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ecclesiæ sponsum immaculatum, adorantes : cui honor et gloria in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Officium. B. Mariæ in Sabbato.
Sermo. S. Bernardi Abbatis. Amplectamur Mariæ vestigia, fratres mei, et devotissima supplicatione beatis illius pedibus provolvamur. Teneamus eam, nec dimittamus, donec benedixerit nobis, potens est enim. Nempe vellus est medium inter rorem et aream ; mulier inter solem et lunam ; Maria inter Christum et ecclesiam constituta.
THE GLORIES OF MARY. Translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by a Catholic Clergyman. Dublin, published by James Duffy, 23, Anglesea St. 1845.
Brief memoir of Liguori, extracted from the Roman Catholic Calendar for 1840, published by Battersby, Dublin.
Alphonsus Liguori was born at Marianella, near Naples, on the 27th of September, 1696. He left the world and his legal profession at twenty-seven years of age, and the lady to whom he was to have been married followed his example by retiring to the Convent of the Blessed Sacrament at Naples.
On the 23rd of September, 1724, he was admitted by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Naples to the tonsure, and to minor orders on the 23rd of December of the same year. He was appointed to the bishopric of St. Agatha' de Gothi by Clement XIII. On May 26th, 1839, he was canonized at Rome. The Roman Catholic Calendar gives the following description of the assembly which met upon that occasion.
The preceding year has been remarkable for an act which only occasionally occurs in the capital of the Christian world, and one similar to which did not occur before. On this occasion, perhaps, there was a greater attendance than was ever previously witnessed. Together with his Holiness Gregory XVI. the principal actor, there were 40 cardinals,
130 patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops, all the generals, superiors, and members of religious orders in Rome, about 17,000 clergymen from various countries, several kings and queens of different states, an innumerable number of princes, dukes, earls, and about 250,000 of various other classes, independently of the inhabitants of Rome and its environs.
With respect to the authority of Liguori's works, the Roman Catholic Calendar says:
“ The Congregation of Rites allowed the cause of his beatification to be brought forward in 1796, and on the 14th of May, 1802, decided that it might be safely proceeded with, the Cardinal reporter having declared that the theologians, who had examined his manuscripts and printed works, had found nothing censurable in them.”
In the following circular extracted from the Roman Catholic Calendar for 1845, we find the Papal approval of St. Liguori's works.
“ Circular of the most excellent and Rev. Lord Filippo Artico, Bishop of Asti and Principe, domestic prelate to his Holiness, and knight of the Order of Maurice St. Lazarus, addressed to his clergy on the subject of the Torinese edition of the “Homo Apostolicus of St. Alphonso M. de Liguori.”
“ And finally on the 18th of May, 1803, Pope Pius VII. confirmed the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, which declared that all the writings of St. Alphonsus, whether printed or inedited, had been most rigorously examined, according to the discipline of the Apostolic See, and that not one word had been found censura dignum, and made known that the Moral System of St. Alphonso had been more than twenty times rigorously discussed with the rules of the decree of Pope Urban VIII. and the documents of Benedict XIV., that in all the examinations undertaken with a view to the canonization of St. Alphonsus, and in the definite judgment of the Sacred Congregation all agree, voce concordi, unanimi consensu, una voce unanimiter.”
“ The Glories of Mary” is a work which gives us a correct idea of the position which the invocation and worship of the Virgin Mary occupies in the Roman system of religion.
According to the Romish doctrine, believers owe to the Divine justice for their sins committed after baptism and against grace a temporal penalty, although the eternal penalty is remitted by faith in the atonement of Christ. This temporal penalty may be lightened by penances, alms, and good works, and masses; but what is unexpiated must be paid in the torments of purgatory. The higher order of saints only by their merits and too get to heaven without pur#. ; and are said by their supererogatory merits and suferings in part to atone for the sins of believers. The consequence of the above mentioned doctrine is that the justice of Christ is said to be armed against believers, and hence the Virgin Mary is introduced as the great mediatrix between the Church on earth and Christ, in order to appease his anger and conciliate his favour towards them. The Church of Rome does not, it is true, assign to her divine honours, or worship her with latria, the adoration due to Jehovah only. But that Church does not, thereby, exculpate herself from the charge of idolatry. The investing of a creature with the divine prerogative of mercy, and the giving to her a large share of the trust, and affections of professing Christians for the pardon of sin, for her intercession with the Father and the Son, for the obtaining of grace, for the deliverance from the power of Satan, from temporal and eternal dangers, from hell and from purgatory; and the investing of a creature with such wonderful perfections and such love for her votaries as almost surpass comprehension, is flagrant idolatry. When the A. Paul tells us that covetousness is idolatry, he instructs us that the giving to i. created being, or thing, that affection of the heart which belongs to God is idolatry. The Church of Rome does not exclude Christ from her religious system; but she introduces into it the intercession of the W. . True Christianity recognises Christ only as the channel of grace and mercy, and the mediator between God and man. The religion of Rome not only holds up Christ, but also the Virgin Mary as the channel of grace and mercy, and as the great mediatrix between Christ and the Church, and describes her as, owing to the almost immeasurable greatness of her perfections, being so loved by the Father, as never to plead in vain with him through the merits of her Son for sinners. She is in St. Liguori's work described as “the Queen of heaven, and of the Universe,” and as “the Mother of Mercy.” And believers are
recommended to go to her because Christ as God, is not only the God of Mercy, but the God of Justice; whereas she being a creature has no claims on the score of Justice, and is the Mother of mercy only; this is the doctrine inculcated - by St. Bernard, and it is inserted in the Roman Breviary, and may, therefore, be said to be sanctioned by the Roman Church. She is moreover said to be “the ladder of Paradise,” “the gate of heaven," “ the sole hope,”. mother of the Church,” “the channel of grace," "the star of the sea," &c.
