St. Peter Damian on Mary as Mother of Mercy

"Who can tell how often you allay the ire of the Judge when the virtue of divine justice is about to strike?"

This is a quote from a prayer of St. Peter Damian, whose feast day is Feb. 21, to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He led a full life as a professor, a Benedictine Monk, and eventually the Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia. He died in 1072 and was declared a doctor of the Church in 1828. 

St. Peter Damian particularly understood the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as "Mother of Mercy." Following are more quotes from this prayer, which explains her role in obtaining divine mercy:

"Far from being mindful only of God's justice, you have mercy too. Much as you are beyond suffering, you still feel pity over our sufferings. You have our nature still, and so it is but fair for you to pour out on us the dew of your great mercy more freely.

"He that is mighty has done great things to you.... You can raise to fresh hope those despairing of salvation. For how could the Almighty, Who took flesh from your flesh, resist your mighty intercession?

"Our Lady, I know that you are very gracious and cannot help loving us whom your Son and your God has loved with the greatest love. Who can tell how often you allay the ire of the Judge when the virtue of divine justice is about to strike?

"In your hands are the treasures of the Lord's mercy. You alone have been chosen to receive this great privilege. Far be it from you that your hand should cease to give, eager as you are for an occasion to save the wretched and to pour forth your mercy. For your glory is not lessened but enhanced when sorrowful sinners obtain forgiveness and, justified, are taken to Heaven. It is our highest glory, next to God, to behold you, to cleave to you, and to stay under your strong protection. Hear us, for even your Son honors you by refusing nothing to you - He who is God, blessed forever. Amen.

St. Peter Damian, pray for us!



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