Mary is drawn from the treasure of the Divinity, and by
it, and in it, and with it, all this (the work of Redemption)
is decreed ; that as without it nothing was created (Eccl.
xxiv.), so without it nothing was repaired." Ibid. Again :
" As the dawn announces the close of night and the open
ing of day, so Mary has dispelled the eternal night, and
diffused upon earth the Day (the Light) which was born
of her virginity." Serm. de Assumpt. Elsewhere he
says : " Let us rejoice in the Nativity of Mary, which
proclaims to the world a new joy, and is a blessed harbinger
of salvation : let us exult, I say, and, as we are accus
tomed to manifest cur joy at the Nativity of Christ, let
us rejoice also at the Nativity of His Mother. This day
is born the Queen of the world, the gate of Heaven, the
tabernacle of God, the star of the sea, the celestial ladder
by which the King of heaven descended to earth, and
man ascended to heaven." Serm. de Nativit. B.V.M.
St. Ildephonsus, Archbishop of Toledo (d. 669), was
remarkable for his great devotion to our Lady. When
some heretics in Spain revived the heresy of Helvidius,
and denied the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin,
BY DECREES OF COUNCILS 27
the Saint wrote a powerful treatise against them, in which
he displayed the greatest zeal for Mary s honour. By
this work, and by frequent exhortations to his flock, he
effectually checked the heresy. The story is told that
one morning some time after this, as he was entering his
cathedral for Matins on the feast of the Annunciation,
our Lady appeared to him seated on a throne, holding in
her hands his book against the heretics. She thanked
him for all he had done in defence of her honour, and,
in token of her gratitude, gave him a chasuble for Mass.
MARY HONOURED BY DECREES OF COUNCILS
i. npHE Council of Ephesus (431), the Third General
JL Council. About the year 428, Nestorius, Patri
arch of Constantinople, raised his impious voice against
the Divinity of Christ and the Divine Maternity of Mary.
Alarmed at this blasphemous impiety, the Fathers of the
Church assembled in great numbers at Ephesus, and at
the opening of the Council St. Cyril of Alexandria
delivered an address which excited the admiration of the
venerable assembly. It was received with acclamation,
and deemed worthy of being included among the Acts of
the Council. Some extracts of this discourse are here
given : " Hail Mary, thou by whom the Son of God giveth
light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
by whom the prophets have spoken, by whom the Apostles
have preached salvation to the world, by whom the dead
(i.e. sinners) are raised to life, by whom Kings reign !
Who can give utterance to the praises of which Mary is
worthy ! Hail to thee, O Mary ! venerable treasure of
the whole earth, inextinguishable lamp (light of the world),
crown of virginity, sceptre of true doctrine, indissoluble
temple of God, dwelling of Him whom no place can con
tain : Mother and Virgin, by whom He is named Blessed
28 MARY HONOURED
in the gospels, Who is come in the name of the Lord.
Hail ! thou who hast enclosed in thy holy virginal womb
the Immense, the Incomprehensible One ; thou by whom
the Holy Trinity is adored and glorified ; by whom the
precious Cross is celebrated and reverenced throughout
the world ; by whom the heavens exult, the Angels and
Archangels rejoice ; by whom the devils are put to flight,
the tempter is overcome, frail nature is raised to heaven.
What tongue can worthily praise the most glorious Virgin
Mary ? "
In this General Council Mary s glorious title of Deipara
(Theotokos, i.e. Mother of God) was vindicated and denned
as of faith.
2. Council of Nicaea (in Asia Minor), A.D. 325, the
First General Council. In Act 6 occur these words : " Let
us therefore have the fear of God before our eyes in all
we do, soliciting also the intercession of the ever unspotted
Virgin Mary, our Lady and Mother of God and of all
the Angels and Saints."
3. Council of Basle (1439), although schismatical,
affords valuable evidence as to the belief of the Bishops
and theologians present in our Lady s sinlessness. One
of the decrees of the 36th session states that " the glorious
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, by the operation of a singular
anticipating grace of God, was never subject to original
sin, being always free from all sin, original and actual,
always holy and immaculate."
4. Council of Avignon (1457), which was convoked
by Cardinal Pierre de la Foix and Cardinal Alanus de
Coetivi, both legates of the Holy See, and in which a large
number of Bishops of the metropolis and of the provinces
of Aries and Aix took part, declared that the decree of
the Council of Basel concerning the Immaculate Concep
tion of Mary was to be held inviolably.
5. Council of Trent (1545). In one of its decrees on
Original sin, it confirms what St. Augustine had said, that,
wherever there is question of sin, Mary is always to be
IN ANCIENT LITURGIES 29
except ed. It also approved of the feast of the Immaculate
MARY HONOURED BY INVOCATIONS IN ANCIENT
LITURGIES AND HYMNS
LEX supplicandi lex credendi." The prayers sanc
tioned by the Church in her Offices are to be
accepted as an indication of her faith. The Liturgies of
the Church, being the established formularies of her public
worship, are among the most authentic documents that
can be adduced in favour of any religious practice.
1. In the Liturgy of St. James (II or III Cent.), Mary
is commemorated as " Our most holy, immaculate, and
most glorious Lady, Mother of God, and ever Virgin Mary."
Bibl. Max. Patrum. torn. 2, 31.
2. In the Maronite Ritual (V Cent.) she is invoked as
" our holy, praiseworthy, and immaculate Lady." DC
Sacris Ordinat. 313.
3. In the Alexandrine Liturgy of St. Basil (IV Cent.)
she is addressed as " most holy, most glorious, immacu
late." Renaudot. Lit. Orient.
4. Ethiopia Hymn (V Cent.), translated by Rev. J.
Rodwell, a learned Orientalist. It dates from A.D. 430,
i.e. before the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. The
hymn is a dogmatic one, intended to teach the true doctrine
of Christianity. The following is an extract :
" Rejoice, Mother of God, thou joy of Angels !
" Rejoice, pure one, foretold by the prophets.
" Thou art the Mother of the Light, the honourable
Mother of the Lord, who didst bear the unseen Word,
and after bearing Him didst remain a Virgin.
" Praise and benediction shall be given thee.
" Where is the tongue that shall be able to utter what
should be said of thee, O Virgin Mother of the Word of
30 MARY HONOURED
the Father ! Thou hast become the throne of the King
whom the Cherubim adore. We will call thee blessed, O
blessed one, and will remember thy name to all generations,
fair Dove, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
" All the heavenly hosts exclaim, Blessed art thou !
Thou art a second heaven upon earth, the Portal of the
East. The Father looked down out of heaven, and behold
ing none like thee, sent His only-begotten Son, Who
became Man of thee.
" Rejoice, O holy one, Mother of all who live. To thee
do we look up.- Pray for us." Livius, 461 to 466.
This hymn was sung by the Christians of Alexandria,
and from them passed to the Christians of Ethiopia.
5. Syriac Hymn of St. Ephrern (IV Cent.). " Holily
did the Virgin Mary give birth to her Son, and give milk
to the Nourisher of nations, and support on her virginal
knees Him who upholds all things ; Virgin she is and
Mother ; and what is she not ?
" Holy is she in body, beautiful in soul, pure in mind,
unalloyed in intelligence, most perfect in sense, clean of
heart, well-approved, and full of every virtue.
" Let the whole order of virgins rejoice in Mary, because
she alone of them so disposed herself that she might bring
forth the Hero that bears up all creation, by whom the
human race that groaned under slavery has been set free.
" Let great Adam, struck down by the serpent, take
joy in Mary. She it was who gave Adam the new graft,
nurtured wherewith he crushed the abhorred viper, and
to strength recovered from its deadly bite.
" Let priests rejoice in the Blessed Virgin who gave
birth to the great Priest made victim ; since He freed
them from (earthly) victims, and became Himself the
Victim that appeased the Father.
" Let the whole order of prophets rejoice in Mary ;
because in her their visions have found their term, and
prophecies their completion.
" Let the whole order of patriarchs rejoice in Mary.
5Y XII CENTURY SAINTS 31
For as she obtained their benediction, so also did she
render them perfect in her Son ; since by Him have seers,
just men, and priests been purified.
" Instead of the bitter fruit that Eve plucked from the
tree, sweet Fruit has Mary given to men. Lo, with Mary s
Fruit the whole world is delighted." Livius, 410 seq.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XII CENTURY 1
i. QT. ANSELM, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1109).
He was born at Aosta, Piedmont, in 1033 ; entered
the Benedictine Order in spite of his father s opposition ;
succeeded Herluin as Abbot of Bee in Normandy (the
most famous school of the XI Cent.) in 1078 ; was con
secrated Archbishop of Canterbury in succession to Lan-
franc in 1093 ; had great troubles with William Rufus
and Henry I on the subject of ecclesiastical rights, posses
sions and investitures ; suffered exile for his resistance
to the royal tyrants, but was finally recalled. He is
regarded as a second St. Augustine, superior to all his
contemporaries in intellectual power, scholastic learning,
and dialectical skill. His eminent virtue raised him to a
place among the Saints. He was very devout to our Lady,
and declared such devotion to be a mark of predestination.
The saying " A servant of Mary will never be lost " is attri
buted to him. Appealing to our Lady for protection he
exclaims : " Whither shall I fly, whither go to hide me
from the face of thy Son, my Judge ? The Church has
apostles, martyrs, strong defenders whom I would fain
invoke ; but thou, my Sovereign Lady, art better than
all of them, for thou art the universal Queen. What
they all can do in union with thee, thou canst do alone.
And whence hast thou this power ? It is that thou art
1 N.B. Only a few oi the better known Saints are selected from
32 MARY HONOURED
the Mother of our Saviour, the Mistress of heaven and
earth. To thee I have recourse, with thee I take refuge,
thee I pray to assist me in all things." Orat. 46 ad B.V.M.
Speaking of Mary s spotless purity he says : "It behoved
the God-Man to be conceived of a Mother so pure that
greater purity, except in God, is unimaginable. It was
fitting that the incomparable Virgin, to whom God had
decreed to give His only Son, should be adorned with a
purity so splendid that none could conceive a greater
after that of God." De Concept, c. 18. Addressing our
Lady he exclaims : " Holy Mother, Immaculate Mother !
Mother of piety and mercy ! Open to me the bosom of
your clemency." Orat. 48. " Who can more surely
appease the anger of the Judge than you, who have merited
to be the Mother of this same Judge and Redeemer."
" The only grace I ask of you in the Name of your Son
is, that you will give me a continual remembrance of your
name, that it may be as sweet food to my soul." Orat.
57. " To proclaim this alone of the Blessed Virgin that
she is the Mother of God, exceeds every height of dignity,
every title which, after that of God, it is possible to think
St. Anselm and the Immaculate Conception. (See
77. On the Assumption, 28, 2 d.)
2. St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux (d. 1153). Efe was
born at the castle of Fontaines near Dijon in Burgundy,
1091 ; entered the Cistercian monastery of Citeaux at
the age of twenty-two, and was made Abbot of Clairvaux
in Champagne two years later. He was one of our Lady s
most faithful and devoted clients, and a great apostle of
devotion to her. He says that all the graces of God to
us pass through the hands of Mary, she being the dispenser
of His gifts to men. " Deus nos omnia habere voluit
per Mariam." He adds that there is no grace which God
will refuse at her intercession ; that all our pious senti
ments and inspirations come to us through her mediation ;
that the courage and strength we receive to practise virtue
BY XII CENTURY SAINTS 33
and overcome temptation are bestowed on us through
her ; in fine that " according to the dispensation of Divine
Providence, all the gifts which we receive from His mercy
come to us through the hands of His holy and powerful
Mother, who is, as it were, the treasurer and dispenser
of them all." His confidence in Mary s protection is
shown in the well-known prayer the " Memorare," and in
the following passage : " Why should poor weak man
fear to come to Mary ? There is nothing austere, nothing
terrible about her : she is all sweetness. Ponder the
whole course of Gospel history, and if you find in Mary
any such thing as harshness, and even the least sign of
displeasure, trust her not again and fear to draw near her.
But if you -find her to be altogether, as indeed she is, full
of a mother s tenderness and grace, full of gentleness and
mercy, give thanks unto Him Who, in the vast abundance
of His goodness, has given you such an advocate in whom
you cannot fail to trust. In fine, through the boundless
ness of her charity she hath made herself all things to
all men. i Cor. ix. 22. She openeth to all the bosom of
her mercy, that of her fulness (of charity) all may receive ;
the captive, ransom ; the sick, health ; the sorrowful,
comfort ; the sinful, pardon ; the righteous, grace ; even
Angels, gladness. She is not one who inquireth what we
have deserved ; but is to all most easy to be entreated
and most merciful ; in the breadth of her love, she hath
pity upon the needs of all." Serm. 12 de Stellis. See
Rom. Brev. May 24, lect. 4, 5.
Speaking of her as the Star of the Sea he says : " She
is the noble star of Jacob that shines in heaven illuminating
the world, inspiring souls, consuming vice and enkindling
virtue. She is the wonderful star that rises above our
wide horizon by her example and by her merit. Ye, who
are tossed on the sea of life in the midst of storms and
tempests, fix your eyes on the shining star that you may
not be engulfed in the waves. If the furies of temptation
arise, if you are assailed by tribulation and driven towards
34 MARY HONOURED
the reefs, look up to the star and call upon Mary. If
anger, avarice or temptation from the flesh assail you,
look up to Mary. If, overwhelmed by the weight of your
crimes, confused by your failings, or terrified by the fear
of God s judgments, you sink into the abyss of sadness
and despair, think of Mary. In peril, anguish and per
plexity call upon Mary. Let her name be never far from
your heart and your lips ; and that your prayers may
be rendered effectual, imitate her example. When you
follow Mary there is no straying from the way ; when
you pray to her there is no cause to despair ; if she holds
your hand you will not fall, and if she protects you there
is no need of fear. When she is your guide, you will not
fail to reach the goal, and you will learn with what truth
it was said, The name of the Virgin is Mary. Homil.
2 super Missus est. See Rom. Brev. April 26, Office B.V.M.
de Bono Consilio, lect. vii.
The concluding words of the hymn Salve Regina " O
clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary ! " are said to
have been first uttered by St. Bernard in a moment of
enthusiastic religious fervour in the cathedral of Spires.
To commemorate the event the town authorities had
these titles of our Lady engraved conspicuously on the
walls of the church, that after generations might recognize
how constant and tender was their devotion to the Mother
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XII CENTURY (cont.)
ST. THOMAS, Archbishop of Canterbury (m. 1170),
the son of Gilbert a Becket, was born in South-
wark, 1117. Henry II made him Lord High Chancellor.
Being consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1160, for
six years he defended the rights and property of the Church
against the King s tyranny, suffering exile and finally
BY XII CENTURY SAINTS 35
martyrdom. From his infancy his mother taught her
little son to fear God, and inspired him with a tender
devotion to Mary. " From his cradle," says Dr. Rock
(Church of our Fathers, hi. 297), " St. Thomas was taught
to ]ove the Virgin Mary by his own mother, who used, in
her hallowed playfulness of heart, to put her boy, while
he was yet a child, into a scale, and bestow his weight in
food, clothing and money on the poor, that she might
thereby win for her darling the prayers and protection of
Blessed Mary." Cardinal Vaughan and the Bishops of
the Province of Westminster in a letter addressed to the
Catholics of England in 1894, speaks as follows of St.
Thomas devotion to our Lady : "It was commonly
believed, and it seems to be uncontradicted, that this
beloved martyr and champion of the Church s unity was
not only one of Mary s devoutest clients, but had written
sweet and pious verses in her honour. It was probably
in his retirement at Pontigny, where his soul grew nearer
to God, and the Holy Spirit took possession of all his
powers and aspirations, that he wrote those hymns which
have been handed down to us. Two sequences of his,
one beginning Imperatrix gloriosa, and the other Hodierna
lux diei, are found in numerous Missals of the Middle
Ages all over Europe ; and had not our liturgical books
been almost utterly destroyed by the Reformers, we should
have known how popular they were in England."
St. Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln (d. 1200), was born in
Burgundy, 1135, and placed when eight years old under
the care of Canons Regular. He was ordained deacon
at the age of nineteen, being already remarkable for his
holiness of life and great austerity. Being attracted by
the severity of the Grande Chartreuse, he entered the
Carthusian Order at Grenoble, and later on was sent to
England to establish a monastery at Witham. In 1186
he was promoted to the see of Lincoln, in which position
his personal holiness, firmness of character and sweetness of
manner gave him great influence over Henry II, Richard I
36 MARY HONOURED
and John. England owes to him one of its noblest
ecclesiastical buildings, the Cathedral church of Lincoln,
dedicated by him to the Blessed Virgin. He usually spoke
of it as " the church of my dear Lady Mary, the Mother
of God." To raise this monument and make it worthy
of her whom he styled his Lady and Queen, the Saint
was ready to bestow not only his revenues, but his own
personal service. He himself worked as a labourer, and
might be seen hewing stones and carrying bricks and
mortar in the midst of a crowd of workmen. The story
is told that a cripple asked to be allowed to touch the
rough hod which the Saint had been carrying on his shoul
der, and at once obtained a miraculous cure. St. Hugh
spoke of the estates of the see of Lincoln as belonging to
" our Lady St. Mary/ and felt himself to be her repre
sentative and champion in the defence of her rights. On
arriving at Dover from the continent in his last illness,
his first thought was to hasten at once to a church, and
there celebrate Mass in our Lady s honour.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XIII CENTURY
ST. DOMINIC de Guzman (d. 1221) founded the
Order of Friars Preachers in 1215. He was born in
Old Castile in 1170, and, at the age of twenty-four, being
remarkable for holiness and apostolic zeal, was made
Canon of the Cathedral of Osma. When a student he
had sold his bcoks to feed the poor, and offered himself
in ransom for a slave. By means of the Rosary the Saint
combated the foul errors of the Albigenses, and drew down
abundant grace upon his apostolic work. He never began
his instructions without first imploring our Lady s assist
ance, and impressed upon his religious an extraordinary
devotion to this blessed Queen. In a life of the Saint by
Theodoric we read that while passing near the dormitory
BY XIII CENTURY SAINTS 37
where his brethren were sleeping (at Santa Sabina on the
Aventine, Rome) he began to pray, and suddenly our
Lady appeared to him telling him she had come to bless
the infant Order, and to show towards it a special mark
of her tenderness. On another occasion he saw in vision
his religious gathered under our Lady s wide mantle, a
sign of her maternal protection. The Saint never wearied
of preaching devotion to God s holy Mother.
St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226), founder of the Fran
ciscan Order (Friars Minor). He was born at Assisi in
1182. His baptismal name was John, but from his fami
liarity in youth with the Romance language of the trou
badours, he acquired the name of "II Francesco " (the
Frenchman). He founded his Order in 1216. l The
Saint, while in retreat on Mount Alvernia (Tuscany),
received the impression of the five bleeding Wounds in
his hands, feet and side. His heart was aflame with love
for our Lady. It was under her protection in the little
church of the Portiuncula, Assisi, that he wished to make
a trial of the sort of life which the Holy Spirit had inspired
him to embrace. Among the many pious practices which
he adopted in honour of his heavenly Patroness was that
of fasting from the vigil of St. Peter s feast until the Assump
tion. He received during his lifetime the most extraordi
nary graces in the little sanctuary above mentioned, which
has since become so renowned under the title of St. Mary
of the Angels. He was there favoured with visions of our
Lord and of His blessed Mother. Feeling his end approach
he requested to be carried into that hallowed shrine, and
died, as he had lived, full of seraphic love of Jesus and
St. Edmund of Canterbury (d. 1240). He was born
at Abingdon in Berkshire, his family name being Rich.
While still a child he learned from his pious mother Mabel
to cherish a tender devotion to the Virgin-Mother of God.
When a young student in Oxford, he went one day into
1 See Pilgrim Walks in Rome, p. 70.
3 8 MARY HONOURED
St. Mary s Church, the most frequented place of worship
in the town, and there " in the presence of his confessor,
he promised to offer and to vow his unsullied virginity
to Mary, the most chaste Mother of God, and to preserve
it all the days of his life, reciting words to this effect before
her statue. Then suddenly he rose up and placed a ring
(which he had procured for the purpose) on the finger of
the statue, saying, as he fitted it on : To thee, O most
pure Virgin of virgins, I vow, promise, and consecrate
the gift of my chastity. With this ring I plight thee my
troth, and gratefully adopt thee for my Lady and Spouse ;
that so I, a virgin, may merit the grace to serve thee a
Virgin better for the future. And on bended knees he
prayed most devoutly before the statue, as though before
the Mother of God herself ; and, pouring forth abundant
tears ... he said : O Lady, most dear to my heart,
obtain from Thy Son, my Lord, by thy prayers that I
may persevere in the service of you both, and so merit
to follow the footsteps of JBlessed John the Evangelist.
And after his prayer, when he wished to take off the ring
which he had placed on the finger of the statue, lest it
might be the cause of wonderment to the people, he was
not able to do so, though he tried in every way he could.
Whereat rejoicing he conceived the hope that the Blessed
Virgin had favourably accepted his vow." Cot. MS. f. 124.
During his studies in Oxford and in Paris, Mary s image
stood ever on his table ; and when at length after a life
of long conflict he came to die, his love of her shone out
more brightly than ever. Having received with great
joy the last Sacraments, he asked that his Crucifix, with the
figure of the Mother of Sorrows, might be brought to him.
He kissed them with inexpressible tenderness, and having
laid himself on the floor, caused them to be so placed that
his dying eyes might rest on these representations of Jesus
and Mary, and so his soul went to God. H. S. Bowden.
St. Hedwige (d. 1242), wife of Henry, Duke of Silesia.
Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was the keynote of
BY XIII CENTURY SAINTS 39
her life. Summer and winter she walked barefoot to the
church, her feet often bleeding, and knelt for hours before
the altar without leaning on any support. In honour
of Christ and His Apostles she kept always by her thirteen
poor persons, suffering from incurable diseases. She used
to carry about with her a picture of our Lady, and con
tinued to hold it tightly with three fingers of the left hand
when dying ; so that after death it could not be removed.
She was buried with it, and twenty-five years after her
death, when her grave was opened, the fingers incorrupt
still held the holy picture.
St. Hyacinth, O.P. (d. 1257), the apostle of Poland
and Russia. He had inherited from St. Dominic a child
like confidence in the Mother of God : to her he ascribed
the success of his missionary labours, and to her aid he
looked for his salvation. On the eve of her Assumption
he was warned of his coming death. In spite of a wasting
fever he celebrated Mass on the feast, and communicated
as a dying man. He was anointed at the foot of the altar
and died that very day. The story is told of him that
when he was at Kiev, the Tartars sacked the town, but
it was only as he finished Mass that the Saint heard of
the danger. Without waiting to unvest he took the
ciborium in his hands, and was leaving the church. As
he passed by a statue of Mary he heard a voice say : " Hya
cinth, my son, why dost thou leave me behind ? Take
me with thee, and leave me not in the hands of enemies."
The statue was of heavy alabaster, but when Hyacinth
took it in his arms, it became light as a reed. With the
Blessed Sacrament and the image he came to the river
Dnieper, and walked dryshod over the surface of the
waters. H. S. Bowden.
Blessed Herman Joseph (d. 1230). From his earliest
years he was a devoted client of the Mother of God. When
a little child he used to spend all his playtime in the
church at Cologne before an image of Mary. Once our
Lady is said to have stretched out her hand to take an
40 MARY HONOURED
apple which the boy offered her in pledge of his love.
Another time he saw her high up in the tribune, with the
Holy Child and St. John : he longed to join them, but
saw no way of doing so. Suddenly he found himself
raised in the air and placed by their side, where he held
sweet converse with the Infant Jesus. At the age of
twelve he entered the Premonstratensian house at Stein-
feld, and there led an angelic life of purity and prayer.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XIII CENTURY (cont.)
ST. THOMAS OF AQUIN (d. 1274). This Saint,
surnamedthe " Angel of the Schools " on account of
his angelical chastity and the purity of his doctrine, always
cherished a most affectionate devotion to the Virgin
Mother of God, who repaid his affection by many remark
able favours. He consecrated his talent to the defence
of her sublime privileges, and offered all his labours, studies,
writings to her. While at work at his desk he had con
tinually before his eyes the images of Jesus crucified and
of His blessed Mother, and he confessed to his disciples
that it was from them that he had received all his learning.
He declared some days before his death that the Mother
of God had appeared to him, and that she had always
obtained from him whatever he asked of her. Speaking
of our Lady s spotlessness he says : " The Blessed Virgin
committed no sin mortal or venial, that in her might be
fulfilled that phrase of the Canticle of Canticles, Thou
art all fair, my beloved, and there is no stain in thee.
Summa Theol. III. q. 27, a. 4. Again : " Mary never
would have been worthy to be Mother of God if she had
committed a single sin." " The Blessed Virgin being a
creature we do not owe her the cult of Latria, but we owe
BY XIII CENTURY SAINTS 41
her in a more eminent degree than to other beings (Saints
and Angels) the cult of Dulia, in that she is the Mother
of God." Summa III. q. 25. This special cult paid to
our Lady is known as Hyperdulia. See St. Bonaventure s
St. Bonaventure (d. 1274), one of the greatest of St.
Francis sons, and one of the brightest lights of his Order.
He is known as the " Seraphic Doctor " from the fervour
of divine love which breathes in his writings. He was
the friend of St. Thomas of Aquin, who asked him one
day whence he drew the wonderful thoughts that abound
in his works : the Saint replied by pointing to his Crucifix.
He wrote a long Psaltery of the Blessed Virgin full of
sweetness and devotion. Speaking of her he says : "It
is impossible that the virginity of that body wherein God
dwelt, should ever have suffered the least stain, or that
the holiness of her soul should ever have been tarnished
by the shadow of a sin." " The worship that befits Mary
is that of hyperdulia, because she possesses a dignity far
above that of the Angels and Saints, by the very fact that
she, as Mother of God, is singularly raised above other
St. Simon Stock, Carmelite (d. 1265). He was born
in the county of Kent, and left his home when he was but
twelve years of age to live as a hermit in the hollow trunk
of a tree, whence he was known as Simon of the Stock.
After twenty years of this penitential life he learnt from
our Lady that he was to join an Order not then known
in England. He waited in patience till the White Friars
came, and then entered the Order of Our Lady of Mount
Carmel. He repeatedly asked this heavenly Queen to
make known to him how he could best honour her. One
day, while in prayer before her statue, she appeared to
him bearing in her hands a scapular (such as monks wear),
which she gave him saying that this was the means by
which she would be honoured, and by it she wished her
true servants to be distinguished. She further promised
42 MARY HONOURED
that this holy habit would be a pledge of salvation to
those who wore it faithfully till death.
St. Louis of France (d. 1270). This glorious King
was animated from his very childhood with a tender
devotion towards God s blessed Mother. In order to
honour her and imitate her humility, every Saturday he
used to entertain a number of poor persons in his palace,
washing their feet and waiting on them at table. He
died on a Saturday, as he had desired, wishing to crown
by this last act all the honour he had paid to Mary on
that day during his life-time.
St. Philip Benizi (d. 1285). He was born in Florence,
and in his fifteenth year, after praying to our Lady for
light and guidance, entered the Servite Order, then recently
established. There he devoted himself wholly to Mary s
service, striving to win the approbation of the Queen of
Heaven by holiness of life and imitation of her virtues.
Being ordained Priest, he preached up and down Europe
with marvellous success under Mary s protection, his con
stant aim being to spread devotion to her Seven Dolours.
By this means he effected countless conversions, our Lady
manifestly blessing his apostolical labours. His life was
marked by great purity of heart and mind, and by the
practice of the highest virtues. He fell ill on the feast
of the Assumption, and died on the octave day.
The Seven Servite Saints (XIII Cent.), founders of
the Order. On the feast of the Assumption, 1233, seven
Florentine nobles met together, as their custom was, to
recite the Office of the Blessed Virgin. Suddenly she
appeared before them, and bade them forsake the world
for a more perfect life. At once, like the Christians of
old, they sold their goods, gave the money to the poor,
changed their senatorial robes for the simple habit of
religious, and retired to a lonely spot on Monte Senario,
some ten miles from Florence. To one of them, named
Alexis Falconieri, our Lady presented the black habit
which they were told to wear in memory of the Passion
BY XIV CENTURY SAINTS 43
of her Son. They propagated everywhere devotion to
Mary s Seven Dolours. The name " Servites " was given
to them because a child at its mother s breast, seeing them
enter Florence, cried out : " See, the servants of the
Madonna ! " H. S. Bowden.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XIV CENTURY
ST. GERTRUDE, Abbess (d. 1302). Born of a noble
Saxon family, she was placed for her education at
the age of five in the Benedictine Abbey of Rodelsdorf,
and later entered the Order, where she soon became perfect
in humility, mortification, obedience and all other religious
virtues. Her life was crowded with wonders. One
Christmas night she saw the Mother of God enter the
choir and accost each of the nuns, presenting to each her
Divine Child, whom she carried in her arms. On another
occasion our Lady allowed her to embrace the Divine
Infant, and she says she felt His little arms around her
neck, and a breath from His lips full of the sweetness of
heaven. On the feast of our Lady s Nativity, Gertrude
saw her during Mass praying for the community with
clasped hands, while Christ in answer turned towards
the nuns and blessed them with the sign of the cross,
thereby preparing them to receive more worthily the
adorable Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
St. Andrew Corsini, Bishop of Fiesole (d. 1373), a
Florentine of noble birth. His pious parents had dedi
cated him to our Lady from his birth, but at the age of
fifteen, Andrew entered the way of sinful frivolity that
leads to perdition. His mother reminded him with tears
that he had been consecrated to Mary, and this reminder
made him a Saint. Entering the Carmelite Order he
advanced rapidly in virtue, and soon became a model of
perfection. At the command of his Superiors he became
44 MARY HONOURED
a Priest, and was afterwards chosen Bishop of Fiesole,
near Florence, a dignity he strove his utmost to avoid.
Throughout his religious life he retained the warmest
devotion for Mary, his powerful protectress, whose glory
he strove to advance by every means in his power. While
praying one Christmas night in her little chapel of the
Primerana, Fiesole, he was warned by her of his approach
ing death, and on the following feast of the Epiphany
his blessed soul took its flight to heaven.
St. Catherine of Sienna (d. 1380). The daughter of
a humble tradesman, she was raised up to be the guide
and guardian of the Church in one of the most trying
periods of its history. As a child, prayer was her delight.
She would say the " Hail Mary " on each step as she
mounted the stairs, and was granted a vision of Christ
in glory. When seven years old she made a vow of per
petual chastity, and took our Lady in a special manner
as her beloved Mother. It was her wont never to com
mence any action without first recommending it to Mary ;
and with the desire of consecrating herself more closely
to her, she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic at the
age of fifteen. From that time all her thoughts, all her
hopes seemed centred in Mary, who in turn bestowed
marvellous favours on this seraphic soul.
St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373) was born of the
Swedish royal family in 1304. At ten years of age she
was most tenderly affected by a sermon on the Passion,
and thereafter the image of Christ crucified was ever
present to her soul. She relates in her revelations that
she one day obtained of God the conversion and grace
of a happy death for a great sinner, because she implored
it through the sorrows of Mary during her Son s Passion.
She also heard our Lord say that His Mother was justly
styled " Mother of Mercy," for there was no misery so
abject that she despised, no distress so great that she did
not commiserate, and incline the Divine Heart to pity.
Addressing the Saint He said : " Ask what thou wilt
BY XV CENTURY SAINT 45
through My Mother Mary, for neither thy charity nor
thy request will be rejected/ Revelations, Bk. vi. c. 33.
Blessed Henry Suso, O.P. (d. 1366), a great ascetic
of the Middle Ages. Speaking of our Lady as the comforter
of the afflicted he says : " When our heart is oppressed
with grief and fear and can find no remedy for its suffering,
we have no resource but to look upwards to the Queen
of Heaven, the Virgin Mary. In every struggle w r e are
sure to find in her both help and consolation. In truth
thou art, O Mary, the Mediatrix between sinners and thy
Divine Son ; thou art the consoler, the asylum of the
afflicted. Turn then and look with pity on me, thou
who hast never turned away thine eyes from souls in
desolation, for in thee is my hope. How many sinners,
after abandoning and denying their Lord, losing all hope,
have found refuge in thee, and, under thy protection,
returned to God s grace ! Divine virtue has made thee
so kind even to sinners that thy goodness restores us to
hope. Yes, heaven and earth shall perish before thou
art seen to abandon the miserable (beings) who pray to
thee sincerely. Truly art thou Queen and Mother of
mercy. Rise up, then, and be our Mediatrix to reconcile
us to thy Divine Son, so that, thanks to thee, He may
pardon and bring us to eternal life."
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XV CENTURY
ST. VINCENT FERRER, O.P. (d. 1419), known
as the " Angel of the Judgment." He was born
at Valencia in Spain in 1350, and at the age of eighteen
was professed in the Order of St. Dominic. His marvellous
apostolate lasted twenty-one years, countless conversions
being the fruit of his preaching wherever he went. A
tender love for the Blessed Virgin characterized him from
childhood. He strove his utmost to copy her virtues
4 6 MARY HONOURED
and please her by the great purity of his life. One day
while praying to her, the Queen of Heaven appeared to
him, and promised her protection in every assault against
his virtue. He afterwards led the life of an angel rather
than of a man, advancing as it were with winged feet in
the paths of virtue and religious perfection.
St. Bernardine of Sienna (d. 1446), one of the glories
of the Franciscan Order. From early boyhood it was his
habit to go every morning to salute a frescoed picture of
our Lady that crowned one of the gates of the town.
There, as he knelt in prayer, he committed to her maternal
care his innocence, and chose her as his Patroness and
Protectress. From her he received his vocation to the
Franciscan Order, the gift of touching the hearts of even
the most hardened sinners, and the power of working
miracles. He became the apostle of the Holy Name of
Jesus throughout Italy. Speaking of our Lady he says :
" Mary has the keys of the divine treasury, so that she
can distribute to whom she wills and as much as she wills,
the grace of the Holy Spirit." Serm. in Nativ. B.V. a. i.
Hence the oft-quoted saying, " Quod Deus imperio, tu
prece, Virgo, potes " : " What God can do by His Will,
thou, O Virgin, canst do by prayer." Hence also she is
styled " Omnipotentia supplex," i.e. " Omnipotent through
prayer," as having a power founded on divine goodness,
able to obtain any favour from her Divine Son. St.
Bernardine was born on September 8, the feast of our
Lady s Nativity, and he chose that day for receiving the
religious habit, for celebrating his first Mass, and for
preaching his first sermon. He seemed never to be able
to do enough to show his affection for her, and to spread
devotion to her.
St. Casimir, son of Casimir III, King of Poland (d.
1483). This young Saint, who died at the age of twenty-
five, was animated from his earliest years with a most
tender devotion to Mary. To her he consecrated his
innocence by a vow of chastity, and chose rather to die
BY XVI CENTURY SAINTS 47
than forfeit that treasure. He was fond of repeating the
hymn " Omni die die Mariae," etc. : " Daily, daily sing
to Mary," written, it is said, by St. Bernard, though by
some attributed to St. Casimir. He desired a copy of
it to be placed in his coffin and buried with him. Count
less miracles took place at his tomb. One hundred and
twenty-two years after his death his tomb was opened
in the cathedral of Vienna, when his body was found
incorrupt, and under his head was the hymn to our Lady.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XVI CENTURY
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA (d. 1556), the founder
of the Society of Jesus. He was always tenderly
devoted to Mary, and loved to visit her sanctuaries round
Loyola. After being seriously wounded at Pampeluna,
as he lay convalescent in his father s castle, he was favoured
with a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who obtained for
him the gift of perfect chastity, never after assailed by
temptations. The better to recall the principal events
of the life of Christ and of the Saints, he wrote copious
notes during his convalescence in a quarto volume of 300
pages, the words and actions of Christ being noted down
in bright red ink, some even in gold, those of our Lady
in bl*ie, and those of the Saints in various other colours.
In the beginning of his conversion to a perfect life, imitat
ing the knights of old, he made his " Vigil of Arms " in
Mary s sanctuary at Montserrat. On his way there, a
Moor, with whom he was travelling, began to speak dis
respectfully of our Lady, denying her perpetual virginity.
The Saint, after vainly trying to convince him, was tempted
to run him through with his sword, and could hardly
withhold himself. In jej^^Jie chose her church at Mont-
martre, there to lay the first foundations of his Society
on the feast of her Assumption. His solemn religious
4 S MARY HONOURED
profession and that of his first companions was made at
Mary s altar in St. Paul s basilica, Rome, April, 1541. It
was his desire that devotion to her should ever be~one of
the characteristic features of the Society. The first church
he secured for his Order was " Santa Maria della Strada,"
where an ancient picture of her is greatly venerated. For
long years the Saint had continually near his heart a small
picture of our Lady of Dolours, and he declared that he
had by this means obtained many graces. He was
favoured more than once with visions of the adorable
Trinity, of holy Mary and her Divine Child.
St. Francis Xavier (d. 1552). One of St. Ignatius
first companions. This great Apostle of the Indies had
a very tender devotion to the Mother of God. He pro
nounced his first religious vows in her sanctuary at Mont-
martre (Paris) on the feast of the Assumption, 1534. In
his apostolic journeys he invariably wore her Rosary
round his neck or attached to his cincture : all his sermons
and instructions he began by invoking her aid, and con
cluded with the " Salve Regina." In every difficulty he
had recourse to her, and he is said to have made a vow
to defend her Immaculate Conception. As he lay dying
in the island of Sanciano, off the coast of China, his lips,
we are told, kept murmuring " Monstra te esse Matrem,"
" Show thyself a Mother." The story is told l that a
merchant of Meliapur, about to sail for Malacca, asked
the Saint for some parting souvenir. St. Francis gave
him his rosary saying, " This will be of great service to
you, if only you have confidence in Mary." Hardly had
they w r eighed anchor, when a fearful storm arose which
dashed the ship to pieces on a rock. There appeared no
chance of safety for the crew, when suddenly the merchant,
remembering St. Francis Xavier s parting injunciion, and
trusting confidently in Mary s help, grasped his rosary in
his hand, and instantly the whole party found themselves,
how they knew not, safe on shore.
1 Month of May, by Rev. Father Beckx, SJ.
BY XVI CENTURY SAINTS 49
St. Francis Borgia (d. 1572), third General of the
Society of Jesus. He had been Duke of Gandia, Viceroy
of Catalonia, a great favourite of the Emperor Charles V,
and was a Saint amid the splendours of court-life. An
incident at the funeral of the Empress Isabella, whose
features, on opening the coffin to certify the remains as
being hers, were seen to be so terribly ravaged by death
that the sight inspired horror, made him resolve to
quit the world and all earthly vanities. He was fond of
relating that he owed his vocation in great measure to
our Lady, and throughout his religious life he preserved
the most lively gratitude for this favour. So convinced
was he that devotion to Mary is a necessary means to
arrive at religious perfection, that, when General of the
Society, he refused to admit into it some novices who
seemed cold in their devotion to her. With Pope St.
Pius V s permission, never given before, he caused copies
of our Lady s picture in St. Mary Major to be painted,
and sent to different houses of the Society. One was given
to Blessed Ignatius Azevedo, Martyr, who held it tightly
in his arms when cast into the sea by Calvinist corsairs.
Of the members of the Society of Jesus the Saint used
to say : "It would be a monstrous thing if any one were
to belong to the Society of Jesus and did not love, serve,
and revere the Mother of Jesus." Above all he expected
to find this devotion shining forth in the novices of the
Society. If a novice had a marked love for Mary, the
Saint felt sure that, no matter how many were his diffi
culties and temptations, he would persevere. If any
novice showed little practical devotion to Mary, he said
he felt convinced he would not stay in the Society.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga (d. 1591). This angelical
youth, the privileged child of Mary, was inspired to make
a vow of perpetual chastity before her altar in the church
of SSma Annunziata, Florence, when only nine years old.
A few years later, when acting as page at the court of Spain,
he received a distinct call from our Lady to enter the
50 MARY HONOURED
Society of Jesus. His mind, ever filled with loving thoughts
of Jesus and Mary, was never troubled by an impure
temptation. His greatest pleasure was to visit the sanc
tuaries of Mary, and he is said, even at the age of twelve,
to have fasted every Saturday in her honour, taking nothing
but bread and water. In all his needs he had recourse
to her, and was unwearying in his efforts to make himself
more and more pleasing to her and her Divine Son.
St. Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568). As a child he was
more like an Angel than a human being, and was so sensi
tive and pure-hearted that he would faint on hearing an
indelicate word. Twice he received Holy Communion
from an Angel, and was favoured with a wonderful vision
of the Blessed Virgin, who placed the Infant Jesus in
his arms. She bade him enter the Society of her Son.
His zeal for Mary s honour led him to make extracts from
the works of the Fathers and Saints referring to her or
in praise of her. When conversing with others he always
contrived to say something in his Mother s honour. While
kneeling before the picture of St. Mary Major in Rome
he fell into an ecstasy : and on leaving the basilica Father
Emmanuel Sa said to him : " Stanislaus, you seem to
love the Blessed Virgin very much." " Ah, yes," was
the Saint s reply, " she is my Mother. The Mother of
God is my Mother ! " His pure soul took its flight to
heaven on the feast of her Assumption, at the age of
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XVI CENTURY (cont.)
ST. CHARLES BO RROMEO, Archbishop of Milan
(d. 1584). He was the nephew of Pope Pius IV, who
created him Cardinal when only twenty-two years of age.
As Archbishop he effected wonderful reforms, restored
BY XVI CENTURY SAINTS 51
ecclesiastical discipline, founded schools and seminaries,
and proved himself a living copy of the Good Shepherd.
He felt a sort of impassioned love for his Mother Mary,
reciting her Rosary every day on his knees as well as her
Office, and fasting on the eves of all her feasts. On hearing
the Angelus bell he would fall on his knees even in the
public street, though the ground might be wet and muddy.
He established in his Cathedral church in Milan a chapel
and confraternity of the Rosary. Over the main door
of every church in the Archdiocese he caused an image
of .Mary to be placed, as a reminder to the faithful that
she is the Gate of Heaven, and that if they wished to
enter into that temple of glory, it must be through her
intercession. All the pious institutions founded by him
were dedicated to Mary, and placed under her protection.
St. Teresa (d. 1582). She was the Foundress of the
Reformed Carmelites. When a child, she had arranged
a small oratory in her father s house, where she placed
a statue of Mary and surrounded it with flowers. To this
she paid frequent visits, bringing gifts of various kinds.
At twelve years of age she had the misfortune to lose her
virtuous mother. In the intensity of her grief she ran
to prostrate herself before our Lady s image, and begged
her to be her Mother, promising to be a faithful child.
Mary watched over her constantly with loving protection.
Teresa had unbounded confidence in this Mother of Mercy,
and, when a Carmelite Superior, she placed the keys of
each convent she founded at the foot of her image, thereby
appointing her the first Superioress. Angelic hands bore
her soul heavenwards in the presence of Jesus and Mary.
Month of May for Interior Souls, 120.
St. Philip Neri (d. 1595), Founder of the Oratory
and one of the glories of the Church in the XVI Cent.
He never spoke of our Lady, but his face became radiant
with joy, those listening to him feeling something of the
warmth of his devotion imparted to them. In all his
sermons, exhortations, conferences, he had always some-
52 MARY HONOURED
thing to say in praise of this loving Mother ; and to his
penitents and all who sought his advice he warmly recom
mended devotion to her. " My children/ he would say,
" if you wish for the grace of perseverance, cultivate great
devotion to Mary." Whenever he had to deal with
hardened sinners, he recommended them to her, and
astonishing conversions were the result. He called her
his love, his joy, his consolation, and uttered these words
with such deep feeling that his hearers were frequently
moved to tears. In a serious illness our Lady appeared
to him filling him with rapturous joy ; and the physicians
and priests present beheld him raised in the air above
the bed, with his arms outstretched as though he wished
to clasp some one in their embrace. Ibid. He took a
special delight in visiting the wonder-working picture of
St. Mary Major, as well as other sanctuaries dedicated to
her in Rome. In every church or oratory built by his
children, he enjoined that a picture of the Madonna should
be placed over each altar.
St. Cajetan (d. 1547), Founder of the Theatines. He
is thought to have been the first to introduce the Forty
Hours adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as an antidote
to Calvin s heresy. He bore a most tender love for our
Blessed Lady, and his piety was well rewarded. One
Christmas night, as he knelt before the relic of the Holy
Manger in St. Mary Major, Rome, she appeared to him
and placed the Infant Jesus in his arms. She also appeared
to him at his death.
. SECTION XXI
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XVII CENTURY
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES (d. 1622). He was one
of Mary s most loving children. When a student he
was for a time a prey to the greatest anxiety concerning
his eternal salvation, and tempted almost to despair of
BY XVII CENTURY SAINTS 53
ever being admitted into heaven. In this torture of mind
he cast himself on his knees before a statue of Mary, recited
the " Memorare," and at once all his trouble of mind
vanished. He exhorted the Sisters of the Visitation to
strew spiritual flowers every morning in front of our Lady s
image the marigold by imitating her ; the heart s ease
(pansy) by always serving her ; and, above all, the lilies
and roses of purity and ardent charity ; also the violets
of humility and simplicity. In his apostolic work in the
Chablais (Switzerland), he is said to have converted 72,000
Calvinists. His sweetness of character he owed chiefly
to his devotion to her who is " our life, our sweetness,
and our hope."
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (d. 1617), a lay-Brother
of the Society of Jesus. From his childhood his love for
our Lady was remarkable. He would look for her images,
press them to his heart, kiss them with deep affection,
addressing the most fervent prayers to her, his loving
Mother. Once when a boy, he spoke thus to the Blessed
Virgin : " Dearest Mother, I know that you love me
but not as much as I love you." She replied : " What
are you saying, my child ? My love for you is far above
yours for me : as heaven is above the earth." As he
grew older his love for Mary went on increasing. In his
later years, when porter of the college at Majorca, her
Rosary was constantly in his hand ; and after his death
it was discovered that the skin of his thumb and fore
finger had become perfectly hard from the constant friction
of the beads passing through them. The Immaculate
Conception was a great object of his devotion, and he
spread copies of her little Office among the college students,
even transcribing them with his own hand. More than
once he was favoured with visions of Jesus and Mary.
St. John Berchmans, S.J. (d. 1621). This angelical
youth was one of our Lady s most loving and devoted
children. " I shall never rest," he said, " till I have
acquired a most tender love for Mary. If I love Mary, I
54 MARY HONOURED
am assured of perseverance, and shall obtain from God
all I desire." He made a vow to defend always the doc
trine of her Immaculate Conception, 1 and wrote it out,
signing it with his own blood. His greatest delight was
to converse on the glories of Mary ; and the better to do
this, he had enriched his memory with beautiful passages
from the writings of the Saints in praise of the Queen
of heaven. He always wore her rosary round his neck
as though it were a precious relic, and was heard to say
that he had three treasures with which he wished to die,
viz., his crucifix, rosary and rule-book. He had the con
solation of dying with these cherished objects clasped in
his hands. To one who visited him in his last illness he
said : "I love Mary ; I have always loved her ; I have
a firm hope of eternal life relying on her protection." To
another who asked him if he loved our blessed Lady very
much, he replied : " Ah, yes ! I love her with my whole
heart, and if I had a thousand hearts, I would love her
with them all."
St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (d. 1607), a Carmelite
nun in Florence. The Queen of heaven often appeared
to her encircled with glory, and taught her how to make
herself acceptable to Jesus crucified. For two years she
was assailed by most painful temptations, being finally
delivered by our Lady who covered her with a white veil.
Her very presence seemed to breathe the sweetness of
holy purity, diffusing a heavenly fragrance that excited
others to love the angelical virtue. She was favoured
with many remarkable visions and revelations. On our
Lady s feasts she felt herself caught up, as it were, into
heaven : she was also permitted to share some of the pangs
of Mary at the foot of the cross, by suffering acute bodily
St. Andrew Avellino (d. 1608), a holy priest, a glory
of the Theatine Order. His baptismal name was Lancelot,
which he changed to Andrew out of devotion to St. Andrew
1 Defined^by the Church as an article of faith in 1854.
BY XVII CENTURY SAINTS 55
and to show his love of the cross. His mortifications
were wonderful. In his old age nothing could prevent
him from saying Mass every day, in spite of acute sufferings,
being at times so weak and exhausted that he could scarcely
reach the altar. One day, while reciting the Psalm Judica
at the foot of the altar, he fell forward in a fit of apoplexy
and was carried into the sacristy. In his last illness he
was severely assaulted by Satan, but protected by Mary,
whom he had deeply and constantly loved ; and, with
a grateful salutation to her image, he breathed forth his
soul to God.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XVII CENTURY (cont.)
^T. JOHN FRANCIS REGIS, SJ. (d. 1640). His
very childhood was marked by ardent love for Mary,
and, when still a boy, he hastened to join one of the Sodalities
founded in her honour. His constant effort was to make
himself more and more pleasing to his heavenly Mother.
Being admitted into the Society of Jesus, his devotion
received a fresh impulse, and he sought every opportunity
of kindling a deep love for her in others, especially in the
hearts of the young. Later on, during his wonderful
missionary life in France, he was never tired of preaching
about her, her name being ever on his lips, his zeal in her
cause unwearying. In his dying moments he was aided
and consoled by a vision of Jesus and Mary, who came
to lead his soul to eternal rest. 1
JSt. Jane Frances de Chantal (d. 1641), Foundress
with St. Francis de Sales of the Order of the Visitation.
Being left an orphan while still a child, she found a tender
and most affectionate Mother in Mary. In the married
state as a lady of the world, she led the life of a Saint, and
it was part of her devotion to recommend herself, her
1 Rev. P. Beckx, S.J., Month of May.
56 MARY HONOURED
household, and all her affairs to the Blessed Virgin. Be
sides other prayers to Mary, she bound herself by vow
to recite the Rosary every day. As a Religious Superior
she urged her subjects to do all they could to give pleasure
and honour to holy Mary. On our Lady s feasts she
would join the novices and other Sisters in singing the
" Magnificat " and " Ave Maris Stella " before a picture
of her loving Protectress.
St. Peter Claver, S.J. (d. 1654). This great apostle
of the negroes in South America triumphed over the most
painful and humiliating labours by the help of Mary s
protection. Thousands of poor negroes sunk in a degraded
state of body and soul he converted and made children
of God, teaching them to look up to and seek help from
Jesus spotless Mother. One of the means he adopted
to sustain his courage was to wear near his heart a little
book containing representations of the mysteries of our
Lady s life : these he frequently contemplated and made
the subject of his constant meditations.
St. Vincent de Paul (d. 1660), Founder of the Lazarists
(Vincentians) and Sisters of Charity. He was one of the
most wonderful of modern Saints. When a captive of
the Mahommedans in Tunis, he consoled himself by singing
the praises of the Blessed Virgin. To her he owed his
liberty. Wherever he might be, even if conversing with
a prince, at the sound of the Angelus bell he would fall
down on his knees and recite the prayer with the greatest
fervour. To promote devotion to her was the great ambi
tion of his life, and he impressed upon his children, the
members of his Congregation, that they were to consider
themselves Mary s apostles and defenders, as well as
imitators of her virtues. By this means, he assured them,
their labours for the conversion of sinners would be blessed
with abundant fruit.
Blessed John Eudes (d. 1680), Founder of the Eudists
and Good Shepherd nuns. This great servant of God
was the first to make the devotion to the Pure Heart of
By XVIII CENTURY SAINTS 57
Mary public. He frequently preached upon it, established
several religious societies that are pledged to promote it,
and obtained permission for a feast in its honour in several
dioceses. It was not until the year 1855 that the Con
gregation of Rites finally sanctioned the Office and Mass
of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, but without imposing
them on the Universal Church. Blessed John wrote his
great work on this subject entitled Le Cceur Admirable
de la Tres Sainte Mere de Dieu, which first appeared at
Caen in 1681. It has recently been reprinted in three
volumes, and is a glorious monument of the burning love
of an enraptured soul.
Blessed Bernardine Realino, S.J. (d. 1616), was sent
by our Lady to the Society of Jesus, and favoured by her
with apparitions, on one occasion receiving the Divine
Infant into his arms. For sixty-two years he laboured
in the town of Lecce in Italy, where all revered him as
a Saint. He was often seen during prayer with a coun
tenance radiant with light ; and sometimes bright rays
shone from his whole body. He lived in closest union
with Jesus and Mary.
MARY HONOURED BY SAINTS OF THE XVIII CENTURY
ST. FRANCIS JEROME, S.J. (d. 1716), the Apostle
of Naples and Central Italy. Full of the deepest
veneration and love for holy Mary, he made it his constant
aim to inspire others with the same sentiments. For
the space of twenty-two years he preached every Thursday
on our Lady s privileges in one of the Neapolitan churches
dedicated to her. He was extremely zealous in spreading
devotion to her among the young, considering it the most
powerful means of shielding their innocence, and of reclaim
ing the wanderer. He was wont to say that it was next
to impossible for any one to attain real holiness who was
5 8 MARY HONOURED
cool in devotion to her. On his missions he always had
a picture of her placed in view of his hearers, that he might
by her intercession ensure the Divine blessing on his labours,
and lead those listening to him to Jesus through Mary.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori (d. 1787), Founder of the
Congregation of the Redemptorists, an enthusiastic client
of Mary, and a true apostle of devotion to her. He is
said to have preserved through her protection his baptismal
robe unsullied. From his earliest years Mary was the
object of his tenderest affection, and, as time went on,
his love for her grew stronger and stronger. " The world,
he said, owes its Redemption to Jesus, but also in some
sense to Mary : for if Jesus is the fount, Mary is the channel
of every grace." His love for her prompted him to write
his golden book on The Glories of Mary. Out of devotion
he fasted every Saturday, and on the eves of all her feasts ;
constantly wore the rosary round his neck ; and made a
vow to recite it daily, as also to preach frequently on her
greatness and mercy. Full of zeal for her honour he wrote
a treatise in defence of the Immaculate Conception long
years before it was denned as an article of Faith, and
summed up the various arguments in favour of its being
so denned. Speaking of our Lady he says with great
feeling : " Let us listen to the voice of our Mother encour
aging us to become like little children, to keep near her
and call upon her in our necessities. Si quis est parvulus
veniat ad me. Prov. ix. 4. Little children cry per
petually to their mother, especially when they fear danger,
Mother, Mother ! Ah, sweet Mary, tender Mother,
that is what thou wishest us to do, that, as thy children,
we should call upon thee to help us in all our dangers ;
for thou wilt certainly protect and save us, as thou hast
always done when thy children have turned to thee."
Glories of Mary, chap. i.
St. Leonard of Port Maurice, O.S.F. (d. 1751). This
Saint, a fervent sodalist of our Lady from his boyhood,
wrote a wonderful letter, as though inspired by a spirit
BY XVIII CENTURY SAINTS 59
of prophecy, in which he expressed his longing desire to
see the great truth of the Immaculate Conception denned
by the Church, foretelling the advent of great blessings
for the time when the Holy See should deem it suitable
to pronounce the definition. He established in Rome a
Confraternity of the Lovers of Jesus and Mary, one of the
religious exercises being to make regularly every week
the Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum, and to bring
as many as possible to join in the devotion.
de Montfort (d. 1716). He was a
zealous promoter of devotion to Mary, regarding it as a
great means to sanctity. If practised with fervour he
felt sure, he said, it would cause saints to arise in the
Church. " All perfection (sanctity) consists in our being
conformed to and united with our Divine Saviour. The
most perfect devotion is that which consecrates us to
Him. Now of all creatures Mary is the most conformed
to our Divine Lord : therefore it follows that devout
imitation of her will make us most like to Him ; and the
more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more devoted it
will be to our Lord." He urges Catholics to call themselves
and become the slaves of Mary, consecrating themselves
in body and soul to her, that she may present us to Jesus
Christ. He enumerates the Saints and other holy persons
who have made themselves slaves of Mary, among them
being St. Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, about the year 1040.
