We added a couple of new books to the All the Saint's story for Mary and her own special month, May! We were reading the intro to this one and just had to share, it was so edifying! Also there is a special sale for the month of May on all the Marian titles, get 10% off by using the coupon code MONTHMARY2013.Month of Mary- Conceived Without Sin
Translated from the French of: A. Gratry, Priest of the Oratory of the Immaculate Conception, with and Introduction by the Very Rev. E. W. Faber, D.D. of the London Oratory
With the Approbation of the Most Rev. F. P. Kenrick,
Archbishop of Baltimore.
From the Introduction: ...To all the faithful, therefore, devotion to our Blessed Mother is of supreme importance. It is not a mere beauty of Catholic worship, a graceful accessory, an exquisite adornment, or a lawful consolation. It is an essential element in all Christian piety. Without it, holiness is simply impossible. But to us in an un-catholic country devotion to Mary assumes a very peculiar importance. We are surrounded on all sides by monuments of falsehood. The air is impregnated with its poison. The daily intercourse of life becomes almost contagion of evil. Measures, weights, and standards, which are quite opposed to those of the sanctuary of God, are implied and acknowledged in the common language which we use, so that it is difficult to avoid making a material profession of an unholy faith, even when we have not such intention. The literature of our country is perpetually imbuing us with unchristian principles, the more insidiously the more the subject of it is apparently removed from religion altogether. The habitual perusal of the Protestant newspapers is itself as nearly as possible incompatible with the existence of the spirit of prayer, or with the preservation of intelligent Catholic sympathies. The very sweetest and kindliest parts of our nature are perpetually alluring us to an easy and indulgent view of that deadliest of all sins, the sin of heresy, and thus to an acquiescence in that which ought, both morally and intellectually, to be the most repulsive of all things to us, falsehood about God.
Now, devotion to Mary has been in all ages, as an historical fact, the guardian of the doctrine about Jesus...
The month of Mary devotion "is itself a visible monument of that endless development of devotion to our Blessed Lady which characterizes the life of the Church. It belongs almost to our own times. Although it is not recognized either in the Breviary or in the Missal, it has become as acknowledged a season of the Christian year as Advent or Lent. The Church has enriched it with indulgences." The venerable Grignon de Montfort tells us that the most remarkable development of devotion to our Blessed Lady is that it " is reserved for the last age of the Church, when her sufferings will have reached their height, and the triumph of the world will seem to be most complete. He tells us that God has reserved for those days saints of almost unparalleled grandeur, whose distinguishing characteristic will be their devouring zeal for Mary's honor."
This devotional book is composed of 31 meditations that are profound and sure to inspire new love of our Blessed Mother.TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF MONTH OF MARY AND SEE MORE WONDERFUL BOOKS ON OUR LADY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY VISIT ALL THE SAINTS BOOKS!
"You cannot think that the buckling on of the knight's armor by his lady's hand was a mere caprice of romantic fashion. It is the type of an eternal truth- that the soul's armor is never well set to the heart unless a woman's hand has braced it; and it is only when she braces it looselh that the honor of manhood fails." - Ruskin
+++ We shared this wonderful book with you all last August and it is such a wonderful title so we thought we would bump this post up. It is a great title to read in May (the month of Mary) and also makes a great Mother's Day gift, a book for the heart of every mother. +++
In a day and age where every lady dreams of her knight in shining armor and struggles to find him. When doors are not normally opened for ladies by gentleman and when women generally want to be equal with men this book is as fitting (or even more so) today as it was in 1877 when it was written.
Thomas Foley, Bishop of Chicago in 1877 said: This work is "fitted for our times. It will be of vast service to many mothers and daughters in the Church, by showing them how they may practically conform their lives to the bright pictures of womanly virtue you have so felicitously portrayed."
This wonderful book, The Mirror of True Womanhood, was written by Rev. Monsignor Bernard O'Reilly. It covers so many beautiful topics involving true womanhood with Mary as our shining example. From home-life, a woman's love, supernatural virtues, a living faith, hospitality, making our homes a paradise, biblical examples of virtuous women, stewardship, resourcefulness, spirit of charity, education of our children, childhood, building religious character, city life vs. farm life, generosity, formation of boys and girls in childhood, Christian idea of service, social duties and many, many more topics!
This book is chalk full of real life examples about woman and how they mold the men of the world and how they inspire virtue in the home. Today woman think that their power lies in working and providing an income, in making their way in the world. This book shows in so many ways how special the woman is that molds the world though the children she raises, the home that she keeps and the husband that she loves and honors.
One of the most impressive stories in this book (so far, as I haven't finished reading it yet) is about St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland. Because she was so full of virtue, love of God and charitableness she would never allow anyone to leave her table without first saying the meal prayer at the end of the meal. It was not uncommon for people to get up and leave after they were done. Instead of using her queenly authority she, in a more delicate way, provided those finished with their meal with plenty to drink until everyone had finished their meal. In this way she was able to insure that all gave their thanks to God in a most charitable manner.
There are several secular and Protestant books on the market, even a few Catholic ones, that try to show how a woman is head of the house and how she influences her family and even beyond with her womanly talents. One of the more famous biblical quotes for this sort of topic is also stated in this book: "Who shall find a valiant (brave-hearted) woman? ... The heart of her husband trusteth in her... She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands... She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night... She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow." - Proverbs xxxi. This book far exceeds those other books in explanation and its so thoroughly Catholic that it would be hard for any other book to compare to this one.
Mirror of True Womanhood, is one of those books that holds its place in every Catholic home's library, as a wonderful wedding gift, a gift for any young lady, for any mother-to-be as well as one that should be read over and over again. There is true beauty in womanhood and it has its own special place. Not a place that is the same as man's but is different yet equal in importance. The same author has also written a book for men titled "True Men as We Need Them." I imagine it is equally fitting for men in our times. These two books can be found in ebook version online for free.
Download them here:Mirror of True Womanhood True Men as We Need Them
"The Rosary is the most efficacious prayer for the increase in the hearts of the faithful of devotion toward the
Mother of God." - Leo XIII
Catholic Life - Feasts, Fasts and Devotions
Printed by Washbourne
This entire month - especially the first Sunday - is devoted to honour the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
The universal popularity of this devotion, and the wonderful graces obtained by its practice, are the best guarantees of its excellence.
The prayers of which it is made up were the favourite prayers of the Church in all ages. The mysteries commemorated make a review of what our Divine Redeemer did and suffered for us. In them we find incitement to practice the virtues most necessary for procuring eternal happiness.
It is easy to see, then, what a powerful means we have to persevere in the love of God, hatred of sin, and control of our passions. Besides, the example of Jesus and Mary encourages us, in our trials, to imitate them.
