Uncover the timeless wisdom of St. Alphonsus Liguori's "The Glories of Mary." This profound work reveals the unfathomable love of the Blessed Mother for her spiritual children, inspiring renewed trust and devotion.

The Depth of Mary’s Love for Man

Known as the greatest compendium of eighteen centuries of Marian teaching, The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori is a profound work that has guided souls under the mantle of the Blessed Mother. This excerpt emphasizes the unfathomable love of Mary for us, her spiritual children, and consoles the reader with renewed trust and devotion to the Virgin Mary.

Since Mary is our Mother, we may consider how great is the love she bears us; love towards our children is a necessary impulse of nature. St. Thomas says that this is the reason why the Divine law imposes on children the obligation of loving their parents; but gives no express command that parents should love their children, for nature itself has so strongly implanted it in all creatures, that, as St. Ambrose remarks, ‘we know that a mother will expose herself to danger for her children,’ and even the most savage beasts cannot do otherwise than love their young. 

Mary is our Mother, not, as we have already observed, according to the flesh, but by love; “I am the Mother of fair love;” hence it is the love only that she bears us that makes her our Mother; and therefore someone remarks, ‘that she glories in being a Mother of love, because she is all love towards us whom she has adopted for her children.’ 

Who can ever tell the love that Mary bears us miserable creatures? Arnold of Chartres tells us that ‘at the death of Jesus Christ, she desired with immense ardour to die with her Son, for love of us;’ so much so, adds St. Ambrose, that whilst ‘her Son hung on the cross, Mary offered herself to the executioners,’ to give her life for us.

But let us consider the reasons of this love; for then we shall be better able to understand how much this good Mother loves us. 

First Reason

The first reason for the great love that Mary bears to men, is the great love that she bears to God. Love towards God and love towards our neighbour belong to the same commandment, as expressed by St. John: “this commandment we have from God, that he who loveth God, love also his brother;” so that as the one becomes greater the other also increases. 

The Saints, then, because they loved God much, did much for their neighbour: but who ever loved God as much as Mary? She loved Him more in the first moment of her existence than all the saints and angels ever loved Him, or will love Him. Our Blessed Lady herself revealed to Sister Mary the Crucified, that the fire of love with which she was inflamed towards God was such, that if the heavens and earth were placed in it, they would be instantly consumed; so that the ardours of the seraphim, in comparison with it, were but as fresh breezes. 

Moreover, our Mother loves us much, because we were recommended to her by her beloved Jesus, when He before expiring said to her, “Woman, behold thy son!” for we were all represented in the person of St. John, as we have already observed: these were His last words; and the last recommendations left before death by persons we love are always treasured and never forgotten.

Second Reason

From this arises another motive for the love of Mary towards us; for in us she beholds that which has been purchased at the price of the death of Jesus Christ. If a mother knew that a servant had been ransomed by a beloved son at the price of twenty years of imprisonment and suffering, how greatly would she esteem that servant, if on this account alone! Mary well knows that her Son came into the world only to save us poor creatures, as He Himself protested, “I am come to save that which was lost.” If, then, Mary loved us but little, she would show that she valued but little the blood of her Son, which was the price of our salvation. To St. Elizabeth of Hungary it was revealed, that Mary, from the time she dwelt in the Temple, did nothing but pray for us, begging that God would hasten the coming of His Son into the world to save us.

Third Reason

And now, if Mary is so good to all, even to the ungrateful and negligent, who love her but little, and seldom have recourse to her, how much more loving will she be to those who love her and often call upon her!

Let us, in fine, do or desire to do all that it is possible for a lover to do, who intends to make his affection known to the person loved. For be assured that the lovers of Mary will never be able to equal her in love. ‘I know, O Lady,’ says St. Peter Damian, ‘that thou art most loving, and that thou lovest us with an invincible love.’102 I know, my Lady, that among those that love thee thou lovest the most, and that thou lovest us with a love that can never be surpassed.’

This article is taken from a chapter in The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori which is available from TAN Books



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