"That Mary was the prophetess whom Isaias went to by a prescience of the Spirit, no one would dispute who remembers the words of Mary which she uttered under the influence of the spirit of prophecy. For what is it she says? My soul doth magnify the Lord... For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Now if thou payest attention to all her words, surely thou wilt no contentiously deny that she was the prophetess, since the Spirit of the Lord came upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her."*

"Thou has asked us, why Mary the Mother of God is called by Isaias a prophetess. Remark her words in the Gospel: He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid. For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. And if thou dost not find that the holy Mary is called Blessed in all nations and in every tongue, because she bore in her womb God made flesh of the Holy Ghost and of her, and brought Him forth without corruption or any sort of stain, then give no credence to Isaias. But if throughout the world she is called Blessed, extolled with praise, hymned forth and eulogized -- she, that land unsown, and unwrought -- together with her All-blessed and Eternal Fruit, why dost thou further dispute whether Mary the Mother of God should be called a prophetess?"+

"Mary, being most wise, preserved in her heart all the words of Jesus Christ, and kept them for us, and caused them to be registered, in order that, according to her instruction, their recital and dictation should be published and preached throughout the world, and given us to read."++

"Mary remained after the Ascension of her Son for a time on earth with the Apostles, that she might instruct them more fully: since she had seen and handled all things more familiarly, and was therefore better able to express them. For things that we better know, we better utter."**

"There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise out of his root, and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him." -- xi. 1.

"That rod was the Virgin Mary, who came forth from the seed of David, of whom was born, according to the flesh, Christ the flower of the patriarchs. For God who in Numbers || wrought a miracle for an ass to speak, willed to work a far greater miracle that Christ might be born of the Virgin."***

"Mary was the rod, graceful, delicate, and Virgin, that blossomed forth Christ as a flower, through the perfect purity of her body."+++

* S. Basil, Exposit. in Is. Proph. in loc.

+ S. Nilus, Epist. Lib. ii. Ep. 212.

++ Eusebius of Emisa, Hom. in Evangel.

** De Assump. B.M.V. Int. Opp. Hieron.

|| Numbers xxii. 21-33.

*** Evagrius Monachus (c. 400). Altercatio int. Theophilum Christianum, et Simonem Judaeum, Patr. Lat. Tom. 20, p. 1171.

+++ Serm. 28. Int. Opp. S. Ambr. See also infra, on Luke i. 42.



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