How many times has the remembrance of the nightly family Rosary of earlier years served as an anchor to a storm-tossed soul, or a shield to defend the youth forced by circumstances to face the dances of bad example or wily seductions? Those in charge of others ought to establish the recitation of the Rosary in common every night before retiring to rest. No matter how humble the home may be or how scant its comforts, the incense of family prayer will make it dear to God, and attract the protection of the Queen of Heaven. Every home thus blessed becomes a cradle of faith, a school of virtue, and a citadel of the Church against the assaults of immorality and infidelity.
"How oft, when trouble filled my breast,
Or sin my conscience pained,
Through thee I sought for peace and rest,
Through thee I peace obtained!
Then hence, in all my pain and cares,
I'll seek for help in thee,
E'er trusting, through thy powerful prayers,
To gain eternity."
Example - Gluck
Gluck, the celebrated composer, was the delicate son of very poor parents in Vienna. He had a beautiful voice, but when singing in the choir of the cathedral he took care that his singing was praying, and not an attempt to attract the attention of the audience.
One day when he had sung an anthem to Mary, in better style than usual, a monk went up to him, and said with emotion, "Oh, my son, you made me shed the most delicious tears of my life to-day. I have nothing to give you in token of my admiration but these Rosary Beads. Keep it in memory of me. Say at least a part of it every day; and if you are faithful to this practice, you will be as dear to God as you will some day be great amongst men."
Gluck was faithful to his Rosary. His family was too poor to allow him to continue his studies. It happened one evening that he was visited by a celebrated choir-master, who was commissioned to go to Italy to collect the works of Palestrina. As a result of the visit, he took the boy with him, promising to complete his instruction. Thence-forth, Gluck walked with giant strides on the path of fame, but was always faithful to his practices of piety.
At the Court of Vienna, in the midst of the evening's amusement, he - now the illustrious maestro - would disappear, and, like a priest for his Office, seek solitude to say his Rosary.
When death, after a glorious life, came to strike him down, it found him prepared. He held in his hand the Beads presented to him in his youthful days by the pious monk.
We are happy to announce the winners of this month's book give -a- way! Make sure to keep checking back as we have a special give -a- way in store for November!
Please email your mailing address in order to claim you prize, all addresses must be in by Friday October 12th 2012 Noon PST in order to receive your prize.
Winner's of the Guardian Angel Book Give -a- Way!
Erin and Elise!
Winners of the Rosary Books Give -a- Way!
Rhonda S Lynch
"Mary in Hebrew signifies lady or sovereign: and truly the authority of her Son, who is the Lord of the world, constituted her Queen, both in fact and in name, from her very birth." -St. Peter Chrys.
The Liturgical Year
By: Dom Gueranger
Time After Pentecost V
FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY NAME OF MARY
'And the Virgin's name was Mary. (St. Luke, i. 27.) Let us speak a little about this name, which signifies star of the the sea, and which so well befits the Virgin Mother. Rightly is she likened to a star: for as a star emits its ray wthout being dimmed so the Virgin brought forth her Son without receiving any injury; the ray akes nought from the brightness of the star, nor the Son from His Mother's integrity. This is the noble star risen out of Jacob, whose ray illumines the whole world, whose splendour shines in the heavens, penetrates the abyss, and, traversing the whole earth, gives warmth rather to souls than to bodies, cherishing virtues, withering vices. Mary, I say, is that bright and incomparable star, whome we need to see raised above this vast sea, shining by her merits, and giving us light by her example.
Oh! whosoever thou art that seest thyself, amid the tides of this world, tossed about by storms and tempests rather than walking on the land, turn not thine eyes away from the shining of this star if thou wouldst not be overhwlemed by the hurricane. If squalls of temptations arise, or thou fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star, call upon Mary. If thou art tossed by the wavese of pride or ambition, detraction or envy, look to the star, call upon Mary. If anger or avarice or the desires of the felsh dash against the ship of thy soul, turn thine eyes towards Mary. If, troubled by the enormity of thy crimes, ashamed of thy guilty conscience, terrified by dread of the judgment thou beginnest to sink into the gulf of sadness or the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in anguish, in doubt, thnk of Mary, call upon Mary. Let her be ever on thy lips, ever in thy heart; and the better to obtain the helpp of her prayers, innitate the example of her life. Following her, thou strayest not; incoking her, thou desparest not' thinking of her, thou wanderest not' upheld by her, thou fallest not shielded by her, thou Following her, thou strayest not' invoking her, thou despairest not' thinking of her, thou anderest not' upheld by her, thou fallest not' shielded by her, thou fearest not; guided by her, thou growest not weary; favoured by her, thou reachest the goal. And thus dost thou experience in thyself how good is that saying; And the Virgin's name was Mary.' (Lessons of the 2nd nocturn of the feast)
Thus speaks the devout St. Bernard, in the name of the Church. But his pious explaination does not exhaust the meanings of this blessed name of Mary. St. Peter Chrysologus adds in this same night Office: 'Mary in Hebrew signifies lady or sovereign; and truly the authority of her Son, who is the Lord of the world, constituted her Queen, both in fact and in name, from her very birth.' (Peter Chyrs. Sermon cxlii, de Annuntiat).
Our Lady: such is the title which befits her in every way, as that of OUR LORD beseems her Son' it is the doctrinal basis of that worship of hyperdulia which belongs to her alone. She is below her Son, whom she adores as we do' but above all God's servants, both angels and men, inasmuch as she is His Mother. At the name of Jesus ever knee is bent' at the name of Mary every head is bowed. And although the former is the only name whereby we may be saved yet, as the Son can never be separated from His Mother, heaven unites their two names in its hymns of praise, earth in its confidence, hell in its fear and hatred.
It was therefore in the order of divine Providence that devotion to the most holy name of Mary should spread simultaneously with the cultus of the adorable name of Jesus, of which St. Bernadin of Siena was the apostle in the fifteenth century. In 1513 the Church of Cuenca in Spain was the first to celebrate, with the approbation of the Holy See, a special feast in honour of the name of Mary, while the Franciscan Order had not yet succeeded in obtaining a like privilege for the adorable name of Jesus. The reason of this is that the memory of that sacred name included the in the feast of the Circumcision, seemed to the prudence of the Pontiffs to suffice. From the same motive we findthe feast of the most holy name of Mary extended to the universal Church in the year 1683, and that of the most holy name of Jesus not until 1721.
Our Lady justifies her beautiful title y partaking in the warlike exploits of the King of kings her Son. The city of Vienna having been delivered by her, contrary to all hope, from the power of the Crescent, the venerable Innocent XI. made this feast the memorial of universal gratitude to the lieratrix of the west But we shall speak more explicitly of this glorious deliverance on September 12th, the day on which it occured.
