The Feast of the Holy Rosary

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The Feast of the Holy Rosary

“I was as a rose-plant.”–Eccl. xxiv, 18.

In various passages of the Old and New Testaments we find prayer compared to a sweet odor rising before the throne of God. And referring to the faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost, Sacred Scripture calls her a rose-plant. This appellation recalls to our mind that method by which we frequently invoke and honor the blessed Mother of God: it reminds us of the holy Rosary. Every Catholic is sufficiently well acquainted with the manner in which this beautiful devotion is performed.

It consists in this: that whilst saying the Our Father and Hail Mary, we meditate on the mysteries of our holy faith, which, if duly considered and dwelt upon, will draw from the heart the sweet odor of pious emotions.

Today I wish to speak of those emotions of the soul which mostly determine the efficacy of the devotion of the holy Rosary; of the emotions which render prayer agreeable to Mary, acceptable before God, and greatly conducive to our own sanctification. 

If, in reciting the Rosary, we do not reflect at all, or only carelessly, on the mysteries of our holy faith, we may be assured that we do not pray except with our lips, and that such a prayer will be to us of no or of but little avail. And yet, of all prayers, that of the Rosary is most likely to degenerate into a mere mechanical recital of words, on account of the constant repetition of the same forms.

It is evident, then, that, in order to perform this beautiful devotion to the Blessed Virgin well, we must occupy our mind with the truths of our holy faith.

Now, the mysteries on which we meditate whilst reciting the Rosary, are, according to the events which they call to our mind, divided into the joyful, the sorrowfuly and the glorious mysteries. Today we shall consider the sweet-scenting roses of the joyful mysteries.

Mary, mystical Rose, as Holy Church calleth thee, would that as often as we perform the beautiful devotion of the Rosary, it might ascend to thy heavenly throne as a perfumed offering of thy devoted children! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater glory of God!

“The Conception by the Holy Ghost.” This is the first event pondered over in commemorating the joyful mysteries. These words refer to the fundamental mystery of our holy faith in the order of salvation and redemption of mankind. They refer to the Incarnation of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

The emotions of the soul which are stirred up within us and ascend towards heaven as the perfume of roses, at the mentioning of this mystery, are those of thankfulness for the infinite mercy which the Almighty was pleased to show to the unhappy race of Adam. Indeed, it was an act of mercy which was shown not even to the Angels. They fell, and are lost forever. But to fallen man the infinitely merciful God stretched forth His saving arm, wishing to celebrate in the salvation of our race the triumph of His mercy.

What else would be the sentiments of our souls, at the thought of such marvelous clemency, but those of thanksgiving? But at the same time we must not forget to encourage ourselves to lead such a life as will entitle us to participate in the privileges of Redemption. For certainly the state of a redeemed, and yet lost soul, would be much more miserable than that of a fallen Angel, to whom mercy has never been extended.

But, in order to secure to ourselves the merit of Redemption, let us be close imitators of the virtues of Mary. Especially let us imitate her profound humility and her unshaken conformity in the most holy will of God, so beautifully expressed in those words addressed by her to the angel at Nazareth: ”Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.”

Oh, yes, if we recite the first decade of the joyful mysteries in sentiments like these; if we renew the good resolution to show our thankfulness for the grace of Redemption, principally by living a pure and holy life, and wishing that nothing but the will of God may be fulfilled in us, then surely our prayer will ascend to the throne of heaven as sweet and agreeable as the perfume of the most odoriferous roses.

“The Visitation of our Lady to her cousin Elizabeth.” The Visitation of Mary bespeaks her active virtue of charity towards her fellow-creatures. And the holy emotions that, like fragrant roses, will spring up in our souls at the thought of Mary’s example of charity, will be the resolutions to thank God for the grace of Redemption by a true and active charity toward our neighbor.

Though, as children of the same Adam, we are already brothers and sisters, and are bound to contribute to each other’s happiness, yet how much more urgent has not this duty become on every one of us since the Son of God became man and has called every man His brother! How much more are we not bound to live in harmony and peace with our fellowmen, now that we are destined to be the children of the same Church on earth and to enjoy eternal bliss together in heaven! And looking up to Mary, our resolution of a mutual, lively charity must surely be increased, since, through Jesus Christ, she has become the Eve of the New Testament, and thus the spiritual Mother of all the children of God.

