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Celebrating Mary A Collection of Praises and Prayers


Celebrating Mary A Collection of Praises and Prayers


Copyright © 2013 by The Word Among Us Press All rights reserved Published by The Word Among Us Press 7115 Guilford Drive, Suite 100 Frederick, Maryland 21704 www.wau.org 17 16 15 14 13 1 2 3 4 5 ISBN: 978-1-59325-159-8 eISBN: 978-1-59325-452-0 Cover design by John Hamilton Designs Cover image: Carlo Maratta, (1625–1713) (studio of). Virgin Reading Surrounding by Angels. Photo: Thierry Le Mage. Location: Musee Magnin, Dijon, France Photo Credit: © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY Interior images of Mary © Thinkstock Photos Selections of papal quotations are used with permission of Libreria Editrice Vaticana and can be found on the Vatican website at www.vatican.va. Poems “Visitation Day” and “Pietà,” copyright © 2003 by Jeanne Kun. “A Prayer for Refugges,” copyright © 2007 by Ken Gavin, SJ. “Prayer for My Daughter,” copyright © 2007 by Suzanne Nussey. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Selections from Mary and the Christian Life used with permission of Amy Welborn. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the author and publisher. Made and printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Control Number: 2013942864


Contents Introduction 13 1. From St. Thérèse’s Last Poem, “Why I Love You, O Mary!” / St. Thérèse of Lisieux  15 2. Mary, You Are . . . / St. Germanus of Constantinople  16 3. Mary, Teach Us Love / Pope Paul VI 17 4. Star of the Sea / St. Bernard of Clairvaux 18 5. Nighttime Prayer to Mary / St. John Neumann  19 6. O Mother of Priests / Blessed John Paul II 20 7. Mary: Giving Human Nature to God / Caryll Houselander 22 8. From “Lines for a Drawing of Our Lady of the Night” / Francis Thompson 23 9. We Greet You, Mother of God / St. Cyril of / Alexandria 24 10. A Message of Joy / St. Sophronius of Jerusalem  25 11. From “The Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos” / Traditional26 12. Mary: The Shortest Way to Jesus / Blessed Teresa of Calcutta 27 13. Grace Makes Us Like God / Mother Francis Raphael, OSD  28

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14. In Your Faithful Care / St. Aloysius Gonzaga 29 15. Mary, Most Blessed / Venantius Fortunatus 30 16. Mary Shares Christ’s Pain . . . and Ours / Blessed Julian of Norwich  31 17. Visitation Day / Jeanne Kun 33 18. Under Thy Protection / Traditional35 19. Let My Future Radiant Shine / Edgar Allan Poe 36 20. Show Us Jesus / Pope Benedict XVI 37 21. More Mother Than Queen / St. Thérèse of Lisieux 38 22. God Let Himself Be Carried / St. Louis de Montfort  39 23. The Ideal for Every Woman / St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross 40 24. A Clear and Shining Light / St. Sophronius of Jerusalem 41 25. Come to Our Aid / St. Anselm 42 26. Mary, Sorrowful Mother / Blessed John Paul II 43 27. Ave Maria Stellis / Traditional44 28. Mary, Help Me to Fulfill My Earthly Vocation / Blessed John XXIII 46 29. Shelter Us / Anonymous47 30. A Prayer for Refugees / Ken Gavin, SJ 48 31. Mother, Teach Us How to Say Yes / Catherine de Hueck Doherty 49

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32. Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe / Traditional50 33. Salutation of the Blessed Virgin / St. Francis of Assisi 51 34. From “Herself a Rose Who Bore the Rose” / Christina Rossetti 52 35. The Highest Mountain / St. Gregory the Great 53 36. Prayer of Total Consecration / St. Maximilian Kolbe 54 37. I Am Certain of Your Help / St. Francis de Sales 55 38. Fly to This Mother / St. John Chrysostom 56 39. The Son Values Her Prayers / St. Peter Damian  57 40. My Soul Magnifies the Lord / St. Ambrose 58 41. At the Cross with Mary / Amy Welborn59 42. The Perfect Model / George Montague, SM 61 43. From “A Hymn before Battle” / Rudyard Kipling 63 44. Mother of God, Mother of the Redeemer / Lumen Gentium 64 45. An Influx of Peace / Blessed Marie of the Incarnation 65 46. Hail, O Chaste One / St. Ephrem of Syria 66 47. The Fire of Holy Love / St. Alphonsus Liguori 67 48. The Echo of God / St. Louis de Montfort  68 7

