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By dselim14 Jan 26, 2014 7801 Words
present: the spiritual joy which they experience is tangible. Moreover, that very joy is waiting to be shared. Undoubtedly, the close connection which these pious religious have to the Immaculate Heart of Mary continually inspires them to be consecrated religious striving to imitate the abundant joy found deep in the words and actions of Mary.

(4) Spiritual Vessel (Vas spirituale)
The noun “vessel” imperfectly expresses the intended meaning of this advocation.  The Latin “vas” (vessel) is used to translates the Greek term “skeuos” which does not only mean vessel but also instrument or tool.  Thus, the expression “spiritual vessel” should be rendered as “instrument of the Holy Spirit."  Mary is both dwelling place of the Spirit and his “agent” in the Incarnation.  “With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God” (CCC 723).  The imagery of this advocation highlights this idea. The caption accompanying the symbol of the Spirit refers to the promise of the Annunciation.  The Spirit will overshadow you.  Mary answers the Trinity in the words of 4 Esdr. (4:14), “If I have found grace with you, send your Spirit into me. ”  The picture of Mary expresses both humility (her answer to God) and grandeur (scepter in the form of a lily).  The table covered with various vessels underscores the fact that Mary is the most exquisite of God’s vessels.  She is a “vessel for a noble purpose” (Romans 9:21).

(5) Vessel of Honor (Vas honorabile)
“How much more then is Mary a vessel of honor by reason of her having within her, not only the grace of God, but the very Son of God, formed as regards His flesh and blood out of her!” S T . P AUL calls elect souls vessels of honour: of honour, because they are elect or chosen; and vessels, because, through the love of God, they are filled with God's heavenly and holy grace. How much more then is Mary a vessel of honour by reason of her having within her, not only the grace of God, but the very Son of God, formed as regards His flesh and blood out of her! But this title "honorabile," as applied to Mary, admits of a further and special meaning. She was a martyr without the rude dishonour which accompanied the sufferings of martyrs. The martyrs were seized, haled about, thrust into prison with the vilest criminals, and assailed with the most blasphemous words and foulest speeches which Satan could inspire. Nay, such was the unutterable trial also of the holy women, young ladies, the spouses of Christ, whom the heathen seized, tortured, and put to death. Above all, our Lord Himself, whose sanctity {53} was greater than any created excellence or vessel of grace—even He, as we know well, was buffeted, stripped, scourged, mocked, dragged about, and then stretched, nailed, lifted up on a high cross, to the gaze of a brutal multitude. But He, who bore the sinner's shame for sinners, spared His Mother, who was sinless, this supreme indignity. Not in the body, but in the soul, she suffered. True, in His Agony she was agonised; in His Passion she suffered a fellow-passion; she was crucified with Him; the spear that pierced His breast pierced through her spirit. Yet there were no visible signs of this intimate martyrdom; she stood up, still, collected, motionless, solitary, under the Cross of her Son, surrounded by Angels, and shrouded in her virginal sanctity from the notice of all who were taking part in His Crucifixion.

(6) Singular Vessel of Devotion (Vas insigne devotionis) 
Singular Vessel of Devotion
The word devotion exceeds the narrow meaning of devotional practice and refers to total dedication and fidelity in the service of God.  Mary’s profession of faith, “I am the handmaid of the Lord,” most adequately expresses the meaning of this advocation. Her total dedication goes to her Son featured in the Mother-child image of the medallion.  Total dedication has not only the meaning of service.  It refers primarily to openness and receptivity of God’s will and grace.  This attitude is illustrated in the lower half of this page with the story of the widow’s oil.  On Elisha’s order the widow would pour oil in the vessels they handed her (2 Kings 4:5).  God’s grace cannot be exhausted. It takes a “singular vessel of devotion” to receive its plenty, one that has been perfectly purified (“Egredietur Vas purissimum”) (Proverbs 25:4).

(7) Mystical Rose (Rosa mystica)
Mary is compared to the mysterious (mystical) rose. The rose was symbol of mystery (antiquity), and for early Christians a metaphor of both martyrdom (Cyprian) and paradise (catacombs of Saint Callistus).  The half image of Mary in this illustration emerges from a giant rose bush planted in a French garden.  Two potted rose trees flank the central image.  All three serve as visual support to the scriptural references of the rose symbolism applied to Mary. The rose bush with open petals serving as throne of Our Lady bears the following caption: “Open up your petals like roses planted near running water” (Sirach 39:13).  The lateral rose trees make reference to the “rosebush in Jericho” (Sirach 24:14) and to the “blossoms on the branches in springtime” (quasi flos rosarum) (Sirach 50:8).  The immediate reference of these three rose metaphors is the children of God, Wisdom, and Simon, Son of Jochanan.  They are also applied to Mary in order to highlight Mary’s sinlessness and role in the Incarnation. Indeed, she is “rose without thorn” (since Sedulius Caelius, ~ 430) and the shoot (Mary) of the root (Jewish people) from which a “bud shall blossom” (Jesus) (see Isaiah 11:1 – since Tertullian, Ambrose).  Mary’s mystery is that of her virginal motherhood.  The invitation of the lemma: “Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds” (Wisdom 2:8) is addressed to all.  We are called to be sons and daughters of God. H OW did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God's spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God. Scripture makes use of the figure of a garden, when it would speak of heaven and its blessed inhabitants. A garden is a spot of ground set apart for trees and plants, all good, all various, for things that are sweet to the taste or fragrant in scent, or beautiful to look upon, or useful for nourishment; and accordingly in its spiritual sense it means the home of blessed spirits and holy souls dwelling there together, souls with both the flowers and the fruits upon them, which by the careful husbandry of God they have come to {21} bear, flowers and fruits of grace, flowers more beautiful and more fragrant than those of any garden, fruits more delicious and exquisite than can be matured by earthly husbandman.

