Virgin Theotokos

On the Admirability of the Virgin Theotokos from the words of the vision: A great sign appeared

St. Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap

Doctor of the Church

Translated from the Opera Omnia S. Laurentii a Brundusio

Vol. 1, Padua, 1964, pp. 5–15


On the Praises and Invocation of the Virgin Theotokos

I. On the Vision of St. John, the Evangelist SEVEN SERMONS FOR THE SATURDAYS OF LENT

Rev. 12:1–5


Saturday after Ash Wednesday

A great sign appeared in the sky; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under Her feet, etc.[1]

I. When St. John, the Apostle and Evangelist, the beloved disciple of Christ and after the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos [Virginis Deiparae], the singular son of the Cross of Christ, having been relegated to the island of Patmos, suffered many things for the Faith of Christ, he was consoled in the same place by God with many celestial and divine revelations. For, as that (Apostle) says: As there has abounded in us the sufferings of Christ, so also through Christ abound our consolations:[2] for: According to the number of my sorrows in my heart, Thy consolations have made my soul rejoice.[3]

With singular effort [studium] (St.) John, who had rested upon the breast of the Lord during the (Last) Supper,[4] and had chosen the best part, as Mary had done [Mariae], which would not be taken from him,[5] had always been intent, after the Ascension of Christ the Lord into Heaven, upon divine contemplations, but in the time of tribulation he used to employ himself more vehemently [impensius operam dabat] with divine things; for this was the custom of the Saints. Wherefore, since (St.) John at that time [tunc temporis] « enkindled by a more ardent flame, was rapt unto God, and driven above by certain, seraphic ardors, he began also to be overflowed [superfundi] more abundantly that usual and much more copiously with the sweetness of divine contemplation, and to feel more accumulatively the gifts of heavenly emissions [immissionum] ».[6]

Wherefore, just as God the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in our every tribulation[7] had consoled him, just as once He did to Jacob, the Patriarch, with the vision of the heavenly Staircase,[8] to Moses with the divine apparition in the burning bush,[9] to the three youths in the ardent furnace with angelic consolation and heavenly refreshment,[10] and just as He did to (St.) Paul, for the sake of consolation [consolationis ergo], He snatched up to the third heaven, unto Paradise itself, in an ineffable manner with the vision of celestial glory;[11] so had He consoled (St.) John in many ways. Often, with Heaven unbolted, He showed him, just as (He had done) to (St.) Stephen, the glory of Paradise, the glory of Christ, the glory of God.[12] Often He rendered him glad with the vision and locution of the Angels, and steeped [perfudit] him in great joy. Often from the sublimity [sublimi] of the heavens, the most sweet Savior appeared to him. Often he was deigned even with the vision of the glory of the Father. O happy (St.) John, thrice and four times blessed, with the gift of divine charity! Because Jesus loved him.[13]

II. One thing could have been lacking to (St.) John. He loved [Diligebat] above all things Christ, with all his affection, truly from his spirit, with his whole inmost being [praecordiis], just the most loving [amantissimum] Groom (is loved by His) most beloved [dilectissima] Bride. On this account, he was steeped in such great joy by the vision of Christ. But who does not know, that he was also devoted to the Virgin Theotokos, the Most Holy Mother of God, with a most high piety, that he pursued Her with a most high charity as one does a most sweet and loving mother? For he knew that he was loved similarly by Her as Her dearest son after Christ. For even to His Mother Christ had said of (St.) John: Behold Thy son!, and to (St.) John of His Mother: Behold thy Mother! and he accepted, he said, Her, the disciple into his own [in sua]:[14] (that is) he accepted (Her) among his own [in propria].

What, I ask, did (St.) John have of his own [proprii] in the world, he who, to follow Christ, had forsaken all things, father and mother, indeed even his own life? In what manner did he accept the Virgin, Mother of Christ, among his own, who having left all things, possessed nothing of his own? However, one does show one’s feelings [Sed affectus ostenditur]. He accepted Her as the thing most dear (to him) beyond measure, as riches inestimable, as a treasure infinite. He esteemed Her his own treasure, all his riches, all his goods. Thus did (St.) John pursue the Virgin Mother, with great, ineffable, inestimable affection.

But for Her part, not many years after the Ascension of Christ the Lord into … Heaven, Mary had also been assumed by Christ to the heavenly realms [regna], to assist as Queen at the right hand of the Most High Emperor in golden vesture, surrounded with the variety (of the heavenly court).[15] For, about in the fifteenth year after Christ (had ascended), the Virgin Theotokos has been assumed into Heaven. But (St.) John lived until the times of Trajan.

