Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our Blessed Lady and the canticles of Solomon.

These are just some passages that I think are types* of the Blessed Virgin, with some quotes from church fathers that I think explain them or their general theme.

Verse: 1:3  A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, he shall abide between my breasts. 

St. John the Apostle: And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. (Jon 19: 38

Verse: 2:2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters


S. Theodotus of Ancyra: A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns.

S. Hyppolytus: "He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption

S.Germanus of Constantinople:"Truly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever." 

Verse:2:10 Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:  The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come


St.Modestus of Jerusalem: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."

St.Gregory of Tours: "The Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, Mary rejoices with the Lord's chosen ones."

St. Theoteknos of Livia: "It was fitting that the most holy-body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinised, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full glory should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God."

 Verses: 3:1  In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not.  I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not.  The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth?

 5:8 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him that I languish with love

5:17  Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?


Gospel of St. John: "Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid.  There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand."

Verse: 3:6 Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer? Behold threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel, surrounded the bed of Solomon?


St.Peter Canisius: " Those who deny that Mary's body has been assumed into heaven are not to be listened to patiently but are everywhere to be denounced as over-contentious or rash men, and as imbued with a spirit that is heretical rather than Catholic."

Pope Pius XII: "Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers, have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption. Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of David: "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified"; and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven. Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer.Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles "that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense" to be crowned. These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom."

S.Robert Bellarmine: "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms."

 Verse: 4:7 Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee. 


Saint Eprem te Syrian: "Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother."

St. Jacob of Serug: "The very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary."

St.Augustine: "We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin."

Verse: 4:10 How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments above all aromatical spices.


Gospel of St.Luke: "And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck."

Verse: 4:12  My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.


St.Basil: "The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that the Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin."

St.Jon of Damascus: "The ever-virgin One thus remains even after the birth still virgin, having never at any time up till death consorted with a man. For although it is written, And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son, yet note that he who is first-begotten is first-born even if he is only-begotten. For the word first-born' means that he was born first but does not at all suggest the birth of others. And the word till' signifies the limit of the appointed time but does not exclude the time thereafter. For the Lord says, And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, not meaning thereby that He will be separated from us after the completion of the age. The divine apostle, indeed, says, And so shall we ever be with the Lord, meaning after the general resurrection."

St.Epipanius of Salamis: "The Son of God was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit."

S.Sophronius of Jerusalem: " Enclosed within thy womb is God himself. In thee hath he made his abode, and in fom thee he cometh forth as a bridegroom, winning jo for all and betowing the light of God on all."

Verse: 4:15 Thou art the  fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus.

S.Alphonsus Ligouri: "O Mother of mercy, since thou art so compassionate, and hast so great a desire to render service to us poor creatures and to grant our requests, behold I, the most miserable of all men, have now recourse to thy compassion, in order that thou mayest grant me that which I ask. Others may ask what they please of thee, bodily health, and earthly goods and advantages; but I come, O Lady, to ask thee for that which thou desired of me humility and love of contempt."


Psalm 44: "Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and forget thy people and thy father's house.  And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty; for he is the Lord thy God, and him they shall adore.  And the daughters of Tyre with gifts, yea, all the rich among the people, shall entreat thy countenance."

S.Bernard: As you were not worthy that anything should be given to you, all graces were given to Mary that through her you might receive everything that you are to have."

S.Louis-Marie De Montfort:  "All the rich among the people", to make use of the words of the ole Ghost. according to the explanation of S.Bernard- all the rich among the people will entreat thy countenance from from age to age, that iss to say, the greatest saints , those  souls richest in grace and virtue , will be the most persistent in praying to Our Blessed Lady , in having her ever-present as their perfect model to be imitated and as their powerful intercessor in heaven."

* As  in, Typology.

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