(8) Tower of David (Turris davidica)
TOWER in its simplest idea is a fabric for defense against enemies. David, King of Israel, built for this purpose a notable tower; and as he is a figure or type of our Lord, so is his tower a figure denoting our Lord's Virgin Mother. She is called the Tower of David because she had so signally fulfilled the office of defending her Divine Son from the assaults of His foes. It is customary with those who are not Catholics to fancy that the honors we pay to her interfere with the supreme worship which we pay to Him; that in Catholic teaching she eclipses Him. But this is the very reverse of the truth. For if Mary's glory is so very great, how cannot His be greater still who is the Lord and God of Mary? He is infinitely above His Mother; and all that grace which filled her is but the overflowings and superfluities of His incomprehensible Sanctity. And history teaches us the same lesson. Look at  the Protestant countries which threw off all devotion to her three centuries ago, under the notion that to put her from their thoughts would be exalting the praises of her Son. Has that consequence really followed from their profane conduct towards her? Just the reverse—the countries, Germany, Switzerland, England, which so acted, have in great measure ceased to worship Him, and have given up their belief in His Divinity while the Catholic Church, wherever she is to be found, adores Christ as true God and true Man, as firmly as ever she did; and strange indeed would it be, if it ever happened otherwise. Thus Mary is the "Tower of David."

(9) Tower of Ivory (Turris eburnea)
A TOWER is a fabric which rises higher and more conspicuous than other objects in its neighborhood. Thus, when we say a man "towers" over his fellows, we mean to signify that they look small in comparison of him. This quality of greatness is instanced in the Blessed Virgin. Though she suffered more keen and intimate anguish at our Lord's Passion and Crucifixion than any of the Apostles by reason of her being His Mother, yet consider how much more noble she was amid her deep distress than they were. When our Lord underwent His agony, they slept for sorrow. They could not wrestle with their deep disappointment and despondency; they could not master it; it confused, numbed, and overcame their senses. And soon after, when St. Peter was asked by bystanders whether he was not one of our Lord's disciples, he denied it. Nor was he alone in this cowardice. The Apostles, one and all, forsook our Lord and fled, though St. John returned. Nay, still further, they even lost faith in Him, and thought all the great expectations which He had raised in them had ended in a failure. How different this even from the brave conduct of St. Mary Magdalen! and still more from that of the Virgin Mother! It is expressly noted of her that she stood by the Cross. She did not grovel in the dust, but stood upright to receive the blows, the stabs, which the long Passion of her Son inflicted upon her every moment. In this magnanimity and generosity in suffering she is, as compared with the Apostles, fitly imaged as a Tower. But towers, it may be said, are huge, rough, heavy, obtrusive, graceless structures, for the purposes of war, not of peace; with nothing of the beautifulness, refinement, and finish which are conspicuous in Mary. It is true: therefore she is called the Tower of Ivory, to suggest to us, by the brightness, purity, and exquisiteness of that material, how transcendent is the loveliness and the gentleness of the Mother of God.

(10) House of Gold (Domus aurea)
W HY is she called a House? And why is she called Golden? Gold is the most beautiful, the most valuable, of all metals. Silver, copper, and steel may in their way be made good to the eye, but nothing is so rich, so splendid, as gold. We have few opportunities of seeing it in any quantity; but anyone who has seen a large number of bright gold coins knows how magnificent is the look of gold. Hence it is that in Scripture the Holy City is, by a figure of speech, called Golden. "The City," says St. John, "was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." He means of course to give us a notion of the wondrous beautifulness of heaven, by comparing it with what is the most beautiful of all the substances which we see on earth. Therefore it is that Mary too is called golden; because her graces, her virtues, her innocence, her purity, are of that transcendent brilliancy and dazzling perfection, so costly, so exquisite, that the angels cannot, {16} so to say, keep their eyes off her any more than we could help gazing upon any great work of gold. But observe further, she is a golden house, or, I will rather say, a golden palace. Let us imagine we saw a whole palace or large church all made of gold, from the foundations to the roof; such, in regard to the number, the variety, the extent of her spiritual excellences, is Mary. But why called a house or palace? And whose palace? She is the house and the palace of the Great King, of God Himself. Our Lord, the Co-equal Son of God, once dwelt in her. He was her Guest; nay, more than a guest, for a guest comes into a house as well as leaves it. But our Lord was actually born in this holy house. He took His flesh and His blood from this house, from the flesh, from the veins of Mary. Rightly then was she made to be of pure gold, because she was to give of that gold to form the body of the Son of God. She wasgolden in her conception, golden in her birth. She went through the fire of her suffering like gold in the furnace, and when she ascended on high, she was, in the words of our hymn, Above all the Angels in glory untold,

Standing next to the King in a vesture of gold.

