Saint Athanasius on Mary, Mother of God

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O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all. O Ark of the New] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides. Should I compare you to the fertile earth and its fruits? You surpass them, for it is written: “The earth is my foostool”. But you carry within you the feet, the head, and the entire body of the perfect God.
 
If I say that heaven is exalted, yet it does not equal you, for it is writen: “Heaven is My throne”, while you are God’s place of repose. If I say that the angels and archangels are great — but you are greater than them all, for the angels and the archangels serve with trembling the One Who dwells in your womb, and they dare not speak in His presence, while you speak to Him freely.
 
If we say that the cherubim are great, you are greater than they, for the cherubim carry the throne, while you hold God in your hands. If we say that the serphim are great, you are greater than them all, for the seraphim cover their faces with their wings, unable to look upon the perfect glory, while you not only gaze upon His face but caress it and offer your breasts to His holy mouth.
 
As for Eve, she is the mother of the dead, “for in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive”. Eve took fruit from the tree and made her husband eat of it along with her. And so they ate of that tree of which God had told them: “The day you eat of it, you shall die”. Eve took fruit from it, ate some of it, and gave some to her husband that he might eat with her. He ate of it, and he died.
 
In you, instead, O wise Virgin, dwells the Son God: He, that is, Who is the tree of life. Truly He has given us His body, and we have eaten of it. That is how life came to all, and all have come to life by the mercy of God, your beloved Son. That is why your spirit is full of joy in God your Savior!

5 Responses to Saint Athanasius on Mary, Mother of God

  • philip says:

    Delicious And Sweet these words of wonderment.

    The surest and most pleasing way to Jesus’ Sacred Heart is by the pure hand of Our Mother Mary. The Saints of old have it right!
    To Jesus through Mary. Humility and proper respect for Lady Poverty are footpaths leading to the crib most Holy. Immaculata teach us your ways to Holiness.

  • I think this is the full lyrics to the song, but I have seen other Latin versions:

    O Sanctissima O Piissima
    Dulcis Virgo Maria
    Mater amta intemerata
    Ora ora pro nobis

    Ora ora
    Ora pro nobis

    Virgo respice, Mater adspice
    Audi nos, O Maria!
    Sicut lilium inter spinas
    Sic Maria inter filias

    Jubilate, Cherubim,
    Exsultate, Seraphim!
    Consonante perpetim,
    Salve, salve Regina!

    O Sanctissima, O Piisima
    Dulcis Virgo Maria

    Ora, ora, ora Pro Nobis

    Sancta Maria, sancta Maria Mater Dei
    Sancta Maria, sancta Maria Mater Dei

    Jubilate, Cherubim,
    Exsultate, Seraphim!
    Consonante perpetim,
    Salve, salve Regina!

  • T. Shaw says:

    Father McCartney’s sermon covered the Motherhood of Mary. She is not only Mother of God and of the Church. She is my Mother. Our Lord on His Holy Cross gave Her to St. John and St. John to Her, and through St. John Motherhood of the Church and to each of us.

    For a few years, each day I prayerfully read the “Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary” also known as the “Litany of Loreto.”

    I have it on a prayer card my Grandmother (RIP) gave me many years ago. In her lovely handwriting she wrote my name on it.

    The closing prayer says, “Father, you gave the human race salvation through the motherhood of the Virgin Mary. May we experience the help of her prayers in our lives, for through her we received the very source of life, Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

    I am compelled to report yet another (utterly unmerited) miraculous interevention by my Holy Mother in Heaven. Her intercession brought my wife and I through a dangerous traffic incident. That we were not injured and the car was unscathed can only be explained by the workings of Divine Assistance. The special intention of this day’s Rosary must be thanksgiving for this and all blessings.

    “Therefore, I fly to You O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. [...] before You I stand sinful and sorrowful.”

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