Little Lives of the Great Saints – The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God And Queen of Saints and Angels

detail of a stained glass rose window of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception; date unknown, artist unknown; Saint Nicholas Catholic Church, Zanesville, Ohio; photographed on 31 December 2014 by Nheyob; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

“Ave Maria! Thou whose name,
All but adoring love may claim.”

“Bright Mother of our Maker, hail!
Thou Virgin ever blest,
The Ocean’s Star by which we sail
And gain the port of rest!”

It brings us back to the dawn of ages. It is the saddest event recounted in history. Tears cluster around the very words. Our first parents fell, and were driven out of the lovely garden of Paradise. True happiness departed for other spheres. Sin came. The beauty of the world was blighted, but the human race was not left hopeless. The serpent, in time, would be crushed; and a woman, it was promised, would repair the evil done by woman.

This much we learn in the third chapter of that Sacred Book which goes back to the beginning, and fails not to carry us with mysterious grandeur to the consummation of ages.

But in the meantime long centuries rolled by. The Deluge nearly swept mankind out of existence. Great empires arose, flourished, and decayed. The world was far from becoming better. God was almost forgotten; but at length, unseen, the glorious light of the bright day of promise began to dawn on this sin-dimmed earth.

At Nazareth, a city of Galilee, there lived a good, humble man of the race of David, named Joachim His wife was Anne. They had walked in the ways of virtue, but heaven had not blessed them with children.

The goodness of Joachim and Anne, however, was not left unrewarded. Twenty years passed away, and on the 8th of September a wonderful child was sent to cheer their old age. The promised Virgin, who was to repair the primitive fault, was born; and she came into the world clothed with inexpressible purity and beauty. On the ninth day, according to custom, the Babe Immaculate received the name of Mary.

“And assuredly,” says Saint Bernard, “the Mother of God could not have a name more appropriate, or more expressive of her high dignity. Mary is in fact, that fair and luminous star which shines over the vast and stormy sea of this world.”

“Mary, sweet name revered above,
And oh, how dear below!
In it are hope and holy love,
And blessings from it flow!”

The child’s understanding, like the day in some favored regions, had scarcely a dawn. It shone out clearly from her earliest years. Her precocious virtue and the wisdom of her words, at a period of life when other children still enjoy but a purely physical existence, made the parents judge that the time of separation was come; and when Joachim had offered to the Lord, for the third time since the birth of his daughter, the first-fruits of his small inheritance, the husband and wife, grateful and resigned, set out for Jerusalem, in order to deposit within the sacred precincts of the Temple the treasure which they had received from the Holy One of Israel.

The ancient capital of Judea was soon reached, and for the first time Mary passed through its ponderous gates and beheld its frowning battlements. The pious parents presented their child in the great Temple of the Lord of Hosts. She was received by the priest with the usual ceremonies, and then placed among the consecrated virgins, who occupied a portion of the sacred edifice set apart especially for themselves.

Mary spent the best years of her young life in the Temple. It was the precious time of preparation. The future Virgin- Mother was well educated, but in those days domestic duties were wisely looked upon as important branches of education. She arose daily with the lark, thought of the holy presence of God, and dressed herself with the greatest modesty.

“Her toilet,” writes the Abbe Orsini, “was extremely simple, and occupied but little time. She wore neither bracelets of pearl, nor chains of gold inlaid with silver, nor purple tunics, such as were worn by the daughters of the princes of her race. A robe of celestial blue, a white tunic, confined at the waist by a cincture with flowing ends, a long veil, simply but gracefully arranged so as completely to cover the face when necessary—these, with a kind of shoe corresponding to the robe, composed the oriental costume of Mary.”

Each day had its hours for the exercises of religion. The voice of prayer and the hymn of praise were wafted aloft from the pure lips of the young Virgin.

We are told that Mary was somewhat above the middle stature. Her lovely face was the mirror of her most pure and beautiful soul, and her person was physical perfection itself. She was the most exquisite work of nature. Saint Denis the Areopagite, who saw the Blessed Virgin, assures us that she was of dazzling beauty.

She excelled in embroidery and all the accomplishments of her time. She had a perfect understanding of Holy Scripture. But of her physical, mental, and moral gifts this heavenly Girl made no parade. She spoke little, and always to the purpose. Virtue and good sense regulated her thoughts, words, and actions.

