Cross is not a sign of suffering but sign of love.

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
September 14, 2020
Today’s Readings:

Numbers 21:4b-9
Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-38 (with 7b)
Philippians 2:6-11
John 3:13-17
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091420.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2020-09-14

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.

There is a great misunderstanding in our times of understanding the true meaning of Cross. Cross is a sign of Sacrifice and Sacrifice is a sign of love. Cross is not a sign of suffering or troubles in our life but a sign of Sacrifice and love. Jesus was sent to the World to love the World and teach the World the true meaning of love. The true love or saving love is to die to our self ego, thinking,Pride, selfishness, Worldliness, greed, self righteousness , self benefit and give and forgive to our least Brothers and Sisters.

Jesus came in to this World and died himself and gave himself as a ransom to the Whole World. Jesus did not come to the World to give advice or judge or condemn or criticize or Complain about the World but to teach the World the true meaning of love by sacrificing his Soul, body,mind and divinity for the benefit of the Whole World. Jesus loved his people and had to sacrifice his life as a Human or divine and we call this Sacrifice as suffering but in truth Jesus enjoyed the sacrifice because it was an act of love. A Mother goes through so much of pain in her life to up bring her child but never considers the dirt or pain or humiliation or hunger or poverty as suffering but she enjoys nurturing the Child with joy because she does these things in love.

Jesus did not teach to love but loved by sacrificing his life in action. The Worldly sufferings do not come from the Lord but made by ourselves due to Sin and selfishness. We can not call these sufferings as Cross or sacrifice but these sufferings are just opposite to the Cross ans sacrifices because there is no love involved in these sufferings. These sufferings are result of denying the love or running away from love and Sacrifice or our responsibility.

Prayer : Lord Jesus make me an instrument of cross and love.Amen

The Royal Road of the Cross

Thomas à Kempis

APRIL 10, 2019

Available languages: 한국어

3

There will always be many who love Christ’s heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross. Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him.

Many love Christ as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless him as long as they receive some comfort from him. But if Jesus hides himself and leaves them for a while, they either start complaining or become dejected. Those, on the contrary, who love him for his own sake and not for any comfort of their own, praise him both in trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if Jesus should never comfort them, they would continue to praise and thank him. What power there is in a pure love for Jesus – love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!

Do not those who always seek consolation prove that they love themselves rather than Christ? Where can we find anyone who is willing to serve God for nothing? Such a person is worth far more than the jewels brought from the most distant lands.

Take up your cross and follow Jesus, and you will inherit everlasting life. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace than the way and discipline of the cross. Go where you will, seek what you want, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the cross. Arrange and order everything to suit your desires and you will still have to bear some kind of suffering, willingly or unwillingly.

The cross, therefore, is unavoidable. It waits for you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself along. Turn where you will – above, below, without, or with­in – you will find the cross.

If you willingly carry the cross, it will carry you. It will take you to where suffering comes to an end, a place other than here. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you try to do away with one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one. How do you expect to escape what no one else can avoid? Which saint was exempt? Not even Jesus Christ was spared. Why is it that you look for another way other than the royal way of the holy cross?

The whole life of Christ was a cross. And the more spiritual progress you strive for, the heavier will your crosses become, for as your love for God increases so will the pain of your exile.

When you willingly carry your cross, every pang of tribulation is changed into hope of solace from God. Besides, with every affliction the spirit is strengthened by grace. For it is the grace of Christ, and not our own virtue, that gives us the power to overcome the flesh and the world. You will not even fear your enemy, the devil, if you arm yourself with faith and are signed with the cross of Christ.

Decide then, like a good and faithful servant of Christ, to bear bravely the cross of your Lord. It was out of love that he was crucified for you. Drink freely from the Lord’s cup if you wish to be his friend. Leave your need for consolation to God. Let him do as he wills. On your part, be ready to bear sufferings and consider how in these sufferings lies your greatest consolation. The sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.

When you get to the point where for Christ’s sake suffering becomes sweet, consider yourself fortunate, for you have found paradise on earth.

Love is Giving and Forgiving

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 13, 2020
Today’s Readings:

Sirach 27:30–28:9
Ps 103:1-4, 9-12
Romans 14:7-9
Matthew 18:21-35
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091320.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2020-09-13

None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

Christian life is so much interesting and challenging that we become very adventurous in our day today life. It is so much scientific that we try to leave our original self and live for someone else’s life. In this process of transformation we transform in to his likeness and image. We speak his language,we behave like him,we love and forgive like him and our attitude becomes his attitude. When we imitate him we become like him and unite with him.

Christianity is basically a life lived for Christ and his values. We get very few Christians in reality in today’s World. We have followers of Christ not to live Christ Values in their life but live their own values in Christ Name. I have not met a single real Christian who lived for Christ in my life. I meet some Christians and think these people may be living a real Christian life and get attracted towards them but after looking at their priorities and Fruits I withdraw myself from their leadership.

If we want to live like Jesus we must make the Commandment of love as our life. There will be nothing else must come in our life but only love of God and love of our Brothers and Sisters. I tried doing this but there is an Enemy who opposes us doing it in our life and diverts our mind from love to hatred by bringing repeated situations in our life, which challenge the purity and authenticity of our love to Christ and our Neighbor. In this love we have challenges of losing everything for our Neighbor, Persecutions for the love of God, bear the injustice and tolerate the humiliation. These things are very very difficult to go through in our life unless we receive the grace of the Holy spirit and a faithful Christ centered Community the mystical body of Christ.

The real love of Christ is losing everything or dying for someone else nothing expecting in return. If we come to this stage we can call ourselves as followers of Christ. The forgiveness is nothing but love. If we love we forgive and if we do not love if we forgive millions times also the forgiveness is incomplete because forgiveness is not a process but a relationship of love with our Brothers and Sisters for the greater love of God.

The definition of love is giving and forgiving, so the love is incomplete without giving or forgiveness. The Charity and Forgiveness are the bolts or locks which tighten the bond of love and keeps it safe and secure. If we do not give and forgive our love is not tied up with a commitment or a bond or with an agreement but left loose or illegal and this kind of love can be easily sneaked in and the enemy can destroy our relationship of love by offsetting with hatred and greed.

The love and forgiveness of our Neighbor fulfills or brings in to completion the first Commandment of love of God , therefore it is a big waste in spending time with the Commandments of God or with God’s love or in Prayer without doing or fulfilling them in our life . This is the reason Jesus teaches us to pray in Lords Prayer of Our Father, “love and forgive us, as we love and forgive others”. To love God and love our Neighbor are not two activities but one single act of love. If we fulfill the first part we become Hypocrites in our life like Pharisees and Scribes of Jesus time. Jesus loved the Sinners who trespassed both the Commandments of love but came heavily upon the Hypocrites of his time.

We must come out of our life situation and see the Christian Values as they are and evaluate our life according to the Love of God in our life. If we live a life for Christ then we must die ourselves for Christ in our self life, and forgiveness is the knife that kills our ego, hatred, anger, greed, resentment and revenge in our life and detach us from our self and make us like Christ Jesus.

Prayer : Lord , I may die myself to resurrect in your love.Amen.

TRUE LIFE OF EUCHARIST PLEASING TO GOD.

Saturday September 12, 2020

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?

Scriptures1 Corinthians 10:14-22
Psalm 116:12-13, 17-18
Luke 6:43-49
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091220.cfm
Podcast:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2020-09-12

In the beginning of Creation , Bread and Wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the Earth, as a sign of grateful acknowledgement to the Creator. In Exodus Manna in the desert recall to Israel that it lives by the bread of the Word of God , their daily bread is the fruit of the promised land the pledge of Gods faithfulness to his promises. The cup of Blessing at the end of the Jewish Passover meal represent the festive joy of wine is a foretaste of the messianic age and his Kingdom.

Jesus fulfilled all the sacrifices of the old testament in to one sacrifice by offering his body and blood upon the Cross and resurrection , ascension and Pentecost. Eucharist is the thanksgiving meal in remembrance of his Sacrifice and last Supper by offering our first fruits and abundant life of the Holy spirit through Bread and Wine. We must reflect this concept of the Eucharist in our life which is combination of our offering , thanksgiving and remembrance of our Salvation and renewing our promises to the Promises of God.

