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Reflections: Mary, Our Mother Sctn. (Passn./Dth.)

The Blessed Virgin Mary

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Mary/The Passion & Death of Jesus

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Mary & The Passion and Death of Jesus

 

Category
Quotation

Mary & The Passion and Death of Jesus

Also See: Way of the Cross (Topic Page)

"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many is Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." (Lk. 2:34-35)

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (Jn. 19:25-27)

"Mary's heart was pierced in the fulfillment of her Son's mission."

"As the sun surpasses all the stars in luster, so the sorrows of Mary surpass all the tortures of the martyrs." (St. Basil)

"Mary not only leads us to the Mystery of the Cross like a teacher; she also participates in that Mystery. She suffers with Jesus and suffers with us." (Pope John Paul II)

"In martyrs, the intensity of their love mitigated their sufferings, but with Mary it was different; the more she loved, the more she suffered, and the greater was her martyrdom." {Richard of St. Victor}

"Oh! In what floods of tears, in what an abyss of sorrow is she whelmed, that Virgin Mother, as mourning she beholds her Son taken down from the blood-stained tree and laid in her arms!" (Liturgical Year)

"It was in the presence and under the very gaze of Mary that the divine sacrifice of our redemption was consummated; she took part in it by giving to the world and nourishing the divine Victim, she the Queen of Martyrs." (Pope St. Pius X)

"And here Jesus teaches us how to die, for if He would have His Mother with Him in the hour of His great surrender, then how shall we dare to miss saying daily: 'Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.'?" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"She was so closely united to the sacrifice of her divine Son, from the virginal conception of Jesus Christ to his sorrowful Passion, that she was called by some fathers of the Church, Virgin Priest." (Pope Pius IX)

"I should say rightly that the Mother of God was both virgin and martyr, although she ended her days in peace, wherefore: Thine own soul a sword hath pierced - namely for her Son's death." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"Nor was Mary less than was befitting the Mother of Christ. When the apostles fled, she stood before the Cross and with reverent gaze beheld her Son's wounds, for she waited not for her Child's death, but the world's salvation." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 396 A.D.)

"[W]hat anguish unutterable must have filled the soul of this Mother, when raising up her eyes, she sees the mangled Body of her Son, stretched upon the cross, with His face all covered with blood, and His head wreathed with a crown of thorns!" (Gueranger)

"While the soldiers were doing their cruel work, He was thinking anxiously of His mother: These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." (St. Theophylact)

"As [Mary] suffered and almost died together with her suffering and dying Son, so she surrendered her mother's rights over her Son for the salvation of the human race. And to satisfy the justice of God she sacrificed her Son, as well as she could, so that it may be justly said that she together with Christ has redeemed the human race." (Pope Benedict XV, "Inter Sodalica")

"Look at the holy and immaculate Mother; she holds in her lap the lifeless body of her divine Son. Could you possibly imagine that the sorrowful Mother would murmur against God? That she would ask the reason for such suffering? We would not have been redeemed, if that Mother had not seen her Son die in torment and there would not have been for us any possibility of salvation." (Pope Pius XII)

"The blood of Christ shed for our sake, and those members in which he offers to his Father the wounds he received as the price of our liberty are no other than the flesh and blood of the Virgin: 'The flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary, and however much it was exalted in the glory of his resurrection, nevertheless the nature of his flesh derived from Mary remained and still remains the same.' (St. Augustine)" (Pope Leo XIII)