(To be continued).......
we shared a bit with you on the reprint of the book The Mirror of True Womanhood put out by Refuge of Sinner's Publishing. We also invited you to enter into a drawing for a free book! We are excited to announce that the winner of the book is.....Christine!Christine when you see this would you please contact us with your email and mailing address so that we can get this lovely gem of a book in the mail to you? Congratulations!Thank you to the rest of you who entered to win, it really is a gem of a book and highly recommend purchasing your own copy over at Refuge of Sinner's Publishing or downloading the free ebook to your kindle. Below are a few excerpts from the book to enjoy.
Mirror of True Womanhood
By: Rev. Monsignor Bernard O'Reilly
"But it is the wife or daughter of the man of toil, crushed beneath her load of care and fatigue, or cooped up by night between the narrow walls of an unsavory dwelling in a crowded neighborhood, that we would fain to teach how to rear in the little garden of her soul these flowers of paradise, which will make her a spectacle to the angels and to men."
This section seemed quite fitting for our day and times when so many mother's feel cooped up in the home, held to their duties and when the world promotes working mothers.
Rev. Monsignor O'Reilly lists 7 virtues, qualities to adorn every house with:
"A lively Faith, a piety full of sweetness and modesty, a generous hospitality; holiness of life, serenity and innocence in conversation." He goes into these topics in a great deal.
A lively Faith because God is always here with us and guides us through the trials of our day. Piety, the spirit of dutiful and generous love all in the name of God. Sweet and Modest; sweet in calmness and gentleness with which everything is undertaken and accomplished. Modest; in that no self seeking and no consciousness of evil can disturb or overcast the limpid purity of a soul. Hospitality for we receive Christ himself when receiving others.
In another section of the book Monsignor O'Reilly also cautions, "Keep out the fatal influences which might weaken or destroy the previous boon of Christian faith in your household; bar and bolt your door." Quite the warning for our times when those fatal influences seem to be hiding around every corner.
May you prayerfully find this book a wonderful help in your lives as it has been for myself. May the rest of your week be a most blessed one!
This weeks' Keeping It Catholic Monday
is a day early, but such a great Saint deserves to have her day honored especially when there is so much misinformation spread around about her in our day and age. A great example for converts to the Faith and a great penitent for us all to use as an example of how to choose "the better part". Its long but wonderful, download it here
to print and read.The Liturgical Year- Vol 13 Time After Pentecost Book IVBy: Dom Gueranger, O.S.B.Imprimatur 1927July 22Saint Mary Magdalen'THREE saints,' said our Lord to St. Bridget of Sweden, 'have been more pleasing to me than all others: Mary my mother, John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalen. (Revelationes S. Birgittae, lib. IV., cap. 108). The Fathers tell us that Magdalen is a type of the Gentile Church, called from the depth of sin to perfect holiness; and, indeed, better than any other, she personifies both the wanderings and the love of the most illustrious characters of the law of grace, she has her antitype in past ages. Let us follow the history of this great penitent as traced by unanimous radiation: Magdalen's glory will not be thereby diminished.When, before all ages, God decreed to manifest His glory, He willed to reign over a wold drawn from nothing; and as His goodness was equal to His power, He would have the triumph of supreme love to be the law of that kingdom, which the Gospel likens unto a king who made a marriage for his son (St. Matt. xxii 2).Passing over the pure intelligences whose nine choirs are filled with divine light, the immortal Son of the King of ages looked down to the extreme limits of creation; there he beheld human nature, made, indeed, to know God, but acquiring that knowledge laboriously; its weakness would better show His divine condescension: with it, then, He chose to contract His alliance.Man is flesh and blood: so the Son og God would be made Flesh; He would not have angels, but men for His brothers. He that in heaven is the Splendour of His Father, and on earth the most beautiful of the sons of men, would draw the human race with the cords of Adam (Osee xi. 4). In the very act of creation He sealed His espousals by raising man to the supernatural state of grace, and placing him in the paradise of expectation.Alas! the human race knew not how to await her Bridegoom even in the shades of Eden. Cast out of the garde
n of delights, she prostituted to vain idols in their groves what was left her of her glory. For she had much beauty still, the gift of her Spouse, through she had profaned it: Thou wast perfect through my beauty, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God
(Ezech. xvi. 14).God would not suffer His love to be defeated. Leaving humanity at large to walk in the ways of folly, He chose out a single people, sprung from a holy stock, to be the guardian of His promises. Coming forth from Egypt was consecrated to God and became His inheritance. In the person of Ballam, the former Bride saw Israel pass through the desert, and filled with admiration at the glory of the Lord dwelling with him in his tent, her heart for a moment beat with bridal love. I shall see Him, she cried in her transport, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not near (Num. xxiv. 17). From those wild heights the Star that was to rise out of Jacob, and predicted
the ruin of the Hebrew people who had supplanted her for a time.To soon was this sublime ecstasy followed by still more culpable wanderings! How long wilt thou be dissolute in deliciousness, O wandering daughter? Know thou, and see, that it is an evil and bitter thing for thee to have left the Lord thy God (Jerem. xxxi. 22 and ii. 19). But the ages are passing, the night will soon be over, and the day-star will arise, the sign of the Bridegroom gathering the nations. Let Him lead thee into the wilderness and there He will speak to thy heart. Thy rival knows not how to be a queen; the alliance of Sinai has produced but a slave. The Bridegroom still waits for His Bride.At length the hour came: bending the heavens, He was made sin (2 Cor. v 21) for sinful men; and hidden under the servile garb of mortals, He sat down to table in the house of the proud Pharisee. The haughty Synagogue, who would neither fast with Hon nor rejoice with Christ, was now to see God justifying the delays of His merciful love. 'Let not, like Pharisees,' says St. Ambrose, 'despise the counsels of God. The sons of Wisdom are singing: listen to their voices, attend to their dances; it is the hour of the nuptials. This sang the prophet when he said: Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus (Amb. in Luc).
St. Martha, St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus
And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment (St. Luke vii 37,38). 'Who is this woman? Without doubt it is the Church,' answers St. Peter Chrysologus, 'the Church, weighed down and stained with sins committed in the city of this world. At the news that Christ appeared in Judea, that He is to be seen at the banquet of the Pasch, where He bestows His mysteries and reveals the divine Sacrament, and makes known the secret of salvation, suddenly she darts forward; despising the endavours of the Scribes to prevent her entrance, she confronts the princes of the Synagogue; burning with desire she penetrates into the sanctuary, where she finds Him whom she seeks, betrayed by Jewish perfidy even at the banquet of love; not the passion, nor the Cross, nor the tomb can check her faith, or prevent her from bringing her perfumes to Christ.' (Pet. Chrysol. Sermo xcv)
Who but the Church knows the secret of this perfume? asks Paulinus of Nola with Ambrose of Milan; the Church, whose numberless flowers have all aromas; the Church, who exhales before God a thousand sweet odours aroused by the breath of the Holy Spirit- viz. the virtues of nations and the prayers of the saints. Mingling the perfume of her conversion with her tears of repentance, she anoints the feet of her Lord, honouring in them His humanity. Her faith ,whereby she is justified, grows equally with her love: soon the Head of the Spouse - that is, His divinity - receives from her the homage of the full measure of pure and precious spikenard - to wit, consummate holiness, whose heroism goes so far s to break the vessel of mortal flesh by the martyrdom of love, if not by that of tortures.
