The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Morning Star

“A star shall rise out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). This star of Jacob prefigures the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is born into the world as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, and is as the morning star that forecasts the rising of the sun of Eternity.

At her birth the angels of God exclaim in beholding her: “Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” (Canticle 6:19).

Justly may we say of her what the angels of God announced to the shepherds out in the fields at the birth of the Saviour: “I bring you glad 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. Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will” (Luke 2:10,11,14).

In creating Mary immaculate, Virgin most pure, Virgin most chaste, God had before Him His Divine Son, who was to be born of her. Her conception and birth foreshadowed the coming of the Saviour. She is the morning star of the day of days when He shall be born who will illumine every man that comes into the world.

Prior to the advent of the Redeemer, holy souls who were looking for the redemption of Israel sighed and prayed for it, pleading with God to open the Heavens and rain down the just One.

If, at times, a faint glimmer of hope of the long-looked for day appeared on the horizon, with all the powers of their souls they poured forth prayers of thanksgiving. What would have been their transports of joy had they known that in the birth of Mary, they would perhaps live to see the day wherein the Redeemer would be born.

A dark dismal night had cast its gloom over the whole earth, which could be dissipated only by the coming of the Saviour. Mary was the dawn of that day. “The night is passed and the day is at hand” (Romans 13:12). Mary gives us hope, for while she is not the day itself, she is the harbinger of it.

We see not yet the promised One, but we do behold the splendor of her who is to be His Virgin Mother. She is as the morning star that forecasts the coming of the day so earnestly prayed for.

Eve was the first to give way to the tempter and eat of the forbidden fruit, Mary, the new Eve, is the fruit in the order of redemption to foil the serpent’s insidiousness and triumph over Him, for she is the immaculate, from whose virginal womb shall come the promised Redeemer who will save His people.

When the Magi came to Jerusalem seeking the new born king of the Jews, they said to the king: “We have seen His star in the East” (Matthew 2:2). Though all Jerusalem was unconscious of the wonderful happenings at its very doors, a star in the heavens guided those of the east to the manger where they found the child wrapped in swaddling clothes, and falling upon their knees they adored Him.

Oblivious of the star that was to rise out of Jacob, the world slumbered whilst from out of the heavens came an archangel to announce its appearance and admire it: “Hail, full of grace,” spoke the messenger of God to Mary, the humble Virgin of Nazareth, who was heaven’s first blessing to earth in the order of redemption. “Hail, full of grace,” without stain, all loveable in the sight of her Creator, rising, as the morning star, of the day, the great day, wherein it would be said, the Saviour is born among us.

Saint Elizabeth proclaimed it, inspired by the Holy Spirit, “whence comes it that the Mother of my God should come to me?” The great and holy man Simeon gave vent to the same joy, when, in the temple, he received the child Jesus into his arms, he said: “Now, thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, because my eyes have seen thy salvation” (Luke 2:29-30).

The night had passed and the day was at hand, for the star had risen out of Jacob, the morning star, our sweet, our loving Mother Mary, preceded the great day, wherein the desired of all nations was to make His appearance in the person of Jesus, the Son of the ever glorious Virgin Mary.