…that most potent element, the mother-influence of Mary…In very fact, the spreading of the light of faith cannot be accomplished other than in concert with her. Efforts over which she does not preside are like the oil without the lamp. Perhaps it is an insufficient appreciation of this fact that accounts for the rarity of magnificent conquests for the faith today. In earlier ages whole peoples were rapidly converted. St. Cyril of Alexandria did not hesitate to declare at the Council of Ephesus in 431 that it was by Mary that they were all won to Christ. Moreover, the great patron of the missions, St. Francis Xavier, gave it as his own experience that wherever he omitted to place at the foot of the Saviour’s Cross the figure of the Divine Mother, those countries revolted against the gospel which he had brought to them…why should not those days, referred to by St. Cyril, come once again on earth, so that whole territories and nations will put aside their errors and joyfully embrace the Christian faith?
“Divine Mother” — Mary is the Mother of God, but I thought only the Holy Trinity is Divine…
I’m confused as to how to address and think of Mary. She is the Mother of God, but the Church also says she is a created being (though the greatest and highest of creation). She is the humble handmaid of the Lord, so is it right for us to think she is divine? Or does that term mean she is the Mother of the Divine Jesus?
In regards to placing the statue of the Blessed Mother and that being the reason for conversions…I thought it was the Holy Spirit who makes the heart of people receptive to the Gospel…Or does she obtain by her powerful intercession the grace of conversion and the Holy Spirit is the final executor of said grace?
The quote is taken from the Legion of Mary Handbook, written and revised after the Second Vatican Council by its founder Frank Duff.
Servant of God Frank Duff’s cause has been introduced for canonization, along with two other Legion of Mary Members: Venerable Edel Quinn whom Frank Duff sent to Africa as envoy and who did great work especially in Nigeria where she died and is buried, , and Servant of God Alphonsus Lamb, whom he sent to South America. Books have been written about all three of these holy persons.
St. John XXIII said: “The Legion of Mary presents the true Face of the Catholic Church”
If you’d like to read more about the Legion, and also her founder and saints see HERE
I left out the reference to the Legion in the quote because I believe the words can be applied to the whole Church which exists to evangelize.
No offense taken; your question is a legitimate and honest one. Mary herself is NOT Divine, yet we often give the adjective “Divine” to what pertains to to God, or is closely related to Him. For instance, we speak of the Divine Office (also called Liturgy of the Hours); Mass is the Divine Worship in which we participate. Just because we apply the adjective, we do not mean the noun possesses the nature of Divinity but rather that there is a relationship to Divinity.
Mary’s nature is completely human like ours, yet she has a unique relationship to the Trinity, since she was uniquely chosen by God to be Mother of His Son. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, espousing her and Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Word became flesh in her womb and she carried Jesus for 9 months before giving Him birth.
No other creature has had or ever will have such a close relationship with Divinity. We too, moreover, are called to participate in Divine Life by our Baptism. Like Mary we retain our humanity but the Indwelling of the Trinity by Sanctifying Grace given at Baptism enables us to have supernatural Life – we are born agin by water and the Holy Spirit. We too are called to holiness which is a participation in Divine Life. Amazing isn’t it! How Good and Generous God is – He IS Love.
Yes, of course, the Holy Spirit works through the intercession of Mary and other saints also to bring Jesus into the world. St. Francis obviously saw this and is expressing how God desires to come to us as Jesus came through Mary. Hope that helps a bit.