Mary is the loving Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son, and the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Mary is intimately intertwined and linked with the Blessed Trinity. This short Marian essay that follows offers seven separate titles that the Church offers to strengthen our knowledge, love, devotion, and desire to imitate Mary. Saint Louis de Montfort states clearly: The quickest, easiest, and shortest path to Jesus is through His Blessed Mother, Mary most holy. Loving Mary brings us to love Jesus, and Jesus brings us to the very Heart of God the Father.
SEVEN MARIAN TITLES TO FOSTER LOVE AND DEVOTION.
1. THE MASTERPIECE OF CREATION. In his over-flowing love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Louis de Montfort penned this title: Mary, the Masterpiece of Creation. Reflect on masterpieces in the world! The Pieta by Michelangelo; The Divine Comedy, written by Dante; The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci; The Prodigal Son, painted by Rembrandt; the majestic Major Basilicas in Rome; Confessions, written by Saint Augustine; the Summa Theologica, composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas—all of the above are literary and artistic accomplishments that leave us almost stunned by their striking beauty and depth. In the same way we can say that two of the greatest creations of God are the Incarnation of the Son of God and the creation of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was actually instrumental in the working of the Incarnation of the Son of God. Mary is indeed The Masterpiece of Creation. What do you admire most in her???
2. MYSTICAL SPOUSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. As mentioned above, Mary has an intimate union with the Blessed Trinity. Of course this includes her relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Immaculate Conception was the work of the Holy Spirit—Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb without the stain of Original Sin. The Virginal Conception is the operation of the Holy Spirit—Jesus was conceived in Mary by the overshadowing (Shekinah—Hebrew) of the Holy Spirit. The Church was born upon the coming of the Holy Spirit, the day of Pentecost—Mary was there in prayer, silence, and fasting for nine days before this monumental event. Do you want to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit? Then, learn to love Mary; she is His Mystical Spouse!
3. THE MYSTICAL ROSE. In the literary masterpiece of Dante, the Divine Comedy, as Saint Bernard ascends to the higher regions of heaven, he lifts up his eyes and contemplates a beauty that captivates him beyond the expression of human language as he sees THE MYSTICAL ROSE. This beautiful flower in the center of the Garden of Heaven is the Blessed Virgin Mary. This flower is known for its captivating beauty, aromatic redolence and scent, and softness of touch. So it is in drawing close to Mary, The Mystical Rose. Mary attains for us the understanding of true beauty, the appreciation of grace in our soul and the souls of others. Mary attains for us a spiritual sense in which we are almost magnetically drawn to what is pure, noble, holy, and saintly. Finally, Mary, through her powerful but gentle presence, attains for us a gentleness, meekness, and tenderness in dealing with others, so important in drawing souls back to God!
4. MOTHER OF MERCY, OUR LIFE, OUR SWEETNESS, AND OUR HOPE. Many titles in one, Mary is indeed our Mother in the order of grace and helps us to maintain grace in our souls by avoiding sin. Upon falling, Mary attains for us the grace to rebound with resiliency and throw ourselves into the arms of our merciful and loving Father. She attains for us life, and life in abundance—love for Jesus. In the midst of the bitterness of life, she fills our souls with sweetness. Finally, in a world that has lost meaning, purpose, and hope, Our Lady buoys us up on the wings of eagles to view beyond this life and peer into heaven, our true home. Read the classic of Saint Alphonsus Liguori Hail Holy Queen. Pray slowly and often the beautiful prayer said at the end of the Holy Rosary: Hail Holy Queen
5. GATE OF HEAVEN. The purpose of our short, transitory, ephemeral and unpredictable life on earth is to attain heaven. By cultivating a dynamic love, devotion, and trust in Mary, we are on the highway to heaven. True there are many detours and potholes in the road. Mary, Gate of Heaven, helps us in the midst of turmoil, stress, uncertainty, tension, and suffering to have our eyes fixed on the purpose of our life—to get to heaven. One of the beautiful titles for Mary is GATE OF HEAVEN. As a loving and tender Mother, she is praying for you right now, so that you will love Jesus fully and totally in this life, so as to praise Him forever in heaven.
6. ESTELA MARIA—STAR OF THE SEA! One of the most famous prayers/poems ever written on Mary was by the Mellifluous Doctor, Saint Bernard of Clairveaux, with the title Estela Maris—meaning Star of the Sea. In the midst of the tempestuous sea of life, surrounded by so many dangers from within and from without, we must have our eyes lifted on high and contemplate Estela Maris—the Star of the Sea. That beautiful, shining, and glimmering Star of the Sea is Mary. Way before the invention of electricity, sailors depended greatly on the light of the stars to navigate them to port safely and securely. Amidst the storms of life, we must lift our gaze on high to Mary, Estela Maris, the Star of the Sea. Indeed, by her most powerful prayers, she will lead us safely to the port of salvation, our heavenly home. Never was it known that anyone who turned to Mary was left unaided. (Memorare, Saint Bernard)
7. QUEEN OF ALL HEARTS. Finally, we conclude with one of the favorite titles of Saint Louis de Montfort, Our Lady, Queen of all hearts! May you always strive with all the energy of your whole being to seek refuge in two most special places: The most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May Jesus be the King of your heart and Mary be the Queen of your heart in time and for all eternity!
Let us conclude with an inspiring quotation from Saint John Eudes and the Heart of Mary: The Heart of Mary is a sun that spreads its rays and warmth throughout the world. It is constantly working in every way possible for the salvation of souls. May Our Lady’s prayers set our hearts on fire with love for Almighty God and the salvation of immortal souls!