Virgin Mary & Saints

St. Louis IX King of France

August 25th

Feast Of The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15th

TODAY the Virgin Mary ascended to Heaven; rejoice, for she reigns with Christ
for ever.’
The Church will close her chants on this glorious day with this sweet antiphon,
which resumes the object of the feast and the spirit in which it should be
No other solemnity breathes, like this one, at once triumph and peace; none
better answers to the enthusiasm of the many and the serenity of souls
consummated in love. Assuredly that was as great a triumph when our Lord,
rising by His own power from the tomb, cast hell into dismay; but to our souls,
so abruptly drawn from the abyss of sorrows on Golgotha, the suddenness of
the victory caused a sort of stupor to mingle with the joy of that greatest of
days. In presence of the prostrate angels, the hesitating apostles, the women
seized with fear and trembling, one felt that the divine isolation of the
Conqueror of death was perceptible even to His most intimate friends, and kept
them, like Magdalen, at a distance.
Mary’s death, however, leaves no impression but peace; that death had no other cause than love. Being a mere
creature, she could not deliver herself from that claim of the old enemy; but leaving her tomb filled with flowers,
she mounts up to Heaven,
flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved.
Amid the acclamations of the
daughters of Sion, who will henceforth never cease to call her blessed, she ascends surrounded by choirs of
Heavenly spirits joyfully praising the Son of God. Never more will shadows veil, as they did on earth, the glory
of the most beautiful daughter of Eve. Beyond the immovable Thrones, beyond the dazzling Cherubim, beyond
the flaming Seraphim, onward she passes, delighting the Heavenly city with her sweet perfumes. She stays not
till she reaches the very confines of the Divinity; close to the throne of honor where her Son, the King of ages,
reigns in justice and in power; there she is proclaimed Queen, there she will reign for ever more in mercy and in
Here on earth Libanus and Amana, Sanir and Hermon dispute the honor of having seen her rise to Heaven from
their summits; and truly the whole world is but the pedestal of her glory, as the moon is her footstool, the sun her
vesture, the stars of Heaven her glittering crown. .Daughter of Sion, thou art all fair and sweet, ‘l cries the
Church, as in her rapture she mingles her own tender accents with the songs of triumph: .I saw the beautiful one
as a dove rising up from the brooks of waters ; in her garments was the most exquisite odor; and as in the days of
spring, flowers of roses surrounded her and lilies of the valley.’
The same freshness breathes from the facts of Bible history wherein the interpreters of the sacred Books see
the figure of Mary’s triumph. As long as this world lasts a severe law protects the entrance to the eternal palace;
no one, without having first laid aside the garb of flesh, is admitted to contemplate the King of Heaven. There is
one, however, of our lowly race, whom the terrible decree does not touch; the true Esther, in her incredible
beauty, advances without hindrance through all the doors. Full of grace, she is worthy of the love of the true
Assuerus; but on the way which leads to the awful throne of the King of kings, she walks not alone : two
.handmaids, one supporting her steps, the other holding up the long folds of her royal robe, accompany her; they
are the angelic nature and the human, both equally proud to hail her as their mistress and lady, and both sharing in her glory
If we go back from the time of captivity, when Esther saved her people, to the days of Israel’s greatness, we
find our Lady’s entrance into the city of endless peace represented by the Queen of Saba coming to the earthly
Jerusalem. While she contemplates with rapture the magnificence of the mighty prince of Sion, the pomp of her
own retinue, the incalculable riches of the treasure she brings, her precious stones and her spices, plunge the
whole city into admiration.
There was brought no more,
says the Scripture,
such abundance of spices as these
which the Queen of Saba gave to King Solomon!
The reception given by David’s son to Bethsabee, his mother, in the third Book of Kings, no less happily
expresses the mystery of today, so replete with the filial love of the true Solomon.
Then Bethsabee came to King
Solomon . . . and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne, and a throne was
set the king’s mother: and she sat on his right hand.
O Lady, how exceedingly dost thou surpass all the servants
and ministers and friends of God !
On the day when Gabriel came to my lowliness,’ are the words St. Ephrem puts into thy mouth, ‘from handmaid I
became Queen; and I, the slave of Thy Divinity, found myself suddenly the mother of Thy humanity, my Lord
and my Son I O Son of the King who hast made me His daughter, O Thou Heavenly One, who thus bringest into
Heaven His daughter of earth, by what name shall I call Thee?’ The Lord Christ Himself answered; the God
made Man revealed to us the only name which fully expresses Him in His twofold nature; He is called THE
SON. Son of Man as He is Son of God, on earth He has only a Mother, as in Heaven He has only a Father. In the
august Trinity He proceeds from the Father, remaining consubstantial with Him; only distinguished from Him in
that He is Son; producing together with Him, as one Principle, the Holy Ghost. In the external mission He fulfills
by the Incarnation to the glory of the Blessed Trinity —- communicating to His humanity the manners, so to say,
of His Divinity, as far as the diversity of the two natures permits —- He is in no way separated from His Mother,
and would have her participate even in the giving of the Holy Ghost to every soul. This ineffable union is the
foundation of all Mary’s greatnesses, which are crowned by today’s triumph. The days within the Octave will
give us an opportunity of showing some of the consequences of this principle; today let it suffice to have laid it
As Christ is the Lord,’ says Arnold of Bonneval, the friend of St. Bernard, .Mary is Lady and sovereign. He who
bends the knee before the Son kneels before the Mother. At the sound of her name the devils tremble, men
rejoice, the angels glorify God. Mary and Christ are one flesh, one mind, and one love. From the day when it
was said,
The Lord is with thee,
the grace was irrevocable, the unity inseparable; and in speaking of the glory of
Son and Mother, we must call it not so much a common glory as the selfsame glory .’ O Thou, the beauty and the
honor of Thy Mother,’ adds the great deacon of Edessa, thus hast Thou adorned her in every way; together with
others she is Thy sister and Thy bride, but she alone conceived Thee.”
Rupert in his turn cries out: .Come then, O most beautiful one, thou shalt be crowned in Heaven Queen of saints,
on earth Queen of every kingdom. Wherever it shall be said of the Beloved that He is crowned with glory and
honor, and set over the works of His Father’s hands, everywhere also shall they proclaim of thee, O well beloved,
that thou art His Mother, and as such Queen over every domain where His power extends; and, therefore,
emperors and kings shall crown thee with their crowns and consecrate their palaces to the
Dom Gueranger,
The Liturgical Year
lmighty everlasting God, who hast taken body and soul into heaven the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of thy
Son: grant, we beseech thee, that by steadfastly keeping heaven as our goal we may be counted worthy to join
her in glory.
hrough the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy
Ghost, God, world without end.