(11) Ark of the Covenant (Foederis arca)
Mary's portrait is partially contained in the representation of the Ark of the Covenant.  It is surrounded by religious Jewish symbols.  Mary's image bears elegant features, the gestures of her hands seem to point to her womb, the true Ark of the Covenant.  The inscription in the margin reads, "Arise Lord, come to your resting place, you and your majestic ark" (Psalm 132:8).  The Marian interpretation of the Ark of the Covenant is known since the Council of Ephesus (see: Proclus of  Constantinople, 446).  Several analogies can be established between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant: the Ark was the throne of God, Mary is the true "Christophora;" the Ark contained the tables of the law, Mary's womb bore the one who is the law of the new covenant; the Ark was precious and beautiful, made in gold, Mary's soul is adorned with the beauty of her virtues; the Ark was a warranty for victory, Mary has been victorious in the battles of God (Pius XII); the Ark found a place in the inner "sanctum" of the Temple, Mary was assumed into heaven. "What God has made clean, you are not to call unclean (profane)" (Acts 10:15).

(12) Gate of Heaven (Janua coeli)
M ARY is called the Gate of Heaven, because it was through her that our Lord passed from heaven to earth. The Prophet Ezechiel, prophesying of Mary, says, "the gate shall be closed, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it, since the Lord God of Israel has entered through it—and it shall be closed for the Prince, the Prince Himself shall sit in it." Now this is fulfilled, not only in our Lord having taken flesh from her, and being her Son, but, moreover, in that she had a place in the economy of Redemption; it is fulfilled in her spirit and will, as well as in her body. Eve had a part in the fall of man, though it was Adam who was our representative, and whose sin made us sinners. It was Eve who began, and who tempted Adam.  Scripture says: "The woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband, and he did eat." It was fitting then in God's mercy that, as the woman began the destruction of the world, so woman should also begin its recovery, and that, as Eve opened the way for the fatal deed of the first Adam, so Mary should open the way for the great achievement of the second Adam, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save the world by dying on the cross for it. Hence Mary is called by the holy Fathers a second and a better Eve, as having taken that first step in the salvation of mankind which Eve took in its ruin. How, and when, did Mary take part, and the initial part, in the world's restoration? It was when the Angel Gabriel came to her to announce to her the great dignity which was to be her portion. St. Paul bids us "present our bodies to God as a reasonable service." We must not only pray with our lips, and fast, and do outward penance, and be chaste in our bodies; but we must be obedient, and pure in our minds.  And so, as regards the Blessed Virgin, it was God's will that she should undertake willingly and with full understanding to be the Mother of our Lord, and not to be a mere passive instrument whose maternity would have no merit and no reward. The higher our gifts, the heavier our duties. It was no light lot to be so intimately near to the Redeemer of men, as she experienced afterwards when she suffered with him. Therefore, weighing well the Angel's words before giving her answer to them—first she asked whether so great an office would be a forfeiture of that Virginity which she had vowed. When the Angel told her no, then, with the full consent of a full heart, full of God's love to her and her own lowliness, she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word." It was by this consent that she became the Gate of Heaven.

(13) Morning Star (Stella matutina)
WHAT is the nearest approach in the way of symbols, in this world of sight and sense, to represent to us the glories of that higher world which is beyond our bodily perceptions? What are the truest tokens and promises here, poor though they may be, of what one day we hope to see hereafter, as being beautiful and rare? Whatever they may be, surely the Blessed Mother of God may claim them as her own. And so it is; two of them are ascribed to her as her titles, in her Litany—the stars above, and flowers below. She is at once the Rosa Mystica and the Stella Matutina. And of these two, both of them well suited to her, the Morning Star becomes her best, and that for three reasons. First, the rose belongs to this earth, but the star is placed in high heaven. Mary now has no part in this nether world. No change, no violence from fire, water, earth, or air, affects the stars above; and they show themselves, ever bright and marvelous, in all regions of this globe, and to all the tribes of men. And next, the rose has but a short life; its decay is as sure as it was graceful and fragrant in its noon. But Mary, like the stars, abides for ever, as lustrous now as she was on the day of her Assumption; as pure and perfect, when her Son comes to judgment, as she is now. Lastly, it is Mary's prerogative to be the Morning Star, which heralds in the sun. She does not shine for herself, or from herself, but she is the reflection of her and our Redeemer, and she glorifies Him. When she appears in the darkness, we know that He is close at hand. He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Behold He comes quickly, and His reward is with Him, to render to everyone according to his works. "Surely I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

