Day 3 – May 24th – Feast of our Lady Help of Christians
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)
Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, thou seest how the Catholic Faith, in which we propose by the help of God to live and die, and so attain to eternal glory, is everywhere assailed by the devil and the world. Do thou, Help of Christians, renew thy victories as of old, for the salvation of thy children. To thee we entrust our firm purpose of never joining assemblies of heretics or sectaries. Do thou, all holy, offer to thy divine Son our resolutions, and obtain from him the graces necessary to enable us to remain steadfast in them to the end. Bring consolation to the visible head of the Church; support the Catholic Episcopate; protect the Clergy and the people who proclaim thee Queen ; hasten by the power of thy prayers the day when all nations shall be gathered together around the Supreme Pastor. Amen.
Mary, help of Christians, pray for us.
(Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians, by Pope Leo XIII, 20 December 1890, taken from the Raccolta)
~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 Eternal Father made Jesus Christ the King of justice, and consequently universal Judge of the world: and therefore the royal prophet signs: Give to the King Thy judgment, O God, and to the King's Son Thy justice (Ps. lxxi. 2). Here a learned interpreter takes up the sentence, and says: "O Lord, Thou has given justice to Thy Son, because Thou has given mercy to the King's Mother". And, on this subject, St. Bonaventure, paraphrasing the words of David, thus interprets them: "Give to the King Thy judgment, O God, and Thy mercy to the Queen his Mother". Ernest, Archbishop of Prague, also remarks, "that the Eternal Father gave the office of judge and avenger to the Son, and that of showing mercy and relieving the necessitous to the Mother" (Marial. c. 127). This was foretold by the prophet David himself; for he says that God (so to speak) consecrated Mary Queen of mercy, anointing her with the oil of gladness: God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness (Ps. xliv. 8). In order that we miserable children of Adam might rejoice, remembering that in heaven we have this great Queen, overflowing with the unction of mercy and compassion towards us; and thus we can say with St. Bonaventure, "O Mary, thou art full of the unction of mercy and of the oil of compassion" (Spec. B.M.V. lect. 7); therefore God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness.
And how beautifully does not Blessed Albert the Great apply to this subject the history of Queen Esther, who was herself a great type of our Queen Mary!