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

The ever glorious and blessed Virgin Mary was prefigured in the Old Testament by many great and distinguished women. Among them we find the peerless heroine, Judith, who was especially renowned by the might of her arm.

Her people, the people of Israel, were in imminent danger of falling into the hands of Holofernes, who was subjugating all before him, obliging the conquered to bow down before the king Nebuchodonosor and worship him as their God. In his conquests he nears Bethulia, occupied by the Israelites, and sends his army to beseige the city. Consternation takes hold upon the people. They fear to fall into the hands of Holofernes, which meant that they should either worship the king or be put to a most cruel death. There lived among them a very holy servant of God by name Judith.

Filled with the spirit of God, she addressed the ancients of the people, she encouraged them to pray and to rely on the power of the God of Israel. They ask her to beseech the Lord for them, as she is a holy woman.

Judith took leave of them, retired to pray and to prepare herself for her undertaking. She besought the God of Hosts to grant her constancy in mind and fortitude in her purpose of overthrowing Holofernes. “For,” she exclaimed, “this will be a glorious moment for Thy name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman” (Judith 9:15).

She went forth into the camp of the Assyrians, was apprehended by them and taken to Holofernes. This is what she sought. Having ingratiated herself into the good will of the general, she, under God, accomplished her design, by decapitating him, and straightway returned to her people.

“Praise ye the Lord,” she said to them, for “by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel; and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night. Behold the head of Holofernes, the general of the army of the Assyrians, the Lord our God slew him by the hand of a woman” (Judith 13:20-26).

The achievement of Judith foreshadowed the power to be displayed in her day by the most powerful of the servants of God, Mary, ever Virgin, in the part taken by her in our Redemption. “But the Almighty Lord,” said Judith, “hath struck him and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him” (Judith 16:7).

The time had come for God to fulfill the promise made to man in the garden of Paradise, to send him a Redeemer who would deliver him from the slavery of the most wicked one. For this he chose His handmaid, the spotless Virgin Mary, and through her He struck the wily serpent, and beneath her heel crushed his head by the fruit of her virginal womb, Jesus.

She, the humble Virgin of Nazareth, by her immaculateness, found favor in the sight of the Almighty God, who looked complacently upon the beauty and humility of His handmaid and gave her power over the enemy of His people, that she might overthrow him and free those in bondage.

Of her is born the Saviour, who put Satan to flight, conquered the powers of darkness, re-opened heaven, and where sin abounded grace still more abounds. All was lost, now all is redeemed.

Not only one people is saved, but all men and nations are set free through Jesus, the Son of the Virgin of Virgins, Virgin most pure, most chaste. She is the Mother of Jesus, the Redeemer of all men, the Saviour of all the angels, the power of God’s strong arm.

On earth and in Heaven, by men and by angels, she is hailed as the Virgin most powerful, since all have participated in the beneficent efficacy of the power that He who is almighty gave to her.