One of the most touching of the Bible stories is the story of Ruth the Moabitess.
We can never tire of reading how Naomi in hef desolation, after the death of her husband and of her two sons, went back to her own country with her daughters-in-law, Orpha and Ruth, both of whom were childless. " And being now in the way to return into the land of Juda, she said to them : Go ye home to your mothers, the Lord deal mercifully with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. . . . And Orpha kissed her mother-in-law and returned : Ruth stuck close to her mother-in-law. And Naomi said to her, ' Behold thy kinswoman is returned to her people and to her gods, go thou with her.' She answered: ' Be not against me to desire that I should leave thee and depart, for whithersoever thou shall go, I will go, and where thou shall dwell, I also will dwell, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. The land that shall receive thee dying, in the same will I die and there will I be buried. The Lord do so and so to me and add more also, if aught but death part me and thee.' So they went together and came to Bethlehem." Our thoughts travel to another, to the Maiden, who in the after-time also travelled to Bethlehem on a journey that never shall be forgotten. Ruth went to the little town, a stranger, so did Mary Most Holy. If Ruth was not a figure of our Lady's virginity, surely she showed forth the faithfulness of her whom Christians hail in all lands as the Virgo Fidelis, the Faithful Virgin. As Ruth cried to her mother, " The Lord do so and so to me and add more also, if aught but death part me and thee," so do we cry to our Lady —with this difference, that we know that not even death can part us from Mary. The Virgin most Faithful will desert us never, neither in this life, nor at the hour of death, nor in the life to come.
We read also that Ruth " found grace in the eyes of the rich man Boaz, who comforted her and spoke to the heart" of her, who "fell on her-face and worshipped on the ground and professed herself to be his handmaid." Even so did the Blessed Virgin find grace in the eyes of Heaven, as she worshipped and magnified her God and Saviour, declaring her self the while to be but His lowly Handmaiden.