VIRGO POTENS (VIRGIN MOST POWERFUL)


"If Mary is with us, who is against us?" (St. Antoninus)

This is a title which should fill our hearts with confidence. We know Mary is stainless, lovely, all-fair, all-loving, but if She were not as powerful as She is lovely and lovable, we could not repose full confidence in Her. And thus this glorious title comes to remind us of the power of our Queen.

What is power? It is ability to do great things, to overcome enemies, to come off triumphant in spite of all obstacles, to carry through our wishes to a successful issue.

How does Mary exercise this wonderful power of Hers? Mary, above all others, most perfectly fulfilled all the precepts of Her Divine Son. Now, one day, we find that He gave a little discourse on the very subject that is now occupying us—the use of power. He said: "You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that are greater, exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you; but whosever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister: and he that will be first among you, shall be your servant."

No one ever fulfilled this precept so perfectly as Mary. That is how She shows Her power, by helping everyone, by being everyone's helpmate and servant as well as Queen.

Mary's power to help us lies above all in Her intercession. Her prayers are not the supplications of a servant, but the commands of a Queen. Jesus chose to be subject to His Mother as Her Son, on Earth, and even now, in Heaven, He has not laid aside His filial reverence for Her. She is for all eternity God's Mother. But besides this, She has been crowned by Him as Queen of Heaven and Earth, a dignity far above that of any other creature. All are Her subjects in Heaven and on Earth. What then can we fear, what can we not do and obtain, what can cast us down, when we have on our side an advocate so powerful as Mary, our tender Mother?

We have a striking instance of Her power over Her Son's Heart, when She was still on Earth, in the miracle of the marriage feast of Cana. Christ, on that occasion, said that His hour for working miracles had not yet come; and yet at her mere suggestion ("they have no wine") He set aside His own plan and changed the water into wine. The whole incident is Our Lady's doing; it is She who instructs the waiters to do whatever Our Lord would tell them. Is not this why this miracle is recorded—to show us what Mary's power was, even while She was here on Earth?

Let us always call upon Mary for help with entire trust. We have seen how She longs to be asked for help. We may learn, too, how needful is prayer—for all Mary's power is in Her prayer. It is by prayer to Her Son that She does all that She does, and it is His Will, as we have already said, that all graces should come to us through Her intercession.

We read that St. Benedict once appeared to St. Frances of Rome and promised to be her advocate with the Mother of God; for whatever he, or any Saint, wishes to obtain for his clients, has to be first asked for by Mary. Thus is explained that word of Psalm 44: "All the rich among the people shall entreat Thy countenance." The Saints are the rich of that great people of God, who, when they wish to obtain a favor from Him for their clients, recommend themselves to Mary, and She immediately obtains it.

This same power of prayer, though in a lesser degree, is in the hands of all of us, even of the weakest, poorest, most ignorant. We can all pray, and more than this, we must all pray, if we would be saved. God has decreed that, as a rule, He will grant His graces only through prayer. Let us, then, all make use of this great power of intercession for ourselves and for others. Our Lord says: "You ought always to pray, and not to faint," that is, never to grow tired of praying. "Whatsoever you shall ask, believing, you shall obtain." Trust, confidence that we shall get what we ask, is the disposition God requires of us, and how can we fail in this needful confidence when we reflect that even in our smallest prayer we can have on our side the Virgin Most Powerful? Even the Saints in Heaven, as we have said, have to go to Her to get their prayers answered. Let us call upon Her first of all, and we shall most surely obtain answers to all our petitions.

Practice: Boundless confidence in Our Lady's power.

VIRGIN MOST POWERFUL

Virgin most powerful, loving helper of the Christian people, how great is the thanks we owe thee for the assistance thou hast given our fathers who invoked thy maternal help by the devout recitation of thy Rosary when they were threatened by the Turkish infidels? From Heaven thou didst see their deadly peril. Thou didst hear their voices imploring thy compassion. Their humble prayers, enjoined by the great Pope, Saint Pius V, were acceptable to thee, and thou camest quickly to deliver them. 

Grant, Dear Mother, that in like manner the prolonged sighs of the Holy Bride of Christ in these our days may reach thy throne and win thy pity. Be moved to compassion and rise once again to deliver her from the many foes who surround her on every side. 

Even now from the four quarters of the earth there arises to thy throne the prayer of the Rosary, to beg thy mercy in these troubled times. Unfortunately our sins hinder, or at least retard their effect. Wherefore, Dear Mother, obtain for us true sorrow for our sins and a firm resolution to face death itself rather than return to our former sins. It grieves us that through our own fault, thy help which we need so desperately, should be denied or come too late. 

Turn to us, O Mary, and graciously listen to the prayers of the whole Catholic World: conquer the pride of those wicked men, who in their insolence blaspheme Almighty God and would destroy His Church, against which, according to the infallible words of Christ, the gates of Hell shall never prevail. Let it be seen once more that when thou doth arise to protect the Church, her victory is sure. Amen. 

photo:Rome - Virgin Mary statue from basilica Santa Maria Maggiore

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