Arrived at the height of the mystery, she forgets not even there those sacred feet, whose contact delivered her from the seven devils representing all vices; for to the heart of the Bride, as in the bosom of the Father, her Lord is still both God and Man. The Jew, who would not own Christ either for head or foundation, found no fragrant oil for His head, nor even water for His feet; she, on the contrary ,m pours her priceless perfume over both. And while the sweet odour of her perfect faith fills the earth, now become by the victory of that faith the house of the Lord, she continues to wipe her Master's feet with her beautiful hair - i.e., her countless good works and her ceaseless prayer. The growth of this mystical hair requires all her care here on earth; and in heaven its abundance and beauty will call forth the praise of Him who jealously counts, without losing one, all the works of His Church. Then from her own head, as from that of her Spouse, will the fragrant unction of the Holy Spirit overflow even to the skirt of her garment.
Thou despisest, O Pharisee, the poor woman weeping with love at the feet of thy divine Guest, whom that knowest not; but 'I would rather,' cries the solitary of Nola, 'be bound up in her hair at the feet of Christ, than be seated with thee near Christ, yet without Him.' ( Paulin. ep. xxiii 42) Happy sinner to be, both in her life of sin and that of grace, the figure of the Church, even so far as to have been foreseen and announced by the prophets. For such is the teaching of St. Jerome and St. Cyril of Alexandria; while Venerable Bede, gathering up, according to his wont, the traditions of his predecessors, does not hesitate to assert that 'what Magdalen once did, remains the type of what the whole Church does, and of what every perfect soul must ever do." ( Beda in xii Joann.
We can well understand the predilection of the Man-God for this soul, whose repentance from such a depth of misery manifested so fully, from the outset, the success of His mission, the defeat of Satan, and the triumph of divine love. While Israel was expecting from the Messias nought but perishable goods, when the very apostles, including John the beloved, were looking for honours and first places, she was the first to come to Jesus for Himself alone, and not for His gifts. Eager only for pardon and love, she chose for her portion those sacred feet, wearied in the search after the wandering sheep: here was the blessed altar whereon she offered to her divine Deliverer as many holocausts of herself says St. Gregory, as she had had vain objects of her complacency. Henceforth her goods and her person were at the disposal of Jesus; the rest of her life was to be spent in sitting at His feet, contemplating the mysteries of HIs life, gathering up His every word, following His footsteps, as He preached the Kingdom of God. How swiftly, in the light of her humble confidence, did she outstrip the Synagogue and the very just themselves! The Pharisee might be indignant, her sister might complain, the apostles might murmur: Mary held her peace; but Jesus spoke for her, as if His Sacred Heart were hurt by the least word said against her. AT the death of Lazarus the Master had to call her from the mysterious repose wherein even then shew as seated; her presence at the tomb was of more avail than the whole college of apostles and crowd of Jews. One word from her, though already said by Martha who had arrived first, was more powerful than all the words of the latter; her tears made the Man-God weep, and drew from Him that groan which He uttered before recalling the dead man to life- that divine trouble of a God overcome by His creature. Oh truly, for others as well as for herself, for the world as well as for God Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her. (St. Luke x. 42)
In all that we have said, we have but linked together the testimonies of a veneration universally consistent. But the homage of all the doctors together cannot compare with the honour which the Church pays to the humble Magdalen, when she applies to the Queen of heaven on her glorious Assumption day the Gospel words first uttered in praise of the justified sinner. Albert the Great (Albert. Magn. in vii Luc.) assures us that, in the world of grace as well as in the material creation, God has made two great lights - to wit, two Maries, the Mother of our Lord and the the sister of Lazarus: the greater, which is the Blessed Virgin, to rule the day of innocence; the lesser, which is Mary the penitent beneath the feet of that glorious Virgin, to rule the night by enlightening repentant sinners. As the moon by its phases points out the feast days on earth, so Magdalen in heaven gives the signal of joy to the angels of God over one sinner doing penance. Does she not also share with the Immaculate One the name of Mary, start of the sea, as the Churches of Gual sang in the Middle Ages, recalling how, through one was a Queen and the other a handmaid, both were causes of joy to the Church: the one being the gate of salvation, the other the messenger of the Resurrection? (Sequence Mane prima sabbati- Paschal Time Vol I p 287)
On that great Easter day, Magdalen, like a morning star, announced the rising of the Sun of Justice, who was never more to set. 'Woman,' said Jesus to her, 'why weepest thou? Thou art not mistaken." He seemed to say, 'It is, indeed, the Divine Gardener speaking to htee, the same that planted Eden in the beginning. But now dry thy tears; in this new garden, whose centre is an empty tomb, Paradise is restored; the angels no longer close the entrance; here is the Tree of Life, which has borne fruit these three days past. This fruit, which thou, O woman, art eager, as of old, to seize and taste, belongs to thee now by right; for thou art no longer Eve but Mary. If thou art bidden not to tought it yet, it is because, as thou wouldst not heretofore taste the fruit of death thyself alone, thou mayest not now enjoy the fruit of life till thou bring back him that was first lost through thee.' Thus by the wisdom and mercy of our God, woman is raised to a greater dignity than before the Fall. Magdalen, to whom woman is is indebted for this glorious revence, has hence obtained in the Church's litanies the place of honour above even the virgins; as John the Baptist precedes the whole arm of the saints on account of his privilege of being the first witness to our salvation. The testimony of the penitent completes that of the Precursor: n the word of John the Church recognized the Lamb who taketh away the sins of the world; on the word of Magdalen she hails the Soouse triumphant over death (Sequesce of Easter day). MAnd, judging that by this last testimony Catholic belief is put in full possesion of the entire cycle of mysteries, she to-day intones the immortal symbol, which she deemed premature for the feast os Zachary's son.
