Rorate Caeli

O Gloriosa Domina!

Attendite, popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei. (From the Introit for the Mass of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor - cf. Psalm lxxvii, 1: Attend, o my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.)

[I]t is one thing to say that God cannot, and another that he will not, grant graces without the intercession of Mary. We willingly admit that God is the source of every good, and the absolute master of all graces; and that Mary is only a pure creature, who receives whatever she obtains as a pure favor from God. But who can ever deny that it is most reasonable and proper to assert that God, in order to exalt this great creature, who more than all others honored and loved him during her life, and whom, moreover, he had chosen to be the Mother of his Son, our common Redeemer, wills that all graces that are granted to those whom he has redeemed should pass through and be dispensed by the hands of Mary?

We most readily admit that Jesus Christ is the only Mediator of justice, according to the distinction just made, and that by his merits he obtains us all graces and salvation; but we say that Mary is the mediatrix of grace; and that receiving all she obtains through Jesus Christ, and because she prays and asks for it in the name of Jesus Christ, yet whatever graces we receive, they come to us through her intercession.
There is certainly nothing contrary to faith in this, but the reverse. It is quite in accordance with the sentiments of the Church, which, in its public and approved prayers, teaches us continually to have recourse to this divine Mother, and to invoke her as the "health of the weak, the refuge of sinners, the help of Christians, and as our life and hope" ("Salus infirmorum, Refugium peccatorum, Auxilium Christianorum, Vita, Spes nostra"). In the Office appointed to be said on the feasts of Mary, this same holy Church, applying the words of Ecclesiasticus to this Blessed Virgin, gives us to understand that in her we find all hope. In me is all hope of life and of virtue! ("In me omnis spes vitae et virtutis"—Ecclus. xxiv, 25) in Mary is every grace, In me is all grace of the way and of the truth ("In me gratia omnis viae et veritatis"). In Mary, finally, we shall find life and eternal salvation: Who finds me finds life, and draws salvation from the Lord ("Qui me invenerit, inveniet vitam, et hauriet salutem a Domino"—Prov. viii, 35). And elsewhere: They that work by me shall not sin; they that explain me shall have everlasting life ("Qui operantur in me, non peccabunt. Qui elucidant me, vitam aeternam habebunt"—Ecclus. xxiv, 30-31). And surely such expressions as these sufficiently prove that we require the intercession of Mary.
Moreover, we are confirmed in this opinion by so many theologians and Fathers, of whom it is certainly incorrect to say ... that, in exalting Mary, they spoke hyperbolically and allowed great exaggerations to fall from their lips. To exaggerate and speak hyperbolically is to exceed the limits of truth; and surely we cannot say that saints who were animated by the Spirit of God, which is truth itself, spoke thus.

If I may be allowed to make a short digression, and give my own sentiment, it is, that when an opinion tends in any way to the honor of the most Blessed Virgin, when it has some foundation, and is not repugnant to the faith, nor to the decrees of the Church, nor to truth, the refusal to hold it ... shows little devotion to the Mother of God. Of the number of such as these I do not choose to be, nor do I wish my reader to be so, but rather of the number of those who fully and firmly believe all that can without error be believed of the greatness of Mary [...].

Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Le Glorie di Maria


  1. St. Alphonsus Ligouri said...

    "but rather of the number of those who fully and firmly believe all that can without error be believed of the greatness of Mary [...]."


    Oh holy Blessed Mother,
    Who am I
    To ever complain?

    The suffering
    And brutality
    Of your Son you did sustain.

    His scourging then
    The crown of thorns
    Placed upon His sacred Head,

    You followed Him
    To Golgotha
    Where His body hung till dead.

    So, now, I can participate
    Though unbloody
    The Mass is free...

    Because Blessed you
    Accepted His cross,
    Blood-Bread now burgeons in me!

  2. How beautiful are all the writings of St. Alphonsus de Liguori. O great Doctor of the Church, pray for us and for those who dwell in error!


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