But, in order to fulfill the commandment of charity to its full extent, we must diligently consider those very virtues which Mary practised when visiting Elizabeth. Mary, namely, though she was at that time already clothed with the dignity of Mother of the Incarnate Son of God, hastened to Elizabeth in order to perform for her the offices of a servant. She hastened, and joyfully overcame the difficulties of the road.

Thus, then, according to the example of Mary we must help our neighbor in the spirit of self-sacrifice, speedily and lovingly; we must administer to his bodily as well as spiritual wants.

Mary helps her cousin Elizabeth, and John is delivered by the very presence of the Mother of God, from the stain of original sin, and sanctified as the precursor of the coming Messiah. Oh, yes, such holy emotions of fraternal charity rise up to heaven, agreeable to God as the perfume of roses, and consoling to the maternal heart of Mary.

“The birth of our Lord in the stable at Bethlehem.” We must follow Jesus if we wish to live as children of our heavenly Father, in charity with God and man. “Follow Me.” In these words Christ addresses Himself to every human soul. The virtues, however, which Christ our Model wants us to imitate, are those which were practised by him as a child in the manger.

There lies the Incarnate Son of God, annihilated in the guise of a helpless babe, poor, trembling, and sacrificing Himself for the Redemption of mankind. How eloquently does not this example speak to our soul! If you wish to follow Me, the God-Man says to us, humble yourselves and be willing to receive humiliations, as I did at Bethlehem when rejected from the doors of its inhabitants. Indeed, without humility there can be no true virtue, no solid foundation of piety, no increase of grace, no certainty of salvation.

If you wish to follow Me, look at Me in the manger; there I lie, poor and helpless. Free, then, your heart from the gross cares for this world, from the harassing thoughts of riches and possessions. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Thus the divine Child speaks to us by its example from the hard bed of straw. Be not solicitous about the coming day. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Are not cares for riches the thorns that choke within our soul the divine word of God?

The firm determination of freeing ourselves from all desires after earthly riches, will surely ascend to the throne of God as a sweet fragrance of spiritual roses, whilst the harassing cares for the things of this world will hover below as the foul odor of sin. And again, how much will we not be encouraged by a glance at the Blessed Virgin, who offered up for herself and the Child Jesus the offering of the poor!

”The offering of the Infant Jesus in the temple.” Such a life is indeed a victory over self, and inseparable from the spirit of sacrifice. If we are animated with a sincere and earnest desire of following in the footsteps of Jesus, we must deny ourselves, take the cross upon our shoulders, and place ourselves with eagerness under the banner of the holy cross–under the banner of Christ, Who, as Simeon predicted, shall be a sign of contradiction to many.

We must, furthermore, sanctify our life in patience, and purify our intentions ever more and more. All for Jesus! We must be ready to accept everything with a willing heart, in union with the divine heart of Jesus. And whatever may be the opinion of the world, let us not heed it, but do what Jesus desires us to do, in order to follow His divine example.

If we say the Rosary, animated with such sentiments against the world and its desires, our prayer will be as blooming roses in the sight of the Almighty. Filled with this resolution against the spirit of the world, Mary led a retired life at Nazareth till Jesus was about to accomplish the sacrifice of the redemption of mankind. For then she came forth, but only to place herself beneath the cross, whence alone we can draw salvation and eternal happiness.

”The finding in the temple.” Though a soul may determine to despise the maxims of the world, to devote herself to the service of God and to follow her Jesus, still the time may and will come when she will be assailed by temptations to sin and lukewarmness. And what remains to be done if she should have the misfortune of yielding to sin, and thus separating herself from her Spouse? The soul must return in sorrow and repentance, and must, moreover, draw good from evil by determining to regain lost grace, and to be more watchful in future against the snares of the evil one.

Here the roses that exhale their sweet odor before the Most High are the sentiments of repentance over our shortcomings and imperfections, and particularly over the grievous sins which we may have committed during the past.

Now, concerning contrition, what remarkable things do we not read in the ”Lives of the Saints”! Not a few of them led a life of the most rigorous penance for a single venial sin or a mere imperfection. Sorrow for past sins will be particularly salutary for the soul, as it strengthens the foundation of all virtues–humility– and increases patience, a virtue so necessary for final perseverance in the service of the Almighty.

But, that in truth our prayer may rise up to God, agreeable as the fragrance of roses, we must, before beginning the prayer, make the good intention of meditating in true recollection of spirit on the mysteries prescribed. And it is especially to the devotion of the Rosary that the admonition of the Holy Ghost has reference when He says: “Before prayer prepare thy heart.”