O Mary! how great didst thou appear before heaven at that solemn moment when, before the world knew aught of the triumph of life, our Emmanuel the conqueror said to thee: Go My brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God (St. John xx 17). Thou didst represent us Gentiles, who were not to obtain possession of our Lord by faith till after His ascension into heaven. These brethren, to whom the Man-God sent thee, were doubtless those privileged men whom He had called to know Him during His mortal life, and to whom thou, O apostle of the apostles, hadst to announce the mystery of the Pasch; and yet, in His loving mercy, the divine MAster intended to show Himself that same day to many of them; and both thou and they were soon to be witnesses of His triumphant Ascension. Is it not evident that thy mission, O Magdalen, though addressed to the immediate disciples of our Lord, was to extend much further both in space and time? As He entered into His glory, the Conqueror of death already beheld these brethren filling the whole earth. It is of them He had said in the psalm: I will declare thy name to My brethren: in the mist of the Church will I praise thee; in the midst of a people that shall be born which the Lord hath made. (Ps. xxi 23,32) It is of them and of us, the generation to come, to whom the Lord was to be declared, that He said to thee: Go to My brethren and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and your God. Thou didst come, and thou comest continually, fulfilling thy mission towards the disciples, and saying to them: I have seen the Lord, and these things He said to me. (St. John xx 18)
Thou camest, O Mary, when our West beheld thee, treading the rocks of Provence with thine apostolic feet, whose beauty Cyril of Alexandria admires. There seven times a day, raised on angels' wings towards thte Spouse, thou didst point out, more eloquently than any speech could do, the way He took, the way the Church must follow by her desires, until she is reunited with Him for ever. Thou didst prove that the apostolate in its highest reach does not depend on words. In heaven the SEraphim and the Cherubim and Thrones gaze unceasingly upon the Eternal Trintitym without so much as glancing at the world of nothingness; and nevertheless it is though them that pass the strength and light and love which the heavenly messengers in the lower hierarchies distribute to us on earth. Thus, O magdalen, through thou clingest ever to the sacred feet which are now not denied to thy love, and thy life is unreservedly absorbed with Christ in God, thou seemest more than any other to be always saying to us:
If ye be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth.
( Col. iii I,2)
O thou, whose choice, so highly approved by our Lord, had revealed to the world the better part, obtain that that portion may be ever appreciated in the Church as the better - viz., that divine contemplation which begins here on earth the life of heaven, and which in its fruitful repose is the source of all the graces spread by the active ministry throughout the world. Death itself does not take away that portion, but assures its possession for ever, and makes it blossom into the full, direct vision. May he that has received it from the gratuitous goodness of God never strive to dispossess himself of it! 'Happy house,' says the devout St. Bernard, 'blessed assembly, where Martha complains of Mary! But how indignant we should be if Mary were jealous of Martha!' ( Bern .Sermo iii in Assumpt B.V.M.) And St. Jude tells us the awful judgment of the angels who kept not their principality, the familiar friends of God who forsook their own habitation. ( St. Jude 6) Keep up in religious families established by their fathers on heights that touch the clouds the sense of their inborn nobility; they are not made for the dust and noise of the plain: and did they come down to it, they would injure both the Church and themselves. By remaining what they are, they do not, any more than thou, O Magdalen, become indifferent to the lost sheep; but they take the surest of all means for purifying the earth and drawing souls to God.
From thy church at Vezelay thou didst look down one day upon a vast multitude eagerly receiving the cross; they were about to undertake that immortal Crusade, not the least glory whereof is to have supernaturalized the sentiments of honour in the hearts of those Christian warriors armed for the defense of the holy Sepulchre. A similar lesson was given to the world at the beginning of last century; Napoleon, intoxicated with power, would raise to himself and his army a Temple of glory; before the building was completed he was swpt away, and the temple was dedicated to thee. O Mary! bless this last homage of hy beloved France, whose people and princes have always surrounded with deepest veneration thy hallowed retreat at Sainte Baume, and thy church Saint Maximin, where rest thy precious relics. In return, teach them and teach us all, that the only true and lasting glory is to follow saying: Go my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father, and to your Father, to My God and to your God!
During the difference seasons of the year Holy Church inserts in their proper places, as so many precious pearls, the various passages of the Gospel relating to St, Mary Magdalen; for the particulars of her life after the Ascension we are referred to the feast of her sister, St. Martha, which we shall keep in a week's time.
Sweet heart of Mary be my salvation!
August is dedicated by Holy Mother Church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (also know as the Most Pure Heart of Mary).
The files for August for the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board may be found at the end of this post or on the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board Page
.Some special feasts coming up in August:August 6th - The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ AugustAugust 14th- Vigil of the AssumptionAugust 15th- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryAugust 22nd- The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - July 16
The Liturgical Year- Time After Pentecost Vol. IV
By: Dom Gueranger
Towering over the waves on the shore of the Holy Land, Mount Carmel, together with the short range of the same name, forms a connecting link to two other chains, abounding with glorious memories, namely: the mountains of Galilee on the north, and those of Judea on the south.
'In the day of My love, I brought thee out of Egypt into the land of Carmel,' (Cf. Jerem. ii 2,7) said the Lord to the daughter of Sion, taking the name of Carmel to represent all the blessings of the Promised Land; and when the crimes of the chosen people were about to bring Judea to ruin, the prophet cried out: 'I looked, and behold Carmel was a wilderness: and all its cities were destroyed at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of the wrath of His indignation. (Ibid. iv 26). But from the midst of the Gentile world a new Sion arose, more loved than the first; eight centuries beforehand Isaias recognized her by the glory of Libanus, and the beauty of Carmel and Saron which were given her. In the sacred Canticle, also, the attendants of the Bride sing to the Spouse concerning His well-beloved, that her head is like Carmel, and her hair like the precious threads of royal purple carefully wove and dyed (Cant. vii 5).
There was, in fact, around Cape Carmel, an abundant fisher of the little shell-fish which furnished the regal colour. Not far from there, smoothing away the slopes of the hoble mountian, flowed the torrent of Cison, that dragged the carcasses (Judg. v 21) of the Chanaanites, when Debbora won her famous victory. Here lies the plain where the Madianites were overthrown, and Sisara felt the power of her that was called the Mother of Israel (Ibid. 7). Here Gedeom, too, marched against Madian in the name of the Woman terrible as an army set in array (Cant. vi. 3,9), whose sign he had received in the dew-covered fleece. Indeed, this glorious plain of Esdrelon, which streches away from the foot of Carmel, seems to be surrounded with prophetic indications of her who was destined from the beginning to crush the serpent's head: not far from Esdrelon, a few defiles lead to Bethulia, the city of Judith, type of Mary, who was the true joy of Isreael and the honour of her people (Judith xv. 10); while nestling among the northern hills lies Nazareth, the white city, the flower of Galilee (Hieron, Epist. xivi. Paulae et Eustochii ad Marcellam).