We do many things in our life but is our life based upon the promises of God. Every promise or Commandment or Word of God followed with a Blessing and these blessings make us Sons and Daughters of God and Heirs of his Kingdom. Christians do not live on Worldly Bread but from every blessing of God . Christians are people who imitate Christ , Christ is the anointed one “Messiah”, when we follow Christ we get anointed with the love of God and resemble Christ , do things like Christ, Speak like Christ, live like Christ and die like Christ. Jesus Christ lived according to the will of God and died for the Whole World. When we live according to the will of God and die for the Whole World we resemble Christ in our life.

The life lived on the inspiration of the Word of God or love of God or Holy spirit is a real life of God on this Earth. If we pursue things as per worldly Standard then we are worshipers of the Idol World and the World is in the Spell of Satan and his demons, this is the true idol worship of our time. We must seek Gods will in every action or decision of our life. The best thing to discern our actions with three things in our life. 1. Does my decision or life go against the love of God or Word of God or Holy spirit. 2. Does my life decision or life go against the love of our Brother or sister or the Church 3. Does my life go against myself , my dignity, my Son ship or daughter hood.

My friends to follow the blind World is foolishness and deceptive . We call better lifestyle or better place in the modern World , the pursuit to Happiness does not lie upon financial advancement but a better understanding of our life . This understanding can be realized only through the Wisdom of God or through the Word of God.

The Family tree planted on the Worldly Soil of Satan can produce only thorns and itchy leaves which destroy the World but if we plant our family tree on the Word of God or Commandments or Holy spirit or love then we will produce good fruits of the Holy spirit of love, joy, peace, self control, charity, Empathy, Sympathy, mercy, kindness, gentleness, patience, meekness, tolerance and understanding.

When we approach in the Holy Mass or Holy Meal or Thanksgiving meal what do we offer at the table as the first fruits of our life. In Eucharist we must offer our first fruits of the Holy spirit and thank him for his promises and Blessings. If we offer Worldly offerings of money or donations or any other things of the World then we must ask ourselves a question are we people of the World or People of Christ. The money and donations or any other Worldly offerings are only a sign but if these signs do not possess the main ingredient of Love, Joy , peace and forgiveness then we are like those people who call Lord.. Lord but do not keep the Commandments of God.

The entire World is in a very dangerous mode and in the spell of the Devil. Majority of people are living and teaching their Children to Embrace Worldly Prosperity. We must return to the Lord with sincere heart and change our direction from the love of the World to the Love of God. This World will pass away but the love of God and his promises live for ever. Let us build our life on the Promises of God and these promises will give us the Manna of Heaven the promised land in this World and after our Physical death.

Prayer : Lord I may live a life of true Eucharist pleasing to you. Amen.

Mother Mary reveals Jesus in his fullness to the Whole World. Day-9

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 8, 2020
gnm.org/SaintQuotes/
Today’s Readings:

Romans 8:28-30 or Micah 5:1-4
Ps 13:6ab, 6c (with Is 61:10)
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/090820.cfm
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2020-09-08

The Birth of Mary and the conception of Jesus in the Womb of Mary must have hidden from the Evil one through the divine plan of God, because we see even during the Birth of Jesus and his childhood and through out his mission the Evil one was continuously disrupting the Salvation plan through many people and circumstances. Birth of Mary is the beginning of the Salvation plan or the foundation stone of the Salvation plan on this Earth.

The evil one was holding on the Earth from the very beginning of Creation as per the story of the Garden of Eden. God made many attempts to redeem the World from the clutches of Evil but every attempt was failed not because God was not capable but God is a just God even for the Evil or demons and they have to report to him with all their activities on this Earth so God is aware of each and every act of the Evil one on this Earth.

Man was so much weak to cooperate with the divine plan , every plan was disrupted and corrupted by the Devil through the humans. When God realized the moves of the Evil , God appoints Immaculate Mary to give birth without Sin. We must believe that Mother Mary was born without Sin not because Church teaches us, but because the Evil could not touch her human life and the Word of God could not be corrupted by the Adam nature of Sin. If Mother Mary was born with original Sin then the Satan and his Kingdom would have access on Mother Mary’s life which could directly or indirectly influence the Word made flesh.

An Apple can grow in a Apple tree and not in a thorny bush, in the same way divine Word can give birth from a Divine Mother of God. There is no doubt about Mother Mary was born without Sin and it was a plan of God. This is the reason we have to accept Mother Mary was the handmaid of the Salvation . When we celebrate birthday today , it will be appropriate for us to go back the day we met the Lord or his Salvation revealed to us. We must celebrate our spiritual Birthday with Mother Mary’s Birthday the foundation of the Salvation. We must make Mary our divine Mother just like Jesus made her his divine mother to accomplish the salvation. Mary was given special divine power to confront and protect her Son and her Children the Church from the hands of the Evil, we can see in Jesus life , Jesus remained obedient to Mary and Joseph for thirty years of his spiritual formation. Who was the Novice Master of Jesus formation, it was Mother Mary with the help of St.Joseph.

Jesus had properties of divine as well human nature and Mother Mary could parent Jesus with right Wisdom of God in the Human growth . We must approach Mother Mary not only like a Saint but as a helper of the Salvation in our life and we need help to transform our human nature in to Divine nature at every stage of our life. Have a Blessed Birth Day of our Mother.

Prayer : Mother Mary be with us at every stage of our life to parent us in the journey of our Salvation . Amen.

Mother Mary Reveals Jesus in his Fullness to the Whole World- Day 8

God does not do partiality and favor to any Individual or Community but loves everyone equally and fairly. All graces of God are available free and they are in the Air , the faithful must breath those graces of the Air and live in abundance. Why then humans do not experience the grace in their life. We do not breath the Air of grace in our life and breath poisonous Air of this World which kills our Body,mind and Spirit. Our prayers are not heard because we do not pray according to the Will of God. The spirit of God inspires people to become the model of Intercession or teachers of Intercession and Mother Mary takes the lead role in Intercession.

When people intercede with her , she converts all the Prayers according to the Will of the Lord and represents it like an advocate. Mother Mary knows the mind of her Son and in fact Church teaches us she is seated at the right hand of her Son Jesus. When we ask her intercession it reaches her Son according to the Will of the Father and the love of God automatically drawn from the Father. Mother Mary is the advocate of every faithful who approaches her to draw grace from her Son.

Mother Mary corrects our thoughts and intentions and draws the grace of God and removes those blocks which blocks our grace. The graces are blocked due to World, flesh and the Devil, and Mother Mary overcame all these areas in her life with the special grace provided to her by God ,and she takes every person who approaches her to intercede in to her path of Victory the plan of Salvation.

Mother Mary teaches us to breath fresh Air of and healthy Air of Salvation and prevents us from breathing the poisonous Air. This is the reason sometimes when we pray to God the answers are delayed but through Mother Mary the Answers are instant and immediate. It is not that God is partial but God wants us to approach in a appropriate garments in his Wedding feast. When we approach through Mary, she makes us to change the dirty clothes and puts new clothes and takes us to the Wedding Party because she is our Mother.

Prayer : Mother Mary draw the grace due to us and deliver us from the passions of the World ,Flesh and Devil. Amen

Mother Mary Reveals Jesus fully to the Whole World- Day 7

Mary visits Elizabeth:

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home

When someone anointed with the Spirit of God, the first sign is they reach out to others forgetting their own needs or cares . This is Divine love, the divinity of God can not self contained but surpassing through or flowing from one heart to another. Mother Mary experienced this Divine intervention in her at the Greeting of Gabriel Angel and at the Divine Conception. The time she experienced the Spirit of God in his fullness, she goes out of the Contemplative Spiritual life and tries to reach out the needy Elizabeth who required help and support at her Pregnancy in her old age.

Mother Theresa went through the same experience in one of the retreats she had in her Contemplative Congregation and comes out of the Contemplative Spirituality in to the Divine Human Spirituality of Prayer and Service. We see many Congregations, Organisations, Parishes,Retreat Centers, Families, Individuals doing many things in our Spiritual life but the spirituality is limited with in the four walls of our dwelling place. Mother Mary and Mother Theresa did not think twice of their individual contentment but step out of their dwelling place to the place of service and love.

