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of man's redemption; her offering was accepted, for she was pure and spotless; her offering was accepted, for while she offered it, the victim also offered Himself, who, at the same time that He was a poor suffering man, clothed with our sins and iniquities was also God, the second person of the most blessed Trinity, born of the Father before all ages. But behold, O Christian, the Lamb of God, thy Redeemer. Behold that tender, that innocent Jesus, all mangled and torn. He has become as a leper; there is no comeliness in Him; He is even now about to expire under these cruel torments. Ah! who has thus tortured the innocent Lamb of God? It was man, His own creature whom He came to save. But how could man thus torture one in whom there was no sin, who went about doing good? It was the serpent who deceived him, that serpent who in the garden of paradise had caused man's fall now deceived himself; for he doubted whether it was the Son of God; but knowing that He was a just man who persecuted him he sought his revenge, and said: “Let us cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more;”and thus became the very instrument of that death which gave

life to the world. Behold the offering is already made; man is once more restored to life by the instrumentality of a pure and spotless woman: “He was offered because He willed it.”

Who offered Him ? He offered Himself, but Mary offered Him also. She had accepted Him by her own free-will. He would not become man without her consent. She was a Virgin, and was not bound by the law; but she presented Him to His Eternal Father in the temple. She heard the price of the sacrifice : “And thine own soul a sword shall pierce.' And she herself stood at the foot of the cross, and ratified it. The price is already paid, but Eve had given the fruit to Adam. Mary was to give the fruit to the world, for all graces were to come to us through her : “ Jesus saith to His Mother: Woman behold thy Son. After that He saith i Jerem. xi, 19.

2 Is. liii, 7.

3 Luc. ii, 35.


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to the disciple: behold thy mother."]

Thou art no longer my Mother, for thou hast restored me to my Eternal Father, from whom thou didst receive me. Thou hast paid me as the price of man's redemption. Behold thou hast purchased them; thou hast purchased their lives ; give life unto them; they are thy children. Oh men, behold your true Mother; behold your advocate; behold her who will obtain all good things from Me for you.' This mount of Calvary was, as I have already remarked, the counterpart of paradise. Jesus, therefore, to show us that His holy Mother took the place of Eve, not of guilty Eve, the mother of death, but of the innocent Eve who, had she not sinned, would have brought forth her children unto life; and also to show us, that she was the woman foretold in Genesis, who was to crush the serpent's head, calls her “ Woman;" for thus alone was Eve called in her state of innocence. On one other occasion does our Lord address His most holy Mother by this name : it was when she anticipated the office with which she was charged on Calvary, and became the advocate of the bride, and bridegroom of Cana : “Woman, what is that to thee and to me? my hour is not yet come.”? In the seventh chapter of Saint John it is said that, “No man laid hands on Him because His hour was not yet come.

." And in the thirteenth chapter : Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that His hour was come that He should pass out of this world to the Father,” &c. Therefore Jesus spoke of the hour of His death, and said to Mary : “The hour in which sacrifice is to be completed; the hour in which thou wilt offer me to the Eternal Father, and receive men in exchange; the hour in which thou wilt become the dispenser of all graces, the Mother, the advocate of all who are my disciples, is not yet come; but since thou anticipatest it I will also do so. “Woman,” our dear Mother well understood these words. She saw thereby that her request was granted, and turning to the servants, she said, “What1 Joan. xix, 26, 27.

2 Joan. ii, 4.


soever He shall say to you do ;” and our Lord worked His first miracle by changing water into wine.

Thus, dear reader, we have seen that the Church teaches us to love Mary, and to go to her as to our Queen, our refuge, our advocate, and our Mother; for all the Saints have attained perfection by this road, while the wicked run in the opposite direction. We have seen that our salvation is more or less secure in proportion as we love and confide in this best of Mothers, who is the most perfect of all pure creatures, and consequently the most beloved by God, and the most powerful to obtain all good things from her Divine Son. We have seen that she was the counterpart of Eve, and co-operated in our salvation as Eve had co-operated in our eternal death. We have seen that our Lord Himself