"Though there were other women by, He makes no mention of any of them, but only of His mother, to show us that we should specially honor our mothers. Our parents indeed, if they actually oppose the truth, are not even to be known: but otherwise we should pay them all attention, and honor them above all the world beside: When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, He says to His mother, Woman, behold your son!" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Heavens! what honor does He pay to the disciple; who however conceals his name from modesty. For had he wished to boast, he would have added the reason why he was loved, for there must have been something great and wonderful to have caused that love. This is all He says to John; He does not console his grief, for this was a time for giving consolation. Yet was it no small one to be honored with such a charge, to have the mother of our Lord, in her affliction, committed to his care by Himself on His departure: Then says He to the disciple, Behold your mother!" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"The silence is again broken: Jesus speaks His third word, and it is to His Mother; but He does not call her by that dear name, for it would redouble her pain: 'Woman!' He says, 'behold thy son!' Then looking upon John, He says to him: 'Son! Behold thy Mother!' What an exchange was here for Mary! But oh! What a blessing it brought upon John, and through him to all mankind: The Mother of God was made our Mother!...[L]et us, today, gratefully receive this last testament of our Jesus, who, having by His Incarnation made us the adopted children of His heavenly Father, now, in His dying moments, makes us children of His own blessed Mother." (Gueranger)

"Thus [at the Cross] we find ourselves at the very center of the fulfillment of the promise contained in the Proto-gospel: the 'seed of the woman...will crush the head of [Satan]' (cf. Gen. 3:15). By his redemptive death Jesus Christ conquers the evil of sin and death at its very roots. It is significant that, as he speaks to his mother from the Cross, he calls her 'woman' and says to her: 'Woman, behold your son!' Moreover, he had addressed her by the same term at Cana too (cf. Jn. 2:4). How can one doubt that especially now, on Golgotha, this expression goes to the very heart of the mystery of Mary, and indicates the unique place which she occupies in the whole economy of salvation?" (Pope John Paul II)

"Of these virtues the life of Mary bears in all its phases the brilliant character; but they attained their highest degree of splendor at the time when she stood by her dying Son. Jesus is nailed to the cross, and the malediction is hurled against Him that 'He made Himself the Son of God' (John xix., 7). But she unceasingly recognized and adored the divinity in Him. She bore His dead body to the tomb, but never for a moment doubted that He would rise again. Then the love of God with which she burned made her a partaker in the sufferings of Christ and the associate in His passion; with him moreover, as if forgetful of her own sorrow, she prayed for the pardon of the executioners although they in their hate cried out: 'His blood be upon us and upon our children' (Matth. xxvii., 25)." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904)

"Thirty-three years ago Mary looked down at His sacred face; now He looks down at her. In Bethlehem heaven looked up into the face of earth; now the roles are reversed. Earth looks up into the face of heaven - but a heaven marred by the scars of earth. He loved her above all the creatures of earth, for she was His Mother and the Mother of us all. He saw her first on coming to earth; He shall see her last on leaving it. Their eyes meet, all aglow with life, speaking a language all their own. There is a rupture of a heart through a rapture of love, then a bowed head, a broken heart. Back to the hands of God He gives, pure and sinless, His spirit, in loud and ringing voice that trumpets eternal victory. And Mary stands alone a Childless Mother. Jesus is dead!" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"With this fourth dolor no word is spoken; one sees only the shimmering steel of the Sword, for terror is speechless. The Sword He drove into His Own heart made Him shed drops of blood, like beads in the Rosary of redemption over every inch of that Jerusalem roadway; but the Sword He drove into her soul made her identify herself with His redemptive sufferings, forced her to tread the streets over her own Son's blood. His wounds bled; hers did not. Mothers, seeing their sons suffer, wish it could be their own blood instead of their sons' that is shed. In her case, it was her blood that He shed. Every crimson drop of that blood, every cell of that flesh, she had given to Him. Jesus had no human father. It was always her blood that He was shedding; it was only her blood that she was treading." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"We stand silently on Golgotha. At the foot of the Cross is Mary, Mater dolorosa: this woman who is heartbroken with grief, but prepared to accept the death of her Son. The sorrowful Mother recognizes and accepts in the sacrifice of Jesus the Father's will for the redemption of the world. Of Mary the Second Vatican Council says: 'The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and loyally persevered in her union with her Son unto the Cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), suffering grievously with her only-begotten Son. There she united herself with a maternal heart to his sacrifice, and lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. Finally, the same Christ Jesus, dying on the Cross, gave her as a mother to his disciple. Thus he did when he said: 'Woman, behold your son'" (Pope John Paul II, 1998)

