The Canticle of Canticles in Reference to our Blessed Lady

Continued from Msgr. Gentilucci’s compilation on the BVM:

First, with St Jerome and St. Bernard, we find [Our Lady] predicted under the pleasing image of a land where the flowers of the fields and the lily of the valleys bud forth.  Now the earth of the fields differs from a garden, in its producing flowers spontaneously without man’s sowing or cultivating them; so by a miracle of grace, and without man’s intervention, the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary produces the ever-verdant flower, which is Jesus Christ.  We contemplate Mary, in that garden enclosed on every side, where the rarest and most charming flowers are planted, of every hue and every odor, and where the ancient serpent cannot glide in nor distil his venom.  She appears to us under the figure of a lily amid thorns, showing herself such by her spotless purity, [fair] like the lily, like it fragrant in the odor of every virtue, intact amid the thorns which protect it, because she was to be, by an extraordinary miracle, at once virgin and mother.  Finally, with St. John Damascenus, we behold her predicted under the figure of a sealed fountain, giving rise to a pure and limpid stream, that is, to the course of the life of Jesus, without breaking the seal of her Virginity.

Mary, the ornament of the world by her virtues, is…[predicted] also in the early dawn, in the silent beauty of the moon, in the dazzling splendor of the sun, in the woman who advances so terrible at the head of an army ranged in battle array.  And if Mary, as St. Bonaventure says, is like the Aurora, how has she not scattered the dark night of sin?  Hallowed in her mother’s womb, she was nurtured in the light of grace, and brought forth the Eternal Sun of Justice, who inundated her with His splendor before He was seen on earth.  And if she is like the silver moon, when that planet is in its fullness, how could Mary be aught but all beautiful, since she is fully illuminated by the Eternal Sun of Wisdom and Truth, which is God, whose effulgence she reflects on the whole universe:  And if it shines after the likeness of the sun, which alone of all creatures can strikingly represent the Eternal Sun of Justice, what is this but to say, that as the sun by its light surpasses all the others orbs of light, so Mary shines with a greater glory than all the others Saints in heaven, those luminous stars that surround and adorn the throne of God.  Is she not as terrible as an army ranged in battle array, she who overcame the proud enemy of the human race, and who alone has destroyed all the monsters of heresy which have appeared in the world, as the Church chants in her honor?

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