Thus Mary passed silently along the way of life like some fair star gliding through the silver-lined clouds. Thanks to her Immaculate Conception, she possessed a sweet and natural inclination to virtue; and her shining deeds were like the wreath of snow which silently falls on the mountain-top, adding purity to purity and whiteness to whiteness, till it rears itself into a shining cone which attracts the rays of the sun and dazzles the eye of man.

The Blessed Mary had spent nine years in the retirement of the Temple, when the first dark cloud obscured her young life. Joachim, her beloved father, fell dangerously ill; and she came home just in time to pray at his bedside and to receive his last blessing. But still another affliction was at hand. A short time after, Saint Anne blessed her dear daughter and died in peace. Mary was now an orphan, but she bore her sorrow in silence and patience.

It is the opinion of several distinguished writers that it was at this period, when her path was darkened by the clouds of sadness and desolation, that the holy young Virgin made her vow of perpetual virginity, and offered, for ever and forever, the purest of pure hearts to God.

But while Mary was always to remain the Immaculate Virgin, it was manifested to her, as a decree of Heaven, that she should enter the marriage state. The choice was made. The divine will pointed out Joseph; and it is said that Mary received the solemn assurance from on high that this man of many merits would be to her only a protector, a worthy companion, and the honored guardian of her angelic chastity. The marriage ceremony was performed in Jerusalem, and at the end of a week, Saint Joseph and his beautiful bride retired to the birthplace of both, the town of Nazareth.

Blessed was the humble home of Mary and Joseph. It was guarded by angels. It was full of peace, purity, and happiness. While he attended his workshop, she joyfully made the round of her daily duties. With her own delicate hands she prepared the meals, and ground the wheat and barley, which she then baked in the form of thin, round cakes. And, wrapt in her white veil, this illustrious Virgin might often be seen as, with graceful modesty, she went on her way to draw water in a neighboring fountain.

But the dawn of a mighty event drew near—an event so extraordinary that it was announced by Gabriel, one of the four bright angels who always stand before Almighty God in the Court of Heaven.

“The Angel Gabriel,” says the Holy Book, “was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin’s name was Mary.

“And the angel being come in, said to her: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.’

“Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this might be.

“And the angel said to her: ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.’

“And Mary said to the angel: ‘How shall this be done, because I know not man?’

“And the angel answering, said to her: ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And, therefore, the Holy who shalt be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. For no work shall be impossible with God.’

“And Mary said: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.'”

Even towards an angel of heaven how wise is Mary’s conduct, how beautiful her words! Had the great saints and philosophers of all time been engaged for years in framing an answer to the wonderful announcement of Gabriel, we feel sure they would have tried in vain to compose anything that so bears the shining seal of force, beauty, brevity, wisdom, and humility as the immortal words that issued from the lips of the Blessed Virgin – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.”

On hearing those precious words the angel disappeared, and Jesus Christ became man in the womb of the Immaculate Mother.

Soon after this, the Most Holy Mary went to pay a visit to her cousin, Saint Elizabeth, who lived in a city in the hill-country of Judea.

“And she entered into the house of Zachary,” writes Saint Luke, “and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; and she cried out with a loud voice, saying:

“‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.'”

On hearing these prophetic words, Mary pronounced that inspired and beautiful poem called the Magnificat:

“My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

“Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

“Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and Holy is His name.

“And His mercy is from generation unto generation, to them that hear Him

“He hath shown might in His arm; He hath scattered the proud in conceit of their heart.

“He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.

“He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent away empty.

“He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers—to Abraham and his seed for ever.”

Mary remained three months in her cousin’s country-house, which was in a fertile valley near the city of Ain. She then returned home. But now we find ourselves on the threshold of a mighty event.

“It came to pass,” writes Saint Luke, “that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the Governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled—every one into his own city.

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and family of David—to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

“And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“And there was in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night-watches over their flocks. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear and the angel said to them:

“‘Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people; for this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you—you shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.’

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.’

“And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us.’

“And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard wondered at those things that were told them by the shepherds.