Mother Mary gives us an example that Divine experience is not an Ecstasy of imagination but a reality of service and charity. We see many people have God experience in their life but not able to love and forgive their own kin or Community members. This kind of Spirituality is double minded or hypocritical. I know a renewed Priest who has been thrown out of his Congregation and Diocese and the priest has started his own Retreat Center just in miles away from his Congregation and we can see a competition in the Spirituality prevail in today’s World. These kind of Spirituality is scandalous and give us a bad example to the poor and people of other faith. Mother Theresa experienced this feeling from her community when she started serving the poor in the streets of Calcutta, after 30 years of her service, Church recognized her service and today her congregation is the largest and most active in terms of true missionary work and service.

Mother Mary was the Apostle of love and Service. She not only contemplated the Word of God in her heart but lived that word in reality by loving and obedient to her Husband Joseph and Son Jesus. She reached out at the Wedding at Cana and Elizabeth her cousin. The Church requires an urgent call in terms of Service . The families require to be ambassadors of love and forgiveness , we see all other things like Prayer, Tithing, Sacrifices, Fasting, Intercession in our Spiritual life but love and forgiveness which is the bottom line and the finishing line of our Spirituality is not met or blank . Can we be saved with this kind of Spiritual life is the question we must ask ourselves. Pope Francis reaching out to the migrants and calling out to help the poor in times of Pandemic. Pope Francis says if Christians do not reach out to the poor and sick at this time of difficult time they will be judged at the last day. Let us live our Salvation like Mother Mary, Mother Theresa, St.Paul , St.Francis Assisi and St.Francis Xavier in poverty , being poor ,humble and in persecution , in blessing and forgiveness, in giving and losing our life for the Whole World.

Prayer : Mother Mary teach us to be poor and help the poor in our life.Amen

MotherMary Reveals Jesus in his fullness to the Whole World – Day -6

THE COMPOSITION AND MEANING OF THE LITANY OF LORETO

The Litanies of Loreto are structured as follows:

1. Mary’s Holiness – Three introductory advocations highlight Mary’s sanctity as person (Sancta Maria), her role as mother of Jesus Christ (Sancta Dei Genitrix), and her vocation as virgin (Sancta Virgo Virginum). Mary’s sanctity is stressed.

2. Mary, the Mother – Twelve advocations refer to Mary as Mother. The purpose of this series of advocations is to highlight the various facets of Mary’s role as mother. Some of these advocations, especially at the beginning (1-3) and at the end (11-12) of the series, are referring explicitly to her maternal activity and the addressees (Christ, the Church . . .) of this activity. Mary is:

(1) Mother of Christ (Mater Christi)
(2) Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae)
(3) Mother of Divine Grace (Mater Divinae Gratiae)

And again, at the end of the series:

(11) Mother of our Creator (Mater Creatoris)
(12) Mother of our Savior (Mater Salvatoris)

The intermediate advocations (4-10) qualify or characterize the person of Mary as mother, mainly with adjectives:

(4) Mother Most Pure (Mater purissima)
(5) Mother Most Chaste (Mater castissima)
(6) Mother Inviolate (Mater inviolate)
(7) Mother Undefiled (Mater intemerata)
(8) Mother Most Amiable (Mater amabilis)
(9) Mother Most Admirable (Mater admirabilis)
(10) Mother of Good Counsel (Mater boni consilii)
[Mother of Fair Love (Mater pulchrae dilectionis)]

Mary attracts love and admiration, and she is of good counsel, but most of the characteristics mentioned (4-7) refer to the miraculous and virginal birth of Jesus.

3. Mary, the Virgin – The advocations of Mary Mother are followed by six titles extolling her as Virgin. They stress not only the merit of her virginity: Virgin Most Prudent (Virgo prudentissima), Virgin Most Venerable (Virgo veneranda), Virgin Most Renowned (Virgo praedicanda), but also the “efficacy” of virginity. Mary is : Virgin Most Powerful (Virgo potens), Virgin Most Merciful (Virgo clemens), and Virgin Most Faithful (Virgo fidelis).

4. Symbols of Mary – We then have thirteen symbolic advocations, mostly taken from the Old Testament and applied to Mary which highlight her virtues and her eminent role in salvation history:

(1) Mirror of Justice (Speculum justitiaé)
(2) Seat of Wisdom (Sedes sapientiae)
(3) Cause of Our Joy (Causa nostrae laetitiae)
(4) Spiritual Vessel (Vas spirituale)
(5) Vessel of Honor (Vas honorabile)
(6) Singular Vessel of Devotion (Vas insigne devotionis)
(7) Mystical Rose (Rosa mystica)
(8) Tower of David (Turris davidica)
(9) Tower of Ivory (Turris eburnea)
(10) House of Gold (Domus aurea)
(11) Ark of the Covenant (Foederis arca)
(12) Gate of Heaven (Janua coeli)
(13) Morning Star (Stella matutina)

5. Mary, the Helper – The group of four advocations that follows extol Mary’s role as advocate for spiritual and corporal works of mercy. She is:

(1) Health of the Sick (Salus infirmorum)
(2) Refuge of Sinners (Refugium peccatorum)
(3) Comforter of the Afflicted (Consolatrix afflictorum)
(4) Help of Christians (Auxilium christianorum)

6. Mary, the Queen – The last part of the Marian advocations is composed of a series of 13 titles referring to Mary as Queen. Mary is Queen of Saints and inhabitants of heaven:

(1) Queen of Angels (Regina Angelorum)
(2) Queen of Patriarchs (Regina Patriarcharum)
(3) Queen of Prophets (Regina Prophetarum)
(4) Queen of Apostles (Regina Apostolorum)
(5) Queen of Martyrs (Regina Martyrum)
(6) Queen of Confessors (Regina Confessorum)
(7) Queen of Virgins (Regina Virginum)
(8) Queen of all Saints (Regina Sanctorum omnium)

There are five advocations which emphasize the personal holiness, distinction, and role of Mary’s queenship:

(9) Queen Conceived Without Original Sin (Regina sine macula originali concepta)
(10) Queen Assumed into Heaven (Regina in caelum assumpta)
(11) Queen of the Most Holy Rosary (Regina sacratissimi rosarii)
(12) Queen of Families (Regina familiarum)
(13) Queen of Peace (Regina pacis)


ILLUSTRATIONS AND EXPLANATIONS OF THE LITANY OF LORETO

The Marian Library has rare books of the eighteenth century with engravings by the renowned Augsburg artist, Joseph Sebastian Klauber (ca. 1700-1768). The highly symbolic and illustrative reproductions are typical of the Baroque period. Their message is of great spiritual richness. Mary’s profile is that of the exalted Mother, Virgin, and Queen, as suits the period. We limited ourselves to the illustrations of the Marian titles. The reader needs to keep in mind that the titles introduced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, obviously, are not included in Klauber’s illustrations.

The Litany of Loreto illustrated by Klauber exists as an exhibit available for loan from the Marian Library. The Klauber engravings were scanned and framed by Mary Popp of the Society for the Preservation of Roman Catholic Heritage (SPORCH) in Dayton, Ohio.

Illustrated and Commented Titles

Here you will find the illustrations and commentaries of the various invocations beginning with Holy Mary, Sancta Maria.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Sancta Maria
Holy Mary

“Dic mihi, quo appellaris nomine?” (Genesis 32) 
“Tell me what name shall I give you?”

The answer is: “And the name is Virgin,” followed by the flower monogram “M” signifying Mary.

The two little angels proclaim, “Your name is like spreading perfume” (Canticles 1:3) and, “The Lord has named you a beautiful olive tree” (Jeremiah 11:16).

Two cantors sing, “ora pro nobis,” that is pray for us! while the devil cries out, “Terrifying is his (her) name” (Psalm 111).

“Praised be the Lord, who today has magnified your name so that it will never disappear from the mouth of the people” (Judith 15)

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Sancta Dei Genitrix
Holy Mother of God
(Birth-Giver of God)

Mother and child in the medallion reflect and complement the Nativity event below. Both God the Father and Mary proffer the same truth,

“Ego hodie genui te.” “Today I have given birth to you.”

