Marian Devotion (Day 13)
May 13, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 13
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Micah (5:1-4a)
The LORD says:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah,
   too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
   one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
   from ancient times.
(Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
   when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his people shall return
   to the children of Israel.)
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
   by the strength of the LORD,
   in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
   shall reach to the ends of the earth;
   he shall be peace.
From a homily on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin by St. Andrew of Crete

The first creation of mankind occurred from the pure and unsullied earth; but their nature darkened its innate worthiness, they were deprived of grace through the sin of disobedience; for this we were cast out of the land of life and, in place of the delights of Paradise, we received temporal life as our inheritance by birth, and with it the death and corruption of our race.

All started to prefer earth to heaven, so that there remained no hope for salvation, beyond the utmost help. Neither the natural nor the written law, nor the fiery reconciliative sayings of the prophets had power to heal the sickness. No one knew how to rectify human nature and by what means it would be most suitable to raise it up to its former worthiness, so long as God the author of all did not deign to reveal to us another arranged and newly-constituted world, where the pervasive form of the old poison of sin is annihilated, and granting us a wondrous, free and perfectly dispassionate life, through our re-creation in the baptism of divine birth.

But how would this great and most glorious blessing be imparted to us, so in accord with the divine commands, if God were not to be manifest to us in the flesh, not subject to the laws of nature, nor deign to dwell with us in a manner known to Him? And how could all this be accomplished, if first there did not serve the mystery a pure and inviolate Virgin, Who contained the Uncontainable, in accord with the law, yet beyond the laws of nature? And could some other virgin have done this besides she alone, who was chosen before all others by the creator of nature? This Virgin is the Theotokos, Mary, the most glorious of God, from whose womb the Most Divine came forth in the flesh, and by whom He Himself arranged a wondrous temple for Himself. She conceived without seed and gave birth without corruption, since her Son was God, though also He was born in the flesh, without mingling and without travail.

[…] The Redeemer of the human race, as I said, willed to arrange a new birth and re-creation of mankind: just as the first creation, taking dust from the virginal and pure earth, where He formed the first Adam, so also now, having arranged His incarnation upon the earth, and so to speak, in place of dust He chooses out of all the creation this pure and immaculate Virgin and, having re-created mankind in His chosen one from among mankind, the creator of Adam is made the New Adam, in order to save the old.

Musical Selection (Chanticleer; Britten)

Of one that is so fair and bright 
Velut maris stella, 
Brighter than the day is light, 
Parens et puella: 
I cry to thee, thou see to me, 
Lady, pray thy Son for me, 
Tam pia, 
That I might come to thee 
All this world was forlorn
Eva peccatrice, 
Till our Lord was he born 
De te genetrice. 
With ave it went away 
Darkest night and comes the day 
The well springeth out of thee, 
Lady, flower of everything, 
Rose sine spina, 
Thou bear Jesu, heaven’s king, 
Gratia divina: 
Of all thou bearst the prize, 
Lady, queen of paradise 
Maid mild, mother
Es effecta. Effecta.
As we venerate the glorious memory
of the most holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Lord,
grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession,
that we, too, may merit to receive
from the fullness of your grace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.  Amen. (Mother of the Lord)