And since he had been relegated to the Isle of Patmos by Domitian, “that monster of horrendous cruelty”,[16] after the Most Holy Virgin was already translated into Paradise, he had been left “in this valley of tears” for the utility of the Church, thus by the disposition of Christ.

(St.) John knowing that the Virgin had been assumed into Heaven and exalted above all the angelic orders to the right hand of Christ, could not not rejoice and exult in spirit. But deprived of the conversation and sweet solace and divine consolation of such and so great a Virgin, he could not not be sad and weep at his lot. Thus his quest for the Virgin was also a thing most familiar to him [Perspectum id erat Virgini et optime notum]. And are we to think that She had forgotten (St.) John? In what manner could She forget him, whom, accompanying in place of Christ, She was to hold to Her maternal bosom? The chief butler of the Pharaoh forgot the innocent Joseph in prison.[17] In this manner, Mary, least of all, could be forgetful. Wherefore it helps one believe that the Most Holy Virgin would often look upon (St.) John from the sublimity of the heavens, and would console him as a most dear mother does her most beloved, and at the same time loving, son.

III. But (St.) John seemed to me to have wanted to record [consignare] a certain singular apparition of the Virgin in the Eternal Monuments [i. e. in Sacred Scripture], when he said: A great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under Her feet, and on Her head a crown of twelve stars.

Here (St.) John speaks of the Virgin Theotokos, as Ephiphanius,[18] St. Bernard,[19] Rupert[20] and the other Fathers judged it [sensere]. This (St.) John himself insinuates, nay rather he has seemed to have demonstrated, when he says that: She gave birth to a Son, who was rapt up to God and to His throne, who is to rule the nations with an iron rod.[21] With which words he without doubt described Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords,[22] the Only-Begotten of God and the Virgin Theotokos’ Son. Therefore there appeared to (St.) John the Virgin Theotokos, the Mother of Christ, the Spouse of God, the Queen of the heavens, the Lady of the Angels, clothed with celestial glory, and with divine splendors … irradiated, with the wonderful majesty: A great sign appeared in heaven.

Moreover, the Lord wished to show to (St.) John by this heavenly apparition, of what kind and how great (was) the treasury of that Faith he commended on earth, in which there are seen deposited all the treasures of riches and the glories of the Empyrean Heaven. He wished through (St.) John to show to the universal Catholic Church, to all the faithful of Christ, of what kind and how great is the greatness and glory of the Most Blessed Virgin in Paradise in the sight of the Angels and the Elect of God; lest we think Her to have been spurned by God, for the reason that the Holy Spirit has honored He by a certain sacred silence in the Divine Letters.

IV. For wonderfully sober and thrifty is the Divine Scripture in regard to the Virgin, just as on the nature of the Angels and the glory of the Paradise above this world [supramundani], of which in his cosmogony Moses neither includes a discourse [sermonem instituit], nor even touches upon their creation; though he did mention [protulerit] many things concerning the visible founding [conditionem] of the world, concerning the terrestrial paradise, concerning the formation of man, inspired [afflatus] (as he was) by the Divine Spirit, and recorded many works of God and men, plainly with historical sobriety and truth, in the Eternal Monuments. Had Moses contemned the founding of the Jerusalem of Heaven and of the Angels, whose Founder and Craftsman [artifex] is God? Why, therefore, did he omit (Her)? But as one prudent he abstained, since those things which had to be said, went above and beyond [supra … excedebant] the measure comprehended [captum] by the human mind and reason and the strengths of our genius.

So of the Virgin Theotokos, (St.) Epiphanius says in Panario, haereses 78: « Scripture was silent on account of the excellence of the miracle, and lest it lead the mind of men into stupor ».[23] Because of this Divine Scripture says nothing of the parents of the Virgin, of Her conception and origin [ortu], as it does regarding (St.) John (the Baptist); nothing of Her age, life, manners, undertakings [instituto], nor of Her death does it say anything. But as one unexpected [ex insperato] it introduced Her, after the likeness of that great priest of God, Melchisedech, the King of Salem,[24] of whom (St.) Paul says that he was without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither a start of days nor an end[25] for the reason that of these nothing dug up from the letters on the Sacred Page is found. Thus with a certain divine majesty of priests She had been introduced, as something celestial and divine, not human or arisen from earth.