Observe well this counsel, O child of Mary, and the roses that will spring up whilst reciting the beads will change themselves into precious gems to adorn the crown that is awaiting you in heaven!–Amen!

“According to the multitude of my sorrows in my heart, thy comforts have given joy to my soul.”–Ps. xciii, 19.

In Holy Writ true prayer is often compared to a sweet odor or fragrant incense, rising before the throne of the Most High. But this comparison holds good only for prayer, which is animated with senti- ments of adoration and praise, and thanksgiving and love.

Now the prayer, which is most generally said by all Catholics on the face of the earth, and in whose commemoration a special feast has been instituted, is that of the holy Rosary. Last year we considered together with what sentiments and emotions we should be animated when reflecting on the joyful mysteries.

And we found, as you will remember, that the mysteries of this part of the Rosary have reference, principally, to the maxims of the Christian’s daily life in the service of the Almighty.

But this, our daily life, passed in sweet and peaceful union with God, is often interrupted by bitter sufferings and direful adversities. And in order that we may bear patiently and meritoriously the ills of life, it will not suffice only to contemplate the ordinary life of Christ, but we must also often turn our thoughts to the sacred passion and death of our divine Redeemer. Such salutary thoughts are stirred up within our hearts by reciting the Rosary and meditating on the sorrowful mysteries.

There is nothing more meritorious, and nothing more agreeable, in the sight of God, than a perfect resignation to His will in times of adversity. Let us, then, consider today what fragrant roses of pious emotions will spring up in our hearts while meditating the sorrowful mysteries–roses that will exhale their sweet odor before the throne of Jesus and Mary.

Mother of dolors, would that every pair of beads commemorating the sorrowful mysteries, were to thee a bunch of roses laden with, the perfume of a true love of the cross of thy Jesus! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God! “The sweating of blood.” The particular suffering of our Lord which excites us most to compassion, is His anguish in the garden of Olives.

Every soul that in spirit contemplates Jesus sweating blood, must say within itself: It is for me that Christ sweats blood, through fear that, notwithstanding His passion, to which He subjected Himself for me, I might yet yield to temptation and perish. I say: for me. Jesus came down upon earth for the redemption of the soul of every man, and He offered up His sufferings for each particular human being, as though each one had been the only object of His sufferings.

Yes, If in this manner we consider the bitter passion of our Lord, its recollection will move our hearts most effectually, and produce in it corresponding emotions of sorrow and repentance.

Now, whilst recalling the bloody sweat, and, in general, the mysteries of the passion, as the Rosary presents them to our mind, it is highly important and beneficial to contemplate, in spirit, the Redeemer in His sufferings, that our heart may be filled with compassion, and that we may be moved to ask ourselves: O, my Jesus, what can I do in order to console Thee?

According to St. Luke, Christ fell three times to the ground. He grew pale, trembled, and prayed: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me,” and the blood oozed from His veins, moistened His garment, and flowed upon the ground.

What a sorrowful sight for every soul that loves Jesus! The uppermost thought here is the question: “What was it that afflicted our Lord thus unto death?” Ah, as I said above, it was the thought of the innumerable risks and dangers to which our final salvation is exposed, and which may render fruitless for us His passion and death.

Console the Lord by your promise to avoid, as much as you can, every occasion of sin, and to make use of the means which Holy Church offers us to overcome every temptation as soon as it manifests itself. Oh, how agreeable will not such resolutions be to the sorrowful heart of our Lord and that of His blessed Mother! But you must prove the sincerity of this your intention by adhering faithfully to your resolution, especially on the day on which you say your Rosary.

“The flagellation at the pillar.” This scene, too, in the Passion of our Lord, is very apt to fill our hearts with great compassion.

Contemplate thy Jesus, and see how He is lacerated to the very bones; how, bathed in His own blood. He falls to the ground, and breaks forth in the sorrowing words of the prophet: “I am a worm, and no man.” Here, again, the question rises within our soul: What was it, O Lord, that lacerated thee? The answer is: It is the countless number of sins committed by the human race. What a countless number of lashes had He to suffer from them!

Reflect on your own sins. Who could count all those sins of thought, word, desire, action, and omission which you have already committed?

And what shall we say if we consider how many sins are committed every moment, how long this wickedness has already lasted, and how long it may still continue? Console the Lord, and protest, with a firm resolution, that henceforth you will nevermore commit a deliberate sin; that you will even try, with all your heart, to avoid every imperfection, and, moreover, hinder others as much as possible from offending Him.

