Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Feast of All Saints 2013: The Virgin Mary, Model of All Holy Women

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the continuation of the sermon for the fourth day in the Octave of All Saints:
Just as the most blessed Virgin Mary, who is rightly proclaimed the Queen of Angels, holds the first place among the elect, so also in the solemnity dedicated to all the Saints, She must be named and praised before all the rest. To this most glorious patron, the queen of chastity, is devoted the innumerable choir of virgins, and following Her example, gladly do they offer to Christ that vow of virginity which She first offered to the Lord, choosing rather to be united with the Heavenly Spouse in the chaste state of virginity, than to be joined (with another) in the joys of matrimony. … With humble prayers, therefore, let us knock at the door of this dwelling of the virgins, that She may deign to open to us the chamber of love and chastity, so that when we are admitted therein, with purity of mind and acceptable prayers, we may obtain the joy of our salvation also from the order of women. 
The façade of the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, with the Virgin and Child and ten holy virgins; 12th-13th century. (Click for larger view.) It is not known whether the two saints to the right of the Virgin Mary have different headdresses and extinguished lamps for a deliberate reason, or as the result of an incompetent restoration.

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