Our Lady was human! Inside surely she wanted to say to the Angel: ‘Liar! I was deceived.’

Praying before the Cross, Christians are significantly comforted under the patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows. In her we contemplate the one who, as Scripture tells us, remained ‘standing’ at the foot of the Cross while the Apostles fled and betrayed Christ, as they were far from understanding the profundity of the mystery of Golgotha. This vital presence of Mary fully united to the Passion of her Son – consoling and adoring Him in an act of reparation for the offenses of those who had been unfaithful at this decisive moment – has moved truly Christian souls throughout the centuries.

These pious considerations have a theological base that justifies them: the Most Holy Virgin is intimately united to the work of Redemption in the plans of God. The sacrifice of Jesus and his salvific mission were, since the beginning, associated with Mary Immaculate, whom the Trinity gazed upon with singular predilection.
Consequently, to attribute to the Mother of Sorrows reactions incompatible with the perfection of her charity, offends Marian piety and, moreover, diverges from Catholic Doctrine – which should be the parameter used for all considerations on the incomparable figure of the Mother of God.

And so, a reminder about the Pontifical Magisterium and the doctrine of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church regarding this topic seems indispensable.

Francis

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The Pope said he thinks about “how many times she remained quiet and how many times she did not say that which she felt in order to guard the mystery of her relationship with her Son,” up until the most raw silence “at the foot of the cross. The Gospel does not tell us anything: if she spoke a word or not… She was silent, but in her heart, how many things told the Lord! ‘You, that day, this and the other that we read, you had told me that he would be great, you had told me that you would have given him the throne of David, his forefather, that he would have reigned forever and now I see him there!’ Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!’ John Paul II would say this, speaking about Our Lady in that moment. But she, with her silence, hid the mystery that she did not understand and with this silence allowed for this mystery to grow and blossom in hope.” (Morning Meditation in Domus Sanctae Marthae, December 20, 2013)

I often think of Our Lady, when they handed down to her the dead body of her Son, covered with wounds, spat on, bloodied and soiled. And what did Our Lady do? ‘Did she carry him away?’ No, she embraced him, she caressed him. Our Lady, too, did not understand. Because she, in that moment, remembered what the Angel had said to her: ‘He will be King, he will be great, he will be a prophet…’; and inside, surely, with that wounded body lying in her arms, that body that suffered so before dying, inside surely she wanted to say to the Angel: ‘Liar! I was deceived.’ She, too, had no answers. (Meeting with a group of gravely ill children and their families, May 29, 2015)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of Contents

I – The Virgin Mary: entirely united to the work of the Redeemer
II – Mary’s entire conformity to the plans of the Father regarding the Son
III – The Virgin gave her complete consent to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross
_________________________________________________________________________

I – The Virgin Mary: entirely united to the work of the Redeemer

John Paul II
– Accepting the sacrifice of her Son, Mary is the dawn of the Redemption – She consented to the immolation of the Victim which She had brought forth

Paul VI
– The free and perfectly docile cooperation of Mary, marvelously associated to the divine plan of salvation

Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori
– At the death of Jesus, Mary united her will to that of her Son; so much so that both offered one and the same sacrifice

Vatican Council II
– Mary cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior
– Perfect example: the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the Savior’s work

Pius X
– By this companionship in suffering between Mother and the Son, She is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces

John Paul II
– St Bernard comments: ‘For our reconciliation, offer the heavenly victim pleasing to God’

Pius IX
– United with Christ, the Virgin was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the serpent and most completely triumphed over him

Leo XIII
– Due to her association with Him in man’s salvation, Mary has power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature

II – Mary’s entire conformity to the plans of the Father regarding the Son

Saint Ambrose
– She looked not on the death of the Hostage but on the salvation of the world

Saint Bonaventure
– The Most Holy Virgin was present before the cross accepting and consenting to the divine plan

Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori
– Mary consented to the death of her Son with her entire will that we might be saved

Saint Gregory of Nyssa
– United to Christ not only in prosperity, but also sorrows

John Paul II
– Mary’s supreme ‘yes’ radiant with trusting hope began with the death of her crucified Son – Her hope contains a light stronger than the darkness

III – The Virgin gave her complete consent to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross

Saint John Chrysostom
– The symbols of our defeat are now the cause of our triumph: instead of Eve, Mary

Pius XII
– She offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam – her mother’s rights and mother’s love were included in the holocaust
– The work of salvation was accomplished by a kind of ‘recapitulation’: a virgin was instrumental in salvation, just as a virgin had been closely associated in death

Pius X
– Not merely occupied in contemplating the cruel spectacle, Maria rejoiced that her Only Son was offered for the salvation of mankind