On this form of devotion, see Petitalot, 390, note.
Blessed Crispin of Viterbo (d. 1750). He was a
Capuchin lay-Brother, known as " the Apostle of Mary."
With the oil from the lamp, which he kept burning before
her image, or flowers from her altar he wrought marvellous
cures. It was commonly said that the oil and flowers of
Brother Crispin did more good than all the doctors medi
cines. Frequently employed to gather alms for his con
vent, he would teach Christian doctrine to children in
the streets, as also little hymns which he himself had
composed in Mary s honour.
60 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED BY THE POPES
ST. CALLIXTUS I (218 to 223) built the church of
S. Maria in Trastevere not long before his martyrdom.
Julius I rebuilt it on a larger scale in 340, and this Julian
basilica was restored and adorned with frescoes by John
VII (705-707). This is the first, the most ancient church
of our Lady in Rome. The historian Lampridius relates
that during the Pontificate of Callixtus I the Christians
were in possession of a place of assembly in Trastevere
(the part of Rome west of the Tiber), their right to which
was disputed by the corporation of popinarii, or tavern-
keepers. The question was brought before the Emperor
Alexander Severus who decided in favour of the Christians,
saying that it was better that God should be worshipped
there, in whatever fashion it might be, than that the
place should be given over to revelry. Pilgrim Walks in
St. Liberius (d. 366) consecrated the original church
of St. Mary Major, Rome, known as " Our Lady of the
Snow " from a miraculous fall of snow in August (the
hottest month of the year), the site and dimensions of
the future building being found traced thereon. The
story will be found in the Roman Breviary, August 5,
and in Pilgrim Walks in Rome, 107.
Sixtus III (d. 440) rebuilt this basilica, as the original
edifice was found to be too small for the crowds flocking
to it ; intending also that it should serve as a memorial
of the great Council of Ephesus (held in 430) and of the
vindication of our Lady s title of " Mother of God " against
Nestorius. Pilgrim Walks in Rome, 108.
St. Hilary I (d. 467) and St. Gelasius (d. 496) are
said to have instituted the feast of our Lady s Purification
with a view to suppressing the indecent games of the
B.Y THE POPES 61
St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) had the picture of
our Lady St. Mary Major carried in a public procession
through the streets of Rome to obtain a cessation of the
plague. Pilgrim Walks, 112.
St. Boniface IV (d. 615) purified the Pantheon, Rome,
denied by Pagan worship, and consecrated it under the
title of " Our Lady of Martyrs." Ibid. 342.
St. Leo IV (d. 855) " in order to exterminate the pesti
lential monster of Saracenism, whose look and breath
had infected Rome and filled her streets with dead, added
an octave to the ancient feast of the Assumption." Father
Segneri, S.J., Devout Client of Mary. Note. The
Saracen invasion of Rome occurred in 846.
Urban II (d. 1099), desirous of raising a bulwark to
withstand the flood of Turkish invasion, ordered Priests
and clerics to recite daily the Office of the Blessed Virgin.
Father Segneri, Ibid.
Gregory IX (d. 1241), to free the Church from the
oppression of the Emperor Frederick, commanded all the
faithful to invoke our Lady s protection three times every
day at the sound of the Angelus bell. Father Segneri, Ibid.
Innocent IV (d. 1254) chose Mary as the Church s
protectress against the fierce persecution of Frederick II,
and added an Octave to the feast of her Nativity. Baro-
Boniface IX (d. 1404), seeking to heal the wounds of
the Church, whose unity had been rent by a schism
of several years, instituted the feast of the Visitation.
Paul II (d. 1471) in the scandals and troubles of that
calamitous period had recourse to our Lady s protection,
and decreed that the festival of her Presentation in the
Temple should be celebrated with special solemnity through
out the Church. Segneri.
Sixtus IV (d. 1484), in fulfilment of a vow he had
made for the restoration of peace and concord among
Christian princes, erected in Rome the church of S. Maria
62 MARY HONOURED
della Pace (" Our Lady of Peace "). See Pilgrim Walks
in Rome, 359. He also approved of the feast of the Im
maculate Conception (1476), and granted indulgences for
assisting at Mass on that day.
St. Pius V (d. 1571), to save Christendom from the
power of the Ottomans, urged all the faithful to appeal
earnestly to our Lady by the devout recitation of the
Rosary. Segneri. After the battle of Lepanto he insti
tuted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.
Gregory XIII (d. 1585), after several victories over
the Turks obtained through Mary s intercession, appointed
the feast of " Help of Christians " to be kept every year,
It replaced the feast of Our Lady of Victory.
Gregory XV (d. 1623) forbade any one to speak or
write against our Lady s Immaculate Conception.
Pius VII (d. 1823), after having been kept for five years
in a most humiliating captivity by Napoleon Buonaparte,
attributed his deliverance and return to Rome to our
Lady s intercession (1814), and in thanksgiving crowned
our Lady of Savona, and gave new sanction to the feast
of " Our Lady, Help of Christians."
Pius IX (d. 1878) defined as of faith the dogma of
Mary s Immaculate Conception in 1854, to the great joy
of the whole Catholic world.
Leo XIII (d. 1903) in the Church s trials and neces
sities ordered the Rosary to be recited in all churches
every day during the month of October.
Pius X (d. 1914) confirmed what his predecessor had
prescribed regarding the October devotion of the Rosary.
N.B. The Popes and the doctrine of the Immaculate
Conception. (See 77, 78.)
BY ENGLISH CARDINALS 63
MARY HONOURED BY ENGLISH CARDINALS
CARDINAL WISEMAN. His sermons on our Lady
V_x (xv,, xvi.) abound with beautiful thoughts that
show how deeply he loved this glorious Virgin.
Cardinal Newman has written with tenderest feelings
and matchless eloquence on " The Glories of Mary for
the sake of her Son," No. 17 of Discourses to Mixed Con
gregations. His Difficulties of Anglicans, vol. II, contains
striking passages concerning the Belief of Catholics in
our Lady (a) as the Second Eve, pp. 31-44 ; (b) in her
Immaculate Conception, pp. 44-50 ; (c) in her dignity
and exaltation, pp. 50-61 ; (d) in her title of Theotokos,
pp. 62-67 ; (e) in her intercessory power, pp. 68-76 ;
(/) on Devotion of Catholics to her, pp. 77-88 ; (g) on
excesses in devotion : see Answers to Dr. Pusey, pp. 89-118.
Cardinal Vaughan, in his work The Young Priest,
p. 44 seq., writes as follows : "A Paradise of great beauty
and perfection had been created for the Angels. A Para
dise was created for our first parents, a garden of delights
proportioned to their nature. A Paradise was also created
for the Incarnate Son of God. Mary most holy. It was
measurable not by her physical limitations, but by the
magnitude and multitude of her spiritual endowments.
In the moment of her Immaculate Conception the germ
of the fulness of every grace and virtue was laid within
her. In the exquisite and entrancing beauty of her
sanctity she approached nearer to God than any one that
had ever come from His creative Hand. She was a vast
spiritual kingdom, a world of heavenly grace and loveli
ness, so spacious that the Word moved at ease within her
realms of light, rejoicing in a Paradise which He had
made worthy of Himself, the masterpiece of all creation.
" Mary was far more to Jesus than an earthly taber
nacle, more than a natural mother to bear and nurse Him.
64 MARY HONOURED
She was bound up with His life, and the lifelong companion
of His sacerdotal mission, from its beginning and ordina
tion in her womb to its consummation in the Sacrifice of
" At the Annunciation the angel had declared that she
was not only possessed of the fulness of grace, gratia plena,
but that the Lord Himself was with her, Dominus tecum,
an expression truly without significance had it only meant
that He was with her as He is with all the souls of the
just, or as He is everywhere present in creation. It meant
that the Lord had become united to her by a new relation
ship, contracted with the Three Divine Persons, a relation
ship altogether singular and special to herself. A unique
and personal alliance had been entered into, and God
became related to Mary as a son to a mother. No more
intimate union is to be found than that between God
and the soul of Mary, except only the union between the
two natures in Christ, and the unity of the Three Divine
Persons. The consequences of this union of God with
Mary are ever flowing as a river of wealth and refreshment
through the whole spiritual order of existence, until they
reach their ultimate results, of which we men are the
enriched and blessed gainers. Mary is the Queen of the
Universe, while her Son is its Lord. She is the happy
Eve and Mother of the new creation, He its second Adam
and its Father."
MARY HONOURED BY RELIGIOUS ORDERS
T) ENEDICTINES (founded 563), the first and chief
J3 monastic Order of the Western Church. The
honour of the first celebration of the feast of the Immacu
late Conception in the Western Church is thought to
belong to the English Benedictine Monks of Winchester,
disciples of the Saxon St. Ethelwold. In a manuscript
BY RELIGIOUS ORDERS 65
calendar still extant, said to have been written in the
monastery of Newminster at Winchester between the
years 1034 and 1057, there is inscribed in the original
hand under the 8th of December : Conceptio Sanctae Dei
Genitricis Mariae. Another calendar of the Cathedral
Priory at Winchester, belonging to about the year 1030,
has the same entry. After a few years the feast seems
to have waned, and its renewal was mainly due to the
influence of the younger Anselm, nephew of the Saint.
See Ave Maria Magazine, December, 1901. Article by
Dom.C. Edmonds, O.S.B. St. Anselm, O.S.B., Arch
bishop of Canterbury (d. 1109), famous for his devotion
to Mary, is generally credited with having (publicly)
established the feast in the West. The Winchester calendar
possibly referred to a private feast kept in certain Bene
Carthusians (founded 1086), an austere Order founded
by St. Bruno in a desert valley of the Alps near Grenoble,
and known as "La Chartreuse." Its religious consider
themselves the special children of Mary, to whom St.
Bruno had consecrated his Order, and honour her daily
by special religious exercises. The first chapel erected
in the solitude of Grenoble was dedicated in 1085 by St.
Bruno to the honour of the Blessed Virgin, and was known
as " Our Lady of the Cells." It became a frequent place
of pilgrimage, and here for long centuries the monks sang
the praises of the Most High. Besides the Divine Office
each monk was expected to recite the Office of our Lady
Cistercians (founded 1098), an austere reform of the
Benedictine Order instituted by St. Robert, Abbot of
Molesme, who withdrew with twenty-one religious to a
solitude known as " Citeaux " in the diocese of Chalons
sur Soane, and there built a celebrated monastery in honour
of our Lady. Nearly all the monasteries of the Order
are dedicated to her. (See 32.) St. Bernard (d.
1153) entered Citeaux not long after its foundation, and
66 MARY HONOURED
his ardent devotion to Mary has descended as a rich heir
loom in the Order.
Premonstratensians (f. 1119). An Order of Canons
Regular founded by St. Norbert, as directed by a
revelation from our Lady. Devotion to her has
ever been a very marked characteristic of its mem
Dominicans (f. 1216). The devotion of the Rosary,
so fruitful of marvellous results in the salvation of souls,
has ever been one of the great means used by the Friars
Preachers for the benefit of the Church, and the gaining
souls to Christ. In the XIII Cent, the question was
agitated whether the Blessed Virgin had been conceived
without original sin or not. A number of schoolmen on
the authority of Peter Lombard, Master of the Sentences
(d. 1164), and of St. Bernard himself, adopted the view
contrary to this privilege of Mary. (On St. Bernard and
the Immaculate Conception see 77.) St. Thomas of
Aquin (d. 1274) and Albert the Great (d. 1280) his master,
are said to have supported the same opinion ; but the
teaching of St. Thomas, the Prince of Theologians, is not
clear. In his Commentary on the Book of the Sentences
and other works of his youth he openly favoured the
doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Franciscans (f. 1216). The Seraphic school of this
Order have ever considered the defence of our Lady s
Immaculate Conception as a family inheritance. The
cause, opposed by theologians of another Order, triumphed
when John Duns Scotus (d. 1308), a Franciscan, in a
solemn disputation held before the theological Faculty
of Paris by order of the Pope and in presence of his legate
in 1307, proved convincingly with unanswerable arguments
that the Blessed Virgin was ever free from the stain of
original sin. (See 77.) He spoke with such eloquence,
and answered the objections with such force that the
Faculty, of which several famous Doctors had previously
embraced the contrary view, declared itself for the opinion
BY RELIGIOUS ORDERS 67
defended by Duns Scotus, and conferred on him the title
of Doctor Subtilis.
Servites (f. 1233). The Servants of Mary, founded in
the XIII Cent, by seven Florentine Saints, who were
directed by our Lady to practise and spread devotion to
her Seven Dolours, are among our Lady s most zealous
and devoted children and apostles.
Carmelites. The devotion of the Brown Scapular,
revealed by our Lady to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite
religious, belongs especially to this Order, which in other
ways has proved itself one of the foremost of religious
bodies in spreading the honour and cultus of Mary. St.
Teresa and St. John of the Cross were the founders of
the Reformed Carmelites.
Augustinians or Austin Friars (f. 1278), an Order
originally of hermits, but now following the rule of St.
Augustine. Their great devotion is to our Lady of Good
Counsel, her miraculous picture being greatly revered at
Genezzano, Italy (see Pilgrim Walks, 473), and copies of
it spread throughout the world.
Redemptorists (f. 1732), Congregation of the most
Holy Redeemer, founded by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
His extraordinary devotion to Mary has descended to his
children, and is their cherished inheritance. In their
missions to the people the Redemptorist Fathers, true
apostles of Mary, are most zealous in spreading everywhere
devotion to this good Mother. Our Lady of Perpetual
Succour is one of their special devotions. On this picture
see Pilgrim Walks in Rome, 118.
Passionists (f. 1746). The sons of St. Paul of the
Cross have inherited from him an enthusiastic love for
Mary. The novice-master of Blessed Gabriel dell Addo-
lorata, present at the latter s beatification in 1908, being
asked for some special characteristic of the young Beato s
sanctity, replied that as he possessed all virtues in perfec
tion, it would be hard to single out any one as more promi
nent than another : one remarkable trait, however, he
68 MARY HONOURED
might mention, viz. a passionate devotion to the blessed
The other Religious Orders and Congregations, both
of men and women, Vincentians, Eudists, Canons Regular
of the Lateran, Marists, Oratorians, Salesians, and the
rest, vie with each other which shall do most to honour
and spread devotion to Jesus loving Mother.
The Military Orders acknowledged Mary as their
Queen and Mistress, and bore the sword in one hand and
the rosary in the other. The Knights Templar swore to
defend even to the loss of life, the mysteries of the Faith,
the seven Sacraments the perpetual Virginity of Mary.
The Military Orders of Spain, viz. those of Calatrava, of
Alcantara, of St. James, made a vow to defend the doctrine
of the Immaculate Conception. The Knights of Malta
and Rhodes also pledged themselves to defend Mary s
MARY HONOURED BY THE SOCIETY OF JESUS
ON the devotion to Mary of the Saints of the Society,
see above, 19, 21, 22, 23.
It would seem, according to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez,
the holy Jesuit lay-Brother, that one of the objects of the
Institution of the Society was to defend the Immaculate
Conception. In the life of the Saint written by Father
Mathew Marimon, S.J. (Bk. 7, 49), we have the following
passage : " Alphonsus happened one day, while in recrea
tion with the community, to hear of the objection which
some good people were urging against this glorious privi
lege of his Queen and Sovereign. The question turned
on the theses that the Religious of a certain Order had
posted up and intended to defend in a public act against
the Immaculate Conception. Alphonsus became so excited
BF SAINTS, SJ. 69
that he surprised us all by the zeal and fervour he dis
played in defence of this privilege. He stood up, and
stretching forth his arm, his eyes raised to heaven, in a
loud voice he exclaimed : Let no one attack the Mother
of God, for, although she is so kind, and gentleness and
sweetness itself, she has a Son exceedingly jealous of His
Mother s honour, and numbers of Angels, who well know
how to defend their Queen and avenge (any denial of) the
purity of her origin/ Then he added that one of the
reasons why God had sent the Society into the world was
to teach and defend this truth in Holy Church/ Seeing
him speak with such animation, one of the Fathers present
said to him : Brother Rodriguez, how do you know that
God has sent the Society into the world to defend the
Immaculate Conception of our Lady ? He replied : I
know it for certain : and again lifting up his hand and
eyes to heaven, he added : It is from there above, from
on high that I learnt it ; and if Father Rector will give
me leave I will go and proclaim this in the streets of
Father Goldie in his life of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, p.
351, writes : " Certain it is (a) that the Founder of the
Society of Jesus bound himself by vow to defend the
doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, as St. Francis
Xavier, St. Francis Borgia, and St. John Berchmans did
after him. (b) Father James Laynez attributed to his
invocation of our Lady under the title of Immaculate,
the power he received, in spite of an attack of quartan
ague, to speak at the Council of Trent, and that with such
force as to obtain from the assembled Fathers an important
concession in favour of the doctrine. 1 (c) The last clause
of the Decrees of the Fifth Session on Original Sin/ which
refuses to include Mary under the law common to all
humanity, owes its existence to the learned arguments
of Laynez. (d) The same doctrine was defended in the
1 He is said to have spoken at the Council for three consecutive
hours on the Immaculate Conception,
70 MARY HONOURED
very first public theses of the Roman College, (e) Its
defence was imposed by oath on all graduates of St. Francis
Borgia s University of Gandia. (/) Its defence was under
taken by Suarez in his theological works ; and finally,
in 1594, was ordered by the Fifth General Congregation
of the Society to be taught by all its theologians."
The Society, which came into existence only in the
middle of the sixteenth century, vied nobly with the
Franciscans in upholding the doctrine of Mary s Immacu
late Conception, Bellarmine, Suarez, de Lugo, Salazar,
Petavius (Petau), Lossada and others being among its
chief supporters and defenders.
Books innumerable have been written by the Society
on our Lady s privileges, the best known being those of
Blessed Peter Canisius, Fathers Arias, Barradas, Viegas,
Tursellini, Bruno, Spinelli, Segneri, Poire, and the works
of the great Jesuit theologians above-mentioned.
The first church owned by the Society was Santa Maria
della Strada, Rome. Cardinal Baronius bore public
testimony to the remarkable fervour in the frequentation
of the Sacraments as seen in this church. At the time
yearly Communion had been thought sufficient by the
majority of Catholics.
Venerable Father Guttierez, S. J., in a vision vouchsafed
to him saw our Lady protecting with her mantle the
children of the Society (Ven. Fr. Louis de Ponte, Life of
Father Balthasar Alvarez, c. 27), a vision similar to that of
St. Dominic related above.
On the establishment of the Sodality B.M.V. by a member
of the Society, and on the May devotions originating in
the Society, see 68.
On our Lady and the Society see Father Drive, Marie
et la Compagnie de Jesus.
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 71
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND
i. England her Dowry. The Ancient Faith
N a touching address on devotion to the Blessed Virgin,
Dr. Bilsborrow, former Bishop of Salford, reminded
his hearers that ever since the introduction of Christianity
into this island, Englishmen had practised this devotion
with a sincerity of conviction and a fervour of piety not
surpassed by any other nation in the world. " For upwards
of 1500 years, he said, it was interwoven with the woof
and web of their lives, and mingled with all their thoughts
and duties to God. In no country of the world, perhaps,
were there more numerous sanctuaries, more miraculous
images, more celebrated shrines of our Lady than in old
Catholic England. In fact it so rilled the imagination of
the architect, inspired the chisel of the sculptor, guided
the brush of the painter, and welled up in the heart of
every Christian in the land, that England became known
amongst the nations of the earth by the beautiful title
of the Dowry of Mary."
i. The Dowry of Mary. In 1893 Pope Leo XIII,
addressing a number of English pilgrims conducted by
the Duke of Norfolk and presented to His Holiness by
Cardinal Vaughan, spoke of Catholic England as having
" acquired the singular and honourable title of Mary s
Dowry." DosMariaeis the title claimed for England in
Latin documents of the XV Cent., meaning a land
specially given and consecrated to our Lady. In the year
1399 (the date of Richard II s deposition and Henry IV s
accession), Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury,
wrote these words : " The contemplation of the great
mystery of the Incarnation has drawn all Christian nations
to venerate Her from whom came the first beginnings of
our Redemption. But we English, being the servants of
her special inheritance and her own Dowry, as we are
72 MARY HONOURED
commonly called, ought to surpass others in the fervour
of our praises and devotions/
An idea of the wonderful devotion to her in old England
may be gathered from the following verses in her honour
written in the XII or XIII Cent. The spelling is
" Christ s meek Mother, Saint Marye !
My life s light, my beloved Ladye !
To thee I bow and bend my knee,
And all my heart s blood I offer thee.
Thou art my soul s light, my heart s bliss,
My life, my hope, my safety therewith !
" I ought to honour thee with all my might,
And sing thy praise by day and night :
For thou hast holpen me in many ways,
And brought me out of hell l to Paradise.
I thank thee for it, my beloved Ladye,
And will thank thee while I live."
An old prayer to our Lady by the monk Elmham (in
the reign of Henry V, 1413-1422) contains the words :
" Save thy people, O Lady, and deliver thy Dowry from
the pestilence of death." This possibly refers to the
heresy of Sir John Oldcastle (Lord Cobham) and the
Lollards. That Henry V consecrated his kingdom to our
Lady is certain, though he was riot the first to do this.
See Father Bridgett, Dowry of Mary.
During the reign of James I (d. 1625), a paper, now in
the British Museum, was discovered giving an account
of a picture known to have been in the church of St. Thomas
Hospital, Rome, and described as a very ancient picture.
It portrays a King and Queen kneeling and presenting
the Island of Britain to Mary, saying : " Dos tua, Virgo
pia, haec est, quare rege Maria," i.e. " This is thy Dowry,
O loving Virgin, wherefore rule it " (take it under thy
guidance). The King is supposed to be Richard II (d.
I 399), with his Queen, Anne of Bohemia.
1 I.e., out of the state of sin deserving hell.
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 73
Note. It is thought to have been on occasion of the
putting down of the Wat Tyler insurrection under Richard
II (1378) that England was first publicly consecrated by
the King to Mary, for the monarch went to Westminster,
and there placed himself and his Kingdom under her
Another picture, discovered in 1800 behind the wains
coting in that part of the House of Commons which was
formerly St. Stephen s Chapel, represents King Edward
III (d. 1377) with his Queen Philippa and children doing
homage to our Lady and Child. (See 49.)
2. The Ancient Faith of England
(a) in the Immaculate Conception. Because of
her sublime dignity as Mother of God, the English of
Saxon days could never bring themselves to entertain the
thought that she was ever tainted with the slightest stain
of sin. Thus in a MS. called the Book of Cerne, now in
the University Library at Cambridge, which belonged to
Ethel wold, Bishop of Sherbourne in 760, we read the
following prayer : " Holy Mother of God, Virgin ever
blest, glorious and noble, chaste and inviolate ; O Mary
Immaculate, chosen and beloved of God, endowed with
singular sanctity, worthy of all praise, thou who art the
advocate for the sins of the whole world : Oh, listen,
listen to us, O holy Mary. Pray for us, intercede for
us, disdain not to help us. For we are confident and
know for certain that thou canst obtain all thou wiliest
from thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, the
King of Ages, who liveth with the Father and the Holy
Ghost for ever and ever. Amen/
(b) In the Divine Motherhood. At the Council of
Hatfield, held A.D. 680, the Anglo-Saxon Church embraced
and proclaimed the Decrees of the Council of Lateran
(A.D. 649), one of which runs thus : "If any one shall
not confess, in accordance with the teaching of the Holy
Fathers, that the holy and ever- Virgin and immaculate
Mary is properly and truly the Mother of God Who
74 MARY HONOURED
before all ages was born of the Father let him be ana
thema." Canon Connelly : England and the Blessed Virgin,
(c) In her Perpetual Virginity. Equally clear and
definite were they on the doctrine of the Perpetual Vir
ginity of Mary, the counterpart and necessary consequence
of her Divine Maternity ; for in the Decree just quoted
they salute her as " the holy and ever- Virgin and immacu
late Mary, (who), without union with man, but of the
Holy Ghost conceived God Himself, the Word, and brought
Him forth without corruption, retaining indissolubly her
virginity, even after the birth." Ibid.
(d) In her Assumption. St. Anselm, Archbishop of
Canterbury, preaching in the XI Cent, on a feast of
the Assumption, says, speaking of Mary : "No longer is
She solicitous how to serve Him as a Child, for all the
hierarchies of the Angels serve Him as their Lord. No
longer is she troubled flying with Him into Egypt from
the face of Herod ; for He has ascended into Heaven,
and Herod has gone down into hell before His face. No
longer is she disturbed on account of the many things the
Jews did against Him; for all things are now subject to
Him. And now Mary herself is exalted above the choirs
of Angels ; now all her desire is fulfilled ; she sees God
face to face as He is, and rejoices with her Son for ever.
This is the best part which shall not be taken from her.
May we be partakers of it by her merits and her prayers,
through her Son Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth
with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost for
ever and ever. Amen."
St. Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherbourne, in some verses
written about A.D. 690, speaks of the festival of our Lady s
Assumption kept in August, as commemorative of her
Nativity, i.e. her (heavenly) birthday. See The Month,
August, 1917, p. 132,
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 75
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND (cont.)
2. Ancient Devotions
WHAT our forefathers believed with regard to the
Blessed Virgin may be summed up in one
sentence : " Mary is the Mother of God."
1. The Marye Mass. Every village church, however
small, had its altar in honour of the Blessed Virgin. In
the Cathedrals and stately Minsters, behind the choir
and High Altar was the Lady Chapel, to the extreme
east, symbolizing her as the Morning Star that heralded
the coming day. In old Catholic days a special Mass
was offered to God every day, in almost every church and
chapel throughout the land, in honour of the Blessed
Virgin. " It was celebrated at early dawn with the utmost
solemnity, with organ and choristers, chanting the sweetest
and most touching music of those times." Dr. Rock,
Church of our Fathers.
This Marye Mass will be again referred to in a subse
2. Office of our Lady. There is abundant evidence
to show that in old Catholic times the laity as well as the
clergy were accustomed to recite daily the Office of our
Lady ; and it is clear, too, that they learnt it in their
childhood, and were so familiar with it that they could
say it by heart, and even recited it together while dressing
in the morning. Thus, in the Book of Courtesay, printed
by Caxton about 1477, " Little John " is admonished
" While that ye be abouten honestly
To dress yourself and do on your array,
With your fellow well and tretably
Our Lady s Matins look ye that ye say."
Similarly the statutes of Eton College, founded by
Henry VI in 1440, prescribe that the scholars, as soon as
76 MARY HONOURED
they have risen, and while making their beds, shall say
the Matins of our blessed Lady.
3. The Rosary or Mary Psalter. The less learned,
unable to read, had provided for them the Mary Psalter
or Rosary. The founders of colleges and other pious
institutions frequently imposed the obligation of prac
tising this devotion upon those who should hereafter
partake of their benefits. Thus Henry VI wished that
the scholars of Eton should every day repeat the whole
Psalter of Mary (i.e. the fifteen decades of the Rosary) ;
and William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, who in
1456 built and munificently endowed St. Mary Magdalen
College, Oxford, enjoined that the President and each
of the Fellows of the said College should, with all possible
devotion, on their bended knees, recite " fifty times over
the Angelical Salutation, together with the Lord s Prayer
after every ten rehearsals of the Salutation aforesaid."
Writing about the year 1490 to the Head of his Republic,
the Venetian ambassador states that it was a common
practice for the people of England to hear Mass every
day, and say the Rosary in public frequently. All the
women would carry with them beads, and all who could
read took with them to church the Office of the Blessed
Virgin. It was also the custom for every one to fast on
Saturdays in Mary s honour ; and, at the battle of Crecy
(1346), the men went into battle breakfastless in our
Lady s honour, it being Saturday.
4. The Angelus. At the end of the XIV Cent.
Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, at the special
request of King Henry IV, enjoined that in the morning
on awakening, as well as at nightfall, the bells should be
tolled to invite the faithful to recite one Our Father and
five Hail Marys in veneration of " Our Lady Mary, the
Mother of God, our patroness and protector in all adver
sities " : and he granted forty days indulgence to all who
practised this devotion.
Dr. Rock in The Church of our Fathers writes : " In
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 77
many and many of those grey church towers which we
so often see peeping over the trees as we wander by, there
yet hangs the very bell the Gabriel bell/ so our fathers
called it which the sexton had to ring at morn and at
evening every day as a bidding to the people to the sick
in bed and to the healthy, to those at home and those
abroad, that they should greet our Lady with their five
Hail Marys ; and all about its rim can still be read the
quaint verse speaking of the Archangel and St. Mary."
He adds : " The mid-day bell was never rung in England ;
and the Angelus, as it is now said in all Catholic countries,
did not come into use before the beginning of the XVI
Cent, and seems to have commenced in France."
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND (cont.)
MARY S shrines in England were renowned for their
glory far beyond the sea : the beautiful Lady
chapels in the Cathedrals and parish churches, blazing
with gold and colour, the Mary Mass, the Mary Guilds in
city and village, all proclaimed that the Island of the
Saints was ruled by the Queen of Heaven, and belonged
to her as her Dowry.
i. Our Ladye of Glastonbury in Somersetshire was
the most ancient and venerable sanctuary of the Blessed
Virgin in England. According to tradition it was originally
a little oratory formed of wattled twigs and branches of
trees, said to have been erected by St. Joseph of Arimathea.
Two centuries later it was rebuilt in stone ; and in the
year 530, St. David added a Ladye Chapel. In 708 Ina,
King of the West Saxons, reconstructed the Abbey and
church, and also built the " Silver Chapel," as it was
called from its richness. For the construction and adorn-
7 8 MARY HONOURED
ment of this chapel Ina gave 2,640 Ibs. of silver, and some
600 Ibs. of gold ; his other gifts being a rich chalice and
paten, a censer, covers for the Holy Gospels, besides orna
ments for the altar ; likewise 175 Ibs. of silver and 38
Ibs. of gold for images of our Lord, our blessed Lady and
the twelve Apostles. See Waterton s Pietas Britannica,
and Canon Connelly s Pamphlet England and the Blessed
During the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) the church
was burnt to the ground, and he resolved to replace it
by a structure of greater splendour. By a special charter
he confirmed all the privileges granted by his predecessors
to this church, which, as he sets forth in this document,
" is called by some the Mother of Saints, and by others
the Tomb of Saints, and which, built by the very Disciples
of our Lord, was first of all dedicated by our Lord Himself,
according to venerable ancient authority/
Several Kings made pilgrimages to Glastonbury, and
many of the noblest of the land sought to be buried there,
so that they might await the day of doom under the pro
tection of our Lady. Waterton, II. 43. Connelly, Ibid.
It was in the sanctuary of Glastonbury that Kindreda, St.
Dunstan s mother, was foretold the future greatness and
holiness of her child, who became Primate of England and a
glorious Saint. Here, too, St. Dunstan spent whole nights in
prayer. It is related of King Edgar, surnamed the Peace
able, that he here laid his sceptre on our Lady s altar, and
solemnly placed his Kingdom under her protection.
2. Our Lady of Coventry. The celebrated image
of Our Lady of Coventry is and will be for ever associated
with the name of that perfect model of an Anglo-Saxon
lady, Godgifu (Godiva), wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia,
described as " tune faeminarum pulcherrima, sic corde
sanctissima." Here she and her pious husband founded
a magnificent abbey in the XI Cent, (before the Norman
Conquest), the church of which was consecrated in 1043.
She further gave to this church of our Lady all her treasures ;
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 79
and sending for goldsmiths, devoutly distributed all the
gold and silver she possessed to make covers for the sacred
books, images of the Saints, and ornaments for the altar.
In a word, for the love of God and the service of the Church
she literally despoiled herself of all her personal property.
Waterton, II. 21. On her death-bed she desired that a
rich chaplet of precious gems, valued at one hundred marks,
on which she used to repeat her prayers, should be hung
round the neck of Our Lady of Coventry whom she so
dearly loved. She was buried in the porch of the church
not far from our Lady s statue.
Of Coventry Church an ancient historian records that
" never before had so splendid a church been raised in
England. It contained every ornament and decoration
wrought by the art of man that boundless wealth, spent
with lavish and pious hands, could supply. It was so
enriched with gold and silver that the very walls seemed
too confined to contain the treasures, and the eyes of the
beholders were dazzled, as though what they saw was not
a reality, but something supernatural." Canon Connelly,
Ibid. Of this splendid edifice not a stone remains ; its
immense treasures were carried off to enrich Henry VIIFs
3. Our Lady of Walsingham. The story of this
renowned sanctuary is related by Canon Connelly as
follows : The most celebrated of all the English sanctuaries
of our Lady was at Walsingham, a market town in the
county of Norfolk, rather more than a hundred miles from
London. Ancient records state that towards the end of
the XI Cent, some five or six years before the Norman Con
quest, a noble lady of Walsingham named Richeldis was fav
oured by the Blessed Virgin in a vision with a sight of the
Holy House of Nazareth, and told to build one like it at
Walsingham on a site which would be indicated to her.
Tradition relates that this pious lady caused the materials
to be prepared, but being still in doubt as to the exact
spot on which the chapel was to be built, she spent the
8o MARY HONOURED
night in prayer, and meanwhile " our Lady herself being
the chief artificer/ built it with the assistance of Angels,
and on this account it was that this sanctuary was held
in such extraordinary veneration by our forefathers.
Such is the legend. This chapel of Walsingham is said
to have been an exact counterpart of the Holy House of
Nazareth. (See 63.)
Erasmus, the great scholar of Rotterdam, contemporary
and friend of Blessed Thomas More, visited the sanctuary
in 1509 and thus describes it : " Within the building (the
church) there is a small chapel which admits by a narrow
little door on either side those who come to salute our
Lady : the light is feeble, in fact scarcely any except from
the wax candles." One unceasing movement of pilgrims
to and from Walsingham up to the Dissolution shows how
much this sanctuary was revered. 1 Northcote s Sanc
tuaries of the Madonna, 252 seq. Kings as pilgrims to
Walsingham, see 49.
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND (cont.)
3. Shrines (cont.)
4. T^ VESHAM, in Worcestershire, on the banks of
fj the Severn. A swineherd named Eoves hap
pened on a certain day to penetrate into a thicket in a
valley near the river, when he beheld a Lady standing
on a particular spot with two other virgins, one on either
side, all three of surpassing beauty and radiant with sun-
like splendour. Terrified and trembling he returned home,
and related all he had seen to the Bishop Egwin. 2 The
1 The chapel was demolished and the statue burnt in the reign
of Henry VIII.
2 The third Bishop of Worcester.
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 81
latter, having maturely considered the matter, after prayer
and fasting, took with him three companions and proceeded
barefoot to the valley. On reaching the thicket, the
Bishop leaving his companions went in alone, and pros
trating on the ground remained a long time in prayer.
When he rose he beheld the three Virgins in brilliant light
as they had appeared to Eoves. But she who stood in
the centre far outshone her companions in glory, and seemed
to him whiter than the lily, more brilliant than the rose,
while all around was diffused a heavenly fragrance. Our
Lady, for it was she, bade him erect a church on that
spot and dedicate it to her. The church was completed
in 701 through the assistance of Off a, King of the East
Angles, and the two Mercian Kings Ethelred and Coenred.
Eversham with its miraculous image of Mary became a
favourite place of pilgrimage. Northcote, Ibid. 238.
5. Tewkesbury, near Worcester, had a celebrated
sanctuary of our Lady founded in 715 by the two Mercian
nobles Oddo and Dodo. The church possessed a large
wooden image of the Blessed Virgin, greatly revered by
the people, which, though it escaped destruction in the
time of the Reformation, was sadly desecrated in the
reign of James I, being hollowed out by a Puritan and
converted into a trough for swine. Terrible chastisement
overtook the unhappy man and his famity. Ibid.
6. Lincoln. We find Our Lady of Lincoln frequently
mentioned among the sanctuaries which were regarded
by the English with special veneration ; and the inhabi
tants of Lincoln who took part with King Stephen in the
civil war, choosing her as their special patroness, attri
buted to her intercession the great victory they obtained
in 1147 over the Earl of Chester.
In the cathedral inventory there is mention of the " great
image of our Lady seated in a chair, silver and gilt, having
a crown on her head, silver and gilt, set with stones and
pearls ; and her Child sitting on her knee with a crown upon
82 MARY HONOURED
His head, with a diadem set with pearls and stones, having
a ball (an orb) with a cross silver and gilt in His left hand."
Whilst Henry VIII before his fall was walking in a
procession of the Blessed Sacrament at Lincoln, the sight
of the jewels and plate that glittered before him must
have excited his avarice. Some time later he issued orders
that all the superfluous plate, gold, silver, and jewels
should be removed from this shrine and " conveyed to
our jewel house in London."
7. Ipswich. This appears to have been a very popular
though less ancient place of pilgrimage. The image stood
in a chapel commonly called " Our Lady of Grace," at
the corner of a lane still known as " Lady Lane." It
was much frequented in Catholic times, but especially
under the Tudor sovereign Henry VII. We find it named
among the sanctuaries to which Elizabeth of York, the
consort of Henry VII, made her yearly offerings the
others that shared her benefactions being Our Lady of
Windsor, Our Lady of Eton, Our Lady of Caversham, Our
Lady of Walsingham, and four others. It was to the
chapel of Our Lady of Ipswich that Cardinal Wolsey,
himself an Ipswich man, ordered a yearly procession to
be made on the feast of our Lady s Nativity by the college
which he founded in his native town. There exists in
the Vatican a letter from the Cardinal to Pope Clement
VII, dated April 16, 1526, thanking His Holiness for the
Indulgences granted to this sanctuary. Of Our Lady
of Ipswich Blessed Thomas More writes that " the man
must seem mad who should mistrust (doubt) the miracles
worked there." The miraculous image was publicly
burnt at the Reformation.
8. Wilsdon or Willesden. An image of Mary was
greatly venerated in St. Mary s Church, Wilsdon, a parish
on the western boundary of Hampstead. So early as the
year 1251 we find an inventory of the goods and ornaments
belonging to Wilsdon Church, which includes a scarlet
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 83
Banner with a figure of the Blessed Virgin worked in cloth
>f gold, and two images of our Lady.
9. Our Lady of Caversham, a shrine in Buckingham-
hire, was held in high repute. The image stood in a
:hapel attached to the church. King John in 1199 made
a grant of the church and lands to the Austin Canons of
^utley. Rich offerings to Our Lady of Caversham were
made by Isabel, Countess of Warwick, and Gilbert Mari-
schale, Earl of Pembroke.
10. Our Lady of Abingdon. In 675 Cyssa founded
lere a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin, and a monas-
.ery for twelve Benedictine monks. It became richly
endowed, for the Anglo-Saxons loved " to make God and
our Lady their heirs/ The charters of donations were
everently laid by the donors on the altar. St. Edward
he Martyr and St. Dunstan encouraged the people to
make pilgrimages to Our Lady of Abingdon.
Besides the above there were many other famous images
and shrines of the Virgin Mother to be found in every
Dart of the country. The English images of our Lady
were renowned for their beauty. Travellers from the
ontinent mention this as a striking feature, and one
writer of ancient times says of the image of Mary in the
Abbey church at Reading that "it is so exceedingly
elegant that I have never beheld, nor shall I ever see one
to be compared to it, even were I to go to the extreme
ends of the earth. Nothing more beautiful nor more
lovely could be executed." The image at St. Alban s
was known as " Our Lady the Beautiful " ; and critics
acknowledge that one of the very best miniature paintings
of- the XIII Cent, is an English picture of our Lady.
The images (as seen above) were often made of gold or
liver gilt ; and when of stone or wood, they were crowned
with diadems of gold. Wealthy ladies bequeathed for
the use of these statues their jewels and costly ornaments,
while noble knights hung their swords about the shrine.
84 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND (cont.)
4. Abbeys. Colleges
A BBEYS. In the Cistercian Order, to whose devoted-
./~\ ness England was indebted for the magnificent
abbeys of York, Waverley, Buildwas, Tintern, Fountains,
Furness, and many others, it was an invariable rule to
dedicate all their churches and monasteries without excep
tion to the Virgin Mother of God. Not a few of the Abbeys
in England, such as Kirkstall and Joreval in Yorkshire,
and Vale Royal in Cheshire, were founded and endowed
in fulfilment of vows to the Blessed Virgin, and in grati
tude for blessings received through her hands.
Colleges. Both Oxford and Cambridge had their
celebrated statues of our Lady. It was before the Oxford
one that St. Edmund of Canterbury, when a boy, made
his vow of perpetual chastity. (See 15.)
Eton College was founded by King Henry VI in 1440,
under the title of " The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary
of Eton beside Windsor." The original foundation con
sisted of a Provost, ten priests, four clerks, six choristers,
twenty-five poor grammar-scholars, and twenty-five poor
infirm men. Bishop Wayneflete (of Winchester) was the
first Head-Master, and afterward a munificent benefactor
of the College. As stated above, the statutes of the
College prescribe that the scholars, as soon as they have
risen, and while making their beds, shall say the Matins
of our Lady, which they had to know by heart. Also
they were required to say every day the Mary Psalter,
i.e. the Rosary, 29.
Magdalen College, Oxford, founded by Bishop Patten
of Wayneflete in 1458. In the statutes provision is made
for our Lady s Antiphon to be sung on Saturdays, " Our
pleasure is that on every Saturday throughout the year,
BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND 85
and on all the eves of the feasts of the Blessed Virgin
Marye, after Compline, all and each of the said Fellows
and Scholars and Ministers of our chapel, do devoutly
perform among themselves in the common hall by note,
an Antiphon of the said Glorious Virgin." He also enjoined
on all the daily recitation of the Rosary. Waterton, 34.
King s College, Cambridge, founded by Henry VI
in 1443. Its statutes are equally precise with those of
Eton in regard to devotional exercises to our Lady.
Corpus Christ! College, Oxford, dedicated to our
Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and to " His most spot
less Mother." A similar statute to that of Magdalen
College with regard to the singing of an Antiphon B.M.V.
was made by its founder, Bishop Richard Fox of Win
chester, A.D. 1516.
New College, Oxford, founded in 1379 by William of
Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, was dedicated by him
to our Lady, whose statue still crowns the gateway.
English Saints and our Lady. St. Thomas of Here
ford, St. Richard of Chichester, St. Hugh of Lincoln
(French), St. Anselm of Canterbury (Piedmontese), St.
Wilfrid of Ripon, St. John of Beverley, St. Bede of Jarrow,
St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Cuthbert of Durham, St.
Godric of Finchale with many other English Saints were
conspicuous for their tender filial piety to the Blessed
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC ENGLAND (cont.)
OUR forefathers were great pilgrims and devout clients
of Mary. They never forgot that England was
her Dowry. The stones of hundreds of its now desolate
churches still remain as witnesses to the ancient devotion.
86 MARY HONOURED
To some of her English shrines, as Walsingham, Abingdon,
Willesden, there was an unceasing stream of pilgrims,
each with his staff blessed according to the special rite
of the Old Sarum Missal. In the Council of Calne, A.D.
978, it was decreed that it should be lawful for the people
to make pilgrimages to Our Lady of Abingdon, and many
English royal pilgrims went thither. Henry II, on recover
ing from a severe illness, went on pilgrimage, as he had
vowed, to Our Lady of Rocamadour. To the little chapel
of our Lady at Caversham there was a perpetual conflux
of pilgrims. At Newcastle-on-Tyne, Pilgrim Street still
records the piety of the townsfolk. Cardinal Wolsey
ordered a yearly pilgrimage to be made to Our Lady of
Grace at Ipswich. The devotion of some of England s
Kings, as shown by their pilgrimages to her sanctuaries,
is mentioned elsewhere. ( 48.)
Our Lady of Ardenburg, Great Yarmouth, was a
favourite shrine resorted to by Catholic sailors. Barnes
in his Life of Edward III, p. 180, tells us that of the 260
ships, which then composed the English fleet, sixty at
least were from Yarmouth, and manned by stalwart East
Salisbury was also a noted place of pilgrimage during
the Ages of Faith ; in fact Our Lady of Salisbury is men
tioned in the " Witt en Bouc " amongst the more famous
shrines to which penitential pilgrimages were made.
At Leeds in the year 1376, a chapel dedicated to St.
Mary the Virgin was built " together with the bridge."
It stood at the north-eastern end, and in it, as in most
of these sanctuaries, Masses were said at a very early
hour for the benefit of travellers. Nesbitt, Our Lady in
the Church, pp. 12, 61.
BY FAITHFUL IRELAND 87
MARY HONOURED BY FAITHFUL IRELAND
i. QT. PATRICK, the Apostle of Ireland, always
w^ spoke of our Lord as the " Son of the Virgin/
and of Mary, as " Mary, Mother of God." His disciples
caught up his spirit, and, when he had passed away, they
transmitted to others that glowing love for Jesus and
Mary, which was such a distinctive feature of the life
and teaching of the Saint. They filled the Irish mind
with admiration of the beauty of the Mother and the
Son ; they thrilled the Irish heart with their love ; and
this admiration and love found expression in the Hymns
and Litanies that were composed. There is yet in exist
ence a remarkable Litany of the Blessed Virgin, which
has come down from the middle of the VIII Cent.
It is replete with poetic imagery, and so fragrant with
genuine piety that, when translated into English, it was
enriched with an indulgence of 300 days by Pope Pius IX.
In the VIII, IX, and X Cents, monasteries and
churches studded the land, and very many of these were
placed under the protection and invocation of Mary.
In fact " Mary s Church or Chapel " became in course of
time a familiar name throughout the land and was used to
designate localities. It still survives in the corrupted form
of Kilmurry. Note. On the above Litany see end of book.
2. The Blessed Virgin in Ireland was not spoken of as
" Our Lady," or even as " Our Blessed Lady," but as
" Mary Mother," " Mary the blessed, the beloved," " The
darling Virgin." " This Virgin, full of grace and blessed
amongst women, was always before the mind and in the
heart of the Irish people. Her memory sweetened their
many trials, her image beautified their humble homes,
herjcult sanctified their daily lives, and her dear name
lent its beauty and its fragrance to their ordinary saluta
tions and greetings. Even to this day in many parts
88 MARY HONOURED
of Ireland, instead of the usual Good morning/ Good
evening/ people greet you with such words as God bless
you/ God and Mary bless you/ Father Augustine,
3. Early in the XIII Cent, the sons of St. Dominic
came to Ireland and preached the devotion of the Rosary.
They were helped by their brother Religious, the Augus-
tinians and Franciscans, and also by the secular clergy,
who vied with each other in propagating this beautiful
devotion to Mary. In consequence the love of the Rosary
spread rapidly throughout the land, and so entered into
the spiritual life of the Irish people, that two centuries
later they remained loyal to Jesus and Mary, despite all
the tyranny and oppression that marked the so-called
Reformation. " Their persecutors might break the statues
in the churches, they might tear the pictures in the houses,
they might hack the images in the squares ; but they could
never take the Rosary of Mary from Irish hands, nor erase
the name of Mary from Irish hearts." Idem.
4. The Irish carried their reverence for the holy Name
of Mary to a remarkable degree. Influenced in early
ages by profound feelings of humility and respect, they
never assumed the names of the Blessed Virgin or of
certain Saints for their children at Baptism, reserving them
exclusively for those holy persons who had borne them ;
and adopted the prefix Mael or Maol, so common in Irish
names, which signifies " servant." Thus " Maelisa "
means " Servant of Jesus " ; " Maelmuire," servant of
Mary; Maelphadraic/ servant of Patrick. "Mael
muire " was borne both by men and women. Waterton,
20. On the subject of the " Royal Name of Mary " the
Irish Messenger of the S.H. (May, 1916) presents the
following reflections. It has been said with truth that
the fidelity of the Irish race to the Faith which St. Patrick
brought them, is due above all else to the love and devotion
they have always borne to the Mother of God. They were
always jealous of their titles and of the names they gave
BY FAITHFUL IRELAND 89
to their kings and queens, to their scholars and their
warriors. And to mark their love and reverence for Mary,
their refuge and comfortress in all dangers and trials,
they gave her a name that was to be hers alone for ever,
the sacred name of Muire and no Mary of the Irish
race, no matter how high her station or how grand her
gifts, has ever been allowed to call herself by that honoured
name, set specially apart for the Mother of Jesus.
The name of Mary has ever been a talisman among the
children of the Gael. There is nothing more inspiring or
more glorious in the history of any land than the victory
of Benburb, when, outnumbered and to all appearances
defeated, the Irish soldiers rallied at the inspired battle-
cry given to them by Owen Roe O Neill, " Sancta Maria ! "
At once they faced their foes in a final charge and sent
them flying in all directions, completely routed and dis
mayed. And when Red Hugh O Donnell roused his men
to valiant deeds at the battle of the Curlew Mountains,
it was of " Holy Mary s honour/ defiled by the " tainted
lips " of the heretical invaders that he spoke, and no higher
or holier cause could those brave and simple men desire
to do battle for. In the penal days, in the days of famine
and pestilence and eviction, on the bleak roadside, on the
deck of the emigrant ship or amid the horrors of enforced
exile, it was Mary s name and Mary s aid, implored through
the holy Rosary, that kept Faith and Hope and Charity
alive in many a sorrow-clouded soul.
5. The ancient Irish Litany above mentioned was
probably composed in the famous monastery of Clonsart
as early as the year 725, and used by St. Broghan s com
munity there, contains many titles that are strikingly
beautiful. In it the Blessed Virgin is appealed to as " O
great Mary, O greatest of Marys, Blessed and most
blessed, Mother of eternal glory, Mother of the heavenly
and earthly Church, Mother of love and indulgence,
Mother of the golden light, Harbinger of peace, Golden
casket, Temple of the Divinity, Beauty of virgins,
90 MARY HONOURED
Fountain of the gardens, Mother of orphans, Refuge
of the wretched, Abode of the Godhead, Garden en
closed, Fountain sealed, Perpetual Virgin, Temple of
the living God, Throne of the Eternal King, Sanctuary
of the Holy Spirit, Virgin of the Root of Jesse, Cedar
of Mount Lebanon, Cypress of Mount Sion, Crimson
Rose in the land of Jacob, Fruitful like the olive, Bloom
ing like the palm, Light of Nazareth, Glory of Jerusa
lem, Beauty of the world, Noblest born of the Christian
people, Queen of the world, Ladder of heaven." From
an authorized translation.
6. Shrines of our Lady in Ireland.
Our Lady of Youghal. This image was found in a
beam of timber cast ashore at Youghal some time in the
first half of the XV Cent. It was venerated in the
Dominican House at Youghal until the outbreak of the
Elizabethan persecution, and is said to have been famous
at the time for numerous miracles. It is now in St. Mary s
Church, Cork. A copy of it in carved stone is to be seen
in the Parish Church, Youghal, where it is a cherished
object of popular devotion.
Our Lady of Drogheda. In 1345, Richard Fitz-
william, Mayor of Drogheda, had license to assign four
acres of land for increasing and maintaining lights before
this venerable image of our blessed Lady. Waterton,
Our Lady of Limerick. A greatly venerated and
richly adorned statue, which was despoiled of its silver
and other ornaments in the thirtieth year of King Henry
VIII. Ibid. The statue was probably destroyed.
Our Lady of Muckross. When the English were
devastating the abbey, and had torn down and trampled
on the figure of our Lord on the Rood, some of the friars
carried off the image of our Lady and placed it at the
foot of a dead tree which had lost its bark. Lo ! immedi
ately the dead tree revived, and budded forth leaves and
shoots. Ibid. 309.
BY FAITHFUL IRELAND 91
Our Lady of Navan. In July, 1539, the image of
our blessed Lady, so long held in veneration here, and to
which people from all parts of Ireland came on pilgrimage,
was torn from her altar and sacrilegiously destroyed.
Our Lady of Trim. This was the most celebrated
sanctuary of our Lady in Ireland. Pilgrims resorted to
it from all parts of the country, the Irish and Anglo-Irish
vying with each other in reverencing and enriching it
with votive offerings. Ibid. 311. Miracles were recorded
here in 1397, 1412, 1444, 1464. It was burnt by Protes
tants in 1537.
7. Early Irish Poets and our Lady. From the V,
VI, VIII Cent. Irish writers have composed beautiful
Latin hymns in honour of the Mother of God. The chief
among them Sedulius Caelius, V Cent., acquired a
widespread fame throughout Christendom. His sweet
address to the Virgin Mother has been hallowed by uni
versal use throughout the Church, and its opening lines
" Salve Sancta Parens, etc." are still recited in the Office
and votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin. The following
is a translation of a portion of this address :
" Hail, holy Mother, who hast given birth to the Almighty
King, who rules the heavens and the earth. ... In thy
blessed womb thou didst unite the joys of motherhood
with the honour of virginity : none has hitherto been like
to thee, nor shall hereafter any such be found ; thou alone
above all others hast been beloved by Christ."
Another Sedulius, also an Irishman and a gifted writer,
lived in the IX Cent., and has left beautiful Latin verses
in honour of God s holy Mother. The Irish form of the
name is Siadhal, or Shiel.
8. Ireland and our Lady s perpetual Virginity.
As early as the V Cent, we find Mary s spotless virginity,
both before, in and after the birth of her Divine Son, com
memorated in a profession of faith which a native of
Ireland, a disciple of St. Patrick (Bachiarius Macceus),
presented in Rome to Pope St. Leo the Great about the
92 MARY HONOURED
year 460. See Cardinal Moran, Essays on the Early Irish
Church, 225 seq., 234, 239.
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC SCOTLAND 1
i. /^\UR Lady in the Highlands. In the Highlands
\_J and in the Western Isles there is a Marian litera
ture, mostly oral, of which the world knows little or nothing.
The Mother of God is the pre-eminent Mary, and she alone
is, by both Catholics and non-Catholics, styled " Moire,"
while all other Marys are called " Mair." Nor is she
simply " Mary/ but " Mary Mother " " Moire Mhathair."
If a mother hears her little one crying, the words " Dhia s
de Moire, thu m eudail, qu de h-ort ? " "To God and
Mary s care, my darling, what ails thee ? " rise spon
taneously to her lips. The expression " Moire Mhathair "
is as often in the mouth of the Highland Catholic as the
familiar " Mon Dieu " is in that of the Frenchman, and
the mild expletive " Faith" in that of the Irishman.
In the Highlands alone there are no fewer than twelve
or thirteen parishes dedicated to our Lady. Such is the
parish of Kilmore (Mary church) in Argyllshire. In the
Island of Mull there is another parish of Kilmore, and in
North Uist one of Kilmuir, as also one of the same name
in the Isle of Skye. The isles of Bute and Arran have
each a parish of Kilmorry, and so on. In the parish of
Alness in Ross and Cromarty there is the beautiful lake
of Loch Muire, or Mary Lake. It takes its name from
an old chapel dedicated to our Lady, situated at the
extremity of the loch in a lovely and romantic glen. In
several places there are springs with the name " Lady s
well." The village of Tobermory, i.e. " Mary s Well "
in the Island of Mull, Argyllshire, takes its name from a
1 From a pamphlet by Rev. A. Campbell, S.J., and other sources.
IN CATHOLIC SCOTLAND 93
well, which in the ages of faith had been dedicated to our
Lady. Not far from the village is a small loch known as
" Mary s lake," beautifully situated between two finely
wooded hills. At Ard-na-fuaran in Arisaig the church
of Kilmaria, a parish church before the Reformation, still
stands in ruins. The spot has been exceptionally favoured,
for our Lady here has never lost her own. There still
stands, rearing its head above those who never abandoned
her, the fine church of St. Mary, whence was appointed
the chief pastor of the whole West Highland flock, the
late Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, who afterwards
became Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. The
grand old cathedral church of lona was also dedicated to
2. Our Lady in the Lowlands. Dedicated to our
Lady were the Abbey of Scone, the Priory of Portmoak
in Kinross-shire (on the south side of Loch Leven), the
Priory of Monymusk in Aberdeenshire, the seal of the
latter house having a figure of the Blessed Virgin with
the Holy Child under a niche ; also the Abbey of Murlach
in Aberdeenshire, founded by King Malcolm II in thanks
giving for a victory over the Danes. There were churches
of our Lady of Loretto in Musselburgh and Perth, and of
Our Lady of Holyrood in Edinburgh, the latter founded
by King David I. There was the Kirk of our Lady in
Haddington ; but one of the most famous was Our Lady
of Aberdeen, the statue of which may be seen to this
day in the church of Finisterre in Brussels. Rev. M.
