Mirror Of The Blessed Virgin Mary by Saint Bonaventure. CHAPTER XIII


The Lord is with thee, O Lady most dear to the Lord, most intimate with the
Lord ! The Lord is with thee, O most well-fitted Lady, most worthy of the
Lord ! The Lord is with thee: with thee most certainly, according to what
has been said above, as the sun is with the dawn which precedes it, as the
flower is with the stem which produces it, as the king is with the queen
entering into his palace.

Having seen how Mary is as the dawn to the eternal Sun, preventing the Sun
of justice; having seen also how Mary is as the stem or rod to the eternal
flower, producing the flower of mercy; let us now consider in what manner
Mary is the Queen of the Eternal King, entering into glory.

Mary is that Queen entering in, of whom it is said that the queen entered
into Jerusalem with a great company and with riches (3 Kings, X, 1.) Truly
Mary is a queen. St. Augustine says: "We truly confess her to be the Queen
of Heaven, because she brought forth the King of angels." I have spoken of
this Queen in my sermon, "The Queen stood, etc."; therefore, I will now
speak of her entrance.

We are to consider, therefore, that we find Mary going in, going forth,
going on, and going above. Her going forth was of nature, her progress was
of grace, her entrance was into glory, her elevation was in abundance.

She went forth by being born, she progressed by advancing in grace and
virtue, she entered in by attaining, she surpassed all by her sanctity. She
went forth without sin, she made progress beyond all example, she entered
in without obstacle, she surpassed all without limits.

First consider that we find Mary going forth into the world by her nativity
without sin....

Secondly, consider that we find Mary advancing without equal by her grace.
Therefore it is said in the Canticle: "Who is she that cometh forth as the
rising dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?" (Cant. VI, 9.) To these
three luminaries, that is, the dawn, the moon, and the sun, Mary is fitly
compared, for three excellent perfections shine forth in her. Resplendent
virginity was in her mind and heart in a superlative degree; in her
virginity shone forth fecundity, and in her fecundity shone forth a
singular pre-eminence. A refreshing dawn and one pleasing to the birds was
Mary; for by her virginity she. cooled the ardor of the flesh, as St.
Bernard says, speaking to her: "By the virtue of chastity thou didst
extinguish in thy virginal flesh the ardor of the forbidden concupiscence,
that He, in whose sight even the stars are not pure, judged thy flesh to be
of such purity that He deigned to unite it to His own divine purity." She
also by her virginity was pleasing to the birds of heaven, that is, to the
angels of God, for, as St. Jerome says: "Virginity is always related to the
angels." Therefore we read that the angel blessed Jacob in the dawn. Jacob
may here signify a chaste spirit, because Jacob supplanted his brother,
that is, the body, his body. He was blessed not only by the angel, but also
by his father, in the dawn, or in the morning, that is, in the chaste
Virgin Mary, to whom the angel said: "Blessed art thou among women."
Likewise Mary was fair as the moon in the lightgiving fecundity of her
virginity; for the beauty of the moon consists in the light it receives
from the sun. Think, therefore, what a beautiful moon was Mary, when that
Eternal Sun was wholly received and conceived in her. Mary, therefore, is
that moon in whose fullness that Man returned to the Church of whom it is
said: "In the day of the full moon he will return to his house" (Prov. VII,
20.) The Blessed Virgin was the full moon, when it was said to her: "Hail,
full of grace!" Again Mary was chosen as the sun in the illumining
privilege of her fecundity, when not mere man alone, nor a real angel, but
the Son of God Himself placed in her His tabernacle, when He was conceived
in Mary. Without doubt it would have been most singular if the Virgin had
conceived a mere man; but it would have been much more singular if the
Virgin had conceived an angel. It was singular above all that a virgin
conceived and brought forth God. Well, therefore, doth St. Augustine say:
"Rightly is the Blessed Mary extolled by us with extraordinary praise, who
has shown to the world so extraordinary a benefit, when she is raised to so
sublime a height that, while the Word was from the beginning abiding with
God, she should yet receive Him into her bosom from the highest heavens."
The Blessed Virgin Mary, therefore, has advanced like the rising morning,
in admirable virginity of mind and body; bright as the sun, in the adorable
divinity of her virginal offspring.

