If you expose a diamond to the sun, then you will admire the diversity of the colors that emanate from the diamond, like a beautiful rainbow after a torrential downpour. The Blessed Virgin Mary can be compared to the beautiful diamond rays and the sun. The saints have many points in common and one of these is their great love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, their ""Marian perspective" will be slightly different; in other words, all the saints have a specific "Marian charism" that differentiates one from the other.
Therefore, let us enter into the hearts of some saints to admire the way that they were captivated by the beauty of this "Precious Diamond of God"--- the name of this diamond is the Blessed Virgin Mary. After making this spiritual tour with the saints and their "Marian Perspective", you might ask yourself, what special quality of the Blessed Virgin Mary most appeals to the innermost recesses of your own heart?
1. ST. JOSEPH. Of all the saints St Joseph was by far the person who knew Mary best, being her beloved spouse. Praying with her, protecting her, providing for her, sacrificing himself for her, praying for her, loving and cherishing her--- St Joseph indeed has a unique and most profound relationship to Mary most Holy. Indeed he could be called the "First devotee" of Mary after Jesus Himself! Love for Joseph, fosters love for Mary; love for Mary necessarily draws us into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Jesus reveals the Father to us!
2. ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST. SPIRITUAL SONSHIP. "The beloved disciple", the fourth Evangelist, known as the "Eagle", the Mystic, had a deep filial relationship to Mary. Jesus said from the cross:"Woman behold thy son; son behold they mother." From that moment the beloved disciple took her (Mary) into his home. Mary was spiritual mother to John and in John is to be found each and every one of us: we are Mary's spiritual sons in "John the Evangelist". Living with Mary, praying with her, celebrating Mass for her and giving her Holy Communion-- all of these must have been ecstatic experiences for this "Virgin disciple" who watched over the Virgin Mary!
3. ST. AUGUSTINE. After his radical conversion and founding of the order after his own name, "The Augustinians", this great saint called Mary, "Our Lady of Good Counsel". In doubt and before making important decisions, we should invoke Mary's intercession. Furthermore, Augustine, with his usual eloquence and verbal depth, coined this Marian masterpiece: "If we were to put all of the love of all of the mothers of all times together, then the love that Mary has for YOU is much greater! How great Mary loves you!
4. ST. BERNARD. Known as the "Mellifluous Doctor"--- "Honey-mouth" Doctor due to his poetic eloquence, lifted up magnificent hymns of praise of God through Mary. In the saint's famous hymn/poem, he portrays Mary as "Stella Maris", the "Beautiful Star of the Sea". Common knowledge for the sailors of the time, the stars were the sure luminaries and guides , leading the sailors safely to the port. In the midst of the many storms, tempests, turmoils, uncertainties of human life, we who are human sailors, heading towards the port of salvation, must have our eyes, minds and hearts elevated to Mary, the Star of the Sea. She will guide us securely and safely home to heaven. "Ave, Stella Maris" (Prayer in True Devotion to Mary, St Louis de Montfort).
5. ST. DOMINIC GUZMAN. Founder of the Dominicans (Order of Preachers) fought courageously against the heretics of the day--- the Albigensians. No success! Until Our Lady appeared to the saint and encouraged him in his work, but told him to preach the Rosary. This done, huge numbers of heretics returned to the practice of the Catholic faith. Therefore, the Marian charism of St. Dominic is the Rosary, Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
6. ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI. Living at the same time as St Dominic, St Francis prayed in the "Portiuncula". This great saint paid honor to Mary under the title of "Queen of the Angels". In heaven the angels praise the Trinity, but through the intercession of Mary, Queen of all angels and saints. However, a privileged role was carried out by the Archangel Gabriel, who was given the mission to announce to Mary that she would be the Mother of God.
7. ST PETER NOLASCO. Founder of the Mercedarians, whose charism was to liberate slaves. His Marian charism is "Our Lady of Ransom". We have been ransomed, bought back, at a dear price, the Blood of Jesus. May Our Lady help us to recognize our great dignity, and the price of our salvation!
8. ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA. Received the inspiration of the formation of the Spiritual Exercises through the intercession of Mary. However, in Rome, Ignatius as well as other Jesuit saints cultivated special honor to "La Madonna De la Strada"--- Our Lady of the way/street/Pilgrim Virgin. This beautiful image can be found in the famous church of the Jesuits in Rome, "Gesu". May Our Lady accompany us every step on our way in our journey to heaven!
