Hearts of Jesus and Mary- Saints
on the immaculate conception
From the Mariale of St. Francis Anthony of Lucera
How beautiful are
your sandaled feet, O Daughter of the Prince! (Cant. 7,2).
O soul, ponder how, transparent and pure as She was
from the very moment of Her Immaculate Conception, Mary came forth
from the Most High God as the first-born Daughter of all creation,
formed by His creative word.Her appearance on earth was like the
first immaculate ray of light...the sun, the moon, the stars, all of
nature, the whole visible and invisible world bowed at Her feet as
She walked the earth: How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O
Daughter of the Prince!
Oh! so beautiful are the steps of Mary as She
walks through life!...And You, O soul, who meditate on them now,
what steps have you taken with your feet since reaching the use of
reason? Were they meritorious or not?...And from that time, over the
course of so many years, what have you accomplished for the good of
your soul?...for your growth in holiness? And where are you going
now?...Are your steps taking you toward God or away from Him?
Immaculate Virgin, loveliest Daughter of the Most High Prince,
perfect Thou my goings in Thy paths (Ps. 16,5). Direct and keep, we
beg You, our steps strictly upon Your paths as we strive to follow
in Your sacred footprints!
Ponder, O soul, how
Mary is said to progress through life on beautifully sandaled feet.
In connection with the Saints, sandaled feet signify their interior
affections, perfected and strengthened by the virtues...Mary from
the first moment of Her existence was always most pure and perfect.
Her thoughts, Her affections, Her desires, and Her plans were always
strengthened and embellished by admirable virtues. Like fragrant
flowers, they filled all Her surroundings with sweet fragrance,
without any foul odor or dark cloud ever to tarnish or diminish
And you, O soul who meditate on Her affections, you
wander through the impure desert of this earthly pilgrimage with
nary a thought as to how you might strengthen yourself with all the
virtues.Courage! Today, lift up your spirit! Away with the
impurities surrounding you. Fortify yourself with the shield of holy
virtues so that you can walk as Mary did, and attain the blessings
awaiting you in Paradise.
O Mary, most pure among all creatures,
direct our feet, strengthen our affections as we strive to imitate
Your holy virtues!
O soul, ponder how Mary who,
after Her Son, is the first-born Daughter of the Most High God, is
called par excellence Daughter of the Prince, that is, the most
beloved, dearest, worthiest of Her Prince Father, God. And this
filiation which Mary had by Her Immaculate Conception She always
kept inviolate...never did She weaken it by disobedience. Rather,
She continued wondrously to enhance it through the complete
observance of the Law and absolute conformity to the will of Her
O Mary, most beautiful, You were always a Daughter
and never a slave, always a Daughter of grace and never a slave of
And you, O soul who meditate on Her filiation, how have you
treasured the filiation God gave you through grace at your holy
Baptism?...Whose son or daughter have you been for so long a
time?...And whose child are you now?...In charity recover anew that
divine filiation. Never lose it again...Propose now, firmly,
nevermore to be a child of Eve, a slave of sin, but a child of Mary,
first-born Daughter among all creatures, and Mother of all graces.
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