Barrett, O.S.B., in his work Footprints of the Ancient
Scottish Church, 246, informs us that various images of
the Mother of God were formerly honoured in Aberdeen
Cathedral. The chief of these was that known as " Our
Lady of Pity," which stood in the nave near an altar
dedicated to her. This image was greatly venerated by
clergy and people. Alexander Kyd, precentor of the
Cathedral, gave a yearly revenue to provide two candles
to burn constantly in its honour. Canon Clatt presented
94 MARY HONOURED
a candle-holder upon which the faithful might burn their
tapers before it ; and Bishop Elphinstone provided for
it a large candelabrum, which on feast days was filled
with lighted candles. On great occasions the statue was
clothed in a rich mantle, set with beryls. Votive hearts
of silver hung near it, and other offerings spoke of graces
received through prayers said there. A smaller image
of solid silver was carried in procession on festivals by
order of Bishop Elphinstone, who granted an indulgence
to all who should take part.
At a later period an ancient wooden statue, which once
stood in the chapel of the Brig of Dee, was removed to
the cathedral by Bishop Gavin Dunbar (d. 1532). After
escaping destruction, several times attempted without
success by Protestants, the statue was finally carried to
the Continent and eventually placed in the church of the
Augustinians at Brussels, the Infanta Isabella having
arrayed it in a magnificent robe and many of her own
jewels. It was hidden away during the French Revolu
tion, and afterwards placed in the church of Finisterre,
Brussels. There it is still honoured under the title of
" Our Lady of Good Success."
Full information on honours paid to the Blessed Virgin
in Scotland will be found in Fr. Barrett s work. Ibid.
The origin of the custom of resting from work on a
Saturday was to allow the people an opportunity of going
to confession. William the Lion, King of Scotland, in
1202 ordered rest from work every Saturday from midday,
as a proof of love for the Church and the Blessed Virgin.
A Scottish writer of the XIV Cent., either Fordun or
his continuator Bower, says : "In the days of our fathers
the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday) was held in great veneration
in honour of the Blessed Virgin, principally by the devo
tion of women, who every Saturday with great piety
restricted themselves to one meal, and that merely of
bread and water."
Of the other Abbeys and Priories dedicated to Mary we
IN CATHOLIC WALES 95
may mention Melrose (Cistercians), Newbattle (Cistercians),
Jedburgh (Austin Friars), Dryburgh (Premonstratensians),
Cambus Kenneth (Austin Friars), Kelso, Paisley, Inch-
affray or the Island of Masses, the Priories of St. Mary s
Isle, of Coldingham, Fail, and others. In Perth the church
of St. John the Baptist had forty altars all endowed, five
of them being dedicated to our blessed Lady.
In the Lowlands (as in the Highlands) we find wells
dedicated to Mary, as Tibbermore (Tobar-Mhoire, i.e.
Well of Mary), Tobermory, Motherwell, and others ; also
her name is preserved up and down the country in many
parishes, such as Ladykirk, Maryculter, Marykirk, Muir-
kirk, Marytown, etc.
In the armorial bearings of several towns, such as Banff,
Rutherglen, Leith, Selkirk, our Lady is represented with
the Holy Child in her arms. In the town of Old Aberdeen
the " Snow Churchyard " remains as a reminder of the
dedication of the Old Church to " Our Lady of the Snow." *
In one of the stalls of Dunblane Cathedral, the letters
I.H.S. (Jesus) are carved inside an ornamental letter M,
to show, as it were, that Jesus, our Saviour, is come to
us through Mary.
The stamp on cover and title page of this volume
represents the arms of the ancient borough of Selkirk.
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLIC WALES
i. f~\F Churches and Chapels dedicated to Mary
\J there were very many in all parts of the Prin
cipality, the sites or ruins still bearing her name, as Llan-
fair (Marychurch), Llanfairfechan (Church of Mary the
Virgin), Llanfechan, etc. Of places of pilgrimage the
most remarkable were Llantwyd Major, near Aberystwith,
Llantwyd Minor, and Kidwelly, where there were famous
1 See Pilgrim Walks in Rome, 107.
96 MARY HONOURED
shrines of our Lady. In one of these old churches there
was a statue of the Virgin Mary over the entrance door,
which the old women especially used to reverence with
a curtsey when passing it, even until quite recent times.
To do away with this custom a certain incumbent had the
statue removed to the vestry.
2. Welsh Poets before the Reformation. All the Bards
of any name in Wales have written poems in praise of
our Lady, with possibly one exception, Gwilym ap Dafydd
(XIV Cent.). Even he refers to the famous picture of
St. Mary Major as one of the sights of Rome, and implies
that Welshmen of his day went on pilgrimage to Rome.
Llewelyn ap Howel ap Jeuan Gronow visited Rome in
1540, and there saw the picture just mentioned. In the
time of Glendwr (i.e. Owen Glendower, d. 1416), the great
Welsh patriot, an Eisteddfod was held, at which the
subject proposed for the great prize was the praise of the
Blessed Virgin. He is said to have presided at this Bardic
Not a few of these mediaeval Welsh poems are models
of poetic beauty. One of the modern Welsh bards, Gwily,
a non-Catholic, has written a beautiful poem entitled
" Mair ei Earn ef " (Mary His Mother). The bard Gitto r
Glyn, who flourished about the year 1450, wrote a poem
on the Rosary. See Catholic Encyclopedia, xv. 535, foot
of column 2.
On Our Lady of Abergavenny, Cardigan, Penrice, St.
David s, see Waterton, 282 seq.
MARY HONOURED IN NORTH AMERICA : IN THE UNITED
i. CATHEDRALS and Churches. Three Arch-
Vi/ dioceses and twenty-seven Dioceses in the United
States are placed under our Lady s special protection,
IN NORTH AMERICA 97
nearly all the Cathedrals being dedicated under the title
of the Immaculate Conception.
2. Towns, Localities, called after our Lady. In the
different States there are fifteen towns with the name of
Mary vale, eleven known as St. Mary s, four bearing the
title of Mariana, and four that of Marydell. We meet
also with such names as Mary, Marye, Marie, Marytown,
Maryvale, St. Marie, Ste. Marie, Santa Maria, Notre Dame,
Sault Ste Marie, Assumption, etc. ; and with rivers bearing
such names as St. Mary s River, Mary s River, Santa Maria
River, Marias River, Rio Santa Maria ; also with Lady
Lake, Lady Island, etc.
The State of Maryland, one of the original thirteen,
was named after Henrietta Maria, the Queen Consort of
Charles I, in the charter given by the King to the Catholic
Lord Baltimore. Many Catholics have, however, come
to regard the name as at least an indirect tribute to our
blessed Lady s protection over the first Catholic colony
in the United States.
3. Father James Marquette, S.J. (d. 1635), the dis
coverer of the Mississippi, whose statue adorns the Capitol
in Washington, writes as follows in one of his letters : "I
placed our voyage under the protection of the Blessed
Virgin Immaculate, promising her that if she granted us
the favour of discovering the Great River, I would give
it the name of Conception." Campbell, S. J., Pioneer Priests,
vol. hi. 170. On page 173 of the same work we read :
" Launching out on the Wisconsin River, Marquette says,
we began a new devotion to the Blessed Virgin."
4. A Remarkable Shrine, which attracts Bishops,
Priests, and thousands of the faithful from all parts of
the land, and even from distant countries, is that of Our
Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y., on the west bank
of the Mohawk River, forty miles from Albany. This
has become a centre of enthusiastic devotion to Mary.
Here it was that Brother Rene Goupil, S.J., and Father
Isaac Jogues, S.J., with many other Christians suffered
98 MARY HONOURED
a terrible martyrdom for the Faith. It was here that
Father Bressiani, S.J., was tortured, and that many great
missionaries of the Society of Jesus laboured until the year
1684, when the Mission was destroyed. Here, too, was
born the saintly Indian maid, Catherine Tekaktwitha,
the " Lily of the Mohawks," whose beatification has been
petitioned by her own countrymen, and by the Third
Plenary Council of Baltimore, when they requested the
causes of Rene Goupil and Father Jogues to be taken up
by the Sacred Congregation of Rites.
5. The Sodality of our Lady, that great means of
arousing and fostering in the souls of the faithful, especially
of the young, a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin,
flourishes in the United States with a fervour that is unsur
passed in any other country of the world. Nearly every
church, every college, every convent, has its branch
Sodality affiliated to the Prima Primaria in Rome, and
the religious exercises and various good works are taken
up with an enthusiasm that must touch the heart of our
Immaculate Mother. Hundreds of thousands of young
persons have enrolled themselves as her clients, and pledged
themselves to promote her honour and never to do any
thing that would be unworthy of one consecrated to her.
The result of this marvellous association is seen in the
earnestness and thoroughness of American Catholics, and
in the preservation of the young from the poisonous influ
ences of an irreligious world.
6. Prelates. Venerable John Nepomucene Neu
mann, the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia, began the
practice, followed in many places, of reciting the Litany
of the Blessed Virgin and the Rosary before High Mass
on Sundays and Holy days of obligation.
Bishop John Carroll was consecrated by the Right
Rev. Dr. Charles Walmesley at Lulworth (Dorsetshire)
on August 15, 1790, the preacher on the occasion being
the celebrated Jesuit, Father Charles Plowden. Eleven
months later Bishop Carroll assembled his twenty-two
IN NORTH AMERICA 99
Priests in the first diocesan synod of Baltimore. Of the
statutes adopted at that synod, the nineteenth reads as
follows : " From the beginning of our Episcopate we were
most desirous of choosing the Blessed Virgin Mary as the
principal patroness of our diocese, that, through her inter
cession, faith, piety towards God, and purity of morals
might flourish/ He exhorts all his clergy to be zealous
in promoting devotion to the great Mother of God.
Dr. John England, first Bishop of Charleston, was a
most fervent client of our Lady, and on his death-bed
(1842), he said to the priests who were kneeling in the
room : "I recommend my poor diocese to your patron
saints, and above all to her to whom our Divine Lord
entrusted His children, in the person of the beloved dis
ciple, when He said, Woman, behold thy son ; Son,
behold thy Mother/ "
Dr. Edward Fen wick, first Bishop of Cinncinati, Dr.
Benedict Joseph Fenwick, first Bishop of Boston, Dr.
John Dubois, Bishop of New York, and others, were
distinguished for their extraordinary devotion to Mary.
7. Love of Mary in the United States. In the Council
of Baltimore, 1846, attended by twenty-two Bishops with
their Theologians, the Blessed Virgin was solemnly chosen
as Patroness of the United States, which election was
confirmed by the Sovereign Pontiff.
Love for this blessed Mother is as deeply rooted, as
ardently cherished, as fervently and fruitfully practised
in the States as in any country in Europe. Everywhere
there are Sodalities of Mary, Rosary Societies, Confra
ternities of the Immaculate Heart, etc. Everywhere both
children and people are taught to love and honour Mary
as a Mother : everywhere one meets with churches and
cathedrals dedicated to this spotless Virgin.
The Irish exiles, driven by persecution to seek a home
in America, brought with them the ardent love of " Mary
the Virgin " which they had cherished in the old land.
American Catholics love their Rosary : Generals and
106 MARY HONOURED
Admirals, shipping merchants of New York, prominent
lawyers, favourite and successful physicians are known
to be as attached as the poor to this simplest, most child
like, and sweetest of devotions to our gentle Lady Mother.
Macleod, Devotion to the Blessed Virgin in North America,
The month of May, Mary s month, is kept with a fervour
that can hardly be surpassed. A great proportion of the
Catholics wear the scapular ; and you will hardly find
any one without the medal of the Immaculate Conception
or some badge of Mary. From countless hearts rise every
day aspirations of love to this spotless Queen ; from
countless lips the sweet prayer of St. Bernard the " Me-
morare " is whispered to the best and tenderest of Mothers.
Among the converted Indians Father de Smet, S. J., their
apostle, tells us that the beads were recited in every family,
these good children of the forest raising their voices every
evening in supplication to God and His glorious Mother.
The name of Mary, which, pronounced in the Indian
language, has a sweet and endearing sound, delights and
charms them. The hearts of these good Indians melt
with devotion when they sing the praises of her whom
they call and know to be their loving Mother. From a
letter written in 1846.
MARY HONOURED IN CANADA
I ^HE first French settlers in Canada Samuel de Champ-
JL lain and others were men of deep religious spirit,
and animated by a tender devotion to Mary. Their pur
pose in sailing to America was to work for the salvation
of the Indians. " The salvation of a single soul," said
Champlain, " is worth more than the conquest of an
TN CANADA 101
Our Lady s name was given by them to the first dis
covered coasts St. Mary s Bay, St. Mary s Isle, St. Mary s
River, etc. The city of Montreal built by them was
consecrated to her as Mary s City, " Ville Marie," a title
it bore till about 1760. A sort of military con
fraternity was organized in the city for protection against
the Iroquois Indians, their battle-cry being " Ave Puris-
sima." The city and island on which it stands were con
sidered to be our Lady s property. Monsieur Olier was
greatly interested in the establishment of the Sulpitians
in Ville Marie, and wished the whole territory to be con
secrated to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Mary s sweet name
was given to river, lake, mountain-peak, and bay through
out the land, and her praises were chanted in every home.
A large statue of the Blessed Virgin still overlooks from
a lofty summit the city of Montreal, serving as a perpetual
reminder to Catholics of its former consecration to her.
This statue stands on the dome of the church of " Notre
Dame de Bon Secours," Our Lady of Help, having been
placed there in 1848 ; but the shrine within the church
was blessed in 1773, and the history of the original chapel
with its wonder-working statue can be traced back to
the year 1642.
At Quebec still an intensely Catholic city pious
foundations in honour of Mary were made as early as
1625. In that year the Jesuits arrived, having previously
laboured in Nova Scotia and Maine. Their first house
was at St. Charles. Soon they received a grant of land
from the Due de Ventadour known as "La Seigneurie de
Notre Dame des Anges," the Property of Our Lady of
the Angels. In 1633 some fifteen Jesuit Fathers were at
work in Canada. Churches of the Immaculate Conception
rose in the Dominion in 1666 and 1675. In 1672 a hospital
and chapel in Quebec were dedicated to the Precious Blood
and to the Mother of Mercy. In 1690 was built the hand
some church of Our Lady of Mercy, and in 1693 the Recol
lect Friars raised a noble church in the city " to the glory
102 MARY HONOURED
of God, and the honour of the Virgin Mother of God."
At the present time the enthusiasm of Canadian Catho
lics in their devotion to Mary resembles that of the United
Devotion of St. Anne, our Lady s mother, is a marked
feature of Canadian Catholicity. This devotion the early
settlers brought from France, where the name Anne was
given at baptism to men as well as to women, e.g. Anne
de Montmorency. St. Anne of Beaupre is the most famous
of Canadian places of pilgrimage, to which devout persons
flock from every corner of North America. Notre Dame
du Rosaire also draws thousands of suppliants from all
the surrounding country. It stands on the north bank
of the St. Lawrence, about 60 miles from Montreal. Origi
nally the site of a Jesuit mission founded in 1639 by Fathers
Albanel, Druilletes and others, it became a centre of
special devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary in 1894.
Countless favours are reported as having been granted.
Our Lady of Liesse in the Jesuit church of the Gesu, Mon
treal, also attracts many pilgrims. Its legendary history
is worth recording. The thread of the story reaches back
to the time of the Second Crusade, when three brothers,
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, being unable to make
a statue of our Lady for the Caliph s daughter whom they
had converted to Christianity, were presented with one
by our Lady herself. This statue was subsequently
carried to Picardy and enshrined in a beautiful church.
In the chaos of the French Revolution (1789) the church
was burnt and the statue reduced to ashes, but the ashes
being saved were enclosed beneath a new statue, which
was one of the treasures of the Jesuit Tertianship at the
House of St. Vincent till 1877. This same year the Jesuits
moved from St. Vincent to Paray-le-Monial, and when
the question about the removal of the statue arose, it was
decided to give it for the Missions to two Canadian Fathers
returning home in the August of that year. It was even
tually placed in the Gesti church, Montreal, Graces of
7A T FRANCE 103
conversion are the favours most commonly granted by
Our Lady of Liesse.
MARY HONOURED IN FRANCE
RANGE, the Church s eldest daughter, where so much
JL holiness and religious fervour are found side by
side with so much worldliness, godlessness, and irreligion,
was known ages ago as " Regnum Mariae," Mary s king
dom, being consecrated to her by Louis XIII, when her
feast of the Assumption was chosen as the national feast.
Benedict XIV gave his sanction to the said title, adding the
words " nunquam peribit," i.e. Mary s queenly power in
France shall never fail.
Other nations claim to belong in a special way to Mary
England as her Dowry ; Spain as favoured with an appari
tion of her in her life-time ; Italy as having on its soil
the Holy House of Nazareth, translated to Loreto from
Dalmatia ; Austria with the victory of Vienna won by
Sobicoki through Mary s intercession ; Poland with
repeated victories over the Turks won by her aid. Yet
France has a glory and privilege all its own, being favoured
with such marvellous apparitions as those of Lourdes,
La Salette, Pontmain, Paris, and being the land where
Mary s miraculous favours are dispensed so bountifully
to countless pilgrims gathering from every quarter of the
Catholic France has displayed its zeal and enthusiasm
in Mary s praise and service in many remarkable ways :
(i) Its Saints have proclaimed by word and writing the
sublimity of her dignity, notably St. Bernard, St. Felix
de Valois, St. Francis de Sales, Blessed Grignon de Mont-
fort. St. Dominic, himself a Spaniard, spread the Rosary
devotion in France : (2) Its religious in countless abbeys
and monasteries have sung her praises for centuries, as
104 MARY HONOURED
at Cluny, Citeaux, Clairvaux, Fontevrault, Chaise Dieu
and others : (3) Its doctors of Theology have defended
her privileges, as Vincent de Beauvais, Hugh of St. Victor,
Gerson, William Archbishop of Paris, Petau (Petavius,
S.J.) and others : (4) Its University of Paris, the Sor-
bonne, exacted from all its Fellows and Professors as a
condition of membership, adhesion to the doctrine of the
Immaculate Conception : (5) Its Kings have enriched
her sanctuaries, and some have shown openly their devo
tion to the Rosary, as St. Louis, Charles VII, Louis XI,
Louis XIII, the latter consecrating his Kingdom to Mary,
as stated above : (6) Its warriors have been proud to
call themselves her soldiers, v.g. the Crusaders, who invoked
her on the field of battle ; Du Guesclin, the war-cry of
whose troops was " Notre-Dame Guesclin " ; Blessed
Joan of Arc whose banner bore the names of Jesus and
Mary ; the Generals Bugeaud, Lamoriciere, De Sonis,
and we may add Marshal Foch, and Generals Castelnau,
Fayolle, Gouraud, all model Catholics, and fervent clients
of Mary. General Pelissier chose her feast, September 8, for
his victorious assault on Sebastopol, 1855 : (7) Its illus
trious Bishops and Priests have been eloquent in her
praise as Bossuet, Fenelon, Bourdaloue, Lacordaire, de
Ravignan, Coube and others : (8) Its sacred writers have
left us an immense treasury of works in her honour. The
" Salve Regina " is said to have been composed by Adhemar
de Monteil, Bishop of Puy : d. 1098 : (9) Its architects
have reared to her glory cathedrals that are imperishable
monuments, veritable poems in stone, v.g. Chartres,
Rheims, Amiens, Notre Dame de Paris, Fourvieres : (10)
Its millions of devout Catholics never begin nor close the
day without seeking her blessing. Her name is given at
Baptism to multitudes of children, both boys and girls,
to boys as a second name : (n) Its sea-faring population
pay unceasing homage at her shrines of La Garde, Mar
seilles, Boulogne, and in other ports : (12) Its notable
pilgrimages are described elsewhere.
J.V SPAIN 105
The love of Mary is planted deep down in the heart of
Catholic France, and no combination of Voltairianism,
Rationalism, Materialism, Anticlericalism will ever pluck
it out. " Mary s Kingdom in France shall never fail."
France s Places of Pilgrimage, see 64.
MARY HONOURED IN SPAIN
SPAIN rejoices in the name of " Mary s privileged
nation." Its devotion to her is said to date from
her life-time, for she is thought to have sent St. James
the Apostle into Spain, to have accompanied him with
her prayers and sympathy, and to have followed him even
in person by a wonderful apparition to be referred to.
1. Mary is said by Spanish writers to have driven Pagan
ism out of Spain. 1 Tradition has it that even in her
life-time she appeared surrounded by angels on the banks
of the Ebro, where now stands the sanctuary of Our Lady
of the Pillar at Saragossa. She came to confirm the
Apostle s teaching and to scatter the hellish horde of pagan
deities that infested the land. The early martyrs of Spain,
St. Vincent of Valentia, St. Leocadia of Toledo, the child
martyr St. Eulalia and many others, sustained by Mary s
prayers laid down their lives for the implanting of the
faith and the uprooting of paganism. Prudentius, the
Latin poet who sang of the triumph of the martyrs, was
2. Mary is said to have driven Arianism out of Spain
through her devoted servants St. Leander, St. Isidore,
St. Fulgentius, St. Braulio, St. Ildephonsus, and the royal
martyr St. Hermenegild. His death won the conversion
of his brother Recaredus, who became Spain s first Chris-
1 Coube, Claire et Bienfaits de la Ste. Vigrge.
106 MARY HONOURED
tian King. At the third Council of Toleda, A.D. 589,
Recaredus, surrounded by sixty-four Bishops and by the
nobles of the land, solemnly abjured Arianism and embraced
the Catholic faith. 1
3. Mary drove Mahomedanism out of Spain. In the
VIII Cent, when Moslem hordes were sweeping like
a devastating hurricane over the land, destroying churches
and monasteries, massacring the Christians who refused
to apostatize, and carrying havoc and desolation every
where, Pelayo (Pelagius), King of Oviedo in the Province
of Asturias, withdrew with a handful of followers to our
Lady s Grotto of Covadonga and there awaited the
approach of the Moorish general Alxaman. Suddenly
sallying forth from the heights above the cave he over
whelmed the infidel army, hurling down rocks and stones
from above, and then pursued them inflicting terrific
slaughter on the fugitives. Other victories followed,
ascribed to our Lady s aid. The grotto became thence
forth a place of pilgrimage. The struggle with the Moors
was continued in the XI Cent, and again by our Lady s
help Cid Campeador (Rodrigo Diaz de Bavar) achieved
prodigies of valour against the infidels, capturing Toledo
in 1088. He is said by some writers to have been a member
of an association or confraternity in honour of Mary
Immaculate. Coube, 108.
4. Mary has kept Protestantism out of Spain. The
Spanish theologians, notably Lainez, Salmeron, Suarez,
de Lugo, all of them Mary s most devoted children, were
the most valiant opponents of Lutheranism. Protestant
ism has never succeeded in gaining a foothold in the
country. At heart Spain is thoroughly Catholic, and on
May 3, 1919, the young King Alphonsus XIII, in presence
of the Court, the Papal Nuntio, the Cardinal Primate,
numerous Bishops, the ministers of the Crown, and count
less others, by a solemn act consecrated his kingdom to
i Coub<, Ibid,
IN SPAIN 107
the Sacred Heart. A large statue of the Sacred Heart
erected in a public square was solemnly blessed on the
occasion by the Cardinal Primate.
5. Spain has her Orders of Knighthood pledged to hon
our the Blessed Virgin and to defend her Immaculate Con
ception, viz. those of Calatrava, Alcantara, Montesa and
Santiago, all true soldiers of Mary bound by vow to defend
her privileges and honour.
6. But the country s greatest glory is the championship
of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, (a)
At the Council of Trent Cardinal Pacheco, Bishop of Jaen,
supported by the Jesuit theologians Laynez and Salmeron,
won from the Council the declaration that in its decrees
on Original Sin it was not its intention to include the
blessed and spotless Virgin Mary, (b) Confraternities
of the Immaculate Conception are said to have existed
in Spain from the Middle Ages. One is mentioned as
existing in Burgos in the XI Cent, of which Ferdinand
Gonzales and Cid Campeador were members. Charles V
belonged to a similar confraternity at Toledo, and had
Mary s image embroidered on his standard. Philip II
had the same image embossed on his shield, (c) The
Universities of Salamanca and Valladolid exacted from
their professors and members an oath to defend the
doctrine of Mary s Immaculate Conception, (d) The
Spanish artists Murillo, Velasquez, Zurbaran, Ribera
have made our Lady Immaculate the subject of their
! grandest efforts, (e) Popular devotion to Mary Immacu-
j late is shown by the usual form of salutation, " Ave Maria
Purisima," to which the answer is given, " Sin pecado
concebida." (/) Our Lady s name and titles often appear
in the baptismal names of children, as Maria, Concepcion,
Soledad, Immacolada, Dolores, (g) Spanish discoverers,
led by Columbus, a Genoese, have given our Lady s
name or sublime privilege to places in America where
they landed, as " Conception Isle." While at Hispaniola
(San Domingo) on September 8, 1493, Columbus so the
io8 MARY HONOURED
historian Herrera tells us wishing to honour this glorious
Queen on her birthday, ordered his vessels to be dressed
with flags and salvos of artillery to be fired.
NOTE. On the Cave of Covadonga see The Tablet,
Oct. 26, 1918, p. 471.
MARY HONOURED IN ITALY
OF all lands outside Palestine Italy may be considered
the most favoured, the See or Chair of Peter being
established in its capital, which is thus the home of Christ s
Vicar, the centre of unity, the fount of ecclesiastical juris
diction, and the very heart of the Church. Rome is also
the centre of devotion to our Lady, inasmuch as all
Religious Orders, Congregations and Sodalities of Mary
receive their canonical institution, privileges and indul
gences from the Holy See.
Italy s devotion to Mary is shown (i) in the noble
churches raised in her honour in Rome, Florence, Milan,
Naples, Turin, Caravaggio, and other cities. Rome has
some forty churches dedicated to her : (2) in the extra
ordinary manifestations of popular devotion to her in
Venice, Siena, Turin, Ancona, Bergamo, and other cities :
(3) in the Saints who have signalized themselves by spread
ing devotion to her, notably St. Bonaventure, St. Ber-
nardine of Siena, St. Philip Benizi, St. Philip Neri, St.
Alphonsus de Liguori and others : (4) in the works of
Theologians upholding her privileges and dignity, as St.
Thomas of Aquin, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernardine : (5)
in the foundation of hospitals in her honour, v.g. S. Maria
della Consolazione in Rome, and countless others up and
down Italy : (7) in the famous places of pilgrimage
described in 63 : (8) in the extraordinary devotion of
the people, concerning which see Northcote s Sanctuaries
of the Madonna, 107, 108 : (9) in the glorious works
of art left us by Fra Angelico, Giotto, Perugino, Raphael,
IN ITALY 109
Guido Reni, Filippino Lippi, Domenichino, Sassoferrato,
Botticelli, Titian and others, of which our Lady is the
Mary s love for Italy is seen (i) in the miraculous
favours accorded as a reward of devotion to her at Loreto,
Pompei, Genezzano, La Quercia, Campo Cavallo, and many
other favoured spots : (2) in the miraculous translation
of the Holy House of Nazareth from Dalmatia to Loreto.
This translation and the authenticity of the Holy House
at Loreto have been called in question : but, until the
Holy See decides the controversy, we may safely believe
and venerate what Popes and Saints have believed and
venerated : (3) in the miraculous translation of the picture
of Our Lady of Good Counsel, from Scutari to Genezzano.
Italian devotion to Mary is further shown by the practice
of abstaining from wine on Saturdays, a practice dating
from the XI Cent. ; by the adoption of orphan children
for her sake ; by festive rejoicings in honour of the Ma
donna of each village and neighbourhood, when the streets
are garlanded, candles are lit in the windows, fireworks
let off, and a general holiday held ; by countless wayside
chapels in every part of the country, each well cared for
and provided with flowers and candles by the Catholics
of the vicinity.
Dr. Northcote speaks of the poor frequenting the churches
and praying with arms outstretched in the form of a cross,
as they kneel in silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,
or in deep veneration before our Lady s image. " They
come and pour forth their whole souls before some picture
or image of the Madonna, entering into all their hopes
and fears, doubts and anxieties, every detail of their
domestic circumstances, quite as naturally as a child
confides its little troubles and desires to its mother, or
to one whose sympathy and assistance it has reason to
be assured of." He is speaking of Naples, but the same
confiding love, if not quite so demonstrative, may be seen
in every part of Italy.
no MARY HONOURED
It would require a volume apart to describe the wonderful
churches of our Lady in Rome, with all their saintly and
historical associations St. Mary Major, St. Mary of the
Angels, St. Mary of Peace and some thirty-seven or thirty-
eight others. Then there are the many Madonnas or
pictures of Mary in Rome, one venerated by St. Ignatius
of Loyola at the Gesu, another by St. Philip Neri at the
Vallicella; a third by St. Benedict at S. Benedetto in
Piscinula ; a fourth by St. Pius V at S. Maria Maddalena,
and so on. Before the picture of St. Mary Major the
young novice St. Stanislaus Kostka knelt in ecstasy, and
St. Francis Borgia had copies of it painted, one of which
he gave to Blessed Ignatius de Azevedo, who died a martyr
clasping it in his arms.
) SECTION XLII
MARY HONOURED IN BELGIUM
THIS little country, so sorely tried in the great war of
1914-1918, has a population of over seven millions,
the great majority of whom are Catholics, and, among
most of these, religious life is intense. Religion finds so
strong a support in the loyalty and devotedness of the
people, that a Catholic government has remained in power
for over forty years. It was in great measure because of
its religion that it was so savagely treated by Prussian
(i.e. Lutheran) officers and troops. The world heard with
horror of noble churches desecrated and destroyed, cities
and villages burnt, lands richly cultivated laid waste,
houses plundered, priests shot, innocent civilians murdered,
and whole masses of them deported into slavery, ruinous
fines exacted, and nameless outrages perpetrated. After
four years of agony Belgium began to be rescued from its
fierce oppressors in our Lady s month of the Rosary, the
prayers of thousands upon thousands of Catholic children
IN BELGIUM in
imploring her to bless and help Marshal Foch in the gigantic
task of crushing the invading army.
1. Belgian popular devotion to Mary is very notice
able (a) in the crowds that flock to her sanctuaries at
Hal, Montaigu, Oostacker, Bon Secours : (b) in the honour
paid to her statues, often miraculous, in every town, and
nearly every village : (c) in the wayside chapels and
niches each with its statue of Mary, which are to be seen
everywhere along the roads, in the streets, and even in
the fields : (d) in the monumental cathedrals and churches
dedicated to her, chief among them being Antwerp and
2. Belgian Saints and our Lady. St. Plat (III
Cent.), apostle of Tournai, is said to have built the first
sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin in that city. St. Maternus
(IV Cent.), apostle of East Belgium, is revered as the foun
der of Mary s sanctuaries at Huy, Dinant, Leffe, Hastiere,
Namur, Walcourt. St. Servais (IV Cent.), bishop of
Tongres, built a magnificent church to Mary, known as
" Prima Cisalpes." St. Eleutherius (VI Cent.), bishop of
Tournai, rebuilt St. Fiat s church in that city. St. Lan-
delin (VII Cent.), founder of the Abbeys of Lobbes and
Aulnes (now in ruins) in Hainault, placed them under
the protection of Mary. From the theological school of
Lobbes came many a valiant defender of the Immaculate
Conception. St. Gerard (X Cent.) erected at Brogue (now
St. Gerard in the diocese of Namur) an abbey in Mary s
honour. St. John Berchmans (XVII Cent.), Mary s
favourite child, wrote with his own bloocl a vow to defend
the Immaculate Conception.
3. Sovereigns and Princes. Charlemagne (d. 814),
born, it is said, at Jupille or Liege, founded the Palatine
School, which counted ardent defenders of the Immaculate
Conception. Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy (d. 1467),
founded the Order of the Golden Fleece in memory of the
fleece of Gideon, emblematical of Mary s spotless purity.
Charles the Bold (d. 1477), son f Philip, always had the
112 MARY HONOURED
Rosary about him, and recited it when marching to battle.
John IV, duke of Brabant (d. 1427), founded Louvain
University, exacting from its professors an oath to defend
Mary s Immaculate Conception, Charles V (d. 1558)
recited the Rosary daily. On his abdication he strongly
recommended to the States General at Brussels to spread
devotion to Mary. The Archduke and Duchess, Albert
and Isabella (XVII Cent.), enriched with costly gifts nearly
all the great sanctuaries of Mary in Belgium, notably
Wavre, Hanzwyck, Montaigu, Hal, Antwerp, Vilvorde.
The Counts of Flanders. Every year for a considerable
period in the Middle Ages, the citzens of Ghent, headed
by the Count of Flanders, went on pilgrimage to our
Lady s shrine in the cathedral of Tournai. Philip de
Cray, duke of Aerschot (XVI Cent.), came as a pilgrim to
Hal in 1566, there to proclaim aloud by a document posted
on high his undying hostility to the sect of the Gueux.
He also caused silver medals of our Lady and Child to
be struck and distributed to the gentlemen of his suite,
who were required to wear them attached to their hats
as a mark of Catholic nobility.
4. Writers, Artists, Warriors. Justus Lipsius (d.
1606) wrote a Latin History of the two sanctuaries Our
Lady of Hal and Our Lady of Montaigu, offering a golden
pen as an ex-voto on her altar. He was a member of the
Sodality of Mary directed by the Jesuit Fathers in Louvain,
and at his death he told Father Lessius, S. J., his confessor,
that the greatest consolation he felt in that supreme hour,
was that he had belonged to the Sodality. Guido Gefrelle,
the most gifted Flemish poet of the XIX Cent., sang
Mary s praises with an ardour of devotion that goes right
to the heart. Godejroid Kurth (d. 1917), the great Belgian
historian, cherished a simple, childlike devotion for God s
holy Mother : his beads were ever in his hands. In his
travels he sought out Mary s sanctuaries, there to pour
out his affection at her altars. Huysmans, Joris, the
famous novelist, was born in Paris (1848) of a family
IN BELGIUM 113
of Dutch extraction. He is mentioned here by mis
take. From the time of his conversion he conceived
a tender devotion to Mary, regarding himself as her
knight and the champion of her honour. His letters
contain many beautiful passages referring to her, and
he speaks of a pilgrimage made to Chartres in 1894,
where his heart overflowed with devotion. Peter Paul
Rubens, Belgium s greatest artist, was a pious member of
our Lady s Sodality in Antwerp. Van Dyck was also a
member of the same Sodality, and bequeathed to it one
of his best paintings. The Archduke Leopold, wishing to
purchase it, offered to cover it with gold crowns as pay
ment. 1 Tilly de T Serclaes (d. 1632), one of the heroes
of the Thirty Years War, was born in Brabant. He had
our Lady s image embroidered on his standard, and offered
to her shrine at Altotting a crucifix of lapis lazuli richly
set with diamonds, also a jewelled gold-chain presented
to him by the Infanta Isabella.
5. Belgium and the Immaculate Conception. On
December 8, 1659, Belgium being then under Spanish
rule, King Philip IV, and with him the clergy, nobility
and gentry of Brussels, enrolled themselves in the Domini
can church as champions and defenders of the Immaculate
Conception. On December 8, 1904, the fiftieth anniver
sary of the proclamation of the dogma, Belgium was again
consecrated to Mary. Under Alexander Farnese, duke
of Parma, the Belgian army was placed under Mary s
protection about the year 1578. On Good Friday, 1916,
while the great European War was in progress, Belgium
was consecrated to Our Lady of Dolours by Cardinal
MARY HONOURED IN HOLLAND
I. Popular Devotion. The deep devotion of Dutch
Catholics towards God s holy Mother " Our dear Lady "
1 Hans Memling (d. 1494) and the two Van Eycks (XV Cent.),
Flemish painters, should also be mentioned.
H4 MARY HONOURED
(Onze lieve Vrouw) as she is commonly called may be
judged (a) from the great number of churches dedicated
to her : (b) from the common (all but universal) family
practice of reciting the Rosary together each evening : (c)
from the enthusiasm with which the May services are
attended : (d) from the large number of flourishing
Sodalities of Mary, which are found in all the parishes :
(e) from the pilgrimages made to her shrines.
2. Shrines of our Lady. Prior to the Reformation
numerous and much frequented shrines (statues and holy
pictures) of our Lady were to be found throughout the whole
country. The Reformation, alas ! suppressed almost all
pilgrimages and acts of public veneration, destroyed a great
number of the sacred images, and desecrated the churches,
often transferring them to Protestant worship. This sup
pression was chiefly effected in the Northern provinces ;
but in Limburg and Brabant, whore the Calvinists were
in a minority, public devotion to our Lady and Catholic
worship generally, survived, and the shrines were spared.
(a) Our Lady of Bois-le-Duc. Throughout Brabant
this miraculous statue in the cathedral has been the object
of a continuous popular devotion. Every year a great
procession is held in which the image is carried round the
city, (b) Our Lady, Star of the Sea, at Maastricht.
This is the most popular centre of devotion to Mary in
Limburg. The statue is revered in the magnificent XI
century church of Our Lady. At all hours of the day
numerous worshippers may here be seen, often praying
with arms extended. On solemn occasions the image is
carried in procession through the town, and the streets
in Maastricht followed by this procession form what is
known as the " Bidweg " (the prayer road), where it is
not unusual, even on ordinary days, to see groups of people
going the round of the road reciting the Rosary.
3. Other Pilgrimages. In the North, where the
old shrines have disappeared, pilgrimages are frequently
made to our Lady s sanctuaries outside Holland : v.g.
IN HOLLAND 115
to Kevelaer in Germany, just across the frontier ; and
to Montaigu in Belgium. It is the custom to make the
pilgrimage to Kevelaer on foot, a ten hours walk, returning
in the same way on the following day.
There are also many other less prominent, but greatly
venerated shrines, v.g. Our Lady of Land at Roermond ;
Our Lady of Nood near Heilo, in the Protestant part of
Holland ; Our Lady of Handel near Gemert. Early in
the spring pilgrimages to the latter shrine (a village church)
begin, whole parishes coming in procession from the neigh
bouring towns and villages, with banners and music, the
singing of hymns and the recitation of the Rosary. The
older people, women and men, are mostly conveyed in
carts, provided with chairs for the occasion. Along the
last half mile of the road to Handel are erected wayside
chapels with Stations of the Cross ; and behind the church
are similar chapels with the mysteries of the Rosary, at
each of which groups of pilgrims may be seen praying
vigorously. The miraculous statue, richly decorated with
a profusion of candles and flowers, has its throng of wor
shippers all day long.
4. Dutch Saints and Holy Persons. St. Lidwina
(d. 1433). At fifteen she fell while skating on the ice,
and the hurt she received kept her in the bed from which
she never rose, except in ecstasy, for thirty years. Every
limb was in torture and the pain she suffered made life a
continual martyrdom. Wonderful stories are told of her
devotion to our blessed Lady. Blessed Peter Canisius,
S.J. (d. 1597), was already as a child a devoted client of
Mary, and in her honour he wrote an extensive work.
With her help he fought the battles of the Church against
Lutheranism in Germany. Venerable Thomas a Kempis
(d. 1471), author of the Imitation of Christ, was most
devoted to our Lady. Gerard Groot, founder of a pious
Brotherhood, translated into Dutch the Office of our Lady
for the use of the common folk. Joost von den Vondel
(d. 1679), the poet, a contemporary of Milton, owe?] his
H6 MARY HONOURED
conversion from Protestantism largely to devotion to the
MARY HONOURED IN POLAND
POLAND, like Ireland, is a country very dear to our
Lady, for though crushed, oppressed, dismembered,
it has clung tenaciously to the Faith, and has never swerved
in its loyalty to Jesus and Mary. It is the land of heroes,
of martyrs, of noble defenders of Christianity and of
civilization. In 1621, when the Poles sent to Pope Paul
V some standards captured from the Turks and Tartars,
and asked in return the gift of certain relics, the Pontiff
replied : " Why do you ask me for relics ? Gather up
a little of your own soil. There is not a particle of it
which is not the relic of a martyr."
1. Poland is the native-land of St. Casimir and St.
Stanislaus Kostka, Mary s cherished children ; of St.
Hyacinth, Mary s devoted client and apostle ; of St.
Josaphat the Martyr, St. Adalbert, St. Hedwige,
and other glorious Saints, specially dear to the Queen of
heaven. It is the land of heroes and warriors like John
Sobieski, who routed the Turks and Tartars in many
a memorable battle (Buczacz, Chocim, Lemberg, Vienna) ;
Kordecki a monk who with 400 men, sixty-eight of
whom were monks, defended Czenstockowa against 8,000
Swedes in 1655 ; Chodkiewicz, who in 1621 with 65,000
soldiers routed 300,000 Turks near Chocim ; Tarnowski
and others, all fervently devout to the Blessed Virgin.
2. Our Lady s protection in battle was experienced
by the Polish armies (a) against the Teutonic knights
near Griinwald in 1410. King Ladislas Jagiello had put
his army under her protection, and during the battle she
is said to have appeared with St. Stanislaus, Bishop of
IN POLAND 117
Cracow and martyr. The victory was complete : (b)
against the Turks near Chocim in 1621, when Chodkiewicz
defeated a formidable Turkish army, ascribing his victory
to our Lady s protection : (c) at the siege of Chestochowa
in 1655. See Kordecki above, (d) John Sobieski, King
of Poland, and the defeat of the Turks at Vienna (1683),
3. Poland abounds in sanctuaries and miraculous pic
tures of our Lady : the chief being Chestockowa and
Cracow, renowned places of pilgrimage. (See 66.)
Popular devotion is seen (a) in pilgrimages to the numerous
shrines : (b) in the chanting of our Lady s office (trans
lated and arranged by Fat her Wujek, S.J.) at home, in the
churches, and on the battle-field : (c) in the rigorous
fasts before her feasts, and the crowds approaching the
holy Table on her solemnities : (d) in the wearing openly
by soldiers of large scapulars with a figure of our Lady
to serve as a breast-plate : (e) in the chanting by soldiers
before battle of the hymn" Boga Rodzica," i.e. Dei Geni-
trix a hymn believed to have been composed by St.
Adalbert (d. 981) and the oldest specimen of Polish litera
ture. (/) The month of May and October services are
splendidly attended. Where people live at a distance
from a church, they assemble near wayside chapels, or
in their homes, there to recite the rosary and sing hymns
to Mary, (g) The upper classes, even professors, magis
trates, rich merchants, consider it an honour to belong
to our Lady s Sodality.
4. Poland and the Immaculate Conception. In
1510 Polish Archbishops and Bishops assembled in Pro
vincial Council decreed that the feast of the Immaculate
Conception should be kept in Poland. In the University
of Cracow professors were not permitted to lecture till
they had taken an oath to defend the Immaculate Concep
tion. About the year 1586, the Magistrates (Town Council)
of Lwow (Lemberg) sent to Pope Sixtus V a hundred
arguments proving our Lady s Immaculate Conception
nS MARY HONOURED
against heretics and others who denied it, and received
from the Pope his coat of arms, i.e. three mountains with
a star, which together with the lion form to this day the
armorial bearings of the city.
MARY HONOURED IN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA
"POPULAR devotion to Mary is chiefly noticeable
L in the South of Germany in that part of the Black
Forest region where Catholicism predominates, as also
in Bavaria, Wurtemburg, and the Rhineland. The Black
Forest hides within its depths many a little chapel dedi
cated to Mary, of which the story in many cases is touch-
ingly impressive. These modest sanctuaries have been
raised by the piety of poor work-people, only too glad to
devote their slender savings to such a holy purpose. On
Saturdays groups of peasants may be seen wending their
way to one or other of these Mary-chapels. In the Middle
Ages the various Trades Guilds carvers, masons, gold
smiths, metal-workers, cordwainers and others took our
Lady for Patroness, and vied with each other in enriching
her churches and altars.
2. Places of Pilgrimage. Bavaria is known as
" Mary s own Kingdom/ and contains many shrines
with statues reputed miraculous. Allotting is perhaps
the oldest shrine in Germany, founded, it is said, by Louis
the Pious (d. 840), son of Charlemagne. Year by year
it attracts thousands upon thousands of pilgrims. The
first Elector, Maximilian I (d. 1651), head of the League
in the Thirty Years War, was very devout to Our Lady
of Altotting. His father, duke William, in an instruction
drawn up for the education of his sons, recommended that
they should every day recite the Rosary and the Litany
of Loreto. On his tomb at Allotting he wished the follow
ing words to be carved : " Passing stranger, know that
IN GERMANY 119
in life and in death Maximilian was devoted to Mary."
Tilly de T Serclaes (d. 1632), commander of the League
armies also, lies buried in this chapel by his special request.
Kevelaer on the Rhine is another popular place of pilgrim
age. A gold crown was sent by Leo XIII in 1892 to
adorn this picture.
3. German Artists and our Lady. In the XV and
XVI Cent. Albert Diirer of Nuremberg (d. 1528) pro
duced a series of artistic representations of our Lady s
life. The Cologne school of artists has left several master
pieces, rare examples of simple devotional conceptions
of her life. The Dtisseldorf school of Catholic painters
stands conspicuous in the modern artistic world for its
remarkable inspiration and piety in paintings of Mary
and her Divine Child. Carl Miiller, Ittenbach, Deger,
Steinle, Sinkel, Overbeck, Fuhrich are the chief repre
sentatives. Their productions are marked by great
spiritual beauty of conception and masterly design. Ach-
termann, the great sculptor (d. 1889), whose masterpiece,
" the Pieta," is in Minister Cathedral, was noted for his
devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Joseph Haydn, the
musician (d. 1809), is reported to have said that his sweetest
melodies came to him after reciting the Rosary.
4. Early German Poems on our Lady. The Melker
Marienlied (1125) is a devout interpretation of the figures
in Holy Writ referring to Mary. Each strophe ends with
the invocation " Sancta Maria." The Armsteiner Marien
lied (XII Cent.) gathers all possible similes from nature,
applying them to Mary. The Marienlob (XII Cent.) is
full of tender admiration of God s masterpiece. Werner
von Tegernsee, a priest (d. 1172), wrote an epic on our Lady,
one of the most remarkable literary works of its kind in
5. German Saints and our Lady Blessed Herman
Joseph, a Premonstratensian (d. 1241). Beautiful legends
are recorded of his childlike devotion to Mary. Blessed
Albert the Great, O.P. (d. 1280), St. Thomas of Aquin s
i2o MARY HONOURED
master in philosophy, attributed all his theological and
scientific knowledge to our Lady. St. Henry and St.
Cunegunda (XI Cent.) consecrated their virginity to God
in honour of the ever Blessed Virgin. St. Elizabeth, Land
gravine of Thuringia (d. 1231), was favoured with several
apparitions of the Mother of God ; as were also St. Gertrude
and St. Mechtild. Blessed Peter Canisius, S.J. (d. 1597),
Dutch by birth, is distinguished as the apostle of Germany,
and the foremost opponent of the Lutheran Reformation
in the country. He founded the colleges of Dillingen,
Ingolstadt, Prague (where Blessed Edmund Campion
spent some time). By word and writing he spread every
where devotion to Mary. Blessed Clement Hofbauer,
Redemptorist (d. 1821), was our Lady s greatest promoter
in Austria and Southern Germany.
1. The raising of the siege of Vienna by John
Sobieski, through our Lady s protection, and the routing
of the Turks. See 55. Ferdinand II (d. 1657) solemnly
consecrated the empire to the Immaculate Virgin, a
memorial of the event being a majestic column crowned
with a statue of our Lady in Vienna. Very flourishing
Sodalities of the Blessed Virgin under Jesuit direction are
to be seen in Vienna and other cities.
2. In 1901, Linz was selected for a Marian Congress,
followed by a pilgrimage of all the members to Our Lady
3. Father Baumgartner, S.J., wrote in 1892 a series of
sonnets on the titles in the Litany of Loretto. Some of
these sonnets are said to be masterpieces.
4. The Benedictine Fathers at Beuron edited a new
" Marienleben," viz. a series of remarkably beautiful
pictures illustrating our Lady s life.
IN PORTUGAL 121
MARY HONOURED IN PORTUGAL
PORTUGAL from its birth as a Kingdom has signalized
itself by devotion to God s holy Mother, i. Kings.
The dominions conquered by its first king, Dom Affonso
Henriques (d. 1185), were styled "St. Mary s lands/ and
later, " The Immaculate s domain." Its capital, Oporto,
was known as " The Virgin s City." Even to our day
the whole country remains studded with shrines and
monuments in her honour. John I (d. 1433), after a
victorious battle against the Spaniards in 1385, founded
in Mary s honour the glorious abbey of Batalha, which
Cardinal Justiniani spoke of as another Solomon s Temple.
It is one of the most sumptuous ecclesiastical monuments
in Europe. Manuel I (d. 1521), in gratitude for Vasco
de Gama s discovery of the Cape maritime route to India,
built the splendid church of Our Lady of Belem, a few
miles from the mouth of the Tagus.
2. The University of Coimbra in 1645, with King
John IV s sanction, passed a statute that no academical
degrees would be conferred on any candidate who refused
to take an oath to defend Mary s Immaculate Conception.
3. Portuguese Missioners, Orators, Poets. Father
Antonio d Andrade, S.J., the apostle of Tibet, penetrated
into the very heart of that country (1624), and built a
church to Mary right in the centre of Buddhism. Father
Antonio Vieira, S.J., the Bossuet of Portugal (d. 1697),
spoke rapturously of Mary s dignity in some of his most
powerful addresses. He is famed as an orator, theologian,
poet, and historian. Camoens (d. 1580), the immortal
author of the "Luciades," chose Mary as the subject of
one of his most beautiful sonnets.
4. Places of Pilgrimage. Our Lady of Nazareth on
the sea- shore, so called from a small statue of Mary brought
from Nazareth by a monk, who rescued it from the out-
122 MARY HONOURED
rages of the Iconoclasts. The church is much frequented,
and is rich in ex-votos. Our Lady of Atalaya on the left
bank of the Tagus, facing Lisbon, is a shrine very dear
to the people. The annual pilgrimage is marked by extra
ordinary rejoicings. Our Lady of Oliveira, the church of
Guimaraes, where King John I came as a pilgrim after
the brilliant victory which set the crown on his head.
5. The Portuguese Crown. John IV (d. 1656),
eight days after the recovery of Portugal s independence,
attended a great solemnity in the Chapel Royal, it being
the feast of the Immaculate Conception. There in front
of the altar he presented the royal crown to the Queen
of Heaven, and thenceforth for 249 years no King or
Queen of Portugal ever ventured to wear it, even on the
coronation day. The same King assigned an annual
donation of fifty gold crowns to our Lady s sanctuary of
MARY HONOURED IN GREECE
^pHROUGHOUT Greece, our Lady, after our Lord
JL and the Blessed Trinity, is the principal object of
worship : she is invoked on every occasion, and the greatest
devotion is shown to her. There are several special shrines
in various parts of the country, which are very popular
and much visited, containing celebrated icons (paintings)
of her, for the Greek Church, as all other branches of the
Eastern Church, forbids the use of statues or images.
Our Lady of Tenos (one of the Cyclades islands) is
one of the most popular of these shrines : the Church of
the Annunciation there is full of thank-offerings to her,
consisting of gold and silver plate for altar use, richly
bound Bibles and service books, missals inlaid with jewels,
vestments of richest material, adorned with the most
IN MEXICO 123
beautiful Oriental embroideries. Besides these the church
is hung with propitiatory offerings and thank-offerings
sent by the peasants, v.g. silver ex-votos, which have been
given in such profusion that candelabra, sufficient to light
the whole church, have been made of these objects after
being melted down for the purpose. Sometimes these
ex-votos represent horses, sometimes boats, at other times
grapes, corn-sheaves, or whatever her client wishes to
place under her protection. Very often a leg or arm, or
some other part of the body, is modelled in wax, for
Our Lady of Tenos is particularly invoked and celebrated
for bodily cures.
Many miracles are said to have been worked by Our
Lady of Tenos.
In an official description of them which is published,
forty-four are mentioned as occurring down to 1898.
Pilgrims visit this shrine by thousands. There is a holy
spring there, which is said, like Lourdes, to possess miracu
lous qualities. During these pilgrimages the " icon " of
our Lady is carried in procession through kneeling crowds
of believing, suffering pilgrims, who come year after year
in the hope of being cured. Irish Eccl. Record, January,
MARY HONOURED IN MEXICO AND SOUTH AMERICA
i. Mexico. This much-tried country, so sadly tyran
nized over by Rulers who are avowedly irreligious and
anticlerical, turns to our Lady in its distress. " O Mary,
turn thy merciful eyes on this unfortunate land." Devo
tion to her is most marked : (a) There is no town, and
hardly a village, without a church or chapel dedicated to
her : (b) Its great sanctuaries of our Lady are Guadelupe,
in the city of Mexico (see 65) ; Zapopan, in the province
of Jalisco ; dellos Remedies in Durango ; Jacona in
Michoacan ; in each of which not unfrequent miraculous
favours reward the piety of the faithful ; (c) numerous
124 MARY HONOURED
Sodalities and confraternities of Mary are found in each
diocese : (d) popular devotion, as far as the impious
Government will allow it, displays itself with enthusiasm
on her feasts : (e) men of remarkable holiness, loving
clients of Mary, figure in the history of the country.
That such good people should be oppressed in what they
cherish most their religion is sad beyond words : but
from the crucible of persecution they will in time come
forth more inflamed than ever in their devotion to Jesus
and His holy Mother.
2. South America. The fervour of devotion to Mary
among the Brazilian, and South American Catholics
generally, compares favourably with that of Spain and
Portugal, (a) Cathedrals and churches dedicated to her
are to be found in every province, and chapels in almost
every town : (b) her Congregations or Sodalities count
their members by hundreds of thousands : (c) great
pilgrimages to her shrines are not wanting, as in Para,
Brazil : (d) her great festivals evoke extraordinary enthu
siasm : (e) apparitions of Mary are recorded, as at Para
and Quito (see 94) : (f) Mary s affectionate solicitude
is seen in the series of marvellous manifestations in the
Jesuit college, Quito, Ecuador. See Ibid.
Concepcion, Chile, has a pilgrimage to a shrine of the
Blessed Virgin that is perhaps unique, a rock-drawn figure
of the Mother of God. It was discovered by a child in
the XVIII Cent., and was long popular among the Chilians.
Our Lady of Nazareth, at Para, Brazil, has a remarkable
history. Two hunters, resting in the forest, fell asleep
from exhaustion . One of them dreamt that a lady appeared
to him and told him he would find an image of the Virgin
Mary in a thicket close by. On awaking he made a search,
and a beautiful statue was discovered near the trunk of
a palm tree. It was carried to the town amid great rejoic
ings and placed in the Governor s chapel : but the next
day it disappeared, and was found to have returned to
the original spot in the forest. This happened several
IN JAPAN 125
times, and at length a chapel was built for it in the place
of its choice. Miraculous favours were so numerous that a.
large church had to be erected to accommodate the pilgrims,
and, in course of time, a city, Para, grew up around it.