When Eternal Wisdom was playing in the world, forming the hills and establishing the mountians, she desitined Carmel to be the special inheritance of Eve's victorious daughter. And when the last thousand years of expectation were opening, and the desire of all nations was developing into the spirit of prophecy, the father of prophets ascended the priviledged mount, thence to scan the horizon. The triumphs of David and the glories of Solomon were at an end: the sceptre of Juda, broken by the schism of the ten tribes, threatened to fall from his hand; the worship of Baal prevailed in Israel. A long-continued drought, figure of the aridity of men's souls, had parched up every spring, and men and beasts were dying beside the empty cisterns, when Elias the Thesbite gathered the people, representing the whole human race, on Mount Carmel, and slew the lying prophets of Baal. Then, as the Scripture relates, prostrating with his face to the earth, he said to his servant: Go up, look towards the sea. And he went up and looked and said: There is nothing. And again he said to him: Return seven times. And at the seventh time: Behold, a little cloud arose out of the sea like a man's foot (3 Reg. xviii).
Blessed cloud! unlike the bitter waves from which it sprang, it was all sweetness. Docile to the least breath of heavenm it rose light and humble, above the immense havey ocean; and screening the sun, it tempered the heart that was scorching the earth and restored to the stricken world life and grace and fruitfulness. The promised Messiaas, the Son of Man, set His impress upon it, showing to the wicked serpent the form of the heel that aws to crush Him. The prophet, personifying the human race, felt his youth renewed; and while the welcome rain was already refersing the valleys, he ran before the chariot of the king of Israel. Thus did he traverse the great plain of Esdrelon, even to the mysteriously-named town of Jezrahel, where, according to Osee, the children of Juda and Israel were again to have but one head in the great day of Jezrahel (i.e., of the seed of God), when the Lord would seal His eternal nuptials with a new people (Osee i. II, and ii. 14-24). Later on, from Sunam, near Jezrahel, the mother whose son was dead crossed the same plain of Esdrelon, in the opposite direction, and ascended Mount Carmel, to obtain from Eliseus the resurrection of her child, who was a type of us all (4 Reg. iv. 8-37). Elias had already departed in the chariot of fire, to await the end of the world, when he is to give testimony, together with Henoch, to the son of her that was signified by the clourd (Apoc. xi 3,7); and the disciple, clothed with the mantle and the spirit of his father, had taken possesion, in the name of the sons of the prophets, of theaugust mountian honoured by the manifestation of the Queen of prophets. Henceforward Carmel was sacred in the eyes of all who looked beyond this world. Gentiles as well as Jews, philosophers and princes, came here on pilgrimage to adore the true God; while the chosen souls of the Church of the expectation, many of whom were already wandering in deserts and in mountians (Heb. xi 38), loved to take up their abode in its thousand grottos; for the ancient traditions seemed to linger more lovingly in its silent forests, and the perfume of its flowers fortokened the Virgin Mother. The cultus of the Queen of Heaven was already established; and to the family of her devout clients, the ascetics of Carmel, might be applied the words spoken later by God to the pious descendants of Reehab: There shall not be wanting a man of this race, standing before Me for ever (Jerem. xxxv. 19).
St. Simon Stock
At length figures gave place to the reality; the heavens dropped down their dew, and the Just One came forth from the cloud. When His work was done and He returned to His Father, leaving His blessed Mother in the world, and sending His Holy Spirit to the Church, not the least triumph of that Spirit of love was the making known of Mary to the new-born Christians of Pentecost. "What a happiness," we then remarked, "for those neophytes who were privileged avow the rest in being brought to the Queen of heaven, the Virgin Mother of Him who was the hope of Israel! They saw this second Eve, they conversed wither, they felt for her that filial affection wherewith she inspired all the disciples of Jesus. The liturgy will speak to us at another season of these flavoured ones (Paschal Time, Voll III. p 314). The promise is fulfilled to-day. In the lessons of the feast of the Church tells us how the disciples of Elias and Elisus became Christians at the first preaching of the apostles, and being permitted to hear the sweet words of the Blessed Virgin and enjoy an unspeakable intimacy with her, they felt their veneration for her immensely increased. Returning to the loved mountain, where their less fortunate fathers had lived but in hope, they built on the very spot where Elias had seen the little cloud rise up out of the sea, an oratory to the purest of virgins; hence they obtained the name of Brothers of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel (Lessons of 2nd Nocturn).
In the twelfth century, in consequence of the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, many pilgrims from Europe came to swell the ranks of the solitaries on the holy mountain; it therefore became expedient to give their hitherto eremitical life a form more in accordance with the habits of Western nations. The legate Aimeric Malafaida, partriach of Antioch, gathered them into a community under the authority of St. Berthold, who was thus the first to receive the tile of Prior-General. At the commencement of the next century, Blessed Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem and also apostolic legate, completed the work of Aimeric by giving a fixed Rule to the Order, which was now, through the influence of princes and knights returned from the Holy Land, beginning to spread into Cyprus, Sicily, and the countries beyond the sea. Soon, indeed, the Christians of the East being abandoned by God to the just punishments of their sins, the vindictiveness of the conquering Saracens reached such a height in this age of trial for Palestine, that the full assembly, held on Mount Carmel under Alan and Breton, resolved upon a complete migration, leaving only a few friars eager for martyrdom to guard the cradle of the Order. The very year in which this took place (1245) Simon Stock was elected General in the first Chapter of the West, held at Aylesford in England.
Simon owed his election to the successful struggle he had maintained for the recognition of the Order which certian prelates, alleging the recent decrees of the Council of Lateran, rejected as having been newly introduced into Europe. Our Lady had then taken the cause of the friars into her own hands, and had obtained from Honorius III the decree of confirmation, which originated to-day's feast. This was neither the first nor the last favour bestowed by the sweet Virgin upon the family that had lived so long under the shadow, as it were, of her mysterious cloud, and shrouded like her in humility, with no other bond, no other pretension than the imitation of her hidden works and the contemplation of her glory. She herself had wished them to go forth from the midst of a faithless people; just, as before the close of that same thirteenth century, she would command her angels to carry into a Catholic land her blessed house of Nazareth. Whether or not the men of those days, or the short- sighted historians of our own time, ever thought of it, the one translation called for the other, just as each completes and explains the other,and each was to be, for our own Europe, the signal for wonderful favours from heaven.
In the night between the 15th and the 16th of July in the year 1251, the gracious Queen of Carmel confirmed to her sons by a mysterious sign the right of citizenship she has obtained for them in their newly adopted countries; as mistress the mother of the entire religious state she conferred upon them with her queenly hands the scapular, hitherto the distinctive garb of the greatest and most ancient religious family of the West. On giving St. Simon Stock this badge, ennobled by contact with her sacred finger, the Mother of God said to him:
"Whosoever shall die in this habit shall not suffer eternal flames."
But not against hell fire alone was the all-powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother to be when every holy soul was imploring heaven to put a period to that long and disastrous widowhood of the Church which followed the death of Clement V, the Queen of Saints appeared to James d'Euse, whom the world was soon to hail as John XXII; she foretold to him his approaching elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate, and at the same time recommended him to publish the privilege she had obtained from her Divine Son for her children of Carmel - viz. a speedy deliverance from purgatory.
