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Saint Aelred - Mary Our Mother

Updated: May 30, 2020

Let us come to his bride, his mother, his perfect handmaid, for the blessed Mary is all of this.

But what are we to do for her? What kind of gifts shall we offer her? Would that we could at least return what we are in duty bound to do, for we owe her honor and service, we owe her love and praise. We owe her honor, for she is the mother of our Lord. He who fails to honor the mother clearly dishonors the son. Also, Scripture says: Honor your father and your mother.

What then, my brothers, shall we say? Is she not our mother? Yes, my brothers, she is indeed our mother, for through her we have been born, not for the world but for God.

Once we all lay in death, as you know and believe, in sin, in darkness, in misery. In death, because we had lost the Lord; in sin, because of our corruption; in darkness, for we were without the light of wisdom, and thus had perished utterly.

But then we were born, far better than through Eve, through Mary the blessed, because Christ was born of her. We have recovered new life in place of sin, immortality instead of mortality, light in place of darkness.

She is our mother—the mother of our life, the mother of our incarnation, the mother of our light. As the apostle says of our Lord: He became for us by God’s power our wisdom and justice, and holiness and redemption.

She then, as mother of Christ, is the mother of our wisdom and justice, of our holiness and redemption. She is more our mother than the mother of our flesh. Our birth from her is better, for from her is born our holiness, our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification, our redemption

Praise the Lord in his holy ones, say the Scriptures. If our Lord is to be praised in those holy ones through whom he brings to being deeds of power and miracles, how much more is he to be praised in her in whom he fashioned himself, who is wonderful beyond all wonders.

From a sermon by Saint Aelred (Sermo 20, In Nativitate beatae Mariae: PL 195, 322-324).

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