invocations in the Litany of Loreto refer to Mary's divine
first of these titles states the basic truth: Mary is
the Mother of God. Thus it was defined at the Council
of Ephesus, in the year 431, against Nestorius, "If
anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth,
and therefore the holy Virgin Mother of God, since she
brought forth according to the flesh the incarnate Word
of God, let him be anathema" (Denz., 113).
is but one God, that is, one divine nature, but in that
one God there are three distinct Persons. In virtue of
her divine motherhood Mary must therefore enter a most
intimate relationship with each one of these divine Persons.
of the Blessed Trinity
Mother of God Mary becomes the most sacred sanctuary of
the Most Blessed Trinity. The very Godhead, the divine
Life and Operations, abides in Mary as long as she carries
the incarnate Word of God beneath her heart. In her the
Father begets the Son, the Son proceeds from the Father,
the Holy Spirit is breathed forth in the eternal love
of Father and Son. In her dwell Eternity, Omnipotence,
Immensity, and all other divine perfections. In view
of all this St. Thomas can say: "Mary, by the
fact that she is the Mother of God, possesses a certain
infinite dignity, arising out of the infinite good, which
is God" (Ia, q.26, a.6, ad 4).
to the Father
Mother of God Mary can call Him her Son whom the Father
begets from all eternity. The overwhelming majesty of
this fact is set in striking relief in the Christmas liturgy
of holy Church. In the Introit of the first Mass we listen
to the voice of the Father: "The Lord hath said
to me: 'Thou art my son; this day I have begotten thee.'
" In the Gospel of the same Mass St. Luke records:
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped
him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger."
This glorious Mother can say to this her first-born Son,
who is the same only-begotten Son of the eternal Father:
"Thou art my Son; this day I have given thee birth."
The Introit of the third Mass proclaims the joyful
news: "A child is born to us and a son is given
to us. ..." yet this Child is He, of whom St.
John says in the Gospel of this Mass: "In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. ...And the Word was made flesh and dwelt
through Mary the Son of the Father has in all truth become
man, He can now honor, obey, worship, offer sacrifice
to the Father, which He could not do before because of
the equality of nature. Now one act of worship on the
part of the divine Son confers upon the Father infinitely
more honor and glory than the combined honor and glory
rendered Him by all angels and saints. This is a mystery
so profound and incomprehensible that all we can do is
admire and adore.
to the Son
Mary's motherhood the Son of God becomes the Son of Man,
the Head of the human race; it is in Mary that He celebrates
His nuptials with the human race for the purpose of begetting
spiritual children of God. So says Leo XIII: "The
eternal Son of God, about to assume human nature for the
redemption and exaltation of man, and for that reason
to enter a certain mystical marriage with the whole human
race, did not do so until He had received the full consent
of the chosen Mother, who in a certain way acted the part
of the human race" (Octobri mense, 1891).
fruit of this marriage is the Church. According to Pius
XII: "The Church was born from the side of our
Saviour on the cross like a new Eve, mother of all living"
(Mystici Corporis). But, according to the
same encyclical, "Mary offered Him on Golgotha
to the eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained
by his fall, and her Mother's rights and Mother's love
were included in the holocaust." As Mary together
with the Holy Spirit built the physical body of Jesus,
so she now together with her divine Son builds up His
mystical body. The divine life that will quicken the
Church is in Christ, but He will release it only through
Mary. Leo XIII thus expresses this thought: "With
no less propriety may we say that of the immense treasures
which the Lord has produced, by the will of God nothing
whatsoever is to be imparted to us except through Mary.
As no one can come to the Father except through the Son,
so in almost the same manner no one can come to Christ
except through Mary" (Octobri mense).
it is through Mary that the Word of God, begotten of the
Father in the silence of eternity, in inaccessible light,
enters this world. Now the Word of God can speak the words
of God in the language of men, can place Himself at the
head of the human race and lead men in rendering to the
Father adoration and worship, such as men could never
have rendered otherwise.
to the Holy Spirit
relationship to Father and Son finds its completion in
her relation to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit proceeds
from the Father and the Son; no Person proceeds from Him.
Now in the mystery of the Incarnation the Holy Spirit
overshadows the Blessed Virgin and makes her the Mother
of Christ; the fruit of Mary's chaste womb is also the
fruit of His love. And through Jesus and Mary the fruit
of His love will also be all the members of the mystical
body of Christ, for they are born again to the life of
the children of God through water and the Holy Spirit.
is called the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The very name
stands for mutual love, mutual self-surrender - in the
case of two human persons, within the limits of the law
of God; in the case of a divine and human person, absolute
and unconditional on the part of the human person. To
no other human person did the Holy Spirit give Himself
with such fullness of grace and love; no other person
did He associate with Himself so intimately in the sanctification
of souls. On the other hand, from no other human did
He receive such complete, perfect, loving surrender as
relations of the Mother of God to the three divine Persons
so wonderfully unite God and men, produce such harmony
in the works of God, that Mary has been called the complement
of the Blessed Trinity. This expression surely does not
imply that she added anything of her own to the perfection
of the divine Persons, but it does imply that God decreed
from all eternity to unite the whole of creation with
Himself in a mysterious union of life and love through
the Incarnation of the divine Word, and that in the realization
of this decree Mary was to co-operate in a more excellent
way than any other creature.
of God - infinite love and condescension on the part of
God, infinite exaltation on the part of man - all so sublime,
so full of mystery, that it were unbelievable, were it
not a dogma of our holy faith: Mary is the Mother of God.
Lady’s Litany, by Rev. A. Biskupek.