Spiritual Vessel

Three times in the Litany of Loreto Mary is referred to as a \”vessel\”. This may seem like a strange way of describing Our Lady, but in fact it is part of the essence of who she is. All women have the physical capacity, at least, to bear children because they were created by God to do so. They have a womb which may become a safe place for a child to grow and become able at last to be born and live outside the mother. All women, daughters of Eve, have \”inherited\” a tendency toward original sin. Mary is different.  Because Mary was preserved from all stain of sin by the foreseen merits of Christ, she is the perfect woman to bear God\’s only Son. Our Lady carried Jesus in her womb for nine months, becoming truly both a physical and a spiritual home, or vessel, for her Divine Son. 
Mary, Spiritual Vessel, help all women who are considering abortion, or who now regret having had an abortion. Be with them and comfort them, providing the motherly care and love only you can give. Remind all women that we are created in this unique way to give glory to God, whether we bear physical children, or become spiritual mothers to children. 

Cause of our Joy

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,


and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,


for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.\”  –Luke 1:39-48

Mary, you are the cause of our joy because through you our Savior came into the world. May we always find joy in this moment, even when we are most troubled, knowing that in this \”vale of tears\” you are our most holy and loving Mother, always ready to hear and help us in time of need. 

Seat of Wisdom

Mary is called \”Seat of Wisdom\” because she bore the Son of God, Who is eternal Wisdom. The Dominican Rhineland mystics of the 14th century (Johannes Tauler, Henry Suso, and Meister Eckhart) had a great devotion to Mary under this title, and also a devotion to Wisdom as personified in the book called Wisdom of Solomon–a book in the Bible that is considered canonical by Catholics and Orthodox believers. Henry Suso especially saw Wisdom as a high-born lady–the kind of lady a knight would want to fight for and praise in song.

\”O chosen Beloved of God, you beautiful golden Throne of eternal Wisdom, allow me, a poor sinner, to speak with you a bit about my shortcomings. My soul prostrates itself before you with modest eyes, with blushing countenance, and with eyes cast down. O Mother of all grace, I somehow feel that neither my soul nor any other sinful soul needs any permission or any intercessor with you. You are a direct intercessor for all sinners. The more sinful a soul is, the more rightfully it thinks that it may approach you. The more wrong it has done, the more rightfully it it crowds forward in front of you. And so, my soul, go forward freely. If your great wrongdoing drives you away, her boundless kindness invites you.\” –from Little Book of Eternal Wisdom by Blessed Henry Suso, OP

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, let us approach you without fear, no matter how much we have sinned. Let us turn to you for guidance and strength, that we may gain true wisdom of heart. Help us to fix our eyes on your only Son, to listen to His voice, and to follow His laws with loving joy.