"At the moment of death, Jesus gives his own Mother to this disciple. John 'took her to his own home.' He took her as the first witness to the mystery of the Incarnation. And he, as an evangelist, expressed in the most profound yet simple way the truth about the Word who 'became flesh and dwelt among us' (Jn 1.14), the truth about the Incarnation and the truth about Emmanuel. And so, by taking 'to his own home' the Mother who stood beneath her Son's cross, he also made his own all that was within her on Golgotha: the fact that she 'suffered grievously with her only-begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart in his sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim that she herself had brought forth.' All this - the superhuman experience of the sacrifice of our redemption, inscribed in the heart of Christ the Redeemer's own Mother - was entrusted to the man who in the Upper Room received the power to make this sacrifice present through the priestly ministry of the Eucharist." (Pope John Paul II)

"I bless, praise, and highly commend you, holy and immaculate Virgin Mary, for taking your sorrowful station at the foot of Jesus' Cross, where you stood for a long time careworn and afflicted, transfixed by the sword of sorrow, as foretold by Simeon; for your many tears, which you abundantly shed; for the great loyalty and unwavering allegiance you manifested to your dying Son in his most dire moment; for the acute heartbreak you felt the instant he died; for your tear-filled countenance when you saw him hanging dead before your eyes; for your blessed embrace when in your Mother's arms you received him from the Cross and amid laments clasped him to your breast; for your dolorous journey to the sepulcher, walking behind those who bore that sacred corpse and seeing it placed in a tomb with a large stone sealing it; for your rueful return from the tomb and your entering your home where many of the faithful had gathered, and there you again bitterly bewailed the death of your loving Son. Inasmuch as everyone's eyes were upon you, they too broke out into tears." (Thomas a Kempis)

"In the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is in an agony; in the judgment-hall, where He is scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death, not there do we find Mary. But she knew beforehand all these agonies; she knew and saw them. When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother's office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her Child Jesus - then and thereafter she took her part in the laborious expiation made by her Son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments. Moreover, it was before the eyes of Mary that was to be finished the Divine Sacrifice for which she had borne and brought up the Victim. As we contemplate Him in the last and most piteous of those Mysteries, there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow." (Pope Leo XIII, "Iucunda Semper Expectatione", 1894)

"Moreover it was not only the prerogative of the Most Holy Mother to have furnished the material of His flesh to the Only Son of God, Who was to be born with human members (S. Bede Ven. L. Iv. in Luc. xl.), of which material should be prepared the Victim for the salvation of men; but hers was also the office of tending and nourishing that Victim, and at the appointed time presenting Him for the sacrifice. Hence that uninterrupted community of life and labors of the Son and the Mother, so that of both might have been uttered the words of the Psalmist 'My life is consumed in sorrow and my years in groans' (Ps xxx., 11). When the supreme hour of the Son came, beside the Cross of Jesus there stood Mary His Mother, not merely occupied in contemplating the cruel spectacle, but rejoicing that her Only Son was offered for the salvation of mankind, and so entirely participating in His Passion, that if it had been possible she would have gladly borne all the torments that her Son bore (S. Bonav. 1. Sent d. 48, ad Litt. dub. 4). And from this community of will and suffering between Christ and Mary she merited to become most worthily the Reparatrix of the lost world (Eadmeri Mon. De Excellentia Virg. Mariae, c. 9) and Dispensatrix of all the gifts that Our Savior purchased for us by His Death and by His Blood." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904 A.D.)