And just as the Royal Prophet says of God, that He is praised in silence: A hymn befits Thee, o God in Sion:[26] in Hebrew: To Thee silence, praise, God in Sion; because we cannot say anything worthily of God, but with … silence it is better to wonder at divine things, than coldly and tastelessly speak of them: so the Holy Spirit, by whose inspiration have spoken holy men of God,[27] wanted to honor the Theotokos with sacred silence, and by this to mention only that She was worthy to betroth God, and to both conceive and give birth to the Only-Begotten Son of God.

Thus with a certain divine majesty there was introduced to this world [in orbem] the Most Holy Virgin: The Angel Gabriel was sent by God … to a Virgin … and having stepped in to the Virgin the Angel said to Her: Hail, Full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.[28] Thus indeed: A great sign appeared in Heaven; it appeared as one unexpected, heavenly and divinely did it appear, formed by the hand and art of God. Just as that first mother of the living, Eve, has been formed from the first Man of the earth, Adam, most similar;[29] so Mary from the second Man from Heaven, Christ, (was) indeed the heavenly woman. Hence it says that A great sign appeared in Heaven.

V. By this heavenly vision God wanted to demonstrate to the orthodox[30] Church, in whatever manner (possible), the divine grandeurs [magnalia] of Mary and to disclose to the faithful those things which lay hidden in the Virgin, that all might know of what kind and how great is the glory of the Virgin from those things which had been written of Her.

There are two things, if I may speak summarily, which have been divinely handed down to us concerning the Virgin: that She was [extiterit] the Spouse of God and Mother of Christ; just as concerning Eve, that she was the bride [conjux] of Adam and the bearer [genetrix] of men. In the same manner indeed in this vision two things have been presented to human minds: that She be the Spouse of God, the Queen of heaven, the Spouse of the Most High King, and that She conceived and gave birth to Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God and the True God. But these two accompany such and so great a glory! It shows Her robe, Her throne and Her crown: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under Her feet, and on Her head a crown of twelve stars. O wonderful vision!

Often we read that God Himself appeared to the Saints and to the Patriarchs and Prophets worthy of God, to manifest His glory to them, but never in such an so great glory and majesty. He appeared to Abraham in the sky amidst the stars.[31] He appeared to Jacob on the height of the heavenly ladder, ministered to by the Angels.[32] He appeared to Moses in the burning bush.[33] He appeared to Isaiah upon a lofty and elevated throne [solium], as the Seraphim chanted the divine Trisagion.[34] He appeared to Jeremiah with the rod, as he made / vigil.[35] to Ezekiel in a triumphal chariot of glory;[36] to Daniel in the majesty of a judge.[37] But in none of these places do we read that He is clothed, (or) there is a throne and crown.

Christ showed His glory to the chosen Apostles on the holy mountain, when He was transfigured before then, and His face shone just like the sun, His vestments for their part became white as snow.[38] But He did not entirely shine after the likeness of the Sun, nor was He crowned with stars, or did He appear exalted upon the Moon. In other places, as in the Apocalypse, we often read that Christ was seen in glory, by (St.) John, with a face shinning after the likeness of the Sun; but now in the midst of seven candlesticks of gold and seven stars;[39] now crowned with a rainbow [iride];[40] now wreathed with many crowns;[41] yet never with so much glory.

What is this? Is the glory, now, of the Virgin in Heaven greater than the glory of Christ? than the glory of God? Not in the least [Minime gentium]. But just as the custom came into use in the courts [curris] of the princes and kings of this world, that a queen, on her wedding day and on public solemnities, appear with more splendid and much more richer garments, much more ornate in gold and the most precious gems, (and) if I may say so, much more glorious than the king himself or the prince, the son of the king, on account of what is fitting to her status and sex; so has Mary appeared in heaven, girt about with a greater glory, than did God or Christ ever appear with.

VI. Nor is it to be wondered at. For since Christ shone [claruerit] in the world with the great glory of signs and miracles, He has willed that His own Apostles and most of all Peter, His vicar and the leader [coryphaeum] of the Apostles, twinkle not with a lesser, but with a greater glory of miracles: They who believe in Me, they shall do these, and they shall do greater than these.[42] In the same manner His Mother, He willed appear in Her own more wonderful glory: A great sign appeared in Heaven. Truly a great sign: a great, august, and divine miracle! For this is a great sign: a miracle. Just (as it was said): Seek for thyself a sign from the Lord thy God,[43] that is, a miracle. Master, we want to see a sign from thee:[44] in the same manner it is written that Moses brought forth many signs in Egypt:[45] in the same manner Hezekiah sought a sign from Isaiah:[46] in the same manner it was written of (St.) John (the Baptist) that he worked no sign.[47] Therefore a great sign is understood to be a miracle.