The annual feast is a public holiday, prolonged for several
MARY HONOURED IN JAPAN
ON the feast of our Lady s Assumption, August 15,
1549, St. Francis Xavier landed in Japan with
Father Cosmo de Torres and John Fernandez. The Saint
remained in the island till near the close of 1551. Fathers
Gomez, Cabral, Valignani and others of the Society who
succeeded him brought with them the ardent devotion
to the Mother of God which is one of the prominent char
acteristics of the Order to which they belonged.
In the persecution of Daifusama, A.D. 1598 to 1615, the
Christian religion was proscribed, the missioners were
put to a cruel death or exiled, and every effort was made
to stamp out the faith which had spread through the
land with such marvellous results and been sealed by many
From the year 1640 the poor persecuted Christians
exiled to distant Provinces were left without priests,
without sacraments* (except Baptism and Matrimony,
the essential rites of which were transmitted from father
to son), without instruction except such as they remem
bered from the teaching of the Fathers and which was
handed down by tradition, devotion to the Virgin Mother
and knowledge of the Rosary being also treasured by them :
yet in spite of those long years of isolation and persecution
they clung to the faith with admirable fortitude, and their
discovery by the French missionaries in 1865 is one of
the most interesting events in the history of Christianity
126 MARY HONOURED
in the East. In the new church of Nagasaki on March
17 of the year above mentioned, fifteen Japanese Chris
tians of the Province of Urakami, descendants of the
martyrs, came to the city to see the new church erected
by the French missionaries. They were suspicious at
first, fearing the new missionaries were not of the right
sort, but they were led to recognize them as true successors
of their ancient Fathers by three marks, respect for the
authority of the Pope of Rome, the Rosary and veneration
of the Virgin Mother, and the celibacy of the clergy.
They told Father Petit jean that there were a great many
other Christians in the interior of the country, about
50,000 in all being known.
At present Catholicity is progressing and devotion to
Mary is as fervently cherished by Christians as in Europe.
The cathedral of Tokyo is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin,
and has a beautiful figure of her in stained glass above the
high altar. Behind the church is a grotto of Lourdes
with a basin supplied, as far as possible, with Lourdes
water. Every parish has its association of the Rosary,
and in many parishes there are special devotions every
Saturday, as also during the months of May and October.
There are also Sodalities of our Lady for boys, and of
Children of Mary for girls. Almost all the popular hymns
to her and about ten books of devotion treating of her
dignity and glory have been translated into Japanese.
In districts where the light of the Faith has never been
extinguished, one sees rough but simple farmers, labourers,
fishermen, working in the fields or on the shore, with our
Lady s scapular or medal openly displayed on their bare
breast. Manifestations of our Lady s help and interest
in these good persons are not wanting, and there are
reports of miraculous favours by using the water of Lourdes.
In 1917, a pagan, far gone in consumption, was thus cured
and became a Christian.
IN INDIA AND CHINA 127
MARY HONOURED BY CATHOLICS IN INDIA AND CHINA
FATHER NICHOLAS PEREIRA, O.M.I., of Colombo,
Ceylon, speaking of the Catholicity of that far-off
island, relates that the greatest possible devotion to Jesus
holy Mother is there cherished by the Christians. " Out
of 600 churches there, more than 200 are dedicated to
her. There are everywhere realistic replicas of the famous
Lourdes grotto, which are visited on Saturdays and great
feast-days by thousands of pilgrims, who form themselves
into magnificent processions. It is a very touching sight
to see the Archbishop, about 100 Priests, and 10,000
Catholics marching in procession at night, all bearing
lighted candles and singing hymns to our Lady." Strange
to say, even the Buddhists, who number nearly 3,000,000
out of a total population of 4,000,000, have taken to dis
tributing festive cards for their New Year s Day, which
are copied from our own Christmas cards, and bear the
figures of the Infant Saviour and His holy Mother. On
these cards appears the inscription " God bless our Lord
Buddha/ the sect thus unwittingly admitting that there
exists a God greater than their Lord Buddha.
From all parts of India, China, Japan, and other
distant lands, reports are sent to the " Catholic Missions,"
and " Annals of the Propagation of the Faith " of extra
ordinary manifestations of devotion to our Lord s holy
Mother, similar to those of Ceylon.
The Chinese Catholics are remarkable for their tender
devotion to Holy Mary. In Borneo the Chinese Christians
always assemble in the church on Sundays and Feast-
days half an hour before the principal Mass and chant
the Rosary together, the children taking the first part
of each prayer, and the adults the second. The effect
is most impressive.
Our Lady at the Hills, some twenty miles from Shang-
128 MARY HONOURED
hai, is a shrine greatly venerated, to which pilgrimages
are made, especially in the month of May. Throughout
the month a continuous line of devout pilgrims resort
thither to honour God s holy Mother. The opening
ceremony commences on April 30 with the firing of a
cannon. The next day Masses are said in the two churches,
which are situated one midway up the hill, the other on
the top. The path leading to the latter zigzags up the
steep slope, along which are erected the fourteen Stations
of the Cross. Thousands flock to the celebration, and
from morning until night there is a continuous procession
of pious pilgrims making their way to the summit, while
performing the devotions of the Way of the Cross. The
natives come on these occasions from all parts of the
country, and it is not uncommon to see entire families
who have journeyed several hundred miles. It might
be called the Chinese Lourdes, so loved is it by the simple
One of the picturesque sights is the hundreds of boats
in the canal at the foot of the hill and stretching for more
than a mile along the canal banks. This solid mass
remains practically unbroken for the entire month, those
who leave being replaced by new comers. The whole
month of May is held by the Chinese in reverence and
love, and one of the surest signs of the lack of faith in an
individual is a waning devotion towards the Mother of
MARY HONOURED BY KINGS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
INA, King of the West Saxons, rebuilt Glastonbury
church. (See 30.) His silver chapel. Ibid.
Henry II in 1189, again rebuilt Glastonbury church
after a fire. (See 30.)
Henry III is the first English King mentioned as a
BY KINGS itg
pilgrim to Our Lady of Walsingham. This was in 1242,
the twenty-sixth year of his reign. Waterton, 173.
Edward I came twice on pilgrimage to Walsingham,
in 1280, 1296. Ibid.
Edward II made the same pilgrimage in 1315. Isa
bella of France, his Queen consort, whilst residing at
Castle Rising came as a pilgrim in 1332.
Edward III followed their example in 1361.
A picture found in 1800 under the wainscoting of that
part of the House of Commons which was formerly St.
Stephen s Chapel, 1 represents this King and the Queen
kneeling before our Lady and Child. (See 28.)
The same King founded the Order of the Garter " to
the honour of the Blessed Virgin ; and, out of his singular
affection for her, he wished her to be honoured by his
knights." On her festivals, during the Divine Office,
they each bore on the right shoulder a golden figure of
the Mother of God.
Richard II (d. 1399), son of the Black Prince, is shown
to have been a devout client of our Lady. During the
reign of James I a paper, now in the British Museum,
was discovered giving an account of a picture known to
have been in the Chapel of St. Thomas Hospital, Rome ;
on which see 28, also Bridgett, 164. Others think
the King there represented may have been Edward III,
Richard s grandfather.
Henry IV (d. 1413) and the Angelus. (See 29.)
In his reign Archbishop Arundel spoke of England as
Our Lady s Dowry in a pastoral letter. (See 28.)
Henry V (d. 1422). It is certain that he consecrated
his kingdom to our Lady, though he was not the first
to do this. Thomas Elmham (see 28), a monk who
wrote in the King s lifetime an account of his exploits
and his piety, makes use of the words, " O Virgin sweet !
England is made thy dower by royal Henry ; keep it
1 This chapel was founded by Edward III as a collegiate one for
a Dean and twelve Canons.
130 MARY HONOURED
by thy power." (Anglia dos tua fit, Mater pia, Virgo
Maria Henrico rege : tu tua jura rege.) See Bridgett, 166.
The battle-cry at Agincourt, Elmham tells us, was " Our
Lady for her Dowry ; St. George and St. Edward to our
aid." Ibid. 167.
Henry VI (d. 1461). His foundation of Eton, of King s
College, Cambridge, and his devotion to the Rosary.
(See 71, also 29.) He went on pilgrimage to Wai-
singham in 1455.
Henry VII (d. 1509) repaired to Walsingham in 1505,
taking with him the young prince, afterwards Henry VIII.
Margaret, Countess of Richmond, Henry VII s mother,
was a person of remarkable piety. Every morning she
rose at five, said the Matins of our Lady with one of her
gentlewomen and then heard several Masses, often pro
longing her prayers until nearly the dinner hour, which
was 10 a.m. on ordinary days, and n on fasting days.
Henry VIII (d. 1547) and his Queen, Catherine of
Aragon, were together the last of the royal pilgrims to
Walsingham, their visit being in 1511. From Barsham
Hall the King walked barefoot to the shrine, where he
offered a valuable necklace to our Lady. After the victory
of Flodden Field in 1513, Queen Catherine wrote to Henry,
who twenty years later was to betray her so basely : " And
with this I make an end, praying God to send you home
shortly, for without this no joy can here be accomplished ;
and for the same I pray, and now go to Our Lad}r of
Walsingham that I promised so long ago to see."
Note. It is interesting to know that the crown formerly
worn by English Kings bore a figure of our Lady amid
rubies and diamonds.
Scottish Kings : Malcolm II (d. 1033) founded an
abbey at Murlach (Marylake ) in Aberdeenshire in 1010,
and dedicated it to our Lady and St. Maloch in thanks
giving for a victory over the Danes. At a later period
he built and dedicated another monastery to our Lady
BY KINGS 131
David I founded the Abbey of Holyrood in honour of
the Holy Cross and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
David Bruce went as a royal pilgrim to Walsingham
MARY HONOURED BY KINGS OF OTHER NATIONS
CLOVIS I in 501 built Notre Dame d Argenteuil
near Paris. Here part of our Saviour s seamless
robe was preserved : it had been found in a marble chest
in the city of Saphat in 593, and was brought to Argenteuil
Childebert in 522 built Notre Dame de Paris. In
1257 St. Louis erected a much larger and nobler church
on the same site.
Charlemagne in 804 built the magnificent church of
our Lady at Aix-la-Chapelle. 355 Archbishops, Bishops
and Abbots assisted at the ceremony of consecration.
Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne (d. 840), was
very devout to our Lady, and always carried her image
about with him, even when hunting. He had been anointed
and crowned by Pope Adrian I in Rome, and he confirmed
all his father s gifts to the Church.
Robert, surnamed the Wise, son of Hugh Capet,
founded in 1022 a chapel to our Lady in Paris, on the
very site where now stands La Sainte Chapelle.
St. Canute, King of Denmark (d. 1087), built several
churches which he dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
St. Stephen of Hungary (d. 1038) dedicated to her
the Royal basilica of Alba Reale, and placed his crown
at our Lady s feet, declaring her to be the Sovereign of
James, King of Aragon, in 1218 co-operated in the
132 MARY HONOURED
institution of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom (Trini
tarians), our Lady having revealed her wish to him, as
also to St. Peter de Nolasco.
St. Ferdinand of Castille (d. 1252) had her banner
borne before his soldiers in his battles with the Moors,
whom he conquered in Andalusia.
St. Louis IX of France (d. 1270) rebuilt on a grand
scale Childebert s church of Notre Dame in Paris. How
ever occupied he might be with government affairs, what
ever his troubles and sufferings, he never failed to say
our Lady s Office every day.
Louis XI (d. 1475) appointed the devotion of the Angelus
to be observed, in honour of the Incarnation, ordering
" all Frenchmen, knights, men-at-arms, servants and
others to recite it kneeling in order to obtain the blessing
Charles VI (d. 1492) instituted an order of knighthood
in honour of our Lady, and in thanksgiving for his miracu
lous escape while hunting.
Francis I (d. 1547), hearing that a Huguenot had
mutilated a statue of the Blessed Virgin, came barefoot
with his courtiers to the place of the sacrilege, and sub
stituted a magnificent statue for the defaced one.
John Casimir of Poland (d. 1592) consecrated his
kingdom to Mary, and had her image woven on its banners.
Philip III of Spain (d. 1621) requested Pope Paul V
to declare our Lady Immaculate in her conception.
Philip IV (d. 1665) urged the same request with Pope
Louis XIII of France (d. 1637), by a solemn act chose
our Lady as the protectress of his family and kingdom,
placing his crown and sceptre on her altar in the metro
politan cathedral. He ordered an annual procession to
be held on the feast of the Assumption to commemorate
Louis XIV (d. 1650) renewed his father s act of homage,
and by a public proclamation dated March 25, declared
BY CITIES AND KINGDOMS 133
that he owed to our Lady s help the victories he had won
Ferdinand III of Germany (d. 1647) consecrated him
self, his family and empire to the Queen of heaven. A
large column supporting a statue of our Lady, represented
as crushing the serpent s head, stands in a public square
of Vienna as a memorial of this consecration.
Duke Rollo of Normandy (d. 931), on occasion of his
baptism, asked the Archbishop of Rouen which were the
most venerated churches in his province. The Prelate
mentioned Notre Dame de Rouen, N.D. of Bayeux, the
churches of Evreux, of Mont St. Michel, of St. Peter at
Rouen, and of Jumieges. " And what Saint is most
revered in these parts ? " inquired the Duke. " St. Denis,
the Apostle of France." Accordingly, before dividing
his territory among his leading officers, he set apart por
tions for God, for the Blessed Virgin, and for the Saints
named by the Archbishop.
Among the founders of churches in our Lady s honour
should be mentioned St. Helena, the mother of Con
st antine who in the IV Cent, built the church at Bethle
hem, which with its altars, mosaic, and statues remains
to the present day.
MARY HONOURED BY CITIES AND KINGDOMS
I. (~^ ITIES that had our Lady s image in their armorial
V_^ bearings or corporation seals :
(a) in England London, Rye, Newhaven. Waterton,
(b) in Scotland Leith, Banff, Rutherglen, Selkirk.
Aberdeen has a vase of lilies in honour of our Lady.
Montreal in Canada, founded by M. Maisonneuve in
1640, was originally named " Ville Marie," and conse
crated to Mary.
i 34 MARY HONOURED
The City of London in 1500 had 118 parish churches and
thirty-six non-parochial. Of these, eighteen, and probably
more, were dedicated to our Lady, for Arnold s Chronicle,
the authority for these figures, does not give the names
of all the churches of Regulars.
A few streets in London still retain our Lady s name,
v.g. St. Mary Axe, Ave Maria Lane, Mary-le-bone.
A Council of Exeter held in 1287 ordered that every
parish church was to have an image of the Blessed Virgin,
and one of its Patron Saint.
2. Kingdoms consecrated, or specially devout to our
(a) England, the Dowry of Mary. (See 28.) Con
secrated to her by its Kings. (See 49.)
(b) Ireland. (See 34.)
(c) France emblazoned the lilies of Mary on her banners.
St. Bridget of Sweden, in one of her Revelations (lib. iv.
c. 10 ), says she saw St. Denis, the Apostle of France,
entreating the Queen of heaven to come to the aid of that
country, then suffering cruelly from its wars with England
France for which she had done so much in the past.
Poire I. 356. Our Lady touched by his prayer interceded
with her Divine Son.
Several French monarchs have consecrated their king
dom to Mary. (See 39, 50.) France has many wonder
ful sanctuaries of our Lady Lourdes, Rocamadour,
Fourvieres, La Garde, Chartres, Puy, Liesse, La Salette,
Pontmain, and many others. Poire I. 356 seq. Some
of these will be found mentioned under 39.
(d) Spain. Devotion to Mary is a marked feature in
the Spanish character. The usual salutation on entering
a house is " Ave Maria purissima " : to which the answer
is given " Sine labe concepta." Its Kings have dedicated
their kingdom with its cities, corporations, etc., to Mary ;
and its provinces boasted of some 500 shrines raised in
her honour. Among the famous Spanish sanctuaries of
the Blessed Virgin are Our Lady of the Pillar (Saragossa),
BY CITIES AND KINGDOMS 135
Montserrat, Atocha (Madrid), Betharam, and others. (See
(e) Portugal. John IV (d. 1655) consecrated his king
dom to Mary Immaculate, and placed his royal crown at
her feet. Thenceforth the Kings of Portugal never wore
that crown. He also decreed in 1645 that no student
should be admitted to a University degree without an
oath to defend the doctrine (not yet defined by the Church)
of the Immaculate Conception. The city in Portugal that
glories the most in having been consecrated to Mary is
Oporto. (See 45.)
(/) Italy, says Bozius (lib. ix. de Signis Ecclesiae) belongs
to our Lady by right, having been delivered by her from
the tyranny of the Goths, the impiety of the Arians, and
the ravages of the Saracens. Siena is in an especial way
our Lady s city, and on its coinage it formerly bore the
inscription " Siena, ancient city of the Virgin." Italy
possesses glorious sanctuaries of Mary, the chief being
St. Mary Major (Rome), Loretto, Pompei (Naples), Bologna,
Perugia. (See 63.) Poire I. 438 seq.
(g) Belgium, so sadly afflicted by war, possesses many
remarkable shrines of Mary, the more important being
Hal (near Brussels), Montaigu (near Louvain), Oostacker
(near Ghent), and others. Poire I. 409 seq.
(h) Poland, Germany. (See 43, 44.)
Note. A Venetian, who visited England in 1500, says
of the English : " Above all, their riches are displayed
in the Church treasures for there is not a parish church
in the kingdom so mean as not to possess crucifixes, candle
sticks, censers, patens, and chalices of silver ; nor is there
a convent of mendicant Friars so poor as not to have these
same articles in silver, besides many other ornaments
worthy of a Cathedral church in the same metal. Your
Magnificence may, therefore, imagine what the decorations
of those enormously rich Benedictine, Carthusian, and
Cistercian monasteries must be." He relates also that a
large golden shrine blazing with precious stones was shown
to him in London (probably in St. Paul s or Westminster
Abbey). " I never saw anywhere carving so delicate or
elegant as in that church. In London alone there are
twenty golden shrines adorned with precious gems ; in
the whole kingdom as many as eighty such." He adds
that he never expects to find elsewhere such churches
and monasteries as he saw in England. Nearly every
county in England has some rich shrine or monument to
MARY HONOURED BY POETS AND ARTISTS
L (a) Ancient Hymns and Poems in her honour.
Ethiopic Hymn to our
St. Ephrem s Hymns to her
Sedulius (V Cent.) .
Prudentius (d. 410)
Arator (VI Cent.) .
St. Venantius Fortunatus
An Irish Saint of the VI
Cent. . .
(b) Liturgical Hymns and Sequences adopted by
the Church in her services.
Stabat Mater, by Blessed Jacopone of Todi, 1 a disciple
of St. Francis (d. 1306). Sir Walter Scott admired it
greatly and was fond of repeating it. He is said to have
died muttering one of its stanzas.
Salve Regina, by Herman the Cripple, a monk of Reiche-
nau (d. 1054). St. Bernard added the words, " O clemens,
1 By others its authorship is ascribed to St. Gregory the Great
(d. 604), or to Innocent III (d. 1216).
See Livius, 462 seq.
BY POETS AXD ARTISTS 137
pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria " in the cathedral of Spires.
The words are said to have burst from his lips in a moment
of enthusiastic religious fervour.
Ave Maris Stella, by St. Venantius Fortunatus. See
Gloriosa Virginum, by the same.
Alma Redemptoris Mater, by Herman the Cripple.
Are Regina coelorum : author unknown: X Cent.,
some say much earlier.
Regina coeli laetare : author unknown.
(c) Non -Liturgical.
Omni die, known as St. Casimir s Hymn (see above,
1 8), but said to have been written by St. Bernard.
A collection of beautiful Mediaeval Hymns and Se
quences on our Lady by Richard of St. Victor, Rabanus
Maurus and others. See Dreves, Analecta Hymnica.
2. English Hymnologists. Crashaw, Caswall, New
man, Faber, Aubrey de Vere, Francis Thompson, and
many others have written beautiful hymns to Mary. See
Or by Shipley s Carmina Mariana, Series I and 2. Thomp
son s verses are in Series 2, p. 439. " Hail, Queen of
Heaven " we owe to Dr. Lingard.
3. Artists. Mary, the ideal of created beauty, and the
perfect copy of the Uncreated Beauty, is both the inspirer
and the favourite subject of Catholic art. Only a few
of the great Masters, who have enriched the world with
glorious representations of this Master-piece of God s
creation, are here given.
Cimabue (d. 1302). His Madonna and Holy Child,
enthroned and surrounded by Angels (preserved in the
church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence), marks a tran
sition from the stiff Byzantine school of art. It created
wild enthusiasm in Florence on its appearance.
Giotto (d. 1336), who covered the churches of San
Francesco, Assisi, and of Santa Croce, Florence, with
wonderful frescoes, has also painted beautiful altar-pieces
of our Lady and Child for churches in Florence and Bologna.
138 MARY HONOURED
Fra Angelico (d. 1455), the prince of religious painters,
has left us many paintings of our Lady and Child. His
" Coronation of Our Lady/ " Madonna della Stella "
and others, are the works of an inspired mind. They
are as near a glimpse of heaven as the artistic world has
produced. It is said that this artist would only paint
the figure of Mary on bended knees.
Botticelli (d. 1510) has some charming paintings of
our Lady and Child with attendant angels, the figures,
grouping and colouring being marvellously beautiful.
Filippo Lippi (d. 1469) and Filippino Lippi (d. 1504)
have produced paintings of our Lady adoring the Holy
Child that fix the attention of the beholder, as though
he were gazing at a vision.
Perugino (Pietro Vanucci, d. 1524), the master of
Raphael, has given us several splendid paintings of the
Raphael (d. 1520, aged thirty-eight) produced more
than thirty times the figure of our Lady, with an expression
always new and nearly always admirable. His Madonna
di San Sisto, Madonna del Gran Duca, Madonna di Foligno,
Madonna della Sedia and others are unsurpassed for ideal
beauty and life-like expression.
Titian (d. 1576). His " Assumption " in Venice is a work
of surpassing power and design and richness of colouring.
Murillo (d. 1682), the painter of the Immaculate Con
ception, has left us perhaps the grandest and most perfect
artistic figure of our Lady from a religious point of view.
One can imagine nothing more lovely than his Madonna
in the Louvre.
Carlo Dolci (d. 1686) and Sassoferrato (d. 1689)
have left us some exquisite pictures of our Lady and Child.
The latter s painting of " Our Lady of the Rosary" in
Santa Sabina s Church, Rome, is of unsurpassed beauty.
Michelangelo (d. 1564), whose frescoes in the Sis-
tine Chapel are the wonder of the world, was eminent
both as a painter, sculptor, and architect. In St. Peter s,
BY MUSICIANS 139
Rome, may be seen his Pieta, a marble group representing
the Blessed Virgin with the body of the dead Saviour on
her knees. The critics of the time objected to the youthful
appearance of the Mother, but he defended it on the ground
that it afforded an additional proof of her pure and spot
less character. " You forget," he said to one stupid
critic, " that our Lady was an Immaculate Virgin ; sin
never having had dominion over her, the beauty of her
youth could never fade." Michelangelo has inscribed his
name on the girdle of the Virgin : it is said to be the only
work on which he ever did so.
On the beauty of our Lady Petitalot writes (p. 414) :
St. Denis the Areopagite, a convert of St. Paul s from
Paganism, speaking of the impression that the sight of
our Lady had made upon him, says : "I have seen the
marvellous image of the Divinity ; I have contemplated
with my eyes that creature who formed the God-Man
Himself : Propriis oculis intuitus sum deiformam ; that
holy Mother superior to all the angelic spirits." He adds
that if he had not been a Christian, he would have fallen
down and worshipped her as a goddess. Ibid. 425.
Spanish, Belgian, and German artists, see 40, 42, 44.
MARY HONOURED BY MUSICIANS. MARY S CHORISTERS
OF the great musicians of the XVII and XVIII Cents.
Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Mendelssohn were
Protestants ; yet Mendelssohn has written a really
fine " Ave Maria," and so has Beethoven. Palest rina
(d. 1594) was a good Catholic and a devout client of Mary,
and there are some devout composers, contemporaries
of his. Rossini, Cherubini, Verdi, and others can
hardly be held up as devoted to our Lady ; also their
compositions, even for sacred purposes, are operatic and
140 MARY HONOURED
lacking in reverence. Mozart, a prince in the realm of
music, is said by some to have recited the Rosary fre
quently ; by others his piety is questioned, and it is stated
that he was a Freemason for a time at least. Haydn,
notwithstanding what Mendelssohn calls his " scandalously
gay " Church music, was a pious Catholic and devout to
our Lady. So real was his joy in the Faith that he declared
he could write even a Kyrie in tripping time. Indeed he
has done something very like it. Gounod was entered
for the priesthood. He did not persevere, but was always
a good Catholic and devout to our Lady. His " Ave
Maria " is full of religious feeling, and all his Church music
is certainly reverential. Byrd and others of the old
English school composed anthems in honour of our Lady,
and to judge by their works, they seem to have really
In the Middle Ages, when faith was more lively and
devotion more tender, our Lady and her praises were
constantly the subject of poetry and song ; it was of her
that sang the troubadours of Provence, the singers of
Guyenne, the minstrels of Brittany, the bards of Wales
and Germany, the Spanish romancers, and the gondoliers
of the Adriatic.
The Mary Mass in England and elsewhere had its
music of quite a special character. Long before har
monized singing was in use at the high altar service, or
in any other portion of the Church s liturgy, it was employed
for the Lady Mass. And as this particular music required
a select body of singers, our Lady frequently had her own
special choir of priests and boys. In Benedictine churches,
and possibly in others, these boy-choristers were known
as Our Lady s Pages.
In his Histoire de Notre Dame de Montsenat Dom Louis
Montegut gives a long list of renowned men who had
once acted as our Lady s choristers. One of these was
the famous Don John of Cardona, the Admiral of Sicily,
who succoured Malta when it was besieged by the Turks,
BY CHILDREN 141
and who chose for his standard Our Lady of Montserrat.
He used to say that he valued more the honour of having
been a Page of our Lady than of having been born at
Aragon, and of having acted as the defender of Malta in
his character of Admiral of Sicily. Whenever he wrote
to the Abbot he would beg to be recommended to the
prayers of his little brothers who served at our Lady s
altar. He lived to be Viceroy of Navarre, and, at his
own desire, was buried under the shadow of the great
Abbey-church, in which he had served as a singing boy.
Great pains were taken with these children, not only
to teach them Latin, mathematics, and music, but also
to train them in the observance of good manners, and to
bring them up piously and devoutly. Not only were
they taught to sing, but also to play the organ and other
instruments of music, for on Sundays and feasts, as well
as on Saturdays (our Lady s weekly festival), they joined
instrumental music to their singing. More than one old
writer makes mention of the exquisite Mary-music pro
duced by these pages. You might have thought," says
one, " that you were listening to a choir of angels descended
from the sky, such entrancing melody did they make
with their youthful voices and various instruments, filling
the hearts of the worshippers with a most sweet and
heavenly devotion." Stella Maris, 1911, p. 54.
MARY HONOURED BY CHILDREN
OUR blessed Lord loved children with a special love,
and would come into this world as a Child. " For
a Chid is born to us, a Son is given to us." Isaias ix. 6.
In His public life, when the mothers brought their little
ones to obtain His blessing, and the Apostles sought to
142 MARY HONOURED
drive them away, our Lord was displeased at this. He
invited the children to Him, and taking them in His arms
caressed them. Mark x. 16.
Our Lady shares with her Divine Son this deep attach
ment to children : they are indeed her children, given to
her as such by Jesus on the cross, and she cherishes for
them a love far surpassing that of all other mothers for
their children. She has on several occasions manifested
this love by appearing to them, v.g. :
(1) to Bernardette Soubirous at Lourdes in 1858;
(2) to Maximin and Melaine at La Salette in 1846 ;
(3) to the children at Pontmain in 1871 ;
(4) to the young college boys at Quito in 1906. (See
(5) to the scholars in Rome taught by St. Joseph Cala-
sanctius : besides other cases.
And she in turn has been and is tenderly loved by the
young ; v.g. :
(1) St. Stanislaus Kostka, her greatly favoured child)
fell into an ecstasy before her image in St. Mary Major,
Rome, exclaiming, " She is my Mother ! The Mother of
God is my Mother ! "
(2) St. Aloysius at the age of nine consecrated to her
by vow the lily of his purity in the church of SSma Annun-
(3) St. John Berchmans, when a young boy, made
,a pilgrimage every Saturday from Diest to her sanctuary
at Montaigu, near Louvain. On his deathbed he told his
brother Scholastic Nicholas Ratkai, that he had intended
to write a book on " Our Lady," and he asked Nicholas to
do it for him.
(4) St. Edmund of Canterbury, when a boy at Oxford,
made a vow of perpetual purity to her, and put a ring
on the finger of her statue to mark his consecration of
himself to her.
(5) Blessed Herman Joseph, when a child, used to
spend all his playtime before her image in the church
BY CHILDREN 143
at Cologne, and was favoured with visions of her and the
(6) Blessed Gabriel dell Addolorata seemed beside
himself at times with intense love for the Madonna. Father
Bernard, Passionist, his confidant, said : " Gabriel s heart
became like a furnace of love for the Queen of heaven " :
he seemed as if he could no longer speak, think, nor act,
without having her present before his mind.
Many other instances might be given.
Among her Sodalists, while yet young scholars, were
the Saints Francis de Sales, Leonard of Port Maurice,
John Baptist de Rossi, Camillus de Lellis, Peter Fourier,
Blessed Gaspar de Bufalo, and others. Thousands upon
thousands of Children of Mary have consecrated their
young hearts to her. Year by year, when May comes
round, also on all her festivals, children load her altar
with flowers, adorn it with lights, and gather round it
in prayer, chanting loving hymns which, learnt in child
hood, are never forgotten in after-life. In far-off lands,
Ceylon, Madura, China, Japan, and others, children love
to gather round her image exposed in imitation Lourdes
grottoes, and to walk in procession chanting her Litany
Childhood and youth are the spring-time of life : children
are the flowers of the human race freshly planted on this
earth by the hand of God : they resemble the angels,
whom artists delight to represent as children : T angelic
souls seem to look through their eyes : they are God s
work unspoilt by the world, objects of the Sacred Heart s
tenderest complacency. Devotion to our Lady, as experi
ence shows, is a most efficacious means of preserving
children innocent, guileless, simple, unworldly, and devoted
to their religion. Also in bodily dangers remarkable
stories are told of Mary s protection of her children. In
the disastrous Messina earthquake, January, 1909, several
1 Angels appeared to St. Teresa, St. Frances of Rome, and others
under the form of children.
i 4 4 MARY HONOURED
instances of miraculous escapes were reported. Father Nal-
bone, S.J., Provincial of Sicily, in a letter to the Father
General of the Society of Jesus, writing of the destruction
of Messina College says : " One boy jumped to the ground
from the third storey without sustaining any injury :
others let themselves down by sheets from the balconies :
others again account for their escape by miracle. See,
Father/ said a small boy to me, how much our Lady loves
me. I had the Sodality medal hanging by a string near
my pillow. At the shock of the earthquake the cord
broke and the medal fell on my neck. Seizing it I cried
out : O Mary, Immaculate Mother, save me ! and presently
I found myself in the college courtyard safe and sound.
See how our Lady loves me. Letters and Notices,
April, 1909, p. 76.
In July, 1918, thousands of English children offered
up Novenas of Holy Communions for Marshal Foch s
success in the great European War; and this greatest
warrior of modern times wrote to thank them, ascribing
the defeat of the enemy to the Divine aid obtained for
him by their prayers and those of others. The Marshal
lets it be publicly known that he is a thorough Catholic
and proud of his religion. His devotion to our Lady is
MARY HONOURED BY COMMANDERS OF ARMIES AND
I. ^V VICTORY of Lepanto, October 7, 1571. In the
V days of Pope St. Pius V, the Moslems were threat
ening all Christendom : they were masters of the Medi
terranean, of Hungary and Greece, and threatened to fall
upon Italy, after subduing Malta and Cyprus. In spite
of jealousies between the Powers, the Pope succeeded
BY COMMANDERS 145
in uniting Spain and Venice under the standard of the
Cross. Don Juan of Austria, the natural son of the
Emperor Charles V, was appointed Commander-in-chief
of the combined fleet. The Pope, like another Moses,
lifted his hands to heaven in prayer, while the defenders
of Christendom were carrying out their great designs.
On the very day when the confraternities of the Rosary
were offering solemn supplication at the Pope s desire,
and the Blessed Sacrament was publicly exposed for
adoration, Don Juan gained a glorious victory over the
Turks, the news being communicated to the Pope miracu
lously on the day itself, October 7, and at the very hour,
5 p.m. The Cross thus triumphed over the Crescent,
and Moslem invasion of Europe was checked. Don Juan s
victory was attributed to our Lady s intercession, and the
Pope instituted an annual feast of " St. Mary of Victory."
2. Victory of Belgrade, 1456. After four months
siege by the Turks and a terrific assault, the exhausted
garrison were on the point of surrendering, when a holy
Franciscan, St. John de Capistran, presented himself to
the soldiers, crucifix in hand, and called aloud upon God
and the Blessed Virgin to come to the protection of their
own. This roused the courage of the Christian soldiers,
who flung themselves upon the Turks with irresistible
force, massacred several thousands of them who had
already penetrated into the city, and put the rest to flight.
This extraordinary victory, coming at the very moment
when all seemed hopeless and lost, was attributed to the
intercession of Mary.
3. Victory of Vienna, 1683. John Sobieski (i.e. John
III, King of Poland), hearing that Vienna was besieged
by the Turks, hurried to its rescue with 18,000 Poles, and
was joined on the way by many German troops. He
succeeded in raising the siege, defeating an army of 100,000
Turks, 25,000 of whom were slain. The heroic commander,
I immediately after the victory, prostrated himself before
I our Lady s altar, attributing the success to her and her
146 MARY HONOURED
Divine Son s protection. He joined in the Te Deum that
was sung, with eyes fixed on the ground, and with the
most lively expressions of humility, gratitude and devotion.
See A. Butler, Lives of Saints, September 8, note.
He had previously inflicted great defeats on the Turks
at Bucracz in Galicia, in 1669, and at Choczin in 1673,
capturing the green standard of Hussein Pasha, the Turkish
commander, and slaying more than 20,000 of his soldiers.
The standard was sent to the Pope, and is still to be seen
in the Lateran Basilica.
4. Other Victories. Segneri (Devout Client, 124)
speaks of several signal victories obtained through the
manifest protection of the Blessed Virgin, v.g. by Heraclius
over the Persians, by Narses over the Goths, by Zemisces
over the Bulgarians, and others.
The battle-cry of Blessed Joan of Arc was " Jesus,
Maria ! " these sacred names being woven on her white
banner. Pelayo, with a handful of brave men, found
the strength that was to deliver Spain in the grotto of
Covadonga, which had been consecrated to the Mother
of God. Roland tempered his sword by a vow to Our
Lady of Rocamadour, and uttered his war-cry in the
valley of Roncesvalles. Paris being besieged by the
Normans, the people carried processionally the image
of the Blessed Virgin, which gave them victory. Those
fierce Normans became the liege-men of the great Queen.
Rollo, their chief, after his baptism in our Lady s church
at Rouen, rebuilt this magnificent edifice, richly endowed
that of our Lady at Evreux, and was always faithful to
our Lady St. Mary. His adventurous successors founded
sanctuaries to the Blessed Virgin in many lands. From
distant Apulia, where 500,000 Saracens had retreated
before a small body of Normans, Tancred and Robert
Guiscard sent to the Bishop of Coutances treasures for
that beautiful cathedral of St. Mary, which drew from
Vauban the cry of admiration : " How sublime must be
the faith, which could raise this marvel of architecture
BY SOLDIERS 147
in the air ! " The promoters of the Crusade, Urban II
and Peter the Hermit, used a white cross, the sign of the
Son and the colour of the Mother, and instituted certain
devotions in honour of Mary, among others the recital of
the Angelus by the armies at mid-day ; and history attests
that, while the Crusaders were faithful to these practices,
victory was not wanting to their arms. Petitalot, 407.
At the battle of Agincourt (1415), the English colours are
said to have borne the image of Mary, and the battle-
cry was " Our Lady and St. George ! "
MARY HONOURED BY WARRIORS AND SOLDIERS
MARSHAL FOCH (Ferdinand), the greatest
military commander of his day, to whom is due
the defeat of the Germans in the awful European War of
1914 to 1918, is a model Catholic and a devout client of
Mary. The struggle against the enemy seemed hopeless till
he took supreme command, when at once the whole aspect
of the war changed, and the Germans were driven out of
France and Belgium, utterly routed and defeated. This
gigantic task proved the Marshal to be a leader of con-
sumate ability. He attributed his success mainly to
prayer. Thousands of English children had offered Holy
Communions for him, and dense crowds of his own coun
trymen had flocked to Our Lady of Victories in Paris
praying for his success. 1
The late Major William Redmond (killed in action,
June, 1917), in his work Trench Pictures from France,
p. 106 seq., speaks as follows of the devotion of the Catholic
1 It is remarkable that the Catholic officers, Marshals Foch, Pe-
tain, Generals Castlenau, Gouraud and others, who before the war
had been put aside with no prospect of promotion by the irreligious
French Government, proved themselves to be the greatest of
France s military commanders.
tig MARY HONOURED
soldiers : " At a certain point at the front there is a village
where the troops come from time to time to rest, and the
church there is crowded each evening with soldiers. . . .
It is a strange sight in this church at night. Entering it,
all is dark save for the few flickering candles on the altar
of Our Lady of Dolours before which the priest kneels
to say the Rosary. It is only when the men join in,
that one becomes aware that the church is really full ;
and it is solemn and appealing beyond words to describe
when up from the darkness rises the great chorus of
hundreds of voices in prayer. The darkness seems to
add impressiveness to the prayers, whilst from the outside
are heard the rumble and roar of the guns which, not so
very far away, are dealing out death and agony to the
comrades of the men who are praying. . . .
p. 109 : " The day and night before a battalion goes
to the trenches, the army chaplains are busy in the churches,
for the men throng to confession ; and it is a wonderful
and most faith-inspiring sight to see them in hundreds
approaching the altar before marching off to danger,
and in many cases to death itself.
" When the turn in the trenches is over, and the men
resume their Rosary in the darkened church in the even
ings, there are always some absent ones who were there
the week before. For this very reason perhaps because
of the comrades who will never kneel by their side again,
the men pray all the more fervently, and with ever increas
ing earnestness say, May the souls of the Faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace ! . . .
p. 112 : " The writer has seen men who were killed in
the line. Their little personal belongings are carefully
collected by comrades and safely kept to be sent home ;
but the Rosary, when found in the pocket, is often,
usually indeed, reverently placed round the dead man s
neck before he is wrapped in his blanket for burial. I
put his beads about his neck, sir/ is the report *of ten given
by the stretcher-bearer to the chaplain or other officer,
Bl SOLDIERS 149
as a man is given to the grave. How many Catholic
soldiers lie in their lonely graves to-day in the war-zone
with their beads about their necks ! How very, very
many ! And so, indeed, one feels sure, would they wish
to be buried."
The Tablet of November 23, 1918, p. 574, quotes from
an American paper the following interesting " War Item " :
" Rosaries carried to Battle. The men (American
soldiers) of Comp. II were good Catholics, most of them.
No one knows where they got the idea, or who first sug
gested it, but had you been watching at dawn on the
morning of October 28 you would have found that, when
they went over the top, each one of them wore something
that was no part of issue regulations looped around the
left shoulder strap of his blouse. It was a Rosary."
The brave Vendeans, led by Charette and others
(1790), fighting in defence of their homes and country,
marched to battle each soldier having a badge of the
Sacred Heart on his breast and the beads round his neck.
Andrew Hofer (d. 1810), the Tyro lese patriot, recited
the Rosary with his brave followers as they marched
through the mountain passes and over the hills of their
Marshal Bugeaud, Duke of Isly (d. 1850), after
his conversion was an exemplary Catholic, and openly
recited his Rosary in sight of the troops in Algeria, as they
were resting round the bivouac fires.
Simon de Montfort (d. 1218), leader of the crusade
against the Albigensian heretics, having learnt from St.
Dominic the devotion of the Rosary, found in it a more
powerful weapon than the sword against the enemy.
Anne de Mcntmorency (d. 1567), Marshal and Con
stable of France, is said to have recited the Rosary while
marching against the Calvinists. Coube, 25.
General Lamoriciere (d. 1865), leader of the Ponti
fical troops against the Piedmontese, who were invading
and sacrilegiously usurping the Patrimony of St. Peter,
1 5 o MARY HONOURED
was a fervent Catholic and known to be devout to our
MARY HONOURED BY DISCOVERERS
ON August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail on his perilous
voyage on board a vessel, which he had had con
secrated a few days previously to our Lady, changing its
name from " La Gallega " to " Santa Maria." He had
need of our Lady s help, for trouble followed upon trouble,
still the vessel held on its course. When, however, it
became known that the compass proved to be no longer
true to its star, that the constellations had changed, and
that a meteor had been seen in the heavens, the men s
hearts sank within them, and they clamoured to return.
But Columbus was unbending and undaunted : the con
stellations might change, his trust was not in them. He
confided in Mary, Star of the Sea, whose loving guidance
and protection never change. From the beginning of the
voyage ne had ordered that the " Ave Maris Stella " should
be sung daily to seek our Lady s protection. One of his
biographers says : " Every evening the Ave Maris Stella
sanctified those watery solitudes, where never from crea
tion s dawn the voice of man had sounded until then."
The Star of the Sea heard their prayers, and on October
12 land was sighted. In gratitude to Mary, Columbus
named the archipelago east of Cuba " Our Lady s Sea,"
and called the largest island " Holy Mary of the Immacu
late Conception." Saturdays with Mary, 24.
Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec, governor
of Canada, and father of New France (d. 1635), was a
most fervent Catholic and devoted client of Mary, whose
name he gave to many of the places he discovered. (See
Father James Marquette, S.J. (d. 1675), the discoverer
BY GUILDS 151
of the sources of the Missouri, gave to the river the name
of " Immaculate." His monument has been placed in
the Capitol, Washington. (See 37.)
MARY HONOURED BY TRADE AND OTHER GUILDS
ON May I, 1449, the goldsmiths of Paris began to make
an annual present to the cathedral of Notre Dame.
In England Trade Guilds and other Guilds in great number
were established in pre-Reformation days, no fewer than
155 being dedicated to our Lady. Their object was two
fold, Piety and Charity.
The modern Livery Companies of London (Drapers,
Leather-sellers, Skinners, and others) were founded from
religious motives, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
One of the many works of charity which sprang from these
institutions was Bedlam, or Bethlehem Hospital, estab
lished by the Drapers Company in the reign of Edward
III, and dedicated to " the honour of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and His sweet Mother, Saint Mary, Our Lady of
Waterton (p. 97) says " that 909 Guilds existed in Norfolk
(i.e. Norfolkshire) alone, and of these 177 were Guilds of
our Lady." (a) Some Guilds were founded solely for
religious purposes, such as the Salve Guild in the church
of St. Magnus, near London Bridge, the members of which
assembled together every evening to sing the " Salve
Regina." Stow particularly mentions that most of the
churches had their Salve Guilds, and legacies of candles
were often left to burn before the image of Mary whilst
the " Salve " was being sung. A very noted chapel
dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury stood on old Lon
don Bridge, and attached to this chapel was one of the
most famous of the Salve Guilds. From the Tower Records
1 52 MARY HONOURED
we learn that certain pious members of this Guild, together
with " others of the better (class) of the parish of St.
Magnus near London Bridge (out) of their great devotion,
and to the honour of God and His glorious Mother, our
Lady Mary the Virgin, began and caused to be made a
chantry, (there) to sing an anthem of our Lady called
Salve Regina every evening. And thereupon (they)
ordained five burning wax lights at the time of the said
anthem, in honour of the five principal joys of our Lady
aforesaid, and for exciting the people to devotion at such
an hour, the more to merit to their souls." Nesbitt,
Our Lady in the Church, 14. Wax candles were then
very costly. (See p. 200, note.)
(6) The Guild called the " Little Fraternity of our
Lady " in St. Stephen s church, Coleman Street, had for
object to provide candles to burn before our Lady s image.
(c) At Bodmin there was a Guild of Our Lady of Walsing-
ham. (d) At Carbrooke Magna the Guild of our Lady
had its chapel and maintained a priest to serve it. (e)
At Caston the Guild of our Lady kept a light constantly
burning before her image. (/) In St. Paul s, London,
the Guild of the Annunciation had its special altar, (g)
The Drapers Company maintained its Lady-light in St.
Mary Woolchurch. (h) Sir Simon Eyre, a famous mer
chant, and Mayor of London in 1445, made a rich endow
ment to our Lady s Guild in the church of St. Mary, Wool-
noth. (i) The Guild of Our Lady of Lynn was founded
in 1329. (/) In the church of St. Andrew, Norwich, there
was a Guild of Our Lady of Grace, (k) At Oxford the
Guild of the Cordwainers built a Lady Chapel in All Hallows
Church. For others, see Waterton, Ibid.
Sir Richard Whittington and the Mercers Company.
Sir Richard, known to us in our boyhood days as the
poor lad, who leaving London penniless, " turned again,"
and by a stroke of luck amassed a great fortune, was
thrice Lord Mayor of London, and, moreover, a devout
Catholic and fervent client of the Blessed Virgin. In
BY NON-CATHOLICS 153
the year 1419 he founded a Home (then called a " God s
House ") for thirteen poor men, one of whom was to be
the tutor or head. In the MS. Constitutions, which are
in the archives of the Mercers Company, it is laid down
that " every tutor and poor folk, every day when first
they rise from their beds, kneeling shall say a Pater
Noster and an Ave Maria, with special and hearty
recommendation making mention of the aforesaid Richard
Whittington, and Alice (his wife), to God and our blessed
Lady, Maiden Mary." They were also to say the Rosary
for the same, and in the evening the " De Profundis "
with other prayers.
MARY HONOURED BY NON-CATHOLIC WRITERS
I. T)ROSE Writers.
JL Lecky (Rationalism in Europe, c. iii. 234) :
" The world is governed by ideals, and seldom or never
has there been one which has exercised a more salutary
influence than the mediaeval conception of the Virgin."
Again (in History of European Morals, vol. ii. 389) : " There
is, I think, little doubt that the Catholic reverence for the
Virgin has done much to elevate and purify the ideal
woman, and to soften the manners of men."
Ruskin (Fors Clavigera, letter 41) pays the following
tribute to the influence of the devotion to the Mother of
God : "Of the sentiments which in all ages have distin
guished the gentleman from the churl, the first is that of
reverence for womanhood, which, even through all the
cruelties of the Middle Ages, developed itself with increas
ing power until the thirteenth century, and became con
summated in the imagination of the Madonna, which
reigned over all the highest arts and purest thoughts of
that age. I am persuaded that the worship * of the
1 Inferior worship.
154 MARY HONOURED
Madonna has been one of the noblest and most vital
graces, and has never been otherwise than productive of
true holiness of life and purity of character. There
has probably not been an innocent cottage home through
out the length and breadth of Europe during the whole
period of vital Christianity, in which the imagined presence
of the Madonna has not given sanctity to the humblest
duties, and comfort to the sorest trials of the lives of
women ; and every brightest and loftiest achievement
of the arts and strength of manhood has been the fulfil
ment of the prophecy of the Israelite maiden, He that
is mighty hath magnified me and holy is His Name/
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Blithedale Romance) says :
" 1 have always envied the Catholics in that sweet, sacred
Virgin Mother who stands between them and the Deity ;
intercepting somewhat of His awful splendour, but per
mitting His love to stream upon the worshipper more
intelligibly to human comprehension through the medium
of a woman s tenderness."
Charles Kingsley. " Our hearts and reasons tell us,
and have told all Christians in all ages, that the
Blessed Virgin must have been holier, nobler, fairer in
body and soul than all women upon earth."
Robert Buchanan. " The worship of the Virgin is
to my mind the mind of an unbeliever full of holiness
and beauty. We owe to it a great deal that is ennobling
in life, in art, in literature. I myself see in the Virgin
the exquisite incarnation of Divine Motherhood, well
worthy of the reverence of any man, whatever his theo
logical belief may be."
II. Non -Catholic Poets.
Wordsworth has the following lines on Mary s sin-
" Mother ! whose virgin bosom was uncrossed
With the least shade of thought to sin allied ;
Woman ! above all women glorified
Our tainted nature s solitary boast.
BY NON-CATHOLICS 155
Purer than foam on central ocean tossed,
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven s blue coast,
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven, the suppliant knee might bend
As to a visible power, in which did blend
All that was wise and reconciled in thee
Of mother s love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene."
Lord Byron the poet of tumultuous passions wrote of
our Lady these touching lines in 1820 :
" Ave Maria ! tis the hour of prayer :
Ave Maria ! tis the hour of love :
Ave Maria ! may my spirit dare
Look up to thine and to thy Son s above ?
Ave Maria ! oh, that face so fair,
Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty Dove."
Longfellow speaks of the Virgin Mother as captivating
the hearts of all sorts and conditions of men :
" Virgin and Mother of our dear Redeemer !
All hearts are touched and softened at her name ;
Alike the bandit with the bloody hand,
The priest, the prince, the scholar and the peasant,
The man of deeds, the visionary dreamer,
Pay homage to her as one ever present !
" And if our faith had given us nothing more
Than this example of all womanhood,
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
So patient, peaceful, loyal, loving, pure
This were enough to prove it higher and truer
Than all the creeds the world has known before."
The Golden Legend.
Edgar Allan Poe in the following lines speaks to
our Lady with all the charm and simplicity of a child at
156 MARY HONOURED
" At morn, at noon, at twilight dim,
Maria, thou hast heard my hymn :
In joy and woe, in good and ill,
Mother of God, be with me still.
When the hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee
Now when the storm of fate o ercast
Darkly my present and my past,
Let my future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine."
Shelley. We may apply the following passage to the
Mother of the Redeemer :
" Seraph of Heaven ! too gentle to be human,
Veiling beneath that radiant form of Woman
All that is insupportable in thee
Of light, and lova, and immortality !
Sweet Benediction in the eternal Curse !
Veiled Glory of this lampless Universe !
Thou Moon beyond the clouds ! Thou living Form
Among the Dead ! Thou Star above the Storm !
Thou Wonder, and thou Beauty, and thou Terror !
Thou Harmony of Nature s art ! Thou Mirror
In whom, as in the splendour of the Sun,
All shapes look glorious which thou gazest on ! "
MARY HONOURED BY NON-CATHOLICS (cont.)
SIR WALTER SCOTT, who had not a few anti-
Catholic prejudices, often introduced our Lady s
name in his poems. 1
1 Lockhart (Life of Sir W . Scott, 33) quotes the following words
of Sir Walter: "I would, if called upon, die a martyr for the
Christian religion, so completely is (in my poor opinion) its divine
origin proved by its beneficial effect on the state of Society. Were
we but to name the abolition of slavery and polygamy, how much
BY NON-CATHOLICS 157
" Ave Maria ! Maiden mild
Listen to a maiden s prayer ;
Thou canst hear though from the wild,
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banished, outcast, and reviled
Ave Maria ! stainless styled
Foul demons of the earth and air,
From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair.
We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled
Hear for a maid a maiden s prayer :
And for a father hear a child."
Lady of the Lake, Canto III.
Robert Southey, in his beautiful Tale of Paraguay,
has the following lines :
" They served a Maid more beautiful than tongue
Could tell or heart conceive. Of human race,
All heavenly as that Virgin was, she sprung ;
But, for her beauty and celestial grace,
Being one in whose pure elements no trace
Had e er inhered of sin, or mortal stain,
The highest heaven was now her dwelling-place ;
There as a Queen divine she held her reign,
And there in endless joy for ever would remain.
Her feet upon the crescent moon were set ;
And moving in their order round her head,
The stars compose her sparkling coronet.
There at her breast the Virgin Mother fed
A Babe Divine, who was to judge the dead
Such power the Spirit gave this awful child.
Severe he was, and in his anger dread ;
Yet always at his Mother s will grew mild,
So well did he obey that Maiden undefiled."
Keble in The Christian Year thus addresses our Lady :
has iii those two words been granted to mankind in the lessons of
Our Saviour." Jan. 10, 1828.
He was fond of reading and reciting the hymns of the Roman
Liturgy, and his last prayer was his favourite hymn, Stabat Plater
158 MARY HONOURED
" Ave Maria ! blessed Maid !
Lily of Eden s fragrant shade,
Who can express the love
That nurtur d thee so pure and sweet,
Making thy heart a shelter meet
For Jesus holy Dove ?
Ave Maria ! Mother blest,
To whom caressing and caress d,
Clings the Eternal Child :
Favour d beyond Archangels dream,
When first on thee with tenderest gleam
Thy new-born Saviour smil d.
" Ave Maria ! thou whose name
All but adoring love may claim,
Yet may we reach thy shrine. ;
For He, thy Son and Saviour, vows
To crown all lowly lofty brows
With love and joy like thine."
Thomas Osborne Davis, the Irish Patriot, a Protes
tant, is the author of this pilgrim hymn :
" Fading, still fading, the last beam is shining ;
Ave Maria, day is declining ;
Safety and innocence fly with the light,
Temptation and danger walk forth with the night ;
From the fall of the shade till the matin shall chime,
Shield us from danger and save us from crime :
Ave, Maria ; audi nos.
" Ave, Maria, oh, hear when we call,
Mother of Him who is Saviour to all ;
Feeble and failing, we trust in thy might,
In doubting and darkness thy love be our light ;
Let us sleep on thy breast, while the night-taper burns ;
And wake in thine arms, when morning returns :
Ave, Maria ; audi nos."
(Written about 1843.)
Kipling in his " Hymn before Action/ writes the
following touching words :
Oh, Mary, pierced with sorrow,
Remember, reach and save
BY NON-CATHOLICS 159
The soul that goes to-morrow
Before the God that gave !
As each was born of woman,
For each in utter need,
True comrade and brave foeman,
Madonna intercede ! "
The following beautiful lines are taken from Coleridge s
Sibylline Leaves. They were copied, the poet tells us,
from a print of the Virgin in a Catholic village in Germany.
The Virgin s Cradle Hymn.
Dormi, Jesu ! Mater ridet Sleep, sweet Babe ! my cares
Quse tarn dulcem somnum beguiling;
. Mother sits beside Thee smiling ;
Sleep, my darling, tenderly !
Dormi Jesu ! blandule ; If Thou sleep not Mother
Si non dormis, Mater plorat, mourneth,
Inter fila cantans orat, Singing as Her wheel she
Blande, veni, somnule. turneth ;
Come, soft slumbers, balmily.
A Protestant Tribute to Mary.
At a celebration of " Mother s Day," Sunday, May 9,
1915, Rev. W. H. Clagett, a Protestant minister of St.
Louis and former President of the University of Texas,
paid a beautiful tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God.
