Saint John Eudes - Divine Sovereignty Mirrored in the Admirable Heart of Mary

Updated: May 30, 2020

Among the several names given to God in Sacred Scripture, none occurs more frequently than that of Lord. It is the name his Divine Majesty constantly assumes when speaking to men. "I am the Lord" (Exod 29:46; Lev 19:32). He wishes to impress upon our minds and in our hearts a most high esteem, a profound respect and a complete submission towards the supreme authority of his adorable Sovereignty.

What then is this divine Sovereignty? It is a perfection that gives God absolute and infinite power over all the works of his hands. He can give life or death when he pleases, in the place and manner he chooses; he can hurl us into the abyss of nothingness, or withdraw us therefrom. He can throw us into hell and deliver us from it. "The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell and bringeth back again" (1 Kings 2:6). In a word, God can dispose of all his creatures, from the least to the greatest, as he pleases, and no one may ask him: "Why dost Thou act thus?"

Having chosen to make the Queen of Angels and men the most noble image and the most perfect picture of his divine attributes, God likewise chose to communicate to her his adorable sovereignty in a very sublime degree.

God is called Lord, and he wishes Mary to be called Lady. He is universal Lord of all things, and he wills her to be sovereign Lady of the universe. He is "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev 19:6), and she is the queen of queens and sovereign of sovereigns. He has absolute power to do whatever he wishes; and having given Mary a Mother’s authority over his Son, who is God himself, he has consequently given her marvelous power over everything that is subject to her Son. In other words, God possesses the dominion of a God over all things created by him, and can dispose of them as he pleases. Mary, on the other hand, has the power of the Mother of God over all things that depend on her Son, and she can do with them what she chooses.

I hear Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, saying: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth" (Mt 28:18), and I hear Mary, the Mother of God, exclaiming: "My power is in Jerusalem" (Sir 24:15). God has given me power over the great city of Jerusalem, its suburbs, villages and dependencies, that is, over the entire Church, Triumphant, Militant and Suffering, as well as over all the other parts of the world, which are, as it were, the suburbs, villages and appurtenances of this marvelous city. "In every people and in every nation I have had the chief rule" (Sir 24:9-10)

But let us listen to the voice of the holy Fathers, or rather to the Holy Spirit speaking through their lips. "When Mary became the Mother of the Creator, she was established sovereign Lady over every creature," says St. John Damascene (1). And he adds: "The Son of Mary put all things under the sway of his Blessed Mother" (2). "O most Holy Virgin," exclaims St. Anselm, "God Almighty has wished to make all things possible to thee, as they are to himself!" (3) "Having made her the Mother of his Son," says the commentator Eusebius Emissenus, "God raised her to the dignity of Queen of Angels and men, and gave her sovereign authority, after himself, in heaven and on earth" (4). "Nothing is capable of resisting thy power," observes St. Gregory, Archbishop of Nicomedia, "nothing can withstand thee. All things comply with thy commands, all things obey thy sway; thy sovereignty is over everything" (5). "God has given her absolute power in Heaven and on earth," remarks St. Bernard. "He has placed our life and our death in her hands" (6).

Other writers assure us that the power of the Blessed Virgin Mary has no limits, when she wishes to help those who invoke her with good dispositions. "Her help is omnipotent" (7). Her intercession with her Son possesses never-failing virtue. St. Peter Damian says that when she appears before the dread tribunal of the Divine Majesty, her Son does not regard her as his servant, but as his Mother, having all power over him. He therefore receives her prayers, not as petitions, but as commands. "For how would it be possible, O Blessed Virgin," adds the saint, "that he whom thou didst bring forth, even though he is almighty, should resist the maternal authority he has given thee over him?" (8)