“Peperit filium suum primogenitum.” (Luke 2:7). “And she gave birth to her firstborn Son.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Sancta Virgo Virginum
Holy Virgin of Virgins

Mary’s half-figure crowns the stem with three lilies, while the risen Christ with the cross calls her: “My one alone is my dove, my perfect one!”

A host of saints surround the lily, wearing crowns and hailing Mary. We note the presence of such saints as Catherine of Alexandria and Barbara.

The inscription reminds us that the number of virgins is countless.

“The daughters saw her and called her most blessed” (Canticles 6:9).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Christi
Mother of Christ

The two cameos show Mary nursing and caring for the child Jesus.

Two inscriptions framing the pictures highlight the Mother’s love. Jesus is the beloved who rests in Mary’s bosom (Canticles 1:3). She gave birth to him, the firstborn, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:7).

“I carried you in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought up, educated and supported you” (2 Maccabees 7:27).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Divinae Gratiae
Mother of Divine Grace

Mary whose half image is placed on top of a three-tiered fountain, is identified as the one who “contains all grace” (“In me gratia omnis,” Sirach 24). This is confirmed by the Annunciation angel, Gratia plena (full of grace), and by the three rays of light emanating from the triangular symbol of the Trinity. In turn, the rays are transformed into three well-springs flowing from Mary’s heart, symbol of Trinitarian grace and the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Thus, Mary is a fountain of life.

“Let us proceed to and approach the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Purissima
Mother Most Pure

Mother and child are represented in the circular shield of the full moon, inscribed, “Pulchra ut luna” (beautiful as the moon).

The two astronomers sitting atop the observatory are gazing heavenwards with their telescopes, only to reach the conclusion, “Tota pulchra es, macula non est in te” (You are most beautiful and there is neither fault nor stain in you).

Beauty is assimilated with the moon as stated in the Song of Songs: “. . . beautiful as the moon, resplendent as the sun” (6:10). Beauty is synonymous of purity. As the moon receives light from the sun, so the human person (Mary) receives beauty and purity from God. In this sense we understand the following lemma (header),

“What God has made clean, you are not to call unclean (profane)” (Acts 10:15).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Castissima
Mother Most Chaste

To highlight Mary’s chastity, her effigy is surrounded by two of the classical symbols of Our Lady’s virginity, namely:

“Hortus conclusus” (enclosed garden) “Fons signatus” (sealed fountain). Both symbols appear in the Song of Songs, “You are. . .my sister, my bride, an enclosed garden, a fountain sealed” (Canticles 4:12).

The typical half-image of Mother and child forms the crown of a tree which bears simultaneously flowers and fruit. They are symbols of Mary’s simultaneous role as virgin (flower) and mother (fruit).

“What a beautiful and chaste creature (generation)” (Wisdom 4).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Inviolata
Mother Inviolate

This title is defined with regard to the Sun. There exists reciprocity between Mary and the Sun, “Sol in Virgine and Virgo in Sole.” The Sun, symbol for Jesus Christ, dwells in her virginal person, just as Mary has meaning only in and through the Sun, Jesus Christ. See the Jesus (IHS) monogram on Mary’s chest.

Mary’s position with regard to the Sun places her in the center of or beyond the changing seasons and times, symbolized by the signs of the Zodiac.

Mary, the inviolate mother, is the “mirror without stain” (Wisdom 7). The light and power of the Holy Spirit traverses her heart and is perfectly reflected; she is inviolately passing on the Spirit’s grace so as to bring light into the world (the burning candle) by the virginal birth (“virginea generatio”).

“Because she has loved chastity, she will be blessed in eternity” (Judith 15:10).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Intemerata
Mother Undefiled

The symbol chosen here is that of the mother whose Son uses the lance of his cross to combat wild beasts representing evil. She is holding the Christchild on her lap, but it is in fact He who had chosen her from the beginning (“Possedit me in initio” Proverbs 8:22).

“Thus, we know that all the powers of hell are no match for her.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Amabilis
Mother Most Amiable

Mary’s amiability is directed first of all to the Christchild as is shown in the “Eleousa” (tenderness) expression of the medallion. The hearts of Mother and Son are burning in reciprocal love. Mary is the most amiable. To attest this superlative, Mary is compared to prominent Old Testament women figures, for example to Esther, who is of elegant aspect (Esther 2); Judith, who is also of elegant aspect (Judith 8); Rebecca, who is of exquisite beauty (Genesis 24); Rachel, who is well-formed and beautiful (Genesis 29).

However, the verdict of the little angel is irrevocable, Mary is “amabilis super omnes.” She is more lovable than all four of them.

“You exceed through your amiability the love of all other women” (2 Kings 1).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Admirabilis
Mother Most Admirable

Mother and child in the medallion are reminiscent of the Salus Populi icon at Saint Mary Major. The medallion is flanked by two pyramid-shaped constructions from which ex-voto type objects are hanging. Both pyramids are crowned with a burning heart.

Between the two pyramids there is a representation of the burning bush, traditional symbol of Mary’s inviolate virginity (Exodus 3:2-5). Moses, kneeling in front of the burning bush, articulates the following: “Bring me to your holy mountain, to the place of your dwelling” (Psalm 42, 111:3).

Mother and Child are symbols of this divine dwelling place. The two pyramids are like ardent monuments of intercessory prayer addressed to Christ through Mary. The figures at the base of the two pyramids may be allegories of the elements, for example, wind, earth, water. . . .

“Her name will be called ‘admirable!’” (Isaiah 9).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Creatoris
Mother of Our Creator

The customary and imposing half-figure representation of Mother and Child is resting on a bank of clouds, Mary holding a scepter, the Christ child the whole of the universe. The halo-shaped inscription over Christ’s head says, “He sustains everything through his mighty word” (Hebrews 2).

Jesus Christ is hailed by the two figures kneeling at his feet. Saint Paul on the left proclaims, “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). King David expresses the despair and longing of the Old Testament, “Ad nihilum redactus sum, et nescivi” (Psalms 72) (I am nobody, and did not even know it.) The sentiment of nothingness of the Old Testament is overcome by the reality of being a new creation in Christ.

What is Mary’s place in all of this? She exclaims with Ecclesiastes, “He who created me has deigned to dwell in my womb” (Sirach 24).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Mater Salvatoris
Mother of Our Savior

The lower half of the engraving shows the Nativity scene. It is miniaturized to reflect that by now the birth of Christ is an event of the past. The message, though, remains unchanged, “Today a Savior is born to you.” Though depicted as a child, this Savior is present, with
his mother, in a medallion marked by a crown of thorns and the many instruments of Christ’s passion (“Arma Christi”) from the purse with the thirty silver coins to the ladder serving for Christ’s deposition from the cross. In fact, the medallion with Mother and Child is hanging on the cross, the same cross Christ is pointing to with his right hand. The caption above Mary’s head highlights that she is not only the Mother of the Savior, but in a more intimate way “my mother,” which could refer to the Christchild as well as point to each one of us. Christ is destined or called to be the Savior of the world (Genesis 41).

Mary is the one of whom it is said, “She will bear a Son and name him Jesus, and he will save his people” (Matthew 1).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Virgo Prudentissima
Virgin Most Prudent

Mary, an autonomous figure with arms outstretched in a noble gesture of openness and invitation, presents the double characteristics of virgin (Immaculate Conception highlighted by the twelve stars around her head), and mother (her womb bears the Christ monogram). Her figure is surrounded with a perfect circle symbolizing perfection of human knowledge and behavior. It is decorated with symbols of science (compass, square, globe, and telescope), and with cameos showing animal allegories of prudence: snake: be prudent like the snake; ant: go and learn wisdom from the ant (Proverbs 6); rooster: and from whom do you think the rooster received his intelligence? (Job 33).

There is a cameo between the representation of Mary and the illustration from the parable of the wise or prudent virgins who put oil in their lamps (Matthew 25). It bears the head of Janus (here a crowned head with a feminine and a masculine face), symbol of prudence, taking into account beginning and end, past and future of human life and endeavor.

“Mary is hailed as the woman who was most prudent” (cf. 1 Kings 25:3 re: Abigail).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Virgo Veneranda
Virgin Most Venerable

The figure of Mary, holding a lily in her hand, is encapsulated in a medallion inscribed, “Venerable and Saint” (Numbers 28). Above and to her right, her risen Son is sitting on a throne, pointing with a gesture of invitation to a second throne, next to his own, reserved for his mother.