" Mother, for whom words never have been, never can be coined,
with which to weave the wreath of glory that we would place upon
thy brow mother, by whom God became man, by whom the
human race has thus been linked for ever to the throne of God
mother, the light of whose eyes was the first light that shone upon
the Babe of Bethlehem mother, whose face was the first face
into which the Infant Jesus ever looked- mother, who, alone of
all God s servants, angels, archangels, seraphim and cherubim,
cradled Deity in thine arms and laid Him on thy bosom and held
Him to thy breast mother, who taught the feet of the Infant
Son of God to walk mother, the first word that the lips of the
Babe, that was God and Man, learned to lisp- mother, who guided
the footsteps of the Son of God and the Son of man through a
i6o MARY HONOURED
spotless youth to a spotless manhood mother, who followed the
Son of God, thy Son, bone of thy bone and flesh of thy flesh, to
the cross to ignominious death mother, the first of all the earth
to give to the Saviour Jesus loving ministry as He nestled on thy
bosom mother, the last of all the earth in the thought of the
Saviour, Son of God and Son of Mary, as He hung upon the cross
and died mother, through whom heaven itself was for ever changed,
when the Son of Mary and Son of God ascended from the cross
and took His seat for ever upon the throne of God mother, who
to this sin-darkened world gave the Infant Jesus, God and Man,
who to heaven gave the Lamb of God, Man and God, who is the
light of heaven mother, standing not beneath the shadow of the
cross, but beneath the glory of the throne of God and of the Lamb,
that throne now resplendent with the glory with which thy Son
has enshrouded it, one and all we rise up and call thee blessed and
place upon thy brow our richest diadem. We crown thee queen
of our hearts we give thee the first place in all of God s creation."
Homage more beautiful could not come from the lips
of a devout Catholic. It furnishes another proof of the
universal appeal made by the purity and sanctity of Mary
and by the sacredness of her divine maternity to the
upright and the clean of heart.
MARY HONOURED BY BUILDERS OF CHURCHES
FOR a list of the more important churches dedicated to
our Lady s honour in every land, see Father Guppen-
berg s Atlas Marianus. A few only are mentioned here.
i. In Palestine and Eastern Europe. St. Helena,
mother of Constantine, a saint whose praises have been
proclaimed by St. Ambrose, Eusebius, Theodoret, Nice-
phorus, and others, built three churches dedicated to our
Lady in Palestine one at Bethlehem, a second in the
valley of Jehosaphat over her tomb, and a third where
the Angel is said to have appeared to the Shepherds.
The Emperor Justinian (d. 565) built a splendid church
BY CHURCH BUILDERS 161
to the Virgin Mother in Jerusalem, besides others else
St. Pulcheria, sister of the Emperor Theodosius the
younger (d. 453), illustrious for her sanctity and her pro
tection of the Fathers assembled in the Councils of Ephesus
and Chalcedon, raised three noble sanctuaries to Mary.
Rom. Brev. Supplem., July 7. Her panegyric by St.
Cyril of Alexandria, Ibid., lessons 7, 8, 9.
Richness of these early churches. Theodoret,
Bishop of Cyprus, who wrote in the V Cent, and took
part in the Council of Ephesus (431), which was held in
a large and magnificent church of our Lady, speaks of
the churches of his day as dazzling the eyes by their rich
ness and splendour. Suidas (X Cent.) says that in Con
stantinople there were many altars of pure gold adorned
with precious stones. St. Pulcheria gave an altar of gold
to a church in Constantinople, which Sozomenus (1. 9, c. i)
says was a thing of surpassing beauty.
2. In Rome. St. Mary in Trastevere, the most ancient
church of our Lady in the Eternal City, was built by
Pope St. Callixtus I about A.D. 223. (See 8.)
St. Mary Major, erected by the Patrician John under
Pope St. Liberius, was rebuilt on a much larger plan by
Pope Sixtus III in 432 to 440, soon after the Council of
Ephesus. Pilgrim Walks in Rome, 108.
St. Mary of the Angels was adapted by Michelangelo
from the baths of Diocletian. Ibid. 126.
St. Mary on the Capitol (" Ara Coeli ") was consecrated
by Pope St. Gregory the Great in 591. Ibid. 175.
St. Mary of the Rotunda (Sae Mariae ad Martyres)
the ancient Pantheon was opened as a church of our
Lady by Pope St. Boniface IV in 610. Ibid. 342.
St. Mary of the People (del Popolo) was erected by Pope
Paschal II in 1099. Ibid. 393.
St. Mary in Cosmedin was built in the VI Cent. Ibid. 132.
St. Mary of Peace (della Pace) has Sixtus IV for its
founder (1471-84). Ibid. 359.
1 62 MARY HONOURED
Old St. Mary s (Sa. Maria Antiqua) in the Forum, below
the Palatine, dates from the VI Cent. Ibid. 186.
3. France has its splendid cathedrals (veritable " poems
in stone ") of Paris, Amiens, Chartres, Rheims (the latter
destroyed in the war of 1914-18), Rouen, Bayonne, Avig
non, Grenoble, Bayeux, Strasburg, all dedicated to our
4. England has the glorious cathedrals of Salisbury
and Lincoln, similarly dedicated, and rivalling the best
Gothic churches on the Continent.
5. Belgium possesses the Cathedral of Our Lady of
Antwerp, with its wonderful spire : also many other rich
sanctuaries raised in her honour.
6. In Spain the Cathedrals of Seville and Burgos ; in
Italy those of Siena, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Naples ;
in Germany those of Spires and Friburg in Brisgau, are
all placed under Mary s patronage.
These architectural monuments are in many cases
crowded with works of art, paintings, sculptures, bronzes,
rich shrines and reliquaries, executed by great masters
in the respective arts.
From the XIII Cent, onward the Religious Orders
vied with one another in multiplying churches, chapels,
shrines, etc., in our Lady s honour, and scarce a province
or noted town lacked a sanctuary to the Madonna, linking
to that sanctuary some legend, which marked the spot
as one chosen by Mary for the bestowal of her special
In the life of St. Hugh of Lincoln the work of cathe
dral-building is thus described : "To undertake and
carry on the construction of these cathedrals, it was needful
to combine the efforts of every kind of talent and resource.
Every one who could help had to be pressed into service.
Rich and poor, priests and monks, workmen and artists,
confraternities and other associations, united their forces.
The building of a great church called out an army who
marched to their work as the Crusaders marched to battle.
BY LADY CHAPELS 163
In the middle of the XII Cent., for instance, the spectacle
might be seen of whole bands of voluntary workers har
nessing themselves to carts which were to draw the neces
sary materials for building the church of Our Lady of
Chartres. This example was followed in Normandy by
men of all classes of the people, as Hugh of Amiens, Arch
bishop of Rouen, relates in a letter dated 1145 : These
voluntary labourers, he says, allow no one to share their
toil, unless he has first confessed his sins and done penance
for them, (also) unless he has renounced all animosity
and desire of vengeance, and is in perfect charity with
all his enemies.
Similarly in England the work was undertaken and
carried out in a thoroughly religious spirit, the radiant
vision of Mary smiling upon the work with the sweetest
and most powerful encouragement. Under the spell of
that beloved name there was no difficulty in bringing
together men of good will, and making them understand
that nothing could be too beautiful to give expression
to the immaculate loveliness of the Mother of God, and
so to honour the Infinite Beauty of God of which she is
MARY HONOURED BY THE ERECTION OF LADY CHAPELS
ENGLAND S shrines of our Lady were renowned for
their glory far beyond the seas, and the beautiful
Lady Chapels in Cathedrals and parish churches, rich in
architectural beauty, and often blazing with gold and
colour, proclaimed that the Island of the Saints was truly
devoted to the Queen of Heaven and belonged to her as
A few of England s more famous Lady Chapels are here
i. Our Lady of Westminster (now Henry VII s
164 MARY HONOURED
Chapel). It seems certain that when Henry VII built
this magnificent chapel in Westminster Abbey, he did
not intend it to be called by his name. His will and
intention was to erect a splendid shrine in honour of the
Mother of God, replacing the early English Lady Chapel
of the XIII Cent., which he pulled down. It is said
of this King that " in all his necessities he made our Lady
his continual refuge." No wonder then that he should
desire to build in her honour one of the grandest Lady
Chapels in the world. It was also his wish to bury there
the remains of his uncle Henry VI (d. 1461), venerated
by the people as a saint : but it is doubtful if the transla
tion ever took place. More probably the body remained
in the south aisle of St. George s, Windsor.
It would be hard to conceive a more lovely structure,
a richer shrine than this. Scarcely any portion of the
interior lacked its delicate and elaborate carved work.
Angels and Archangels, saints and martyrs, apostles and
evangelists, the hierarchy of heaven and the sainted ones
of earth, all had places on these walls. High above, the
fan tracery of the stone roof seems literally to hang from
the sky, so delicate and light is the workmanship. The
original architect, Sir Reginald Bray, died soon after the
laying of the foundation stone, and the work seems to
have been continued, and certainly supervised by Abbot
Islip. It is regrettable that it has long since lost its char
acter as a Lady Chapel, and is now only a mausoleum.
2. Lady Chapel, St. Alban s. It dates from the
latter part of the XIII Cent, and the beginning of the
XIV, Abbot Norton being probably its founder. In some
respects it surpasses in elegance Henry VH s chapel at
Westminster. The Decorated style had then reached its
full development. One gazes in wonder at the lovely
statuettes in the jambs and mullions of the windows, each
with its delicately carved niche ; at the ornamental detail
of the large windows ; at the richly traceried arch ; at
the splendid range of niches, and beneath them a gorgeous
BY LADY CHAPELS 165
range of sedilia. It will hardly be believed that this
architectural gem was used as a Grammar School from
the time of Edward VI until 1870.
3. Winchester Lady Chapel was begun by Bishop de
Lucy in 1204. The east wall with its fine Perpendicular
window was erected by Prior Hunton ; but the north
and south walls show the beautiful work of de Lucy, his
early English arcades and lancet windows. Much of the
wall-space is now concealed by some richly carved wood
panelling added by Bishop Fox (1500-1528), the friend
and confidant of Henry VII.
Under the direction of Prior Silkstede in 1489 some
remarkable frescoes, archaic in character, but extremely
interesting and illustrating miracles of our Lady, were
executed on the walls. They represent :
(a) the miracle of an image of the Blessed Virgin :
(b) protection and honour conferred by our Lady on
an ignorant priest, who knew and could sing only one
Mass, which was in her honour :
(c) Prior Silkstede kneeling before the Mother of God
saying " Benedicta tu in mulieribus " :
(d) a Jewish boy, after receiving the Holy Eucharist,
thrown into a furnace by his father, but delivered from
the flames by the Blessed Virgin :
(e) the Picture of St. Mary Major (Rome) carried in
procession by Pope St. Gregory the Great to allay a fearful
pestilence. During the procession the destroying angel
is seen sheathing his sword :
and so on. See Stella Marts, 1911, pp. 117, 118.
4. Gloucester Lady Chapel was begun in the middle
of the XV Cent, by Abbot Hanley. The architect was
a monk of Gloucester, Elias the Sacrist. The Perpendicular
style roof is said to be one of the grandest ever erected, each
boss being a separate work of art. Nearly all of them are
carved to represent foliage, and are as clear and distinct
in design as they were in the XV Cent. It was one of
the largest Lady Chapels ever built in England, and one
1 66 MARY HONOURED
of the richest in decorative detail. It shone with gold
and blue and vermilion. The reredos must have been
a gorgeous sight, and literally a blaze of colour, judging
by the traces of it which still remain. Ibid. 187.
5. Lady Chapels of York, Durham, Salisbury,
Hereford, Worcester. See Ibid., 1911.
6. Our Lady of Pew, Westminster. This was an
image of Our Lady of Pity (Pieta) represented seated,
bearing the dead body of her Son on her knees ; it was
a great object of devotion and attracted numerous pil
grims. It stood in the old Lady Chapel of Westminster,
the one destroyed by Henry VII, to be replaced by the
present edifice that bears his name. The old chapel had
the indulgence of the Scala Sancta, granted by Pope
Alexander VI in 1490. Henry III having pulled down
the (Westminster) Abbey Church built by St. Edward
the Confessor, laid the first stone of the new one in the
fifth year of his reign, 1220. The erection occupied fifty
years. The Queen set up the celebrated silver image of
the Blessed Virgin in the feretory of St. Edward ; and
in the twenty-eighth year of his reign, Henry III caused
Edward FitzOdo, keeper of his works at Westminster,
to place upon the forehead of that image an emerald and
a ruby taken out of two rings which the Bishop of Chichester
had left to the King as a legacy. Waterton, 222, 227.
MARY HONOURED BY PILGRIMAGES TO HER SHRINES
I. In Italy
i. npHE Holy House of Loreto. 1 Father W. Guppen-
JL berg, S. J. (Atlas Marianus) and Father Petitalot,
S.J. (The Virgin Mother, 431), give the story of the Holy
1 The question of the authenticity of the Holy House raised
within recent years remains unsolved.
BY PILGRIMAGES 167
House as follows : For many centuries it was venerated
at Nazareth, but soon after the Mahomedans had become
masters of Judea in 1291, it was translated to Dalmatia.
It -,was still at Nazareth in St. Louis time, for he is said
to have visited it there in 1252. Some woodmen first
discovered the little building, of unknown origin, on the
coast of Dalmatia in 1291. It stood in a spot where pre
viously there had been neither house nor materials to build
one. On approaching it, they found it to be 30 feet long
by 13 broad, and constructed of square red stones totally
unlike those used in that country. The building stood
without foundations of any kind, and upon unlevel ground.
The only room was rectangular with a door on one side
(the front side) : on the right of the door was a narrow
window, and facing it (at the other end of the room) a
stone altar, surmounted by a cross to which was attached
a figure of our Saviour crucified painted on linen. Near
the door was a small cupboard in the wall, containing
some vessels (two cups). Above the altar was a niche
containing a statue of the Blessed Virgin and Child, carved
of cedar wood, and apparently very ancient.
The Bishop and Governor of Dalmatia inquired closely
into the matter. Four men were sent to Palestine, who
found that the House of the Blessed Virgin had disappeared
from Nazareth, and that the foundations were still there,
the measurements corresponding exactly with those of
the walls of the house in Dalmatia, and that the stones
were of the same kind.
Dalmatia, however, was not to be its final resting-
place. After a stay of three and a half years it disappeared,
being translated across the Adriatic to a laurel plantation
(Lauretum, whence the name Loreto) in the States of the
Church. This occurred on December 10, 1294. Eight
months later, the plantation being infested by robbers
who came to plunder the pilgrims, the Holy House was
again translated a little further to a small hill belonging
to two brothers, most unworthy to have such a treasure
1 68 MARY HONOURED
on their property, for they quarrelled over the offerings
of the pilgrims. So, after four months stay, the fourth
and last translation took place : this time it alighted in
a public road, on the spot near the Adriatic, where it has
remained for over six centuries.
The Santa Casa is enclosed in a large and beautiful
church : its walls are preserved exteriorly by a casing
of marble exquisitely carved, which covers but does not
touch the walls. For the convenience of the numerous
pilgrims, Pope Clement VII (d. 1534) caused two doors
to be opened, one on each side of the building, and the
original door in front to be walled up. The walls are
14 inches thick, constructed of plain red stones, cut square
like bricks : no foundations sustain the building. The
furniture consists of a wooden altar on which St. Peter
is believed to have said Mass : a cupboard protected by
a wooden framework and containing two cups or vessels,
thought to have belonged to the Holy Family. Behind
the altar a door leads to an inner apartment with a chimney,
and near the chimney a small recess in the wall contains
a third cup of terra cotta, with some traces of gilding on
the outside. Pilgrims are allowed to kiss this and place
in it objects they wish to have blessed. Above the fire
place is a niche with the ancient statue of our Lady and
In the list of illustrious pilgrims to this sanctuary we
have the names of Popes, Kings, Emperors and Saints,
among the latter being SS. Ignatius of Loyola, Francis
Xavier, Francis Borgia, Aloysius, Stanislaus, John Berch-
mans, Francis de Sales, Philip Neri, and many others.
Forty-six Popes from St. Celestine V (1294), in whose
reign the prodigy of the translation is said to have taken
place, to Pius IX, have honoured the sanctuary of Loreto
either by their visits, or by magnificent gifts and spiritual
favours (indulgences, etc.).
2. St. Mary Major, Rome. Multitudes of English
pilgrims, both in Saxon and Norman times, have come
BY PILGRIMAGES 169
to kneel before this greatly venerated picture, which an
ancient tradition attributes to St. Luke. 1 After a visit
made to St. Peter s, their thoughts at once turned to
Mary s glorious basilica, and thither they hastened kindled
with enthusiasm to lay their homage at Mary s feet. St.
Gregory the Great, St. Francis Borgia, St. Philip Neri,
St. Charles Borromeo, and many others had a great affec
tion for this picture. A Welsh pilgrim s reference to it
in the XIV Cent. (See above, 36.) In 590, when
a terrible plague was devastating Rome, this venerable
portrait of Mary was carried in procession through the
streets by St. Gregory the Great ; and tradition avers
that, as the procession drew near the Vatican, an angel
was seen on the summit of Hadrian s mole (Castel S.
Angelo) sheathing his sword. See Pilgrim Walks in
3. Our Lady of Genezzano. " Mother of Good
Counsel." Genezzano is a little town of 3,000 inhabitants
about five miles from Palestrina. Here is reverently
preserved a celebrated picture of our Lady and Child,
said to have been brought by Angels from Scutari on St.
Mark s day, 1467. The story is as follows. In the middle
of the XV Cent, a pious widow, named Petruccia
di Jeneo, had undertaken to restore a ruined church of
Our Lady of Good Counsel, but on a grander scale than
her means would allow. When the walls had risen but
a few feet, she was compelled to dismiss the workmen,
and gaze sadly on a monument hopefully begun, but
apparently destined never to be completed. About this
time the inhabitants of Scutari, a small town in Albania,
embraced the Eastern schism and suffered a rapid decline
in morals. This was followed by an invasion of the Turks,
who took Scutari and began a general massacre. During
the subsequent flight, two of the fugitives, one a shepherd,
the other a slave, conceived the idea of turning for a
moment to a shrine of our Lady, once reverenced by the
1 It is thought to be a V Cent, copy of a painting by St. Luke.
170 MARY HONOURED
people, but long since neglected, there to ask for help,
and to look for the last time at the holy picture. As they
gazed, the picture (a fresco) detached itself from the wall,
passed out of the church and was carried by invisible
hands towards the west. They followed it over hill and
valley and plain, till it vanished from their sight.
Meanwhile the inhabitants of Genezzano were cele
brating with unusual solemnity the feast of St. Mark in
the piazza near the unfinished church, when they were
astounded by the sudden appearance in the sky of a picture
of the Madonna. It descended, moved into the church
enclosure and alighted on the unfinished wall. The news
of the miraculous advent of the picture soon spread through
the country, and reached the ears of the two fugitives
who had crossed the Adriatic and travelled as far as Rome.
They hastened to Genezzano. One glance was enough ;
their beloved Madonna had fled from schism and sin to a
land of faith and love. Pilgrims flocked to the town and
brought with them abundant alms, so that in a short
time Petruccia saw her church to our Lady completed.
Many miraculous cures were wrought, and devotion spread
far and wide.
Pope Leo XIII had a special devotion to this shrine of
our Lady. In 1884 he approved of a special Mass and
Office for the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, which
is kept on the 26th April, as the day of the apparition is
impeded by the Feast of St. Mark. In 1893 he approved
of a special scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel, with
Indulgences. On April 22, 1903, he issued a decree com
manding the title " Mother of Good Counsel " to be added
to the other titles of our Lady in her Litany.
4. Our Lady of Campocavallo, in a town near the
Adriatic, not far from Loretto. An oleograph of Our Lady
of Dolours, hanging in a poor barn-like church, was observed
in 1892 to shed tears : the eyes too were seen to be some
times raised heavenward, sometimes lowered. The prodigy
was constantly repeated and numerous miraculous cures
BY PILGRIMAGES 171
were recorded. Campocavallo has now become a great
place of pilgrimage, and the holy picture now reposes
within a magnificent basilica erected by the bounty of
5. Our Lady of Pompei, near Naples. Signer Bar-
tolo Longo purchased in 1877 a very simple painting of
Our Lady of the Rosary for a charitable institution he
had established. Almost at once miraculous cures were
obtained and have continued ever since, few shrines of
our Lady in Italy attracting more pilgrims than this. A
stately church has been built, and extraordinary manifes
tations of faith occur.
MARY HONOURED BY PILGRIMAGES IN FRANCE
I. T OURDES. Four years after the proclamation
J ^ of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception,
our Lady appeared on February n, 1858, to a little girl
of poor parents, named Bernadette Soubirous. It was
at the Grotto of Massabielle, near the little town of Lourdes,
at the foot of the Pyrenees, a town quite unknown at the
time, but now of world- wide fame. The Queen of Heaven
committed to that little girl in a subsequent apparition
of February 23 the duty of announcing to the Clergy that
a church should be built on that spot, and that people
should go thither in procession. On February 25 Bernad
ette was told to go and drink at the fountain, the fountain
which till then did not exist, as the whole country testifies,
but began to flow as the girl touched the ground, and has
never ceased since. Countless pilgrims have since drunk of
its waters. The whole world bears testimony to undoubted
instantaneous cures, cures manifestly superhuman, cures
which, according to the avowal of an infidel, are upsetting
and can t be explained by any natural cause. These con
tinue to the present time, not rarely or occasionally, but
i;2 MARY HONOURED
continually and constantly. Finally, on March 25, 1858,
the feast of the Annunciation, at the earnest request of
the pious girl who asked her name, the august Mother of
God, joining her hands and raising her eyes to heaven,
answered : "I am the Immaculate Conception " : thus
speaking she disappeared. A large and beautiful church,
which has cost many millions of francs, now stands above
the rocks, and attracts many thousands of pilgrims every
year. See Bertrin, Lourdes, tr. Gibbs, London, 1908 :
The Month, Oct. 1905, 359 ; Febr. 1907, 124.
2. La Salette, in Dauphiny, diocese of Grenoble. The
Blessed Virgin is said to have appeared to two young
shepherds, a boy named Maximin Giraud, aged eleven, and
a girl, Melanie Calvat, aged fourteen, on September 19,
1846, about 3 p.m. in full sunlight. The place of the
apparition was on a mountain 5,918 feet high, and about
three miles distant from the church. The children were
very poor, very ignorant, unacquainted with each other
till that day or the day before, utterly unable of themselves
to invent the story they told, and with no sign of collusion
between them. To each our Lady is said to have imparted
a special secret, which neither ever made known to the
other. These secrets were disclosed to Pope Pius IX in
1851. Opinions differ as to the reality of the apparitions
and the truth of the children s story, though the Bishop
of Grenoble, after a thorough investigation, believed them
both. A splendid church was built, to which countless
pilgrims flock every year. See Northcote, Sanctuaries
of the Madonna.
3. Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris. This sanctuary,
now perhaps the most frequented church in France, dates
only from the XVII Cent. Louis XIII, having taken
Rochelle and put an end to the wars of religion, decided
to build the church for the Augustinian Friars. Begun
in 1629, it was not finished and consecrated till 1740. In
1837, Monsieur 1 Abbe des Genettes here established the
Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for
BY PILGRIMAGES 173
the conversion of sinners, as a means of renewing his
parish which had fallen into a sad state of ignorance and
prejudice against religion. Marvellous effects followed.
In 1876 the Parisian Associates numbered nearly a million.
With the branch confraternities the present number of
Associates throughout the world exceeds 30,000,000.
Every year over 3,000,000 persons visit this sanctuary,
and about 9,000 Masses are said at its altars. During
the Paris Commune of 1871 this venerable sanctuary was
sacrilegiously profaned. Petitalot, 438, 440.
4. Notre Dame de Rocamadour, in the diocese of
Cahors, Province of Quercy. For long centuries this
famous sanctuary has been a centre of attraction to pil
grims from nearly every country of Europe, among them
being Kings, . Bishops, and nobles. A curious legend
connects its foundation with Zacheus of the Gospel, who
is thought to have built the original oratory, subsequently
added to by one Amadour. Others believe this Amadour
to have been St. Amator, Bishop of Auxerre : but this is
mere conjecture. The origin of the sanctuary is lost in
antiquity. St. Dominic is counted among its pilgrims.
5. Notre Dame de Chartres, Department of Eure
et Loire. This is in many respects the most wonderful
sanctuary in Europe, as it boasts of an uninterrupted
tradition from the time of the Druids, who dedicated there
a statue Virgini pariturae, " To the Virgin who should
bear a child." This wooden statue is said to have been
in existence in 1793, but to have been destroyed during
the Revolution. The present statue is a copy of the
original one. Many Kings of France came here on pil
grimage, among them St. Louis, who, in order to reach
the place, travelled seven leagues on foot. Charles V
of France went there twice, part of the way barefoot.
6. Notre Dame de Boulogne. This was a favourite
place of pilgrimage with our English forefathers : indeed,
from the year 1212, there was a constant succession of
English pilgrims to this noted sanctuary. The Earl of
1/4 MARY HONOURED
Shrewsbury presented to the statue a magnificent robe
of cloth of gold with his coat of arms embroidered upon
it. The Earl of Warwick, when governor of Calais, gave
an image of our Lady in silver gilt, " with the demon under
her feet." Godfrey de Bouillon offered to Our Lady of
Boulogne the crown he refused to wear as King of Jerusa
lem. Besides several French monarchs, Henry III of
England visited this shrine in 1255, the Black Prince and
John of Gaunt in 1360, and later, Charles the Bold of
7. Notre Dame de Fourvieres, Lyons. St. Pothinus,
a disciple of St. Polycarp, was the first Bishop of Lyons.
He is said to have brought to the city an image of the
Blessed Virgin, which he placed in a grotto, now the crypt
of the church of St. Nizier. After a long episcopate he
was martyred near Fourvieres in 177. St. Irenaeus, his
successor, was famed for his devotion to the Mother of
God. The earliest chapel, built in 840 and enlarged in
1168, was utterly destroyed by the Calvinists in the XVI
Cent., and, though rebuilt, was again reduced to a ruin
during the Revolution of 1793. The present structure
dates from the beginning of the XIX Cent., being con
secrated by Pope Pius VII in person, April 19, 1805, on
his return from the coronation of the Emperor Napoleon.
8. Notre Dame de Puy, built on the scene of one of
the earliest of the Blessed Virgin s apparitions. After
the Crusades this sanctuary became famous throughout
Christendom. French Kings, princes, nobles in great
number came here to offer their homage to the Queen of
Heaven. St. Louis IX presented the shrine with a thorn
from the Sacred Crown. The pilgrimages in former days
must have been veritable pageants, for the crowds, even
as late as 1853, exceeded 300,000 in number.
9. Notre Dame de Liesse in Picardy was, before the
rise of Lourdes, one of the most frequented pilgrimages
in France. Its origin is dated from the XII Cent, and
is said to be connected with the Christian captives during
IN SPA NTS ft SHRINES 175
the crusades. It is still held in high honour. (See Canada,
MARY HONOURED IN SPANISH SHRINES
i. /~\UR Lady of Montserrat. Its existence can be
V_y traced to the X Cent., but it was not till
the XIII that it became a centre of much devotion. Here
St. Ignatius of Loyola came as a pilgrim at the beginning
of his conversion to a perfect life in 1522. Here he
made his " vigil in arms " before our Lady s altar, and hung
up his sword, vowing henceforth to serve only Jesus and
His holy Mother. The present church was consecrated
2. Saragossa, Our Lady of the Pillar, in Aragon,
is one of the most popular of our Lady s shrines in Spain,
and is constantly thronged with pilgrims. Popular tradi
tion traces its origin to the Apostle St. James the Greater :
and from time immemorial it has been celebrated for
miracles. (See 40.) It is the most popular of Spaidsh
pilgrimages, and the most thronged with pilgrims.
3. Guadalupe, Estramadura, is celebrated for its
wonder-working statue of the Blessed Virgin. But it is
far outshone by another shrine of the same name in Mexico,
the story of which may be given here. A poor Indian
was favoured more than once with a vision of our Lady
bidding him tell the Bishop of Zumarraga that she wished
a church to be built in her honour on a certain spot which
she pointed out. The Bishop was incredulous. Again
our Lady appeared and told the Indian to gather some
roses from the rocks as a sign to the Bishop, it not being
the season for roses. He did so, put them in his cloak,
and on unfolding the cloak before the Bishop a miraculous
picture of the Mother of God was found painted thereon.
This happened in the XVI Cent, about 1531, and ever
176 MARY HONOURED
since the church built to receive the picture has been a
centre of unceasing pilgrimages.
4. Toledo, New Castile, enshrines in its gorgeous cathe
dral a statue of the Blessed Virgin in a chapel richly orna
mented with jasper and containing many splendid and
unique treasures. This centre of devotion to Mary which
attracts annually a great number of pilgrims, is associated
with the tradition of an apparition to St. Ildephonsus.
5. Puche, Valencia, is the great Spanish sanctuary dedi
cated to Our Lady of Mercy. On the Order of Mercy,
founded by Spanish Saints, see 67, n. 9.
MARY HONOURED IN BELGIAN, Swiss AND POLISH SHRINES
i. T T AL, near Brussels, possesses a wooden statue
1 1 of the Blessed Virgin which is decorated with
a golden crown. Its history has been written by Justus
Lipsius, the title to his work being Diva Virgo Hallensis.
As a pilgrim-resort it has been famous for centuries, and
possesses many rich gifts presented by noble pilgrims. A
silver monstrance, presented by Henry VIII in his younger
days, was lent for use during the Eucharistic Congress in
London, 1908. A confraternity was attached to this
church and in the register of its members may be seen
the names of Henry VIII and Queen Katherine of Aragon.
2. Montaigu, a few miles from Louvain, is another
well-known shrine of our Lady. The miraculous image
was originally found in a tree, and still stands in the tree
above the High Altar. Montaigu was a favourite pil
grimage of St. John Berchmans in his boyhood. He came
every Saturday from his home in Diest, a distance of
about seven miles. Extraordinary manifestations of
faith and devotion are here constantly witnessed.
3. Oostacker, near Ghent, is a grotto built in imitation
of Lourdes with a supply of Lourdes water in a pool or
BY HER FEASTS 177
basin below the grotto. The cures recorded are remark
able and undoubtedly miraculous. Its inauguration began
with a body of 2,000 pilgrims on July 29, 1875, since which
time there has been a continuous stream of devout visitors.
Crowds at times may be seen coming to it from Ghent
and other towns.
4. Einsiedeln in Switzerland has been a place of pil
grimage since the time of the anti-Pope, Leo VIII, in 964.
The object here venerated is a miraculous statue of the
Blessed Virgin brought by St. Meinrad from Zurich. The
Saint was murdered in 861 by robbers, who coveted the
rich offerings already at that early date left by the pil
grims. It is calculated that the yearly number of pilgrims
exceeds 150,000. Even Protestants from the surrounding
cantons are known to have joined the throng of worshippers.
5. Cracow in Poland is said to possess a miraculous
statue of the Blessed Virgin brought to it by St. Hyacinth,
to which in times past pilgrimages were often made.
6. Czenstochowa is the most famous of Polish shrines
dedicated to the Mother of God, where a picture painted
on cypress wood and attributed to St. Luke is greatly
venerated. This is reputed to be the richest sanctuary
in the world.
Note. On these and other pilgrimages, see Catholic
Encyclopedia, vol. xii. p. 94, and Northcote s Sanctuaries
of the Madonna.
MARY HONOURED BY THE INSTITUTION OF FEASTS
i. T7EAST of the Immaculate Conception. (See
Luther is reported to have said that of all the Church s
feasts, the two he abominated the most were Corpus
Christi and the Conception of the Virgin. No wonder
178 MARY HONOURED
he hated her who tramples on the head of heresy. Cr asset,
Tract. IV. Q. 5, p. 262.
2. Feast of Our Lady s Nativity. It is said to have
been first celebrated soon after the Council of Ephesus,
431. Baronius tells us that it was observed by both the
Eastern and Western Churches in 446. We have sermons
delivered on the feast by St. Proclus, who succeeded
Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople ; by St. Germanus
of Constantinople, and by St. Andrew of Crete. An ancient
liturgical hymn has these words referring to SS. Joachim
and Anna, the parents of Mary : " O Parentes, quam
gaudentes, quam beatos, quam laudatos, vos facit
haec Filia ! " Jamar. 82, note 2. In 688 Pope St. Sergius I
appointed the homilies to be read, and the Litany to
be said on this solemnity ; also a procession to be made
from St. Adrian s Church in the Forum to St. Mary Major.
St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) also prescribed special
collects and preface for the Mass, prayers for the procession,
and psalms for Matins on the same feast : also a Mass for
the solemnity is thought to have been used in the time of
Pope St. Leo I (d. 461). Alban Butler, Lives of Saints,
3. Feast of the Holy Name of Mary. This festival
was appointed by Pope Innocent XI (d. 1689), to recom
mend to God through our Lady s intercession the neces
sities of His Church, also to return Him thanks for the
relief of Vienna (1683) through her intercession. Ibid.
" The name of Mary," says St. Ambrose, "is as ointment
poured out. May that same ointment descend into the
inmost depths and recesses of our souls, whereby holy
Mary was redolent not of the odours of (earthly) delights,
but of the breathings of divine grace." De Instit. Virg.
On the Name of Mary see 80.
4. Feast of the Presentation of the Child Mary in
the Temple. This festival is mentioned in the most
ancient Greek Menologies extant, and we have several
BY HER FEASTS 179
sermons preached on it by St. Germanus of Constantinople
(d. 715), by St. Tarasius of Constantinople (d. 806) and
others. Alban Butler, Nov. 21. The feast passed
from the Greeks into the West, and was kept at Avignon
in 1372. Pope St. Pius V had given permission that
this festival should be expunged from the Breviary, as a
modern introduction, but its antiquity was so well proved
by Father Francis de Torres, S. J. (d. 1584), from the writings
of the Fathers, that it was again restored by Sixtus V.
It seems to have been in recompense for this act of zeal
that Father de Torres died happily on this very feast.
St. Ephrem s testimony on Mary s presentation in the
temple. See Livius, 424, note, also 452, note. St. Proclus
and St. Theodatus on the graces of Mary. Ibid. 221.
5. Feast of the Annunciation. St. Augustine says
the Annunciation took place on March 25. Lib. 4 de
Trin. c. 5. Both Eastern and Western Churches celebrate
it on that day, and have done so ever since the V Cent.
The festival is mentioned by Pope Gelasius I in 492. The
Council of Toledo, held in 656, calls this solemnity pre
eminently the festival of the Mother of God. Alban
Butler, March 25, note. Livius, 389, 9. See St. Gregory
Thaumaturgus on the mystery. Livius, 123 ; St. Peter
Chrysologus, Ibid. 137 ; St. Ephrem, Ibid. 435, 6 ; Early
Liturgies, " Hail, full of grace," Ibid. 228.
On this feast in 1522 St. Ignatius of Loyola at Mont-
serrat hung up his sword near our Lady s altar, and after
a night s vigil, swore to serve henceforth only Christ and
His holy Mother.
It was on this same feast in 1578 that St. Aloysius at
Florence, then a child of nine years, made a vow of per
petual chastity at our Lady s altar in the Church of SSma.
6. Feast of the Visitation. The earliest evidence of
the existence of this feast is its adoption by the Franciscan
Chapter in 1263 upon the advice of St. Bonaventure. It
v/as extended to the entire Church by Urban VI in 1389,
i&o MARY HONOURED
with the hope that Christ and His Mother would visit
the Church and put an end to the Great Schism, which
rent the seamless garment of Christ. The first rhythmical
Office (abolished later by St. Pius V) was drawn up by an
Englishman, Adam Cardinal East on, Benedictine and
Bishop of Lincoln. Bridgett, Our Lady s Dowry, 235.
The feast was confirmed by the Council of Basle in 1441.
Cath. Encyclop. xv. p. 481. For beautiful passages from
Origen, SS. Jerome, Ambrose, Ephrem, on the Visitation
and the Magnificat, see Livius, 142-9, 156, 415, 417.
7. Feast of the Purification. A pilgrim to Jerusalem
in the IV Cent., Egeria or Sylvia of Bordeaux, speaks
of the celebration of this feast in the Holy City on February
14. From Jerusalem it spread to the entire Church, but
was kept on February 2. Pope Sergius I (d. 702) intro
duced for the whole Church a procession to be held on
this day, though there is mention of such a procession with
lighted tapers in the time of Pope Gelasius I (d. 496).
St. Ildephonsus, St. Eligius, St. Sophronius, St. Cyril of
Alexandria and others have sermons on this festival. St.
Bernard s words on the Procession. See Alban Butler,
Febr. 2. St. Leontius of Cyprus on the mystery.
See Livius, 161,2,3. St. Methodius beautiful words.
Ibid. 153, 4, 5.
8. Feast of the Assumption. This feast is mentioned
as having been celebrated with great solemnity before
the VI Cent, both in the Latin and Greek Churches.
Alban Butler, Aug. 15, note. The Emperor Constantine
Porphyrogenitus describes the solemn procession made
by the court and clergy at Constantinople on the great
festival of the Repose of the Virgin Mary. The Emperor
himself often passed the vigil watching all the night in
the great church of our Lady at Blachernae on the coast,
some miles below Constantinople, whither he went in
great state attended by his court, either by land or in a
yacht. Ibid. The Early Fathers and writers on the
Assumption. See Livius, 341 seq., also St. John Damas-
BY HER FEASTS 181
cene (Ibid. 356), St. Gregory of Tours (Ibid. 360), the
Sacramentaries (Ibid. 362). See also Livius Mary in
the Epistles, no. Miracles by our Lady as recorded by
Early Fathers. See Alban Butler, Aug. 15. St. John
Damascene s sermon on the Assumption. See Rom. Brev.,
Aug. 15, lessons 4, 5, 6, also Aug. 18, lessons 4, 5, 6. St.
Bernard s sermon, Ibid., Aug. 19, lessons 4, 5, 6. Aug.
22, lessons 4, 5, 6. Note. Our Lady probably died in
Jerusalem. Alban Butler, Aug. 15, note.
On this feast in 1534 a remarkable event occurred in
the little church of Our Lady of Montmartre, Paris : St.
Ignatius of Loyola and his first nine companions, one of
whom was St. Francis Xavier, took their first vows at
the Mass celebrated by Blessed Peter Faber. In 1583
St. Aloysius, aged fifteen, then a page of the Infante of
Spain, while praying in the church of Our Lady of Good
Counsel, Madrid, heard a voice bidding him enter the
Society of Jesus.
At Rome in 1568 occurred the happy death of St. Stanis
laus Kostka, on this our Lady s feast.
9. Feast of Our Lady of Mercy (" de Mercede," i.e.
of Ransom), September 24. The Order of Our Lady of
Ransom, was founded by St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymond
de Pennafort, and King James of Aragon, with the object
of freeing Christian captives from the Turks. The feast
was approved first of all for the Order itself, and later
on extended to the whole Church by Innocent XII (d.
10. Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16.
It was approved for the Carmelites by Sixtus V in 1587.
Paul V inserted new lessons in the Office, which was
revised by Cardinal Bellarmine. Benedict XIII extended
the feast to the whole Church. It commemorates the
tradition that from the first days of Christianity groups
of hermits fixed their abode on Mount Carmel, and that
the Blessed Virgin visited them there. Some historians
of the Carmelite Order trace its origin to these solitaries,
1 82 MARY HONOURED
11. Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7.
The naval victory of Lepanto over the Turks was won
by Don Juan of Austria, October 7, 1571, while the mem
bers of the Confraternity of the Rosary in Rome were
making supplication for the success of the Christian arms,
and St. Pius V, then Pope, ordered an annual commemora
tion to be made of " St. Mary of Victory." Gregory XIII
(d. 1585) instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
for all churches possessing a chapel or altar dedicated
to the Blessed Virgin under that title. Clement X (d.
1676) extended the feast to all the dominions of the Spanish
King. Clement XI (d. 1721), after another great victory
over the Turks had been obtained by the Emperor Charles
VI, and Corfu had been freed from Turkish besiegers in
the same year, made the feast of universal observance.
12. Feast of Our Lady s Seven Dolours. (See " The
Seven Servite Saints," 16.)
There are also feasts of Our Lady s Apparition at
Lourdes, of the Dedication of Our Lady of the Snow, of
the Most Pure Heart of Mary, and others.
MARY HONOURED BY THE INSTITUTION OF SODALITIES AND
i. r ~T r HE Sodality or Congregation,* known as Prima
JL Primaria, i.e. the very first and head of all
the Sodalities aggregated to it, was started in the Roman
College, A.D. 1563, by a young Belgian Jesuit named John
Leunis (Leonius), who used to gather together the younger
scholars on Sundays and Feast days for special devotions
in honour of our Lady. The Sodality rapidly developed
and spread throughout all the colleges of the Society in
every part of the world. In 1584 it received the solemn
approval of Pope Gregory XIII, who by a special Brief
BY SODALITIES AND CONFRATERNITIES 183
enriched it with Indulgences. Subsequent Popes, chiefly
Sixtus V, Clement VIII, Gregory XV, Benedict XIV, Leo
XII, Pius IX and Leo XIII, have marked their apprecia
tion of the work done in and by the Sodality by adding
to its privileges and indulgences.
(a) Saints, who were members of the Sodality : St.
John Berchmans, St. Francis de Sales, St. Peter Fourier,
St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. John Bapt. de Rossi,
St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, St.
Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis Jerome, St. John Francis
Regis, St. Peter Claver, Blessed Andrew Bobola, Blessed
John Eudes and others. Elder Mullan, The Sodality,
(b) Popes and Cardinals who were Sodalists : Urban
VIII, Alexander VII, Clement IX, Clement X, Innocent
XI, Innocent XII, Leo XIII, and some eighty Cardinals.
(c) Other remarkable persons who belonged to the
Sodality are mentioned in the next section.
Leo XIII spoke of the Sodality as an " excellent school
of Christian piety, and the surest protection of youthful
St. Alphonsus Liguori is reported to have said : " When
any one asks me what he ought to do to be saved, I tell
him to join the Sodality of our Lady : there is no better
advice, no safer or surer means. The Sodality is a means
of salvation that comprises all other means."
2. Children of Mary. " Enfants de Marie," this is
a branch of the Sodality Prima Primaria for girls and
women. At first the Sodality was restricted to boys and
3. A distinct Association of the Children of Mary,
for girls only, was erected in 1864 in the church of St.
Agnes outside the walls, Rome. In 1866 it received its
privileges and indulgences. Since 1870 the power of
aggregation has belonged to the Abbot General of the
Reformed Augustinian Canons of the Lateran.
4. The Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual
1 84 MARY HONOURED
Succour belongs to the Redemptorists, whose General
has power to incorporate branch confraternities. On the
picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, see Pilgrim
Walks in Rome, 118.
5. The " Archconfraternity of the Most Holy and
Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners "
was founded in Paris, A.D. 1836, by the parish priest of
Our Lady of Victories, with astounding results for good
in every country. See 64, under Notre Dame des Vic-
6. Confraternity of Our Lady of Compassion for the
return of England to the Faith : founded by Leo XIII
7. Confraternity of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart,
established at Issoudun, France, in 1864, by Missioners
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Its centre is the church
of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Piazza Navona, Rome.
8. There are also Confraternities of the Brown, Blue,
and Black Scapulars, about which see 73.
MARY HONOURED BY REMARKABLE SODALISTS OF THE
PRIM A PRIM ARIA
THE head of the Sodality is the Father General of the
Society of Jesus. Its history unfolds before our
eyes a brilliant array of members, remarkable for talent,
dignity and deeds of heroism. Seldom have such illus
trious names been united together as in this Guard of
Honour to Mary.
1. Saints, Popes and Cardinals, see above.
2. Prelates, Illustrious Priests, and others. Fene-
lon, Bishop of Cambrai ; Monsieur Olier, founder of St.
Sulpice ; the Nuncios Apostolic at Vienna, Prague, Cologne ;
BY REMARKABLE SOD A LISTS 185
very many Bishops of Italy and Austria ; and a long line
of priests remarkable for holiness and zeal.
3. Kings, Emperors, Princes. John IV of Portugal
established in his palace a Sodality for the royal pages,
the sons of the first Grandees of his kingdom : the Dukes
and Princes of Bavaria with their families ; several Doges
of Venice and Genoa ; Francis II, Duke of Lorraine ;
Emmanuel, Duke of Savoy ; Henry of Bourbon ; the
royal Princes of France, Louis and Armand ; Sigismund
III and Ladislaus IV, Kings of Poland ; the three German
Emperors, Ferdinand II, Ferdinand III, and Leopold I.
4. Great Soldiers. Tilly, Turenne, Prince Eugene of
Savoy, lions in the battlefield ; Don Juan of Austria,
the Victor of Lepanto.
5. Poets, Orators and Artists. Tasso, Justus Lip-
sius, Lopez di Vega, Calderon, Corneille, Peter Paul Rubens,
Anton Van Dyck, Bossuet and Bourdaloue, and many
others. See Opitz, S.J., The Sodality of Our Lady. Elder
Mullan, The Sodality.
6. Heroic Sodalists. In Palermo, in the year 1610,
a Sodalist refused to lend himself to a certain transaction
of which his conscience did not approve. When he was
threatened with death, he replied : " Take away my life !
but the flower of purity must remain with me. I am resolved
to preserve it : whether I bear it red or white lies in your
An Indian maiden, a Sodalist of Monteren in Chili,
cried out in a moment of temptation : " How could I
offend the Divine Son, to whose holy Mother I consecrated
myself as a child." Opitz, Ibid. 75, where will be found
many other examples.
7. Praise of the Sodality by Pope Benedict XIV.
In the famous Golden Bull (Bulla Aurea, A.D. 1748),
which reads like one long hymn of praise of the Sodality,
the Pope says : " It is incredible what advantages persons
of all ranks can derive from this pious and praiseworthy
institution. Some have obtained through it the grace
T86 MARY HONOURED
of persevering all their life through in the innocence and
piety of their early youth. Others, who had fallen into
the snares of the evil one, have been brought back from
the way of perdition to that of virtue, through the help
of Her to whose service they had once dedicated themselves
in the Sodality ; and have afterwards led a well-ordered
and pious life. Others, again, have felt themselves raised
to higher degrees of the love of God through the devotion
instilled into them for the mother of God, and with noble
and brave hearts, have turned their back on the perishable
goods and pleasures of this world, bound themselves by
vow to the Cross of Christ, and consecrated themselves
to the care of their own perfection and the salvation of
others," etc. The Pontiff concludes with these words :
" We consider it a duty of our pastoral charge and of our
apostolic liberality to favour and advance a work which
is so solid and pious, and so powerfully makes for progress
in virtue and the salvation of souls. It is for this reason
that we have approved, enlarged, and extended all the
privileges granted to it by our predecessors."
Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII have also bestowed great
praise on the Sodality.
Pope Pius X, speaking of the Sodality and its branches,
said : " They are for me a. source of sweetness in the midst
of bitterness. I count on the Sodalities of our Lady to
obtain for the Catholic Church of the future all that is
good and all that is strong. They must bring the spirit
of prayer into all Catholic societies."
MARY HONOURED BY ILLUSTRIOUS SCHOLARS
i. T)LESSED Albertus Magnus, of the Dominican
D Order (d. 1280), was most fervently devout to
the Blessed Virgin, and attributed all his learning to her.
So extraordinary was his genius, and so extensive his
BY ILLUSTRIOUS SCHOLARS 187
knowledge, that he was known as Doctor Umversalis. He
was proficient in every branch of learning cultivated in
his day, and surpassed all his contemporaries (except
Roger Bacon, d. 1294) in the knowledge of nature. St.
Thomas of Aquin studied philosophy under him in Paris.
He seems to have received some warning that as he had
received his gift of learning from our Lady, it would be
taken away for his humiliation a little before his death.
In 1278 he suffered a lapse of memory ; his strong mind
became clouded, and he sank under the weight of years
and manifold labours.
2. Father Francis Suarez, S.J. " Doctor Eximius,"
thought to be the greatest of modern theologians (d. 1564).
He was Professor at Seville, Valladolid, Alcala, Salamanca,
Coimbra, Rome, and wrote twenty-four volumes in folio
on Philosophy and Theology. When a novice he was
found to be so dull that he requested to be admitted as a
lay-Brother. Father Guttierez bade him ask our Lady s
help, and he became a prodigy of talent.
3. Cardinal Francis Toletus, S.J. (d. 1596), was another
paragon of theological learning, and one of the leading
men of his day. Every Saturday of the year and in all
weathers he went on foot from the Vatican to St. Mary
Major to say Mass at our Lady s altar ; and every year
he prepared for the feast of the Immaculate Conception
by an eight days fast. Pope Gregory XIII is reported
to have said of him, on raising him to the Cardinalate :
" We affirm that, of all men now living, Toleto is the most
learned ; but we must add that he is even more distin
guished for his integrity and virtue than for his learning."
4. Justus Lipsius (d. 1606), one of the foremost
scholars of his day, wrote treatises on the veneration and
miracles of Our Lady of Hal (near Brussels), and Our
Lady of Montaigu (near Louvain). The golden pen with
which he wrote his works, he gave as an ex-voto to the
shrine of Our Lady of Hal, acknowledging that whatever
talent he had, came to him from her.
1 88 MARY HONOURED
5. St. Edmund of Canterbury (d. 1240) had always
a picture of the Blessed Virgin before him, when at his
studies. The same is told of other great Saints.
6. The other great Jesuit Theologians (besides Suarez
and Toleto) who cultivated a most tender devotion to
Mary, were Cardinal Bellarmine (d. 1621), Lessius
(d. 1623), de Ripalda (d. 1648), Cardinal de Lugo (d.
1660), Molina (d. 1600), Gregory a Valentia (d. 1603),
Petavius (d. 1652), and others.
7. Blessed Peter Canisius (d. 1589) wrote an admirable
work in praise of our Lady, which was welcomed with
enthusiasm by Catholics. He was the mainspring of the
Catholic cause in Germany, and a formidable defender of
the Faith against heretics. Though honoured by Popes,
Emperors, Princes, Prelates, he remained humble and
simple as a child.
MARY HONOURED BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES :
i. T ^HE Rosary. We are told that the Christians of
JL the early ages were accustomed to lay garlands
of flowers at the foot of their altars and holy images :
and in doing so they gave expression to a touching truth,
viz. the obligation we are under of referring the gifts of
God to their source, of honouring God in His works, and
especially in His grandest work of all, the victory of His
In accordance with this pious custom St. Gregory
Nazianzen (d. 389) composed garlands of spiritual flowers,
so that the prayers of the faithful might ascend to heaven
like the breath of flowers.
St. Bridget of Ireland (VI Cent.), being desirous of
facilitating this practice and making it more general,
BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES 189
is said to have composed chaplets of the two prayers
used by Catholics, the " Our Father " and the " Hail
Mary." And in this she was following the example of
the anchorites of the first ages of the Church, who, when
they were prevented from reciting the great Psalter of
150 Psalms, supplied the omission by offering the Lord s
Prayer to God a certain number of times, making use of
small stones to count the number of Paters said.
Also St. Albert, Bishop of Liege (d. 1192), and Peter
the Hermit (d. 1115), who lived long before St. Dominic,
propagated the popular practice of reciting the Pater and
Ave, as a means whereby the faithful were enabled to unite
themselves with the Canonical Hours, or Divine Office, of
But it was reserved to St. Dominic to popularize the
" Psalter of Mary," i.e. the Rosary as we now have it.
It was first known as " The Chaplet " or little crown, but
soon received the name of Rosary, or crown of spiritual
roses. That St. Dominic was led by a divine impulse to
spread this devotion is evidenced by the marvellous effects
it produced, the countless conversions it wrought, the
mighty revolutions for good it effected in the world. The
Church was afflicted in his day by an impure sect of heretics
called Albigenses, who went about foul-mouthed and loud-
tongued spreading their evil doctrines everywhere with
a pride and even ferocity that bore down all opposition.
Saints and doctors of theology had striven against them
in vain, the avalanche, carrying with it destruction to
thousands of souls, came crushing its way into the fair
domain of the Church. Even St. Dominic, great Saint
as he was, mighty in word and deed, was powerless to
resist the advancing evil : he laboured and suffered, but
seemingly in vain. At length he was inspired to preach
everywhere the devotion of the Rosary, and the effect
was marvellous ; souls returned in vast numbers to the
Church, and whole provinces were saved. Thus the very
birth of the devotion was signalized by Victory, victory
i go MARY HONOURED
over the powers of hell and the hordes of heresy, and this
character of victory it has ever preserved.
Since the Saint preached it to the people more than six
centuries ago, as a protection against the inroads of heresy,
the Rosary has fastened itself on the lives and affections
of Catholics in every land. And when, as in the days
of Lepanto (see 55), the fate of Christendom seemed
to be trembling in the balance, it was the Rosary the
cry of the confraternities in Rome to Mary for help
that won victory for the Christians, and inflicted a crushing
blow on the Turks.
The Rosary in Catholic England. That it was a
favourite devotion with our Catholic forefathers is evi
denced (i) by ancient brasses still to be seen on monu
ments, where the figures of men and women are seen with
Rosaries hanging from their girdles : (2) by the records
of wills that tell us how, among the precious heirlooms
handed down in the families of our ancient nobility and
others of note, a jewelled or gold-mounted Rosary is met
with from time to time as one of the testator s special
The names given to the Rosary by our ancestors were
a " pair of beads," or a " pair of Paternosters," or " Ave
Beads." It was not until the XVI Cent, that the word
" Rosary " came into use. Sometimes a string of beads
consisted of only one decade, and was so small that it
could be attached to a ring, and was used over and over
again for the five decades. It may be seen thus repre
sented on some effigies still preserved.
The beads were often made of very costly materials,
and were considered a not unsuitable gift for a King.
One of chalcedony garnished with gold was given to Henry
VI as a new year s gift in 1437. There is not unfrequent
mention of Rosaries of gold and coral being left as legacies
in wills, some of great value. One of these, left in 1361
by Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, to his nephew
must have been of great interest. It is described as a
BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES 191
nonche of gold, surrounded with large pearls, and adorned
with a ruby, three diamonds, fifty gold beads, and a cross
of gold in which was set a relic of the true cross. Henry
VI (see 32) had a great devotion to the Rosary and
belief in its power. He ordered his scholars at Eton to
say before High Mass five decades of the Rosary for the
remission of sins committed by the five senses.
Saints, Prelates, Kings and the Rosary. St. Francis
de Sales had bound himself by vow to recite the Rosary
every day. St. Francis Xavier in his apostolic journeys
wore it round his neck. On the devotion of St. Alphonsus
Rodriguez and St. John Berchmans to the Rosary, see
21. Bossuet and Louis XIV recited it daily, as did
also Queen Blanche of Castile, who through this devotion
obtained the birth of her son, St. Louis. Henry IV of
France said it every Saturday and Sunday. St. John
Baptist de la Salle, founder of the Brothers of the Christian
Doctrine, was seen with it constantly in his hand. Garcia
Moreno, the martyr-President of Ecuador, said the Rosary
every day. Some of the great musical composers, v.g.
Haydn, Mozart, Gounod and others, made a practice of
reciting the Rosary.
The Rosary in Ireland. (See 34.) In Penal
times, when there was no Mass, the Faith was kept alive
in Ireland by the Rosary, the family Rosary being recited
each evening in nearly every Catholic home. In the Co.
Kildare grown-up men made it a matter of conscience
never to be absent from the Family Rosary. In the
Maynooth decrees, No. 196, it is laid down that the Parish
Priest should, if possible, fix an hour at which the Rosary
should be recited in each house in presence of the whole
family. Soldiers and the Rosary, see 56.
