Mary surpassed the Martyrs in offering Jesus

August 16, 2021 • 6 min

From The Glories of Mary, page 464
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

And hence Mary, in the passion of Jesus was silent when he was unjustly accused; she said nothing to Pilate, who was inclined to liberate him, for he had already known his innocence; but she only appeared in the public to be present at the great sacrifice, which was to be offered on Calvary.

She accompanied him to the place of punishment; she was with him from the first moment he was placed upon the cross: “There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother” until she saw him expire, and the sacrifice was consummated. And all this to complete the offering which she had already made of him to God in the temple.

In order to understand the violence that Mary had to offer herself in making this sacrifice, it would be necessary to comprehend the love which this mother bore to Jesus.

Generally speaking, the love of mothers is so tender for their children, that when they are at the point of death, and they are about to lose them, they forget all their faults, their defects, and even the injuries they have received from them, and they suffer an inexpressible grief. And yet the love of those mothers is a love divided among other children, or among other creatures.

Mary has one only Son, and he is the most beautiful of all the children of Adam; he is most amiable, for he has all lovable qualities; he is obedient, virtuous, innocent, holy, in one word, he is God.

The love of this mother too is not divided among other objects; she has centered all her love upon this only Son, neither does she fear loving him to excess, for this Son is God, who merits an infinite love. And this Son is the victim whom she had voluntarily to offer to death.

Let every one consider, then, how much it must have cost Mary to sacrifice on the cross the life of a Son so amiable, and what strength of mind she must have exercised in this act.

Behold the most fortunate of mothers, because she is the mother of a God, but she is at the same time a mother most worthy of compassion, because the most afflicted; being the mother of a Son whom she saw destined to the cross from the day when he was given her for a Son!

What mother would accept a son, knowing that afterwards she should lose him by such a painful and infamous death, and that she should be present to see him die? Mary willingly accepted this Son with so hard a condition; and not only accepted him, but offers him herself this day, with her own hands, to death, sacrificing him to the divine justice.

St. Bonaventure says, that the blessed Virgin would willingly have taken upon herself the sufferings and death of her Son; but to obey God she made the great offering of the divine life of her beloved Jesus, conquering, but with the greatest grief, all the tenderness of love that she bore him.

Hence it is, that in this offering Mary had to do more violence to herself, and was more generous, than if she had offered herself to suffer all her Son Was to suffer.

Therefore she surpassed all the martyrs in generosity, for the martyrs offered their own lives; but the Virgin offered the life of her Son, whom she loved and esteemed infinitely more than her own life.

Neither did the suffering of this painful offering end here; rather it commenced here; for from that time forward, through the whole life of her Son, Mary had always before her eyes death, and all the pains he was to suffer in his death.

Hence, the more this Son discovered to her how beautiful, graceful, and amiable he was, so much more did the anguish of her heart constantly increase.

Ah, afflicted mother! if thou hadst loved thy Son less, or if thy Son had been less lovely, and had loved thee less, thy suffering would certainly have been less in offering him to death.

But there never has been, and there never will be, a more loving mother than thou, because there never has been, and never will be, a son more amiable and more loving towards his mother than thy Jesus.

Oh God! if we had seen the beauty, the majesty of countenance of that divine child, could we have had the courage to sacrifice his life for our salvation? And thou, oh Mary! who art his mother, and a mother so loving, couldst thou offer thy innocent Son for the salvation of men, to a death more painful and more cruel than any criminal had ever endured on this earth?

Alas! what a fearful scene from that day forward did love continually place before the eyes of Mary, representing to her all the injuries and mockeries which were to be offered to her poor Son!

Behold love already representing him to her in his agony in the garden, then torn by scourges, and crowned with thorns in the hall of Pilate, and finally hanging from the infamous wood on Calvary! Behold, oh mother, said love, what a lovely and innocent Son thou hast offered to such sufferings, and to so dreadful a death!

And of what avail will it be to thee to rescue him from the hands of Herod, in order to reserve him for so piteous an end?

Latest book snippets

Search | Random | 910 total | 50h 3m