O daughter, blessed art thou of the Lord, for through thee we have partaken of the Fruit of life.
Mary's glory and happiness in heaven is not for herself alone. The Mystical Body shares in all the good that befalls its members; and as we share in the work our ever dear and blessed Lady did on earth in bringing forth the Fruit of Life, so does the Church at large share in the harvest home gathered by her means. She, being a divinely ordained channel of grace between Jesus and our souls, it is through her that the fruit of His salvation is brought home to us. She gave us
Jesus ; and in Him gave us all things. So we, too, share in her heavenly reward. Her glory is ours, we partake in the songs which resound through the heavens to her honour ; for she is the triumph of God's grace, the monument of His mercy and the model of what a creature can be. Therefore in the following Canticle let us call upon all Creation to lend us their voices to praise the Lord for all He has done for us by Mary, and for all He has done in Mary.
CANTICLE : Benedicite. [This Canticle is taken from Daniel, with certain additions of ecclesiastical origin.]
Denis the Carthusian. When Nebuchodonosor cast the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Misach, Abdenago, into the fiery furnace, they fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace, and they walked in the midst of the fire praising God and blessing the Lord. . . . But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace. . . . and made in the midst of the furnace as it had been a moist cooling wind, so that the fire touched them not at all, neither burnt nor troubled them. Then the three as out of one mouth praised, glorified and blessed God in the furnace, saying. . . . Then Nebuchodonosor, the king, was astonished and rose up in haste and spake and said unto his counsellors : Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king: True 0 king. He answered and said : Lo, I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God [Dan. iii. 23-92.]. The Benedicite is taken from their song, and calls upon all creatures, animate and inanimate, to bless the Lord. We may distinguish in this Canticle three divisions after the introductory verse. First of all, heavenly creatures and the forces of Nature ; then the earth and brute creation; and lastly, man. In the life of St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi, it is related that this servant of God is said to have asked her Divine Spouse what glory could such exhortations to creatures without reason give Him. "When these words are said with fervour," was the reply, " and from the depths of the heart, these creatures are called upon to bless Me, I take it as though they really did so, and the praise of him who thus invokes them I take as equalling them all" [Life, by F. Cepari, Act. Sonet., 25.]. One special subject of blessing God we must have when reciting this Canticle of Praise, and that is, our ever dear and blessed Lady. We can never thank God enough for all He has done for her and for us in her and through her. While we call upon Creation to join with us in praising God for Mary, we will ask her, after the Sacred Humanity of our Lord, the greatest of God's works, to praise Him for us and sing her Magnificat for the great things He hath done for her.
(1) All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise and exalt Him for ever.
All ye works. Creatures not by voice only, but by work, praise God ; for by their fulfilling the end for which they were created, and being in themselves very good [Gen. i. 31.], they show forth the greatness of God, and by them we can rise to the knowledge of God, as Solomon says in the Book of Wisdom : For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the Maker of them is seen [xiii. 5.]; and St. Paul : For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead [Rom. i. 20.]. But creatures gifted with intelligence, such as angels and men, can bless God with mind as well as by their work. Again, the works of the Lord may be taken in two senses, says the Carthusian : The natural works of the creature, in which God takes a necessary part as sustainer, according to the words of Moses : The hand of the Lord hath wrought all these things [Deut. xxxii. 27.]. And secondly, of the works of grace which we indeed do, but which God goes before and accompanies according to the saying of Isaias: All our works Thou hast wrought in us [xxvi. 12.].
But as blessing seems to be the action of a superior to the inferior, St. Paul saying : Without any contradiction that which is less is blessed by the greater [Heb. vii. 7.]; how can the creature be called upon to bless the Creator ? To this the Carthusian answers that there are two kinds of blessing ; one of consecration, of which St. Gregory says, God's blessing is a bestowal of gifts, and a multiplying thereof, hence in His name the Church blesses; the other blessing is a giving of thanks, or a praising, as Holy Simeon blessed God for showing him his Salvation [Cf. ii. 28.] ; and as David, who said : I will bless the Lord at all tunes [Ps. xxxiii. I.]. It is in this sense that creation is called upon to bless the Lord. Praise, because the power of God is shown in them ; exalt, because the Creator is shown to be so much greater than His works.