Leo XIII
– Mary took part in the laborious expiation made by her Son

Vatican Council II
– Before the cross Mary lovingly consented to the immolation of the Victim

John Paul II
– In the Cross there are two altars: one in Mary’s heart, the other in Christ’s body

I – The Virgin Mary: entirely united to the work of the Redeemer

John Paul II

  • Accepting the sacrifice of her Son, Mary is the dawn of the Redemption – She consented to the immolation of the Victim which She had brought forth

Mary precedes and accompanies us. The silent itinerary that she initiates with her Immaculate Conception – passing to the ‘yes’ of Nazareth which made her the Mother of God – finds in Calvary a particularly crucial moment. There also, accepting and attending the sacrifice of her Son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption; and it is there that Her Son gives her to us as Mother.The Mother gazed with pity on the wounds of the Son, from whom she knew the redemption of the world would come’ (Saint Ambrose, De institutione virginis, no. 49). Crucified spiritually with her crucified Son, she contemplated with heroic charity the death of her God, ‘consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth’(Lumen Gentium, no. 58). She fulfilled the will of the Father in our favor and welcomed all as children, in virtue of the testament of Christ: ‘Woman, behold your son’ (Jn 19:26). (John Paul II. Papal Discourse in Guayaquil- Ecuador, no. 5, January 31, 1985)

Paul VI

  • The free and perfectly docile cooperation of Mary, marvelously associated to the divine plan of salvation

A great theological panorama now opens before us, proper to Catholic Doctrine, in which we see how the divine plan of salvation – offered to the world, by the only mediator, efficacious by virtue his own merit between God and men, Jesus Christ (cf. 1Tim 2:5; Heb 12: 24) – is brought about with human cooperation, marvelously associated to the divine work. And what human cooperation has been chosen, in the history of our Christian destiny, as the first, due to its function, dignity, efficacy – not merely instrumental and physical, but also as a predestined factor, free and perfectly docile – than that of Mary? (cf. Lumen Gentium, 56). (Paul VI. General Audience, May 30, 1973)

Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori

  • At the death of Jesus, Mary united her will to that of her Son; so much so that both offered one and the same sacrifice

‘The wills of Christ and of Mary were then united, so that both offered the same holocaust; she thereby producing with Him the one effect, the salvation of the world,’ At the death of Jesus, Mary united her will to that of her Son; so much so that both offered one and the same sacrifice; and therefore the holy Abbot says that both the Son and the Mother effected human redemption, and obtained salvation for men. (Saint Alphonsus Liguori. The Glories of Mary, part II, discourse VI: On the purification of Mary)

Vatican Council II

  • Mary cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior

Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 61, November 21, 1964)

  • Perfect example: the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the Savior’s work

The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labors, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the work of the Savior. Having now been assumed into heaven, with her maternal charity she cares for these brothers of her Son who are still on their earthly pilgrimage and remain involved in dangers and difficulties until they are led into the happy fatherland. (cf. St. Pius X. Allocution to Association of French Catholic Youth on piety, knowledge and action, Sept. 25, 1904) (Vatican Council II. Decree Apostolicam actuositatem, no. 4, November 18, 1865)

Pius X

  • By this companionship in suffering between Mother and the Son, She is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces

By this companionship in sorrow and suffering already mentioned between the Mother and the Son, it has been allowed to the august Virgin to be the most powerful Mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her Divine Son. […] Yet, since Mary carries it over all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us de congruo, in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us de condigno, and she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces. (Pius X. Encyclical Ad diem illum laetissimum, nos. 13-14, February 2, 1904)

John Paul II

  • St Bernard comments: ‘For our reconciliation, offer the heavenly victim pleasing to God’

In the West St Bernard, who died in 1153, turns to Mary and comments on the presentation of Jesus in the temple: ‘Offer your Son, sacrosanct Virgin, and present the fruit of your womb to the Lord. For our reconciliation with all, offer the heavenly victim pleasing to God’ (Serm. 3 in Purif., 2: PL 183, 370). (John Paul II. General Audience, no. 3, October 25, 1995)

Pius IX

  • United with Christ, the Virgin was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the serpent and most completely triumphed over him

These ecclesiastical writers in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind — words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, ‘I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed’ (Gen 3:15) — taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold: That his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the evil one was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot. (Pius IX. Apostolic Constitution Ineffablilis Deus, December 8, 1854)

Leo XIII

  • Due to her association with Him in man’s salvation, Mary has power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature

And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man’s salvation, has a favour and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Supremi apostolatus, no. 2, September 1883)