"Mary the mother of our Lord stood before the cross of her Son. None of the Evangelists hath told me this except John. The others have related how that at our Lord's Passion the earth quaked, the heaven was overspread with darkness, the sun fled, the thief was taken into paradise after confession. John hath told us, what the others have not, how that from the cross whereon He hung, He called to His mother. He thought it a greater thing to show Him victorious over punishment, fulfilling the offices of piety to His mother, than giving the kingdom of heaven and eternal life to the thief. For if it was religious to give life to the thief, a much richer work of piety it is for a son to honor his mother with such affection. Behold, He says, your son; behold your mother. Christ made His Testament from the cross, and divided the offices of piety between the Mother and the disciples. Our Lord made not only a public, but also a domestic Testament. And this His Testament John sealed a witness worthy of such a Testator. A good testament it was, not of money, but of eternal life, which was not written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Mary, as became the mother of our Lord, stood before the cross, when the Apostles fled and With pitiful eyes beheld the wounds of her Son. For she looked not on the death of the Hostage, but on the salvation of the world; and perhaps knowing that her Son's death would bring this salvation, she who had been the habitation of the King, thought that by her death she might add to that universal gift" (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Whilst the entire populace is on the move towards Calvary, shouting out their blasphemous insults at her Jesus, will His Mother keep away, she that bore Him in her womb...? Shall His enemies be eager to glut their eyes with the cruel sight, and His own Mother be afraid to be near Him? The air resounded with the yells of the mob. Joseph of Arimathea, the noble counselor, was not there, neither was the learned Nicodemus; they kept at home, grieving over what was done. The crowd that went before and after the divine Victim was made up of wretches without hearts, saving only a few who were seen to weep as they went along; they were women; Jesus saw them, and spoke to them. And if these women from mere sentiments of veneration, or, at most, of gratitude, thus testified their compassion, would Mary do no less? Could she bear to be elsewhere than close to her Jesus? Our motive for insisting so much upon this point is that we may show our detestation of that school of modern rationalism, which, regardless of the instincts of a mother's heart and of all tradition, has dared to call in question the meeting of Jesus and Mary on the way to Calvary. These systematic contradictors are too prudent to deny that Mary was present when Jesus was crucified; the Gospel is too explicit: Mary stood near the cross (Jn. xix. 25): but they would persuade us that, whilst the daughters of Jerusalem courageously walked after Jesus, Mary went up to Calvary by some secret path! What a heartless insult to the love of the incomparable Mother. No; Mary, who is, by excellence, the valiant woman (Prov. xxxi 10), was with Jesus as He carried His cross." (Gueranger)

"All the fatherless, motherless, sonless, husbandless, and wifeless griefs that ever tore at the hearts of human beings were now bearing down on the soul of Mary. The most any human being ever lost in a bereavement was a creature, but Mary was burying the Son of God. It is hard to lose a son or a daughter, but it is harder to bury Christ. To be motherless is a tragedy, but to be Christless is hell. In real love, two hearts do not meet in sweet slavery to one another; rather there is the melting of two hearts into one. When death comes, there is not just a separation of two hearts but rather the rending of the one heart. This was particularly true of Jesus and Mary. As Adam and Eve fell through the pleasure of eating one apple, so Jesus and Mary were united in the pleasure of eating the fruit of the Father's will. At such moments, there is not loneliness but desolation - not the outward desolation such as came through the three days' loss but an inner desolation that is probably so deep as to be beyond the expression of tears. Some joys are so intense that they provoke not even a smile; so there are some griefs that never create a tear. Mary's dolor at the burial of Our Lord was probably of that kind. If she could have wept, it would have been a release from the tension; but here the only tears were red, in the hidden garden of her heart! One cannot think of any dolor after this; it was the last of the sacraments of grief. The Divine Sword could will no other thrusts beyond this, either for Himself or for her. It had run into two hearts up to the very hilt; and when that happens, one is beyond all human consolations. In the former dolor, at least there was the consolation of the body; now even that is gone. Calvary was like the bleak silence of a church on Good Friday when the Blessed Sacrament has been removed. One can merely stand guard at a tomb." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Also See: Jesus & Mary | The Flesh of Jesus is the Flesh of Mary | Mary's Maternity [Pg.] | Mary as Mediatrix / Co-Redemptrix | The Incarnation & Birth of Jesus | Powerful Intercession of Mary | Catholic Basics Section

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