(2) O angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: O heavens, bless ye the Lord.
The Angels are invited, not that they need an invitation, or that they ever cease from blessing, praising, and exalting God ; but these are words congratulating them for what they do, and joining ourselves to their ceaseless song. It is also an invitation to make a special thanksgiving for us.
Angels of the Lord. The word angels, as the pseudo-Areopagite observes, sometimes means the lowest choir and sometimes, as here, the whole angelic creation. They are all messengers, even the highest; for, says the Apostle : Are they not all ministering spirits ? [Heb. i. 14].
Heavens, are, according to St. Augustine, holy souls, according to the words of the Prophet: Heaven is my seat [Is. Ixvi. I.] ; for God abides in the hearts of His faithful.
(3) O waters which are above the earth, bless ye the Lord: all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord.
Origen understands by these waters, spiritual substances, and Albert the Great, the First Matter from which the world was evolved : And the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters [Gen. i. 2.]; or, it is to be understood in a mystical sense of the illuminated minds of God's saints, in which Divine operations are seen, as in a pool of clear water.
Powers of the Lord. Some take these to mean those angels God uses to direct the motions of the material world; for they say that angels direct the wind, the rain, snow, heat, and govern the sun, and moon, and solar system, being thus used by God to carry out the laws He has laid upon Nature. Others of all created powers which God has in any way given to creatures to enable them to fulfil His Will. We may also see in this especially the powers of grace and those great, powerful operations of the precious Blood, the seven Sacraments. Fr. Eudes, that saintly master of Prayer, who had so many heavenly lights, used to take these words literally as the virtues of the Lord, the supernatural virtues which adorned the Human Soul of Jesus.
(4) O sun and moon, bless ye the Lord : O stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord.
The sun may be taken for the most pure womb of our Lady, according to the words : In the sun hath He placed His dwelling-place [Ps. xviii. 6.]. The moon also of her ; inasmuch as all her grace, all her beauty, and all her power is derived from the Sun of Righteousness Himself. The stars also refer to her; they are her virtues in the good odour of which we run. The three together are the adornment of that Great Sign set in the heavens : A woman clothed with the sun, the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars above her head [Apoc. xii. I.]. Thus does the wise man describe the two great lights which God made [Gen. i. 16.] : The sun when he appeareth, declaring at his rising a marvellous instrument, the work of the Most High : at noon he parcheth the country, and who can abide the burning heat thereof? . . . breathing out fury, vapours, and sending forth bright beams that dimmeth the eyes. Great is the Lord that made it; and at His command it runneth hastily : He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times and a sign of the world . . . being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven. The beauty of heaven, the glory of the stars, an ornament giving light in the highest places of the Lord, at the commandment of the Holy One they will stand in judgment and never fail in their watches [Eccles. xliii. 2-1 1.]. In the mystical sense the sun signifies the understanding of good and evil and the splendour of reason. The moon, the lower powers of the soul, which are directed by the reason. The stars of heaven signify the virtuous who, endowed with wisdom, by word and example, as the simple sons of God [Phil. ii. 15.], shine amidst the darkness of the world. Of whom Daniel says : They who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever [xii. 3.]. Once more, the sun may be taken of eternal life, the moon of the changeable and passing world, and the stars of our own small life.
(5) All ye showers and dew, bless ye the Lord : all ye spirits of God, bless ye the Lord.
Showers moisten the ground and cause the seed to swell and germinate, as the Prophet says : The rain cometh and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater [Is. Iv. 10.]. The Carthusian suggests that by showers we can understand doctrine and preaching, which sink into the mind like rain on a dry land ; and by dew, the consolation and unction of the Holy Ghost, which comes from within.
Spirits of God here mean the winds, which continue the work which showers and dew begin ; or, again, by spirits we may understand the Spirit of God Himself Who fans into a flame His fire within our hearts, at the same time cooling the earthly fire which rages there.
(6) O fire and heat, bless ye the Lord : O cold and heat bless ye the Lord.
