wrote St Alphonsus of the Holy Infant Mary,
Why did he and other saints
like St Annibale Maria di Francia,
(pictured below with the a holy Maria Bambina)
love the Child Mary whose birth we celebrate today?
Why has the Church shown such reverence for
this tiny baby throughout the centuries?
St Alphonsus explains...
“Let us, then, rejoice with our beloved infant, who was born so holy,
so dear to God, and so full of grace.
And let us rejoice, not only on her account,
but also on our own
for she came into the world full of grace,
not only for her own glory,
but also for our good.”
“It is certain that Mary’s soul was the most beautiful that God had ever created:
nay more, after the work of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word,
this was the greatest and most worthy of Himself
that an omnipotent God ever did in the world...”
“Divine grace did not come into Mary by drops as in other Saints,
‘but like rain on the fleece,’ as it was foretold by David.
The soul of Mary was like fleece, and imbibed the whole shower of grace,
without losing a drop.
How delightful a sight must the beautiful soul
of this happy child
have been to Heaven and earth...
She is the most amiable creature in the eyes of God,
because she was already loaded with grace
and merit, and could say,
‘When I was a little one I pleased the Most High.’”
“Mary... in each moment, doubled that sublime grace
which she possessed from the first instant for,
corresponding with her whole strength,
and in the most perfect manner in her every act,
she subsequently doubled her merits in every instant. .."
"So that supposing she had a thousand degrees of grace
in the first instant,
in the second she had two thousand,
in the third four thousand,
in the fourth eight thousand,
in the fifth sixteen thousand,
in the sixth thirty-two thousand.
And we are as yet only at the sixth instant...
But multiplied thus for an entire day,
multiplied for nine months,
consider what treasures of grace,
merit, and sanctity
Mary had already acquired
at the moment of her birth!
Happy Feastday of our Lady's Nativity!
make us to love thee,
make us little and holy,
and bless us!