- 192 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED BY THE ANGELUS DEVOTION
ON the Angelus as it was recited in England at the
end of the XIV Cent., see 29, also Waterton,
143 seq. Alban Butler (Lives of the Saints, March 25, note)
informs us that Pope Urban II in the Council of Clermont,
A.D. 1095, ordered the bell to be rung every day for the
triple Angelical Salutation, called " Angelus Domini," in
order to honour our Lady and praise the Divine Goodness
for the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation. 1 Which devout
practice several Popes have encouraged with Indulgences,
viz. John XXII (d. at Avignon, 1334), Callixtus III, Paul
III, Alexander VII and Clement X. Benedict XIII
increased the indulgences for those who at the sound of
the Angelus bell should recite the prayers kneeling. In
some Protestant churches in England, as at King s Lynn,
the church bell is still tolled at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., as a
signal to labourers and artisans, evidently a remnant of
old Catholic usage.
St. Charles Borromeo had such love for " the Angelus,"
that on hearing the bell he fell down on his knees, wherever
he might be, even in the muddy road. The same is told
of other Saints. St. Stanislaus Kostka usually said his
three Aves turned in the direction of St. Mary Major,
Millet s " Angelus," a remarkable painting, sold to an
American for an immense sum, represents two peasant
labourers in a field stopping in their work to recite the
Angelical Salutation at the sound of the village church-
bell. Many religious, when reciting the Angelus, have
the practice of renewing their religious vows.
The Angelus and the Victory of Belgrade. (See 55.)
The " Hail Mary." St. Catherine of Siena, St. Leonard
of Port Maurice, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, St. Alphonsus
1 Also to obtain our Lady s blessing on the Crusade.
BY THE DEVOTION OF THE SCAPULAR 193
Liguori and others used to salute our Lady with the Hail
Mary, whenever they heard the clock strike. St. Bernard
of Clairvaux recited it every time he saw a picture or statue
of our Lady. The story is told that once, when in the
cloister of Afflighem near Alost in Flanders, he failed to
notice a statue of Mary that stood in a niche in the wall,
suddenly he heard a sweet voice calling after him, " Ber-
narde, salve Bernarde ! " : whereupon he fell on his knees
exclaiming : " O gentle, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."
MARY HONOURED BY THE DEVOTION OF THE SCAPULAR
i. "T^HE Brown Scapular, that of Our Lady of Mount
_L Carmel, consists of two pieces of brown cloth,
connected with strings and worn over the shoulders.
The story of its origin is as follows. The Blessed Virgin
appeared in England to St. Simon Stock, General of the
Carmelites, at a time when the Order was in great trouble.
She presented to him a scapular (such as many Religious
Orders now wear), in order that by it " the holy Carmelite
Order might be known and protected from the evils which
assailed it " : and she added, " This is the privilege granted
to you and to all Carmelites ; no one dying with this
scapular on, will suffer everlasting burning." 1 It was to
be a pledge of salvation, a security in dangers, a sign of
holiest affection between our Lady and her children. The
privilege of wearing the scapular was extended by Popes to
other Religious and even to persons in the world. Among
the illustrious members of the Confraternity may be
mentioned Edward III of England, with his Queen and
children ; Henry Duke of Lancaster, St. Louis IX of
France, Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV ; also Henry
Earl of Northumberland and others. See Waterton, 176.
1 See note at the end of this section.
194 MARY HONOURED
The Sabbatine Indulgence. The Blessed Virgin is
said to have further promised that if any Carmelite, or
any one associated with the Order by wearing the scapular,
went to Purgatory, she would release them from that state
of suffering on the Saturday following their death. Special
conditions are required to gain this Indulgence, viz. obser
vance of chastity, either conjugal or in the single state ;
daily recital of our Lady s Office ; abstinence from flesh-
meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Priests having
power to invest with the scapular have also power to
commute the two last conditions. Some controversy has
arisen within recent years concerning this Sabbatine
Indulgence. See The Month, 1886, Nov., 305.
2. The Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception
was greatly propagated by Venerable Ursula Benincasa,
a Theatine nun, whose virtues were admired by St. Philip
Neri. This scapular belongs to the Theatine Order, and
has attached to it extraordinary indulgences, viz. every
time those who wear it recite six Paters, Aves and Glorias
in honour of the Most Holy Trinity and of Mary conceived
without sin, they gain all the indulgences granted for
visits to the seven Basilicas of Rome, to the church of
the Portiuncula, and to the Holy Places of Palestine.
Neither confession nor communion is required to gain this
rich indulgence. Pius IX, 1856.
3. There are also the Black Scapular of the Servites,
the White Scapular of the Trinitarians, the Red Scapu
lar of the Passionists, each with special indulgences and
favours attached to it.
N.B. Our Lady s promise of a holy death to all who
die wearing the Brown Scapular depends on its having
been worn piously and chastely. To lead a sinful life
expecting to be saved by the scapular is presumption of
God s mercy. Still, miraculous conversions even at the
last hour are often obtained by means of the Scapular.
BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES 195
MARY HONOURED BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES :
The Miraculous Medal
IN 1830 the Immaculate Mother of God appeared three
times to a novice of the Sisters of Charity in Paris
named Catherine Laboure. The facts may be briefly
stated as follows. Sister Catherine was favoured with a
first apparition on July 18, the particulars of which are
here omitted for brevity s sake. The second and most
important apparition occurred on November 27 of the
same year, the Saturday preceding the first Sunday of
Advent. The young novice was making her meditation
in the chapel about 5.30 p.m., when she heard in the sanc
tuary something like the rustling of a silk dress. Looking
up she saw the Blessed Virgin with a countenance of
indescribable beauty, her feet resting on a globe, her hands
raised as high as the waist holding another small globe,
a figure of the universe. Suddenly her hands seemed
filled with rings and precious stones, emitting rays of
light that shone brilliantly on every side. Then the
Blessed Virgin spoke to her with an interior voice saying :
"This globe represents the entire world, more particularly
France, and each individual soul. The rays of light are
a symbol of the graces I bestow on those who ask for
Then around the spotless Virgin there began to form
itself a kind of oval frame upon which were written in
golden letters the words, " O Mary, conceived without
sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Then a
voice was heard saying : " Have a medal struck after
this model. Those who wear it will receive great blessings.
Abundant graces will be given to those who have confi
dence." Then the oval frame seemed to turn round, and
there appeared on the reverse the letter M surmounted
i 9 6 MARY HONOURED
by a cross, and below the letter were figures of the sacred
Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former encircled by a crown
of thorns, the latter pierced with a dagger.
Sister Laboure saw the same vision a second time in
December, and received the same order to have a medal
struck like the model she had seen. It was only in 1832
that she could prevail upon her Director, M. Aladel, to
have this order executed. Her name was never men
tioned in connection with the medal until after her death,
December 31, 1876.
In the IV Lesson of the Office of the new feast, estab
lished soon after her death, we read : " Events soon showed
the divine origin of the commission entrusted to Sister
Laboure. Scarcely was the new medal made known,
when many asked to wear it as a token of devotion to the
Mother of God. France first signalized herself in the
matter : then, the Bishops approving the practice, the
whole world witnessed a daily increase of devotion, respect,
and confidence towards the holy Virgin, who deigned,
through the medal, to work miracles for the alleviation
of bodily ailments, as well as for the destruction of the
vices of the soul."
The V Lesson is as follows : " Among all these facts
worthy of note, we must refer to that which happened
to Alphonsus Ratisbonne on January 20, 1842, and which
was confirmed by the solemn judgment of ecclesiastical
authority. Born at Strassburg of Jewish parents, Alphon
sus, on his way to the East, stopped for a time at Rome.
There he became acquainted with a man of noble birth, 1
who had been himself converted from heresy to the Catholic
religion. Pitying the condition of his unfortunate friend,
he endeavoured to bring him to the true religion. But
his words were of no avail : all he could obtain was that
the Jew should wear on his neck the holy medal of the
Mother of God. In the meantime prayers were offered
1 The Viscount Theodore de Bussiere.
BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES 197
for him to the Immaculate Virgin. Mary did not allow
them to wait long for her assistance.
" Alphonsus chanced to enter the church of St. Andrew
delle Fratte (Rome). It was about noonday. Suddenly
it seemed to him that the church became dark, except
one chapel, that of St. Michael, where a brilliant light was
shining. Awestruck he looked in the direction of the
chapel, and suddenly the Blessed Virgin appeared to him
with a countenance full of sweetness, and in form such
as she is represented on the holy Medal. This celestial
vision suddenly changed Alphonsus heart. He shed
abundant tears, and acknowledged the errors of Judaism.
The Catholic religion, for which he had felt only horror
hitherto, now seemed to him to be the true religion. He
embraced it wholeheartedly. After being instructed in
the doctrines of the Faith, some days later he was purified
in the holy waters of baptism to the great joy of the whole
MARY HONOURED BY OTHER SPECIAL DEVOTIONS
i. ^pHE Little Office of the Immaculate Concep-
J. tion, " Salve mundi Domina," etc. Its author
is unknown. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., recited this
Little Office daily for the last forty years of his life, and
occupied his spare moments, while acting as door-keeper
of the College of Palma in Majorca, in transcribing copies
of it for distribution among the students who frequented
the college. This he did in obedience to injunctions
received from our blessed Lady herself. The history of
this Office is given by Waterton, 134 seq. Young clerics,
and others, who, on account of their tender age, do not
recite the Offlcium Parvum B.M.V., are recommended by
the Holy See to say instead the " Little Office of the
198 MARY HONOURED
Immaculate Conception " as a means of preserving chastity
unblemished. Waterton, 139.
2. Saturday dedicated to Mary. As every week has
its Lord s day, i.e. Sunday, so the piety of the faithful
has long since x made Saturday Mary s day. " A beautiful
custom," writes St. Peter Damian, Cardinal Bishop of
Ostia, about the middle of the XI Cent., " has grown
up in some churches of celebrating Mass in Mary s honour
on every Saturday, unless some feast or Lenten feria
prevent it." St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Alphonsus
Liguori, St. Diego, St. Nicholas of Tolentino, St. Leonard
of Port Maurice, St. Elizabeth of Portugal, St. Juliana
Falconieri, and many other Saints were in the habit of
fasting every Saturday. St. Louis of France served the
poor at table with his own hands every Saturday. Sebas
tian, King of Portugal, used to hear two Masses on Saturday
in Mary s honour. Monsieur Olier s intention at Mass
every Saturday was to thank God for Mary s Divine Mater
nity. St. Rose of Lima used to bring flowers to our
Lady s altar every Saturday.
In England, Alcuin (Alcwine, d. 804), in the distribution
of the various offices which he drew up for each day of
the week, assigns Saturday to our blessed Lady. This
he did for the Abbey of St. Vedastus, about the year 796.
St. Godric, the hermit of Finchale (d. 1170), made it a
custom every Saturday to give an alms in our Lady s
honour. In Scotland the pious King William, friend of
Innocent III, to prove his love for the Church and our
Lady, ordered in 1202 cessation from work from midday
on Saturday, the object being to allow the people time
to go to confession. At Magdalen College, Oxford, the
singing of our Lady s anthem on Saturday was one of
the devotions prescribed by the founder. See Waterton,
3. Month of May. The pious custom of addressing
public prayers to the Blessed Virgin, of decking her altar
1 Before the XI Cent.
BY DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES 199
with flowers and singing hymns in her honour, etc., seems
to have arisen about the middle of the XVI Cent. St.
Philip Neri, founder of the Oratory (d. 1595), is thought
to have been the first to conceive the idea of dedicating
the most beautiful month of the year to Mary. In 1748
Father Latomia, S.J., spread the devotion in Rome by
publishing a little book entitled May, Mary s Month.
Father Muzzarelli, S.J., contributed more than any one to
propagate the pious custom by his book on the month of
May, published in 1801. Pope Pius VII in 1815 granted
special indulgences for the May devotions, whether public
or private, viz. 300 days for each day of the month, and
a Plenary Indulgence on the usual conditions once in the
month. In colleges of the Society of Jesus a picture or
statue of our Lady occupies a position of honour in every
classroom and playroom ; and during the month of May
loving hearts and ready hands busy themselves in affec
tionate rivalry adorning this little shrine.
4. Flowers are placed on Mary s altar as symbolical
of her virtues, the lily of purity, the rose of charity, the
violet of humility, and so on : also as an outward expres
sion of the love we bear her, and of the spiritual flowers
we wish to offer her.
In an Irish Litany of the VIII Cent. Mary is invoked
as the Enclosed Garden, the Branch of the Root of Jesse,
the Cedar of Lebanon, the Cypress of Mount Sion, the
crimson Rose of Jacob, and as blooming like the Olive tree.
Alcuin of England (VIII Cent.) addresses her as the
Flower of the Field, the Lily of the world, the Garden
enclosed. In the Sarum Primer she is saluted as the Rose
without thorns, the Lily of chastity, the Violet of* humility.
Many plants bear our Lady s name, as Marygold, Lady-
smock, Lady s seal (Black Bryony), Virgin s bower, Lady s
hair (Maidenhair fern), Lady s slippers (Cypripedium),
Lady s eyes (the blue Forget-me-not), and so on.
On the custom of decorating altars with flowers and
garlands in the VI Cent., see Waterton, 198. On
200 MARY HONOURED
the custom as prevailing in England, Ibid. 198. Welby
Pugin denounces artificial flowers, when nature supplies
so bountifully her beautiful gifts to be presented to God,
and God s spotless Mother.
5. Votive Candles. 1 Waterton, 83, tells us that it
was a very old and universal custom to burn candles
before images of our Lady ; and, as illustrating the prac
tice, he gives the story of the Abbot John, related in the
VII (Ecumenical Council (the second of Nicaea, A.D. 787).
This pious custom was most common in England. In
the year 1225, William, Earl of Salisbury, when nearly
lost at sea, is said to have had a vision of our Lady pro
tecting him because of his having assigned a sum of money
for a wax candle to be burnt every day before her altar.
Numerous bequests and endowments were made to pro
vide lamps and candles to burn before Mary s image :
even lands were bequeathed for this purpose and known
as "lamp-lands," u light-lands." In many churches
Lady-lights were supported by guilds. Waterton, 85.
Henry VIII, in his better days, used to provide candles,
called the " King s candles," for Our Lady of Doncaster
and of Walsingham ; and the Earl of Northumberland
maintained candles in the same sanctuaries all the year
round. Candles were costly in those days : see footnote.
MARY GREATLY HONOURED IN HER IMMACULATE
MEANING of the Immaculate Conception. It means
that in the very first instant of her soul s creation,
she was by a special privilege, in consideration of the
1 Beeswax was a very costly article in the Middle Ages, as its
supply was very limited. A large candle cost as much in those
days as a fat sheep.
IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 201
merits of her Divine Son, preserved from the stain of
Proofs of this article of our belief, of which a sum
mary only is given here, may be sought in Theological
A. Testimony of Holy Scripture, as explained by the
Fathers of the Church. 1
(1) Genesis iii. 16. "I will put enmities between thee
and the Woman, and between thy seed and her seed :
she shall crush thy head." Here God curses the serpent,
and at the same time promises a Redeemer, and with the
Redeemer His holy Mother. The seed of the serpent are
the devils, sin and sinners ; his head means his power
which shall be crushed, i.e. vanquished.
From this passage we see that the enmity which exists
between the Woman with her Son and the serpent with its
brood is absolute, complete, perpetual, without restriction ;
an enmity by which this Woman is set against the infernal
serpent, the author of the first sin ; an enmity which
places Mary with her Son apart as the perpetual opponents
of sin and Satan, as having nothing in common with the
devil, as persons against whom the devil has no claim.
But if Mary had ever been even for a moment in Satan s
power by being conceived in sin, if the trail of the serpent
had ever been upon her soul, the enmity between her
and Satan would not have been perpetual like that of her
Divine Son, who was altogether free from sin ; nor would
she have gained a complete victory over the serpent.
Besides, the devil could have claimed her as once having
belonged to his brood, as once having been a child of
wrath, deprived of sanctifying grace. See 78, Pius IX s
words on this text.
(2) St. Luke i. 28-42. Mary is saluted by the Archangel
as " full of grace," therefore perfectly innocent and pleas-
1 There is no apodeictic and certain proof from Scripture of the
Immaculate Conception. All theologians of repute put the argu
ment in some such form as above.
202 MARY HONOURED
ing to God, never deprived of divine grace for a moment :
also as " blessed among women/ therefore equal to Eve,
to say the least, who was created sinless and in the state
(3) Canticle of Canticles, ii. 2 and iv. 7-12. " Thou
art all fair, my beloved. Thou art all fair, and there is
no stain in thee." " My beloved is like a lily amidst
thorns." But original sin is a dark stain that disfigures
the soul, and makes it hateful in the sight of God.
B. Testimony of the Early Fathers.
St. Denis of Alexandria (d. 265) calls Mary " the only
daughter of life, the tabernacle most holy, not made by
hands of man, preserved incorrupt, and blessed from the
head to the feet."
Origen (d. 253) not only says that Mary was never
tainted by the breath of the venomous serpent, but he
infers the same conclusion from the angelical salutation
" Hail, full of grace," which, he says, can apply to Mary
alone. Again, in his Homilies he says : The Blessed
Virgin Mary was neither deceived by the suggestion of
the devil, nor sullied by his pestilential breath."
St. Epiphanius (d. 403) : " The immaculate sheep
that brought forth Christ the Lamb of God, was superior
to everything, God excepted ; she was more beautiful
in her nature than the Cherubim, the Seraphim, and the
whole host of Angels." " Mary by grace was free from
all stain of sin."
St. Amphilochius (d. 344) says that " He who created
the first virgin Eve in the state of innocence, also created
the second, Mary, exempt from opprobrium and from all
St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444). (See n.)
St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 680),
in a letter approved by the Third Council of Constantinople,
states most clearly that Mary was exempt from all blemish.
St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. 403) speaks of Mary s " purity
IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 203
St. James of Batnae (d. 522) says : " If any stain
or defect had been in her soul, the Lord would have sought
out another Mother for Himself, one perfectly free from
The Liturgy of St. James the Apostle calls Mary spot
less and immaculate, " all blameless, more to be honoured
than the Cherubim, incomparably more glorious than the
The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, much anterior to
the Saint whose name it bears, says "Mary was altogether
Father Harper, S.J., in his work Peace through the Truth,
vol. I. pp. 101 to 117, after giving multitudes of passages
from the Eastern and Western Fathers of the Church,
sums up the question as follows : " Who can be so blinded
with prejudice as not to perceive in these questions, bor
rowed from successive centuries, an Apostolic tradition,
which is as far removed from the least heterodox concep
tion of Mary professed by Protestants as heaven is from
earth ? Voices reach us from Syria, from different parts
of Africa, from Mesopotamia, from Phoenicia, from Milan
and Constantinople, from Jerusalem, from the shores of
the Tiber, from Mount Sinai, from Rome, from Lyons,
which, one and all, conspire in ascribing to Mary an
immaculate purity of soul, mind and body, a solitary pre
eminence in God s creation of grace."
C. Testimony of Reason. Reasonableness of the
(1) Mary is the Mother of God : therefore she must
have been immaculate in her conception. The infinite
greatness and dignity of the Son require that the Mother
should not be less privileged than His servants. But
the Angels, His servants, were created in sanctifying grace,
as also was Eve : therefore much more is this true of Mary.
(2) The infinite purity of her Son requires that the
tabernacle, where He was to take flesh, should be abso
lutely pure and unblemished. St. Bernardine of Siena
204 MARY HONOURED
(d. 1444) writes : " We must not believe that the Son
of God would have cared to be born of the Virgin and to
assume flesh from her, had she been stained by the slightest
shade of original sin."
MARY HONOURED IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (cont.)
Celebration of the Feast. The Controversy
EORGE, Bishop of Nicomedia, in the reign of Hera-
V_T clius (VII Cent.) calls the Conception of our Lady
a feast of ancient date. See Alban Butler, Dec. 8, note at
the end. In the West, Naples is thought by some to
have been the first to borrow this solemnity from the
Greek Church. Ibid. St. Ildephonsus (d. 667) is said
to have introduced it into Spain, and St. Anselm (d. 1109)
into England, the latter about the year 1070. But there
is proof that it was celebrated in England at an earlier
date, viz. 1034 or 1057. (See 28, n. 2.)
It is related in the Chronicon Belgicum that, in a council
held at Mayence in 1049 i n presence of Pope St. Leo IX
and the Emperor Henry I, the feast of the Immaculate
Conception was established (in Central Europe). In the
year noo it was celebrated at St. Laurence s Church,
Liege, and in 1142 in the whole diocese of Liege.
In 1215, Rheims, at the request of the Legates of the
Sovereign Pontiff, solemnized the feast on September 8
with unusual pomp, its example being followed by many
In the XIV Cent, it was celebrated in Rome, at least
by the Carmelites.
In 1378 the Synod of Saragossa insisted on its cele
In 1394 J onn I King of Aragon, published a decree
re-establishing this feast in all the provinces conquered
JN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 205
from the Moors, and with a great display of theological
arguments, forbidding any one in his kingdom to deny
this privilege of Mary.
In 1483 Pope Sixtus IV commanded September 8 to
be kept as a holiday.
St. Bernard (d. 1153), our Lady s most devout client,
and an eloquent advocate of her privileges, reproved the
Canons of Lyons because of their own authority, and
without consulting the Holy See, they celebrated a feast
of the Immaculate Conception. Epist. 174. He con
cludes his letter thus : " What I have said, let it be said
without prejudice of a wiser man than me. All this and
other similar questions I mostly reserve to the authority
of the Roman Church, ready to abide by her judgment,
if I happen to differ from it."
Suarez, referring to St. Bernard s objection just stated,
remarks: "If he were alive now (XVI Cent.) and saw
the aspect of the present Church, and the authority of
the Holy See highly favouring this opinion, undoubtedly
he would reverently embrace it."
The mind of St. Thomas of Aquin on the Immaculate
Conception is not clear. In his early works, v.g. i Sent.
D. 44, q. i, a. 3, he writes : " The Blessed Virgin was
exempt from original and actual sin " : and in Psalm
xiv. : "In Christ and in the Virgin Mary there was no
sin whatever." But in his Summa Theologica, written in
the last years of his life, he took the other view (3 q.
27, a. 2), viz. : that she was conceived in sin, but immedi
ately purified from it.
In the XIII Cent, the question was agitated among
schoolmen whether the Blessed Virgin Mary had been
conceived without original sin, or not ? A number of
them, led by the authority of Peter Lombard, Master of
the Sentences, adopted the view contrary to the privi
lege of Mary. The Friars Preachers (Order of St.
206 MARY HONOURED
Dominic), following St. Thomas (1274) and Albert the
Great (1280) his master, constantly supported this
But the cause of the Immaculate Conception triumphed
when John Duns Scotus (1308), a Franciscan, in a solemn
disputation which took place before the theological faculty
of Paris by order of the Pope and in presence of his Legate
(1307), proved with arguments that seemed unanswerable
that the Blessed Virgin was exempt from original sin.
After the Controversy.
In 1387 the Sorbonne condemned a proposition of the
Dominican John de Monteson, affirming that the Blessed
Virgin had been conceived in sin : and the Bishop of
Paris confirmed the censure .
In 1439 the Council of Basle declared our Lady immacu
late in her conception. (See n.)
In 1457 the Council of Avignon confirmed this decree.
In 1476 Sixtus IV published a Constitution, in which
he granted indulgences to those who should hear Mass
on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and recite
the Office approved by him for the feast.
In 1481 Sixtus IV, by a new Constitution, forbade any
one to condemn either opinion as heretical.
In 1497 John Verus, theologian of Paris, having preached
that the Blessed Virgin had not been preserved, but purified,
from original sin, the faculty of Theology compelled him
publicly to withdraw his assertion, and ruled that same
year that, in order to prevent further discussions of this
kind, it would in future confer the degree of Doctor only
on those who admitted the doctrine of the Immaculate
Conception, and solemnly pledged themselves to defend
it. At the same time the Faculty qualified the contrary
opinion as " false, impious, and erroneous." This qualifi
cation, however, was withdrawn later on at the request
IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 207
of the Jesuit Father Maldonatus, as forestalling the judg
ment of the Holy See.
In 1546 the Council of Trent (sess. 5, can. 5, on Original
Sin) declared that " it was not the intention of the Sacred
Synod to include in the decree dealing with the question
of Original Sin the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of God ; but that the Constitutions of Sixtus IV
of pious memory should be observed, under the penalties
specified therein, which were thereby renewed."
In 1567 St. Pius V/condemned the 73rd proposition of
Baius, which asserted that " the Blessed Virgin Mary had
died on account of the sin she had contracted from Adam."
The condemnation was renewed in 1579 by Gregory XIII,
and in 1641 by Urban VIII.
In 1570 St. Pius V by a special Constitution forbade
under severe censures the public discussion of the question
of the Immaculate Conception in presence of the ordinary
faithful, and allowed such disputes to be held only in the
presence of competent theologians. The same Pontiff
inserted the Office of the Immaculate Conception in the
Roman Liturgy, and fixed the feast for December 8.
At a later period Philip III of Spain (d. 1621) requested
Pope Paul V to decide the question. The Pope refused,
and in 1616 merely confirmed the Constitutions of his
predecessors, Sixtus IV and St. Pius V, publishing new
penalties against all who should violate his orders. The
same Pope, by a new Constitution of 1617, forbade it to
be asserted, or even contended (questioned) in sermons,
lectures, and theses, that the Blessed Virgin had been
conceived in sin.
Soon afterwards Philip IV of Spain (d. 1665) applied
to Pope Gregory XV to have the question settled by a
Papal decree. The latter refused, but in 1622 prescribed
(i) that whoever in public discussions (before competent
theologians) contended that the Virgin Mary was conceived
in sin, must not attack the contrary opinion, but keep
silence in its regard : (2) No one is to be allowed to defend
208 MARY HONOURED
the opinion opposed to the Immaculate Conception without
special permission from the Holy See. This permission
was granted only to the Dominicans, who might discuss
the question privately among themselves, without incurring
the Papal censures.
Pope Clement IX (d. 1669) allowed the feast of the
Immaculate Conception to be celebrated with an Octave ;
and Clement XI (d. 1721) in 1708 made it a feast of obli
gation for the whole Church.
With the exception of St. Bernard and St. Thomas of
Aquin, whose utterances on the subject are open to dis
cussion, we do not know of any Saint who has expressed
an opinion contrary to our Lady s great privilege.
All Religious Orders, except one, were decidedly
for the privilege ; and even among the latter, many
eminent theologians defended it in their writings. The
great Schools of Theology, except that of the Thom-
ists, taught and defended it. In the schools of the Sor-
bonne, Salamanca, Alcala, Coimbra, Mayence, Naples,
Louvain, and others, each graduate had to bind him
self by oath to defend Mary s Immaculate Conception.
The Franciscans, headed by Duns Scotus, defended it
as a family inheritance. The Society of Jesus and the
Immaculate Conception. (See 27.)
MARY HONOURED IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (cont.)
Bull of Pope Pius IX, 1854
IN the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, declaring the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception to be an article of faith,
Pope Pius IX says : " The Fathers and the Writers of
the Church, taught by celestial revelation, had nothing
more at heart in their writings to explain the Sacred
Scriptures, to defend the dogmas (of faith), and to teach
IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 209
the faithful, than to publish and celebrate in many admir
able ways the high sanctity of the Virgin Mary, her dignity,
her exemption from all stain of sin, and her glorious vic
tory over the terrible enemy of mankind. Wherefore,
when relating the words by which God, at the very begin
ning of the world, announced the remedy He had prepared
in His mercy to regenerate men, and thereby confound
the boldness of the deceitful serpent, and wonderfully
revive the hope of our race saying, I will put enmities
between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her
seed, they taught that by this divine oracle the merciful
Redeemer of the human race, that is, the only Son of God,
Jesus Christ, had been clearly and openly pointed out ;
His blessed Mother the Virgin Mary had also been desig
nated, and at the same time the enmity of both against
the devil had been expressed. Therefore, even as Christ,
the Mediator between God and men, having taken human
nature, blotting out the decree of condemnation passed
against us, victoriously nailed it to the Cross, so the Holy
Virgin, united with Him by a strait and indissoluble bond,
together with Him and through Him exercising eternal
enmity against the venomous serpent, and fully triumphing
over it, crushed its head with her immaculate foot." Brev.
Rom. die 7 infra Oct., Immac. Concept, lect. 5.
The Proclamation. In the concluding part of the
Bull, the Pope, standing in front of his throne, pronounced
with a voice full of faith and authority the longed-for
definition : " After having offered without interruption
to God the Father through His Son our humble prayers
accompanied with fasts, and the public prayers of the
Church, in order that He would vouchsafe to direct and
confirm our thoughts by the virtue of the Holy Ghost :
after having implored the help of the whole celestial Court,
invoked by our sighs the Spirit of consolation, and acting
under His inspiration, for the honour of the holy and
indivisible Trinity, the honour and glory of the Virgin
Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith
2io MARY HONOURED
and the increase of the Christian religion, by the authority
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and o the Apostles St. Peter
and St. Paul, and by Our own, (We declare, pronounce,
and define that the doctrine which holds that the Most
Blessed Virgin Mary, in prevision (consideration) of the
merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, was by a
singular grace and privilege of Almighty God preserved
and exempted from all stain pf original sin in the very
first instant of her conceptiony is a doctrine revealed by
God, and is therefore to be firmly and constantly believed
by all the faithful.j Wherefore, if any one presume to
think in his heart otherwise than has been defined by Us,
which God forbid, let such one know and be sure that
he is condemned by his own judgment, that he has made
shipwreck of his faith, and has fallen away from the unity
of the Church." Brev. Rom., Oct., Immac. Concept.,
ENGLAND AND THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
FATHER H. THURSTON, writing in The Month,
December, 1904, p. 563, quotes from the " Christ " of
the Anglo-Saxon poet Cynewulf, who wrote in the second
half of the eighth century, a long passage extolling the
Mother of God with the highest praise, and calling her
" immaculate " (unwemme, i.e. spotless).
The prayer book of Ethelwald, a Mercian Bishop of
the first half of the IX Cent., contains the following
loving appeal to our blessed Lady : " Holy Mother of
God, Virgin ever blest, glorious and noble, chaste and
inviolate. O Mary Immaculate, chosen and beloved of
God, endowed with singular sanctity, worthy of all praise,
thou who art intercessor for the peril of the whole world,
listen, listen, listen to us, holy Mary. Pray for us, inter
cede for us, disdain not to help us : for we are confident
IN HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 211
and know for certain that thou canst obtain all thou wiliest
from thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, the
King of Ages, who liveth with the Father and the Holy
Ghost for ever and ever. Amen." The Month, Ibid.
Dom Columba Edmunds, O.S.B., writes in the Ave
Maria, December, 1901, as follows : " Leaving out of
consideration the legend which connects the institution
of the feast of the Immaculate Conception with the preser
vation from shipwreck of Abbot Helsin 1 (Elsi, see The
Month, Dec., 1904, 569), it would seem that the
festival, so far as the Latin Church is concerned, first
originated about the beginning of the XI Cent. Accord
ing to the most recent research connected with this subject,
the honour of its first celebration belongs to the Bene
dictine Monks of Winchester, disciples of the Saxon St.
Ethel wold. In a manuscript calendar, still extant, said
to have been written in the monastery of Newminster
at Winchester, between the years 1034 and 1057, there is
inscribed in the original hand at the 8th of December
Conceptio Sanctae Dei Genetricis Mariae. Another
calendar of the Cathedral Priory at Winchester, belonging
to about the year 1030, has the same entry."
On Abbot Anselm of Bury s treatise in defence of the
Immaculate Conception (by some writers assigned to
St. Anselm) see The Month, June, 1904, 562, 566. Abbot
Anselm was nephew of the Saint, and ruled the Abbey of
Bury St. Edmunds from 1119 to 1148.
In a metrical calendar, which is thought to belong to
the time of Alfred the Great, we meet the first traces of
a commemoration of our Lady s Conception, not under
December 8 or 9, but opposite the second day of May.
The English monk Eadmer, disciple of St. Anselm,
wrote his treatise De Conceptione Beatae Mariae to vindicate
the Conception feast from the attacks made upon it. He
1 The Legend of Abbot Elsi. See The Month, 1904, July, i seq.
Itl MARY HONOURED
clearly states that our Lady was exempt from the general
law of sinfulness affecting all the descendants of Eve.
Ibid. 570, 571, and 563, note.
St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1109), is
famous for his devotion to our blessed Lady. He is said
to have been the first to establish publicly the feast of the
Immaculate Conception in the West, the earlier instances
of its celebration, given above, being confined to monastic
establishments and churches.
MARY HONOURED IN HER NATIVITY
i. r I A HE Nativity of Mary. Two holy persons,
Ji Joachim and Anna, lived in the little town of
Nazareth in Lower Galilee. Joachim was of the tribe of
Juda and of the race of King David through Nathan ;
and his wife Anna, according to St. Augustine, was of
the priestly tribe of Aaron. Both were just before God
and walked in the path of His commandments with a
perfect heart. But they were denied the consolation of
children, which made them sad, for in Israel sterility was
a reproach. Yet, resigned, they passed their days in
labour, prayer, and almsdeeds. God had not forgotten
them. In the course of time, by a great miracle, He
gave them a daughter more perfect, more holy, more
pleasing in His sight than all the elect put together.
This occurred on September 8, some fourteen (?) years
before the common era. What a day of joy that was ! " Thy
nativity," the Church sings in Our Lady s Office, " brought
joy and gladness to the whole world," (i) joy to the Blessed
Trinity, for she is to be the co-operatrix of the Incarnation ;
(2) joy to the Angels, for she is to be their Queen; (3)
joy to the Saints in Limbo, for she is to be the Mother of
IN HER NATIVITY 213
their Deliverer ; (4) joy to all mankind, for Redemption
Mary s advent into this sin-stained, sorrow-laden world
of ours marks the opening of a new and glorious epoch,
the reversing of the original curse, the transforming
it into a blessing. It was like the break of a glorious
sunrise on a night of horror ; it was like the stealing of
the empire of light on the realm of darkness ; it was like
the opening of the portals of heaven to send down the
most lovely creature this world ever saw ; it was like the
blossoming of the fairest flower of the human race whose
fragrance was to perfume the whole earth.
An anonymous spiritual writer reminds us that the
cradle of the Queen of Angels was neither ornamented
with gold, nor covered with silken counterpanes, or em
broidered curtains, but was simply covered with coarse
linen, for her parents, though royally descended, were
poor. But over that cradle Angels and Archangels must
have bent with reverence, ravished by her beauty ; and
on that tiny babe the Blessed Trinity looked with infinite
delight, for never was creature so lovely : even the brightest
Archangel in all his dazzling splendour was not so beautiful
in God s eyes. She was pure as the crystal waters of
Paradise, reflecting the image of the Godhead.
The following hymn, ascribed by Father Ballerini to St.
Ambrose, was sung at Mass in early times on our Lady s
feasts : "Hail, O whitest of lilies. Lily of the Eternal
Father ! Hail, Mother of the Redeemer. Hail, Spouse
of the Holy Spirit. Conceived without stain. Hail,
elect of the Trinity. Hail, Conqueror of the infernal
viper, alone free from his sting. Hail, elect of the Trinity,
-conceived without stain." Fr. Harper, Peace through the
Truth, ist series, 357.
2. The Name of Mary. The name given to this child
of predilection was Miriam or Mary, which in Syriac means
" Lady," " Sovereign Mistress," and in Hebrew " Star
of the sea (?) " ; for Mary is sovereign Lady and Queen,
2i 4 MARY HONOURED
exalted above the choirs of angels : she is also a bright
Star to those who sail on the stormy sea of this world ;
a bright star on both sea and land, heralding the glorious
sunrise. On the Name of Mary, see Alban Butler, Sept. 8,
after St. Disen.
St. Anthony of Padua says : " Mary s name is sweeter
than the honeycomb to the lips, sweeter than melodious
music to the ear, sweeter than purest joy to the heart."
St. Bonaventure always bowed his head at the name of
Mary. St. Bernard s beautiful words on the Name of
Mary, " Star of the Sea." See Brev. Rom., Sunday
within Oct. of her Nativity, lessons 4, 5, 6. On the Name
of Mary, see 97.
3. Privileges of the Child Mary. That blessed Child
had an understanding filled with the purest light ; an
upright will perfectly conformed to that of God ; a more
perfect liberty than that of the Angels and of Adam in
the state of innocence. Her soul was never darkened
by ignorance, nor troubled by concupiscence, nor dis
turbed by the tumult of evil passions. God dwelt in her
soul as in a heavenly tabernacle. Her body was spot
lessly pure, perfectly holy. She was enriched with sancti
fying grace in an eminent degree, with actual graces of the
highest kind;elevating,;ennobling all her thoughts, affections
and actions. She was confirmed in grace, full of horror
of sin, even the most trivial ; gifted with a more than
seraphic attraction to God, being continually united with
Him. In everything she had the most sublime intention
of pleasing God, and at once began to acquire merit in
a degree beyond the power of the highest Angels. The
majestic glory of the Seraphim, compared with the dazzling
beauty of her soul, is but as the flickering light of a star
compared with the noon-day sun.
Suarez on the Privileges of Mary. (See 102.)
IN HER DIVINE MATERNITY 215
MARY HONOURED IN HER DIVINE MATERNITY
THE dignity of Mother of God is the highest to which
any mere creature is capable of being raised. What
closer union could any creature have with the Creator of
all things ? What title could be more noble, what privi
lege more wonderful ? He Who was born of the Father
from all eternity, the only-begotten and consubstantial
Son, Maker and Lord of all things, is born in time and
receives a being in His nature of man from Mary. x " Listen
and attend, O man," cries out St. Anselm, " and be trans
ported in an ecstasy of astonishment contemplating this
prodigy. The infinite God had one only-begotten co-
eternal Son ; yet He would not suffer Him to remain
only His own, but would also have Him to be made the
only Son of Mary." Monol. St. Peter Damian exclaims :
" Let every creature be silent and remain in holy fear,
scarcely daring to cast his eyes on that dignity so immense."
Petitalot, 197. St. Bernardine of Siena says God alone
can measure the height and extent of that dignity. St.
Bernard writes : " It is impossible for God to make a
creature more excellent." St. Anselm observes : " That
thought alone that Mary is Mother of God surpasses all
excellence, ah 1 imaginary glory after that of God." St.
Bonaventure adds : "To be Mother of God is the greatest
grace that can be conferred on a simple creature. It is
a grace so great that God cannot confer a greater. God
could (if He wished) make a grander world, a brighter
heaven, but a greater Mother than Mary He cannot make,"
such is her dignity.
The Angelic Doctor St. Thomas tells us that God, having
almighty power, could create worlds more great, suns
more brilliant, stars more numerous, creatures more intelli
gent and more perfect than He has made. But, he adds
* Alban Butler, Sept. 8.
2i 6 MARY HONOURED
we must always make three exceptions, the Humanity
of Jesus Christ, Celestial Beatitude (the Beatific Vision),
and the Blessed Virgin. These three the Humanity of
Jesus Christ by reason of its union with the Divinity ;
Beatitude, because it is the enjoyment of God Himself ;
and the glorious Virgin in her quality of Mother of God,
because there proceeds from that immediate relationship
with God a certain infinite dignity (these three are God s
absolutely perfect works), than which it is impossible to
conceive in the same order anything more perfect, for
nothing can exist more perfect than God. Pt. i, q. 25,
Pius IX in the Bull " Ineffabilis Deus " represents the
Mother of God as "an ineffable miracle of the Almighty,
and even the crown of all miracles, because that glorious
creature approaches as near to God as created nature
can do, and is exalted above all human and angelic praise."
Again : " God chose for His only Son a Mother, of whom
in the fulness of time He should be born, a Mother whom
He Himself prepared, and in whom He was so well pleased
that He preferred her to every other creature. In virtue
of this choice He endowed her richly with heavenly favours,
to an extent far excelling those bestowed on the Saints
and Angels : He preserved her from all sin, and bestowed
on her a holiness He alone can understand. And indeed
it was necessary that she should be for ever adorned with
the splendour of the most perfect grace, this Virgin, to
whom God the Father chose to give His own Son in such
a manner that the same Divine Person should in His
twofold nature be at the same time the Son of God, and
the Son of Mary."
Denis the Carthusian exclaims : " Mary, most ad
mirable of created beings, thou art in truth associated with
the paternity of the Eternal Father, having for thy Son,
the same Son whom He has ; thou art the most excellent
Mother "of His only Son"; thou art the most singular
tabernacle of the adorable^Paraclete ; the Blessed Trinity
IN HER DIVINE MATERNITY 217
has admitted thee to share their empire and glory. The
divine artist has formed thee so great, so worthy of love,
so perfect, adorned thee with so many other privileges
above those of the elect, because it was fitting that such
a Mother, such a Spouse, such a Queen, should be greater,
richer, and fairer than all the handmaids and all the ser
vants of God." Laus vitae solit. art. 29.
If it is a joy to possess God as He reveals Himself to
His elect ; if it is a bliss to know Him as do the angelic
spirits, whom He ravishes with a torrent of untold delight ;
what must have been Mary s joy on becoming the Mother
of God. She found, in a way no words can express, her
Beloved whom she sought ; she could never be separated
from Him ; she was nearer to Him than any creature
could ever be, and the mountain-tops of heroic sanctity
were nothing to her elevation. She was folded in the
complacency of the adorable Trinity, the daughter of the
Father, the Mother of the Son, the Spouse of the Holy
Ghost. Her breast was converted into a most pure shrine
or temple of the Godhead, with Jesus dwelling on its altar.
This great dignity of Mary was vindicated in the Coun
cil of Ephesus against Nestorius. (See n.)
Note. Many Protestants, unaware of the true doctrine
of the Incarnation, call the Blessed Virgin the Mother of
Jesus, and not the Mother of God, as though our Saviour
existed in a twofold personality human and divine. The
Catholic doctrine is that the Second Person of the Blessed
Trinity, in His Divine nature eternally begotten of the
Father, took to Himself from His Virgin Mother a human
nature of the same substance as hers ; and therefore the
Mother of that Divine Person, Jesus Christ, the God-man,
is in very truth the Mother of God. As our mothers are
not called the mothers of our bodies, but simply our
mothers, because the soul, which is directly created by
God is united with the body in one personality, so the
Blessed Virgin is not called simply the Mother of Jesus,
i.e. of His human nature alone, but the Mother of God,
2i 8 MARY HONOURED
because the Divine Nature of the Word, which is eternally
begotten of the Father, is united with the human nature
in one personality. In a word, she is Mother not merely
of the (human) nature, but of the Person, and that
Person is God the Son.
MARY HONOURED IN HER PERPETUAL VIRGINITY
THE early Church held most firmly to the perpetual
Virginity of our Lady, as we learn from the con
demnation of Helvidius, Jovinian, and other heretics in
the IV Cent, by the Synods of Rome (A.D. 381) and
Capua (A.D. 392). The Council of Lateran in A.D. 649
finally voiced the infallible witness of the Catholic Church,
so that Catholics are not left to mere conjecture or private
opinion. Indeed, Luther, Calvin, Zwingle and Beza
among the Reformers, besides many Protestant writers
to-day, deny as emphatically as any Catholic that Jesus
holy Mother ever ceased to be a Virgin.
SS. Jerome, Epiphanius, Ambrose and others took up
the defence of Mary s perpetual virginity against Ebion,
Cerinthus, Helvidius, proving that she was a Virgin before,
in, and after His birth, a Virgin in soul, a Virgin in body,
a Virgin in mind and in every thought and feeling. For
St. Jerome s arguments briefly stated, see Alban Butler,
September 8. St. Epiphanius asks the question : " Who
in any generation ever dared to utter the name of Mary
without adding at once the title of Virgin ? How then
do they (Helvidius, Jovinian) dare to attack that spotless
Virgin, who merited to be the dwelling of the Son (of God),
she who was chosen for this out of the tens of thousands
in Israel, that she might be made a worthy vessel and
dwelling-place for a unique prodigy of child-birth ? "
Livius, 129, see 8. St. Ephrem grows rapturous in speak-
EVER A VIRGIN 219
ing of our Lady s spotless innocence and virginity. " Most
holy Lady Mother of God, alone most pure in soul and
body ; alone exceeding all perfection of purity, both
chastity and virginity ; alone made in thy entirety the
home of all the graces of the most holy Spirit ; and hence
excelling beyond all compare even the angelic Virtues in
purity and sanctity of soul and body, cast thine eyes upon
me." " My Lady most holy, Mother of God, and full of
grace, most blessed and most pleasing to God, vessel of
the Divinity of thy only Son. All-pure, all-immaculate,
all-stainless, all-undefiled, all-blameless, all-worthy of
praise, all-incorrupt, all-most blessed, all-inviolate. Virgin
in soul, in body, and in spirit incomprehensible miracle
spotless robe of Him who clothes Himself with light
as with a garment holy root of Jesse City of God,
beautiful by nature, and inaccessible to all blemish, Flower
unfading, Purple woven by God, alone most immaculate."
Mary s Perpetual Virginity has been denned as an Article
of Faith by the Lateran Council under St. Martini (649),*
and was proclaimed by Popes St. Leo I (d. 461), Adeo-
datus (d. 676). See Denziger, 143, 204, 256, 282. St.
Jerome writing against Helvidius says he can quote the
whole of antiquity (in defence of Mary s perpetual vir
ginity), " Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin, and all
other holy and apostolic men." St. Bede, the Venerable,
says : " Mary was the first of women to offer (to vow) her
virginity to God." St. Epiphanius held that it was
heresy to doubt Mary s perpetual virginity ; St. Basil
considered the denial of it equivalent to blasphemy ; St.
Ambrose spoke of the injury done to Christ by calling
in question the virginity of His Mother. Reason itself
tells us that to call it in question is a sort of blasphemy
against the Eternal Father, who has made her His daughter ;
an injury to the Holy Ghost, who has chosen her to be
1 Not a General Council. Denz. 204.
220 MARY HONOURED
His Spouse ; and an insult to Christ who has elected her
to be His Virgin Mother.
Ireland and Mary s perpetual virginity. (See 34.)
Note. The Scriptures speak in several places of the
" brethren of the Lord." Matt. xii. 46-50 ; Matt. xiii.
55, 56 ; Mark iii. 31-35 ; vi. 3 ; Luke viii. 19-21 ; John
ii. 12 ; vii. 3-10 ; Acts i. 14. But the word brother
is used in the Hebrew and in all languages in a general
sense, and therefore by no means necessarily implies
children of the same parent. In the Old Testament it
applied to any relation, v.g. nephew (Gen. xiv. 16 ; xiii. 8 ;
xii. 5), uncle (Gen. xxix. 15), husband (Cant. iv. 9),
one of the same tribe (2 Kings xix. 12), of the same people
(Exod. ii. 21 ), an ally (Amos i. 9), any friend (2 Kings
i. 26), one of the same office (3 Kings ix. 13).
MARY HONOURED IN HER GLORIOUS ASSUMPTION
r I A HAT our Lady was assumed body and soul into
JL heaven is not an article of faith ; but it is so uni
versally accepted by the Christian Church that it cannot
be denied without rashness and scandal. There is reason
to believe that the Vatican Council, had it continued its
sittings, would have defined the doctrine. Much evidence
was collected for this purpose, both historical and theo
logical. The historical evidence is not very strong, but
the consensus of the whole Church is a convincing argu
Holy Scripture is silent as to the close of Mary s beautiful
life, but St. John Damascene (VIII Cent.) tells us the
story as it was handed down among the faithful in his
day, and the Church has inserted his account in the Rom.
Breviary (Aug. 18, lessons 4, 5, 6) as proper to edify and
excite the devotion of her children, but without pronounc
ing on its accuracy or certainty. " We learn," he
IN HER ASSUMPTION 221
says, " from an ancient tradition that at the time of the
glorious sleep of the Blessed Virgin, all the Apostles scat
tered abroad for the salvation of the nations, were trans
ported to Jerusalem. 1 As they were assembled together,
an angelic vision appeared to them, they heard the psalmody
of the heavenly powers, and then with a Divine glory,
Mary gave up her blessed soul into the hands of God.
Her body, which by an ineffable mystery had received
God, was transported with the joyful hymns of Angels
and Apostles, and deposited in a sepulchre at Gethsemane ;
and there for three whole days the angelic melodies did
not cease. After three days the song of the Angels came
to an end ; Thomas, the only Apostle then absent, arrived,
and desired to see and venerate the body in which God
had dwelt. The Apostles opened the tomb, but did not
find the sacred deposit. Seeing only the linen which had
enveloped the body of Mary, and from which a sweet
odour arose, they closed the sepulchre. Astonished at
the miracle, they could have but one thought that He
Who had been pleased to become Incarnate in the chaste
womb of the Virgin Mary, and to be born of her, being
the Word of God, and the Lord of glory, and having already
preserved the virginity of His Mother, had also willed to
preserve from corruption her Immaculate body after
death, and to translate it to heaven before the general
and universal resurrection."
St. John Damascene continues : " There were with
the Apostles the blessed Timothy, first Bishop of the
Ephesians, and Denis the Areopagite, as he himself attests
in his letter addressed to Timothy on the subject of the
blessed Hierotheus, also present, and in which he says :
Near the pontiffs, inspired of God, along with us as you
know, and many others of our holy brethren assembled
to contemplate the body which gave birth to Life, there
1 On the question whether our Lady died at Jerusalem or Ephesus,
see Alban Butler, August 15, note. The story of the visit of
the twelve Apostles to the tomb of our Lady is doubtful, and of
222 MARY HONOURED
was James, the brother of the Lord, and Peter, the supreme
and ancient chief of divine teachers ; and at the sight of the
sacred body it pleased all, each according to his power,
to celebrate with hymns the infinite goodness of the Divine
The same Saint in his sermon on The Sleep of the Blessed
Virgin, speaks as follows, his words being inserted in the
Divine Office for August 15. " To-day that sacred and
animated ark of the living God, who conceived the Creator
in her womb, rests in that Temple which is not made
with hands : David her ancestor rejoices, and with him
the Archangels celebrate her, the Virtues glorify her, the
Principalities are glad, the Powers rejoice, the Dominations
are ravished, the Thrones solemnize her festival, the
Cherubim praise her, and the Seraphim proclaim her
glory. To-day heaven received the living paradise of
the new Adam, that Eden where our curse was taken
away, where was planted the tree of life, and where our
nakedness was covered. This day the Immaculate Virgin,
free from all earthly affections, and trained to thoughts
of heaven, no longer walks upon earth, but giving life to
heaven, she is placed in the celestial mansions. She who
hath given life to the world cannot taste death. She hath
obeyed the law of Him Whom she conceived ; daughter
of the old Adam, she hath submitted to the ancient con
demnation (i.e. death), like her Son Who is life itself,
yet would not avoid it : and as Mother of the living God,
she is worthily assumed to Him." He continues : " How
could she become the prey of death ? How could the
tomb retain her ? How could corruption touch that
body, which has given life to God ? For if Christ, Who
is the life and the truth, hath said, Ubi ego sum illic
erit et minister meus/ would not His Mother, by better
right, be with Him ? "
St. Gregory of Tours (d. 596), voicing the popular
tradition among the Christians in Gaul of the VI Cent.,
writes : " When at length the Blessed Virgin had fulfilled
IN HER ASSUMPTION
the course of this present life, and was now to be called
out of the world, all the Apostles were gathered together
from the several regions to her house. And as they learnt
that she was to be taken from the world, together they
watched with her. When, behold the Lord Jesus arrived
with His Angels, and, receiving her soul, committed it
to the Archangel Michael, and thereupon withdrew. Then
at day-break the Apostles lifted her body with the couch,
laid it in the sepulchre, and watched by it, awaiting the
coming of the Lord. And, lo, the Lord stood by them
again, and commanded her holy body to be taken up and
borne on a cloud to Paradise ; where now united to the
soul, and rejoicing in company with the elect, it enjoys
the good things of eternity which shall never come to an
end." De Mirac. lib. i, c. 4. Patr. Lat. torn. 71, 708.
The same Saint speaks of a marvellous occurrence
witnessed by him on the eve of the Assumption-feast :
" When the feast (of the Assumption) was now nigh at
hand I went thither (to the Oratory at Marsac in Avernum)
to keep the vigil. And as in the dark of night I approached
the Oratory, I saw, whilst still some distance off, a bright
ness so intense shining through the windows, that one
would have thought a very great number of lamps and
candles were burning there. Supposing then that some
devout persons had already got in before us to celebrate
the vigil, I go up to the door. I knock but find there is
no one there. Trying the door, I discover that it is locked,
and that all is silent. What is to be done ? We send
for the custodian then in charge of locking the door, to
bring the key and unlock it. Whilst he is on his way,
we light a candle outside, when, lo, the door opens of itself.
On going in, the brightness which we had been wondering
at from outside, as our candle makes its appearance,
vanishes I believe, because of the darkness of my sins.
We were in fact able to see nothing else, save the power
and virtue of the glorious Virgin, from whom that bright
ness had arisen." Ibid. c. 9, 713.
224 MARY HONOURED
St. Venantius Fortunatus* testimony to our Lady s
Assumption he was Bishop of Poitiers in the VI Cent.
See Livius, 361. The Mass for the festival in the Gre
gorian Sacramentary VI Cent. See Ibid. 363. St.
Augustine s testimony. Ibid. 349. St. Jerome speaks
of our Lady s sepulchre, but of her Assumption he says
there is no certainty. St. Willibald s pilgrimage to the
Holy Land : (about 754) his visits to the church and
tomb of Holy Mary. See Ibid. 377.
St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (XI Cent.),
preaching on the feast of the Assumption contrasts our
Lady s sufferings and anxieties in life with her present joy
and glory. "No longer," he says, "is she solicitous how
to serve Him as a Child, for all the hierarchies now serve
Him as their Lord. No longer is she troubled flying with
Him into Egypt from the face of Herod ; for He has
ascended into Heaven, and Herod has gone down into
hell before his face. No longer is she disturbed on account
of the many things the Jews did against Him ; for all
things now are subject to Him. And now Mary herself
is exalted above the choirs of Angels ; now all her desire
is fulfilled, she sees God face to face, as He is, and rejoices
with her Son for ever."
MARY HONOURED IN HER TITLE OF MOTHER OF MERCY
r I ^HE Church salutes Mary constantly as Mother of
JL Mercy : " Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae."
Mercy, St. Augustine tells us, is the compassion we feel
for the misery of others, a compassion that leads us to
assist them in proportion to our ability. De Civ. Dei.
1. 9, c. 5. This compassion has its birth in charity, for
the love we feel for any one who is unfortunate makes
us look upon the ills he suffers as our own. If then Mary
,45 MOTHER OF MERCY
is all love for us, she must be moved by our distress and
be merciful to us. After our Blessed Saviour Himself,
no one loves and compassionates us so much as His holy
St. Anselm addressing our Lady says : " Thou who
didst become Mother of God with a view to mercy, show
pity to my misery by interceding for me." And the holy
Doctor adds : " What mediator can I invoke with greater
fervour under the terror that haunts me than her, whose
womb contained reconciliation for the whole world ? The
Son of the Father of mercy came down from heaven to
seek the lost sinner, and wilt thou, His dear Mother, wilt
thou, the mighty Mother of God, reject an unhappy soul
who prays to thee ? " Orat. 51 ad- B.V. St. Bernard,
extolling our Lady s clemency, exclaims : " Let those
keep silence about thy mercy, Blessed Virgin, who can
remember invoking thee in their need without receiving
help. We, thy poor servants, praise thy other virtues,
but still mercy more strongly attracts those who are in
trouble, appeals more strongly to their love, is more often
remembered, more willingly invoked ; for it is mercy
which obtains for the world reparation and eternal salva
tion. Thy mercy has given renewed life to those in misery,
and it will aid those who seek it to the last day." De
Assumpt. B.V. serm. 4. The same Saint in another place
says : " Who is there on whom the sun does not shine ?