St. Thomas says fire is a very apt image of God, for, according to the Apostle: He is a consuming fire [Heb. xii. 29.]. The Holy Ghost is called in the Veni Creator a “fire." Now heat is the effect of fire, and so the two are joined together. Mystically, fire is charity ; heat is the fervour thereof, concerning which Christ said : I have come to cast fire on the earth [Luke xii. 49.]; and the two disciples said: Was not our heart burning within us ? [Ibid. xxiv. 32.]. This Divine fire and spiritual heat are the choicest gifts of God, and therefore fitting for our most humble thanksgiving.
O cold and heat. Cold is here taken for wintry season, and heat for the summer days. Mystically, says the Carthusian, cold is the extinction of the flames of lust and vice; heat, for the warmth and ripening of virtues : the elect bless God both for the withdrawal of evil and for the increase of good. Then we can bless the Lord at all time [Ps. xxxiii. I.], in all the changes of the seasons; for in all we see His power and wisdom and providence for His creatures.
(7) O dews and hoar frosts, bless ye the Lord : O frost and cold, bless ye the Lord.
Dew is an effect of tempered heat and is most abundant in the Spring, when the new plants need sustenance. Hoar frosts are an effect of cold and are prevalent in Autumn, and check the growth, so says the Philosopher. The first signifies prosperity, the other adversity : If, says the holy Job, we receive good things from God, why shall we not bear evil ? [ii. 10.]. We may also take them, one for grace which helps on our spiritual growth, and the other for temptation which proves our work. Thus are we armed with the arms of justice on the right hand and on the left [2 Cor. vi. 7.].
Frost and cold. Frost is caused by cold, according to the words of Ecclesiasticus : When the north wind bloweth, and the water is congealed into ice,it abideth upon every gathering together of water and clothed the water as with a breast-plate [xliii. 22.]. And that of the Psalmist : Before the face of His cold who can abide ? [clxvii. 17.] By frost and cold we may understand the binding and hardening of the mind by the withdrawal or suspension of sensible devotion ; in which circumstances we must still bless God, and patiently possess our souls in peace, while praying for the return of the gift. We must refuse to look for consolation in exterior and unworthy pursuits, according to the words of the Psalmist : I remembered the Lord and was glad: I was exercised and my spirit failed [Ixxvi. 4.],
(8) Ice and snow, bless ye the Lord: nights and days, bless ye the Lord.
Some consider that by ice, hail is to be understood. These creatures of God : Fire, hail, ice, and spirits of the storm which fulfil His Word, hereby show forth His power and glory. Hail was used with His wonderful dealing with the Jews; for instance, the plague of hail [Exod. ix. 23.] ; and the destruction of the Amorites by hailstones in the days of Josue [x. II.] : Fire, mingled with the hail, ran along the ground [Exod. ix. 23.]. So the Carthusian takes these two as the scourges of God, for which we ought to bless Him.
Nights and days signify, respectively, tribulation and prosperity ; or night, the obscurity of the Old Testament and the darkness of sin ; day, the brightness of the Gospel and the illumination of grace.
(9) O Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord ; 0 lightnings and clouds, bless ye the Lord.
Light, the first work of God in making the world, of which Solomon says : Sweet is the light, and pleasing to the eye is it to see the sun [Eccles. xi. 7.], is mystically taken to signify the illumination of the soul, the good cheering thereof by the in-dwelling of the Holy Ghost and the gift of sensible piety ; whereas darkness is the defect, or ignorance, or obscuring of the heart, whether it comes by sin, or by the mystical privation of sensible devotion sent for the purifying of our souls, according to the saying :
The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind . . . where is
the way where Light dwelleth ? and as for darkness, where is the
place thereof ? [Job xxxviii. I, 19.] In this verse light and darkness must be
taken as the qualities of the days and nights of the preceding
Lightnings, which flash in the clouds, are spiritually to be understood of the brilliancy of miracles or the terrible threats of God's judgments, which from time to time flash out from the clouds which veil Him from our sight. As we read in the Psalm : Thy lightnings shone over all the earth; the earth was moved and shook withal [Ixxvi. 19.], Concerning clouds many things are said in the book of Job to show God's greatness : Can any understand the spreading of the clouds or the noise of His tabernacle ? [xxxvi. 29.] It was a cloud that sheltered by day the Israelites in the desert, and was a guide to them by night [Cf. Ex. xiii. 21.]. Clouds, also, are represented as overshadowing His dwelling-place, according to that word of the Psalmist: Clouds and darkness are round about Him [Ps. xcvi. 2.],
(10) Let the earth bless the Lord, Let it praise and exalt Him forever.
