For a reflection on the Feast of the Divine Maternity of Our Lady
Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The celebration on this day throughout the Western church of a feast in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was enjoined by Pope Pius XI in the encyclical “Lux veritatis“, published on December 25, 1931, in view of the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus.
In the third lesson of the second nocturn of the office of the new feast mention is made of the arch in the basilica of St. Mary Major, which Pope St. Sixtus III (432-440) decorated with mosaics shortly after the council, and which has been restored in modern times by the care of Pius XI himself. This, we are taught, remains as a stricking monument of the proclamation of our Lady’s incomparable honour as Mother of God. But in the institution of the present festival, the pope, as his encyclical explains, had also other objects in view.
“One thing in particular”, he says, “and that indeed one of great importance, we specially desire that all should pray for, under the auspices of our heavenly Queen. That is, that she, who is loved and venerated with such ardent piety by the separated Christians of the East, would not suffer them to wander and be unhappily led further away from the unity of the Church, and therefore from her Son, whose vicar on earth We are. May they return to the common Father, whose judgement all the fathers of the synod of Ephesus most dutifully received, and whom they all saluted with concordant acclamations as the guardian of the faith; may they all return to Us, who have indeed a fatherly affection for them all, and who gladly make our own those most loving words which Cyril used, when he earnestly exhorted Nestorius that ‘the peace of the churches may be preserved, and that the bond of love and of concord among the priests of God may remain indissoluble’.”
Encyclical, Lux veritatis, in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis,
vol. xxiii (1931)
From the book The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will
Our Lady to the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta the Little Daughter of the Divine Will:
Lesson of the Queen of Heaven
Daughter (Luisa) most dear to Me, oh! how I yearn to confide My secrets to My daughter; secrets which will give Me much Glory, and that will Glorify that Divine Fiat which was the primary cause of My Immaculate Conception, of My Sanctity, Sovereignty and Maternity. I owe everything to the Fiat—I know nothing else. All of My sublime prerogatives for which the Holy Church so much honors Me, are nothing other than the effects of that Divine Will which dominated Me, reigned and lived in Me.
This is why I yearn so much that that which produced in Me so many privileges
and admirable effects as to astonish Heaven and earth, be known.
My dear daughter (Luisa), today I await you more than ever. My maternal Heart is swollen; I feel the need to pour out My ardent love with My daughter: I want to say to you that I am the Mother of Jesus. My joys are infinite; seas of happiness inundate Me. I can say: I am the Mother of Jesus; His creature, His handmaid, is Mother of Jesus—and I owe this only to the Fiat. It rendered Me full of grace, It prepared the worthy dwelling for My Creator. Therefore, always glory, honor and thanksgiving be to the Supreme Fiat.
Now listen to Me, daughter of My Heart (Luisa): as soon as the little Humanity of Jesus was formed in My womb by the power of the Divine Fiat, the Sun of the Eternal Word incarnated Himself in It. I had My Heaven, formed by the Fiat, all studded with most refulgent stars which glittered with joys, beatitudes, harmonies of Divine beauty; and the Sun of the Eternal Word, blazing with inaccessible light, came to take His place within this Heaven, hidden in His little Humanity. And since His little Humanity could not contain Him, the center of this Sun remained in It, but Its light overflowed outside, and investing Heaven and earth, It reached every heart. And with Its pounding of light, It knocked at each creature, and with voices of penetrating light, It said to them:
“My children, open to Me (Jesus); give Me a place in your heart. I have descended from Heaven to earth in order to form My Life in each one of you. My Mother is the center in which I reside, and all My children will be the circumference, in which I want to form so many of My Lives for as many as are My children.” And the light knocked and knocked again, without ever ceasing; and the little Humanity of Jesus moaned, cried, agonized, and within that light which reached into the hearts, He made flow His tears, His moans and His pangs of love and of sorrow.
Now, you must know that a new life began for your Mama. I was aware of everything that My Son was doing. I saw Him devoured by seas of flames of love; each one of His heartbeats, breaths and pains, were seas of love that He unleashed, enveloping all creatures to make them His own by force of love and of sorrow. In fact, you must know that as His little Humanity was conceived, He conceived all the pains He was to suffer, up to the last day of His life. He enclosed all souls within Himself, because, as God, no one could escape Him. His immensity enclosed all creatures, His all-seeingness made them all present to Him. Therefore, My Jesus, My Son, felt the weight and the burden of all the sins of each creature. And I, your Mama, followed Him in everything,
and felt within My maternal Heart the new generation of the pains of My Jesus, and the new generation of all the souls whom, as Mother, together with Jesus I was to generate to grace, to light, to the new life which My dear Son came to bring upon earth.
My daughter, you must know that from the moment I was conceived, I loved you as Mother, I felt you in My Heart, I burned with love for you, but I did not understand why. The Divine Fiat made Me do facts, but kept the secret hidden from Me. But as He incarnated Himself, He revealed the secret to Me, and I comprehended the fecundity of My Maternity—that I was to be not only Mother of Jesus, but Mother of all; and this Maternity was to be formed on the stake of sorrow and of love. My daughter, how much I have loved you, and I love you.
Now listen to Me, dear daughter—what extent one can reach when the Divine Will takes operating life in the creature, and the human will lets It work without impeding Its step. This Fiat, which by nature possesses the generative virtue, generates all goods in the creature; It renders her fecund, giving her maternity over all, over all goods, and over He who created her. Maternity says and means true love, heroic love, love that is content with dying to give life to the one it has generated. If this is not there, the word maternity is sterile, is empty, and is reduced to words, but does not exist with facts. Therefore, if you (Luisa), My daughter, want the generation of all goods, let the Fiat take operating life in you, which will give you the maternity, and you will love everyone with love of mother. And I, your Mama, will teach you how to fecundate in you this maternity, all Holy and Divine.