"I, their Mother, will graciously go down to them on the Saturday after their death, all whom I find in purgatory I will deliver and will bring to the mountain of life eternal."
Pope John XXII
These are the words of our Lady herself, quoted by John XXII in the Bull which he published for the purpose of making known the privilege, and which was called the Sabbatine Bull on account of the day chosen by the glorious benefactress for the exercise of her mercy.
We are aware of the attempts made to nullify the authenticity of these heavenly concessions; but our extremely limited time will not allow us to follow up these worthless struggles in all their endless details. The attack of the chief assailant, the too famous Launoy, was condemned by the Apostolic See; and after, as well as before, these contradictions, the Roman Pontiffs confirmed, as much as need be, by their supreme authority, and the substance and even the letter of the precious promises. The reader may find in special works the enumeration of the many indulgences with which the Popes have, time after time, enriched the Carmelite family, as if earth would vie with heaven in favoruing it. The munificence of Mary, the pious gratitude of her sons for the hospitality given them by the West, and lastly, the authority of St. Peter's successors, soon made these spiritual riches accessible to all Christians, by the institution of the Confraternity of the holy Scapular, the members whereof participate in the merits and privileges of the whole Carmelite Order. Who shall tell the graces, often miraculous, obtained through this humble garb? Who could count the faithful now enrolled in the holy militia? When Benedict XIII, in the eighteenth century, extended the feast of July 16 to the whole Church, he did but give an official sanction the universality already gained by the cults of the Queen of Carmel.
The holy liturgy gives the following account of the history and object of the feast:
When on the holy day of Pentecost the apostles, through heavenly inspiration, spoke divers tongues and worked many miracles by the invocation of the most holy name of Jesus, it is said that many men who were walking in the footsteps of the holy prophets Elias and Eliseus, and had been prepared for the coming of Christ by the preaching of John the Baptist, saw and acknowledged the truth, and at once embraced the faith of the Gospel. These new Christians were so happy as to be able to enjoy familiar intercourse with the Blessed Virgin, and venerated her with so special an affection, that they, before all others, built a chapel to the purest of Virgins on that very spot of Mount Carmel where Elias of old had seen the cloud, a remarkable type of the Virgin, ascending.
Many times each day they came together to the new oratory, and with pious ceremonies, prayers, and praises honoured the most Blessed Virgin as the special protectress of their Order. For this reason, people from all parts began to call them the Brethren of the Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel; and the Sovereign Pontiffs not only confirmed this title, but also granted special indulgences to whoever called either the whole Order or individual Brothers by that name. But the most noble Virgin not only gave them her name and protection, she also bestowed upon blessed Simon the Englishman the holy scapular as a token, wishing the holy Order to be distinguished by that heavenly garment and to be protected by it from the evils that were assailing it. Moreover, as formerly the Order was unknown in Europe, and on this account many were importuning Honorius III for its abolition, the loving Virgin Mary appeared by night to Honorius and clearly bade them receive both the Order and its members with kindness.
The blessed Virgin has enriched the Order so dear to her with so many privileges, not only in this world, but also in the next (for everywhere she is most powerful and merciful). For it is piously believed that those of her children who, having been enrolled in the Confraternity of the Scapular, have fulfilled the small abstinence and said the few prayers prescribed, and have observed chastity as far as their state of life demands, will be consoled by our Lady while they are being purified in the fire of purgatory, and will through her intercession be taken thence as soon as possible to the heavenly country. The Order thus laden with so many graces, has ordained that this solemn commemoration of the Blessed Virgin should be yearly observed for ever, to her greater glory.
Queen of Carmel, hear the voice of the Church as she sings to thee on this day. When the world was languishing in ceaseless expectation, thou were already its hope. Unable as yet to understand thy greatness, it nevertheless, during the reign of types, loved to clothe gratitude for benefits foreseen, it surrounded these with all the notions of beauty, strength, and grace suggested by the loveliest landscapes, the flowery plains, the wooded heights, the fertile valleys, especially of Carmel, whose very name signifies 'the plantation of the Lord. On its summit our fathers, knowing that Wisdom had set her throne in the cloud, hastened by their burning desires the coming of the saving sign: at length there was given to their prayers what the Scripture calls perfect knowledge, and the knowledge of the great paths of the holy clouds (Job xxxvii 16). And when He who maketh His chariot and His dwelling in the obscurity of a cloud had here in shown Himself, in a nearer approach, to the practiced eye of the father of prophets, when did a chosen band of holy persons gather in the solitudes of the blessed mountain, as heretofore Israel in the desert, to watch the least movements of the mysterious cloud, to receive from it their guidance in the paths of life, and their light in the long night of expectation.
O Mary, who from that hour didst preside over the watches of God's army, without ever failing for a single day: now that the Lord has truly come down through thee, it is no longer the land of Judea alone, but the whole earth that thou coverest as a cloud, shedding down blessings and abundance. Thine ancient clients, the sons of the prophets, experienced this truth when, the land of promise becoming unfaithful, they were forced to transplant into other climes their customs and traditions; they found that even into our far West the loud of Carmel had poured its fertilizing dew, and that nowhere would its protection be wanting to them. This feast, O Mother of our God, is the authentic attestation of their gratitude, increased by the fresh benefits wherewith thy bounty accompanied the new exodus of the remnant of Israel. And we, the sons of ancient Europe, we too have the right to echo the expression of their loving joy; for since their tents have been pitched around the hills where the new Sion built upon Peter, the cloud has shed all around showers of blessing more precious than ever, driving back into the abyss the flames of hell and extinguishing the fire of purgatory.
Whilst, then, we join with them in thanksgiving to thee, deign thyself, O mother of divine grace, to pay our debt of gratitude to them. Protect them ever. Guard them in these unhappy times, when the hypocrisy of modern persecutors has more fatal results than the race of the Saracens. Preserve the life in the deep roots of the old stock, and rejoice it by the accession of the new branches, bearing, like the old ones, flowers and fruits that shall be pleasing to thee, O Mary. Keep in the hearts of the sons of that spirit of retirement and contemplation which animated their fathers under the shadow of the cloud; may their sisters, too wheresoever the Holy Spirit has established them, be ever faithful to the traditions of the glorious past, so that their holy lives may avert the tempest and draw down blessings from the mysterious cloud. May the perfume of penance that breathes from the holy mountain purify the now corrupted atmosphere around; and may Carmel ever present to the Souse the type of the the beauties He loves to behold in His Bride!
The Visitation of Our Lady
The Liturgical Year - Time After Pentecost Book III
By: Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B.