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49. Mary Contemplates the Face of Christ / Blessed John Paul II 69 50. Our Last Hail Mary on Earth / Matthew Russell, SJ  70 51. Turning the World to God / Amy Welborn71 52. Our Lady Who Goes in Haste / Pope Francis 72 53. From “The Grandeurs of Mary” / Frederick W. Faber 74 54. Memorare / Traditional75 55. The Angelus / Traditional76 56. From “The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe” / Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ 78 57. Come and Meet My Soul / St. Bonaventure 80 58. Like a Precious Oil / St. Alphonsus Liguori 81 59. Mary’s Words to St. Bridget / St. Bridget of Sweden 82 60. Prayer for My Daughter / Suzanne Nussey 84 61. Beyond All Other Creature / Dante85 62. Mary, Speak to Us of Jesus / Pope Benedict XVI 86 63. She Gave Hospitality to God / St. Peter Chrysologus 88 64. Mary Sanctifies the Ordinary / St. Josemaría Escrivá 89 65. Guide Us Home / Blessed John Henry Newman 90

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66. Walk in Her Footsteps / St. Bernard of Clairvaux 91 67. Loveliest Mother / St. Hildegard of Bingen 92 68. Salve Regina / Traditional93 69. We Are Your Children / Blessed John XXIII  94 70. Mary as Mother Wisdom / Ecclesiasticus 24:24-2895 71. As Long As I Need It / St. Anselm 96 72. We Find Our Help / St. Jane Frances de Chantal 97 73. Being Christ in the World / Caryll Houselander 98 74. The Port of the Shipwrecked / St. Ephrem of Syria  100 75. To Mary We Entrust the Cause of Life / Blessed John Paul II 101 76. Pietà / Jeanne Kun 102 77. Mary Teaches Us to Live in the Spirit / Pope Francis 105 78. Let Me Dwell with You / Blessed John Henry Newman 106 79. The Courage to Say Yes to God’s Will / Pope Benedict XVI 108 80. At the Cross: Peace in Place of Struggle / Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap 110 81. The Whole Life of Mary / St. Ambrose  112

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82. Imitating Mary’s Great Trust / Andrew Apostoli, CFR  113 83. Mary Represents Humanity and the Church / Cardinal Carlo Martini, SJ 114 84. From “The Virgin Mary to Christ on the Cross” / Robert Southwell, SJ 116 85. From “The Passion of Mary” / Francis Thompson 117 86. A Woman Clothed with the Sun / Revelation 12:1-5 118 87. Mary’s Assumption / St. Francis de Sales 119 88. Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help / Traditional120 89. She Went in Haste / Blessed Teresa of Calcutta 121 90. Mary, Teach Us to Pray Your Rosary / Catherine de Hueck Doherty  122 91. You Can Be a Mother of Christ / St. Augustine  123 92. We Delight in Dwelling on Beauty / Mother Francis Raphael, OSD 124 93. O Mother of Mercy / St. Alphonsus Liguori 125 94. Will You See How You Are Loved? / Blessed Julian of Norwich 126 95. The Treasures of Mary’s Consolations / Thomas à Kempis 127 96. From the “Stabat Mater” / Traditional128

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97. A Vision of Mary Praying for Humanity / Blessed Angela of Foligno 129 98. From “St. Casimir’s Hymn” / St. Casimir 130 99. She Will Come to Meet Your Soul / Paul Le Jeune, SJ 131 100. From the Gaelic Litany to Our Lady / Traditional133 Bibliography 137

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Introduction When we praise her, love her, honor her, or give anything to her, it is God who is praised, God who is loved, God who is glorified.

˜St. Louis de Montfort Why has the Church since its beginnings given such praise and honor to Mary? She is, of course, the mother of our Lord. She carried Jesus in her womb, cared for him as a toddler and young boy, and stood by him at the foot of the cross. As the one who was closer to Jesus than any other human being that ever lived, we would naturally want to give Mary all honor and praise. It’s also true, as St. Louis de Montfort notes in one of the selections in this book, that when we praise and honor Mary, it is God who is praised and loved. We can’t celebrate Mary without also celebrating God’s love and mercy. Our Father loved us so much that he sent his Son into the world to save it. Mary said yes to God, and so the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Each of the one hundred “praises and prayers” in this book, gathered from both ancient and contemporary sources, highlights one aspect of the Blessed 13

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Mother that deserves our reflection and gratitude. (For some of the older sources, we took the liberty of updating the archaic language.) As you pray through these selections, keep in mind that we are not just celebrating something that happened in the past. Mary was born two thousand years ago, in a very different time and culture, but as Mother of the Church, she continues to participate today in God’s saving plan. She nurtures us, her sons and daughters, just as she did Jesus. What a blessing it is to know that Mary loves us and wants us to come ever closer to her son Jesus! We can have absolute confidence that she hears our prayers and continuously intercedes for us before the heavenly throne. We pray that this little book will stir up your love and devotion to Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, and Mother to each of us as well. The Word Among Us Press

