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The Holy Spirit preserved His Spouse the Blessed Virgin from all sin

3 min • Digitized on February 3, 2022

From The Glories of Mary, page 357
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

Third Point.—If, then, it became the Father to preserve Mary as his daughter from sin, and the Son because she was his mother, it also became the Holy Spirit to preserve her as his spouse.

Mary, says St. Augustine, was the only one who merited to be called the mother and spouse of God. For, as St. Anselm affirms, the Holy Spirit came bodily upon Mary and rested in her, enriching her with grace beyond all creatures, dwelt in her, and made his spouse queen of heaven and of earth.

As the saint expresses it: He was with her really, as to the effect, since he came to form from her immaculate body the immaculate body of Jesus Christ, as the archangel predicted: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee.

For this reason, says St. Thomas, Mary is called the temple of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Hoiy Spirit, because, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, she was made mother of the incarnate Word.

Now, if an excellent painter were allowed to choose a bride as beautiful or as deformed as he himself might paint her, how great would be his solicitude to make her as beautiful as possible!

Who, then, will say that the Holy Spirit has not dealt thus with Mary, and that, having it in his power to make this his spouse as beautiful as it became her to be, he has not done so?

Yes, thus it was fitting he should do, and thus he did, as the Lord himself attested when praising Mary; he said to her: “Thou art all fair, oh my love; and there is not a spot in thee;” [Cant. iv. 7.] which words, as we learn from a Lapide, St. Ildephonsus, and St. Thomas, explain as properly to be understood of Mary.

St. Bernardine of Sienna, and St. Lawrence Justinian, also declare that the passage above quoted is precisely to be understood of her immaculate conception; hence the Idiot says: Thou art all fair, oh most glorious Virgin, not in part, but wholly; and the stain of sin, whether mortal, or venial, or original, is not upon thee.

The Holy Spirit signifies the same thing, when he called this his spouse: “A garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.” Mary, says St. Jerome, was properly this enclosed garden and sealed fountain; for the enemies never entered to harm her, but she was always uninjured, remaining holy in soul and body. And in like manner St. Bernard said, addressing the blessed Virgin: Thou art an enclosed garden, where the sinner’s hand never entered to rob it of its flowers.

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