Mary’s suffering was strong enough to cause a death of martyrdom

March 17, 2023 • 2 min

#DoctorsOfTheChurch #Mary #Passion #WhatTheSaintsSay

From The Glories of Mary, page 516
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

First Point—As Jesus is called King of sorrows and King of martyrs, because he suffered in his life more than all the other martyrs, so is also Mary called, with reason, queen of the martyrs, having merited this title by suffering the greatest martyrdom that could be suffered, next to that of her Son.

Hence she was justly named by Richard of St. Laurence the martyr of martyrs: “Martyr martyrum.” And to her may be applied what Isaias said: He will crown thee with the crown of tribulation: “Coronans coronabit te tribulatione.” For that suffering itself which exceeded the suffering of all the other martyrs united, was the crown by which she was shown to be the queen of martyrs.

That Mary was a true martyr cannot be doubted, as is proved by the Carthusian, Pelbart, Catharinus, and others; for it is an established opinion that suffering sufficient to cause death, constitutes martyrdom, although death may not then take place. St. John the Evangelist is revered as a martyr, although he did not die in the caldron of boiling oil, but came out more sound than he went in: “Vegetior exiverit quam intraverit.”

It is sufficient to procure the glory of martyrdom, says St. Thomas, that any one should be obedient even to offer himself to death. Mary was a martyr, says St. Bernard, not by the sword of the executioner, but by the bitter sorrow of her heart.

If her body was not wounded by the hand of the executioner, yet her blessed heart was pierced by grief at the passion of her Son; a grief sufficient to cause her not only one, but a thousand deaths.

And from this we shall see that Mary was not only a true martyr, but that her martyrdom surpassed that of all the other martyrs, for it was a longer martyrdom, and, if I may thus express it, all her life was a long death.

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