The First Champion of Mary

May 19, 2022

There is no lack of texts on the Virgin Mary. However, there are some that occupy a special place, by their richness, their origin, their theological importance, or their beauty. They are not always easily accessible or known. FSSPX.News proposes to offer a selection of these texts for our readers’ consideration and meditation.

This first text is by St. Ephrem the Syriac, born around 306 in Nisibis near Mosul, in the north of present-day Iraq. He retired to Edessa, in the south of present-day Turkey, in 363, before the Persian invasion.

Until his death in 373, being only a deacon, he lived alone or with disciples on a mountain near Edessa, in heroic penance and contemplation. He wrote thousands of verses in Syriac. He is the first champion of Mary and remains one of the greatest.

The Virgin invites me to sing the mystery I contemplate with admiration. Son of God, give me Thy admirable gift, make me tune my lyre and paint the beautiful image of Thy beloved Mother.

The Virgin Mary gives birth to her Son in virginity; she nurses Him who nourishes the nations; in her chaste womb she bears the One who sustains the universe. She is a virgin; she is a Mother; what is she not?

Holy in body and beautiful in soul, pure in mind, upright in intelligence, perfect in sentiment, chaste, faithful, pure of heart, tested, she is filled with all the virtues.

May all the race of virgins rejoice in Mary, for one of them gave birth to the Sustainer of all creation, the One who delivered humanity, groaning in bondage.

May old Adam rejoice in Mary, wounded by the serpent. Let the priests rejoice in the Blessed Virgin. Mary gives Adam offspring, which allows him to crush the cursed serpent and heal him of his mortal wound.

Let the priests rejoice in the Blessed Virgin. She gave birth to the High Priest who made Himself a victim. He put an end to the ancient sacrifices, having made Himself the victim who appeases the Father.

May all the followers of the Prophets rejoice in Mary. In her their visions are fulfilled, their prophecies are fulfilled; their oracles are confirmed.

May all the patriarchs rejoice in Mary. As she received the blessing promised to them, so in her Son she perfected them. Through Him, indeed, seers, the just, and priests found themselves justified.

Instead of the bitter fruit picked by Eve from the fatal tree, Mary has given men a fruit full of sweetness. And now the whole world is delighting in the fruit of Mary.

The tree of life, hidden in the middle of paradise, grew in Mary. Emerging from her, it has spread its shadow over the universe, and it has spread its fruits on the most distant peoples as well as the nearest.

Mary wove a garment of glory and gave it to our first father. He had hidden his nudity in the trees, he is now adorned with modesty, virtue, beauty. The one his spouse had thrown to the ground, his daughter picked up, and supported by her he stands like a hero.

Eve and the serpent had dug a trap: Adam fell into it; Mary and her Royal Child bent over him and pulled him out of the abyss.

The virgin vine has given a cluster of grapes whose savory wine brings joy to the afflicted. Eve and Adam, in their anguish, tasted this beverage of life and found in it the appeasement of all their pain.

Taken from: Les plus beaux textes sur la Vierge Marie [The most beautiful texts on the Virgin Mary], by Fr. Pie Régamey