And you will accomplish this latter part first by giving others no occasion of sin, and, secondly, by using every opportunity to lead heretics and infidels to the road of salvation, the Holy Church of God. And more yet, to do all in our power that the children of the Church themselves may not sin, but walk in holiness and humility before the Almighty.

With such emotions fill your heart at the thought of our Lord’s flagellation, and the sweetest fragrance will rise from these roses of compassion and zeal for souls, a consolation to the divine heart of Jesus and the sorrowful heart of Mary.

“The crowning with thorns.” Contemplate in spirit your God and Lord as He was presented by Pilate to the Jews, crowned with thorns, clothed, by way of mockery, with a purple garment, and bearing a reed in His hand. Listen to the cries of the bloodthirsty crowd: ”Crucify Him; crucify Him.” Pity your derided Jesus.

Christ looks at the people, for whom He has done so much good; He looks at the whole human race, whom He came to save, and He feels most painfully the insults that are heaped upon Him by the children of His Church. He is particularly afflicted on account of the inconstancy of those who, purified by the waters of baptism, walked for a time in the path of virtue, but fell back again into sin, and thus plunged themselves deeper into the abyss of perdition than if they had never known the grace of Redemption.

Console the Lord by your protestations that you will ever lovingly and faithfully confess Him before man, without being misled by false human respect. Certainly such a resolution is of the greatest utility, especially in our times, when all the efforts of the children of the world are directed to the destruction of the Church, and the restoration of ancient heathenism.

Consoling, indeed, and agreeable as the fragrance of roses will such emotions be to the afflicted hearts of Jesus and Mary.

”The carrying of the Cross.” Jesus is pressed to the ground under the burden of the Cross. Consider with what an ardent love for us the Lord embraced the Cross, which was ignominiously laid upon him! He falls under its burden a first, a second, and a third time, until Simon of Cyrene lends Him his assistance, and carries the wood of salvation to Calvary.

Christ permits all this in order to admonish us that without a co-operation on our part His Passion will be of no avail to us, but that in order to participate in the grace of Redemption we must check our bad propensities and firmly resolve to bear, patiently and willingly, the hardships of life for the love of Him. And when the hour of tribulation approaches think of Mary, who, when meeting her divine Son loaded with the cross, did not murmur, but pressed Him to her heart, in perfect conformity to the most holy will of God, whose wish she knew it was, that Christ should thus suffer in order to reconcile the human race with His heavenly Father.

Protest, before Jesus, that you will unite your sentiments of conformity to the most holy will of God with those of Mary, and that you will be ready to bear, willingly, whatever divine Providence may send you for your own sanctification. Oh, how few persons there are who suffer patiently and without murmuring against the providence of God! And for this reason sentiments of patience and perfect resignation in God’s most holy will rise up to the Lord and His blessed Mother, with the delicious perfume of the queen of flowers.

“Crucifixion.” See your Jesus! The cross is elevated; His wounds gape; the sun disappears from the heavens; the earth trembles; and from the Cross Christ speaketh the words: “Father, forgive them.” Every one of His words has reference to the salvation and sanctification of our souls. Consider especially the words: “It is consummated!”

Console the heart of Jesus by protesting that you will follow Him, with fidelity, to the end. And, in order that you may do so, turn your thoughts to John under the cross, when Jesus said to him: “Behold thy mother!” And she stood under the cross, her heart filled with compassion, thanksgiving, adoration, and conformity to the most holy will of God. Fall, in spirit, at the feet of Mary, and make the promise of flying to her, as your mother, in all your necessities of body and soul. Try, also, to inspire others with a great confidence to Mary. If we thus honor her, she will, undoubtedly, become to us a guaranty of final perseverance in the state of grace.

Such sentiments of love and fidelity will certainly exhale a heavenly fragrance before the throne of Jesus and Mary. And since the proverb, “Every day brings its evils,” is but too true, it would certainly be most beneficial, for those who meditate on the sorrowful mysteries, to renew their resolution and show themselves particularly patient in their sufferings on the day when they perform this beautiful devotion. And, in order that they may succeed so much the better in their praiseworthy endeavors, let them invoke the help of Mary, saying: O Mary, obtain for me the grace, that when the sword of sorrow shall pierce my soul, I may, in perfect patience and resignation, like thee, follow Jesus, my crucified love. Amen.