An this was the first encomium of the Virgin Theotokos, that She was [extitit] a great miracle for the world. The divine Ignatius, in his First Epistle to John, calls the Theotokos, « a celestial prodigy and a most sacred spectacle ».[48] Blessed Ephraim, the Syrian, in his book On the Praises of the Virgin, says that She is « the most outstanding miracle on the face of the earth [orbis terrae] and the crown of the Saints ».[49] (St.) John Chrysostom, in his sermon On the Nativity, says that the Virgin in truth was a great miracle.[50] (St.) Epiphanius similarly, in a certain sermon of his, says: « Stupendous is the miracle in the heavens: a women clothed with the Sun! Stupendous is the miracle in the heavens: a woman bearing the Light in Her arms! Stupendous is the miracle in the heavens: another [alter] cherubic throne! Stupendous is the miracle in the heavens: the marriage-bed of the Virgin holds the Son of God ».[51]

Wonderful was the ladder seen by Jacob in his dreams, whence he said: Truly the Lord is in this place … and trembling (said): How terrible is … this place! This is not but the house of God and the gate of Heaven;[52] but it signified [designabat] the Virgin, the true House of God. Wonderful (was) Moses’ burning bush: I shall go and see this great vision, why the bush not be burnt up;[53] but it prophesied [praemonstrabat] the Virgin, « having the joy of a mother with the honor of virginity ».[54] Wonderful (was) the rod of Aaron, which by a miracle flowered, and gave forth leaf and fruit;[55] but it was a type of this Virgin: There shall step forth a rod from the root of Jesse.[56] There shall surge forth a rod out of Israel.[57] Wonderful (was) the ark of the testament, which worked so many miracles;[58] but what was it but a picture-writing of the Virgin [Virginis hieroglypichum]? Wonderful (was) the Temple of the Lord, of which (the Psalmist) says: Holy is Thy temple, wonderful in its equity;[59] but Mary (is) the true Temple of God, in whom every fullness of the Divinity indwelt.[60] Wonderful (was) the house of Solomon which stupefied [in stuporem deduxit] the queen of Saba;[61] but She was [extitit] the true House of the true Solomon, the Christ, the peace-making King: Behold, One greater than Solomon, here![62] O great miracle! Him whom heaven and the heaven of the heavens could not grasp, She bears completely in Her womb![63] The Lord shall do something new upon the Earth, a woman shall surround a man.6[64]0 The Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold a Virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son,[65] the Emmanuel, God-man, perfect God, perfect man. Who has every heard of such a thing? and who has seen its like?[66]

Christ is also called in the Sacred Letters a ‘miracle’: His Name shall be called ‘Admirable’,[67] in Hebrew, ‘Miracle’. In the same manner we also read: Know that the Lord has made His Holy One wonderful.[68] Moreover it is not without mystery [vacat mysterio] that Christ is called a ‘miracle’ in a singular manner. For all the works of God, most of all in creating, justifying and glorifying, can be named ‘miracles’. Whence it is said: Wonders Thy works and my soul shall know them exceedingly.[69] And in another passage: Who alone works great wonders … He made the Heavens in His understanding … He founded the land upon the waters … He made the great lights.[70] But Christ the Man, among all the works of God, is, as the Sun among the stars, the Most August Miracle of God. Hence that Angel, who, in the person of Christ, appeared to the parents of Samson, was called ‘wonderful’,[71] or ‘miracle’, or even ‘miracle worker’. And, in Psalm 88, where we read: Let the Heavens confess Thy wonders, Lord,[72] the Hebrew is: Let the Heavens praise Thy Miracle, Lord, and Thy Truth. Moreover, who does not know, that Christ is the Truth of God?

