The Marian Times

Mother of All Peoples

O, Gracious Advocate

The following is an excerpt from the great Marian classic “The Glories of Mary” by the Marian doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus de Liguori.


Section I. Mary is an Advocate who is able to save all.

So great is the authority that mothers possess over their sons, that even if they are monarchs, and have absolute dominion over every person in their kingdom, yet never can mothers become the subjects of their sons. It is true that Jesus now in heaven sits at the right hand of the Father, that is, as Saint Thomas explains it, even as man, on account of the hypostatical union with the Person of the Divine Word. He has supreme dominion over all, and also over Mary; it will nevertheless be always true that for a time, when He was living in this world, He was pleased to humble Himself and to be subject to Mary, as we are told by St. Luke: ” And He was subject to them.” And still more, says Saint Ambrose, Jesus Christ having deigned to make Mary His Mother, inasmuch as He was her Son, He was truly obliged to obey her. And for this reason, says Richard of Saint Lawrence, ‘ of other Saints we say that they are with God; but of Mary alone can it be said that she was so far favoured as to be not only herself submissive to the will of God, but even that God was subject to her will.’ And whereas of all other virgins, remarks the same author, we must say that ” they fol­low the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,” of the Blessed Virgin Mary we can say that the Lamb followed her, having become subject to her.

Section II. Mary is so tender an Advocate, that she does not refuse to defend the cause even of the most miserable.

So many are the reasons that we have for loving this our most loving Queen, that if Mary was praised through­out the world; if in every sermon Mary alone was spoken of; if all men gave their lives for Mary; still all would be little in comparison with the homage and gratitude that we owe her in return for the tender love she bears to men, and even to the most miserable sinners, who preserve the slightest spark of devotion for her. Blessed Raymond Jordano, who, out of humility, called himself the Idiot, used to say, “that Mary knows not how to do otherwise than love those who love her; and that even she does not disdain to serve those who serve her; and in favour of such a one, should he be a sinner, she uses all her power in order to obtain his forgiveness from her Blessed Son. And he adds, “that her beg­nignity and mercy are so great, that no one, however enormous his sins may be, should fear to cast himself at her feet; for she never can reject anyone who has recourse to her.” “Mary, as our most loving advocate, herself offers the prayers of her servants to God, and especially those who are placed in her hands; for as the Son intercedes for us with the Father, so does she intercede with the Son, and does not cease to make interest with both for the great affair of our salvation, and to obtain for us the graces we ask.” With good reason, then, does Denis, the Carthusian, call the Blessed Virgin “the singular refuge of the lost, the hope of the most abandoned, and the advocate of all sinners who have recourse to her.”

Section III. Mary is the Peace-maker between sinners and God.

The grace of God is the greatest and the most de­sirable of treasures for every soul. It is called by the Holy Ghost an infinite treasure; for by the means of Divine grace we are raised to the honour of being the friends of God. These are the words of the Book of Wisdom: ” For she is an infinite treasure to men; which they that use become the friends of God.” And hence Jesus, our Redeemer and God, did not hesitate to call those His friends who were in grace: ” You are My friends.” O accursed sin, that dissolves this friendship! ” But your iniquities,” says the prophet Isaias, “have divided between you and your God.” And putting hatred between the soul and God, it is changed from a friend into an enemy of its Lord, as expressed in the Book of Wisdom : ” But to God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike.” What, then, must a sinner do who has the misfortune to be the enemy of God? He must find a mediator who will obtain pardon for him, and who will enable him to recover the lost friendship of God.