9. ST. TERESA OF AVILA/ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS. Both Carmelites, honored in a special way "Our Lady of Mount Carmel". This, of course, brings us in contact with the Scapular, which is "Mary's garment". Those who wear it with faith, devotion and purity are promised special protection and blessings from Mary in this life and the life to come!
10. ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI. Founder of the Redemptorists, and prolific writer, his classic Glories of Mary, manifested a special and tender devotion to Mary in all times and places but especially under the title of "Our Lady of Perpetual Help". Mary is always ready to help us, especially in the darkest moments of our life. Just call on her!
11. ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT. The famous French missionary, writer, poet, and author of True Devotion to Mary, invokes Mary fervently as "Queen of all hearts". Mary wants to reign in your heart so as to bring Jesus as King to reign totally in your life!
12. ST. JOHN BOSCO. Founder, author, builder, mystic, lover of youth, miracle-worker, would always attribute the miracles carried out not to himself but to Mary under the title of "Our Lady Help of Christians". The famous dream of the ship portrays two pillars ascending from the waters. On the top of the highest pillar is Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; on the top of the other pillar, lower and facing the pillar with the Blessed Sacrament is Mary, Help of Christians. She points us to Christ and teaches us how to adore and worship Him.
13. LUCIA DE LOS SANTOS (FATIMA) Heard Our Lady tell the world to pray the Holy Rosary 6 times. However, she was called to stay longer than her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, until she was 98, for the purpose of spreading devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. "Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation."
14. ST. THERESE. A faithful daughter of Carmel, once her heart burst out in love for Mary with these words: "Mary indeed is Queen, but she is Mother before Queen." St. Therese' health was spared by the smile of Our Lady as Mother. "Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death" . Amen
15 ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE. The martyr of the concentration camp, who valiantly offered his life in sacrifice for a man with a family, manifested a fiery devotion to Mary all of his life. He was dubbed as"Knight of the Immaculata". Mary and the Immaculate Conception, fascinated this saint and motivated him to accomplish miracles for her, to the point of shedding his life, in a bunker by being starved to death!
16. BLESSED JOHN PAUL. Reading the life of this former saint----__Maximillian Kolbe---- was inspired to become a priest. His motto as Pope was "TOTUS TUUS EGO SUM"-- taken from St. Louis de Montfort. |"Mary I am all yours and all that I have is yours!" Pope John Paul II died on the first Saturday of the month of April, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday.
17. ST. FAUSTINA KOWLASKA. Loved our Lady of mercy, but also a faithful daughter of Poland cultivated a tender devotion to Our Lady of Jasna Gora/-- the black virgin with the scar on her face. To love Mary is to understand mercy, love mercy, and live mercy in our lives. "Hail Holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope...
18. St. MARIA SOLEDAD. Foundress of the "Servants of Mary", whose charism is to assist the dying in their last days, invoked Mary under the title, ""Our Lady, Health of the Sick". May Our Lady, heal us of our spiritual sicknesses-- sin-- and help us to bear patiently our crosses and sicknesses as a means of purification, sanctification and means to unite ourselves to the Passion, suffering and death of Our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
19. ST. JOSEPH COTTOLEGNO. Contemporary of St John Bosco and founder of the "Piccola Casa"-- (The Small House), which sheltered, fed, and supported (and still supports) huge numbers of handicapped people, had a very fascinating devotion to Mary, under the title of Mother of Divine Providence. With a limitless trust in Mary, and almost always in debt, he knew that Mary would help him to feed, pay, and support the poor, handicapped and sick who he saw as Jesus. Indeed Mary did! To this day, this little city, is maintained by daily donations and trust in Our Lady of Divine Providence.
20. VENERABLE FATHER BRUNO LANTERI. Founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, noticed these circumstances. When heresies raise their ugly heads in the world, it is through the intercession of Our Lady that these heresies are conquered; clear example was in the time of St. Dominic and the defeat of the Albigensian heresy. Father Lanteri's Marian motto was: "Maria invoca; Maria cogita", meaning, invoke Mary, and think of Mary!
May the words of the great Doctor of the Church, St. Bernard, encourage us to imitate the saints in their love for Mary, "When Mary supports you, you will not fall. With her as your protector, you will have nothing to fear. With her as your guide, you will not grow weary. When you win her favour, you will reach the port of heaven." (True Devotion to Mary, St Louis de Montfort # 174). Like the saints, may we all one day be a precious jewel in the crown of the Queen of Heaven and earth that will shine brightly for all eternity!