II – Mary’s entire conformity to the plans of the Father regarding the Son

Saint Ambrose

  • She looked not on the death of the Hostage, but on the salvation of the world

Mary, as became the mother of our Lord, stood before the cross, when the Apostles fled and with pitiful eyes beheld the wounds of her Son. For she looked not on the death of the Hostage, but on the salvation of the world; and perhaps knowing that her Son’s death would bring this salvation, she who had been the habitation of the King, thought that by her death she might add to that universal gift. (Saint Ambrose quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Cataena Aurea, Gospel of Saint John 19: 25-27)

Saint Bonaventure

  • The Most Holy Virgin was present before the cross accepting and consenting to the divine plan

She payed the price [of redemption] as a strong and loving woman – especially when Christ suffered on the cross to pay this price, with the intention of purifying, washing and redeeming us – the Most Holy Virgin was present, accepting and consenting to the divine plan. (Saint Bonaventure. Collations on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 6, 16)

Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori

  • Mary consented to the death of her Son with her entire will that we might be saved

Our most loving Mother was always, and in all, united to the will of God. ‘And therefore,’ says Saint Bonaventure, ‘when she saw the love of the Eternal Father towards men to be so great that, in order to save them, He willed the death of His Son; and on the other hand, seeing the love of the Son in wishing to die for us: in order to conform herself to this excessive love of both the Father and the Son towards the human race, she also with her entire will, offered, and consented to, the death of her Son, in order that we might be saved.’ (Saint Alphonsus Liguori. The Glories of Mary, part I, ch. 1, sec.1: Hail Holy Queen)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

  • United to Christ not only in prosperity, but also sorrows

Though these things are said of the Son, yet they have reference also to His mother, who takes each thing to herself, whether it be of danger or glory. He announces to her not only her prosperity, but her sorrows… (Saint Gregory of Nyssa quoted by St Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea, Gospel of Saint Luke 2: 33-35)

John Paul II

  • Mary’s supreme ‘yes’ radiant with trusting hope began with the death of her crucified Son – Her hope contains a light stronger than the darkness

Mary’s supreme ‘yes’ is radiant with trusting hope in the mysterious future, begun with the death of her crucified Son. The words in which Jesus taught the disciples on his way to Jerusalem ‘that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again’ re-echo in her heart at the dramatic hour of Calvary, awakening expectation of and yearning for the Resurrection. Mary’s hope at the foot of the Cross contains a light stronger than the darkness that reigns in many hearts: in the presence of the redeeming Sacrifice, the hope of the Church and of humanity is born in Mary. (John Paul II. General Audience, April 2, 1997)

III – The Virgin gave her complete consent to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross

Saint John Chrysostom

  • The symbols of our defeat are now the cause of our triumph: instead of Eve, Mary

A virgin, a tree and death were the symbols of our defeat…see then, now, how the same are the cause of our triumph…Instead of Eve, Mary; Instead of the tree of science of good and evil, the tree of the Cross; instead of the death of Adam, the death of the Savior. (Saint John Chrysostom. Paschal Homily 22)

Pius XII

  • She offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam – her mother’s rights and mother’s love were included in the holocaust

…She […] who ‘in the name of the whole human race’ gave her consent ‘for a spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature.’ (S Th., III, q. 30, a. 1, c.) […] It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother’s rights and her mother’s love were included in the holocaust. (Pius XII. Encyclical Mystici corporis Christi, no. 51, June 29, 1943)

  • The work of salvation was accomplished by a kind of ‘recapitulation’: a virgin was instrumental in salvation, just as a virgin had been closely associated in death

…if Mary, in taking an active part in the work of salvation, was, by God’s design, associated with Jesus Christ, the source of salvation itself, in a manner comparable to that in which Eve was associated with Adam, the source of death, so that it may be stated that the work of our salvation was accomplished by a kind of ‘recapitulation,’ (S. Irenaeus, Adv. haer., V, 19, 1) in which a virgin was instrumental in the salvation of the human race, just as a virgin had been closely associated with its death; if, moreover, it can likewise be stated that this glorious Lady had been chosen Mother of Christ ‘in order that she might become a partner in the redemption of the human race’; (Pius XI, Auspicatus profecto) and if, in truth, ‘it was she who, free of the stain of actual and original sin, and ever most closely bound to her Son, on Golgotha offered that Son to the Eternal Father together with the complete sacrifice of her maternal rights and maternal love, like a new Eve, for all the sons of Adam, stained as they were by his lamentable fall,’ (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis.) then it may be legitimately concluded that as Christ, the new Adam, must be called a King not merely because He is Son of God, but also because He is our Redeemer, so, analogously, the Most Blessed Virgin is queen not only because she is Mother of God, but also because, as the new Eve, she was associated with the new Adam. (Pius XII. Encyclical Ad caeli reginam, no. 15, October 11, 1954)