Our Lady's visit to her cousin Elizabeth already engaged our attention whilst we ewre preparing for the Christmas festival. But it is only fitting to return again to an event so important in our Lady's life; the mere commemoration of this mystery made on Ember-Friday in Advent would be insufficient to bring forward all it contains of deep teaching and holy joy. Since in the course of centuries the holy liturgy has been gaining more and more completeness, it is but natural that this precious mine should come to be further opened in honour of the Virgin Mother. The Order of St. Francis, it would seem, as well as certain particular churches, such as Rheims and Paris for example - had already takne the initiative, when Urban VI, in 1389, instituted to-days' solemnity. The Pope counselled at fast on thevigil of the feast, and ordered that it should be followed by an octave; he granted for its scelebration the same indulgences as Irban IV had, in the previous century, attached to the festival of Corpus Christi. The Bull of promulgation, stopped by the Pontiff's death, was again taken up and published by Boniface IX, his successor on the Chair of Peter.
We learn from the lessons of the Office formerly composed for this feast, that the object of its institution was, a Irban conceived it, to obtain the cessation of the schism then desolating the Church. The Papacy, exiled from Rome for seventy years, had barely re-entered it, when hell, infuriated at a return which crossed all its plans, had taken revenge by ranging under two leaders the flock of the one sheepfold. So deep was the obscurity wherewith miserable intrigues contrived to cover the authority of the legitimate shepherd, that numbers of churches, in all good faith, began to hesitate , and ended at last in prefering the deceptive staff of the hireling. Thicker yet waws the darkness to grow, till night should be so dense, that for a moment the conflicting mandates of three Popes would simultaneously spread through the world; whilst the faithful, struck with stupor, would be at an utter loss to discern accurately which was the voice of Christ's true Vicar. Never had the bride of the Son of God been in a more piteous situation. But our Lady, to whom the true Pontiff had turned at the first rising of the storm, did not betray the Church's confidence. During all those years whilst the unfathomable justice of the Most High let the powers of hell hold sway, she stood for the defence of holy Church, trampling on the head of the old serpent so thoroughly under her victorious foot, that in spite of the terrific confusion he had stirred up, he was unable to sully the faith of the people. Their attachment wa ssteadfast to the unity of the Roman See, whosoever might be, in this uncertainty, its veritable occupant. Thus the West, divided in fact, but in principle ever one and undivided, reunited herself spontaneously as soon as God's moment came for the return of light. The hour having arrived for the Queen of saints to assum the offensive, she would not content herself with merely re-establishing at its former post the army of the elect; Satan now must expiate his audacity by being forced to yield back to holy Church those conquests which for centuries had seemed his for ever. The dragon still raged at Basle, when Florence already beheld the heads of Greek schism, the Armenians and the Ethiopians, the cavillers of Jerusalem, of Syria and of Mesopotamia, all compensating by their unhoped-for adhesion to the Roman Pontiff for the anguish just suffered in the West.
It was now to be shown that such a return of nations, in the very midst even of the tempest, was indeed the work of her who had been called upon by the pilot, half enemy now put to confusion, little ones shall rejoice, all shall be filled with benediction, and Pontiffs shall be perfected. (Ps. cxxxi 8,9, 14-18). Let us join the tribute of our songs to John's exulting gladness, to Elizabeth's sudden exclamations, to Zachary's canticle; therewith let earth re-echo! Thus in bygone days was the ark hailed as it entered the Hebrew camp. Hearing their should, the Philistines learned that help had come from the Lord; and, seized with terror, they groaned aloud saying: "Woe to us; for there was no such great joy yesterday and the day before: woe to us! (I Kings iv 5-8) Verily this day the whole human race, together with John, leaps for joy and shouts with a great shout; verily this day has the old enemy good reason to lament: the heel of the woman (Gen. iii 15), as she stamps him down, makes his haughty head to wince for the first time: andJohn, set free, is hereby the precursor of us all. More happy are we, the new Israel, than was the old, for our glory shall never be taken away; never shall be wrested from us that sacred Ark which has led us dry-shod across the river (Josue iii, iv), and has levelled fortresses to the dust at its approach (Ibid. vi.).
Justly then is this day, whereon an end is put to the series of defeats begun in Eden, the day of new canticles for a new people! Yet who may intone the hymn of triumph but she to whom the victory belongs? "Arise, arise, O Debbora, arise; arise and utter a canticle (Judge. v 12). The valiant men ceased and rested in Israel, until Mary arose, the true Debbora, until a mother arose in Isreal (Ibid. 7). "It is I, it is I, " Saith she, "that will sing to the Lord. I will sing to the Lord the God of Israel (Ibid. 3). I magnify the Lord with me, as saith my grandsire David, and let us extol his Name together (PS. xxxiii 4). My heart hath rejoiced, like that of Anna, in God my Saviour (I Kings iii). For even as in his handmaid Judith, by me he hath fulfilled his mercy (Judit xiii 18), so that my praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever (Ibid. 25, 31; xv II). For mighty is he that hath done great things in me (Exod. xv 2, 3, 11); there is none holy as he (I Kings ii 2). Even as by Ester, he hath throughout all generations saved those who feared him (Esth. ix 28), in the power of his arm (Judith ix 11), he hath turned against the impious one the projects of his own heart, driving proud Aman out of his seat and uplifting the humble; the bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength; the abundance of them that were rich hath passed to the hungry, and they are filled (I Kings ii 4,5), he hath remembered his people, and hath had pity on his inheritance (Esth, x 12). Such, indeed, was the promise that Adam received and our fathers have handed down unto us: and he hath done to them even as he had promised (Ibid. xiii 15; xiv 5)."
Daughters of Sion and all ye who groan in the thraldom of Satan, the hymn of deliverance has sounded in our land! Following in her train, who beareth within her the pledge of alliance, let us form into choirs; better than Mary, Aaron's sister, and by yet juster title, she leads the concerts of Israel (Exod. xv 20, 21). So sings she on this day of triumph, victorious chants which, in the ages of expectation, preluded this divine canticle of hers. But the past victories of the elect people where but figures of that which is gained by our glorious Queen on this day in her manifestation; for she, beyond Debbora, Judith or Esther, has truly brought about the deliverance of her people; in her mouth the accents of her illustrious predecessors pass from the burning aspiration of the prophetic age to the calm ecstasy which denotes that she is already in possession of the long- expected God,. A new era is fitly inaugurated by sacred chants: divine praise receives from Mary that character which henceforth it is never to lose, even in eternity.
The preceding considerations have been suggested by special motive which led the Church to institute this feast in the fourteenth century. again, in our own day, as Mary shown that this date is indeed for her day of victory. On the second of July, in the year 1849, Rome was restored to the exiled Pontiff Pius IX. But we should far exceed the limits of our present scope, were we to strive to exhaust the teachings of this vast mystery of the Visitation. Besides, some have been already given in our Advent volume; and others more recently on the feast and octave-day of St. John's Nativity. (See the hard copy of the book for Vespers and explanation of the Mass for this day.)