Thirdly, consider that we find Mary entering into the glory of Heaven
without obstacle. For what could have opposed such a great queen advancing
with so great a retinue ? She was prefigured by the Queen of Saba, of whom
it is said: "Entering into Jerusalem with a great train, and riches, and
camels that carried spices, and an immense quantity of gold and precious
stones" (3 Kings X, 2.) Consider in these words the glory of Mary entering
into the heavenly Jerusalem. Consider, I say, the excellence of her who
enters, her power and her wealth. Consider the excellence of the primacy of
our Queen Mary, insomuch as she is compared to the Queen of Saba, which
signifies a cry. For Mary is the Queen of the world, where there is a cry
of mourning. She is also the Queen of Heaven, where there is a cry of joy.
For the dwellers in Heaven cry out, as it is said in the Apocalypse: "Holy,
holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!" And this Queen of those who cry out, ceases
not herself to cry out with the others, as St. Augustine says: "Thou, O
Mary, fellow-citizen of the inhabitants of Heaven, being endlessly
associated with the angels and archangels, ceasest not to cry out with
untiring voice: "Holy, holy, holy!" She indeed is the queen whom the
Psalmist describes, saying: "The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded
clothing, surrounded with variety" (Ps. XLIV, 10.) All can follow this
Queen with confidence into the kingdom who have faithfully served her in
this world. St. Bernard says: "Our Queen has gone before us: she has gone
before us and has been so gloriously received that her servants may
confidently cry out: 'Draw me after thee.' " Likewise consider in the
entering in of our Queen the power of the retinue accompanying her, for it
says: "with a multitudinous retinue." Mary entered into the heavenly
Jerusalem with a multitudinous retinue of angelic powers. St. Jerome says:
"We read how the angels have come to the death and burial of some of the
Saints, and how they have accompanied the souls of the elect to Heaven with
hymns and praises." And he adds: "How much more should we believe that the
heavenly army, with all its bands, came forth rejoicing in festive array,
to meet the Mother of God, surrounded her with effulgent light, and led her
with praises and canticles to the throne prepared for her from the
beginning of the world."

Likewise, consider in Mary the wealth of her merits, as it were in a dower
of precious gifts: for she brought with her infinite gold in her love of
God and of her neighbor, the precious gems of virtues and gifts, the spices
of good works and examples. What I say of the treasures of Mary is little
compared with what St. Bernard says. "In thy hands," he says, speaking to
Mary, "are all the treasures of the mercies of the Lord. God forbid that
thy hand should cease to give; for thy glory is not diminished, but
augmented, when sinners are pardoned and the justified are taken up into
glory." The Mother of God, therefore, entered into glory, as the Queen of
Heaven, accompanied by a vast retinue of angels, with innumerable riches of

Fourthly, consider that we find her surpassing all the Saints in the
superabundance of her merits and rewards without end, according to the
saying: "Many daughters have gathered together riches, thou hast surpassed
them all." Thou hast indeed surpassed them in nature, in grace, in glory;
thou hast surpassed all the daughters of men, all souls, all angelical
intelligences, O Mary. I say that Mary in nature has surpassed all the
daughters of men, for what nature does not admit of, she, a virgin,
conceived, and brought forth, according to that word: "Behold a virgin
shall conceive and bring forth a son." And it was not this alone that is
above all nature, that a virgin should bring forth a son, but that she
should bring forth God. Therefore, St. Jerome says: "What nature does not
possess, what custom wots not, what reason knows nothing of, what the human
mind cannot grasp, what the heavens fear, what the earth is astonished at,
all this was what was divinely announced by the Angel Gabriel to Mary, and
was fulfilled in Christ." Likewise, Mary surpassed in grace all the souls
of the Saints, for she was not only full of grace, but overfull
(superplena), as Gabriel signified, who said at first, "full of grace," and
afterwards added: "And the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee." If, therefore,
she was full of grace, whatever the Holy Spirit brought her afterwards was
more than full measure; she was then more than full, she was surpassingly
full (superplena). St. Bernard says: "While the Holy Spirit was coming, she
was full of grace for herself (plena sibi); but when the Holy Spirit had
come upon her, she was overfull and overflowed with grace for our sakes
(superplena nobis)." So Mary surpassed in glory all the angelical
intelligences; for she is the sapphire throne which, as we read in
Ezechiel, is raised above the angelic firmament. St. Bernard says: "Mary
ascended above every heavenly creature; up to the angels and even above
these." So, therefore, Mary went forth, and advanced, and entered in, and
went beyond all. She went forth, I say, by coming into this mortal life;
she advanced in grace and privileges; she entered in by attaining to the
Heavenly Kingdom; she surpassed all by exceeding the glory of all the
blessed. Behold, therefore, O most sweet Virgin Mary, the Lord is truly
with thee, as the sun is with the dawn which goes before it, as the flower
is with the flowering stem, as the King is with the Queen entering in. O
most sweet aurora, grant that the Sun of justice may also be with us ! O
most sublime Rod, grant that with us also may be the flower of grace! O
most powerful Queen, grant that the King of glory, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
may stay with us!