Pius X

  • Not merely occupied in contemplating the cruel spectacle, Mary rejoiced that her Only Son was offered for the salvation of mankind

Moreover it was not only the prerogative of the Most Holy Mother to have furnished the material of His flesh to the Only Son of God, Who was to be born with human members (S. Bede Ven. L. Iv. in Luc. xl.), of which material should be prepared the Victim for the salvation of men; but hers was also the office of tending and nourishing that Victim, and at the appointed time presenting Him for the sacrifice. Hence that uninterrupted community of life and labors of the Son and the Mother, so that of both might have been uttered the words of the Psalmist ‘My life is consumed in sorrow and my years in groans’ (Ps 30:11). When the supreme hour of the Son came, beside the Cross of Jesus there stood Mary His Mother, not merely occupied in contemplating the cruel spectacle, but rejoicing that her Only Son was offered for the salvation of mankind, and so entirely participating in His Passion, that if it had been possible she would have gladly borne all the torments that her Son bore (S. Bonav. I Sent d. 48, ad Litt. dub. 4). (Pius X. Encyclical Ad diem illum laetissimum, no. 12, February 2, 1904)

Leo XIII

  • Mary took part in the laborious expiation made by her Son

…when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her Child Jesus — then and thereafter she took her part in the laborious expiation made by her Son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Iucunda Semper, no. 3, September 8, 1894)

Vatican Council II

  • Before the cross Mary lovingly consented to the immolation of the Victim

After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. (Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, no. 58, November 21, 1964)

John Paul II

  • In the Cross there are two altars: one in Mary’s heart, the other in Christ’s body

A disciple and friend of Saint Bernard, Arnold of Chartres, sheds light particularly on Mary’s offering in the sacrifice of Calvary. He distinguished in the Cross ‘two altars: one in Mary’s heart, the other in Christ’s body. Christ sacrificed his flesh, Mary her soul’. Mary sacrificed herself spiritually in deep communion with Christ, and implored the world’s salvation: ‘What the mother asks, the Son approves and the Father grants’ (cf. De septem verbis Domini in cruce, 3: PL 189, 1694) (John Paul II. General Audience, no. 3, October 25, 1995)

6 thoughts on “Our Lady was human! Inside surely she wanted to say to the Angel: ‘Liar! I was deceived.’

  1. 1- Mary knew the fate that awaited her son Jesus.
    The Gospel records that Jesus gave three prophecies during his public ministry about the passion he would endure.

    Matt 16:21 – From that time Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was
    destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and
    chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day.

    Matt 17: 22 – One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son
    2 3 of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men; ·they will put him to
    death, and on the third day he will be raised to life again.”

    Matt 20: 17 – Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one
    18 side and said to them, ·”Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
    is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn
    1 9 him to death ·and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged
    and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.”

    In view of the public testimony given by Jesus about his future passion, it is impossible for Mary to have been surprised by the final demise of her Son Jesus

    2- Mary consented to and collaborated in the redemption of mankind.
    The testimony of the numerous pontiffs and doctors presented on this page prove that Mary was at all times the fully conscious and totally willing collaborator of Jesus Christ in his great work of Redemption.

    John 3: 15 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in hom may have eternal life.16 – For God the Father and the Virgin Mary so loved the world that they gave their only Son Jesus, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.

    ‘The wills of Christ and of Mary were then united, so that both offered the same holocaust; she thereby producing with Him the one effect, the salvation of the world,’ At the death of Jesus, Mary united her will to that of her Son; so much so that both offered one and the same sacrifice; and therefore the holy Abbot says that both the Son and the Mother effected human redemption, and obtained salvation for men. (Saint Alphonsus Liguori. The Glories of Mary, part II, discourse VI: On the purification of Mary)

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  2. I recommend the book “The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin,” by Ven. Mary of Agreda. (An abridgement of “The Mystical City of God,” by Mary of Agreda.) (I got it through Amazon.com.) It is an amazing book which tells the entire life of Mary. Throughout her life, the Virgin Mary was completely obedient and cooperative with the will of God. During the passion and death of Jesus Christ, Mary suffered, along with him, everything that he suffered. She had infused supernatural knowledge from the time of her conception. She also played an important role in the early Church, after the Ascension of Christ.

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  3. Blasphemous to put words of evil rebellion into the Blessed Virgin’s mouth. Conceived without sin Mary was consumed with love for God within her the fire of the Holy Spirit. The Pope makes many erroneous statements. What did Moses say “I the Lord.. will rise up a prophet.. and will put my words into his mouth….but…even though a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, …and (this) is not fulfilled or verified…The prophet has spoken it presumptuously and you shall have no fear of him.” (Dt.18:18). The Blessed Virgin is the spiritual and physical tabernacle of the Lord and she is the apple of His Eye.

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