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1 From St. Thérèse’s Last Poem,“Why I Love You, O Mary!” Oh! I would like to sing, Mary, why I love you, Why your sweet name thrills my heart, And why the thought of your supreme greatness Could not bring fear to my soul. If I gazed on you in your sublime glory, Surpassing the splendor of all the blessed, I could not believe that I am your child. O Mary, before you I would lower my eyes! . . . Soon I’ll hear that sweet harmony. Soon I’ll go to beautiful Heaven to see you. You who came to smile at me in the morning of my life, Come smile at me again . . . Mother . . . It’s evening now ! . . . I no longer fear the splendor of your supreme glory. With you I’ve suffered and now I want To sing on your lap, Mary, why I love you, And to go on saying that I am your child!

˜ St. Thérèse of Lisieux 15

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2 Mary, You Are . . . You are, after God, O loving Mother, the heavenly dew that alone tempers my suffering; the light that dispels the darkness of my understanding; my guide in my pilgrimage here below; my strength in my weakness; my consolation in my tears; my refuge in my danger.

˜ St. Germanus of Constantinople

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3 Mary, Teach Us Love Mary, teach us love. We ask you for love, Mary, love for Christ, the only love, the highest love, total love, giving love, love in sacrifice for our brothers and sisters. Help us to love in this way. Obtain for us, O Mary, faith, supernatural faith, simple faith, full and strong, sincere faith, derived from its true source, the Word of God, and from its flawless conduit, the Magisterium, established and guaranteed by Christ, the living faith!

˜ Prayer of Pope Paul VI

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4 Star of the Sea Know, whoever you may be, that your life here below is but a voyage full of perils, in the midst of storms and tempests. Unless you wish to be shipwrecked, turn not your eyes from the star of the sea. When the tempests of temptation rage around you, look upon that star; call upon Mary. If, overwhelmed with the enormity of your sins, covered with confusion at the hideous sores of your heart, terrified by the fear of punishment, you feel yourself enveloped in the darkness of sadness and gloom, and ready to sink into the abyss that yawns beneath your feet, look upon that star and invoke the name of Mary. In danger, anguish, and perplexity, call upon Mary; say, “Mary.” Let that name never be far from your lips, far from your heart; but, that you may render yourself worthy to share the grace it brings with it, forget not the examples of which it will remind you.

˜St. Bernard of Clairvaux 18

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5 Nighttime Prayer to Mary

Mary, assist me in my needs. Intercede for me with God in life and death. Show your maternal kindness. Present your children’s prayers to God who chose you for his Mother. Prayer said each night by ˜ St. John Neumann in childhood

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6 O Mother of Priests O Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests, accept this title which we bestow on you to celebrate your motherhood and to contemplate with you the priesthood of your Son and of your sons, O holy Mother of God. O Mother of Christ, to the Messiah-priest you gave a body of flesh through the anointing of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart; guard priests in your heart and in the Church, O Mother of the Savior. O Mother of Faith, you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man, the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers; give to the Father for his glory the priests of your Son, O Ark of the Covenant. 20

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O Mother of the Church, in the midst of the disciples in the upper room, you prayed to the Spirit for the new people and their shepherds; obtain for the Order of Presbyters a full measure of gifts, O Queen of the Apostles. O Mother of Jesus Christ, you were with him at the beginning of his life and mission, you sought the Master among the crowd, you stood beside him when he was lifted up from the earth, consumed as the one eternal sacrifice, and you had John, your son, near at hand; accept from the beginning those who have been called, protect their growth, in their life ministry accompany your sons, O Mother of Priests. Amen. Blessed John Paul II, ˜ Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis 21

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7 Mary: Giving Human Nature to God That is what it meant to Mary to give human nature to God. He was invulnerable; He asked her for a body to be wounded. He was God; He asked her to make Him man. He asked for hands and feet to be nailed. He asked for flesh to be scourged. He asked for blood to be shed. He asked for a heart to be broken. The stable at Bethlehem was the first Calvary. The wooden manger was the first Cross. The swaddling bands were the first burial bands. The Passion had begun. Christ was Man.

ËœCaryll Houselander, The Reed of God

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Celebrating Mary  

Saints and spiritual writers, preachers and poets, prayers and hymns—since the early church, Christians have celebrated the grace, the virtu...