5. Mary, the Helper - The group of four advocations that follows extol Mary's role as advocate for spiritual and corporal works of mercy. She is: 

(1) Health of the Sick (Salus infirmorum)
The representation of Our Lady is that of the Orante with hands folded in prayer of intercession.  But the image also expresses Mary’s “compassion,” her suffering with those who suffer: “Quis infirmatur et ego non infirmor”(attributed to Saint Paul).  Mary is not the ultimate source of health and redemption (salus).  It is God himself who heals all our infirmities, as indicated in Psalm 103:3 topping the whole page.  The image of Mary is surrounded by the symbols of the apothecary and medical professions.  The lower half of the illustration contrasts sickness (a sick person on her sick bed) and healing (possibly an allusion to the pool of Bethesda).  “Health of the Sick,” Mary is a true physician.  But her medical equipment is not the stethoscope.  She acts as a healer by radiating holiness (virtue).

(2) Refuge of Sinners (Refugium peccatorum)
This illustration of the second of four advocations extolling Mary’s role as advocate for spiritual and corporeal works of mercy is of intricate composition. The cameo with mother and child is delimited by four anchors, symbols of hope, security, and stability.  This central image is surrounded by five biblical scenes.  Each one of them depicts in miniature size a situation of danger, temptation or fault with subsequent conversion and/or mercy: In the lower half center, we see the rendering of Saint Peter’s vision of the large sheet filled with all animals of earth and sky (Acts 10:11-12).  Peter will have to change his opinion about what is clean and unclean in order to comply with God’s will. The miniature to the left of Peter portrays a safe harbor (Psalm 108:30).  Those who went off to sea experienced distress, but God brought them to the harbor they longed for. To the right of Peter’s vision is a town-like agglomeration of houses, churches and castles.  They are a symbol of refuge for the needy, possibly reflecting 1 Maccabees 10:13,14 and the stronghold of Beth-zur. The upper left miniature tells about the rescue of Nabal, the evil rich.  His wife Abigail implores David to refrain from vengeance.  David relents and praises her saying: “Blessed be your good judgment and yourself, who … have prevented me from shedding blood” (1 Samuel 25:33).    The fifth miniature, in the upper right corner, tells the story of Adonijah, who in an attempt to become king turned against David, his father.  Abandoned by his followers, he “went and seized the horns of the altar” in search of refuge against Solomon’s vengeance. Solomon acted mercifully, and said to Adonijah: “Go to your home” (1 Kings 2:49ff). The lemma reminds us that God loves all people (Psalm 87:4f.). It is Mary’s role to bring God’s love into the world, to be the intercessor for all, and to give hope and help to sinners.

(3) Comforter of the Afflicted (Consolatrix afflictorum)
Mary is the solace, consolation and comforter of our life.  This is the meaning of the caption borrowed from the book of Tobit (chapter 10).  Her portrait is enclosed in the disk of the moon.  The contrast between Mary’s constancy, fidelity and unwavering faith and the changing status of the waxing and waning moon heightens Mary’s reliability as consoler and comforter.   In antiquity, the moon was guide and protector of charioteers. Similarly, Mary’s comfort forbids mere indulgence; she gives direction and points the way.  She is leading the erring pilgrim (lower right) who sees in her the comforter of affliction (Psalm 119).  In the storms of life (see ship lower left) Mary dispenses solace to those who remain faithful to the Holy One (Job 6:10).  The banquet scene in the lower half is an illustration of the lemma: “I beg you for my people” (Esther 7:3).  Queen Esther in her fight against Haman begs the king, during the second banquet, to spare her life and that of her people. Esther is a well-known symbol or type of Mary.  Both women are known for their attitude of prayer and intercessory power.  Thus, Mary is comforter of the afflicted because she is both mother of and intercessor with Christ. (4) Help of Christians (Auxilium christianorum)

The meek and mild mannered representation of Mother and child contrasts sharply with the amassed military paraphernalia surrounding them.  Coat of arms (cross and half-moon) and armament are reminiscent of the opposition between Christians and Turks, and the naval battle featured evokes the October 7, 1571 victory of the Holy Ligue under Don Juan of Austria against the Turks.  The victory of Lepanto was given a special Marian meaning because of its connection with the month of October and the rosary. Commemorative coins bear the inscription:  “The Lord’s right is raised, the Lord’s right hand strikes with power” (Psalm 118:16), and the date of the victory on October 7 was chosen by Gregory XIII as the annual feast of the rosary.  The lemma hails God’s support and warns the enemies of the faith: “Woe the nations that rise against my people! The Lord Almighty will requite them” (Judith 16:17). Pope Pius V officially added this invocation to the litany of Loreto in 1571.

