THE CROWN OF TWELVE STARS
We may be sure that never is Mary invoked in vain. An appeal to her is always rewarded and is far more efficacious than an appeal to any other saint. This was revealed to a Dominican saint by the Mother of God herself; he has left it in writing for our benefit:
1. “What Mary asks of God she invariably obtains.
2. “God withholds His mercy from no one for whom Mary prays.
3. “The world would long since have been destroyed had not Mary upheld it by her intercession.
4. “The love of Mary for sinners is greater than that of any one human being for another.
5. “Such is the love of Mary for sinners that, did God permit, she would be willing to make atonement for each one by daily bearing all the sufferings of the world.
6. “The least service shown to Mary, were it merely the recital of the Angelic Salutation, is worth more than an act a thousandfold greater performed in honor of one of the other saints.
7. “A single Ave Maria is of more value than any temporal gift of body or soul, of life or death.
8. “As the firmament of heaven surpasses all the stars in magnitude, so does the loving-kindness of Mary surpass that of all the saints.
9. “As the sun exceeds in its beneficent action all the other orbs, so does the assistance Mary renders us exceed that of all the other saints.
10. “The veneration shown to Mary rejoices all the blessed.
11. “The veneration paid to the saints may be compared to silver; that which is paid to Mary may be compared to gold; that which is paid to Christ, to precious gems; while that which is paid to the Holy Trinity is like all the stars in splendor.
12. “Never does a day pass without some souls being rescued from purgatory by Mary.” These twelve privileges or graces are the crown of twelve stars which St. John saw encircling Our Lady’s head. He who ponders them well cannot fail to feel himself irresistibly drawn to the service and veneration of Mary. Who would not gladly say a Hail Mary in her honor when he hears that she herself declares this short prayer to be worth more than any gift of body or soul? Who would not rejoice to enroll himself in her service when he is told that what he does for her is of far greater value than what is done for any other saint? Let us serve her, then, with zeal and fervor, especially by hearing Mass, and offering to her the sacrifice of her dear Son. For every time Mass is said Jesus is born anew in a mystic manner, and Mary’s high dignity as His Mother is renewed.