Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony is a saint I am sure we have each called upon at some point in our lives to help us find something. He is more than just helping us find our lost items, he was also a great Theologian, being declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. Born in 1195 in Lisbon, he died in 1231 in Padua and was canonized the following year. I present this section of one of his writings for our reflection this upcoming week. Have a blessed week ahead!
“Blessed Mary was like the shining sun at the angel’s Annunciation; as a bright rainbow at the conception of the Son of God; and as the rose and the lily at his Nativity. The sun has three properties: brightness, whiteness and heat, which correspond to the three utterances of Gabriel. The first is: Hail, full of grace; the second: Fear not; the third: The Holy Spirit will come upon you.
When he says: Hail full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women – there is the brightness of the sun. We can relate this to four virtues, each of which you may find shining threefold in Mary. From temperance she derived control of the flesh, modesty of speech and
lowliness of heart. She showed prudence when she was silent though troubled, when she understood what she heard, and when she replied to what was proposed. She possessed
justice when she gave to each its proper due. She followed custom with a steadfast heart in her espousal, in her Son’s circumcision, and in her legal purification. She showed compassion to the afflicted when she said: They have no wine; and communion with the saints when she was persevering in prayer with the Apostles and the women [cf. Ac 1.14]. From fortitude or greatness she undertook the intention of virginity, she held to it, and showed faith in so great a matter.
According to St Bernard, the twelve stars in the crown of the woman [cf. Apoc 12.1] represent the twelve privileges of the Virgin- four heavenly privileges, four bodily, and four of the heart.
The heavenly privileges are: Mary’s generation, the angelic salutation, the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, the ineffable conception of the Son of God.
The bodily privileges are: her outstanding virginity, her undefiled fruitfulness, her unburdensome pregnancy, her painless child-bearing.
The privileges of her heart are: devout humility, modest meekness, unfaltering faith, martyrdom of the heart (whereby a sword pierced her soul).
The heavenly privileges can be related to: The Lord be with you; the bodily to: Blessed art thou among women; and those of the heart to: Full of grace.” – St. Anthony of Padua