Who is there on whom Mary s mercy does not shed its
light ? " Richard of St. Victor (d. 1173) writes : "As
a loving mother hides her boy under her mantle when his
father wishes to chastise him, so the Blessed Virgin pro
tects those who fly to her, fearing the justice of Christ."
The devout Blosius (d. 1566) affirms that " sooner will
heaven and earth pass away, than Mary deprive of her
help one who invokes her."
Let us listen again to St. Bernard : " You were afraid
to draw near to the Father ; terrified at the mere sound
of His voice, you tried to hide yourselves ; God gave you
226 MARY HONOURED
a Mediator, and what cannot a Son obtain from such a
Father ? This Son then will be favourably heard for
the Father loves His Son. Are you also afraid to appeal
to Jesus ? He is your Brother, He took your flesh upon
Him, He suffered all your trials, except that of sin, for
the sake of being merciful to you, and it is Mary who gave
Him to you as your Brother. But perchance you dread
the Divine Majesty in Him, because when He became
man He yet did not cease to be God ? Do you wish for
an advocate with Him ? Then have recourse to Mary,
for in her you will find human nature free from every stain.
She will also be heard because of the consideration of which
she is worthy. The Son will hear His Mother, and the
Father will hear His Son. Here, my children, behold the
sinner s ladder ! Here is my strong confidence, here the
reason of my hope. What, can the Son repulse His Mother,
or Himself meet with refusal ! Undoubtedly not ; Mary
will always find grace with Jesus, and we only need grace,
and by grace alone are we saved. Let us seek grace by
Mary ! she finds what she seeks and cannot be frustrated
in her desires." This passage the Church has included
in her Liturgy. See Offic. B.V. de Bono Consilio, April 26.
Rom. Brev. vSupplem. See also another beautiful passage
from the same Saint, Offic. B.V. Auxil. Christianorum,
May 24. Ibid. Note. This feast of Our Lady of Good
Counsel is no longer observed, except locally.
In her Litany our Lady is invoked as Health of the Sick,
Refuge of sinners, Consoler of the afflicted, Help of Chris
Mary, health of the sick. What thousands upon
thousands of sick persons have been miraculously cured
of various ailments by her at Lourdes and elsewhere !
See the votive offerings at her numerous shrines. The
history of these miraculous cures would fill a library. If
the Angel Raphael cured the blindness of Tobias ; if the
bones of Eliseus gave life to a dead body ; if the Apostles
had power to cure diseases ; if the very shadow of St.
HER IMMACULATE HEART 227
Peter cured many who were sick ; what must be the power
of Mary to relieve and dispel human suffering ! The pool
of Bethsaida was moved by the Angel only at intervals :
but the loving Heart of Mary is in a continual movement of
holy compassion. And if her pity for our bodily ailments
is so great, with what tenderness of affection will she
welcome and assist those who fly to her for help in interior
troubles, trials, temptations, anguish of soul, and spiritual
distress of every kind.
MARY HONOURED BY DEVOTION TO HER IMMACULATE
THE great apostle of the devotion to our Lady s
Immaculate Heart is Blessed John Eudes (d.
1680), Founder of the Eudists and of the Good Shepherd
nuns who still preaches it through his great work Le
Cceur Admirable de la ires Sainte Mere de Dieu. He here
speaks as with words of fire, and no one can read the work
seriously without feeling inflamed.
If we seek for reasons why the Heart of our Blessed
Mother is so greatly honoured and revered by Catholics,
the answer is :
i. Because, after the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is the
purest and holiest heart that ever was.
(a) It is a shrine or temple of holiness, whose threshold
was never once crossed by the demon of sin ; whose sanc
tuary was never once contaminated by the least touch of
evil ; whose altar was the chosen resting place of the
Spirit of God.
(b) It is a shrine or temple of peace, for it is the heart of
the Mother of the Prince of Peace ; a heart never for a
moment disturbed by evil passions or by the noisy clamour
of evil propensities ; a heart whose gifts to mankind are
those of mercy, reconciliation and peace.
228 MARY HONOURED
(c) It is a shrine adorned with all the skill of the Divine
Artificer, who has lavished upon it the riches of His treasure-
house riches of sanctifying grace, each of which far tran
scends in value all the riches of the material universe.
" Ave, gratia plena ! " Hail, full of grace !
2, Because it is a counterpart of the Heart of Jesus.
(a) His is a loving Heart, that love being symbolized
by the flames. So Mary s is a loving heart, the most
affectionate of hearts after that of Jesus. She loves us
as a mother loves her children ; her eyes are ever watchful
over us ; her ears are ever attentive to our cries ; her
hands are ever extended over us to help us and impart
heavenly blessed gifts to us ; above all, her heart is full
of the tenderest solicitude for us.
(b) Jesus Heart was a suffering Heart symbolized by
the thorns that circle it round, the cross planted in its
summit, and the gash opened in its side. So Mary s was
a suffering heart. Its martyrdom began with holy Sim
eon s prophecy in the temple, and was consummated on
Calvary. If Jesus hands and feet were pierced with
nails, the sound of each blow of the hammer inflicted a
corresponding wound on the heart of His Mother. If
His head was crowned with thorns, another crown of
thorns encircled the heart of His Mother. If His side
was opened with a lance, a sword of anguish likewise
pierced the heart of His Mother. If His lips were tortured
with gall and vinegar squeezed against them, a very sea
of bitterness was poured into the heart of His Mother.
" Magna est velut mare contritio tua."
(c) Jesus Heart was a pure Heart, symbolized by the
light that Blessed Margaret Mary saw issuing from it
and streaming round it. So Mary s was a pure heart,
pure as the light, purer than the snow, free from the stain
of original sin, from the least blemish of actual sin, from
the least evil tendency of our fallen nature : a heart full
of light and beauty reflecting to the full the radiance of
the Sacred Heart of her Divine Son.
HER IMMACULATE HEART 229
(d) Jesus was a generous Heart, symbolized by His
open breast, and the wound in His side whence issued
the last drops of His Heart s blood shed for us, and by which
an access was opened to us to the treasures of that Divine
Heart. So Mary s is a generous heart, expansive in love,
abounding in mercy : all mankind may find a place there
as her children, if they only choose to listen to her loving
invitation, " Venite ad me omnes."
(e) Jesus Heart suffered and bled for sinners. So
Mary s heart is a refuge, a blessed asylum opened for
sinners. She is the Mother of Mercy, who never was
known, as St. Bernard assures us, to turn away any one
who came in sincerity to seek her aid.
The Heart of Mary, says Blessed John Eudes, is a
very heaven of glory, more wonderful than the empyrean
heaven ; it is, through her Divine Son, a source of life to
all the faithful, " Vitam datam per Virginem, Vita, dul-
cedo, et spes nostra " ; it is the holiest and most acceptable
victim of divine love ; it is a sun more brilliant than the
material sun, enlightening the minds and inflaming the
hearts of all the children of light ; it is a fountain of living
water, a stream of mercy and blessing, " Fons innumerorum
bonorum " ; it is a loving haven of safety, in which we
may find shelter when buffeted by the storms of trials
and temptations. If St. John Chrysostom felt such affec
tion for the heart of St. Paul ; if we feel such deep rever
ence for the hearts of St. Teresa, St. John Berchmans,
Blessed Baldinucci and others still preserved incorrupt,
how great, how burning ought to be our devotion to the
Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God !
230 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED BY THE CONSECRATION TO HER OF
ENGLAND IN 1893
IN May, 1893, England was solemnly consecrated by
Cardinal Archbishop Vaughan and the whole Hier
archy of English Bishops to the Mother of God and to
the Prince of the Apostles. Some extracts from his
Eminence s pastoral letter are here given.
1. Our Lady s Dowry. " The Holy Father (Leo
XIII), in his reply (to an address presented by English
pilgrims on February 27, 1893), has used and thus con
secrated an expression which is familiar to us here, but
which has probably never before been heard from the
mouth of a Pope. He has called this country Our Lady s
Dowry. That is to say he has mentioned with approval
that, in the ages of faith, this land was commonly so named.
It is to an Archbishop of Canterbury of the XIV Cent.
Archbishop Arundel that we are indebted for a
formal testimony to a fact which of itself is enough to
prove how Most Holy Mary was loved in England in days
gone by. He writes thus to the Bishops of the Province
of Canterbury in the year 1399 : The contemplation of
the great Mystery of the Incarnation, in which the Eternal
Word chose the holy and Immaculate Virgin, that from
her womb He should clothe Himself with flesh, has drawn
all Christian nations to venerate her from whom came
the first beginnings of our Redemption. But we in
England/ he continues, being the servants of her special
inheritance, and her own Dowry, as we are commonly
called, ought to surpass others in the fervour of our praise
and devotion. These words form part of a Constitution
which is remarkable for many reasons."
2. The Angelus Bell. " It is the (same) decree which
established the morning and evening Angelus/ as it was
used in mediaeval England. Already it had been the
ENGLAND S CONSECRATION 231
custom in England to toll the bell in the evening hour
and to recite five Hail Marys with the Our Father.
It was at the request of King Henry IV that the English
Primate ordered that in all cathedral, collegiate, monastic,
and parish churches, the bell should be rung in the early
morning also, and the same prayers be said. The sound
of that Angelus Bell seems to bring back to our memories
the never-ceasing cultus or worship of the Blessed Mother
of our Redeemer which so strongly marked every age of
Catholic history in this country. The bells of every church
from Canterbury to Lindisfarne, and from Mary s great
shrine at Walsingham in the east to remote St. David s
in the extreme west, rung out at dawn and again at sunset,
day by day, as the years went by. But not more regular
or more constant was their sweet sound over all the land
than was the lifting up of the heart of rich and poor, high
and low, in morning salutation and in evening supplication
to the holy Mother of God."
3. Monuments to Mary. " Since the landing of St.
Augustine and his monks every great name, Saxon or
Norman, which had adorned the annals of the Church,
had left a monument to Mary, either in solid stone or in
immortal speech. The great Doctors of the English, like
Bede, Alcuin, and Anselm, had written of her with the
enthusiasm of sons ; the great preachers, such as St.
Aldhelm and St. Aelred, had given the flower of their
rapturous meditations on her prerogatives ; the men of
action and builders of churches, like St. Bennet of Wear-
mouth and St. Wilfrid, had set her name on the temples
they erected to Almighty God and placed her image in
their sanctuaries ; the splendid mediaeval Bishops, as
St. Hugh of Lincoln, St. Edmund of Canterbury, and St.
Richard of Chichester, had built glorious Ladye-chapels
to their great cathedrals, and added gem after gem not
only to her shrines but to the ever-growing trophy of the
public and private devotions of the English people."
4. St. Thomas of Canterbury and Devotion to
232 MARY HONOURED
Mary. " It cannot be doubted that the name of St.
Thomas of Canterbury carried with it more power over
the hearts of the English than the name of any other
saint of this island. It was commonly believed and it
seems to be uncontradicted that the beloved martyr
and champion of the unity of the Church was not only
one of Mary s devoutest clients, but had written sweet
and pious verses in her honour. It was probably in his
retirement at Pontigny where his soul grew nearer to
God, and the Holy Spirit took possession of all his powers
and aspirations that he wrote those two hymns which
have been handed down to us. Two sequences, one
beginning Imperatrix gloriosa, and the other Hodierna
lux diei, are found in numerous missals of the Middle Ages
all over Europe ; and had not our English liturgical books
been almost utterly destroyed by the Reformers, we should
have known how popular they were in England. About
the middle of the XII Cent., ere yet St. Thomas
had shed his blood at Canterbury, St. Aelred, who is called
the English St. Bernard, was proclaiming the praises of
the Mother of Christ in his Cistercian church in Yorkshire."
5. Speaking Facts. The Ladye-Mass. " There are
those who speak as if such devotion were a modern develop
ment or the outcome of a national temperament very
different from that of the English. Let a few facts speak for
themselves. In England, during the ages of faith, there
was the Votive Mass of our Lady every day in cathedrals
and greater churches. At the early dawn the bell sounded
its summons to the Ladye-Mass/ and the people hastened
to the magnificent Ladye-chapels of cathedrals like St.
Paul s, or Lincoln, or York, or to the Ladye-altar of their
own parish church. This Mass did not take the place of
the Mass and Office of the day. It was the willing tribute
of a devout people to the Mother of Jesus."
6. The Ladye-Chapel. " Day by day the services
went on in the choir, at the high altar, and in the vast
naves of the glorious churches of the land. But the Ladye-
ENGLAND S CONSECRATION 233
chapel was the scene of Mary s special honour. Her altar
was there, her image was there, of precious marble, even
of gold or silver, or perhaps of common wood, now dark
and venerable with the lapse of years. The ministers
who officiated were set apart for this special duty ; some
times a single priest, who was Our Ladye s Priest ;
sometimes a college of four, or six, or of eight, for whom
the piety of benefactors had provided in order that they
might stand at our Lady s shrine. The Ladye-chapel had
its own precious vestments and its own golden chalice ;
wax candles offered by Mary s clients, living and dead,
burned during the Mass and before her image ; the missals,
the graduals, the psalters were Mary s own, and the lamp
that shone there night and day was in the custody of one
who was appointed to guard and keep the chapel. Let
it be remembered that there was not one church in all
England to which this description did not in some degree
apply during the XIII, XIV and XV Cents."
7. Political and Social Life. Order of the Garter.
Eton College. Famous Sanctuaries. " And what
was true of the daily liturgical life of the country, was
true also of its political and social life in the widest sense.
We are told that the Order of the Garter was founded by
Edward III to the honour of the Blessed Virgin, and
that out of his singular affection for her he had wished
her to be honoured by his knights ; and on our Lady s
festivals the knights, during the Divine Office, bore on
their right shoulders golden figures of the Mother of God.
When King Henry VI founded his great College of Eton,
he dedicated it to the Name of the Blessed Virgin. There
was no part of the country where there was not a famous
Sanctuary of the Madonna, to which royal and noble per
sonages with crowds of pilgrims continually thronged.
Amongst these the most popular was Our Lady of Wal-
singham, in Norfolk ; but scarcely less so were the Church
of All Hallows, near the Tower of London, on account
of its miraculous statue, Our Lady of the Pue at West-
234 MARY HONOURED
minster, Our Lady of Doncaster, Our Lady of Ipswich,
and far away to the west, among the hills of Glamorgan,
Our Lady of Penrice, marked stilr by a holy well. With
these sacred shrines the life and history of the country
were bound up. Thither went Kings to beg a blessing
on their arms from the God of battles, and to return thanks
for victory and peace. Piously and humbly, often with
bare feet like Henry VIII himself in the days before he
fell from the faith princes, prelates, statesmen, and
great soldiers, representing the religious emotion of a
Catholic nation, sought out in the hour of national crisis
the hallowed spot where the power of Christ s Mother
seemed to dwell where pious generations had lifted up
her monuments, where the knees of suppliants had worn
away the stone, and where trophies of piety and gratitude
covered the wall of the sanctuary. We cannot bring
back those days of faith. But we can arouse our own
faith, and at the bidding of the Holy Father, renew and
enlarge our love and our service of the Queen of Virgins,
in public and private, in great things and in small, con
secrating to her our lives and our actions, and, as far as
lies in our power, putting her once more in her place as
the country s sovereign protector."
MARY HONOURED BY DEVOTION TO HER SEVEN DOLOURS
ON the Feast of the Assumption, 1233, seven Floren
tine nobles met together, as their custom was,
to recite the Office of the Blessed Virgin. While they
were thus engaged she herself appeared before them, and
bade them forsake the world for a more perfect life. In
a second apparition, 1239, she recommended them to
spread devotion to her Seven Dolours, and presented to
them the black habit which the Servites wear in honour
7A T HER DOLOURS 235
of the Passion of her Son. Throughout Europe these
zealous Servants of Mary preached everywhere devotion
to the Passion of Jesus and to the Sorrows of His holy
Mary s martyrdom, observes Father Petitalot, 324, began
with the first knowledge which the prophecies gave her
of the sufferings which the Messias would have to endure.
It increased when she was chosen to be the Mother of that
Messias, destined to die a cruel death for the sins of the
world. It became more intense when she heard the words
of holy Simeon, and saw the flowing of the first drops of
our Saviour s Blood. It continued during the thirty-three
years of our Lord s life. It attained its greatest intensity
during the hours of the Passion. Even after the Resurrec
tion and Ascension it did not entirely cease : Mary suffered
as long as she lived, for she could not forget any of her
sorrows, but, on the contrary, recalled every day the
painful remembrance by visiting (it is believed) the places
where she beheld the sufferings of her adorable Child.
As salt is found in all the waters of the ocean, so suffering
spread itself throughout the entire life of Mary, and this
is why many have said that the name of Mary is equivalent
to Mare amarum. St. Bridget of Sweden, while praying
in the Church of St. Mary Major, Rome, had a vision in
which the Blessed Virgin appeared to her, having by her
side holy Simeon, and an Angel bearing a long sword
reddened with blood. This sword, says St. Alphonsus,
recounting the circumstance, typified the long and bitter
grief which never ceased to pierce the heart of Mary.
The Seven Dolours of Mary commemorated by the
faithful in the Rosary of the Dolours are (i) the Prophecy
of Simeon ; (2) the Flight into Egypt ; (3) the loss of
the Holy Child in Jerusalem ; (4) the meeting Jesus on
His way to Calvary ; (5) His death on the Cross ; (6)
the opening of His side with a spear ; (7) the entombment
of Jesus. The aforesaid Rosary, a favourite devotion of
pious Catholics, has proved a source of abundant graces
236 MARY HONOURED
and blessings. St. Ignatius of Loyola was very devout
to Our Lady of Dolours, and wore on his breast for very
many years a picture representing her at the foot of the
cross with her heart transfixed with a sword. To her he
addressed his constant prayers. When Father Anthony
Araoz, his nephew, was about to leave Rome for Spain,
the Saint gave him this picture saying : " Since the day
of my conversion, when I exchanged my secular dress
for the garb of a penitent, never has this picture left me.
I have had it always on my heart with my crucifix, and
I have received from it wonderful help. Take it there
fore : let it be to you the pledge of a perpetual assistance
from our Lady, and the treasure of your heart." This
picture is preserved at Sarragoza in Spain, and is known
as " St. Mary of the Heart."
The Stabat Mater composed by Blessed Jacopone di
Todi (d. 1306) is the most beautiful sequence ever written
on our Lady s sorrows, and has been included in the
Liturgy of the Church. Sir Walter Scott admired it so
greatly that he is reported to have said he would give
all his works to have written such an exquisite soul-stirring
composition as that.
OUR LADY HONOURED BY ORDINARY DUTIES
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE exhorts us to remember
Mary in all our actions. " Let us make our memory
the tabernacle of the Virgin." St. Bonaventure also
bids us "at every moment think of Mary." " Who can
live," exclaims St. Bernard, " without loving Mary ? "
and if we love her we shall think of her continually. See
Pere Blot s Jour de Marie, from which this and the follow
ing section are borrowed.
On rising in the morning, kneel and ask our Lady s
BY ORDINARY DUTIES 237
blessing, as M. Olier, founder of the Congregation of St.
Sulpice, used to do : then kiss respectfully her image or
medal. Afterwards, place into her blessed hands all the
actions you will perform during the day, to be presented
by her to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Blessed Henry
Suso, of the Order of St. Dominic (d. 1221), says of him
self : " Every morning as soon as I awake, my soul turns
towards thee, O Mary. It is sure that all that is pre
sented to God through thy most pure hands, of however
little value in itself, will be favourably received in con
sideration of thy sublime dignity."
At Study, offer up your work to Mary and beg of her
light and help. Blessed Albert the Great, master of St.
Thomas of Aquin, Father Francis Suarez, S.J., one of the
greatest of theologians, and many other learned men,
whose names have become famous, seemed at first desti
tute of natural talent ; but their devotion to Mary made
up for any intellectual shortcomings, and they rose to be
the glory and admiration of their century. St. Edmund
of Canterbury, while at study, always had an image of
Mary before him, and from time to time turned to her to
ask for light. Such was also the practice of St. Leonard
of Port Maurice and of Father Francis Suarez, S.J.
Daily Occupations. Begin them by kneeling to ask
our Lady s blessing with St. Francis de Sales. This Saint
never undertook any business without first imploring her
aid on his knees. Such also the pious custom of St. Alphon-
sus Liguori, Monsieur Olier and many others.
Manual Work, the work of Martha. Unite it with the
simple duties of Mary at Nazareth, and ennoble it by a
pure intention. St. Bonaventure says somewhere that
our Lady merited more by her simplest action, such as
sewing or winding the flax from the distaff, than the
Saints by their greatest works of zeal, because of the
sublimity of her intention.
At table you may feel prompted, especially on Saturdays,
to make in our Lady s honour some little sacrifice, imitating
238 MARY HONOURED
in this the example of St. Vincent Ferrer. If anything
be wanting or less palatable, never murmur or complain.
The Blessed Cure d Ars used to say : " Saints never
On a Walk. Before you leave your room or re-enter
it you should ask our Lady to bless you. Lanspergius,
the great Carthusian writer, recommended his religious
to kneel and salute Mary each time they returned to their
cell. This was the habit of Father Alvarez de Paz, S.J.,
and of St. Alphonsus Liguori.
Going about the house. Whenever you pass an image
or picture of our Lady say with St. Bernard " Ave Maria."
Under his beautiful fresco of the Annunciation in St.
Marco s convent, Florence, Blessed Fra Angelico inscribed
the words : " Virginis intactae cum veneris ante nguram,
praetereundo cave ne sileatur Ave " : i.e. Whenever you
pass before a picture of the spotless Virgin, be careful
not to forget to say Ave."
Entertainments. Offer your hours of relaxation to Mary,
and, if you can, introduce some thought about her in
your conversation. This was the habit of St. John Berch-
mans. St. Jane Frances de Chantal used to invite her
community to sing hymns to our Lady at recreation on
her feast days. You at least can sing to her in your heart
while others talk. St. Berchmans used to collect pious
anecdotes about our Lady to serve as subjects of religious
conversation. St. Aloysius playing at ball used to offer
up the game to her, and the stake for which he and his
fellow scholastics played was a certain number of Hail
Retiring to rest. St. Stanislaus before retiring to rest
always turned towards St. Mary Major, Rome, and kneel
ing said three Hail Marys to ask our Lady s blessing.
The Roman novices S.J. still observe this practice. The
Hail Marys might be offered to obtain the grace of a holy
death. This was what our Lady recommended to St.
Mechtilde. You should also ask this Mother of Mercy
BY SPIRITUAL EXERCISES 239
to pray for those who will die during the night, and especi
ally those who are deprived of spiritual help.
OUR LADY HONOURED BY SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
ED1TATION. Every good Catholic should try to
find a little time (at least ten minutes or one-quarter
hour) every day for mental prayer, using some book of
meditations with short but suggestive points like those
of Father Richard Clarke, S.J. Begin the meditation by
asking our Lady to teach you how to pray and to suggest
to you holy thoughts. This was the devout practice of
St. Elzear, earl of Arian in Provence. Blessed John Eudes,
who founded the nuns of Our Lady of Charity, and the
Good Shepherd nuns, wrote many admirable spiritual
books, and acknowledged that he was indebted to Mary
for the attraction he felt from his tender youth for mental
prayer, as well as for the reading of pious books. Vener
able Father Gonalvo Silveira, a Portuguese Jesuit put to
death in Monomotapa out of hatred of the Faith, used
every Saturday to meditate on the life of the Blessed Virgin.
Holy Mass. St. Charles Borromeo always had recourse
to our Lady before celebrating Mass, and recommended
the same practice to all Priests. You should do the same
before assisting at Mass. At the Consecration ask our
Lord for some special grace through the love He bears
for His holy Mother. Try to give all the pleasure you
can to Jesus and Mary by hearing Mass very devoutly.
Holy Communion. On the eve of your Communion
imitate St. Francis Borgia by asking our Lady to prepare
in your heart a worthy dwelling-place for her Divine Son.
In receiving Holy Communion imagine it is our Lady who
is placing the Divine Child in your arms, as she did to St.
Stanislaus. Let part of your thanksgiving be our Lady s
Magnificat. Let one of your intentions in hearing Mass
2 4 o MARY HONOURED
and going to Holy Communion be to thank God for the
sublime graces conferred upon Mary, particularly those
of her Immaculate Conception, her divine Maternity, her
spotless Virginity, and her glorious Assumption.
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Imagine you are enter
ing the little home of Nazareth to pay a visit to Jesus and
His blessed Mother. Salute them both reverently, and
again thank our Lord for the wonderful graces and privi
leges bestowed upon her. St. Alphonsus Liguori wished
that none should visit the Blessed Sacrament without at the
same time visiting her. See his Visits to the Blessed Sacra
ment. St. John Berchmans used to feel great delight
when visiting our Lord in churches dedicated to Mary.
St. Stanislaus, after adoring the Blessed Sacrament in
St. Mary Major, Rome, went to kneel before our Lady s
miraculous picture and there fell into an ecstasy, exclaim
ing, " The Mother of God is my Mother ! "
OUR LADY HONOURED BY SPECIAL ACTS OF HOMAGE
THE Rosary and Angelus have been mentioned
The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, also
referred to above : 75. Many find time to say this
every day. The late Mr. Edmund Waterton, author of
Pietas Britannica, and son of the great Naturalist, carried
the little book of our Lady s Office with him wherever he
went, and told the present writer that he had never for
a single day omitted to say that Office since he was a
boy at Stonyhurst. St. Louis, King of France, St. Elzear,
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Charles Borromeo, Ven. Cardinal
Bellarmine, St. Francesca of Rome, St. Catherine and her
mother St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Mary Magdalen de
Pazzi, and many other Saints and saintly persons used
to recite every day the Office of our Lady as it is in the
BY ACTS OF HOMAGE 241
Roman Breviary. But this may be impossible for you,
so try to say the Little Office oj the Immaculate Conception
in order to obtain of our Lady the grace of spotless purity.
Consecration to Mary. Father Nicholas Zucchi, S. J., a
zealous missionary, recommended his penitents to recite
the little prayer " My Queen and my Mother," etc., as a
sure means of conquering evil temptations and preserving
the soul in innocence and spotless purity. By means of
this prayer he wrought prodigious conversions. St. John
Berchmans used to recite daily the Sodality Act of Conse
cration, and St. Aloysius wrote for his own use a special
act of dedication of himself to his beloved Mother. St.
Bernardine of Siena dedicated himself every morning to
the service of Mary ; and St. Jane Frances de Chantal,
before becoming a nun, considered her house as a convent
of which the Virgin Mary was the Abbess.
Whenever the clock strikes. Many pious persons have
the touching practice of saluting their loving Mother on
hearing the clock strike. This was familiar to St. Catherine
of Siena, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Alphonsus
Rodriguez, St. Alphonsus Liguori and many others. The
latter Saint on hearing the clock strike would break off
his conversation to recite the Hail Mary, and he used to
say that one Ave Maria was worth more than the whole
world. If your occupations or circumstances do not allow
you to say the Hail Mary, you might with Venerable Father
Vincent Caraffa, General of the Society of Jesus, say "Praised
be God ! Praised be holy Mary ! " St. Francis Xavier s
ejaculation on hearing the stroke of the clock was " Mother
of God, remember me " ; and St. Philip Neri s, " Virgin
Mary, pray for us to Jesus." The Spaniards, at least in
some parts, whenever they meet or enter a house greet
each other with the words " Ave Maria purissima ! "
to which the answer is returned " Sine labe concepta."
The Picture of Mary. Every Catholic house should
have a picture of the Sacred Heart and one of our Lady
in some conspicuous place. In Italian homes a lamp is
242 MARY HONOURED
kept burning before our Lady s picture, especially on
Saturdays. Many Catholics have in the house a little
altar with the image of our Lady, where the members
assemble to say the Rosary. Many Saints delighted to
gather flowers and crown our Lady s image or decorate
her altar with them. Such was the practice of St. Joseph
of Cupertino and St. Clare of Assisi. But better than
natural flowers are pious prayers and little acts of self-
denial in our Lady s honour.
Acts of Self-denial. If we are painstaking in God s
service, we shall gain many victories over ourselves every
day, and offer these like spiritual flowers on our Lady s
altar. Such victories, as in conquering sloth, resisting
sleep, checking one s appetite, never complaining of food
or anything, etc., may appear small and insignificant,
yet they become precious when united with a supernatural
motive and offered to our Lord and His blessed Mother.
Opportunities of conquering oneself in little things are
never wanting : v.g. you might recite a few more prayers ;
or pray with your arms extended in the form of a cross ;
or kiss the ground ; or kneel for a short time without
any support ; or sit less in the cosy armchair ; or read
less of the newspaper ; or keep silence and custody of
the eyes more carefully ; or go out of your way to do a
kindness ; or take a little less of the more appetizing
dishes at table ; or never eat or drink between meals ;
or read more Saints lives and less light literature, etc.,
etc. Such little victories are most pleasing to our Mother
and are recorded by angels in heaven. Some further
acts of self-denial, see 93.
Saturday in our Lady s Honour. Try to hear Mass on
that day, and if possible go to Holy Communion, your
intention being to return thanks to God for the sublime
privileges conferred on His holy Mother. Try also to
gain some victories over yourself on Saturday. Very
many Saints were in the habit of fasting every Saturday.
If you can t imitate them in this, at least deprive yourself
BY TRUST IN HER 243
of some little thing, or give an alms to the poor. St.
Louis of France served the poor with his own hands on
every Saturday ; so also at times did St. Margaret of
Scotland. If you have time you might hear a second Mass
on Saturday, and imitate many holy persons who pray
that their death may fall on that day of the week. On
the subject of meditation on Saturdays we have spoken
It is said that at Crecy (1346) the English troops went
into battle breakfastless, it being Saturday.
MARY HONOURED BY LOVING TRUST IN HER AS A MOTHER
OUR Divine Lord s last bequest to us as He hung
upon the cross was to give us His holy Mother to
be our Mother. " Woman " x (He thus addresses her as
the Woman of prophecy, the Woman above all women,
the perfect Woman, the co-operatrix in the Redemption
of the world), " Woman, behold thy son. After that
He saith to the disciple, Behold thy Mother. And from
that hour the disciple took her to his own." In St. John,
the beloved disciple, all the children of the Catholic Church
were represented. This has been the constant belief and
teaching of the Church. Thus by His words our Lord
has made His own Mother to be our Mother in the super
natural order, or life of grace. The soul has a higher life,
a supernatural one, but as real as the natural life of the
body. As without our mothers our bodies could not
have had life, so without Mary there can be no life in our
souls, 2 and consequently she is our true Mother.
1 Like ytvai (voc. of 71^77) in Greek, the Aramaic word our Lord
used for " woman " signifies also Lady.
2 All grace is of course from God, as all life is from God ; but,
as St. Bernard observes, God wills that His graces should come
to us through Mary.
244 MARY HONOURED
How lovingly our blessed Lady exercises the office of
Mother. She has her eyes constantly directed upon us
her children (" Turn those merciful eyes of thine towards
us "), and all the dazzling forms of angels, who pass before
her throne, do not cause her to turn her eyes and thoughts
away from us. She has her ears constantly attentive to
our cries, and all the ravishing music of heaven does not
prevent her from hearing even the feeblest appeal for
help from one of her exiled children. She has her hands
constantly extended over us, those hands through which,
St. Bernard says, God wills that all His gifts to us should
pass. Her heart is full of maternal affection for us, and
her beautiful mind is ever busy with plans how to get
us safe through the perils of life to our bright home in
The Fathers of the Church frequently speak of Mary s
Maternal intercession even in favour of enormous sinners.
St. Anselm speaking in humility of himself says : "I
was conceived in sin and born a sinner. Baptized and
purified I again became a sinner ; not such as I was at
first (by original sin), but more defiled and unclean (by
actual sin). This is why I seek an advocate so powerful
that after Thy Son (O loving Mother) there is none more
powerful and august in the whole of creation. The (catho
lic) world has its apostles, patriarchs, prophets, martyrs,
confessors and virgins, excellent protectors, whose help
I implore. But thou, my Queen, art better and greater
than all these intercessors ; for thou art their mistress
and the Sovereign Lady of all the Saints, and even of all
the Angels, of the kings and princes of this world, of the
rich and the poor, of masters and slaves, of the great and
the humble ; that which they can all do with thee, thou
alone canst do without them. And thou canst do so
because thou art Mother of our Lord, the Spouse of God
(the Holy Ghost), the Queen of heaven and earth. It
is therefore thee that I seek, to thee that I have recourse,
and whom I supplicate to help me in all things. If thou
BY IMITATION 245
art silent, none will pray for me, none will help me ; if
thou prayest, all will pray and all will help. For we
know undoubtedly, O God, that Mary enjoys such credit
with Thee, that her wishes can never fail to be accom
plished. Our salvation is, therefore, in her loving hands."
Oratio xlvi. ad Virg. Mariam.
MARY HONOURED BY IMITATION OF HER VIRTUES
A TRUE devotion to the Blessed Virgin has always
been looked upon as an assured sign of salvation.
" Servus Mariae nunquam peribit." A true servant of
Mary will never be lost, says St. Anselm. But true devo
tion consists not merely in reciting certain prayers to her
(the Rosary, Angelus, etc.), or in wearing her scapulars,
but in trying to imitate her virtues as far as we can with
God s grace. She is our Mother, and we her children
should in some way try to resemble her. Now (i) Mary
was holy and unspotted, untouched by the least sin ; so
we, her children, if we are to bear that title worthily,
must have a horror of sin, not only of mortal sin but also
of deliberate venial sin. Mortal sin would make us
cease to be her children, for we become thereby the
deadly enemies of her Divine Son. Venial sin makes
us displeasing to her and Him ; and though it does
not break off relationship with them altogether, it
produces a cooling of affection, and checks to some
extent the loving benevolence they wish to show us.
(2) Mary on earth was poor and detached from the
things of this world, its riches, pleasures, favour, esteem,
etc. So we, her children, must rid ourselves of all inor
dinate attachment to creatures, v.g. to money and the
things that money can purchase, and try to be poor of
spirit, undisturbed by the coldness or even hatred and
persecution of the world. (3) Mary s life was one of
suffering and martyrdom ; so we must bear our crosses
246 MARY HONOURED
patiently and resignedly, knowing that it is by the cross
we are to win our crown. Crosses are sure to come, whether
(a) from bodily ailments, or (b) from mental anxieties
and trials, or (c) from family troubles, or (d) from reverses
of fortune, and failure in our work, or (e) from the unkind-
ness and ingratitude of others. These crosses, if accepted
in the right spirit, are precious : they count for our
eternal reward, and they make us true disciples of Jesus,
and companions of our Lady at the foot of the Cross.
(4) Mary s great characteristic virtues were her humility
and purity. " He hath regarded the humility of His hand
maid." St. Bernard says she pleased God by her purity,
which was far greater than that of the angels, but she drew
God down into her breast by her humility. Purity and
humility (so contrary to the horrid characteristics of the
world, concupiscence of the flesh, and pride of life) must
be also our cherished virtues, jealously protected by prayer
and self-denial against the blighting influence of the world,
if we wish our Lady to acknowledge us as her children.
(5) Mary s immaculate heart is full of charity, so we her
children must be full of tender consideration for one
another, and full of patient forbearance of one another
in our shortcomings and defects.
Mary is styled the " Mirror of Justice," reflecting the
radiance of God s infinite holiness ; so each of Mary s .
children should be like a little mirror reflecting the purity,
innocence, humility and charity of our spotless Mother.
MARY HONOURED BY IMITATING THE Pious PRACTICES OF
THE SAINTS AND OTHER SAINTLY PERSONS
WE may imitate the Saints in one or more of the
following ways :
(i) St. John, the beloved disciple, by taking her to be
our Mother and doing all we can to please her.
IWITH THE SAINTS 247
(2) St. Bernard by saluting her images or pictures
whenever we pass them.
(3) St. Edmund of Canterbury by having her image or
picture (or at least the thought of her) before us at our
work or study.
(4) St. Francis de Sales by kneeling to ask her blessing
before any undertaking.
(5) St. Ignatius of Loyola by wearing her image or
picture near our heart.
(6) St. Simon Stock by devoutly wearing her scapular.
(7) St. Dominic by devout recitation of the Rosary.
(70) St. Francis of Assisi by unbounded confidence in
(8) St. Francis Xavier by beginning our actions with
an invocation to her.
(9) St. Aloysius by consecrating the flower of our inno
cence to her.
(10) St. Stanislaus by enthusiastic love for her as our
Mother, and the devotion of the three Hail Marys.
(n) St. John Berchmans by introducing her praises
with anecdotes of her in our conversation.
(12) St. Alphonsus Rodriguez by constantly turning
our mind and heart to her.
(13) St. Philip Neri by reciting rosaries of ejaculatory
prayers to her.
(14) Father Francis Suarez by consecrating our studies
to her and consulting her in every difficulty.
(15) Father Balthasar Alvarez by carrying her picture on
our breast as a shield against temptation.
(16) Father Martin Guttierez by sheltering under her
mantle when the tempter is near.
(17) St. Alphonsus Liguori by bringing others to love
and praise her.
(18) St. Bernardine of Siena by acts of self-denial in
(19) St. Louis of France by great kindness to the poor
for her sake.
248 MARY HONOURED
(20) Blessed John Eudes by great devotion to her
(21) Blessed Peter Canisius by writing something about
her, or at least instructing others to love her.
(22) Blessed Margaret Mary by kissing the ground and
reciting the Ave Maria.
(23) Blessed Peter Faber by beginning each prayer
(each canonical hour) by pronouncing several times the
sacred names of Jesus and Mary, to rouse our fervour and
(24) St. Francis Borgia by distributing pictures of her
to children and others.
(25) St. Teresa by regarding our Lady as Superioress
of the house where we live. She placed the keys of the
convent in the hands of a statue of Mary, which she had
set up in the Prioress s stall.
(26) St. Joseph of Cupertino, St. Clare and others by
bringing flowers to our Lady s altar.
(27) St. Stanislaus (again) by finding delight in reading
books about her.
(28) The Seven Servite Saints by devoutly reciting the
(29) St. Jane Frances de Chantal by singing on her
feasts the " Salve Regina," or " Ave Maris stella."
(30) St. Bonaventure by meditating on her life, especi
ally on Saturdays.
(31) Monsieur Olier by never leaving the house without
asking our Lady s blessing.
(32) Father Zucchi, S.J., by reciting morning and night
the prayer " My Queen and my Mother " and spreading
Some further acts of self-denial in honour of our Lady.
(See p. 242.)
(1) To fast, or at least deprive ourselves of something,
on Saturdays and eves of her feasts.
(2) To rise punctually at a fixed hour.
MIRACULOUS PICTURES 249
(3) To be silent when others say sharp things to us or
(4) To yield at once when any one contradicts or chal
lenges a statement of ours.
(5) To say nothing in one s own praise.
(6) To bear discomforts as of heat, cold, rain, fog,
(7) Never to eat or drink between meals.
(8) To suffer patiently the rudeness or inconsiderateness
(9) Not to assume a lazy, too indulgent posture in one s
(10) To welcome troublesome visitors.
(n) Not to waste valuable time over newspapers, or
light and fugitive literature.
(12) To guard one s tongue by silence : also to guard
one s eyes.
(13) To go on foot when inclined to take a bus, taxi,
(14) Never to complain or grumble whatever happens.
(15) To avoid useless visits, useless gossip, useless
(16) To give extra time to spiritual reading.
(17) To take the lowest place without affectation.
(18) To go to bed early at a fixed hour.
(19) To give to the poor money intended for enjoyment.
(20) To yield to the will and inclination of others.
MARY HONOURED BY DEVOTION TO HER MIRACULOUS
ONLY a few special pictures are here mentioned :
i. Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. See Pilgrim
Walks in Rome, 118.
2. Our Lady of Genezzano. (See 63.)
250 MARY HONOURED
3. Our Lady of the Wayside. Madonna della Strada.
See Pilgrim Walks in Rome, 337.
4. Our Lady of Quito.
On April 30, 1906, the boys, to the number of thirty-
six, who formed the boarding-school of the Jesuit Fathers
at Quito, had just finished supper and Father Alberdi was
preparing to conduct them to the study hall, when the
Father Prefect gave them recreation in the playground. To
the elder pupils he spoke of the earthquake at San Fran
cisco, whilst the others played or talked as usual. Four
of the smallest, who on the previous day had made their
first Communion, remained in the refectory and were
conversing on pious subjects, when suddenly the youngest,
Jaime Chavez, lifted his eyes, and as if urged by an interior
movement, fixed them on a picture of Our Lady of Seven
Dolours hanging on one of the walls of the refectory at
a distance of about three yards. O wonder ! He saw
the Blessed Virgin slowly open and shut her eyes. With
out seeking to explain what he saw he made it known to
his companions, who, frightened, called the professors and
pupils. All, especially Father Roesch, Prefect of Studies,
pretended that it was a delusion and refused to believe
it. They drew near to the picture, however, and were
witnesses themselves of the prodigy, which lasted about
a quarter of an hour. Without awaiting the end the Father
Prefect conducted the boys to the Chapel to recite the
This picture is an oleograph representing Mary, her
heart pierced with seven swords. It is of medium size,
very devotional and expressive, especially because of the
look of sadness in our Lady s face. The miracle was
repeated afterwards more than twenty times. The second
time it was again in favour of the boys. At 8 p.m.
the pupils were again reciting the Rosary and night prayers
in the Chapel where the holy picture had been removed.
When they came to the litany, they called out altogether,
" See, she is moving her eyes/ and at the same instant
MIRACULOUS PICTURES 251
the bells began to ring without any one having touched
them. Such an extraordinary event, of which so many
persons, young scholars, Fathers, Brothers, servants of
the college, were witnesses, had to be, and was the object
of a serious examination on the part of the ecclesiastical
The canonical process was carried out with the greatest
prudence. To the great consolation of the faithful, six
weeks after the event the Vicar Capitular of Quito ordered
the miraculous picture to be carried in procession from
the college refectory to the church of the Jesuit Fathers,
where a solemn triduum was to be celebrated. The pro*
cession was magnificent ; all the religious communities
of the town, the different associations and confraternities,
colleges and schools, nearly all the nobility of the capital
and more than 30,000 people took part in it. Such a
general and spontaneous manifestation of faith had not
been seen in Quito for a long time. Senor Alfaro, Presi
dent of the Republic, sent the military band to join in it,
and several detachments of soldiers. The triduum drew
such a concourse of the faithful that the Church, though
large, was too small to contain them.
In the church the prodigy was repeated several times
in presence of the crowd gathered together to see the
miracle. Many remarkable conversions took place. A
little time after the triduum a novena was made to implore
Mary s aid in favour of Ecuador. During three consecutive
days our Lady renewed the prodigy, and thousands of
people were able to observe it at their ease, for on one
occasion the extraordinary event lasted throughout a
whole morning. On July 6 the Bishop of Ibarra, Don
Frederick Gonzales Guarez, recently named Archbishop
of Quito, came to take possession of his new See. The
wonder then was thrice repeated. The last time was at
3 p.m. when the new Archbishop was making his entrance
into the town. Whilst the choir was singing " Eia ergo,
Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos
252 MARY HONOURED
converte " (Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes
of mercy towards us), the Blessed Virgin slowly moved
her eyes. Suddenly the frame and background of the
picture disappeared, and the figure stood out as if in relief.
The complexion of the face was that of a living person.
She several times opened and shut her eyes. Twice she
raised them heavenward. At times the eyelids closed
as though she was making an effort to repress the tears.
Then she became pale, her face waxlike as of a person
about to expire. The people dismayed broke out into
cries and sobs imploring pardon and mercy, when gradually
the countenance resumed its serenity and natural colour.
Three little children, having one day entered the private
chapel of the college, where the holy picture had been
placed, found her weeping. The last time that this prodigy
took place, towards the end of July, our Lady did not
manifest any signs of suffering : she turned her eyes
towards the tabernacle. It is said that at times she looked
from side to side as if seeking some one among the assembled
There was an impression at the time that some impending
calamity was portended by this miraculous manifestation ;
and subsequently some have connected it with the great
European war that broke out in 1914. Several remarkable
miraculous cures have since taken place, on copies of the
picture being applied to sick persons, and on October 12,
1907, Pope Pius X granted by his own hand an indulgence of
100 days to all the faithful who should recite three Hail
Marys before the holy picture or a copy of it.
BY CONVERSION OF SINNERS
OUR LADY HONOURED BY WORKING FOR THE CONVERSION
REFUGE of Sinners and Advocate of the Fallen
^ are titles we give to this Mother of mercy, and
they are titles that appeal to us for we have great need
of pardon. It is from God indeed, through the merits
of Jesus Christ, that we hope for mercy. But we know
that God is angry ; that Jesus Christ is full of zeal against
sin, that He wishes to destroy and punish it ; that since
His Resurrection He has been made Judge, because He
Himself had been judged by men, and that the Father has
committed to Him the care of His vengeance. It is true
that Jesus Christ also fills the office of Advocate pleading
with the Father for us ; but this does not take away His
office of Judge : so we have need, before appearing in
His presence, of another powerful intercessor. Judgment
tempered with mercy has been given to the King s Son :
mercy pure and simple has been entrusted to His Mother.
Mary having no part in executing God s justice is our
second hope : the sinful count upon her for a reconcilia
tion with their Judge, who fortunately has become their
Brother by means of Mary their common Mother. Peti-
St. Bernard s beautiful words on our Lady s mercy,
There is nothing we can do that gives such pleasure to
Jesus and His holy Mother as to work for the conversion
of souls. If there is joy before the Angels of God upon
one sinner doing penance, greater joy there is to the Queen
of the Angels, and greatest joy of all to her Divine Son. St.
James says, " He that causeth a sinner to be converted
from the error of his ways shall save his own soul and shall
cover a multitude of sins." Jas. v. 19. We may work
for the conversion of souls (i) by the Apostles/tip of the
254 MARY HONOURED
Word, if we have opportunity of instructing others ; (2)
by the Apostleship of Prayer, which is more efficacious
than argument ; (3) by the Apostleship of suffering,
offering our pains and acts of self-denial for the conversion
of souls ; (4) by the Apostleship of holy example. " So
let your light shine before men that they may see your
good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Matt. v. 16. " And teach them too, as love knows how,
by kindly words and virtuous life." Hymn " Faith
of Our Fathers."
On the " Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart
of Mary for the conversion of sinners," see " Our Lady
of Victories, Paris." 64 j also Petitalot, 436.
In his Glories of Mary St. Alphonsus Liguori has
collected many remarkable instances of conversions of
sinners through the intercession of this Mother of Mercy.
MARY HONOURED BY HELPING THE HOLY SOULS
MARY is not only Queen of Heaven and earth, i.e. of
the Church triumphant and Church militant, but
her sway also extends over the Church suffering in Pur
gatory. The Souls in Purgatory are Holy Souls ; they
died in the grace of God ; they are portion of the Elect
of God ; their names are inscribed in the Book of Life ;
they are destined to enjoy the Vision of God, and to be
associated with the angels and saints of God ; they are
signed with the sign of salvation ; their crowns and robes
of glory are waiting for them in heaven ; they are inex
pressibly dear to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. Moreover they are our
brethren, having the same Divine Father, the same Brother
Jesus Christ, the same loving Mother Mary. So charity
to them is a special duty, and by it we give joy to the
heart of our blessed Mother. They cannot help them-
BY HELPING THE HOLY SOULS 255
selves, but we can help them (i) by our prayers and com
munions ; (2) especially by Holy Mass ; (3) by gaining
indulgences for them ; (4) by almsgiving and acts of self-
denial. These prayers and good works we can put into
our Lady s hands to be applied to the souls she wishes
us most to help. If we are to believe the revelations of
certain holy persons, our Lady has been seen more than
once comforting the souls in Purgatory, and bringing to
them the " light and refreshment " obtained by the prayers
of the faithful.
Hardly any work of charity or mercy is so pleasing to
our Lady as that which is exercised towards these her
suffering children. By devotion to them we are performing
the several works of mercy : (i) we axe feeding the hungry
and giving drink to the thirsty. After this life the soul
hungers and thirsts after the possession of God with a
vehemence of which we can form no conception : and we
satisfy that hunger by hastening their admission to the
banquet of the Elect : (2) we clothe the naked by procuring
for them more speedily the robes of glory that await them :
(3) we harbour the harbourless, i.e. shelter the homeless,
by opening for them the gates of their blessed home in
heaven : (4) we visit the sick, for the privation of the
Vision of God is to them a sickness far more painful than
the fire or the darkness of their prison : (5) we visit the
imprisoned, and like the Angel that descended into the
furnace of Babylon to protect the three Hebrew children,
we beat back the flames and cause the centre of the furnace
to be for a time like the blowing of a soft wind Refrig-
Such charity on our part touches deeply our Mother s
heart, and she will certainly see that mercy is shown to
us in proportion as we have shown it to others.
256 MARY HONOURED
MARY HONOURED AT PONTMAIN AND PELLEVOISIN
IN the XIX Cent. France was honoured by five
apparitions of our Lady, viz. i. to Sister Catherine
Laboure in Paris, 1830 (see 74) ; 2. to Maximin and
Melanie at La Salette in 1846 (see 64) ; 3. to Berna-
dette at Lourdes in 1858 (see 64) ; 4. to Eugene and
Joseph Barbedette at Pontmain in 1871 ; 5. to Estelle
Faguette at Pellevoisin in 1876.
The first and third of these have been recognized as
authentic by the supreme authority of the Holy See :
the second, fourth and fifth, though approved as to their
reality by French Bishops, await the final judgment of
the Church. La Salette having been the scene of pheno
menal cures, the Bishop of Grenoble founded there an
association of prayer, under the title of " Notre Dame
Auxiliatrice de la Salette." He also issued a pastoral
letter in 1851 expressing his approval of belief in the
apparition. For the story of this apparition and the
controversy as to its reality, see The Blessed Virgin in
the Nineteenth Century, by Bernard St. John, Part III,
111-205. See also " The children questioned by the Blessed
Cure d Ars." Ibid. 149 seq. Their letters to Pope Pius
IX, 156. Papal Indult, 161. Bishop Ginoulhiac on the
truth of the apparition, 167.
Pontmain in Mayenne, 1871. A full account of this
apparition will be found in the work just referred to, page
337 seq. Besides Eugene and Joseph Barbedette, two
little girls, Francoise Richer and Jeanne Marie Lebosse,
were also privileged to see the figure of our Lady resplendent
in the sky. The event was inquired into by several Ecclesi
astical Commissions appointed by the Bishop of Laval
(P- 373 )> an( i on February 2, 1872, a pastoral letter was
issued by his Lordship stating his belief in the reality
THE MAGNIFICAT 257
of the apparition, and at the same time his intention to
submit the matter in all humility and obedience to the
judgment of the Holy and Apostolic See. The year 1873
saw upwards of 100,000 pilgrims and visitors to Pont main.
In 1875 a stately church of Our Lady of Pontmain was
built and opened, commemorative of the great event.
Pellevoisin, in the department of the Indre, 1876.
In this case our Lady is said to have appeared fifteen
times to Estelle Faguette, a sick person, aged thirty-two,
and to have revealed to her in one of them the devotion
of the Scapular of the Sacred Heart. This devotion has
received the approval of Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII.
Estelle was considered to be dying of consumption, and
the doctor had pronounced her case hopeless : but though
paralyzed and given only a few hours to live, she was
miraculously cured (p. 423). An ecclesiastical commission
was appointed to examine into the truth of the apparitions,
and the case was then referred to the Holy See. Though
the latter reserves its decision in all three cases La S alette,
Pontmain, Pellevoisin Leo XIII has attached an indul
gence of 200 days to a prayer to Our Lady of Pellevoisin,
which prayer is based on some of the leading facts of the
Apparitions (p. 445). Several miraculous cures followed,
for the particulars of which see the work by Bernard St.
John quoted above, p. 446 seq. On Pope Leo XIII
receiving Estelle in audience, see p. 471. Crowds of
pilgrims now go to Pellevoisin both to honour our Lady
and to be invested with the scapular of the Sacred Heart
revealed by her.
MARY HONOURED BY ALL GENERATIONS CALLING HER
LUKE i. 48. "For, behold, from henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed." The following
thoughts are taken from a discourse in the Universe.
258 MARY HONOURED
The Magnificat has been truly called the hymn of the
Incarnation ; and its glowing words were spoken in cir
cumstances the like of which had never before, and can
never again surround any human being. To the illu
minated soul of Mary, the Angel s words at the Annuncia
tion " Blessed art thou among women " are prophetic ;
and as recompense of her unfailing faith, the present and
future stand out in accurate detail and with crystal clear
ness before her divinely- taught intellect. The Incarnation
from a merciful promise has become a real fact ; the
Kingdom of Christ reigns over the earth ; and as she sees
her name, with love and reverence, handed down through
the rolling centuries, her soul bursts forth, like some sun-
sprayed fountain jet, into the prophetic utterance : "All
generations shall call me blessed." No nation but has
rung with its echo ; no people but have cherished and
passed the message onward. It stands rooted and imper
ishable in the language and literature of a hundred tongues ;
the canvas and fresco of the painter reap immortality
from its rich inspiration ; in many a statue and altar the
cold granite and marble glow into life and radiant beauty
under the sculptor s chisel ; the historian s hard, stern
chronicles soften into the quivering transcript of living
emotions, as his pen unfolds the story of Mary s greatness
and Mary s love. Like a trumpet blast, this song of nearly
2,000 years ago has reverberated through all the cycles
of time the world over, and to-day, as of old, the warder
standing on the impregnable watch-tower of the Catholic
Church proclaims anew to the Christian peoples the inviol
able sinlessness of the Virgin Mother of God.
BY INVOKING HER AID 259
MARY HONOURED BY INVOCATION OF HER NAME, AND BY
APPEAL TO HER IN TIME OF WAR
ON the name of Mary see 13, 80. " Glorious and
admirable is thy Name, O Mary," exclaims St.
Bonaventure, " those who pronounce it need not fear all
the powers of hell, for the devils on hearing that name
instantly fly, and leave the soul in peace." St. Bernard,
speaking of the invocation of this holy name, says : " O
Mary, thou canst not be named without inflaming the
heart of him who does so, with love of thee." Blessed
Henry Suso was often heard to exclaim : " O Mary, what
must thou thyself be, since the very name is so amiable
Pope Benedict XV, in his Christmas Allocution, Decem
ber, 1915, after speaking of the earnestness with which
all the members of the Church should pray for a cessation
of the terrible war that was turning Europe into a scene
of horror and desolation, added : " Our sight of Christ
(the Prince of Peace) born for us is made complete by our
sight of Mary, in whom the faith of believers, and the
love of sons recognize not only the Queen of Peace, but
the Mediatrix between rebellious man and the merciful
God. She is the aurora pads rutilans across the darkness
of this world. She fails not in her plea to her Son, albeit
nondum venerit hora ejm. And she who has not failed
to plead for suffering mankind in the hour of peril will
surely hasten to meet our supplications, Mother of so
many orphans, Advocate for us all in this our tremendous
" Therefore with this great purpose, npt less than with
the intention of guiding Christian thought and Christian
faith to the prevailing ministry of the Mother of God,
We, echoing the sigh of many of Our children far and near,
permit that to the Litany of Loretto be added the invo-
2&&gt; MARY HONOURED
cation Queen of Peace/ Will Mary, who is Queen not
of wars and slaughter, but of the kingdom of peace,
disappoint the trust and the prayers of her faithful chil
dren ? Will she, in the most blessed night when, fulfilling
prophecies and promises of happy and golden days, she
gave us the Celestial Babe who is the author of all peace,
not smile upon the prayers of children called by the Epis
copate and by Ourself to the holy Eucharistic table to
honour this most beloved festival ? When man has
hardened his own heart, and his hates have overrun the
earth ; when fire and sword are raging, and when the
world rings with the sound of weeping and the noise of
arms ; when human reason is found at fault, and all
civilized rights are scattered like thistledown, faith and
history alike point us to the one succour, to the omnipo
tence of prayer, to the Mediatrix, to Mary. In all security
and trust we cry Regina pads, or a pro nobis." The Tablet,
January i, 1916.