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and on her head a crown of stars.”–Apoc. xii, i.

The Lord loveth a willing heart. This disposition of readiness and alacrity in the service of God is excited within our souls by meditating on the glorious mysteries of the Rosary.

He who serves God from motives of fear and necessity, lacks courage, determination, zeal, and, not seldom, constancy. But if we consider the mysteries of faith, which refer to the glorious life of Christ and His Blessed Mother, we shall be strengthened and encouraged to suffer, with joy and patience, whatever our holy religion may require of us, calling to mind the words of St. Paul: ”If we suffer with the Lord, we shall also be glorified with Him.”

The glorious mysteries, those on which we meditate when reciting the third part of the Rosary, are those of the resurrection of our Lord, His ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Ghost, the assumption of our Blessed Lady, and her crowning as Queen of heaven.

And now with regard to these divine truths, we will first consider the events themselves which faith places before our mind, and then reflect on the emotions with which they filled the heart of Mary when they were being accomplished, in order that we too may be animated with similar thoughts and affections. And we should strive, moreover, to retain these pious sentiments, not only during the time of prayer, but during the whole course of our life.

We shall then consider today the glowing roses which will bloom in our heart, when, in remembrance of Jesus and Mary, we contemplatively recite the Rosary of the glorious mysteries.

Mary, crowned Queen of heaven, Mother of Christ and our Mother, fill our hearts with an ardent desire of being united to Thee in heaven, in order that we may live on earth in a manner becoming the children of so glorious a Mother! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, to the greater glory of God!

”The resurrection from the dead.” What an encouraging, what a glorious sight! Christ rising from the tomb on Easter-morning, surrounded by myriads of holy angels, and an infinite number of souls, that in the course of four thousand years have sanctified and saved themselves through hope in the coming Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

Mary was the first, as tradition relates, to whom Christ appeared after His resurrection from the dead. What a heavenly joy must it have been for the heart of Mary to see Jesus, Whom she had so bitterly bewailed, once more among the living! With what an ardent love must she have pressed Him to her maternal heart!

The fruit which we ought to reap from the consideration of this divine mystery is,–a great increase of faith. For as St. Paul says: ”Christ is risen, He lives, and, therefore, all His teachings are true.” Christ is risen! Like Him, our prototype, we too shall rise, with a glorified body, radiant as the sun, moving with the ease and swiftness of thought beyond the reach of suffering and death.

But we must also live in a manner becoming men, that profess to follow in the footsteps of Christ. And like Jesus we must preserve our heart unsullied from sin, putting off the old man, and clothing ourselves with the new. In order to succeed the better in these, our pious endeavors, let us often turn our thought towards Mary, the most faithful follower of Jesus, who was left upon earth by her divine Son, that she might be a Mirror of Justice to the Apostles and the primitive Christians, as well as to all those who, in the course of time, might be united with them in the one Holy Church of God.

Happy those, O Mary, who saw thee upon earth with the eyes of their body; but happy also those who in spirit look up to thee as their example, and imitate thy virtues! Oh, how much does not the life of a true child of Mary contribute to the edification and sanctification of others!

“The ascension into heaven.” Let us repair in Spirit to Mount Olivet. How touching the farewell scene which we there behold: The Apostles and disciples of the Lord throw themselves at His feet, in order to receive their Master’s blessing before He goes to the Father. But what must have been the feelings of Mary, when Jesus embraced her before His ascension into heaven, where she was soon to meet Him and be united with Him for all eternity!

Throw yourself in spirit at the feet of Jesus and beg His blessing, in order that you too may follow Him one day into life everlasting, and occupy that throne which He has prepared for you in heaven. The constant remembrance of the Ascension of our Lord should excite in every Catholic a longing desire to follow Him soon.

Oh, what a precious fragrance such emotions exhale before the Lord, in a world filled with the foul odor of malice and sin!

“Lift up your heart to the Lord!” thus the priest at the altar admonishes us in the words of St. Paul. If you are risen with Christ, desire the things that are from above. For the difference between the children of the world and those of God consists in this: that the former never think of heaven, whilst the latter desire it most ardently, saying with St. Paul:

“I long to be dissolved and to be with Christ.” This great longing for heaven should excite in us the resolution of often visiting our divine Redeemer in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. For there Christ is yet present as truly and really as He is in heaven, and as He was on earth with Mary in her house at Nazareth, and as, after His ascension, He remained with her under the sacramental species, which, as we are informed by private revelations of saints, were never consumed in Mary from one Communion to another.

