The most noble of women, the elect from among virgins, the splendid ornament of our nature, the glory of our mould, who freed Eve from her shame and Adam from the curse, who cut off the bold insolence of the dragon, she whom the smoke of concupiscence touched not, nor the worm of pleasure harmed."*

"Of the fruit of thy womb I will set upon thy throne." -- cxxxi. 11.

"Christ is called the fruit of the womb, because the Saviour, according to the flesh, is Son of a Virgin Mother, conceived without earthly father by the Holy Ghost."+


"Wisdom hath built her a house, she hath hewn her out seven pillars. She hath mingled her wine." -- ix. 1, 2.

"Christ, the Wisdom and power of God and the Father, built Himself a house; flesh from the Virgin as He had foretold. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt in us. This same the most wise prophet attests. The infinite Wisdom of God, that was before the ages, and affords life to all, built her a house, putting on corporally a temple from a mother who knew not man. And reared up seven pillars, even the most fragrant gifts of the Holy Ghost, as says Isaias: And there shall rest upon Him the seven spirits of God.++ She hath mingled her wine in the bowl, whereby is meant, that the Saviour, uniting His Godhead like pure wine with the flesh in the Virgin, was born of her at once God and man, without confusion of the one and the other."**

"Praise Him who lay in the womb of the Virgin, and therein built for Himself a royal palace and temple, and there took a vesture wherewith He might be splendidly adorned, and made ready the arms to vanquish His enemies."||

"Mary was therefore to the Father as a tree, to the Son a Mother, to men the spring of the Eternal Spirit, and the rising of incorruption... By no human generation did the Virgin bring forth, God forbid! but she ministered her own substance without carnal concupiscence, and not of stones wrought with hammer or chisel did Wisdom build her a house. No sound of iron was heard in the building, for man had not part in Mary, but the Virgin alone. The stones were polished of themselves and already wrought, not prepared by men: so too the assumption [of flesh by the Word] in Mary was none of man's work, but chosen out from our nature by means of the venerable Virgin. As stones come from the earth, so too the assumption had its origin and growth in nature, whilst the divinity remained immaculate by reason of a nature unstained. As it was the earth alone that produced, so the Virgin alone conceived."***

* Hesychius, Orat. de Virginis laudib. Biblioth. PP. Graeco-Lat. Tom. ii. p. 423.

+ S. Prosper Aquitan., Expositio in Ps. cix.

++ Is. xi. 2.

** S. Hippolytus, Comm. in Prov., ix. 1. Galland. T. ii., p. 488.

|| S. Ephrem, Serm. ii., De Nat. Dom. Opp. Syr. T. ii., p. 405.

*** Serm. Opp. Gr. T. ii., pp. 275, 276.



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