6. Mary, the Queen - The last part of the Marian advocations is composed of a series of 13 titles referring to Mary as Queen. Mary is Queen of Saints and inhabitants of heaven:

(1) Queen of Angels (Regina Angelorum)
The central picture of Mother and Son is surrounded by a host of angels.  The caption around the angels is  paraphrasing Daniel 7:10: “Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.” Some of the angels are easily recognizable, so Gabriel with his bunch of lilies addressing Mary standing at her prie-dieu and holding a book in her left hand.   There is also Michael in knightly armor and Raphael with the pilgrim staff.  Other angels elude identification.  The overall impression they convey is one of power and splendor, but however impressive their apparel, they humbly bow before mother and child, making true the message of the lemma: “Rule over us you (Gideon) and your Son ….” (Judges 8:22). (2) Queen of Patriarchs (Regina Patriarcharum)

The portrait of Mary, here depicted as queenly figure in typical baroque style, is surrounded by two horns of plenty overflowing with crowns and scepters on one side, with ecclesiastical emblems and the crucifix from the other horn.  These scattered symbols of power are contrasted with Mary's scepter and crown which are unshaken and dominant. There are two groups of Patriarchs at Mary's feet.  The one on the right represents patriarchs of the Old Testament: Moses and the Tables of the law, Abraham and Isaac with the bundle of wood for the sacrifice, as well as Jacob and other Old Testament figures.   The group on the left depicts some of the important founders of religious orders, notably Saint Ignatius (clothed with liturgical vestments marked by the Jesus monogram), Saint Francis (with Franciscan habit showing his stigmatized hands), possibly also two figures representing the Dominican and Augustinian traditions.  Saint Benedict, patriarch of monastic life in the West, is sitting and holding a chalice, his most popular attribute.

(3) Queen of Prophets (Regina Prophetarum)
The towering figure of this illustration is David, crown on his head and harp in his right hand.  With his left hand he is about to set a crown on Mary's head while the eye of eternal foresight is looking on. David pronounces these words from Revelation: "Witness to Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (19:10).  Mary in the picture of the humble handmaid seems to be pointing to the true reason for her being queen of prophets.  From her mouth come the words of the Magnificat: "He has raised up Israel his servant" (Luke 1:54). The lower half of the engraving features several prophetic figures, among them in the foreground Jerome with the lion, and what seems to be the figure of a sibyl, possibly the famous Sibylla Tiburtina (prophecy to Emperor Augustus).  The background depicts the prophet Ezekiel standing in the valley of the dead and prophesying the resurrection of the flesh (chapter 37).  The illustration is topped of with the praise of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:5: "One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues."

(4) Queen of Apostles (Regina Apostolorum)
Mary is hovering over the group of apostles gathered in the Upper Room.  Her posture and countenance are those of the Immaculata.  Her outstretched arms suggest intercession and mediation.  Stars and rays of light, as well as the wheel of time marked by the signs of the Zodiac  surrounding her figure point to the woman clothed with the Sun (Revelation 12:1).  The crown held by the little angel confirms her title as Queen of the Apostles.  Meanwhile the tongues of fire, symbols of the Holy Spirit’s (dove) light and zeal, are descending upon the apostles.  The whole scene, which stresses the fullness of Mary’s grace, is reminiscent of Acts 1:14, “They persevered in prayer, Mary, the mother of Jesus, being in their midst.”

(5) Queen of Martyrs (Regina Martyrum)
The central theme is that of the Pietà: Mary, Queen of Martyrs offers her Son, the very model and epitome of martyrdom to the world.  Behind her, the victorious cross stands tall.  At the foot of the rock, which points out that Christ’s passion and death are the foundation of the Church, a group of saint martyrs are gathered in praise of Christ’s sacrifice. We are able to make out Saint George, the dragon slayer, Saint Lawrence with the grill, and Saint Thomas Becket whose head is pierced by a sword.  To the right of the rock we see the kneeling figure of Saint Jerome flanked by the lion.  He lived like a lion in the desert (asceticism) and fought like a lion for Christ.  Thus, he gave his heart to his Lord and Savior (plate with heart and Christ monogram) and stands for unbloody martyrdom.  Our Lady receives the crown of martyrdom from the hands of Saint Bernard.  The hearts transfixed with a sword refer to his famous expression: “O beata mater, animarum gladius pertransivit. Alioquin nonnisi eam pertransiens, carnem filii tui penetraret”  (In Dom. Oct. Ass., 14), here shortened as “Tuam ipsius animam.” Mary’s soul receives the lance that could no longer touch her Son.  The lemma highlights Mary’s spiritual martyrdom paraphrasing Revelation 17:6, “Her clothes are purple from the blood of the holy ones and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.”

(6) Queen of Confessors (Regina Confessorum)
The queenly figure of Mary, adorned with scepter and crown, is sitting on a throne of clouds surrounded by sumptuous drapery held by two little angels.   At her feet are kneeling several bishops and a king, looking up in admiration or down with awe and reverence.  Two figures attract special attention.  One of them seems to be wearing the habit of the Dominicans, probably Saint Dominic; he offers a crown or wreath of roses.  The other figure, in simple and monk-like attire, could be Saint Francis. The representation is inspired by Revelation 4:10, "They fell down before the one on the throne and threw down their crowns."

