Of the Cure" d'Ars we read that he was wont continually to speak of St. Philomena and to ascribe all good things that came to him to her intercession. How unjust, how manifestly untrue, to imagine that St. Paulinus attached greater importance to the protection of St. Felix than to that of the Blessed Virgin, or that the Cure" d'Ars trusted St. Philomena more than he trusted the Mother of God.
Christians, men, women and children, who were in daily—in hourly—danger of being subjected to the most terrible torments for the Faith, of being cast into noisome prisons, of being slowly starved to death, of being broken upon the wheel, of being thrown before wild beasts to be their prey, of being cast into the hands of human enemies more ferocious than any beasts, most rightly encouraged themselves by the thought of the Martyrs who had already endured these torments, " of whom this world was not worthy," and sought their intercession that they too might receive the strength to endure. It is wanton to suggest from this fact that Christians in the early ages honoured the Martyrs more than they honoured the Blessed Mother, who stood, her soul transfixed, beneath the Cross during the Passion of her Son.
It is sad to know that the Protestant writers who insist that during the period of persecution greater devotion was manifested to the Martyrs than to the Blessed Virgin consider themselves to be forbidden by the principles of their religion to seek the intercession either of the Blessed Virgin or that of the Martyrs. If they will not pray to our Lady, one wishes that at least they would imitate the admitted example of the early Christians by praying to the Holy Martyrs. If they would once begin to pray to the Martyrs, one is sure that they would soon go on to pray to the Martyrs' Queen, greatly to their souls' health and welfare.
If devotion to the Blessed Virgin has increased amongst Catholics through the ages, so undeniably has devotion to the Sacred Humanity of her Divine Son. At the close of the patristic period of ecclesiastical history St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, who is called the last of the Fathers, and St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the first of the Schoolmen—both of them Doctors of the Church—spread far and wide by their the sacred writings and sermons an extraordinarily tender piety towards our Incarnate Lord and His sweet Mother. During the period of what are known as the Christological heresies, when the main preoccupation of the great Fathers of the Church was to secure belief in the Divinity of the Word made Flesh, His Blessed Mother was glorified especially as the Mother of God. By the time of St. Bernard the Catholic doctrine concerning our Lord's Divinity had been fixed without cavil or dispute in the consciousness of all Christendom. Henceforward the devotion of the Faithful to our Lord as Man was developed throughout the Western Church to an extent which might not have been expedient until strife had been hushed concerning His Godhead.