The medallion rests on the replica of the House of Loreto, itself placed on a rock. At the foot of the rock a group of devotees is standing or kneeling in prayer. This group is seemingly contrasted with another group of people threatened by the snake (devil) hiding in a tree. The central figure, with his back to the onlooker, seems to petition Mary’s help in the combat against evil.

“All generations will call me blessed” (Luke, 1:48).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Virgo Praedicanda
Virgin Most Renowned

The cameo shows Mary in the posture of the Orante, hands crossed on her chest. Putti (little angels) playing the trombone are surrounding Our Lady’s picture. Their musical instruments are flagged and bear the name of Mary.

Underneath the cameo we notice two scenes, both destined to proclaim the praises of Mary. The scene in the foreground shows the interior of a Baroque church. The priest at the pulpit announces Mary’s all-holiness (“Beatissimam praedicaverunt” Proverbs 31). The second preacher, in an outdoor setting, praises the womb which bore Jesus.

“Your praise will not disappear from the people’s lips” (Judith 13).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Virgo Potens
Virgin Most Powerful
 This illustration bears evident martial features. Mary’s picture is set against a shield which is surrounded with a panoply of weapons, from bow and arrow to flags and cannons. Mary holds in her hand a commander’s staff; however, the motto around her head refers to Christ. It says, “I can do everything in Him.” Right and left of Mary’s image we read this inscription, “He made powerful things with his arm.”

On the lower half of this illustration we find the representations of two powerful typological feminine figures of Mary in the Old Testament. To the left we have Jael, who killed Sisera, the commander of the Canaanites, hammering and crushing his head with peg and mallet (Judges 5:26). The woman to the right is Judith decapitating Holofernes (Judith 11:17).

“In your hand are virtue and power” (1 Paral 29).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Virgo Clemens
Virgin Most Merciful

Her hands folded and head inclined, Mary suggests meekness and compassion. The various inscriptions highlight this advocation, “The law of mercy is on her lips” (Proverbs 31). Illustrating the image of the heart at the bottom of the medallion, we read, “My heart is like melting wax” (Psalm 21). Right and left of Mary’s portrait we discover two allegorical animals emphasizing mercy: one is the Pelican feeding her brood, with its own blood; the other is the mother-hen protecting her chicks. The bottom half of the illustration pictures the wedding feast of Cana, a further reference to Mary’s attentiveness to human needs and her merciful intercession. The scene is flanked by two additional inscriptions and symbols. “Mercy is like the evening rain,” says one of them (Proverbs 16). The motto is visualized with an abundantly growing plant contrasting a broken column. The second scene, to the right, shows Rebekah with the jug offering a drink to people and animals, “I will draw water for your camels, too” (Genesis 24:20) says the inscription.

“I will be merciful to you for you have found favor with me” (Exodus 33).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Virgo Fidelis
Virgin Most Faithful

Mary, offering the Son resting on her lap to the world, is depicted inside a heart-shaped medallion which bears the inscription, “Her heart is faithful” (2 Esdras 9), and, “Faithful woman” (1 Corinthians 7). The real reason for Mary’s title is illustrated in the image below which features the crucifixion. Mary is indeed the “faithful woman.” She is standing at the foot of the cross, her heart pierced with a sword. The scenes right and left of the crucifixion seem to be of allegorical meaning. The scene to the left may well allude to Ariadne and Theseus, the woman’s thread leading the man safely through the labyrinth of Knossos. Faithfulness warrants safety and right direction in life. On the other side, the figure lowered from the window on a rope reminds one of David. Michal, David’s wife and Saul’s daughter, let “David down through a window, and he made his escape in safety” (1 Samuel, 20:12). Michal is the loving and faithful wife standing by her husband, protecting him from her father’s wrath. The following lemma is an invitation to unwavering fidelity:

“Be faithful unto death” (Revelation 2).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Speculum Justitiae
Mirror of Justice

The various symbolic meanings of the mirror highlight: (1) purity of the soul, (2) self-knowledge and moral integrity, as well as (3) the mirror’s ability to reflect reality. Mary’s soul is holy and pure. She reflects the Sun of Justice, meaning God’s perfection and holiness. She is the mirror without blemish of God’s majesty (Wisdom 7:6). The Sun of Justice is reflected in the image of Mother and Child. The angel with balance and sword, usually a symbol of justice, signifies God’s perfection. There is a second and oval mirror whose surface is tainted and marred. In it, three shadowy silhouettes can be barely perceived, featuring Adam or sinful humanity between Good and Evil which is Satan, beckoning and tempting, and the Guardian Angel watching over his protégé. This mirror does not reflect light and perfection but darkness and sin, or at least the blurred human vision of God and eternity.

Thus Paul reminds us that “at present we see indistinctly as in a mirror, but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Sedes Sapientiae
Seat of Wisdom

The title called “Seat of Wisdom” refers to the throne of Solomon. Mary is personified wisdom sitting on Solomon’s throne made of ivory and gold (1 Kings 10:18-20). In fact, sitting on the throne of Solomon she comes to be the throne upon which her Son, “the Wisdom of the Father,” is seated.

The cameo of mother and child is surrounded by symbols of science and knowledge (globe, telescope, square). The lower half of the architectural façade shows a group of seven feminine figures standing around the throne, which bears the simple inscription “Verbum” (the Word). The throne of Solomon is no longer that of human but of divine wisdom, the Word of God made man. The caption around the medallion of Mother and Child states this with the following words: “In the mother’s womb is seated the wisdom of the Father.”

The lemma points out that “wisdom has built her house; she has set up her seven columns” (Proverbs 9:1). What are those columns personified by the seven feminine figures? It seems difficult to formulate a stringent answer. The artist may have intended to represent knowledge and wisdom. Thus the seven figures would be those of the liberal arts, of Trivium and Quadrivium. Another explanation seems to favor the seven virtues (theological and cardinal virtues) or the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:1-2).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Causa Nostrae Laetitiae
Cause of Our Joy

Our Lady is presented as autonomous figure, possibly pregnant as the Visitation scene in the lower half of this illustration seems to indicate. The medallion with Our Lady is flanked by Judith with the head of Holofernes and Esther dancing and playing the tambourine. The captions invite celebration and joy (Esther 10:10 and Nehemiah 12:43).

Separated by a bunch of musical instruments, the scene of the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth illustrates why Mary is cause of our joy. The moment Mary’s greeting sounded in Elizabeth’s ear, the baby leapt in her womb for joy (Luke 1:44). Mary’s role as announcer and cause of joy, the joy of redemption for all, is further visualized in two lateral scenes, one depicting the souls in purgatory, the other a group of Old Testament figures (among them Moses and David) awaiting the Messiah. “Our sadness will be changed into joy,” says the lemma, meaning that there is hope for all who believe in the Good News made flesh in Mary, the cause of our joy.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Vas Spirituale
Spiritual Vessel

The noun “vessel” imperfectly expresses the intended meaning of this advocation. The Latin “vas” (vessel) is used to translate the Greek term “skeuos” which does not only mean vessel but also instrument or tool. Thus, the expression “spiritual vessel” should be rendered as “instrument of the Holy Spirit.” Mary is both dwelling place of the Spirit and his “agent” in the Incarnation. “With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God” (CCC 723).