“But Mary kept all these words pondering them in heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them”

“What lovely Infant can this be
That in the little crib I see?
So sweetly on the straw it lies –
It must have come from Paradise.
Who is that Lady kneeling by,
And gazing on so tenderly?
Oh! that is Mary ever blest—
How full of joy her holy breast!
What man is that who seems to smile,
And look so blissful all the while?
‘Tis holy Joseph, good and true –
The Infant makes him happy too.”

On the eighth day after His birth, the Son of God was circumcised, and named Jesus, in accordance with the command of His heavenly Father. Doubtless many of the good, simple people came daily to adore the wonderful Babe in the manger. But a miracle of greater celebrity soon brought the first converts of the Gentile world to the same lowly crib. “The shepherds of Judea, had led the way,” writes Orsini; “it was for kings and sages to follow.”

“Now, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, writes Saint Matthew, “behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: ‘Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore him.’

“And King Herod hearing this was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him And assembling together all the chief priests and the Scribes of the people, he enquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: ‘In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet’:

“And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come forth the Ruler that shall rule my people Israel.

“Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said: ‘Go and diligently enquire after the Child; and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was.

“And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house they found the Child with Mary His Mother, and falling down they adored Him And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.”

Forty days after the birth of our Lord, the Most Blessed Virgin prepared to return to Jerusalem in order to fulfill the law of Moses, which prescribed the purification of mothers and the redemption of the first-born. This law, it is true, applied not to Mary. Though she was the mother of the Redeemer, she was still the purest of virgins. But like Christ Himself she wished “to fulfil all justice .” “For the sake of example,” writes Bossuet, “she willingly submitted to a law which was in no way binding on her, because the secret of her virginal maternity was unknown.”

Scarcely had Mary, Joseph, and the Holy Infant entered the Temple for the purpose of making the necessary offering when Simeon, a venerable old man, followed. He had been anxiously “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” “And he received an answer from the Holy Ghost,” says Saint Luke,” that he should not see death before he had seen Christ of the Lord.”

When Simeon saw the Divine Child, he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, exclaiming:

“Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace. Because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people—a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.”

The Most Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph “wondered at those things which were spoken concerning Him And Simeon blessed them,” continues the Evangelist, “and said to Mary His Mother: ‘Behold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.'”

The Holy Family returned to Nazareth, but their stay there was to be short. One night an angel appeared to Saint Joseph in his sleep. “Arise,” whispered the messenger of Heaven, “and take the Child and His Mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy him”

The Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph asked the blessing of the Divine Child, which He bestowed in a manner not to be mistaken. Then, gathering their humble garments, they departed a little after midnight, making use of the same beast of burden which they had brought from Nazareth to Bethlehem The soft moonlight illumined the dreary earth, and guided the lone, silent march of the blessed travelers. “The weather was still cold,”‘ says Saint Bonaventure, “and while crossing Palestine, the Holy Family had to choose the wildest and least frequented roads.”

The poor but illustrious fugitives hastily passed over hill, and plain, and valley, and often by the secluded den of the murderous robber. Then came the perilous desert. On leaving the city of Gaza, whose decaying towers re-echoed the hoarse murmur of the waves, they saw before them only immense wastes of sand, dreary, desolate, and frightful in their wild nakedness. A scorching wind agitated the desert, and a fiery sky seemed to change the very face of nature. At length, after a long and painful journey of about four hundred and twenty miles, the Holy Family reached the outskirts of the pagan but historic land of Egypt.

As the weary travelers entered the gate of the famous city of Heliopolis a majestic tree under which they passed bowed down to the earth in honor of the God of nature. Near this city was a pretty village, shaded with lofty sycamores, and having the only fountain of fresh water in Egypt. There, in a poor habitation, the Holy Family found rest and safety; at last they were free from the power and malignity of Herod.

But now came a time of toil, exile, and extreme poverty. “As they were poor,” writes the great Saint Basil, “it is clear that they had to work very hard in order to procure the necessaries of life, and even these—were they always able to obtain them?” “It often happened,” says Landolph of Saxony,” that the Child Jesus, pressed by hunger, asked His Mother for bread when she had none to give Him.”

When the infant Saviour was a year old, He first broke silence, and spoke in a distinct voice to his faithful foster-father. “My father,” said the little Jesus, as He rested in his Mother’s arms, “I am come from heaven to be the light of the world, and as a good shepherd, to seek and to know my sheep, and to give them the food of eternal life. I desire that you may both become children of the light, since you are so near to its Source .”