Therefore, since Christ is the Most August miracle of God, of which even Isaiah, chapter 25 in the Hebrew (says): I shall praise Thy Name because Thy has wrought a miracle;[73] Mary cannot be but a great miracle, since She is most similar to Christ, just as the full Moon is to the Sun. Wherefore just as God from the beginning placed two great lights in the sky;[74] so in Paradise (He has placed) two great miracles, Christ and Mary. Hence we read that the Angels, admiring Christ, (say): Who is this king of glory? Who is this king of glory?[75] who is this, who comes from Edom, with garments dyed from Bosra, this handsome one in his stole, marching in the multitude of his fortitude?[76] Similarly we read that admiring Mary (they say): Who is this who ascends from the desert, overflowing with delights?[77] And again: Who is this who ascends through the desert as a stream of smoke from the aromatics of myrrh and incense and all the powders of the ointment-maker?[78] Even still (they say): Who is this who steps forward as the surging dawn, beautify as the Moon, shining as the Sun, terrible as an army in battle array?[79] Thrice do they wonder, since Mary, just as Christ, is a threefold miracle, of nature, of grace and of glory. Therefore, just as Christ is a great miracle to the Angels, so also Mary; a great miracle, Christ, a great miracle, Mary, the Mother of Christ: A great sign appeared in Heaven.

VII. We call a supernatural and divine work, exceeding the innate powers [vires] of nature a ‘miracle’, because not but the Divine Hand can work it; for: With God no word shall be impossible.[80] But what innate power of the nature of the elements, or of the heavens, nay of men, or of the Angels, could bring about [efficere], that a woman, born in a humble place, exalted in virtue and merit above all creatures, would also conquer the Angels in purity, the Seraphim in charity, would be joined to God, and in her womb conceive God Himself, and give Him birth to the world, as an incorrupt virgin, at once mother and virgin!

Every work, new, unusual, rare, which seizes those who look upon it with great admiration and stupor, we are accustomed to call a ‘miracle’. But Mary, how new, how rare, how unusual a work of the Omnipotence of God! Because He, who is mighty, has done great things to me, and holy is His Name.[81] Moses descending from the Mountains, with a shining face, was like a miracle to the Hebrews.[82] What kind of miracle would Mary be to us, if we were allowed to see Her together with (St.) John in Her celestial glory!

But Mary in the world was also a miracle of virtue and sanctity openly super-human, super-angelic, truly divine. Whoever is most excellent in any art and profession, whose actions and works men are accustomed to admire, we call ‘wonderful’, a ‘miracle of nature’. But Mary was most excellent in the art and profession of virtue and sanctity. For by means of the temple of virtue She has stepped into the temple of honor and glory before God and the holy Angels in Heaven. Hence the Archangel Gabriel, the supreme [summus] prince of the Angels, admiring the virtue of Mary, saluted Her with great reverence, saying: Hail, Full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.[83] Why is it that he calls Her ‘Full of grace’, except that he looks upon one much more full of it than the Angels? O miracle of sanctity!

Indeed in all things Mary was a great miracle, because conceived by a miracle from sterile and elderly parents, just as Isaac[84] (and St.) John (the Baptist was),[85] with Her conception also foretold through an Angel just as theirs too,[86] and also Samson’s (was);[87] She was born by a miracle, just as many more, than can be said, had wondered at the birth of (St.) John (the Baptist);[88] a miracle in body: Most beautiful of women;[89] a miracle in soul: the most holy of souls;[90] a miracle in life, super-human, … super-angelic, more than seraphic; wonderful in death, for, if: Precious in the sight of the Lord the death of His saints be,[91] wherefore often God honors and illustrates the death of His Saints with many miracles; how precious is the death of this His Most Holy Mother to be judged to have been? Finally, (She was) a great miracle after Her death, when having been awaked by Her most beloved Son, the Destroyer of death and the Author of life, from a light sleep, She was assumed into Heaven by the company of the Angels, gifted with immortal glory, and wonderfully set at the right hand of the Majesty as the Highest Queen, Spouse of God and true Mother of Christ. Thus indeed: A great sign appeared in Heaven.

But Mary was a singular miracle of virtue and sanctity. A certain holy Doctor (of the Church) used to say that « there seemed to him to be three great miracles: God and Man, this is the first: Mother and Virgin, this the second: faith and the human heart, this the third ».[92] For on this account Christ, having seen the faith of the Centurion, wondered.[93] But in Mary the Faith was perfect: Blessed is She who has believed, that those things which were said to Thee by the Lord, would be accomplished.[94] Moreover, faith and the human heart is, next, truly the great miracle, since a living faith, like the body with its spirit, works through love [dilectionem] and charity.[95] The faith of Mary was living; hence immediately as She offered Her faith to the Angel, She went forth in haste upon the mountain country, into a city of Judah,[96] to visit Her kinswoman Elisabeth. O wonderful faith, charity, humility! Whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?[97] Divine honors do not change the conduct [mores] of the Most Blessed Virgin.