How the earth tells us of God ! He Himself says : Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth ? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest ? or who hath stretched the line upon it ? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened ? or who laid the cornerstone thereof [Job xxxviii. 4-6.]. The earth, by its stability and its fruitfulness, is an image of the man whose mind is stayed on God and who bringeth forth his fruits in due season. St. Gregory the Great says : It is wonderful that man is not always engaged in praising God ; for creation ever invites him to do so.
(11) O mountains and hills, bless ye the Lord : everything that springeth on the earth, bless ye the Lord.
God hath prepared the mountains in His power [Ps. Ixiv. 6.] and girts the hills with joy of the harvest, so that they sing a hymn of harvest-thanksgiving to Him [Ibid. 14.]. Albert the Great notes that in the mystical sense mountains and hills are the prelates of Holy Church, or those shining with the gifts of grace, according to that saying of the Prophet: The mountains shall distil sweetness, and the hills shall flow with milk [Joel iii. 1 8.].
Everything that springeth on the earth, all the treasures earth has in minerals, precious stones, plants, trees, flowers, & c. And how very beautiful is this fair earth that was made as a dwelling-place for the Incarnate God ! Our Lord points out its beauty : Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow . . . I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these [Matt. vi. 28, 29.]. The verse may also be taken to refer to every good action we do. The seed whereof was planted by God in our heart; He watered it by grace ; the sun of His favour gave it the increase and ripened the fruit. It is all His doing, and sets out His infinite perfections. Our part is only to work with Him and to obey His inspirations. To Him be all honour and glory ! Not unto us 0 Lord, not unto us [Ps. cxiii. 9.],
(12) O fountains, bless ye the Lord : 0 seas and waves, bless ye the Lord.
A fountain, the source of waters, by its exuberance, its clearness and its diffusion, is an image of Divine goodness; hence God is often called in Holy Writ a fountain. It is also applied to the Wounds of our blessed Saviour ; for they were the fountains of grace and mercy for all the world, according to that saying of the Prophet : Ye shall draw water in joy from the fountains of the Saviour [Is. xii. 3.].
O seas and rivers. By the seas is sometimes meant the tempest-tossed world, full of bitterness, as in Isaias, the wicked as the boiling sea, which cannot be still [Ibid. Ivii. 20.]; others take it as the heart of penitents troubled by waves of sorrow and compunction: Great as the sea is thy sorrow [Lam. ii. 13.]. Rivers, on the other hand, denote sometimes the abundant gifts of grace, and sometimes overwhelming tribulations. In the first sense our Lord uses the words when He says : He who believeth in Me . . . out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water [John vii. 38.]. But the second sense is implied by the Psalmist when he says : The rivers have lifted up their floods from the voices of many waters [Ps. xcii. 3, 4.].
(13) O whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord: O birds of heaven, bless ye the Lord.
Fish and birds were one of the special creations of God, the work of the fifth day. Our Divine Master said to SS-Peter and Andrew : I will make you fishers of men [Matt. iv. 19.], likening men to fish. If we work out the analogy we shall see it amply justified. As the fish live and move in the water, so do all Christians live their supernatural life in the waters of Baptism ; then, from the Divine immanence or pervading of all things, we are living in God ; He is all round about us, on every side, through and through, as water is round a fish swimming therein. It was for reasons like this, to express the union between the Humanity and the Godhead, yet withal their distinction, that the Fish figures in the oldest Christian art as the image of Christ; besides, as we have explained, the hidden meaning in the letters of the Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthus) ,i.e., Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.