The work of St. Liguori is valuable since it presents us with extracts from the writings or revelations of more than fifty Roman saints, besides those of chancellors, cardinals, doctors, &c. The names of these saints are, St. Francis, St. Matilda, St. Felix, St. Clara, St. Theresa, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Mary of Ogna, St. Ephrem, B. Denis, Carthusian, St. Bruno, St. John Damascene, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Ildephonso, St. Cyril, St. John Gaudavensis, St. Theophilus, St. John Geometia, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bridget, St. Gertrude, St. Dominick, St. Anselm, St. Louis Bertrand, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, St. Arnold, B. Albertus Magnus, St. Gregory, St. Gregory of Nicodenica, St. William the abbot, St. Anthonine, St. Ignatius, St. Francis de Sales, St. Francis Solares, St. Peter Damien, St. Peter Chrysologus, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Germanus, St. Andrew of Crete, B. Amadeus, St. Francis Borgia, St. Philip Neri, St. Andrew Avellino, St. Vincent Ferrer, &c. There are also extracts from the writings of many of the Nicene Fathers, which ought to carry with them but little weight, as they are all probably from spurious sermons. The extract from Augustine in which the Virgin Mary is styled the “Unica Spes,” the only hope, and which is inserted in the Roman Breviary, has been incontrovertibly shewn to be spurious by the learned Benedictines.
That the invocation and worship of the Virgin Mary by the Church of Rome is idolatrous, is indubitable; and since it pervades her whole devotional system and is universally practised by Romanists, it is equally certain that the Church of Rome is an idolatrous Church. This invocation and worship of the Virgin finds a place in the public services and the private devotions of Roman Catholics; in the priests' book of devotion, the Breviary, in the Missal, in
numberless private books of devotion; in altars, images, ictures, rosaries, scapulars and miraculous medals; and she is invoked as the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of Mercy, the Star of the Sea, in life and at the hour of death, when the names of Jesus and Mary are almost always coupled together, by Romish popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, all the religious orders and the laity, and especially by the Roman canonized saints, next to whom the Popes, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and, above all, the Jesuits have been pre-eminently distinguished by their devotion to the Virgin Mary. The religion of the Church of Rome is not ure Christianity; neither would it be just to term it pure Koi... Like the Israelites of old, who associated the worship of Baal with that of Jehovah, the Church of Rome has associated Mary with Jesus. The religion of the Church of Rome is “the Christo-Marian religion.” This fearful system of idolatry is supported by false miracles and visions, and revelations to St. Gertrude, St. Bridget, St. Mary, St. Elizabeth, &c.; and by a most awful perversion and misinterpretation of Scripture of which extracts from St. Liguori's work will afford abundant proofs; in fine it constitutes altogether a most fearful and profane structure of fraud, impiety, and imposture.
THE GLORIEs of MARY.
P. 4. “Since the Great Virgin Mary was raised to the dignity of mother of the King of kings, the Church justl honours her, and wishes that she should be iod wit the glorious title of Queen . . . . From the moment, adds St. Bernardine of Sienna, that Mary consented to become the mother of the Eternal Word, she merited to be made the Queen of the world and of all creatures.
P. 5. And since Jesus is King of the Universe, he has made Mary Queen of the Universe. “Being appointed queen,” says Rupert the abbot, “she justly possesses the entire kingdom of her Son.” Hence according to St. Bernardine of Sienna, “as many creatures as serve God, also serve Mary; and since all creatures, the angels, men, and all things in heaven and earth are subject to the empire of God, they are also subject to the dominion of the glorious Virgin.” Tom. ii. c. lxi.