The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Mystical Rose

The prophet Isaias, in speaking of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, says: “There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise out of his root” (Isaias 11:1). “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord” (Isaias 11:2-3).

In Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is found the verification of those words of the prophet. She is the rod from the root of Jesse, and from it shall bud forth a flower in the person of her Son, Jesus, the promised Redeemer. Hence it was that Saint Elizabeth saluted her upon the occasion of Mary’s visit to her: “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” (Luke 1:42-43).

While Saint Elizabeth learned, by a supernatural light, that Mary was the rod of the root of Jesse, from which should come the flower, her Divine Son, Jesus; Zachary, her spouse, was also filled with the Holy Spirit and gave forth his prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people: and hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David, His servant” (Luke 1:68-69). At the same time, our sweet loving Mother Mary, inspired by the Holy Ghost, who had overshadowed her, gave expression to her intense love of God in that ever memorable canticle, the Magnificat: “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Saviour. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name” (Luke 1:46,47,49).

Like the rose among the thorns, Mary, the beautiful “rod of the root of Jesse,” among the children of men, grew up, increasing in loveliness and fragrance day by day, until, in the words of the psalmist, the “King of Kings greatly desired her beauty.” She possessed all the beauty of origin, blood, mind and heart, but, above all, of grace and virtue. Because of her loveliness, God, the Father, chose her for His daughter, God, the Son, for His Mother, and God, the Holy Ghost, for His spouse.

A closer or more intimate union never existed nor could exist, than that between God and Mary, the rose of His Garden, that grew midst the thorns of trials and sorrows, until in His own good time, He transplanted it from the earthly into the eternal garden of paradise.

“The spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord,” that filled her soul, gave her such a profound and pure knowledge of God, which entered her soul by a sublime contemplation, together with an experimental love so intimate that it lost itself in its union with God in such a way, as to be, so to speak, transformed into Him. This union, mystical in its nature, was gained by her through the secret operation of the Holy Ghost, which is known only to God and Mary, ever Virgin.

Her conception of the Divine Person, our redemption through Him, all the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary are mysteries, known but to God and her. To Mary are attributed the words of the Canticle: “I am the flower of the field” (Canticle 2:1). She is the fairest of the flowers and she is all beautiful to behold. She is the mystical flower of the root of Jesse, than which there is none more lovely among all the flowers of the field. She is the rose which is the most fragrant and beautiful of flowers. Connected with the Godhead by the most sacred and closest of unions, her divine maternity, she is honored by Holy Mother Church under the glorious title of Mystical Rose.