MARY IS THE HOPE OF ALL SINNERS
St. Basil of Seleucia remarks that “if God granted to some who were only His servants such power that not only their touch, but even their very shadows, healed the sick who were placed for this purpose in the streets, how much greater power must we suppose He has granted to her who was not only His servant but His Mother!”
St. Ephrem, addressing this Blessed Virgin, says: “Thou art the only advocate of sinners, and of all who are unprotected.” And then he salutes her in the following words: “Hail, refuge and hospital of sinners!”–true refuge, in which alone they can hope for reception and liberty. And an author remarks that this was the meaning of David when he said: For he hath hidden me in his tabernacle (Ps. xxvi. 5). And truly what can this tabernacle of God be unless it is Mary, who is called by St. Germanus “a tabernacle made by God, into which He alone entered to accomplish the great work of the Redemption of man.”
St. Basil of Seleucia remarks that “if God granted to some who were only His servants such power that not only their touch but even their shadows healed the sick who were placed for this purpose in the public streets, how much greater power must we suppose that He has granted to her who was not only His handmaid but His Mother?” We may indeed say that our Lord has given us Mary as a public hospital, in which all who are sick, poor, and destitute can be received. But now I ask, in hospitals erected expressly for the poor, who have the greatest claim to admission? Certainly the most infirm, and those who are in the greatest need.
And for this reason should any one find himself devoid of merit and overwhelmed with spiritual infirmities, that is to say, sin, he can thus address Mary: O Lady, thou art the refuge of the sick poor; reject me not, for as I am the poorest and the most infirm of all, I have the greatest right to be welcomed by thee.
Let us, then, cry out with St. Thomas of Villanova: “O Mary, we poor sinners know no other refuge than thee, for thou art our only hope, and on thee we rely for our salvation.” Thou art our only advocate with Jesus Christ; to thee do we all turn.
In the Revelations of St. Bridget, Mary is called the “Star preceding the sun,” giving us thereby to understand, that when devotion towards the Divine Mother begins to manifest itself in a soul that is in a state of sin, it is a certain mark that before long God will enrich it with His grace. The glorious St. Bonaventure, in order to revive the confidence of sinners in the protection of Mary, places before them the picture of a tempestuous sea into which sinners have already fallen from the ship of Divine grace; they are already dashed about on every side by remorse of conscience and by fear of the judgments of God; they are without light or guide, and are on the point of losing the last breath of hope and falling into despair; then it is that our Lord, pointing out Mary to them, who is commonly called the “Star of the Sea”, raises His voice and says: “O poor lost sinners, despair not! Raise up your eyes, and cast them on this beautiful star; breathe again with confidence, for it will save you from this tempest, and will guide you into the port of salvation.” St. Bernard says the same thing: “If thou wouldst not be lost in the tempest, cast thine eyes on the star, and call upon Mary.”