Our Lady Of Virtues
We first read of Mary’s virtues in the Book of the Patriarchs and the Kings of God’s people. Mary could not fail to inherit all the glory of her ancestors, because not only did their blood flow in her veins, but Mary used them as models of virtue. It is the incontestable truth that Mary’s faith was as strong as Abraham’s; her obedience as great as that of Isaac’s; and her gifts of gentleness and piety equaled those of Jacob. Her purity equaled that of Joseph; her courage the courage of David; and her wisdom that of the great and peace-loving Solomon. And so it necessarily follows that Mary is called the Mother of Mankind, as well as the First of All Women and, like Sara, the Mother of all Believers. The beauty of Rachel, the fertility of Lia, the integrity and valor of Debora; the zeal, the fearlessness, the saintliness of Judith, the prudence and the happiness of Esther—all these admirable qualities we find united in our Queen as the line of all her ancestors meet in the center of her, for which they were formed and whom they symbolized.
These great men and women, so renowned in the Ancient Law, were models for Mary. Their virtues shone in her soul with such added, unbelievable splendor, that there was the same difference between Mary and her models that there is between a real man and his portrait, between the architect’s plan for a palace and the palace itself, between a shadow and the object which caused it.
Love the lovable Mother of God; love her tenderly and constantly. Honor her before men; speak of her with reverence and zeal. Read about her often; perform works of piety in her honor. Finally, pray often to her; ask for sentiments as tender as those which the most devoted and the most celebrated of her followers had for her, and all the virtues which made those followers so pleasing to her; so that, with Mary’s help her glory may in part at least be yours when you give up your soul with the name of Mary on your lips. Then, the Gates of Heaven cannot fail to swing wide without delay, as the ark was opened for the dove which appeared bearing an olive twig in its beak. In order to have that name which will bring us such happiness and salvation, on our lips, when we are dying, we must have it constantly in our hearts while we live.