Mary died entirely detached from the world

August 21, 2021 • 3 min

From The Glories of Mary, page 476
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

And in the first place, there is no doubt that attachment to the goods of earth renders the death of the worldly bitter and miserable, as the Holy Spirit says: “Oh! death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that hath peace in his possessions!”

But because the saints die detached from the things of the world, their death is not bitter, but sweet, lovely, and precious; or, as St. Bernard explains, it is worthy being purchased at any price.

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” (Apoc. xiv. 13.) Who are they that being dead, die? Precisely those happy souls that pass into eternity, already detached, and, as it were, dead to all affections for terrestrial things, having found in God alone there every good; as St. Francis of Assisium, who exclaimed: “My God, and my all.”

But what soul was ever more detached from the things of the world, and more united to God, than the beautiful soul of Mary?

She was indeed entirely detached from her parents, since at the age of three years, when children are most dependent on their parents, and have the greatest need of their assistance, Mary with so great resolution left them, and went to shut herself up in the temple to attend to the things of God.

She was detached from riches, contented to live always poor, and supporting herself with the labor of her hands.

She was detached from honors, loving an humble and abject life, although queenly honor belonged to her, for she traced her descent from the kings of Israel.

The Virgin herself revealed to St. Elizabeth, a Benedictine nun, that when she was left in the temple by her parents, she resolved in her heart to have no other father, and to love no other good but God.

St. John saw Mary represented in that woman clothed with the sun, who held the moon under her feet. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.” Interpreters explain the moon to signify the goods of this earth, that are uncertain, and change as the moon does.

All these goods Mary never had in her heart, but always despised them and kept them under her feet; living in this world as a solitary turtle-dove in a desert; placing her affection on no earthly thing, so that it was said of her: “The voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” And again, “Who is she that goeth up by the desert?” whence Rupert says: “Thou hast gone up by the desert, that is, having a solitary soul.”

Mary, then, having always lived entirely detached from the things of earth, and only united to God, not bitter, but very sweet and dear to her was death, which united her more closely to God, by the eternal bonds of paradise.

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