The Blessed Virgin’s Fortitude
at the foot of the Cross is
our model of fortitude in suffering.
THE GOSPELS make sparse reference to our Lady during public life of Jesus, and no mention of her at all in the accounts of the Resurrection and Ascension. She was in all the scenes of our Lord’s early life, only to retire to the background during the public life. But Saint John is careful to record that Mary stood by the Cross of Jesus.
Like the Apostles, the friends and servants of Christ in every age have had to drink the chalice of suffering that Jesus drank. There is no surprise, then, in Mary’s presence at the foot of the Cross. She was there to contribute an important, though secondary, part to the work of our Redemption: to offer her Son for us and to consent to His death. “She stood,” says Saint Ambrose, “not waiting for Jesus to die, but for the world to be saved.” So great was her compassion that she would have died there, had not special help preserved her. Through the offering on Golgotha, together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love, she (in the words of Pius XII) “who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members.”
Without the suffering Mary, mothers who feel the sting of sorrow over their children would have lacked a model. Mothers should not forget the trials and loneliness of this Mother during the public life of her Son, her anguish on Calvary, and those long years after the Ascension in which she waited to join Him in heaven. Suffering and anguish will surely come to Catholic mothers because of their sons. Let mothers look to and pray to the Mother of Sorrows, the Queen of the Afflicted.
The Blessed Virgin’s fortitude
at the foot of the Cross
is our model of fortitude in suffering.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959 © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.