|Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la -Garde, Marseille|
The Holy Virgin is often compared to a mother, but she is much better still than the best of mothers; for the best of mothers sometimes punishes her child when it displeases her, and even beats it: she thinks she is doing right. But the Holy Virgin does not so; she is so good that she treats us with love, and never punishes us.The heart of this good Mother is all love and mercy; she desires only to see us happy. We have only to turn to her to be heard.The Son has His justice, the Mother has nothing but her love.God has loved us so much as to die for us; but in the heart of our Lord there is justice, which is an attribute of God; in that of the most Holy Virgin there is nothing but mercy. Her Son was ready to punish a sinner; Mary interposes, checks the sword, implores pardon for the poor criminal. "Mother," Our Lord says to her, "I can refuse you nothing. If hell could repent, you would obtain its pardon."The most Holy Virgin places herself between her Son and us. The greater sinners we are, the more tenderness and compassion does she feel for us. The child that has cost its mother most tears is the dearest to her heart.
Saint John Mary Vianney