The imagery of the advocation highlights this idea. The caption accompanying the symbol of the Spirit refers to the promise of the Annunciation. The Spirit will overshadow you. Mary answers the Trinity in the words of 4 Esdras 4:14, “If I have found grace with you, send your Spirit into me.” The picture of Mary expresses both humility (her answer to God) and grandeur (scepter in the form of a lily). The table covered with various vessels underscores the fact that Mary is the most exquisite of God’s vessels. She is a “vessel for a noble purpose” (Romans 9:21).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Vas Honorabile
Vessel of Honor

The preeminent symbol in this illustration is the monstrance containing Our Lady, and simultaneously Mary containing and pointing to the radiating host on her chest. The Immaculata (see twelve stars) is herself a monstrance, meaning transparent of and to God. It is her honor to make God visible through her sinlessness and as dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and her Son Jesus Christ. Mary is, according to 2 Timothy 21 (paraphrased here), “a vessel for lofty use (“vas in honorem”), dedicated, beneficial to the master of the house.” The master of the house here is Christ himself, present in the host held by the “vessel of honor,” his mother Mary. She is indeed, as Immaculata, the work of the Almighty One, and thus an “admirable vessel.” Monstrances with a Marian motif are typical of the Baroque period (see for example the famous Lepanto monstrance by J. Zeckel, 1708, Ingolstadt).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Vas Insigne Devotionis
Singular Vessel of Devotion

The word devotion exceeds the narrow meaning of devotional practice and refers to total dedication and fidelity in the service of God. Mary’s profession of faith, “I am the handmaid of the Lord,” most adequately expresses the meaning of this advocation. Her total dedication goes to her Son featured in the Mother-child image of the medallion. Total dedication has not only the meaning of service. It refers primarily to openness and receptivity of God’s will and grace. This attitude is illustrated in the lower half of this page with the story of the widow’s oil. On Elisha’s order the widow would pour oil in the vessels they handed her (2 Kings 4:5). God’s grace cannot be exhausted. It takes a “singular vessel of devotion” to receive its plenty, one that has been perfectly purified (“Egredietur Vas purissimum”) (Proverbs 25:4).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Rosa Mystica
Mystical Rose

Mary is compared to the mysterious (mystical) rose. The rose was symbol of mystery (antiquity), and for early Christians a metaphor of both martyrdom (Cyprian) and paradise (catacombs of Saint Callistus). The half-image of Mary in this illustration emerges from a giant rose bush planted in a French garden. Two potted rose trees flank the central image. All three serve as visual support to the scriptural references of the rose symbolism applied to Mary.

The rose bush with open petals serving as throne of Our Lady bears the following caption: “Open up your petals like roses planted near running water” (Sirach 39:13). The lateral rose trees make reference to the “rosebush in Jericho” (Sirach 24:14) and to the “blossoms on the branches in springtime” (“quasi flos rosarum”) (Sirach 50:8). The immediate reference of these three rose metaphors are the children of God, Wisdom, and Simon, Son of Jochanan. They are also applied to Mary in order to highlight Mary’s sinlessness and role in the Incarnation. Indeed, she is “rose without thorn” (since Sedulius Caelius, – 430) and the shoot (Mary) of the root (Jewish people) from which a “bud shall blossom” (Jesus) (see Isaiah 11:1 – since Tertullian, Ambrose). Mary’s mystery is that of her virginal motherhood. The invitation of the lemma: “Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds” (Wisdom 2:8) is addressed to all. We are called to be sons and daughters of God.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Turris Davidica
Tower of David

The main characteristic here is that of a sturdy tower surrounded by fortifications, hung with many shields and built on rocky foundations. 

The medallion superimposed on the tower shows the half-image of Mary in the posture of the young and meek Orante. The medallion is decorated with the tools and symbols of war: sword, banner, helmet, shield, trumpet, even what looks like the head of Holofernes.

The symbol of the Tower of David is taken from the Song of Songs (Canticles 4:4). It was applied to Mary, and symbolizes Mary’s womb giving life and protection to Jesus (Richard of St. Laurent). Mary also gives protection to all those who seek refuge against temptation and danger (Albertus Magnus). The tower is further a symbol of Mary’s undefiled virginity (Salzer 12:21), later also of her Immaculate Conception. The fortifications of the tower are a symbol of Mary’s virtues, the many shields (one thousand shields) are virtues or signs of heavenly protection against the devil.

Using Psalm 61, this illustration paraphrases the following verse and attributes it to Mary, “You are a tower of strength against the foe” (Psalm 61:4).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Turris Eburnea
Tower of Ivory

There are three major elements in this illustration: the customary half-image of Maria Orans; King Solomon pointing with his scepter to the Marian medallion, and the “Tower of Ivory” which seems to be part of a castle.

Solomon seems to be uttering these words, “Your neck is like a tower of ivory” (Canticles 7:5). This sentence is part of the description of the Sulamite, the bride’s beauty. Attributed to Mary in the Middle Ages, this symbol highlights Mary’s eminent spiritual grandeur, beauty and fortitude (J. H. Newman).

The reference to Solomon includes ivory as the material from which he built his home, “The king also had a large ivory throne made, and overlaid it with fine gold” (1 Kings 10:18).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Domus Aurea
House of Gold

The sumptuously decorated medallion shows Mary holding a branch or scepter of lilies. The medallion rests on an impressive Baroque structure, symbolizing the “golden house.” Two inscriptions highlight the Marian connection. The glorious Christ utters these words, “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I desire it” (Psalm 132:14). The second inscription reads, “The Lord’s glory filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:14). Both of these quotes point to the Incarnation. Mary is the “House of Gold” harboring Jesus Christ; she is his “resting place.” Thus, she is filled with God’s glory.

The designation “House of Gold” goes back to the “Inner Sanctum” of the Tent of the Covenant and to Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:20-22). Solomon’s Temple gave special distinction to the “Holy of Holiest.” It was all in gold as befits the dwelling place of God Almighty. Mary is called “House of God” because she was the dwelling place of God Incarnate, and as such filled with grace and virtues, especially those of humility and purity.

She is in her own right (as says the lemma), “The house of the Temple all in gold” (1 Kings 7).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Foederis Arca
Ark of the Covenant

“What God has made clean, you are not to call unclean (profane)” (Acts 10:15).

Mary’s portrait is partially contained in the representation of the Ark of the Covenant. It is surrounded by religious Jewish symbols. Mary’s image bears elegant features, the gestures of her hands seem to point to her womb, the true Ark of the Covenant. The inscription in the margin reads, “Arise Lord, come to your resting place, you and your majestic ark” (Psalm 132:8).

The Marian interpretation of the Ark of the Covenant is known since the Council of Ephesus (see: Proclus of Constantinople, 446). Several analogies can be established between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant: the Ark was the throne of God, Mary is the true “Christophora”; the Ark contained the tables of the law, Mary’s womb bore the one who is the law of the new covenant; the Ark was precious and beautiful, made in gold, Mary’s soul is adorned with the beauty of her virtues; the Ark was a warranty for victory, Mary has been victorious in the battles of God (Pius XII); the Ark found a place in the inner “sanctum” of the Temple, Mary was assumed into heaven.

“What God has made clean, you are not to call unclean (profane)” (Acts 10:15).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Ianua Coeli
Gate of Heaven

The elaborately Baroque gate serves as Mary’s throne. Her effigy is surrounded by stars and clouds. Her outstretched arms suggest openness, receptiveness. The open gate leads into an enclosed garden, symbol of her virginity. The angel with shield and flaming sword
protects the open gate, which can be assimilated with the gates of paradise. The angel proclaims these words, “He has opened the gates of heaven” (Psalm 78:23). On the other side of the gate we discover the presence of the ladder of Jacob, with Jacob sleeping at its foot and angels moving up and down (Genesis 28).

The origin of the Marian allegory of the Gate of Heaven can be found in the Acts of the Council of Eplesus 431 (Homily for the Annunciation, 428, by Proclus of Constantinople or Cyzikus). The homily is based on Ezekiel 44:1-3, and thus alludes to the gate which shall remain closed, since the Lord has entered by it. The expression can be found in the Ave Maris Stella (“felix porta caeli”), eighth and ninth centuries, but also in the Alma Redemptoris and the Ave Regina Caelorum, twelfth century.

The lemma is taken from Psalm 24, “Lift up your heads, o gates.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Stella Matutina
Morning Star

This scene tells about the combat between light and darkness. Eventually, morning is breaking. The giant rooster announces the rising sun, while the roaring lion takes flight and the incubi of the night (frightening bats and dragons) sail away in a dark cloud. Taking advantage of the first light of day a ship leaves harbor. The lemma proclaims Jesus’ message to the churches: “I am the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16). He is the promised one seen by the prophet Balaam. “A star shall advance from Jacob.” However, in this illustration the radiating star is covered with the bust of Mary which dominates the page.