Soon after this He said to the Most Holy Virgin: “My Mother, you will clothe me in a long tunic of a plain color. I will wear none but it. It shall grow with me, and it shall be for this that they will cast lots after my death.” This sweet Mother did as she was desired, and spun, wove and made the seamless tunic, which lasted the Son of God during His mortal life.

Even to this day tradition recalls the memorable sojourn of the Holy Family in the land of the Pharaos. The majestic sycamore, in whose grateful shade Mary loved to sit with the Divine Child on her knee, is still pointed out, after the lapse of over eighteen centuries.

After the Holy Family had spent about seven years in Egypt, an angel appeared to Saint Joseph in his sleep. “Arise,” said he, “and take the Child and his Mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead, that sought the life of the Child.” The guardian of Jesus and Mary did as he was commanded. “And coming,” says the Holy Book,” he dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was said by the prophets—’that he shall be called a Nazarite.'”

Again the Holy Family were in their humble home, and again it was a life of cheerful toil, lighted up by the sacred presence of the Holy Child.

The Most Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph observed faithfully the law of their fathers, and went every year to Jerusalem in order to celebrate the Passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, they made the journey as usual. It took the pilgrims four days to reach the Holy City, then filled with countless multitudes.

When the festival was over, Mary and Joseph set out for home, while Christ remained in Jerusalem; “and,” says Saint Luke, “His parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought Him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance; and not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.

“And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers.”

It was thus the Divine Boy was occupied when His Mother made her way through the doctors, with a look of mingled joy, wonder, and tender reproach. “Son!” said she mildly, “why hast Thou done so to us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” The answer was dry and mysterious: “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Mary and Joseph were silent. It seemed that at the moment they failed to grasp the drift of His reply. But “He went down with them,” continues the Evangelist, “and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them And His Mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.”

For many years the life of the Holy Family is lost to the gaze of the world. It is unknown to history. But this was doubtless the time in which Mary spent her best and brightest days. Life is not happiest when it rolls on with the noise of the winter torrent; its most precious hours are those which glide gently by like the calm current of some silvery stream.

But the clouds began to gather. Saint Joseph grew very feeble during the last years of his life. He was assailed by a long and severe illness; and finally, at the urgent request of our Blessed Lady, he ceased working. “I will now labor for you,” said this heavenly Woman, “in testimony of my gratitude, and as long as the Lord shall give us life.”

Thus Mary toiled with more than heroic devotion for the support of Christ and Saint Joseph. God so willed it, in order that her merits and virtues might reach the sublime pinnacle of perfection, and shine as an example which may well put the children of Adam to shame.

At this time the Immaculate Virgin was thirty-three years of age, and, according to Mary of Agreda, her holy form retained all its natural perfections. Her pure and beautiful countenance was the admiration of the angels. It was the mirror of her own peerless soul.

Our Blessed Redeemer had just reached His twenty-sixth year when the Angel of Death called away the noble Saint Joseph. The head of the Holy Family was no more. His end was happy. Jesus and Mary consoled his last moments. “The great ones of Galilee,” says Orsini, “died not thus. More show and greater ostentation attended their departure; but, at the final moment they had not the glorious prospects of the carpenter of Nazareth.”

Christ worked His first miracle at the request of His holy Mother. It was at the historic wedding of Cana. “They have no wine,” said the sweet, thoughtful Lady. There was a moment’s hesitation, as His “hour had not yet come;” but He said to the waiters, “Fill the water-pots with water.” It was done. “Draw out now,” said the same divine lips; and the delicious wine astonished even the chief steward.

During the public career of our Lord, we can well imagine that Mary’s angelic breast was filled with mingled joy and anxiety. She followed His blessed footsteps. She listened to His words of life and power. She bore with matchless fortitude the trials of that busy, troubled period.

“Loving Jesus more than ever mother loved her child,” writes Orsini, “yet never did she intrude into His presence when, by so doing, she might interfere with the duties of His regenerating mission. Never once did she speak to Him of her fatigue, her fears, her melancholy forebodings, or her personal wants.”

But the sublime end came, and Mary stood upon Calvary. Our unworthy pen may not describe that touching and sacred scene.

