SPES N0STRA, SALVE -HAIL, OUR HOPE
XXX.-MARY IS THE HOPE OF ALL.
St. Germanus, recognising in Mary the source of all -our good, and that- she delivers us from every evil, thus invokes her : ” 0, my sovereign Lady, thou alone art the one whom God has appointed to be my solace here below; thou art the guide of my pilgrimage, the strength of my weakness, the riches of my poverty, remedy for the healing of my wounds, the relief of my pains, the end of my captivity, the hope of my salvation! Hear my prayers, have pity on my tears, I conjure thee, 0 thou who art my Queen, my refuge, my love, my help, my hope and my strength.”
We need not, then, be surprised that St. Antoninus applies the following verse of the Book of Wisdom to Mary : Now all good things came to me together with her-(Wisd. vii. 11). For as this Blessed Virgin is the Mother and dispenser of all good things, the w}d world, and more particularly each individual who Ii ·es in it as a devout client of this great Queen, may say with truth that, with devotion to Mary, both he and the world have obtained everything good and perfect. The Saint thus expresses his thought : ” She is the Mother of all good things; and the world can truly say that, with her, it has received all good things.” And hence the Blessed Abbot of Celles expressly declar s that ” when we find Mary, we find all good.” Whoever finds i\fary finds every good thing, obtains all races and all virtues; for by her powerful intercession 3ht: 1;btains ail that is necessary to enrich him with Divine grace. In the Book of Proverbs Mary herself tells us that she possesses all the riches of God, that is to say, His mercies, that she may dispense them in favour of her lovers : With me are riches ..• and glorious riches .•. that I may enrich them that love me-(Prov. viii. 18, 21). And therefore St. Bonaventure says that” We ought all to keep our eyes constantly fixed on Mary’s hands, that through them we may receive the graces we desire.”
Oh, how many who were once proud have become humble by devotion to Mary ! How many who were passionate have become meek ! How many in the midst of darkness have found light ! How many who were in despair have found confidence ! How many who were lost have found salvation by the same powerful means ! And this she clearly foretold in the house of Elizabeth, in her own sublime canticle : Behold, from. henceforth all generations shall call me blessed-(Luke i. 48). And St. Bernard, interpreting her words, says : ” All generations call thee blessed, because thou hast given life and glory to all nations; for in thee sinners find pardon, and the just perseverance in the grace of God,”