“Stella matutina,” also known as “Stella marina” and “Lux matutina” (12C), and as “Stella maris,” used by Saint Bernard to explain the meaning of the name “Mary,” suggests and announces the rising sun of justice, Jesus Christ (Malachi. 4:3). The glory of her light is but light from eternal light, and praise of the neverending light of God’s love for us.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Salus Infirmorum
Health of the Sick

The representation of Our Lady is that of the Orante with hands folded in prayer of intercession. But the image also expresses Mary’s “compassion,” her suffering with those who suffer: “Quis infirmatur et ego non infirmor” (attributed to Saint Paul). Mary is not the ultimate source of health and redemption (salus). It is God himself who heals all our infirmities, as indicated in Psalm 103:3 topping the whole page.

The image of Mary is surrounded by the symbols of the apothecary and medical professions. The lower half of the illustration contrasts sickness (a sick person on her sick bed) and healing (possibly an allusion to the pool of Bethesda). “Health of the Sick,” Mary is a true physician. But her medical equipment is not the stethoscope. She acts as a healer by radiating holiness (virtue).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Refugium Peccatorum
Refuge of Sinners

This illustration of the second of four advocations extolling Mary’s role as advocate for spiritual and corporal works of mercy is of intricate composition. The cameo with mother and child is delimited by four anchors, symbols of hope, security, and stability. This central image is surrounded by five biblical scenes. Each one of them depicts in miniature size a situation of danger, temptation or fault with subsequent conversion and/or mercy:

1. In the lower half center, we see the rendering of Saint Peter’s vision of the large sheet filled with all animals of earth and sky (Acts 10:11-12). Peter had to change his opinion about what is clean and unclean in order to comply with God’s will.

2. The miniature to the left of Peter portrays a safe harbor (Psalm 10 8:30). Those who went off to sea experienced distress, but God brought them to the harbor they longed for.

3. To the right of Peter’s vision is a town-like agglomeration of houses, churches and castles. They are a symbol of refuge for the needy, possibly reflecting 1 Maccabees 10:13,14 and the stronghold of Beth-zur.

4. The upper left miniature tells of the rescue of Nabal, the evil rich man. His wife Abigail implores David to refrain from vengeance. David relents and praises her saying: “Blessed be your good judgment and yourself, who … have prevented me from shedding blood” (1 Samuel 25:33).

5. The fifth miniature, in the upper right corner, tells the story of Adonijah, who in an attempt to become king turned against David, his father. Abandoned by his followers, he “went and seized the horns of the altar” in search of refuge against Solomon’s vengeance. Solomon acted mercifully, and said to Adonijah: “Go to your home” (1 Kings 2:49ff).

The lemma reminds us that God loves all people (Psalm 87:4f). It is Mary’s role to bring God’s love into the world, to be the intercessor for all, and to give hope and help to sinners.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Consolatrix Afflictorum
Comforter of the Afflicted

Mary is the solace, consolation and comforter of our life. This is the meaning of the caption borrowed from the book of Tobit (chapter 10). Her portrait is enclosed in the disk of the moon. The contrast between Mary’s constancy, fidelity and unwavering faith and the changing status of the waxing and waning moon heightens Mary’s reliability as consoler and comforter. In antiquity, the moon was guide and protector of charioteers. Similarly, Mary’s comfort forbids mere indulgence; she gives direction and points the way. She is leading the erring pilgrim (lower right) who sees in her the comforter of affliction (Psalm 119). In the storms of life (see ship lower left) Mary dispenses solace to those who remain faithful to the Holy One (Job 6:10).

The banquet scene in the lower half is an illustration of the lemma: “I beg you for my people” (Esther 7:3). Queen Esther in her fight against Haman begs the king, during the second banquet, to spare her life and that of her people. Esther is a well-known symbol or type of Mary. Both women are known for their attitude of prayer and intercessory power. Thus, Mary is comforter of the afflicted because she is both mother of and intercessor with Christ.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Auxilium Christianorum
Help of Christians

The meek and mild mannered representation of Mother and Child contrasts sharply with the amassed military paraphernalia surrounding them. Coat of arms (cross and half-moon) and armament are reminiscent of the opposition between Christians and Turks, and the naval battle featured evokes the October 7, 1571 victory of the Holy League under Don Juan of Austria against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto was given a special Marian meaning because of its connection with the month of October and the rosary. Commemorative coins bear the inscription: “The Lord’s right hand is raised, the Lord’s right hand strikes with power” (Psalm 118:16), and the date of the victory on October 7 was chosen by Gregory XIII as the annual feast of the rosary.

The lemma hails God’s support and warns the enemies of the faith: “Woe to the nations that rise against my people! The Lord Almighty will requite them” (Judith 16:17). Pope Pius V officially added this invocation to the Litany of Loreto in 1571.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Angelorum
Queen of Angels

The central picture of Mother and Son is surrounded by a host of angels. The caption around the angels is paraphrasing Daniel 7:10: “Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.” Some of the angels are easily recognizable, so Gabriel with his bunch of lilies addressing Mary standing at her prie-dieu and holding a book in her left hand. There is also Michael in knightly armor and Raphael with the pilgrim staff.

Other angels elude identification. The overall impression they convey is one of power and splendor, but however impressive their apparel, they humbly bow before mother and child, making true the message of the lemma: “Rule over us you (Gideon) and your Son ….” (Judges 8:22).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Patriarcharum
Queen of Patriarchs

The portrait of Mary, here depicted as queenly figure in typical Baroque style, is surrounded by two horns of plenty overflowing with crowns and scepters on one side, with ecclesiastical emblems and the crucifix from the other horn. These scattered symbols of power are contrasted with Mary’s scepter and crown which are unshaken and dominant.

There are two groups of Patriarchs at Mary’s feet. The one on the right represents patriarchs of the Old Testament: Moses and the Tables of the Law, Abraham and Isaac with the bundle of wood for the sacrifice, as well as Jacob and other Old Testament figures. The group on the left depicts some of the important founders of religious orders, notably Saint Ignatius (clothed with liturgical vestments marked by the Jesus monogram), Saint Francis (with Franciscan habit showing his stigmatized hands), possibly also two figures representing the Dominican and Augustinian traditions. Saint Benedict, patriarch of monastic life in the West, is sitting and holding a chalice, his most popular attribute.

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Prophetarum
Queen of Prophets

The towering figure of this illustration is David, crown on his head and harp in his right hand. With his left hand he is about to set a crown on Mary’s head while the eye of eternal foresight is looking on. David pronounces these words from Revelation: “Witness to Jesus is the
spirit of prophecy” (19:10). Mary in the picture of the humble handmaid seems to be pointing to the true reason for her being Queen of Prophets. From her mouth come the words of the Magnificat: “He has raised up Israel his servant” (Luke 1:54).

The lower half of the engraving features several prophetic figures, among them in the foreground Jerome with the lion, and what seems to be the figure of a sibyl, possibly the famous Sibylla Tiburtina (prophecy to Emperor Augustus). The background depicts the prophet Ezekiel standing in the valley of the dead and prophesying the resurrection of the flesh (chapter 37). The illustration is topped off with the praise of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:5: “One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Apostolorum
Queen of Apostles

Mary is hovering over the group of apostles gathered in the Upper Room. Her posture and countenance are those of the Immaculata. Her outstretched arms suggest intercession and mediation. Stars and rays of light, as well as the wheel of time marked by the signs of the Zodiac surrounding her figure point to the woman clothed with the Sun (Revelation 12:1). The crown held by the little angel confirms her title as Queen of the Apostles. Meanwhile the tongues of fire, symbols of the Holy Spirit’s (dove) light and zeal, are descending upon the apostles. The whole scene, which stresses the fullness of Mary’s grace, is reminiscent of Acts 1:14, “They persevered in prayer, Mary, the mother of Jesus, being in their midst.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Martyrum
Queen of Martyrs

The central theme is that of the Pietà: Mary, Queen of Martyrs offers her Son, the very model and epitome of martyrdom, to the world. Behind her, the victorious cross stands tall. At the foot of the rock, which points out that Christ’s passion and death are the foundation of the Church, a group of saintly martyrs are gathered in praise of Christ’s sacrifice. We are able to make out Saint George, the dragon slayer, Saint Lawrence with the grill, and Saint Thomas Becket whose head is pierced by a sword. To the right of the rock we see the kneeling figure of Saint Jerome flanked by the lion. He lived like a lion in the desert (asceticism) and fought like a lion for Christ. Thus, he gave his heart to his Lord and Savior (plate with heart and Christ monogram) and stands for unbloody martyrdom.