“Under the world’s redeeming wood
The most afflicted Mother stood.
Mingling her tears with her Son’s blood.

“As that streamed down from every part,
Of all His wounds she felt the smart –
What pierced His body, pierced her heart.

“Oh! worse than Jewish heart that could,
Unmoved behold the double flood
Of Mary’s tears and Jesus’ blood.

“Great Queen of sorrows! in thy train
Let me a mourner’s place obtain,
With tears to cleanse all sinful stain.”

“Behold thy Mother,” said the dear, dying Lord to Saint John. A moment passed, He bowed His holy head, the earth trembled, rocks were rent, and the Redemption of the world was accomplished!

Forty days after Christ’s Ascension into heaven, we find the Immaculate Virgin at prayer in the “upper chamber,” where, in the company of the Apostles, she received the Holy Ghost. She was the luminous pillar that guided the march of the infant Church. To her the Evangelists came for light; the Apostles for unction, courage, and constancy; the afflicted for spiritual consolation; and all went away praising and blessing the ever-blessed Mary.

Saint John the Evangelist, her adopted son, took this sweet Holy Mother under his protection. They lived in Jerusalem But of this period history knows next to nothing. It is hidden with God. It would, indeed, be inspiring to penetrate into the last years of Mary’s Immaculate life, in order to study closely that lofty ideal of human perfection. But the true sign and special excellence of that matchless perfection is to remain hidden; and, for the world, its hidden obscurity is the best example and the highest instruction.

The traditions of the early Church, however, have preserved the remembrance of the Mother of God’s manners and personal appearance in her last years. “In every action,” says Nicephorus, “she evinced gravity, dignity, and honor. She spoke little, and only when it was necessary. To others she willingly listened. She was gentle, humble, and affable, rendering to every one the respect they deserved. She ignored laughter, trouble, and anger; but she was horrified at wickedness. Her eyes were brilliant, but dimmed and hollowed from weeping. Her hands were bloodless and transparent; and all her features were sharpened by constant suffering.” Saint Denis the Areopagite, who witnessed the death of the Most Blessed Virgin, tells us that even then she was still strikingly beautiful.

At length there came a day, lovely and solemn, when the peerless soul of Mary winged its flight to heaven. The end is thus recounted by Nicephorus:

“In those days an angel was sent to Mary by her Son, in order to warn her that the time was near to return to Him, as an angel had formerly given her notice that God was to come to her.

“Having learned through him that her day was at hand, her heart was filled with very great joy; and, having made it known to her friends and to her relatives, she prepared herself for her final passage. Then, soon after, she was forced to take to her bed in the dwelling she occupied upon Mount Sion.

“There was Saint John, who had sheltered her, and with him all the illustrious Christians living in Jerusalem, who were attached to Mary either by relationship, by veneration, or by friendship.

“Then Mary gave orders to the Virgin Disciple, and to the others assisting, to distribute her two tunics to those of the widows in her vicinity who towards her had testified the most affection.

“Hearing her speak in that manner, all shed abundant tears over the solitude wherein they would be left by the departure of Mary.

“Finally, her Divine Son descended from heaven, with the countless army of holy angels, to receive that soul so entirely celestial.

“The Apostles, likewise, had assembled from all parts, and Mary, seeing them gathered around her with lighted torches, bade them adieu with great gladness, giving thanks to her Son.

“Then she fell back, dying, upon her bed, joining her hands gravely and religiously, and decently disposing her venerable body—purer than the sun. ‘Be it done to me according to thy word,’ she whispered, and at once seemed to fall asleep.

“And thus surrounded by all those who were most dear to her, did she yield up her blessed soul.”

Her precious body was laid in the tomb, but there it was not to repose. It was too pure to feel the cold breath decay. It soon rejoined the glorified soul, and nothing more remained of Mary in this world. Crowned in the heights of Heaven was she.

“Who so above
All mothers shone –
The Mother of
The Blessed One.”

“Mary, so beautiful and bright.
More lovely than the morning light,
I pray to thee, look down on me,
Sweet Star that shines o’er life’s dark sea.

MLA Citation

  • John O’Kane Murray, M.A., M.D. “The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God And Queen of Saints and Angels”. Little Lives of the Great Saints, 1879. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 September 2018. Web. 17 November 2018. <>