THE VIRTUES OF THE
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY:
TAKEN FROM THE GLORIES OF MARY
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1931
ON THE HUMILITY OF MARY
MARY'S CHARITY TOWARDS GOD
MARY'S CHARITY TOWARDS HER NEIGHBOR
THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER AND MEDITATION IN MARY
POEM-HYMN: THE LOVELINESS OF MARY
MARY, VIRGIN OF VIRGINS
SAINT AUGUSTINE says, that to obtain with more certainty, an din
greater abundance the favor of the saints, we must imitate them; for
when they see us practise their virtues, they are more excited to pray
for us. The Queen of Saints and our principal Advocate, mary, has no
sooner delivered a soul from Lucifer's grasp, and united to God, than
she she desires that it should begin to imitate her, otherwise she
cannot enrich it with the graces that she would wish, seeing it so
opposed to her in conduct. Therefore Mary calls those blessed who with
diligence imitate her life: Now,
therefore, children, hear me; blessed are they that keep my ways.
Whosoever loves, resembles the person loved, or endeavors to become
like that person; according to the well-known proverb, "Love either
finds or makes its like." Hence St. Sophronius exhorts us to endeavor
to imitate Mary, if we love her, because this is the greatest act of
homage that we can offer her; "my beloved children," the Saint says,
"serve Mary, whom you love; for you then truly love her. If you
endeavor to imitate her whom you love." Richard of St. Laurence says
"that those are and can call themselves true children of Mary, who
strive to imitate her life." "Let the child, then," concludes St.
Bernard, "endeavor to imitate his Mother, if he desires her favor; for
Mary seeing herself treated, as a Mother, will treat him as her child."
Although there is little recorded in the Gospels of Mary's virtues in
detail, yet when we learn from them that she was full of grace, this
alone gives us to understand that she possessed all virtues in a heroic
degree. "So much so," says St. Thomas, "that whereas other Saints
excelled, each in some particular virtue,---the one in chastity,
another in humility, another in mercy,---the Blessed Virgin excelled in
all, and is given as a model of all." St. Ambrose says, "Mary was such,
that her life alone was a model for all." And then he concludes in the
following words: "Let the virginity and life of Mary, be to you as a
faithful image, in which the form of virtue is resplendent. Thence
learn how to live, what to correct, what to avoid, and what to retain."
Humility being the foundation of all virtues, as the holy Fathers
teach, let us in the first place consider how great was the humility of
the Mother of God.
NOTE: ENGLISH USAGE OF THE TRANSLATOR MAINTAINED.