Day 2 – May 23rd – Feast of Saint John Baptist de Rossi
O my sovereign Queen and worthy Mother of my God, most holy Mary; I seeing myself, as I do, so despicable and loaded with so many sins, ought not to presume to call thee Mother, or even to approach thee; yet I will not allow my miseries to deprive me of the consolation and confidence that I feel in calling thee mother; I know well that I deserve that thou shouldst reject me; but I beseech thee to remember all that thy Son Jesus has endured for me, and then reject me if thou canst. I am a wretched sinner, who, more than all others, have despised the infinite majesty of God: but the evil is done. To thee have I recourse; thou canst help me; my Mother, help me. Say not that thou canst not do so; for I know that thou art all-powerful, and that thou obtainest whatever thou desirest of God; and if thou sayest that thou wilt not help me, tell me at least to whom I can apply in this my so great misfortune. "Either pity me," will I say with the devout St. Anselm, "O my Jesus, and forgive me, and do thou pity me, my Mother Mary, by interceding for me, or at least tell me to whom I can have recourse, who is more compassionate, or in whom I can have greater confidence than in thee.” (Prayer of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, The Glories of Mary)
O God, who doest gladden us by the annual solemnity of blessed John Baptist de Rossi Thy confessor, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his heavenly birthday, may also imitate his example. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (Missale Romanum)
~Reading for Meditation~
Taken from Part I of Chapter I of The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
"The title of Queen," remarks Blessed Albert the Great (Super Miss. q. 162), "differs from that of Empress, which implies severity and rigor, in signifying compassion and charity towards the poor." "The greatness of kings and queens," says Seneca, "consists in relieving the wretched" (Medea, act. 2), and whereas tyrants, when they reign, have their own good in view, kings should have that of their subjects at heart. For this reason it is that, at their consecration, kings have their heads anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, to denote that, as kings, they should, above all things, nourish in their hearts feelings of compassion and benevolence towards their subjects.
Kings should, then, occupy themselves principally in works of mercy, but not so as to forget the just punishments that are to be inflicted on the guilty. It is, however, not thus with Mary, who, although a Queen, is not a queen of justice, intent on the punishment of the wicked, but a queen of mercy, intent only on commiserating and pardoning sinners. And this is the reason for which the Church requires that we should expressly call her "the Queen of Mercy." The great Chancellor of Paris, John Gerson, in his commentary on the words of David, These two things have I heard, that power belongeth to God, and mercy to thee, O Lord (Ps. lxi. 12), says that the kingdom of God, consisting in justice and mercy, was divided by our Lord: the kingdom of justice he reserved for himself, and that of mercy he yielded to Mary, ordaining at the same time that all mercies that are dispensed to men should pass through the hands of Mary, and be disposed of by her at will. These are Gerson's own words: "The kingdom of God consists in power and mercy; reserving power to himself, he, in some way, yielded the empire of mercy to his Mother" (Super Magn. tr. 4). This is confirmed by St. Thomas, in his preface to the Canonical Epistles, saying, "that when the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eternal Word in her womb, and brought him forth, she obtained half the kingdom of God; so that she is Queen of Mercy, as Jesus is King of Justice".