The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Queen of Apostles

The patriarchs slept with their fathers, the prophets passed into the home of their eternity: both in their day and generation fulfilled well the mission given them by the Almighty. They were His special servants among men, preserving and handing down to succeeding generations the comforting promise of a Messiah.

The great day dawned, and the Redeemer was born into the world. The promise was accomplished. The humble Virgin Mary of Nazareth was the chosen one among women, by reason of her immaculateness, to become the Mother of the “Word made flesh.” He is the way, the truth and life of the world; its promised Redeemer.

Mary carried Him for nine months in her chaste womb, gave birth to Him, and cared for Him through the years of His infancy, childhood and young manhood. She presented Him to the world as the God-man: the Saviour foretold by patriarch and by prophet. She took Him to the temple, for the rite of circumcision, as required by law for all male children; she made Him known as God, when, at the marriage feast of Cana, He changed water into wine at her behest. She was the first to declare to men and nations, to Jew and Gentile, that her Son, Jesus, was the Christ, the Son of God, true God and true man.

Thereafter Christ went about doing good everywhere, preaching the glad tidings He had brought down from Heaven and working miracles. To perpetuate Himself among men, to continue His mission among the nations, He commissioned His Apostles to teach all peoples, that He is in very truth the promised Redeemer.

The twelve patriarchs were the fathers of the Jewish nation; the twelve Apostles were the spiritual fathers of the Christian people. It is also held by Saint Thomas that the number of the Apostles corresponded to the twelve stars that formed the crown that rested upon the head of the spouse spoken of in the Apocalypse, that is of Mary.

Christ selected His Apostles from among the poor and illiterate, that it might the better appear from what source they drew their power and knowledge.

“For God,” says Saint Paul, “hath chosen the foolish things of the world, that He may confound the wise, and the weak things of the world hath God chosen that He may confound the strong. And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible hath God chosen, and things that are not, that He might bring to naught, things that are. That no flesh should glory in His sight” (I Corinthians 1:27,28,29).

The world glories in its wisdom, power and honor, whilst God selects the less wise according to the world, the less powerful, that the world may know that the work done is a divine work.

The Apostles lived scantly; they neither desired nor sought earthly goods; they possessed nothing; they died to all around them to live but for God.

Such was the life of Mary in a sublime degree. She passed her days in comparative seclusion, as poor as the poorest, satisfied with her close union with God in prayer and contemplation. The Apostles lived not for themselves, but they lived and died for Christ, who first gave His life for them. Mary lived for Jesus, and died of pure love for Him. The Apostles lived and died for the good of souls. Mary’s life was one of sacrifice and love for the redemption of men. Isaias, seeing the Apostles through the light of divine revelation, spoke of them in transports of joy: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that brings good tidings, and that preaches peace: of Him that shows forth good, that preaches salvavation, that saith to Sion, thy God shall reign” (52:7).

The Apostles were the ministers of Jesus Christ; the defenders of truth; the organs of the Holy Ghost; the messengers of the Word of God. They went everywhere, preaching Christ and Him crucified. Mary was the Virgin Mother of Jesus, the depository of eternal truth, the spouse of the Holy Ghost and the constant companion of the man of sorrows. Of the Apostles the words of Ecclesiasticus may be truly spoken: “These were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed” (Ecclesiastes 44:10).

Mary is the Mother of mercy and the dispenser of the graces that flow from the seat of mercy. Her deeds of godliness never abate, they are in our own times the admiration of the people of God. For years after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, she remained with the Apostles, helping them by her prayers, and leading them onward to noble deeds by her admirable example. They were bowed in grief, when they laid the body of their queen in the tomb, where it was to remain, however, but a few days. It was soon taken into Heaven to enjoy for all eternity the beatific vision, and to welcome the Apostles at their death, into the kingdom of her Son, their Divine Master.