VIII. In the same manner, now, too, endowed with a wonderful humility and charity for us, to come to our aid in our necessities, and relieve our miseries, is the Mother of mercies, the Fountain of divine graces, the sea, the immense open-sea of charity and clemency. For indeed, towards all the faithful of Christ is She touched with a maternal charity, each and every one does She seek out with a Mother’s Heart [maternis visceribus]; since in (St.) John (the Apostle) every (member) of the faithful has been commended to Her by Christ upon the Cross, when He said to Her: Woman, behold Thy son![98] Moreover, just as through Isaiah there is said, that a woman can not be forgetful of her infant, to not remember the son of her womb,[99] thus are we to think of the Most Blessed Virgin.

Moreover, for this has She been clothed with the Sun, that we might know, that just as the Sun, one though it be, nevertheless illumines each and every man and warms with its heat as if it had been founded by God for each individual man, for there is not one who can hide himself from its heat;[100] in the same manner the Virgin Theotokos is the Mother of each and everyone, thus common to all as the very own Mother of each. And just as the whole Sun is seen by each and every man, so that any man may perceive with his eyes the whole disc [imaginem] of the Sun; thus any of the faithful, if he consecrate [devoveat] himself with his whole heart [totus ex animo] to the Virgin, can enjoy the whole of Her charity as if he were Her only son. For on account of this did Christ speak to Her in the singular, saying: Woman, behold Thy son.

IX. A great sign, an august miracle is what many estimate the resuscitation of Lazarus to have been, the crown of Christ’s miracles, and on account of which Christ said: This infirmity is not unto death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.[101] Moreover the Savior Himself seems to have worked the greatest sign and miracle of them all, His own Resurrection, since to the Jews, asking Him for a sign, He said: No sign shall be given him except the sign of Jonah, the prophet.[102] A sign, indeed, from Heaven, great and entirely wonderful, as the one they sought from Him; for He rose again in that majesty and glory, in which He appeared transfigured, when His face shone like the Sun.[103] But if Christ, after His death, in glory (is) a great miracle, behold Mary, after Her death, most glorious, clothed with the Sun and the Moon under Her feet, and on Her head a crown of many stars.

A great sign! Wonderful indeed is the ornament of heaven; whence the Royal Prophet (says): Since I shall see Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers, the Moon and the stars which Thou has founded.[104] I shall see, that is, ‘I shall contemplate’, ‘I shall wonder at’. And the Wise man says of the Sun: Admirable vessel, a work of the Most High.[105] But never is it all seen at once. For in the day the Sun is indeed seen, but not the stars; moreover in the night the stars indeed appear, but the Sun lies hidden beneath the horizon; and the Moon, when it is beneath the Sun, and conjoined to it, lies entirely hidden to us, and is least of all conspicuous. But here both the Sun is seen and at the same time the splendid Moon is discerned beneath it, and at the same time most refulgent stars twinkle in Heaven. Indeed, every ornament of Heaven has God, the Creator of all, placed in Mary.

Therefore, how wonderful She is!


