Thursday, April 12, 2007

Queen of Martyrs

Mary is the Queen of Martyrs because her martyrdom lasted longer and was more severe than that of all other martyrs. ~St. Alphonsus de Ligouri
The next several posts will focus on the sorrows of Mary and the reasons why this holy devotion is one we should all cultivate in our hearts and souls.
Who fails to be moved by the thought of a mother, standing by witnessing the slow agonizing death of her son? Think on this dear reader....her son who never gave her the least trouble, who was tender and devoted to his parents and family, never gave her the least reason for grief. She in turn loved this son with all her heart, showering him with all the affection she has. Now add to this that Jesus is sinless, the Great I Am made flesh. The mother, Full of Grace, conceived without the least stain of sin, Immaculate and without fault, blameless and greatly beloved by God. How much would any other mother sorrow and lament such a tragic death, how much more would a heart never hardened by sin suffer? We cannot possibly begin to understand the living martyrdom of Our Lady, because we are sinners, she is not. Therefore she did not suffer less, but rather more.
It is well known through the Saints and by Mary's example that to those God loves the most, He grants a greater share of his Cross and Glory. By offering Himself as victim for our sins on the Cross, He entered into his glory. No human on earth would He love more than His holy Mother, therefore logic follows that she would be given the greatest share of his suffering on the Cross. No doubt she also is given the greatest share in His glory in Heaven.
Speaking on this very topic, St. Alphonsus de Ligouri says in the "Glories of Mary", "Because of her love for us, she was willing to see him sacrificed to divine justice by the barbarity of men. This great torment which Mary endured for us was more dreadful than a thousand deaths and deserves our sympathy and our gratitude. If we cannot return this love in any other way, let us at least for a few moments consider how great were the sufferings by which Mary became queen of martyrs. The sufferings of Mary's martyrdom surpassed those of all other martyrs. First of all, they lasted longer; and second, they were more intense."
These last two points of Mary's martyrdom will be further explored in the next two posts. I urge all good Christians to be moved by the sorrow of thier Heavenly Mother, pray the Chaplet of Our Lady's Tears, available here. Let us wipe the tears of Mary from her face.
Prayer ~ Sub Tuum
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

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