Sancta Virgo Virginum

Read the other chapter here.

Many daughters have gathered together riches, thou has surpassed them all.[1]

Thy name is as oil poured out; therefore young maidens have loved thee.[2]

As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters.[3]

One is my dove, My perfect one is but one.

The daughters saw her and called her blessed. I to my beloved and my beloved to me, who feedeth among the lilies.[4]

“MANY daughters have gathered together riches, thou hast surpassed them all.” How has Mary surpassed them all? Seemingly some have surpassed her. Their influence when on earth was more widely spread. They practised, as far as we know, greater austerities. They founded definite good works which lived after them; many, after suffering torments for the faith of Christ, laid down their lives for Him. Yet Mary surpassed them all. How? By the greatness of her love.

Cardinal Newman says: “To have a virgin soul is to love nothing on earth in comparison of God or except for His sake. That soul is virginal which is ever looking for its Beloved, who is in heaven, and which sees Him in whatever is lovely upon earth, loving earthly friends very dearly, but in their proper place, as His gifts and His representatives, but loving Jesus alone with sovereign affection, and bearing to lose all so that she may keep Him.” This being the definition of a virgin, we can easily see how Mary is called the Virgin of virgins. Who has ever lived for God as she did? From the first moment of her conception she was all His. On Him she centred all her thoughts and affections, for Him and in Him she moved, lived and had her being. To whatever degree of purity of intention the saints may have risen, it could never equal that of Mary, even at the commencement of her existence. They may and did aim at being “all for Jesus,” but only obtained it after many efforts, many failures, many periods perhaps of intermittent struggles. God’s perfect one is but one. Mary is the Virgin of virgins, too, because it was from her veins Jesus took that precious Blood which produces virgins, “the wine springing forth virgins” of which the prophet sang. That precious Body and Blood which, hidden in our tabernacles, gathers round it in every part of the globe countless souls, whose happiness consists in living in its vicinity, spending themselves and being spent in its interests, carrying out the injunctions given by the Ven. Mother Mary of St Euphrasia Pelletier to her spiritual daughters: “Live joyfully with your God. Love Him, think only of Him, seek for nothing out of Him, do not let your mind be occupied with anything but Him, live and breathe only for Him; let this be the atmosphere of your life. Give yourselves without reserve to God, and the day will come when you will fall asleep on His Heart, to awaken in His glory.”

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.


[1] Prov. 31:29.

[2] Cant. 1:2.

[3] Ibid. 2:2.

[4] Ibid. 5:8, 2.