  1. Apoc. 12:1.
  2. 2 Cor. 1:5.
  3. Psalm 93:19. The Vulgate has multitude [multitudinem] in place of number [numerum].
  4. Cf. Jn. 21:20.
  5. Lk. 10:42.
  6. St. Bonaventure, Legenda Prima S. Francisci, ch. 13.
  7. Cf. 2 Cor. 1:3–4.
  8. Cf. Gen. 28:12–16.
  9. Cf. Exod. 3:2–5.
  10. Cf. Dan. 3:49–50.
  11. Cf. 2 Cor. 12:2–4.
  12. Act. 7:55.
  13. Cf. Jn. 19:26.
  14. Jn. 19:26–27.
  15. Ps. 44:10.
  16. Tertullian, Apol. ch. 5 (Patrologia Latina, vol. 1, p. 293).
  17. Cf. Gen. 40:23.
  18. Cf. Contra Haereses. 78. (Patrologia Graeca. vol. 42, p. 1043), and his Oration, De Laudibus Deiparae., Apocrypha. (PG. vol. 43, p. 494).
  19. Cf. Sermo In Dom. inf. Oct. Assumpt. near the beginning (PL. vol. 183, p. 1007).
  20. Cf. In Apocalypsem., p. 12 (PL. vol. 169, p. 441).
  21. Apoc. 12:5.
  22. ibid. 19:16.
  23. N. 11 (PG. vol. 42, p. 1043).
  24. Gen. 14:18.
  25. Heb. 7:1–3.
  26. Ps. 64:1.
  27. 2 Peter 1:21.
  28. Lk. 1:26–28.
  29. Gen. 2:7.
  30. The Manuscript reads: Orthodox.
  31. Cf. Gen 15:5.
  32. Cf. Gen. 28:12–13.
  33. Cf. Exod. 3:2.
  34. Cf. Isaiah 6:1–3. [Trans. note: the Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, etc.]
  35. Cf. Jer. 1:11.
  36. Cf. Ez. 10:8–9.
  37. Cf. Dn. 7:10.
  38. Mt. 17:2.
  39. Cf. Apoc. 1:13–16.
  40. Cf. ibid. 4:2–3.
  41. Cf. ibid. vv. 4–10.
  42. Cf. Jn. 14:12.
  43. Is. 7:11.
  44. Mt. 12:38.
  45. Cf. Exod. 7:8 & 12:36.
  46. Cf. Is. 38:22.
  47. Jn. 10:41.
  48. PG. vol. 5, p. 944. Apocryphal.
  49. Or rather his Sermon, vol. 1, 599.
  50. Cf. In Nativitate. Christi, near the beginning (PG. vol. 56, p. 388), according to the sense.
  51. De Laud. Virginis, near the middle (PG. vol. 43, p. 493).
  52. Gen. 28:12–17.
  53. Exod. 3:3.
  54. Caius Sedulius, Carm. Pasch., v. 65. (PL. vol. 19, p. 203).
  55. Nm. 17:8.
  56. Is. 11:1.
  57. Nm. 24:17. The Vulgate has: A rod shall surge completely from Israel [Consurget virga de Israel].
  58. Cf. 1 Kings 5:8–10 & 6:19–21.
  59. Ps. 65:5–6.
  60. Cf. Col. 2:9.
  61. Cf. 3 Kings 10:4–7.
  62. Mt. 12:42.
  63. Cf. Little Office of the Blessed Virgin. 1st Responsory of the Nocturne of Matins.
  64. Jer. 31:22. The Vulgate has: has created [Creavit] in place of shall do [Faciet].
  65. Is. 7:14.
  66. Is. 66:8.
  67. Is. 9:6.
  68. Ps. 4:4.
  69. Ps. 138:14. The Vulgate has: knows [cognoscit] in place of shall know [cognoscet].
  70. Ps. 135:4–7.
  71. Judges 13:18.
  72. Verse 6. The Vulgate has: shall confess [Confitebuntur], loc.: Let … confess [Confiteantur].
  73. Is. 25:1.
  74. Gen. 1:16.
  75. Ps. 23:8–10.
  76. Is. 63:1–2.
  77. Cant. 8:5.
  78. ibid. 3:6.
  79. ibid. 6:9.
  80. Lk. 1:37.
  81. Lk. 1:49.
  82. Cf. Ex. 34:30–35.
  83. Lk. 1:28.
  84. Cf. Gen. 21:1.
  85. Cf. Lk. 1:36.
  86. Cf. Gen. 17:16 and 18:10; Lk. 1:13.
  87. Cf. Judges 13:3.
  88. Cf. Lk. 1:57–67.
  89. Cant. 1:7 and elsewhere.
  90. Cf. Lk. 1:28: Blessed art Thou among women. And from other similar passages.
  91. Ps. 115:15.
  92. Cf. St Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermo III, in Vigilia Nativitatis Domini, n. 7. (PL. vol. 183, p. 763 ff.).
  93. Mt. 8:10.
  94. Lk. 1:45.
  95. Gal. 5:6.
  96. Lk. 1:39.
  97. Lk. 1:43.
  98. Jn. 19:26.
  99. Is. 49:15. The Vulgate has: have mercy upon her son [misereatur filio], in place of: remember the son [recordetur filii].
  100. Ps. 18:7.
  101. Jn. 11:4.
  102. Mt. 12:39.
  103. Mt. 17:2.
  104. Ps. 8:4.
  105. Eccli. 43:2.