The Lily Of Israel By The Abbe Gerbet. Part 2.

Syriac Icon of the Theotokos

"Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set . in array? . . . The daughters saw her and called her most blessed, the queens . . . praised her." ( Cant, vi, 8, 9.)


Accompanied by a legion of heavenly companions the Archangel Gabriel alights upon the earth, whose angel hastens to salute him.

Angel of Earth

Messenger of happiness, what news dost thou bring from thy country?

Angel of Heaven

Brethren, I bring joyous news! Rejoice, O Earth, and clothe thyself in all thy splendor! Adorn thyself with flowers, and fruit of gold, and verdure green! Let the sun pour forth upon thee his beautiful rays, the night her sparkling dew. Ye rivers, flow more joyously; ye torrents, bound with rapture; ye mountains, glow with happiness; ye stars, look down upon the earth!

The Day of joy, of hope, of satisfaction; the time of redemption is at hand! Mary (at that name, Angel of Earth, bow down thy head) Mary, the holy Virgin, opens her eyes to the light! O Light, rejoice! Caress her with thy rays, this creature fairer than the morning star! Wind, blow softly, that all nature may be mild at this, her dawning!

Angel of Earth

Thy words be blest, great Messenger of Peace! Blest be this wonderful Virgin, whose advent thou dost proclaim ! And oh, my companions, guardians of souls, who, since the Fall of the human race, have desired to watch and suffer with mankind, expecting their deliverance, rejoice with me! Salute the spotless Virgin, whose rising star announces a life that shall never end!

Chorus of Guardian Angels

O Mary, Star of the sea! The Angels of Heaven and Earth salute thee! O Mary, thou flower of fields celestial, which shall bring forth the mysterious lily of the valley. Through thee the fate of humankind is changed, its crime repaired, (St. Aug. Serm., xviii.) A new Eve, more beautiful, more glorious than the first, thou wilt shed new life upon the earth. O Mary, Star of the sea! The Angels of Heaven and Earth salute thee!

Angel of Heaven

Eve wept for sorrow, Mary hath already leaped for joy. Eve bore within her breast the fruit of tears, Mary hath within her breast the fruit of joy eternal. The one brought forth a sinner to the world. The other will bring into it Him who shall redeem the world from sin. The mother of the human race plunged her children into pain and death. But Mary comes, bearing in her hands the gift of eternal life! Eve is the source of sin; Mary is the spring of grace.

Angel of Earth

Blest, oh blest forevermore the one who comes to crush the serpent's head, to restore mankind to joy! Blest be the earth which holds such happiness!

Chorus of Angels

Blest be the earth, which holds such happiness! Let us approach this holy one! Let us watch beside her. Let us trace her holy footsteps from the cradle to the grave! Blest be Mary, blest forevermore!

Thus do the angels chant the praises of their Queen. Thus does the earth resound with joy, and send forth to the heavens its acclamations. The stars sing together; the spheres are a-thrill with joyous harmony; the celestial messengers shed light and perfume along the paths of men!