MARY HONOURED BY PRAISE OF HER HUMILITY
OUR Lady s humility in the Incarnation was heroic :
it drew down upon her the eyes of God and led
Him to choose her to be His Mother. " Quia respexit
humilitatem ancillae suae." Though saluted by the
Angel as full of grace, as blessed among women, as about
to be the Mother of the Messias, the everlasting King,
as about to conceive the Son of God miraculously, she
replies that she is but the ancilla Domini, a little servant
of the Lord. For one who is poor in material, intellectual
or spiritual resources, humility is a necessity and occasions
no surprise : but that one richly endowed with every best
gift should esteem herself as nothing, is heroic humility.
St. Bernard says of her : " She pleased God by her vir-
HER SPOTLESS PURITY 261
ginity, but by humility she hath conceived." The same
Saint adds : " That a converted sinner should humble
himself, is but an act of justice which he renders to him
self ; but that Mary, as pure as the star which precedes
the day, and elevated even above the angels, should only
think of her dignity in order to humble herself the more,
is a prodigy of humility."
Mary s whole life was but one continued practice of
humility, having ever in mind that the Son of the Eternal
Father, by becoming man in her womb, had reduced Him
self to the lowest state of abjection. Exinanivit semetip-
sum. Phil. ii. 7. She remembered all the self-annihila
tion of this God-Saviour, all the ignominious treatment
which He suffered, all His lowliness and self-effacement
for thirty years ; and His example so perfected her humility,
that she deserved to be raised above all the choirs of
angels. Knowing, too, that humility is the first step on
the ladder of virtues, and that none give greater pleasure
to God, she used all her efforts to humble, abase and
annihilate herself as her Divine Son had done so to
please and glorify her Creator. " Respexit humilitatem
MARY HONOURED BY REVERENCE FOR HER SPOTLESS
THE Church applies to our Lady the words of the
Canticle of Canticles, " Hortus conclusus soror
mea " (My sister is as a garden enclosed), a garden typified
by the terrestrial paradise. The Garden of Eden was
enclosed, with Cherubims set to guard it ; it was enriched
with every charm of natural growth and natural scenery ;
blessed with a soft temperate climate ; abounding in trees
laden with fruit all the year round. So our Lady s virgin
soul was protected by seraphic spirits, clothed with the
262 MARY HONOURED
beauty of sanctifying grace, adorned with the flowers of
every virtue, the lily of purity, the rose of charity, the
violet of humility, the spikenard of patience : it was
redolent too with the fragrance of holy prayer, and lit
with the radiant glory of the Deity within her. Mary s
soul was a paradise enjoying perpetual tranquillity and
serenity, swept by no winds of temptation, no stormy
gusts of passion ; darkened by no clouds of ignorance,
no mists of thoughtlessness ; suffering neither from the
heat of concupiscence nor the frost of tepidity. Her soul
was a paradise never once desecrated by the slimy trail
of the serpent. She was all pure and spotless, whiter
than the snow, purer than the light, brighter than the
highest Archangel. St. Anselm says of her : "It was
only fitting that the Virgin, to whose care God the Father
was pleased to confide His only Son, should shine with
a dazzling purity, surpassing all but that of God Himself."
St. Ambrose writes that when Mary was on earth her
presence alone inspired all who looked at her with a love
of holy purity. St. Thomas of Aquin, quoted by St.
Alphonsus Liguori, says that even the images of this
chaste, spotless Virgin extinguish the flames of sensual
desires in those who look at them with devotion. Blessed
John d Avila spoke of many suffering from impure tempta
tions who were preserved chaste and spotless by devotion to
the Blessed Virgin. Father Nicholas Zucchi, of the Society,
spread everywhere the little prayer " My Queen and my
Mother," as a most efficacious remedy against these
It is said that from her very infancy Mary felt inspired
to consecrate to God her whole being by a vow of perpetual
virginity, 1 knowing that the more perfectly she possessed
this virtue, the more she would resemble Him who is
purity by essence. When the angel announced to her
that she was to be the mother of the Most High, she with
held her acquiescence until she was assured that the divine
1 See the words of St. Bede, 82.
HER PRIVILEGES 263
maternity would not prejudice her vow. On this our
Lady s vow see Father Gallifet, S.J., Devotion to the Blessed
Virgin, p. 145. Father Petitalot, S.J., The Virgin Mother,
p. 139. The early Fathers of the Church, St. Jerome,
St. Epiphanius, Origen and others, greatly extol the spot
less purity and virginity of Mary.
MARY HONOURED BY PROCLAIMING HER PRIVILEGES
FATHER SUAREZ, S.J. (torn, ii., 3 p., d. 18, 4)
enumerates her privileges as follows :
1. Sanctity (sanctifying grace), the greatest ever ac
corded to any pure creature, communicated to her from
the first moment of her conception :
2. Suppression of concupiscence, that distressing legacy
of sin, showing its presence in us by hateful passions that
so easily catch fire at the least spark of temptation :
3. Confirmation in grace, so as never to forfeit it by
grievous sin, and never to suffer the least diminution of
it by venial sin :
4. Continual progress in grace by heroic acts of virtue,
especially charity, whereby it was increased to a degree
beyond that of saints and angels.
5. The use of reason from the first moment of existence,
so that she began at once to accumulate vast treasures
6. Divine Maternity combined with spotless Virginity,
by a stupendous miracle of the Holy Ghost : " Ecce Virgo
concipiet et pariet filium."
7. Virginal, miraculous delivery, without incurring
the sentence denounced against Eve, " In sorrow shalt
thou bring forth children."
8. Her being a fathomless sea of grace, surpassing the
perfections of all the Saints together.
9. The state of incorruption after death. Psalm xv. 10,
264 MARY HONOURED
"Thou wilt not allow Thy holy one to see corruption."
10. Her glorious Assumption into heaven, and her
coronation as Queen of heaven by the ever adorable
11. Her power as intercessor with God. She is the
King s mother, so one prayer from her is of more avail
than the united prayers of all the Saints, who are the
King s servants.
It is the teaching of Fathers and Theologians (v.g. of
Suarez) that " God loves the Blessed Virgin by herself
more than all the other Saints together." Prov. xxxi.
29, " Many daughters have gathered together riches :
thou hast surpassed them all." St. Bonaventure explain
ing this text, says : " She has surpassed all the daughters
(Saints) in nature, in grace, in glory. She has surpassed
all the souls of men, all the intelligences of Angels." St.
Augustine says Go4 made her " Digna digni," (worthy
of His worthiness). St. Gregory the Great compares her
dignity and corresponding sanctity to a lofty mountain,
whose summit towers above all others. St. Sophronius
on our Lady s dignity, see above, 4.
MARY S HONOUR DEFENDED AGAINST NON-CATHOLICS
" ILfARIOLATRY " is a term frequently applied by
Ivl Protestants to the honour shown by Catholics
to the Blessed Virgin, and implies that we worship her
with Latvia as though she were divine. Such worship is
directly contrary to Catholic teaching, and would be
considered by Catholics as blasphemous and idolatrous.
Catholics love and honour Mary as the Immaculate Mother
of God and the greatest of His Saints, with a special honour
known as Hyperdulia (i.e. a homage greater than is paid
to the Saints who are the servants of God) : but they know
that she is only a creature, and that therefore to adore
REPLY TO NON-CATHOLICS 265
her would be a grievous sin of idolatry. " We adore no
Saints," wrote St. Epiphanius in the IV Cent. ... " Let
Mary then be honoured, but the Father, Son and Holy
Ghost alone be adored. 1 Adv. Collyrid. I. xxix.
1. Protestants ask : " Why does the Catholic Church
show such devotion to the Blessed Virgin ? is it not unscrip-
tural ? " Reply. We honour her because she is the
Immaculate Mother of God, and so entitled to a higher
honour than is paid to the Saints. We honour her who
was respectfully saluted by an Angel ; her through whose
agency the Incarnate Lord first exhibited His power in
the case of St. John the Baptist and his mother St. Eliza
beth ; her whom the Angel and St. Elizabeth greeted as
" Blessed among women " ; her at whose request Christ
worked his first miracle (at Cana) : her to whom the
Creator of the Universe was obedient ; consequently
such honour is not unscriptural.
Moreover devotion to Mary necessarily follows from a
genuine belief in the Incarnation : " Mary is the Mother
of God. She is not merely the Mother of our Lord s man
hood, of His body ; but she is to be considered the Mother
of the Word Himself, the Word Incarnate." Newman,
Discourses to Mixed Congregations, xviii. Such being her
dignity and office, far higher than that of any other creature,
we must needs conclude that her gifts of grace and glory
are above those of all angels and saints, and accordingly
that the honour to which she is entitled is similarly beyond
theirs. Such is and ever has been the mind of the Church.
" Rightful is it to honour thee, Theotokos, ever to be
blessed, free from all stain ; Mother of God, more full of
honour than the Cherubim, more glorious than the Sera
phim ; who without loss of thy virginity didst bring forth
the Word." Liturgy of St. Chrysostom.
2. How can Catholics prove that Mary remained ever
a Virgin after the birth of Christ ? What about the
" Brethren of our Lord " mentioned in the Gospel ?
Reply. An answer has already been given to the latter
266 MARY HONOURED
question. (See p. 220 note.) Although Holy Scripture speaks
only of our Lady being a pure Virgin in the conception
and birth of Christ, yet that she remained ever a Virgin
we know (i) from the teaching of the early church, v.g.
of Pope St. Martin I in the third canon of the Council of
Lateran held in 649 (see Denziger, Enchiridion, No. 256) ;
of Pope St. Siricius (d. 398) (Denziger, Ibid. No. 91) ; of
Pope Adeodatus and others ; (2) from the writings of
St. Jerome (against Helvidius 1 ), of St. Epiphanius, Origen
and others. These early Fathers speak of the contrary
opinion as blasphemous, sacrilegious, impious, irreligious.
Hurter, Theologiae Dogmat. Compend. II, No. 658. " Be
lieve the Scriptures," exclaims St. Jerome, " therein we
read that Mary was a Virgin ; therein we do not read
that she ceased to be a Virgin." On the contrary the
whole of that beautiful intercourse between the Archangel
Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin at Nazareth leads to the
inevitable conclusion that Mary had vowed her virginity
to God. She asked the Angel " How shall this be done
because I know not man." And St. Augustine says
" She would certainly never have uttered these words,
had she not vowed her virginity to God." "Mary was
the first of women," says St. Bede the Venerable, "to
offer her virginity to God." (See p. 219.)
3. But is not our Lord called in Scripture Mary s " first
born Son," implying that she had afterwards other chil
dren ? Reply. The expression " First-born " (primo-
genitus) had a special significance, because such a child
had to be offered in the temple and a ransom paid if it
was to be freed from the temple service : it by no means
implies other children, for the law regarding the first
born (Exod. xxxiv. 19, 20) was binding at once, whether
there were other children or not.
1 Helvidius, Jovinian and other heretics of the IV Cent, were
condemned by the Synod of Rome, A.D. 381, and of Capua, A.D. 392.
BY PRAYERS OF SAINTS 267
SOME PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS AND OTHER HOLY PERSONS
TO OUR LADY
i. QT. BERNARD. Remember, O most loving
O Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any
one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help and
sought thy mediation was left unaided. Inspired with
this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my
Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, a sorrowful
sinner. Despise not my petitions, O Mother of the Word
Incarnate, but mercifully hear and grant my prayer.
2. The Same. " O Mother of Mercy, by thee may
we have access to thy Son, and by thee may He receive
us, who was given to us by thee. O Lady, our Mediatrix,
our Advocate, commend us to thy Son ; obtain, O Blessed
Lady, by the grace which thou didst merit, and by His
mercy whom thou didst bear, that He who, by thee,
vouchsafed to become partaker of our infirmities and
misery, may by thy intercession, make us sharers in His
goodness and glory."
3. St. Aloysius. " To thee, O Holy Mary, my Sovereign
Lady, to thy blessed trust and special charge, and to
the bosom of thy mercy I commend this day and every
day and at the hour of my death, myself, my soul and my
body ; to thee I commit all my hope and all my consola
tion, my distresses and my miseries, my life and the end
thereof ; that through thy most holy intercession and
through thy merits, all my works may be directed and
disposed according to thy will and the will of thy Son.
4. St. John Berchmans. The Sodality Act of Con
secration : his daily prayer.
" Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I, N. N., choose thee
this day for my Mother, my Queen and my Advocate ;
268 MARY HONOURED
and I firmly resolve and purpose never to depart either
by word or action from the duty I owe to thee, nor to
suffer those committed to my charge to say or do any
thing against thy honour. Receive me, therefore, as thy
servant for ever : assist me in all the actions of my whole
life, and forsake me not at the hour of my death. Amen."
5. Father Zucchi, S.J. " My Queen and my Mother,
to thee I offer myself without any reserve, and to give
thee a mark of my devotion, I consecrate to thee this
day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, and my whole
being. Since therefore I belong to thee, O my good Mother,
watch over me and protect me as thy property and thy
(In temptation say) " My Queen and my Mother, re
member that I belong to thee, preserve and defend me as
thy property and thy possession."
6. St. Anselm. " O glorious Virgin, Lady of the world,
Queen of Angels, holy and ever Virgin Mary, help" the
faint-hearted, and grant to us all a deep and continual
remembrance of thy name. Let that name be ever with
us in perils, in trials, in the beginning of our joys. If
we obtain this we shall never fear to perish, for thy grace
and protection will be ever with us."
" Help us, O most compassionate Lady, and consider
not the multitude of our sins. If thou hadst become Mother
of God only for thine own advantage, we might say that
it mattered little to thee whether we were lost or saved :
but God clothed Himself with Thy flesh for our salvation.
What will thy great power avail us, if thou dost not make
us partakers of thy glory and happiness. We recommend
ourselves to thee ; let not our souls be lost, but make
us eternally love and serve thy beloved Son Jesus Christ."
The Same. " Blessed Mary, intercede for me,
so that having lived holily, I may end my life happily,
confessing my sins, in the true faith, calling upon Jesus,
receiving the Body and Blood of my God. Pray for me,
holy Mother of God, that I may enter into that eternal
Y PRAYBRS OF SAINTS 269
kingdom, where thou, Queen of Angels, Queen of men,
dost triumph in glory. Amen."
7. Consecration of Studies. " Under thy protection,
dearest Mother, and the invocation of the Immaculate
Conception I desire to pursue my studies ; and I declare
that I study chiefly for this purpose that I may be better
able to spread God s glory and thy honour. I beseech
thee, therefore, most loving Mother, Seat of Wisdom, to
assist me in my endeavours, and I, on my part, promise,
whatever success shall attend my labours, to attribute
it all, as is but just, to thy intercession with God."
8. St. Athanasius. " Give ear to our prayers, O most
holy Virgin, and be mindful of us. Dispense unto us the
gifts of thy riches and the abundance of the graces with
which thou art filled. All nations call thee blessed ; all
the hierarchy of heaven blesses thee ; and we who are of
the terrestrial hierarchy also address thee saying : Hail,
O full of grace, our Lord is with thee : pray for us, O holy
Mother of God, our Lady and our Queen."
9. St. Ildephonsus. " We come to thee, O Mother
of God, and implore thee to obtain for us the pardon of
our sins, that we may be cleansed from the stains of our
whole life. We beseech thee to obtain for us the grace
to unite ourselves in affection with thy Son and with
thyself, with thy Son as our God, and with thee as the
Mother of our God."
10. St. Gertrude. " Hail, pure white Lily of the
bright and ever peaceful Trinity. Hail, brilliant Rose
of heavenly delight (fragrance), of whom the King of
heaven deigned to be born, and with whose milk He deigned
to be fed : uphold and succour me, a miserable sinner,
now and at the hour of my death."
n. St. Thomas of Aquin. "O Virgin, full of all
goodness, Mother of Mercy, I recommend to thee my
body and my soul, my thoughts, my actions, my life and
my death. Obtain for me the grace of loving thy Son,
my Saviour Jesus Christ, with a true and perfect love ;
and, after Him, of loving thee with my whole heart."
270 MARY HONOURED
THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS, 431. OUR LADY S
TITLE THEOTOKOS (MOTHER OF GOD)
NESTORIUS was at the time Archbishop of Constanti
nople. One of his priests had, in a sermon, declared that
the title of Mother of God ought not to be given to our
Lady. Such an assertion roused the instinctive feelings
of the people to whom the title was familiar and the Arch
bishop was appealed to. He decided in favour of the
priest ; but as this alienated from him the confidence of
the people, he tried to conciliate them by inviting a holy
and learned Bishop, St. Proclus, to preach upon the sub
ject in his Cathedral, but this Saint most decidedly vin
dicated the title of Mother of God and showed that those
who refused it, in reality declared Christ not to be the
Word of God and thus separated themselves from God.
The sermon was received with the greatest enthusiasm ;
but Nestorius, at the conclusion, in a few words, contra
dicted the open declaration of St. Proclus, and again
denied that it could be said that the Divine Word was
born of Mary or that He died upon the Cross.
The people rose in a body and fled from the church,
for the faithful of Constantinople were noted for their
love of and devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and their
city had been specially placed under her patronage. But
not they alone defended the claim of Mary to this title.
Tradition had always given it to her ; and it was one of
the taunts of Julian the Apostate, a hundred years before,
to the Christians : " You Christians are always calling
Mary, Mother of God."
The question was raised and it was reduced to this:
Was Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, the same (Person)
as the Word born of God ? Were there two Persons, or
was there but one ? Thus the Maternity of Mary involved
the whole question of the Incarnation.
BY COUNCIL OF EPHESUS 271
The zeal of St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, was
aroused in favour of the honour of Mary, and he condemned
the blasphemous teaching of Nestorius. The case was
laid before St. Celestine, the Pope, and in a Council held
in Rome he condemned the heresy, ex-communicated
and deposed Nestorius unless he retracted his error. This
Nestorius refused to do. The Pope then summoned a
General Council to meet at Ephesus and appointed St.
Cyril to preside in his name.
Father Dalgairns of the Oratory gives the following
graphic account of the solemn Definition of this glorious
title of our Lady : " Place yourselves in imagination in
a vast city of the East in the V Cent. Ephesus,
the capital of Asia Minor, is all in commotion ; for a Council
is to be held there, and Bishops are flocking in from all
parts of the world. There is anxiety painted on every
face, so you may easily see that the question is one of
general interest. Most injudiciously have the heretics
chosen to take the matter out of the terms of theology
and to ask, not whether our Lord had a double personality,
but whether Mary was the Mother of God ; more inju
diciously still have they allowed the Council to be held
at Ephesus, the old See of Mary s child, the beloved dis
ciple St. John. But perhaps they did not know the love
of the people for her, of whose sojourn there, real or sup
posed, many traditions lingered still ; nay, perhaps the
Ephesians were not conscious themselves how much they
loved her. But now the fact is plain ; ask the very chil
dren in the streets what is the matter ; they will tell you
that wicked men are coming to make out that their Mother
Mary was not also Mother of God.
" And so during a livelong day of June they crowd around
the gates of the old Cathedral Church of St. Mary, and
watch with anxious faces each Bishop as he goes in. Well
might they be anxious, for it is well known that Nestorius
had won the Court over to his side. It was only the other
day that he entered the town with banners displayed
and trumpets sounding, surrounded by the glittering files
of the Emperor s body-guard, with Count Candidianus,
their General, and his own partisan, at their head. Besides
which, it is known for certain that at least eighty-four
272 MARY HONOURED
Bishops are ready to vote with him ; and who knows
how many more ? He is himself the Patriarch of Con
stantinople, the rival of Rome, the imperial city of the
East, and then John of Antioch is hourly expected with
his quota of votes, and he, the Patriarch of the next See
in influence to that of Nestorius, is, if not an heretic, at
least, of that wretched party which, in ecclesiastical dis
putes, ever hovers between the two camps of the devil
and of God.
"The day wears on, and still nothing issues from the
church ; it proves at least that there is a difference of
opinion, and as the shades of evening close around them,
the weary watchers grow more anxious still.- At length
the great gates of the basilica are thrown open, and oh !
what a cry of joy bursts from the assembled crowd, as it
is announced to them that Mary has been proclaimed to
be what every one with a Catholic heart knew that she
was before the Mother of God. The Ephesians them
selves were not conscious till then how intense was the
love of Mary, which was buried deep in their heart of hearts.
Men, women and children, the noble and the low-born,
the stately matron and the modest maiden, all crowd
round the Bishops with acclamations. They will not
leave them ; they accompany them to their homes with
a long procession of lighted torches ; they burn incense
before them, after the Eastern fashion, to do them honour.
There was but little sleep in Ephesus that night ; for
very joy they remained awake ; the whole town was one
blaze of light, for each window was illuminated. For
many days after, the most celebrated prelates of Christen
dom preached of Mary s praises in her own Cathedral,
and the people especially flocked to hear St. Cyril of
Alexandria deliver in his majestic Greek a sermon such
as you might hear now in Rome on some high festal day/
AT PONT MA IN 273
THE APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN AT
THE year 1871 was for France a period of great misery
and disaster, for she was engaged in a death struggle with
the Prussian Army which had invaded her richest and
most fruitful provinces. Defeat after defeat had thinned
the ranks of her soldiers, and either left them dying on
the battle-field, or languishing in captivity. No human
power could hurl back the tide of the foreign invasion.
Paris had opened its gates to the conqueror, who was
now devastating the fair plains of Chartres, and had
already arrived at Laval, where an armistice was signed
on January 30, 1871. This was the preliminary to the
signing of peace between the two nations.
It was about this time, or rather a few days previous,
that the great apparition of Pontmain took place. To
one who reads events by the light of faith, it was a remark
able interposition of Divine Providence in favour of France,
and a sign of the loving protection Mary has ever shown
to that nation so devoted to her. On the confines of
Normandy, about six kilometres south of Laudivy in
Mayenne, is situated the small village of Pontmain. In
the centre, facing the church, stood a house of modern
appearance though bearing the date of 1598. It was the
residence of a family called Barbedette. Five in all, it
comprised Cesar, the father, Victoire Quentin, the mother,
and three boys. Auguste, the eldest of these, had joined
the army in the previous September ; the second, named
Eugene, was about twelve years old ; and Joseph, the
youngest, was ten. Near the house was a loft with a
broad thatched roof and a large green door. On January
17 the father proceeded as usual at six o clock to awake
the sleeping children.
After a short prayer to God, Eugene and Joseph set to
work to make up bundles of furze, the common fodder for
1 From the English Messenger of the Sacred Heart, May, 1916.
274 MARY HONOURED
horses in that part of the country. Before breakfast they
said the Rosary together for their brother, and then
adjourned to the church. While waiting for the arrival
of the priest they finished their morning prayers and
made the Stations of the Cross, which they had been in
the habit of doing since the beginning of the war.
After hearing Mass and taking part in the public prayers
offered up for the soldiers, they went to school. School
over about five in the evening, Eugene and Joseph returned
to the loft with their father, and by the light of a tallow
candle began cutting up wood. A quarter of an hour
had passed when a woman, opening the door, entered
bearing good news of the arrival of their brother, who
had profited by the opportunity of his regiment being
in the neighbourhood, to slip off unseen to his home.
Interrupting their work they entered into conversation
with the woman. Presently Eugene, rising up, went
outside. " I was going/ said he later on, " to examine
the weather." For some days previous he had noticed
the Aurora Borealis in the sky, and he felt curious to
know whether it was visible that evening.
On gazing at the stars he perceived that they were more
brilliant than usual, when all of a sudden he started back
over the house opposite the loft his eyes beheld a beauti
ful Lady smiling on him. This sight so overpowered him
that he stood in silence gazing upon it. The form appeared
to be that of a young woman of eighteen or twenty years,
clothed in a dark blue dress, bespangled with golden stars,
and five regular brilliant points. From the neck the
garment, with wide sleeves, fell in folds to the feet, which
were covered by blue shoes fastened with gilt buckles.
A black veil covered her head and ears and part of her
forehead, and fell over her shoulders. Over this veil
encircling the brow was a crown of gold glittering like
a diadem. Her hands were small, lowered towards the
earth but without emitting rays. Her face, slightly oval,
and pale delicate features betokened the freshness of
youth, and wore a sweet smile.
The vision had lasted a quarter of an hour when tLe
woman, Jane Detais, came out. When questioned by
the child whether she saw the figure, she replied in the
AT PONT MA IN 275
negative. Then turning to his brother, Eugene said :
" Do you not see anything ? "
" Oh yes ! Eugene, I see a beautiful lady."
" How is she dressed ? "
Joseph described the blue dress, golden stars, buckled
shoes and crown. Meanwhile the father, listening to this
conversation with his eyes intently fixed on the sky, said :
" My poor little fellows, you see nothing, for if you saw
anything, we also should see it. ... Let us return to
our work, for supper will soon be ready." The children
complied with the command much against their will.
Shortly afterwards the father, feeling rather uneasy,
said to his son : " Run out, Eugene, and see if the vision
is still there." Eugene eagerly obeyed, and joyfully
exclaimed : "Oh yes ! just as it was." . r-*- *
" Go and tell your mother to look out, and see if she
can notice anything." -
The mother had scarcely reached the door when Joseph,
clapping his hands, cried out : "Oh how beautiful, how
beautiful it is ! " His mother, seizing him by the arm,
said : " Hold your tongue, boy, hold your tongue ; see,
the people are looking at us."
In vain did Victoire strain her eyes to catch a glimpse
of the mysterious object, nothing was visible to her.
Feeling however impressed by the sincerity of the chil
dren, she said : " Perhaps it is the Blessed Virgin who
appears to you, if so, let us say five Our Fathers and Hail
Marys in her honour."
Accordingly, shutting the door of the loft, they began
their prayers. Shortly afterwards, on looking out, the
same figure appeared to the eyes of the children. To
convince herself of the truth of this strange appearance,
the mother put on her spectacles and gazed intently on
the spot pointed out, but to no purpose. At this the
beautiful Lady smiled. " Be off to your work, you little
story-tellers," said the mother, " for surely there is nothing
to be seen."
Their work finished, they sat down to supper, which
was of short duration, and went out again to look at the
As the apparition still remained in the same place,
276 MARY HONOURED
Eugene expressed a desire to look upon it as long as it
Puzzled at so unusual an occurrence, Victoire asked
the height of the Lady. " She is as tall as Sister Vitaline,""
was the reply. This Sister was one of the nuns who taught
in the school. On hearing the name of Vitaline, the
mother thought it would be well to bring her to the spot.
So she went in search of the nun, whom she found reciting
her Office in the school-room. " I beg your pardon.
Sister," said the mother, " will you come with me, for
my children declare they see some one who is not visible
to me ! "
In company with the mother the nun went to the loft,
from which Eugene pointed out the exact position of the
" I see absolutely nothing," she replied.
The children insisted : " What, Sister, you see nothing,
look at those three stars which form a tripod."
" Oh yes ! "
" Well then, the Lady s head is just in the middle."
All present saw the stars, one was just above our Lady s
head and the two others as high as her elbows. To all
they seemed to shine more brilliantly than the others.
Unable to see more, Sister Vitaline returned to the school,
where she found two little girls sitting by the fireside,
Frances Richer, twelve years old, Jan^Mary Lebosse,
and a third child.
" Come, my little girls," she said to them, "come and
see something Victoire wishes to show you." " What are
we going to see ? " they asked. " The children will tell
you," answered Victoire, "for I have seen nothing."
Having reached the loft, Frances and Jane Mary ex
claimed : " Oh ! the beautiful Lady with the blue dress ! "
Whilst the four children kept looking at the Apparition,
the Sister went off to acquaint the people of the village,
and the parish priest. At the news the old man stood
speechless, whilst his housekeeper prepared the lantern.
Having recovered himself, he in company with the Sister
proceeded to the loft, where he found the children still
intent on the spectacle. " Oh, there is something more,"
they cried out. The addition was in the shape of a small
AT PONT MAIN 277
red cross, two or three inches long, hanging over the breast
of the beautiful Lady, and a circle, or oval, four or five
inches wide, of a deep blue colour. This oval enveloped
the apparition, leaving the three triangular stars outside.
In the interior were four lighted candles, two at the bottom
and two at the top.
" Let us say the Rosary," said the priest.
Accordingly they all knelt down. Meanwhile the figure
continued to increase until at the end of the Rosary it
seemed twice the size. The Magnificat having been
intoned, the children cried out : There is something
else ! " A long band of white linen was stretched in
rectangular form beneath the feet of the figure, and on
it these words were written : " Pray, my children, pray ! "
The good priest again begged them to pray to the Blessed
Virgin to make known her will. In compliance with this
request the Litany of the Blessed Virgin was sung ; at
the last invocation there appeared the words : " Pray,
my children, pray. God will hear your prayers in a short
time. My Son will let Himself be touched."
The children s faces now wore an expression of deep
sadness. " Something else is being formed," they cried
out. In the hands of the Lady was, a red cross about
two inches long ; on it appeared a figure of Christ, on
which drops of blood were seen. The head was a little
inclined to the left, but showed no sign of life. Above it,
attached to the wood of the Cross, was a white cross-bar
with this inscription on it : " Jesus Christ." When the
hymn was begun one of the stars situated at the feet of
the Queen of Heaven re-entered the oval-space, passing
by the candles lit them, and then returned to the star
placed above the triangle. During the hymn the Mother
of God kept her eyes constantly lowered and fixed on the
crucifix, while her lips seemed to move in prayer. On
the hymn " Hail Star of the Sea " being sung, the blood-
like crucifix disappeared, and the Blessed Virgin lowered
her hands to their first position. At the same time two
little white crucifixes, about six or eight inches long, were
seen on the shoulders of our Lady, whose head was, as
it were, placed between the crosses. A smile mingled
with sadness played on her countenance. The night
278 MARY HONOURED
prayers having been said, the Apparition disappeared
about nine o clock. That same evening General Schmidt
encamped his troops in a place called Jouanne, and the
next day beat a retreat. " Surely there must be a Madonna
here," exclaimed a German officer, astonished at the
sudden retreat. He had spoken truly. The Blessed
Virgin, more powerful than an army in battle array, had
once more shown her love for France.
The news of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at
Pontmain soon spread throughout the diocese, and through
the whole of France pilgrims flocked in crowds, and
numberless graces were received. Mgr. Wicart, Bishop
of Laval, maintaining at first a prudent reserve, caused
a preliminary inquiry to be made into the extraordinary
occurrence, and ordered an official report to be published,
on which this narrative has been founded.
In the month of March the first canonical inquiry was
held, and in the December following a long and rigorous
examination was made. On February 2, 1872, the Bishop
announced in a pastoral letter that the Apparition of the
Immaculate Mother of God made to Eugene and Joseph
Barbedette, Frances Richer and Jane Mary Lebosse, on
January 17 in the village of Pontmain, was true and
genuine. In accordance with this solemn declaration
the Holy See authorized the establishment of the Arch-
confraternity of Our Lady of Hope, of Pontmain, and
permitted the diocese of Laval to make a commemoration
of the Apparition on January 17 in the office of the Immacu
In proclaiming the truth of the Apparition, the pious
Bishop enjoined the erection of a church in honour of Mary,
on the very spot she had deigned to favour with her pres
ence. His appeal for funds was generously responded to,
and a magnificent Gothic Basilica, elaborately decorated,
flanked by two splendid towers, with a peal of bells pro
claiming far and wide the glories of Mary was erected.
A magazine published every month makes known the
power and goodness of this holy protectress. Pilgrimages
are constantly made to implore the intercession of her,
who is invoked under the title of the Virgin of the Stars,
or the Virgin of Hope, and of the Bleeding Crucifix.
AT PONT MA IN 279
Father Guerin, the two sisters, Cesar^Barbedette and
Auguste Friteau, have all passed into another world.
Little Auguste, a sickly child, died a few months after
the apparition. Eugene Barbedette is now Vicar in the
Diocese of Laval ; Joseph has entered the Order of the
Oblates of Mary ; Jane Mary Lebosse is a nun in the
order of the Holy Family at Bordeaux ; Frances Richer
helps the nuns in taking care of the little children in their
schools. All retain a tender remembrance of the heavenly
BLESSED MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, Foundress of the
Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, cherished throughout
life a strong and tender love of our blessed Lady, which found
expression at the outset in the consecration of the Society to
the " Immaculate Heart of Mary." At a later date, in 1839,
when trials came upon the Institute, the holy Foundress
again sought Mary s protection, and again placed her
religious family under the care of that loving Mother,
with the happiest results.
To the members of her Society the devotion of their
Foundress to our Lady is well known. Next in honour
to the Feast of the Sacred Heart comes that of the Immacu
late Heart of Mary ; the Office of the Blessed Virgin is
one of the daily joys of the Nuns ; and the love and affec
tion of Blessed Madeleine Sophie has been crowned in
recent years by the setting apart of the First Saturday of
each month as a day of special honour to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary ; this practice the Church has ratified by
granting to all convents of the Sacred Heart, the privilege
of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on that day and
the recitation of the office of the Immaculate Heart.
Blessed Mother Barat s devotion would however have
been Incomplete had it not reached a chosen part of her
family the children. Every child knows the love of our
Lady, which, with devotion to the Sacred Heart, is the
atmosphere of school life. This devotion is expressed in
the honour paid to their Queen and Mother under the
title of " Mater Admirabilis." Our Lady as a young girl
in the Temple, seems to live before them in that miraculous
picture. She is their model in prayer, in study, in the
duty of each moment. In the one hundred and forty con
vents of the Sacred Heart all over the world may be seen
the same tender confidence in Mater Admirabilis, the same
loving imitation of her virtues, the same loyal homage
paid to her in every country by the Children of the Sacred
Subscribers, whose generosity has helped to make
possible the publication of this work in times of special
Mrs. Matilde Harwath, R.I.P., 20 ; Anonymous Donor,
20 ; Mother Patricia, Roehampton, 6 ; Rev. Fr. Welsby,
S.J., Preston, 5 ; Miss E. Burrows, 5 ; Miss H. Kiely,
5 ; A. Campbell Allen, Esq., 5 ; Rev. D. Zema, S.J., 3 ;
Rev. F. Parry, S. J., Liverpool, 2 guineas ; Mrs. Trappes
Lomax, 2 guineas ; Mrs. H. Kiely, 2 guineas ; Mrs. B.
Vaughan, 2 guineas.
Subscribers of one guinea each : Rev. Fr. Bodkin, S.J.,
Beaumont ; Rev. Fr. Collingwood, S.J., Mount St. Mary s ;
Rev. Fr. MacMahon, S.J., Glasgow ; Rev. Fr. Moss, S.J.,
Blackpool ; Rev. Fr. Nicholson, S. J., Stamford Hill ; Rev.
Fr. McCluskey, S.J., Edinburgh ; Rev. Fr. O Connor, S.J.,
Stonyhurst ; Rev. Fr. O Brien, Liverpool ; Rev. Mother
Thunder, Roehampton, S.H. Convent ; Mother E. Mona-
han and Mother Hamilton, S.H. Convent ; Miss E. Boynton ;
Miss Dupuis ; Major Gait on ; Mrs. Hamon ; Mother
Imelda, Dublin ; Mrs. Marie Scott McGrath ; Miss K. Nelson.
Abbeys, English, 84
Aberdeen, our Lady of, 93
Abingdon, our Lady of, 83
Adam and Eve, 1 1
Aedelvald, Ethelwald 210
Agincourt, 130, 147
Albans, St., 83, 164
Albert, St., 189
Albertus Magnus, 186
Aldhelm, St., 74
All Generations, 257
Alma Redemptoris, 137
Aloysius, St., 49
Alphonsus Ligouri, St., 58
Alphonsus Rodr., St., 53, 68
Ambrose, St., 24, 213
America, North, 96
America, South, 124
Ancient Faith, England s, 73
Ancient Liturgies, 29
Andrew Avellino, St., 54
Andrew Corsini, St., 43
Angelico, Bl. Fra, 138
Angels and our Lady, 8
Angelus, 61, 76, 147, 192, 230
Anne of Beaupre, St., 102
Annunciation feast, 179
Anselm, St., 31, 65, 74, 212,
224, 225, 244
Anselm, Junior, 65, 211
Apostles and first Disciples, 16,
Apostleship, four kinds, 253, 254
Apparition to St. Gregory
Apparitions, Recent, 170, 273,
Archconf raternities, 1 84
Armorial bearings, 95
Army commanders, 144
Arundel, Archbishop, 71, 76, 230
Assumption, 74, 180, 220
Assumption feast, 74
Athanasius, St., 22
Augustine, St., 25
Ave Maris Stella, 137
Ave Regina Coelorum, 137
Avignon, Council, 28
Baltimore, Council, 99
Barat, Blessed Sophie, 279
Basle, Council, 28
Basil, St., 22
Basil of Seleucia, St., 24
Beauty of our Lady, 139
Beauty of English images, 83
Bedlam Hospital, 151
Belgium and our Lady, 110
Belgrade Victory, 145
Benburb battle, 89
Benedict XIV, 185
Bernard, St., 9, 32, 65, 225
Bernard, St., and Immaculate
Conception, 205. 208
Bernadette Soubirous, 171
Bernardine, St., 46
Bernardine Realino, BL, 57
Blessed by all generations, 257
Bonaventure, St., 41, 215
Boniface IV. St., 61
Book of Cerne, 73
Book of Courtesay, 75
Botticelli, Artist, 138
Boulogne, our Lady of, 173
Bray, Sir Reg., 164
Brethren of our Lord, 220, 265
Bridget of Sweden, St., 44
Brigid of Ireland, St., 188
Bruno, St., 65
Builders of Churches, 160
Building of Cathedrals, 162
Bull of Immaculate Conception,
Bulla Aurea, 185
Cajetan, St., 52
Callixtus, St., "60
Cambridge, King s Coll., 85, 130
Campo Cavallo, 170
Canada and our Lady, 100
Candlemas day, 180
Candles, Votive, 200
Canisius, Bl. P., 188
Cardinals, English, 63
Carlo Dolci, 138
Carmel, our Lady of, 181
Carroll, Bishop, 98
Casimir, St., 46
Catherine of Aragon, 130
Catherine of Siena. St., 44
Cath. England (See England)
Caversham, our Lady of, 83
Champlain, Samuel. 150
Chaplet, Lady Godiva s, 78
Charles Borromeo, St., 50
Charles VI, 132
Chartres, our Lady of, 173
Childebert, King, 131
Children and our Lady, 141
Children of Mary, 183
China and our Lady, 127
Cimabue, Artist, 137
Cities and our Lady, 133
Clock striking, 241
Clovis, King, 131
Coimbra University, 121
Colleges, English, 84
Commanders of Armies, 144
Communion, Holy, 239
Confidence in Mary, 243
Consecration of England, 230
Consecration to Mary, 241
Conversion of Sinners, 253
Corpus Christi College, 85
Council of Avignon, 28
Council of Basle, 28
of Baltimore, 99
of Calne, 86
of Ephesus, 27, 270
of Exeter, 134
of Hatfield, 73
of Later an, 73
of Nicaea, 28
of Trent, 28
Councils and Immaculate Con
ception, 206, 207
Covadonga Cave, 106, 108
Coventry, our Lady of, 78
Crecy, Battle of, 76, 243
Crispin of Viterbo, St., 59
Crown, English Royal, 130 note-
Crown of Portugal, 122
Cyril of Alexandria, St., 18,23,27
Cyril of Jerusalem, St., 23
Dalmatia and Holy House, 166
Damascene, St. John, 220, 24
David Bruce, 131
David I, 131
Death of our Lady, 221, 222
Decrees of Councils, 27
Defending her honour, 264
Deipara (Theotokos), 28
Denis the Areop., St., 17, 139,
Denis Carthusian, 216
Denis of Paris, St., 18
Divine Motherhood, 73, 215
Dolours of our Lady, 234
Dominic, St., 36, 189
Don Juan of Austria, 145
Dowry of Mary, 71, 72, 230
Drapers Company, 151
Drogheda, our Lady of, 90
Duns Scotus, 66, 206
Dunstan, St., 78, 83
Eadmer, Monk, 211
Early Christians, 18
Early Fathers, 21
Edgar, King, 78
Edmund of Canterbury, St., 37,
Edward, St., Martyr, 83
Edward I, 129
Edward II, 129
Edward III, 73, 129
Egwin, Bishop, 80
Elizabeth of York, 82
Elmham, monk, 72, 129, 130
England, Abbeys, 84
Ancient Devotions, 75
Ancient Faith, 73
Consecration of, 72, 230
Dowry of Mary, 71, 72
and Immaculate Concep
Kings of, 128
and Rosary, 76
Shrines, 77, 80, 233
England, Dr., Bishop, 99
English children, 144, 147
English Saints, 85
Eoves, Swineherd, 80
Ephesus, Council of, 27, 270
Ephrem, St., 3, 9, 22, 30
Epiphanius, St., 3, 22
Ethelwold, Bishop, 73
Ethiopic hymn, 29
Eton College, 75, 84, 233
Eudes, Bl. John, 56, 229
Evesham, our Lady of, 80
Exeter, Council of, 134
Fathers of Eastern Church, 21
Fathers of Western Church, 24
Fathers and Immaculate Con
Feast of Immaculate Concep
Feasts of our Lady, 177
Felix of Valois, St., 9
Fenwick, Bishop, 99
Ferdinand of Castile, St., 132
Ferdinand III, 133
Figures of Mary, 13, 14
Filippino Lippi. 138
Filippo Lippi, 138
First of creatures, i
First Disciples and our Lady, 1 7
Foch, Marshal, 147
Foreshadowed in Old Law, 13
Foretold to Patriarchs, n
Fox of Winchester, Bishop, 85,
Fra Angelico, 138
France and our Lady, 103
Francis of Assisi, St., 8, 37
Francis Borgia, St., 49
Francis Jerome, St., 57
Francis de Sales, St., 52
Francis Xavier, St., 48
Francis I, 132
French Cathedrals of our Lady,
French Kings, 104
Gabriel Addol., Bl., 67
Gabriel Bell, The, 77
Garden enclosed, 261
Garter, Order of, 129, 233
Gelasius, St., 60
Genezzano, 109, 169
German Pilgrimages, 1 1 8
Artists, 1 1 9
Germany and our Lady, 1 1 8
Gertrude, St., 43
Giotto, Artist, 137
Glendower, Owen, 96
Gloucester chapel, 165
God the Father and our Lady, i
God the Son and our Lady, 4
God the Holy Ghost and our
Godiva, Lady, 78
Golden Bull, 185
Grace, Above Angels in, 2, 9
Grace, Full of, 10
Great Yarmouth, 86
Greece and our Lady, 122
Gregory the Great, St., 61
Gregory of Nazianzen, St., 188
Gregory of Nyssa, St., 21
Gregory Thaumat., St., 21
Gregory of Tours, St., 26, 222
Gregory IX, 6 1
Gregory XHI, 62
Gregory XV, 62
Grignon de Montfort, Bl., 59
Guadahrpe, 123, 175
Guilds, Trade, 151
Hail, Mary, 192
Hal, our Lady of, 176
Hatfield, Council, 73
Health of the Sick, 226
Heart of Mary, Archconfr., 184,
Heart of Mary, Immac., 227
Hedwige, St., 38
Helena, St., 133, 160
Help of Christians, Feast, 62
Henry Suso, BL, 45
Henry II, 78, 128
Henry HI, 128
Henry IV, 76, 129
Henry V, 129
Henry VI and Eton College, 75,
76, 84, 130
Henry VI and King s College
(Cambridge), 85, 130
Henry VII, 82, 130
Henry VII s Chapel, Westmin
ster, 163, 164
Henry VIII, 79, 82, 130
Henry IV of France, 191
Herman Contractus, 137
Herman Joseph, BL, 39
Highlands of Scotland, 92
Hilary, St., 60
Holland and our Lady, 113
Holy House of Loretto, 109, 166
Holy House, Pilgrims to, 168
Holyrood, our Lady of, 131
Holy Souls, 254
Honour defended, 264
Hugh of Lincoln, St., 35, 162
Humility, Mary s, 260
Hyacinth, St., 39
Hyperdulia, 41, 264
Ignatius of Loyola, St., 47, 236
Ildephonsus, St., 26
Images, Beautiful, in England,
Imitation of Mary, 245
Immaculate Conception, 3, 200
Proofs of doctrine, 200
Proofs from Fathers, 202
Feast of. 64, 177, 204
SS. Bernard and Thomas,
after the Controversy, 206
Pius IX s Bull, i, 208
and England, 73, 210
Gregory XV, 62
and Universities of Paris,
104, Spain, 107, Louvain,
and Coimbra, 121
and Poland, 117
Immaculate Heart, 227
Ina, King, 128
Ina s Silver Chapel, 77
India and our Lady, 127
Indians, North American, 100
Ipswich, our Lady of, 82
Irenaeus, St., 24
Ireland and our Lady, 87
and the Rosary, 88
Irish Litany, 87, 89
Poets, Early, 91
Isaias, i i
Isabel of Warwick, 83
Italy and our Lady, 108, 109
Italian devotion, 108
Saints, 108 ,
Artists, 1 08
Jacopone, BL, 136
James. St., Apostle, 17
James of Batnae, St., 24
James, King of Aragon, 131
Jane F. de Chantal, St., 55
apan and our Lady, 125
erome, St., 25
esuits, and our Lady, 68
esuit Theologians, 188
ban of Arc, Bl., 146
ohn (Juan) of Austria, Don, 145
ohn Berchmans, St., 53
ohn Capistran, St., 145
ohn Chrysostom, St.. 9
ohn Damascene, St., 24, 220
ohn Eudes, Bl., 56
ohn Evangelist, St., 16, 243
ohn F. Regis, St., 55
ohn, King, 83
ohn Sobieski, 120, 145
Joseph of Arimathea, St., 77
Juan of Austria, Don, 145
Justinian, Emperor, 160
Justus Lipsius, 187
Kingdoms and our Lady, 134
King s College, Cambridge, 85,
Kings of England, 128
Kings of France, 131
Kings of Scotland, 130
Knights of Garter, 129, 233
Knights, Orders of, 68
Knights of Malta, 68
Laboure, Sister C., 195
Lady Chapels, 163, 232
Lady s Choristers, 140
Ladye Mass, 140 232,
Lady s well, 92
Lady s Flowers, 199
La Salette, 172
Lateran Council, 73
Laynez, Fr., 69
Leeds, Bridge Chapel. 86
Leo IV, 6 1
Leo XIII, 62
Leofric, Earl, 78
Leonard of Port M., St., 58
Lepanto Victory, 62, 144
Leunis, John (Sodality), 182
Liberius, Pope, St., 60
Liesse, our Lady of, 102, 174
Limerick, Our Lady of, 90
Lincoln, Our Lady of, 36, 81
Litany, Anc. Irish, 87, 89
Little Office, 197, 240
Liturgies, Ancient. 29
Liturgical hymns, 136
Liturgy, Alex., 29
Liturgy of St. James, 29
Livery Companies, 151
London Bridge Chapel, 151
London churches, 134
Loreto, Holy House, 109, i66>
Louis, St., 42, 132
Louis the Pious, 131
Louis XI and Angelus, 132
Louis XIII, 132
Louis XIV, 132
Louvain University, 1 1 3
Lowlands of Scotland. 93
Luke, St., 17
Magdalen College, Oxford, 84.
Malcolm II, 130
Margaret of Richmond, 130
Maria della Strada, 48, 70
Maria in Trastevere, 20, 60
Maronite Ritual, 29
Marquette, J., S.J., 97, 150
Martyrs, Our Lady of, 97
Mary s Assumption, 220
Dowry, 71, 72
Mass, 75, 140, 232
Name, 178, 213
Name (Ireland), 88
Name (Scotland), 92
Name (Indians), 100
Mary and England, 71 seq.
ever Virgin, 74, 218
Immaculate, 200 seq.
Major, St., 60, 168
Major, Picture, 96
St. of Trastevere, 20, 60
Mary our Mother, 244
Mary of Agreda, 10
Mary Madg. Pazzi, St., 54
Mater Admirabilis, 280
Maternity, Divine, 73, 215
May, month of, 100, 198
Mercers Company, 153
Mercy, Our Lady of, 181
Mother of, 44, 224
Messina Earthquake, 144
Methodius, St., 12
Michel Angelo, 138
Military Orders, 68
Miraculous Medal, 195
Montaigu, Our Lady of, 176
Month of May, 100, 198
Monuments to Mary, 231
More, Bl. Thomas, 82
Mother of God, 217, 270
Mother of Mercy, 224, 44
Muckross, Our Lady of, 90
Name of Mary, 213
etc., Ireland, 88
and Indians, 100
Nativity of our Lady, 212
Naval Commanders, 144
Navan, our Lady of, 91
New College, Oxford, 85
Newman, Cardinal, 63
Nice, Council of, 28
Non-Catholics on our Lady, 153,
N.D. des Victoires, 172
Oddo and Dodo (Saxons), 81
Off a, King, 81
Office of our Lady, 75
Office, The little, 197, 240
Oostacker, Belg., 176
Orders, Religious, 64
Ordinary duties, 236
Our Lady s Pages, 140
Our Lady of the Snow, 60, 95
Owen O Neill, 89
Oxford, Magdalen College, 84
Corpus Christi, 85
New College, 85
and St. Edmund, 37, 84
Pages of our Lady, 140
Patriarchs and Prophets, 1 1
Patrick, St., 87
Paul II, 6 1
Pelagius (Pelayo), 106
Perpetual Succour, 184
Perpetual Virginity, 74, 218
and Ireland, 91
Peter Chrysol., St., 25
Peter Claver, St., 56
Peter Dainian, St., 26
Peter the Hermit, 147
Pew, our Lady of, 166
Philip Benizi, St., 42
Philip Neri, St., 51
Pictures, Miraculous, 249
Pilgrim Street, 86
Pilgrimages in England, 77
in Belgium, 176
in France, 171
in Italy, 166
in Spain, 175
in Switzerland, 177
Pillar, our Lady of, 1 75
Pius V, St., 62
Pius VII, 62
Pius IX, 62
Pius X, 62
Poets and our Lady, 136
Poets, Non-Catholic, 154, 156
Poland and our Lady, 116
and Immaculate Concep
Pontmain, 256, 273
Portugal and our Lady, 121
Portuguese Crown, 122
Pothinus, St., 18
Practices of Saints, 246
Prayers of Saints, 267
Presentation feast, 61, 178
Prima Primaria, 1 82
Privileges of our Lady, 7, 263
of Child Mary, 214
Proclus, St., 24, 270
Protestants and our Lady, 153,
Protentianus, St., 18
Psalter of Mary, 76
Puche 3 our Lady of, 176
Pulcheria, St., 161
Purgatory, Souls in, 254
Purification feast, 60, 180
Purity, Mary s, 261
Puy, Our Lady of, 174
Queen of Peace, 259
Queen of Prophets. 19, 20
Quito Apparition, 250
Ransom, our Lady of, 181
Ratisbonne, Abbe, 196
Reading statue, 83
Refuge of sinners, 253
Regina coeli, 137
Religious Orders, 64
Richard II, 72. 129
Richard Whittington, 152
Riches of English shrines, 135
Richness of early churches, 161
Robert the Wise, 131
Robert Guiscard, 146
Rollo, Duke, 133
Rome, Churches of, 161
Rosary, 76, 188
and soldiers, 148, 149
Rosary feast, 182
Rosary in Catholic England,
and Eton, 76
and Magdalen College, Ox
and St. Dominic, 189
in Ireland, 191
and Irish soldiers, 148
and Lady Godiva, 78
in United States, 99
Royal Psalmist, 12
Sabbatine, Indulg., 194
Saints of XII Cent., 31, 34
Saints of subsequent centuries,
Saints of England, 85
St. Alban s Lady Chapel, 83
Salette, La, 172
Salisbury pilgrimage, 86
Salve Guilds, 151
Salve Regina, 34, 136
Sanctuaries of our Lady in
Santa Casa, 168
Saturday and our Lady, 198, 242
Saturday, rest p.m., 94
Scapular Brown, 193
of Sacred Heart, 257
Scottish Kings, 130
Scotland and our Lady, 92
Scott, Sir Walter, 156
Scotus, John Duns, 66, 206
Sedulius, Irish poet, 91
Self-Denial, 242, 248
Selkirk Arms, 95
Sergius I, St., 178
Servant of Mary, 31
Servite Saints, 42, 234
Seven Dolours, 234
Shrines in England, 80
Silkstede, Prior, 165
Silver Chapel, Ina s, 77
Simon Stock, St., 41
Sinners and our Lady, 244, 253
Sixtus III, 60
Sixtus IV, 6i/
Slaves of Mary, 59
Snow churchyard, Aberdeen, 95
Sobieski, John, 120, 145
Society of Jesus, 68
Society of Jesus and Immaculate
Sodalists, 143, 184
Sodality, The, 98, 182, 184
Saints and Popes, 183
St. Alph. on, 183
Poets, Orators, 185
Kings, Nobles, 185
Praise of, 185
Soldiers and our Lady, 147, 148
Sophronius, St., 9, n
Sorbonne and Immaculate Con
Souls in Purgatory, 254
Spain and our Lady, 105
Spain and Immaculate Con
Spanish Knights, 107
Spiritual exercises, 239
Stabat Mater, 136, 236
Stanislaus, St., 50
Star of the Sea. 33
Stephen of Hungary, St., 131
Suarez, Fr., 187, 263
Syriac hymn, 30
Tarasius, St., 12
Teresa, St., 51
Tewkesbury, our Lady of, 81
Thomas of Aquin, St., 40
St. Thomas and Immaculate
Thomas of Canterbury, St., 34,
Titian, artist, 138
Toleto, Cardinal, 187
Trade Guilds, 151
Trastevere, 20, 60
Trent, Council of, 28
Trim, our Lady of, 91
Trust in Mary, 243
Types of Mary, 13, 1 4
United States and our Lady, 96
and Rosary, 99
Universities, English, 84
University of Louvain, 1 1 3
of Paris, 104
of Poland, 117
of Portugal, 121
of Spain, 107
Urban II, 61
Vaughan, Cardinal, 63
Venantius Fort., St., 137, 224
Venetian on English shrines, 135
Victories, N.D. des, 172
Victory of Belgrade, 145
of Lepanto, 144
of Vienna, 145
Ville Marie (Montreal), 101
Vincent Ferrer, St., 45
Vincent de Paul, St., 56
Virginity, Perpet., 74, 218
Vision of St. Gregory Thaum.,
Visitation feast, 179
Visits to Blessed Sacrament,
Votive Candles, 200
Vow of Perpetual Virginity, 262,
(SS. Aug. and Bede, 266)
Wales and our Lady, 95
Walsingham, our Lady ol, 79
War, Appeal in, 259
Wat Tyler, 73
Waynflete, Bishop, 76, 84
Wax candles costly, 200 note,
Wells, Lady, 92
Welsh Poets, 96
Westminster, Our Lady of, 163.,
Whittington, Sir Richard, 152
Willesden, our Lady of, 82
William the Lion, K., 94
Winchester, Lady chapel, 165
and Immaculate Concep
tion, 64, 65, 211
Wiseman, Cardinal, 63
Wolsey, Cardinal, 82
Wykeham, Bishop, 85
Yarmouth, our Lady of, 86
Youghal, our Lady of, 90
Zucchi, Fr. N., 262, 268
Mary s praise on every tongue .C42-