Birds of the heaven, that is, of the air. Sometimes by birds the proud who lift themselves upon high, or devils, the princes of the Power of the air  are meant; as when our Lord says : The birds of the air eat it, that is, the good seed . But here the word is to be taken, in mystical sense, for contemplative souls who on the wings of prayer are lifted up towards the sublime things of God. These are they who can say : Who will give me the wings of a dove and I will fly away and be at rest ? [Ps. liv. 7.]. Of these doves the Prophet speaks when he asks : Who are these that fly as the clouds and as doves at their windows ? [Isaias Ix. 8.]: And again : They who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall take unto themselves wings, like the eagle ; they shall run and not be weary ; they shall walk and not faint" [ibid. xl. 31].
(14) All beasts and cattle, bless ye the Lord : ye sons of men, bless ye the Lord.
Besides the obvious sense of the verse, the Carthusian says : By beasts and cattle we may understand men immersed in lust; and these are invited to return to their reason, and bless God Who has spared them so long and still calls them to repentance. But there is a difference between the two : beasts are the untamed, cattle the domesticated animals; and so we may understand by the former, carnal men who are cruel and intractable ; by the latter, carnal men who nevertheless are mild and easily led.
Sons of men. Now leaving the brute creation and those who, abandoning their reason, live like brutes, only by instinct, we come to the true sons of men, as made by God; and thus the circle of being is completed. We started from the angels, pure spirits ; we have passed through the animate and inanimate creation, and now we come to Man, made a little lower than the angels, partly spirit, partly material, summing up in himself all creation; a " little world," as the ancient philosophers called him.
(15) May Israel bless the Lord: may he praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
Israel, "Prince of God," or the "chosen people," is specially invited to bless the Lord. Who is Israel ? Israel is Mine inheritance, says God by His Prophet [Is. xix. 25.]. Those He has specially chosen and has called to that intimate union which makes them princes; those to whom He has given the gracious call: Come after me [Matt. iv. 19.] ; and to whom He says : I no longer call you servants but friends . . . for you have not chosen Me but I have chosen you [John xv. 15, 16.]. We, whom in various ways He has called, are invited in this verse, not only to bless Him, but to praise Him and to exalt Him above all for ever; that is, to be grateful to Him, to extol His mercy in choosing us, and to set Him above all the desires of our hearts : One thing only have I asked of the Lord; that I may dwell for ever in His courts [Ps. xxvi. 4.].
(16) O priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : O servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord.
Priests of the Lord. They are called upon specially to bless the Lord, because they have a means of doing so far above any means which angels or other men have; for, sharing in the Eternal Priesthood of the great High Priest Himself, they can offer the most perfect act of Thanksgiving to God that He can desire. The Mass is the Eucharistic sacrifice, i.e., the offering of Thanksgiving. Therefore it is fitting that in this verse we unite ourselves to all the Masses that have ever been said and that are being said at this very moment throughout the world, and offer them to bless the Lord through and by and with Jesus Christ, Himself the Priest and the Victim thereof. But in a wider sense we are all priests, as St. Peter tells us : Ye also . . . are an holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" [I Pet. ii. 5.]; for not only do we share in every Mass that is said, and offer it (Pray, brethren, that my and your sacrifice may be acceptable to Almighty God, says the priest), but we also are called to offer the spiritual sacrifice of our will, of our whole being to God by Jesus Christ, the Head of the Body. How many of God's children have thus, as spiritual priests, sacrificed themselves as living victims to His Honour, slaying themselves with the two-edged sword of Poverty and Chastity, and burning themselves on the fire of the Altar of Obedience. These spiritual priests are then to bless the Lord for making their sacrifice acceptable in His sight. They are in a special way the servants of the Lord; for they know and, to the best of their ability, carry out His will.
(17) O spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord : O holy and lowly of heart bless ye the Lord.
