Our Blessed Mother
– Mediatrix of All Graces
|Our Lady is always ready to help us in any way. We can run to Her for help, protection, and we are always assured of Her love. As Mediatrix of all Graces, She is there to help us at all times. So came Her title as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.|
A peasant came to the castle in tears. He asked to see the queen, who loved her people very much. The queen listened to the man with love and sympathy. He owed, he said, some fruit to his master, but because of a bad season his fruit had rotted. The queen smiled, and said she would take care of it. She asked him for some of the fruit and told him to wait.
She went to the king with the fruit. She had, however, decorated it, made it beautiful. She removed all that was spoiled, put the fruit in a gold vessel and decorated it with flowers. This she offered to the master. The king smiled, and accepted the offering as the man’s payment. “Do you wish to present something to God, however small it be?” questions St. Bernard. “Place it in the hands of Mary, if you do not wish (to) be refused.”
Mary is closely united to the Trinity; She is Daughter, Mother, Spouse. To love, honor and to be devoted to Her is to glorify the One Who created Her: God. She acts as our intercessor with God, just as the queen did for the peasant in the parable.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, goes one step further. He says that not only is Our Lady able to intercede for us, but that it is necessary that She do so. We must, therefore, be devoted to Our Lady. St. Alphonsus says, “No one denies that Jesus Christ is our only mediator of Justice, and that He by His merits has obtained our reconciliation with God”; and St. Bernard, another Doctor of the Church says, “Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother, for the more She is honored, the greater the glory of Her Son.”
St. Lawrence Justinian asks, “How can She be otherwise than full of grace, Who has been made the ladder to Paradise, the gate of Heaven, the most true Mediatress between God and man?”
The great Jesuit theologian Suarez affirms that if we implore Our Blessed Lady to obtain a favor, it is not because we distrust the Divine Mercy, but rather because we fear our own unworthiness and the absence of proper dispositions; and we recommend ourselves to Mary, that Her dignity may supply our lowliness.
St. Alphonsus affirms that it is the general opinion of theologians and learned men that this necessity of Mary's intercession for our Salvation proceeds from the will of God, and that all graces that He dispenses should pass through the hands of Mary.
St. Bernard explains this teaching in these words, “As every mandate of grace that is sent by a king passes by the palace-gates, so does every grace that comes from Heaven to the world pass through the hands of Mary.”
St. Alphonsus, quoting from Proverbs, “She is like the merchant’s ship, She bringeth Her bread from afar,” beautifully compares Mary to the ship that brought us Jesus Christ from Heaven, Who is the Living Bread that comes down from Heaven. Jesus Himself told us, “I am the Living Bread, which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever.” Richard of St. Lawrence, using the same comparison, says, “That in the sea of this world all will be lost who are not received into the ship,” that is to say all those who are not protected by Mary. “Therefore”, he adds, “as often as we see ourselves in danger of perishing in the midst of the temptations and contending passions of this life, let us have recourse to Mary, and cry out quickly, O Lady, help us, if Thou wilt not see us perish.”
St. Alphonsus even shows that our requests for help addressed to the Saints are brought by them to Mary. He says, “What difficulty can there be in saying that God, in order to honor His Mother, and having made Her Queen of Saints, and willing that all graces should be dispensed by Her hands, should also will that the Saints should address themselves to Her to obtain favors for their clients?”
St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor, said that he who neglects to be devoted to Our Lady will perish in his sins.
From these passages it seems clear that anyone who ignores Our Blessed Lady in his search for Christ and the salvation of his soul is foolish indeed. Our Blessed Mother is so easy to address, She loves us so much, even the greatest sinners can ask and be assured of help.
Worldly lovers often speak of and praise those whom they love, in order that the object of their affections may be praised and extolled by others. There are some who pretend to be lovers of Mary, and yet seldom either speak of or endeavor to excite others to love Her: their love cannot be great. It is not thus that true lovers of this amiable Lady act; they desire to praise Her on all occasions, and to see Her loved by the whole world, and never lose an opportunity, either in public or private, of enkindling in the hearts of others those blessed flames of love with which they themselves burn towards their beloved Queen.
That everyone may be persuaded how important it is, both for his own good and that of others, to promote devotion towards Mary, it is useful to know what theologians say on the subject. St. Bonaventure says, that those who make a point of announcing to others the glories of Mary are certain of Heaven; and this opinion is confirmed by Richard of St. Lawrence, who declares, “that to honor this Queen of Angels is to gain eternal life;” and he adds, “that this Most Gracious Lady will honor in the next world those who honor Her in this.” And who is ignorant of the promise made by Mary Herself, in the words of Ecclesiastes, to those who endeavor to make Her known and loved here below; “they that explain me shall have life everlasting”; for this passage is applied to Her by the Church, in the office of the Immaculate Conception.
St. Bonaventure, who did so much to make the glories of the Blessed Virgin Mary known exclaims, “Rejoice then, rejoice my soul, and be glad in Her for many good things are prepared for those who praise Her;” and he says that the whole of the Sacred Scriptures speak in praise of Mary: “let us therefore always with our hearts and tongues honor this Divine Mother in order that we may be conducted by Her into the kingdom of the blessed.”