(7) Queen of Virgins (Regina Virginum)
Mary is adorned like a virgin.  She holds a lily in her hands.  A wreath of flowers crowns her head.  Her hair is open and flowing freely to her shoulders-a typical sign of the young and unwed woman in Marian art. A wreath of flowers and countless other virgins are surrounding Mary's picture.  The whole representation is dominated by the figure of the victorious lamb (banner with cross) who overcame death by giving his life.  The Virgin Mary and all other virgins are following the Lamb as Revelation reminds us, "They are Virgins and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (Revelation 14:4).

(8) Queen of all Saints (Regina Sanctorum omnium)
Mary is like the moon among lesser stars ("Velut inter stellas luna minores"), meaning she is the greatest of all saints.  This idea is reinforced with still another inscription, "Super eminet omnes." Mary exceeds all other saints in holiness. The figure of Mary is dressed in queenly apparel.  She is surrounded by saints offering their crowns to her in a gesture of reverence.  We are able to make out the following: Noah, Peter, Laurentius, Agnes, David and a sixth nondescript saint.  Countless other saints are gathered around an angel offering Mary the imperial crown placed on a cushion. Mary's pre-eminent holiness is again highlighted in the lemma, "The mount of the Lord's house shall be higher than the mountains" (Micah 4:1).

There are five advocations which emphasize the personal holiness, distinction, and role of Mary's queenship:

(09) Queen Conceived Without Original Sin (Regina sine macula originali concepta) (10) Queen Assumed into Heaven (Regina in caelum assumpta)  (11) Queen of the Most Holy Rosary (Regina sacratissimi rosarii) (12) Queen of Families (Regina familiarum)

(13) Queen of Peace (Regina pacis)

Illustrations and Explanations of the Litany of Loreto
Beginning (advocation of the Trinity) and end (triple advocation of Christ's mercy under the title of "Lamb of God") follow the usual structure of the litanies.       The Marian Library has in its possession illustrations of these Marian titles.  Some of the illustrations are found in old and rare books.  We would like to present one such series of illustrations taken from Josef Sebastian Klauber, Engravings, Augsburg 176?.      Of course, these engravings do not carry the titles that were added in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The highly symbolic and illustrative reproductions are typical of the Baroque period.  Their message is of great spiritual riches.  Mary's profile is that of the exalted Queen, mother and virgin, as suits the period.  We limited ourselves to the illustrations of the Marian titles.  The reader needs to keep in mind that the titles introduced in the 19th and 20th centuries, evidently, are not illustrated in Klauber's book. Meanings:

1. Holy Mary
Dic mihi, quo appellaris nomine? (Genesis 32)
"Tell me what name shall I give you?"
The answer is: "And the name is Virgin," followed by the flower monogram "M" signifying Mary. The two little angels proclaim, "Your name is like spreading perfume" (Canticle 1, 3) and, "The Lord has named you a beautiful olive tree" (Jeremiah 11:16). Two cantors sing, "ora pro nobis," that is: pray for us! while the devil cries out, "Terrifying is his (her) name" (Psalm 111). "Praised be the Lord, who today has magnified your name so that it will never disappear from the mouth of the people" (Judith 15). 2. Mother of Christ

The two cameos show Mary nursing and caring for the child Jesus. Two inscriptions framing the pictures highlight the Mother's love.  Jesus is the beloved who rests in Mary's bosom (Canticle 1, 13).  She gave birth to him, the firstborn, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:7). "I carried you in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought up, educated and supported you"    (2  Maccabees 7:27).

3. Mother of Divine Grace
Mary whose half image is placed on top of a three-tiered fountain  is identified as the one who "contains all grace" ("In me gratia omnis," Sirach 24).  This is confirmed by the Annunciation angel, "Gratia plena" (full of grace), and by the three rays of light emanating from the triangular symbol of the Trinity.  In turn, the rays are transformed into three well- springs springing from Mary's heart, symbol of Trinitarian grace, and the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.  Thus, Mary is a fountain of life. "Let us proceed to and approach the throne of grace"

 (Hebrews 4).
4. Mother Most Pure
Mother and child are represented in the circular shield of the full moon, inscribed, "Pulchra ut luna," beautiful as the moon. The two astronomers sitting atop of the observatory are gazing heavenwards with their telescopes, only to reach the conclusion, "Tota pulchra es, macula non est in te" (You are most beautiful and there is neither fail nor stain in you). Beauty is assimilated with the moon as stated in the Song of Songs: ". . .beautiful as the moon, resplendent as the sun" (6:10).  Beauty is synonymous of purity.  As the moon receives light from the sun, so the human person (Mary) receives beauty and purity from God.  In this sense we understand the following lemma, "What God has made clean, you are not to call unclean (profane)" (Acts 10:15). 5. Mother Most Chaste

