Regina Sanctorum Omnium, Ora pro nobis


by Abbe Edouard Barthe, 1864

The saints have illustrated the Church by splendid and admirable virtues: they have astonished the world by the heroism of their zeal, their courage, their self-devotedness, and by the prodigies of their humility, patience, and charity; they have entered into the "house of their eternity (Ecclus. xii. 5)," with an abundant harvest of merits, which the Lord has "weighed, even to the smallest, in a just balance (Job. xxxi. 6), and which He has rewarded with a recompense inappreciable (Heb. x. 35).'"

O Mary! you are their Queen: if the saints have been, among the faithful, as so many magnificent flowers which adorned the garden of the Spouse militant of Jesus Christ, in this mystical garden you shone as the Queen of flowers; you displayed conspicuously by your incomparable example," those immense riches of grace with which you were filled--riches incomprehensible to every human mind, to every angelic spirit (St. Bernardin, Serm. 5)!" 

The saints were enabled to exhibit in themselves, in a manner more or less sensible, some traits of the life of their divine Master; in each one some particular virtue shone forth, and in the heavenly "Father's house, where there are many mansions (St. John xiv. 2)," each one receives that portion of special glory which he won during his time of probation.

O Mary! you are their Queen: all the individual merit which each one of them has had, you possessed alone, and in a supereminent degree; all the traits of Jesus, our adorable model, you expressed in yourself as faithfully as any creature could do; you practiced all the virtues, and in so high and perfect a degree, that St. Anselm has said of you, that, "next to the holiness of the Saint of saints none is, or can be conceived like to yours (De excellent Virg.)." And now, in the heavenly country, you are invested with glory in proportion to your sublime merit; all the magnificence of the crowns of all the saints form your crown. But this is not all: your glory surpasses all theirs, as much as all their virtues are inferior to yours, and as it is by the merits of Him whom you gave to the world that the grace to practice those same virtues was granted to them.

The saints have a wonderful power with God in our favor "The Lord," says St. Leo, "is truly admirable in giving them to us not only as models, but also as protectors full of power (In Natalie S. Laurent)." Thousands of splendid facts publish throughout the world "that they reign for ever (Apoc. xxii. 5) in the city of God (Ibid. iii. 12);" and that from the height of their sublime thrones, they reign also by a mysterious influence upon earth.

O Mary! of all these powerful intercessors, of all "these immortal kings (Ibid. v. 10)," you are also the Queen. You do not pray like them, but "you, in some sense, command: for could it be possible, O Blessed Virgin! for Him who was born of you, all powerful as He is, to resist the maternal power which He has given you over Himself (St. Peter Damian, Serm. de Nat. B.V.)?" Yes, "your requests are all but commands (T. 2, in 3 part. lect. 2)," says St. Antoninus; "and what you wish," says St. Anselm, " is infallibly accomplished (De excell. Virg., c. 12)!"

O may this admirable Virgin, to whom all saints offer their crowns, be one day also our Queen! What is required for this? To be saints upon earth. But to be a saint is to live "the life of God (Ephes. iv. 18)," according to the magnificent sentiment of the apostle of the Gentiles; it is to possess His grace, and to labour continually to preserve and increase it within us; it is to love our Creator sincerely, "with all our mind, with our whole heart, and with all our strength (St. Luke x. 27):" for he who loves thus is united to Him in an ineffable manner; and "if he perseveres, he shall be saved (St. Matt. xxiv. 13)," he shall become eternally in heaven a "partaker of the divine nature (2 St. Peter i. 4)," of the glory and even beatitude of God. O "let us raise up our hopes," says St. Augustin, "and direct all our desires towards this eternal possession of God, who is the sovereign good and the source of all true goods (In Ps. 102)." Let us take care not to incur the anathema reserved for those "who set at nought the desirable land, so worthy of all the aspirations of our hearts (Ps. cv. 24)."

O Mary! who united in yourself all the merits of all the saints in a manner so admirable; O you who surpassed them all in this world, by your virtues as well as by your privileges, and who in heaven are superior to them by your glory and power, with them and with all the happy dwellers in the eternal Jerusalem, we bow down before you. August Mother of our Savior, who are seated on His "right hand, in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety (Ps. xliv. 10)" truly divine! You reign over all the elect, O living "habitation of God (Ephes. ii. 22)!" as "in the top of mountains, and high above the hills (Mich. iv. 1)." If we considered only your wonderful greatness, we should not dare to lift up our eyes towards you, O heavenly Queen! but we know all your charity, all your goodness, all your mercy; and our confidence in you is unbounded: through your aid we hope to lead a holy life, and obtain a part of that kingdom of God, where we shall rejoice for all eternity for having said to you here below with tender piety, worthy of your sweet majesty:

Queen Of All Saints, Pray For us! 
Regina sanctorum omnium, or a pro nobis!

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