We now go to the Church suffering in Purgatory, to those spirits and souls of the righteous not yet made perfect who are there, and invite them to join in the Canticle of praise. A hymn befits thee, O Lord, in Sion [Ps. Ixiv. I.], in that holy abode of purification ; for these souls all are of the Ransomed, are all safe, and have all fought the good fight. If their full blessedness is not yet complete, if they are still in the shade and not in the light, they are safe and they know their salvation is sealed. They have their hymn of deliverance upon their lips : When Israel out of Egypt came and the house of Jacob from amongst a barbarous people [Ibid, cxiii. I.]. They are on the verge of the Promised Land ; and they know they are sure of entry. How deep, then, are their songs of blessing and thanking God, deep even in the midst of their purgation, deep even because of it; for is it not His mercy which gives them this means of purifying themselves before they enter in ?
O holy and lowly of heart. And now we go on to all the choir of ransomed souls standing ever before the Throne, that great multitude of our brethren which no man can number, and among whom one day we, too, by God's grace, shall stand. They are the holy, and because holy, they are glorified and great. But their very greatness makes them realise that it is all God's gift, and is due to the merits of Jesus Christ, their Divine Head. So in the midst of their majesty and triumph they are lowly in heart, and ever join in our Lady's song : He hath done great things to me [Luke i. 49.]. To their songs of blessing we join ours, and ask the blessed in heaven to praise God on our behalf and be mindful of their brethren here below, still fighting, as they once fought, still striving after the crown which they have secured.
Some have taken the clause in another way. O Spirit and souls of the just, meaning thereby the Holy Ghost Who has worked righteousness in the souls-of the just. This is according to St. Basil's saying : What is man made of ? Body and soul. But what is a Christian made of ? Body and soul, and the Holy Ghost.
(18) Ananias, Azarias and Misael, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
These words, by which the Holy Children animated each other to praise the Lord Who had so marvellously preserved them from the fiery furnace, we may look upon as a call from our companions, from all who are charged with the offering of the Prayer, to fervour and recollection in the discharge of this heavenly duty. We have to deal with the high things of God and to approach the Altar of incense whereon lies the fire ; we have to enter into that fiery furnace, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to become penetrated with His sentiments and intentions ; yet, says the Prophet, Who can dwell with everlasting burnings ? [Is. xxxiii. 14.] May God send His angels with a cooling wind to still the earthly flames of distractions, and help us to plead before the fires of the eternal Throne.
(19) Let us bless the Father and Son together with the Holy Ghost.' Let us praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
This verse was added by the Church. It is like the Gloria Patri, in place of which it is recited. All the preceding verses have lead up to this. The Lord we have been calling on all to bless is He Who is Three in One, the Creator, the Redeemer, the Sanctifier. We may note that after the enumeration of the three Divine Persons the one Nature is expressed by the Him.
(20) Blessed art Thou, O Lord, in the Firmament of the heavens, and praiseworthy, glorious, and exalted above all for ever.
This [Daniel iii. 56.] sounds like the response of all creation to our incessant invitation. Heaven and earth are full of the Song of Praise, and this is the form it takes. Praiseworthy, on account of Thy goodness, power, and holiness ; and glorious in all ways, infinitely so and exalted above all; for Thou art the Creator and we are but the work of Thy hands for ever. For Thou wilt never cease to be God and we shall never cease to do the objects of Thy bounty and loving kindness. This is, then, the end of the Canticles. All the works of the Lord join in blessing His Name and acknowledging that He is their Lord and God.
Fair and comely art thou, O daughter of Jerusalem: terrible as an army set in battle array.
In this Antiphon we consider both the beauty of our ever dear and blessed Lady and her power over the Evil one. They both crush his head, for they are the result of grace. He sees in her its power and what a creature can be by being faithful to God. The thought of what he has lost by his infidelity makes enmity between them. But clad in the armour of Faith, with the helmet of Righteousness, and the breast-plate of Truth, together with the sword of the Spirit, our Lady is ever ready to meet his attacks when he besets her children. So she reigns as Queen not only of heaven, but of earth also ; and in the midst of her joys, for which we praise God, she does not forget her children here below, but prays for us now and at the hour of our death, that as she has done so may we also accomplish our end by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
From - The Little Office of Our Lady; a treatise theoretical, practical, and exegetical - Taunton, Ethelred L. (Ethelred Luke), 1857-1907