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An Ancient Meditation on Mary’s Beauty, Virtue, and Sanctity

An Ancient Meditation on Mary's Beauty, Virtue, and Sanctity
An Ancient Meditation on Mary's Beauty, Virtue, and Sanctity

O Virgin, full of every grace, wholly radiant and serene! You are the sacred and blessed resting place for the Son of God, resplendent in gold and dazzling in loveliness and glory! In the first place in your magnificent crown I shall place a topaz, excelling the sparkle of all other stones. This I do hoping to reflect the praise and glory of your singular excellence. This topaz is well suited to be an ornament of your crown, O most sweet Mistress; for just as you excel all women in the beauty of your flesh, so also you surpass all saints and angels in the excellence of your holiness. For your whole life stands as an example of sanctity and perfection, and a model of the most impeccable purity of morals.

If one considers faith, who was ever richer in it than you?

If one considers hope, who was ever more patient or more unwavering?

If love, who was more fervent?

Who was ever more studious in sacred reading?

Or more devout in prayer?

Or more subtle in contemplation?

Or more sincere in piety?

Or more clement in mercy?

Or purer in chastity?

Or more spotless in virginity and temperance?

Or more generously endowed with divine knowledge?

Or more eloquent in justice?

Or stronger in the face of adversity?

What angel or saint ever penetrated more deeply into the heavenly mysteries?

Who ever drew divine grace more fully into themselves than you?

Or who ever perceived with more clarity and illumination the ineffable majesty of the Most High God?

Therefore, O Mistress, you shall deservedly have as an ornament of your head this topaz—a jewel more stunning than all other stones! For you surpass all other saints and angels in beauty of virtue, in splendor of holy charisms, and in the merits by which you are crowned. Because of the loveliness of all the good qualities you possess and the generous fruitfulness of all your mercies, you draw sinners to reconciliation. You encourage all those who struggle to fight on to the crown of their victorious reward, and you lead the just to the prize of eternal glory.

O Empress of the earth, and Queen of Heaven, when you bore your glorious Son—who was also the Son of God and our Savior—you abolished our servitude and restored our liberty! You conquered death and granted us new life. You refresh us in our anxiety; you comfort us in our adversity; you strengthen us in our weakness; you liberate us from the domain of death; you rescue us from demons; you save us from eternal damnation; you open the gates of paradise to us; you unite us with our precious Redeemer!

O Mother of mercy, you untie that which is bound up; you lighten our afflictions; you heal the wounded; you obtain mercy for sinners; you revive those who are failing; you restore those who have fallen away; you give hope to those who despair. You renew honor; you rejuvenate faith; you pour forth grace and new strength. You alleviate anger; you restore our lost inheritance; you separate us from the devil; you purify us from sin—O most gracious Mother, you reconcile us to God himself!


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