"Your praise will not disappear from the people's lips" (Judith 13).
Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth....because He hath so magnified thy name this day that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men....for in every nation that shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on account of thee (Judith 13:23, 24, 25, 31)
"Behold, all generations shall call me blessed!" Was ever a creature so renowned as Mary? From the time of the fall of our parents, when God promised to mankind the woman who should crush the serpent's head, she was spoken of and looked for through all ages till coming of our Lord, and we have her prophesy, which has been till now, and will continue to be, so amply fulfilled, that all generations shall call her blessed. Is there a civilized country where she is not held in honour? See the shrines, the churches, the altars erected in her name, and everywhere bearing the same fruit of increase in the knowledge and love of her divine Son. "They found the Child with Mary His Mother (Matt 2).
"In every country which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee" (Judith 18). As we honour a painter praising hos works, or an author by making known the beauty and wisdom of his writings, so we add to God's glory by appreciating, loving and exulting in His creation, and, above all, in His spiritual and supernatural creation, of which Mothe is the chef d'oeuvre.
"I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a plane-tree in the streets," etc O Mother mine, is not this literally fulfilled, especially in Catholic countries, where on hill-tops, in sheltered valleys, in the streets and by the waysides Mary's image is erected and honoured by thousands of loving hearts? Does not the church of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours tower like a mighty cedar over the town of Rouen, as does that of Fourvieres over Lyons? Are not the pictures of Our Lady of perpetual Succour (Marie-Hilf), or statues of the Blessed Mother to be found by every wayside in Tyrol, and who does not know Father Faber's beautiful lines about Rome?
At the corners of the streets,
Thy Son's sweet face and thine
Charmed evil out of many hearts,
And darkness out of mine.
What comfort and consolation the far-famed picture in the Gesu, with its title "Madonna della Strada", has brought to countless hearts! "Our Lady of the Wayside"
is in itself such a suggestive title of a helper who is ever at hand, even when we are not at prayer or in any church or oratory. How our thoughts, too, of Mary in her lifetime are associated with the wayside! No sooner had the mystery of the Incarnation been accomplished than she started in haste for the hill country, she and her divine Son hallowing the roads and paths they traversed. Again, before His birth, there was the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, to be followed ere long by the more difficult and dangerous one to Egypt, when probably the Holy Family often stopped to rest by the roadside, or under a tree, as they are frequently depicted by artists; and the same road, or most of it, would have again to be traversed on the return journey to Nazareth. Our meditations on the three days' loss also find their composition of place in country roads and the streets of Jerusalem, while these latter again supply the picture-scene for many of the stations of the Cross and our lady's return from Calvary. O Mother mine, our Lady of the Wayside, we are pilgrims travelling heavenwards. Take us under thy protecting care; be our help and refuge in the dangers of the way; shield us from harm; watch over our interest; guide our steps aright, till at last we reach the portals of the eternal city towards which we are tending.
Virgin Most Renowned, pray for us.