The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 88.

"In the words that follow she teaches us how meanly she thought of herself, and that all her Merits were due to Divine Grace. Because He hath regarded the humility of His Handmaid, for behold, from henceforth :

"4. All generations shall call me Blessed.

"She shows that she is indeed in her own judgment the humble servant of Christ,, but at the same time declares that she has been suddenly raised by heavenly grace and glorified in so high a degree, that her eminent Blessedness shall be rightly the wonder and the praise of all the nations." (Ven. Beda, Hom. XL.)

Thus wrote the Father of English history from his Saxon Monastery in St. Cuthbert's patrimony— reminding his English readers that the Blessedness of Mary was the wonder and praise not only of England but even of all [Christian] nations.

Centuries before his time, St. Ephrem in Syria had given the same testimony.

"Come let us call Mary Blessed, the poor little Virgin whom the King's Son hath enriched. Great is her Blessedness, and her memorial manifold, and her praises all people multiply. Mary said: All generations shall call me Blessed, on account of Him to whom I have given birth. And I too, in turn, will call her Blessed, because she has herself invited me. And to her, O ye wise, must the debt be paid. . . . Blessed art thou, Mother most blest, because all generations with loud voice call thee entirely Blessed on account of the Infant born of thee. The islands, the tribes, all peoples proclaim thee Blessed. Blessed art thou, chaste Virgin, for with thee and in thee dwells heavenly Beatitude."

And in another hymn:

" The Memorial of Mary to all generations.

"1. The Blessed Virgin heard the Angel's Salutation. . . *

"2. Blessed art thou, Mary, because in thee dwelt the Holy Ghost. . . .

"3. Blessed art thou, Mary, because the Bush seen by Moses figured thee forth. Blessed art thou, Mary, who wast to thy Babe as though the Veil wherewith Moses covered the splendour of his face. . . .

"4. Blessed art thou, Mary, because all the Prophets in their books depicted thee. . . .

"5. Blessed art thou, Mary, because in thy Virginity thou art called the new Mother. . . .

" 6. Blessed art thou, Mary, because thou wert made the most glorious Mother of the King of Kings. From thee sprung that Fruit, desired and glorious, which is full of all virtues. Blessed art thou—yea wide fame hath thy Blessedness in cities and congregations—because thou gavest birth to Christ, the Saviour of the world, who by His grace has saved His creatures." (Id., Hymn 16.)

If in the time of Bede, and even in that of Ephrem, our Lady's Prophecy had already been gloriously fulfilled " in the islands, by the tribes and by all peoples, in the cities and congregations," how much more wonderfully in our day and generation. Each age, as it has passed, has added to the recognition of her incomparable Blessedness, and now wherever Christianity is known, in all tongues, the wide world over, by old and young, by priests and people, by monks in their cloisters, by virgins rapt in prayer, by the soldier on the battlefield and by the labourer tilling the field, the Maid of Nazareth is acclaimed blessed beyond all women, blessed in her faith, blessed in her joys, blessed in her sorrows, blessed in her Virginity, blessed in her Motherhood, blessed in her silence, blessed in her words, blessed at Bethlehem and at Nazareth, blessed on Calvary, thrice-blessed in the unveiled Presence of her Son. In the common speech of Christian men, she is the Blessed One, Blessed Mary, our Blessed Lady, the Blessed Virgin, the Blessed Mother of God. All generations in truth have agreed to call her blessed, as all generations yet unborn shall proclaim her Blessedness. And Mary gives us the reason:

"For He that is mighty hath done great things to me, and Holy is His Name. And His Mercy is from generation to generation unto them that fear Him. He hath showed might with His Arm. He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat. He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His Mercy. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever."