Sunday, November 03, 2019

The Feast of All Saints 2019: The Virgin Mary

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the continuation of the sermon for the third day in the Octave of All Saints.

Among all those whom the world has brought forth from the beginning of God’s creation, the Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary rightly holds the highest place of sanctity and dignity, who has the joy of a mother with the honor of a virgin, and brought forth the king of Angels, while the seal of Her virginity remained intact. Indeed, human nature has produced nothing more excellent than Her; the flesh has brought forth nothing holier than Her, apart from the only-begotten Son of God and Herself. It is She that stands between the Old and New Testaments, and thus joins them both together, so that what those who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to foretell what would come to pass through a Virgin, might be saved by Christ the Redeemer, and so confess that it was fulfilled through the Virgin Mary; and thus rightly might all the choir of the elect venerate Her and proclaim Her the Queen of Heaven and Lady of the Angels.

An icon of the Virgin and Child known as the Madonna of Clemency, painted ca. 700, now in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. The figure kneeling at the lower right (a portion of whose face can be seen in the middle), is believed to be Pope John VII (705-7), a Greek from southern Italy who was particular fervent in his devotion to the Virgin; if this is correct, this would be one of the very first known icons with a portait of the donor in it. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)

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