gave her to us as our Mother and Advocate, through whom we are to receive all graces. And, finally, that in her all things are restored; for she is the new paradise, the "enclosed garden" in which grew that fruit of life of which we are commanded to eat : “My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." He that eateth this bread shall live for ever."1 Choose then, beloved reader, will you range yourself on the side of the wicked, who fear to love Mary too much, or will you not rather follow the holy Catholic Church and all the Saints in that tender and filial love, that unbounded confidence which they have ever shown to this most loving, most sweet, most compassionate of all Mothers ? Oh yes, I doubt not but that the last will be your course, and then, in truth, I am happy; for if you persevere in loving Mary you will be saved, and that is my most ardent desire. Be assured of it

your salvation is certain. The devil will, however, do all that he can to shake your resolution; therefore be on your guard, and look always with suspicion on all who speak slightingly of Mary, and say that the Church or the Saints attribute too much to her; for under the garb of a friendly advice is concealed a snare of your cruel enemy.

1 Joan. vi, 56, 59.

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İn the work now before us we find many examples of miracles and graces obtained through the intercession of Mary. Saint Alphonsus does not pledge himself to them, he merely gives them as illustrations, on the authority of authors, who, in his time, were deemed trustworthy. Each one can admit or reject them as he would any historical fact. If he thinks the evidence sufficient he can admit them, if not he can reject them. I would, however, make one remark, which is, that Saint Alphonsus was a learned man as well as a Saint, and therefore we are not, on slight grounds, to reject that which he has inserted in his works as being founded on good authority. In this present translation, two examples have been omitted, not on account of their wonderful character, but because very extraordinary events require an authority of more than ordinary weight. That on which these two examples are founded, was considered, in the last century, good, by learned men. Since that time, however, doubts have been raised upon the subject. I have therefore substituted for them, two examples taken from the third part of the work. Some of the examples may, at first sight, seem trivial, but, on reflection, they will be found to contain deep subject for thought. As an illustration of what I



may refer to the case of a holy man who ardently desired to see our Blessed Lady. This good Mother was willing to gratify her loving client, but sent him word that it could only be on condition, that after seeing her he should remain blind. Mary appeared, but her servant, unwilling to lose both his eyes, looked at her with one only, whereupon she disappeared. Now, how sublime a lesson is taught us in these few words. If we hope to see God and our dear Mother Mary, we must close our eyes to the things of the world, we cannot serve God and mammon; and if we divide our hearts and endeavour to serve both we shall fall off entirely from the service of God, and from devotion to Mary, and thus lose our souls. The well-disposed will find in the whole work, as well as in the examples, everything that they can desire to inspire them with holy

thoughts and affections, to inspire them with greater and greater devotion to Mary, and gratitude to God, who, in the person of His most holy Mother, has given us the most holy, the most powerful, and the most compassionate of Mothers; and to strengthen and confirm them in a devotion which certainly is a pledge of eternal salvation, and which is granted by God only to those whom He sees will correspond with grace, and consequently be saved. On the other hand, the ill disposed will find in this work, as indeed they do, according to the measure of their iniquity, in the sublimest doctrines of the Catholic Church, ample scope for their irreverent or wicked criticisms. For such the work is not written ; but do you, dear reader, study and meditate upon all it contains with that childlike simplicity which is so pleasing to God, and to which the kingdom of heaven is promised. Remember that it has been strictly examined by the authority which is charged by God Himself to instruct you, and that that authority has declared that it contains NOTHING worthy of censure; that it has been welcomed by all lovers of Jesus and Mary throughout the world, with an enthusiasm which can only be equalled by the scorn and ridicule which, as an invariable rule, attend all that is powerful to snatch from the world its votaries, and from hell its victims.

In presenting you with this work I realise a long and affectionately cherished desire of my heart. I offer to my own sweet Mother Mary a very small instalment of a debt of gratitude, which the thanks and praises which I hope, through her intercession, to lavish

upon her for all eternity in heaven will not pay, but if she only graciously deigns to accept it, such as it is, and to give me her maternal blessing, and at the same time bestow that same blessing on all who read this work, I can truly say in the joy of my soul : “Now dost Thou dismiss, O Lord, Thy servant in peace, for mine eyes

have seen Thy salvation. Pray for me, gentle reader, and may we, after this our exile, meet together at the feet of

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