To highlight Mary's chastity, her effigy is surrounded by two of the classical symbols of Our Lady's virginity, namely:  Hortus conclusus
(enclosed garden)
Fons signatus 
(sealed fountain)
Both symbols appear in the Song of Songs, "You are. . .my sister, my bride, an enclosed garden, a fountain sealed." (Canticle 4, 12). The typical half-image of Mother and child form the crown of a tree which bears simultaneously, flowers and fruit.  They are symbols of Mary's role as simultaneously virgin (flower) and mother (fruit). "What a beautiful and chaste creature (generation)" (Wisdom 4). 6. Mother Inviolate

This title is defined with regard to the Sun.  There exists reciprocity between Mary and the Sun, Sol in Virgine and Virgo in Sole.  The Sun, symbol for Jesus Christ, dwells in her virginal person, just as much as Mary has meaning only in and through the Sun Jesus Christ.  See the Jesus (IHS) monogram on Mary's chest. Mary's position with regard to the Sun places her in the center or beyond the changing seasons and times, symbolized by the signs of the Zodiac. Mary, the inviolate mother, is the mirror without stain (Wisdom 7).  The light and power of the Holy Spirit traverses her heart and is perfectly reflected; she is inviolately passing on the Spirit's grace so as to bring light into the world (the burning candle) by virginal birth (virginea generatio). "Because she has loved chastity, she will be blessed in eternity" (Judith 15:10). 7. Mother Undefiled

The symbol chosen here is that of the mother whose Son uses the lance of his cross to combat wild beasts representing evil.  She is holding the Christ child on her lap, but it is in fact He who had chosen her from the beginning("Possedit me in initio" Proverbs 8:22). "Thus, we know that all the powers of hell are no match for her." 8. Mother Most Amiable

Mary's amiability is directed first of all to the Christ child as is shown in the Eleousa (tenderness) expression of the medallion.  The hearts of Mother and son are burning in reciprocal love.

Mary is the most amiable.  To attest this superlative, Mary is compared to prominent  Old Testament women figures, for example to: Esther, who is of elegant aspect 
(Esther 2) 
Judith, who is also of elegant aspect 
(Judith 8) 
Rebecca, who is of exquisite beauty (Genesis 24) 
Rachel, who is well formed and beautiful (Genesis 29)
However, the verdict of the little angel is irrevocable, Mary is "amabilis super omnes." She is more lovable than all four of them. "You exceed through your amiability the love of all other women" (2 Kings 1). 9. Mother Most Admirable

Mother and child in the medallion are reminiscent of the Salus Populi icon at Saint Mary Major.  The medallion is flanked by two pyramid-shaped constructions from which ex-voto type objects are hanging.  Both pyramids are crowned with a burning heart. Between the two pyramids there is a representation of the burning bush, traditional symbol of Mary's inviolate virginity (Exodus 3:2-5).  Moses kneeling in front of the burning bush articulates the following: "Bring me to your holy mountain, to the place of your dwelling," (Psalm 42, III, 3).  Mother and child are symbols of this divine dwelling place.  The two pyramids are like ardent monuments of intercessory prayer addressed to Christ through Mary.  The figures at the base of the two pyramids may be allegories of the elements, for example, wind, earth, water. . . . "Her name will be called 'admirable!'" (Isaiah 9)

10. Mother of Our Creator
The customary and imposing half-figure representation of Mother and Child is resting on a bank of clouds, Mary holding a scepter, the Christ child the whole of the universe.  The halo-shaped inscription over Christ's head says, "He sustains everything through his mighty word," (Hebrews 2). Jesus Christ is hailed by the two figures kneeling at his feet.  Saint Paul on the left proclaims, "So whoever is in Christ is a new creation," (2 Corinthians 5:17).  King David expresses the despair and longing of the Old Testament, "Ad nihilum redactus sum, et nescivi" (Psalms 72); I am nobody, and did not even know it.  The sentiment of nothingness of the Old Testament is overcome by the reality of being a new creation in Christ.  What is Mary's place in all of this?  She exclaims with the Ecclesiastes, "He who created me has deigned to dwell in my womb" (Sirach 24). 11. Mother of Our Savior

The lower half of the engraving shows the Nativity scene.  It is miniaturized to reflect that by now the birth of Christ is an event of the past.  The message, though, remains unchanged, "Today  a Savior is born to you."  Though as child depicted, this Savior is present, with his mother, in a medallion marked by a crown of thorns and the many instruments of Christ's passion (Arma Christi), from the purse with the thirty shillings to the ladder serving for Christ's deposition from the cross.  In fact, the medallion with Mother and Child is hanging on the cross, the same cross Christ is pointing to with his right hand.  The caption above Mary's head highlights that she is not only the Mother of the Savior, but in a more intimate way "my mother," which could refer to the Christ child as well as point to each one of us.  Christ is destined or called to be the Savior of the world (Genesis 41). Mary is the one of whom it is said, "She will bear a Son and name him Jesus, and he will save his people" (Matthew 1).