A close union with Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, animated by an ardent desire of paying Him frequent visits, of often assisting at the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and especially of frequently and worthily receiving Him in Holy Communion, characterizes the true child of Mary.

These are the thoughts which should occupy our mind when meditating on the second glorious mystery. And if we consider that, notwithstanding His Ascension, our Lord is yet upon earth, let us say to ourselves: What a happiness to be a child of the true Church, and to be so near to our Saviour! Hail to you, child of Mary, if your heart gives testimony that you live solely for Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament!

You may, in this case, with peace and confidence await the second coming of the Lord–His coming as Judge–which was foretold to the disciples on Mount Olivet by the Angels: “This Jesus, Whom you have seen ascending into heaven, shall come again.” And you may even now know your sentence from those words spoken by Christ: “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abides in Me and I in him,” and: “He that eateth this bread shall live forever.”

Such emotions of love towards Jesus will send forth a fragrance that shall pervade our whole life, and which St. Paul, speaking of the faithful followers of the Saviour, calls the sweet odor of Christ.

“The coming of the Holy Ghost.” Christ, as St. John tells us, sent the Holy Ghost not to remain with His Apostles only, but also with all those who would believe in Him to the end of time. As often as you meditate on this glorious mystery look up to Mary, surrounded by the Apostles and first disciples of Christ. Contemplate her, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost, and consider how abundantly the divine Spirit poured forth His seven gifts into her soul. Ask of our good Mother, that she may obtain for you a great increase of the seven gifts of the Paraclete.

Just as these heavenly gifts render the Christian an active member of the Church militant, and inspire him with fidelity and courage to give testimony to his holy faith in life and death, so do they likewise designate the true child of Mary.

The true child of Mary is filled with the fear of the Lord and the fear of sin; it flees from temptations and conquers them, receives often the Sacrament of Penance, and is not influenced by human respect.

The true child of Mary loves prayer; often fortifies itself with the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, and celebrates with devotion the feasts of the Church.

The true child of Mary endeavors to grow in the science of the saints, cares for the one thing necessary, the salvation of its soul, and is always ready to assist others with good counsel.

The true child of Mary shows itself, for the love of Jesus and Mary, courageous and submissive in times of adversity, judges the world in the light of faith, and tries to employ every moment in the work of its eternal salvation. The dutiful servant of the blessed Mother of God prays often to the Holy Ghost, that He may fill his heart ever more and more with holy intentions and desires. Oh, what a fragrance of holy thoughts pervades the souls of the children of Mary!

”The assumption of our Lady into heaven.” Who could meditate upon this mystery without wishing soon to enter heaven, and enjoying forever the presence of the blessed Mother of our Redeemer? But the question whether you will go to the abode of the blessed, will be decided by the sanctity of your life, and your constancy in the service of God. Now, the surest pledge for such a perseverance is, according to the holy fathers and doctors of the Church, a genuine devotion to the blessed Virgin.

Child of Mary, profess openly your allegiance to her, that at the end of your life she may assist you with a mother’s care.

“The coronation of our Lady in heaven.” Contemplate Mary sitting on her throne in heaven. St. John once had a vision, in which he saw Christ in heaven, adorned with precious diadems. Now, every one of these ensignia of royalty is also borne by Mary, the Queen of heaven. Rejoice, then, O child of Mary! for one day, and perhaps soon, will you not only see her in all her glory, but also participate in her splendor forever.

What a canticle of joy will your soul entone before the throne of Mary, as soon as you will comprehend with what maternal solicitude the Queen of heaven watched over you, lest you might forfeit the heirloom of a blissful eternity, and be separated from her forever.

After these holy considerations renew the resolution of devoting yourself entirely to her honor, love, and imitation upon earth, and of gaining over as many hearts as possible to her honor and veneration.

Such holy emotions and desires, excited in a child of Mary by meditation on the glorious mysteries, will rise towards heaven agreeable as the fragrance of roses, to the greater glory of God, and to the greater honor of Mary, our blessed, glorious Mother. Amen!

Lives of the Saints: Compiled from Authentic Sources with a Practical Instruction on the Life of Each Saint, for Every Day in the Year by Rev. F. X. Weninger. Permissu Superiorum. New York: P. O’Shea, Publisher, 67 Barclay Street and 42 Park Place. 1876.

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