Reading*: Homily of St Bernard - Blessed Mary She lacks neither humility nor virginity. And what unique virginity. Motherhood did not stain but honored it. What extraordinary humility. Fruitful virginity did not tarnish but exalted it. And matchless fruitfulness went hand in hand with both virginity and humility. Which of them is not wonderful? Which is not incomparable? Which is not unique? I should not be at all surprised if, having meditated upon them, you hesitated to say which you find more praiseworthy, whether you think more amazing the fruitfulness in the virgin or the integrity in the mother; nobility in child-bearing or, in spite of such nobility, humility. Possibly it is more excellent to have all three together than to have one of them alone. For there is no doubt that she who was thus thrice blessed was more blessed than if she had received only one of them, And yet, is it so extraordinary that God whom we read and see to be wonderful in his saints, should show himself even more wonderful in his mother? Let us all strive to imitate the humility of the Mother of God.
R. Felix namque es, sacra Virgo Maria, et omni laude dignissima: * Quia ex te ortus est sol justitiae, * Christus Deus noster.
V. Ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu: sentiant omnes tuum juvamen, quicumque celebrant tuam sanctam commemorationem.
R. Quia ex te ortus est sol justitiae.
V. Gloria Patri
R. Christus Deus noster.
R. O holy Virgin Mary, happy indeed art thou, and right worthy of all praise * For out of thee rose the Sun of righteousness, even Christ our God.
V. Pray for the people, plead for the clergy, make intercession for all women vowed to God. Let all that are making this holy memorial of thee feel the might of thine assistance.
R. For out of thee rose the Sun of righteousness
V. Glory be...
R. Even Christ our God.
From Homilies in Praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary no 1, Trans Marie-Bernard Said, Cistercian Fathers series 18A.