SALVE, REGINA, MATER MISERICORDlAE! HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, MOTHER OF MERCY!
X.-THE GREATNESS OF THE LOVE THIS MOTHER BEARS US.
Mary is so good to all, even to the ungrateful and negligent, who love her but little and seldom have recourse to her, how much more loving will she be to those who love her and often call upon her! She is found by them that seek her-(Wisd. vi. 13). “Oh, how easy,” says Blessed Albert the Great, “it is for those who love Mary to find her, and to find her full of compassion and love!” In the words of the Book of Proverbs, I love them that love me-(Prov. viii. 17), she protests that she cannot do otherwise than love those who love her. And although this most loving Lady loves all men as her children, yet, says St. Bernard. “she recognises and loves”-that is, she loves in a more special manner those who love her more tenderly. Blessed Raymond Jordano asserts that these happy lovers of Mary are not only loved but even served by her; for he says that those who find the most Blessed Virgin Mary find all; for she loves those who love her, nay more, she serves those who serve her.
In the Chronicles of the Order of St. Dominic it is related that one of the friars named Leonard used to recommend himself two hundred times a day to this Mother of Mercy, and that when he was attacked by his last illness he saw a most beautiful queen by his side who thus addressed him : “Leonard, wilt thou die, and come and dwell with my Son and with me?” “And who art thou?” he replied. “I am,” said the Most Blessed Virgin, for she it was, “I am the Mother of Mercy: thou hast so many times invoked me. Behold, I am now come to take thee; let us go together to Paradise.” On the same day Leonard died, and, as we trust, followed her to the kingdom of the blessed.
“Ah, most sweet Mary!” exclaimed St. John Berchmans, of the Society of Jesus, “blessed is he who loves thee! If I love Mary I am certain of perseverance, and will obtain whatever I wish from God.” Therefore the devout youth was never tired of renewing his resolution, and of repeating often to himself: “I will love Mary; I will love Mary.”