The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Virgin Most Merciful

Out of pure mercy, Jesus, from all eternity, spoke the word to His eternal Father: “Behold, I come.” Out of pure mercy, Mary spoke the word to the Almighty: “Behold, the Handmaid of the Lord.” By the word of Jesus the Redeemer of men was made possible; in the word of Mary, the way was at hand through which the Saviour could come into the world.

As the Apostle Saint Paul calls God, “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (II Corinthians 1:3); Mary may well be styled the mother of all mercies and the queen of all comfort. Her feelings of tender love and ineffable tenderness for poor fallen humanity are as wings upon which she comes to the help of those who invoke her aid.

Saint Anselm assures us that salvation at times is more certain through the invocation of Mary most merciful Virgin, than by supplication to Jesus Himself. Jesus, as our judge, must inflict condign punishment, whereas Mary, our sweet, loving Mother, has only a feeling of mercy for us.

Saint Bernard has well said: “Let Him, O Blessed Virgin, deny your mercy who shall have called in vain upon you in the hour of distress! Who, O Blessed Virgin, can sound the width, the height and the depth of your mercy!” (Serin. IV. de Assump.)

It was through the compassionate mercy of Mary that Jesus performed His first miracle at the marriage of Cana, when he changed water into wine. Her mercy for us caused her to follow in the footsteps of her Divine Son, as he bore upon his bruised and bleeding shoulders the heavy weight of the cross, laden, as it was, with our sins.

Out of pure mercy for suffering humanity, she stood erect beneath the rood of her Son, Jesus, and made the offering of her heart’s blood in that of the sacred heart of Jesus for our redemption. Did not her most loving soul repeat the words of mercy spoken by our Lord upon the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”? (Luke 23:34). She knew His innocence; she understood His generous heart; she was well aware that He was giving His life for those who persecuted Him and nailed Him to the Cross. No word of complaint or reproach escaped her lips, but with a heart full of mercy and a soul full of compassion, she pleaded with an outraged God for mercy upon the heads of an ungrateful people.

When the lifeless body of her Jesus was lowered from the Cross and laid in her arms, she pressed her dead Son to her mother’s loving bosom, as she did so often in His life time during His infancy and childhood. Even in that trying moment she prayed that His mercy might go out to all the generations of men and through His infinite love for them, bring them to the throne of mercy, that with her they might bless for all eternity, Him whom they so unmercifully put to death.

While Jesus rose triumphant from the dead and ascended into Heaven to plead there with His Father for mercy for all men, Mary still remained on earth to be among them a merciful suppliant to Heaven for mercy.

With contrite and loving hearts we should constantly have recourse to her now that she is enthroned in glory beside her Divine Son, and say to her: O Mother of Clemency, our life, our sweetness and our hope, turn thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the fruit of thy womb, our merciful Redeemer, Jesus.