Our Lady receives the crown of martyrdom from the hands of Saint Bernard. The hearts transfixed with a sword refer to his famous expression: “O beata mater, animarum gladius pertransivit. Alioquin nonnisi eam pertransiens, carnem filii tui penetraret” (In Dom. Oct. Ass., 14), here shortened as “Tuam ipsius animam.” Mary’s soul receives the lance that could no longer touch her Son. The lemma highlights Mary’s spiritual martyrdom paraphrasing Revelation 17:6, “Her clothes are purple from the blood of the holy ones and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Confessorum
Queen of Confessors

The queenly figure of Mary, adorned with scepter and crown, is sitting on a throne of clouds surrounded by sumptuous drapery held by two little angels.

At her feet are kneeling several bishops and a king, looking up in admiration or down with awe and reverence. Two figures attract special attention. One of them seems to be wearing the habit of the Dominicans, probably Saint Dominic; he offers a crown or wreath of roses. The other figure, in simple and monk-like attire, could be Saint Francis.

The representation is inspired by Revelation 4:10, “They fell down before the one on the throne and threw down their crowns.”

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Virginum
Queen of Virgins

Mary is adorned like a virgin. She holds a lily in her hands. A wreath of flowers crowns her head. Her hair is open and flowing freely to her shoulders–a typical sign of the young and unwed woman in Marian art.

A wreath of flowers and countless other virgins are surrounding Mary’s picture. The whole representation is dominated by the figure of the victorious lamb (banner with cross) who overcame death by giving his life. The Virgin Mary and all other virgins are following the Lamb as Revelation reminds us,

“They are Virgins and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4).

Josef Sebastian Klauber illustration

Regina Sanctorum Omnium
Queen of All Saints

Mary is like the moon among lesser stars (“Velut inter stellas luna minores”), meaning she is the greatest of all saints. This idea is reinforced with still another inscription, “Super eminet omnes.” Mary exceeds all other saints in holiness.

The figure of Mary is dressed in queenly apparel. She is surrounded by saints offering their crowns to her in a gesture of reverence. We are able to make out the following: Noah, Peter, Laurence, Agnes, David and a sixth nondescript saint. Countless other saints are gathered around an angel offering Mary the imperial crown placed on a cushion.

Mary’s pre-eminent holiness is again highlighted in the lemma, “The mount of the Lord’s house shall be higher than the mountains” (Micah 4:1).

Mother Mary Reveals Jesus in his fullness to the Whole World- Day -5

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Mother Mary and St.Joseph were the human Parents of  Jesus  and it was a very complex situation to bring him up because Jesus  was Human as well divine in Nature. In his childhood he was drawn towards his heavenly Father and wanted to be with him forever. Mother Mary captures these things and ponders over them in her personal reflection.

Mother Mary was greater than the  Father Abraham in her faith because she not only accepted the Salvation in her life but carried out in to its perfection through her nurturing and motherhood. Mother Mary could have left Jesus at the Temple with his  Fathers house but she knew it was not the right time for him to proclamation of his ministry of Salvation, but at Wedding at Cana same Mother Mary initiates Jesus to start the mission of Salvation. It is like the Mother sending her son to the battlefield by giving Sword in his hand to fight the enemy and be victorious.

Though Jesus was the Son of God , he was Son of  Man as well and had human impulsiveness to start the ministry as a novice but Mary his mother understands his thoughts and prevents him and guides him at the right time. This is the reason the Dragon and Satan was very much angry upon Mother Mary and her descendants till date because Jesus could not have achieved the  Salvation without Human participation or Mary’s partnership.

Mary is a Mother to us the Body of Christ as we are, and to this day is protector and guide in time of our confusion . She is the Morning Star and help of Christians who are in danger and lost in the whirlwind of  Power, Pride and luxury. Mary was reflecting upon the mysteries God was revealing to her one by one and acting upon them in expectation in Annunciation, Birth of Jesus Visitation, Finding of Jesus in the temple and offering her Son in the Temple at the foot of the Cross. The journey of hers as Mother was full of Crosses but she prevails them all and become the true Mother of the Savior.

Prayer : Mother Mary ,  Be a true Mother to us and guide us and lead us to the Complete Salvation. Amen

Mother Mary reveals Jesus to the World – Day 4

Jn 19: 25-27
And standing by the Cross of Jesus his mother,
and the sister of his mother, Mary, the wife of
Clopas, and Mary, the Magdalene. Jesus,
therefore, seeing his mother and the disciple
whom he loved standing by, said to his
mother: “Woman, behold thy son.” Then, he
said to the disciple “Behold thy mother.” And
from that hour the disciple took her to his own
(home).

Mother Mary ends her walk with the Salvation plan at the foot of the Cross but she has been offered a role to be the Mother of the Church.  The Disciple John took Mary to his home. Mary was present in the upper room praying with the Disciple and this upper room was probably the house of John where Mary lived in Prayer and intercession. The Church forms on the day of Pentecost and Mary takes a very important role of Prayer and Intercession. The acts of the Apostles do not mention Mary in the works of the spirit in the Early Church because Mother Mary finished her Mission of the Salvation and Ascended in to Heaven from the third day of her Physical Death. Death could not contain her because of her immaculate Conception.

Church declares that she has been enthroned as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary was the Physical Mother of Jesus on this Earth but she is also the Mother of Mystical Body of Christ the Church because the mission was started in divine human partnership in the yes of Mary to the Gabriel Angel . Gabriel Angel gave her 5 promises and Mary has not experienced these promises during her physical life time but these promises will be fulfilled in the Mystical Body of Christ. Mother Mary remains as Mother of the Church till her Son Jesus Kingdom fully established on this Earth. Mother Mary is no doubt is  integral part of the Church and will accompany Jesus at the last day to Judge the living and the dead as an advocate , intercessor and co partner of the Salvation plan.

The angel told her,

“Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor[a] with God.
 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son,
    and name him Jesus.

5 Promises angel Gabriel gave to Mary
             1.He will be a great man
    and 2. will be called the Son of the Most High.
3.The Lord God will give him
    the throne of his ancestor David.
  4. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever,
    and 5 his kingdom will never end.

 

Mother Mary reveals Jesus to the World Day-3

 

The Wedding at Cana

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.[a] Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

 

Mother Mary is the greatest evangelist of her time and even today to the Non Christians or Gentiles. Cana points out to a village   predominantly  consisted by Gentiles or Canaanites. The word Cana and other references in the Bible like Canaanite Woman, Centurion who were basically from Cana Village which was a Neighboring Village of Nazareth where Jesus grew.  The six Jars at the Wedding  was not a complete figure of Jewish traditional washing but of the Gentiles who is to mix traditions of Jews and other adopted traditions while they were in Exile. So at the wedding at Cana , the guests may be Canaanites Neighbors. When the Wine runs out Mother Mary intercedes with Jesus to perform the miracle but Jesus calls Mother Mary ‘Woman’ because she represented the family to witness the Gentile guests. Jesus is telling Mother Mary , my time has not come to reach out to the Gentiles but I have to start the mission in Jerusalem with my fellow Brothers. Mother Mary becomes the media to witness Gentiles in the town of Cana and Jesus does his first miracle in Cana among the Gentiles. Many Gentiles believed him.

The Shrines dedicated to Mother Mary has maximum devotees of other faith. Many turn to Jesus through Mary. Mary through her intercession makes mighty miracles to non Believers of our time. Mother Mary became a symbol to bring love through her intercession in the communist ruled countries in Europe . Mother Mary is a secular figure among the non Believers who stand in between Jesus and the Non Believer. Today Christianity has been spread more on Gentile World than the Jewish Land. The devotion to Mother Mary reveals the love of God to the Nations. Mother Mary becomes the Apostle of the Gentile World.  I met a Business Man , he was not a Christian but keeps a picture of Mother Mary, I asked him how you are connected to Mother Mary. He said he has special attachment towards Mother Mary from his Childhood because whatever he asks her he gets it immediately. He wanted to know more about Christianity and Jesus and that is how people encounter Jesus in their life.

Prayer : Mother Mary intercede to Jesus to reach out to all Non believer brothers and Sisters in love and abundant life. Amen.