Liturgical emphasis on Mary is proper and precedented, and points to Jesus

May 13, 2023 • 2 min

From St. John Henry Newman’s Letter to Dr. Pusey in reply to his Eirenicon, page 123
By St. John Henry Newman

So far concerning the Blessed Virgin; the chief but not the only subject of your Volume.

And now, when I could wish to proceed, she seems to stop me, for the Feast of her Immaculate Conception is upon us; and close upon its Octave, which is kept with special solemnities in the Churches of this town, come the great Antiphons, the heralds of Christmas. That joyful season, joyful for all of us, while it centres in Him who then came on earth, also brings before us in peculiar prominence that Virgin Mother, who bore and nursed Him.

Here she is not in the background, as at Easter-tide, but she brings Him to us in her arms. Two great Festivals, dedicated to her honour, to-morrow’s and the Purification, mark out and keep the ground, and, like the towers of David, open the way to and fro, for the high holiday season of the Prince of Peace.

And all along it her image is upon it, such as we see it in the typical representation of the Catacombs. May the sacred influences of this time bring us all together in unity! May it destroy all bitterness on your side and ours! May it quench all jealous, sour, proud, fierce antagonism on our side; and dissipate all captious, carping, fastidious refinements of reasoning on yours!

May that bright and gentle Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, overcome you with her sweetness, and revenge herself on her foes by interceding effectually for their conversion!

I am,
Yours, most affectionately,
John H. Newman.

The Oratory, Birmingham,
In fest. S. Ambrosii, 1865.

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