12. Virgin Most Prudent
Mary, an autonomous figure with arms outstretched in a noble gesture of openness and invitation, presents the double characteristics of virgin (Immaculate Conception highlighted by the twelve stars around her head), and mother (her womb bears the Christ monogram).  Her figure is surrounded with a perfect circle symbolizing perfection of human knowledge and behavior.  It is decorated with symbols of science (compass, square, globe, and telescope), and with cameos showing animal allegories of prudence: snake: be prudent like the snake

ant: go and learn wisdom from the ant    (Proverbs 6)
rooster: and what do you think from whom the rooster received his intelligence? (Job 33) There is a cameo between the representation of Mary and the illustration from the parable of the wise or prudent virgins who put oil in their lamps (Matthew 25).  It bears the head of Janus (here a crowned head with a feminine and a masculine face), symbol of prudence, taking into account beginning and end, past and future of human life and endeavor. "Mary is hailed as the woman who was most prudent" (cf. 1 Kings 25:3 re: Abigail). 13. Virgin Most Venerable

The figure of Mary, holding a lily in her hand, is encapsulated in a medallion inscribed, "Venerable and Saint" (Numbers 28).  Above and to her right, her risen Son is sitting on a throne, pointing with a gesture of invitation to a second throne, next to this own, reserved for his mother. The medallion rests on the replica of the house of Loreto, itself placed on a rock.  At the foot of the rock a group of devotees is standing or kneeling in prayer.  This group is seemingly contrasted with another group of people threatened by the snake (devil) hiding in a tree.  The central figure, with his back to the onlooker, seems to petition Mary's help in the combat against evil. "All generations will call me blessed"  (Luke, 1:48).

14. Virgin Most Renowned
The cameo shows Mary in the posture of the Orante, hands crossed on her chest.  Putti (little angels) playing the trombone are surrounding Our Lady's picture.  Their musical instruments are flagged and bear the name of Mary. Underneath the cameo we notice two scenes, both destined to proclaim the praises of Mary.  The scene in the foreground shows the interior of a baroque church.  The priest at the pulpit announces Mary's all-holiness ("Beatissimam praedicaverunt" Proverbs 31).  The second preacher, in an outdoor setting, praises the womb which bore Jesus. "Your praise will not disappear from the people's lips" (Judith 13). 15. Virgin Most Powerful

This illustration bears evident martial features.  Mary's picture is set against a shield, which is surrounded with a panoply of weapons, from bow and arrow to flags and cannons.  Mary holds in her hand a commander's staff; however, the motto around her head refers to Christ.  It says, "I can do everything in Him."  Right and left of Mary's image we read this inscription, "He made powerful things with his arm." On the lower half of this illustration we find the representations of two powerful typological feminine figures of Mary in the Old Testament.  To the left we have Jael, who killed Sisera, the commander of the Canaanites, hammering and crushing his head with peg and mallet (Judges 5:26).  The woman to the right is Judith decapitating Holofernes (Judith 11:17). "In your hand are virtue and power"  ( 1 Paral 29).

16. Virgin Most Merciful
Her hands folded and head inclined, Mary suggests meekness and compassion. The various inscriptions highlight this advocation, "The law of mercy is on her lips" (Proverbs 31).  Illustrating the image of the heart at the bottom of the medallion, we read,  "My heart is like melting wax" (Psalm 21).  Right and left of Mary's portrait we discover two allegorical animals emphasizing mercy: one is the Pelican feeding his brood, with its own blood; the other is the mother-hen protecting her chicken.  The bottom half of the illustration pictures the wedding feast of Cana, a further reference to Mary's attentiveness to human needs and her merciful intercession.  The scene is flanked by two additional inscriptions and symbols.  "Mercy is like the evening rain,"  says one of them (Proverbs 16). The motto is visualized with an abundantly growing plant contrasting a broken column.  The second scene, to the right, shows Rebekah with the jug offering a drink to people and animals, "I will draw water for your camels, too" (Genesis 24:20) says the inscription. "I will be merciful to you for you have found favor with me" (Exodus 33). 17. Virgin Most Faithful

Mary, offering the Son resting on her lap to the world, is depicted inside a heart-shaped medallion which bears the inscription, "Her heart is faithful" (2 Esdras 9), and, "Faithful woman" (1 Corinthians 7).  The real reason for Mary's title is illustrated in the image below which features the crucifixion.  Mary is indeed the "faithful woman."  She is standing at the foot of the cross, her heart pierced with a sword.  The scenes right and left of the crucifixion seem to be of allegorical meaning.  The scene to the left may well allude to Ariadne and Theseus, the woman's thread leading the man safely through the labyrinth of Knossos.  Faithfulness warrants safety and right direction in life.  On the other side, the figure lowered from the window on a rope reminds of David.  Michal, David's wife and Saul's daughter, let "David down through a window, and he made his escape in safety" (1 Samuel, 20:12).  Michal is the loving and faithful wife standing by her husband, protecting him from her father's wrath.  The following lemma is an invitation to unwavering fidelity: "Be faithful unto death" (Revelation 2).

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