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Fatima Novena, Day 2 — He chose Mary for Himself…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is holiness itself, and although he is pleased to see at his feet the sinner who has returned to the path of righteousness, he nevertheless loves with a stronger love the innocent one who has never strayed. 

Shall he not have the satisfaction of seeing someone like unto himself, or who at least approaches his purity from afar? Must Jesus, the innocent one, be always among sinners, without ever having the consolation of meeting an unstained soul? And who would that be, if not his holy mother? Yes, let this merciful Savior who has taken upon us all of our guilt spend his life running after sinners, let him go and seek them in every corner of Palestine, but let him find in his own home and under his own roof what will satisfy his eyes with the steady and lasting beauty of incorruptible holiness!

It is true that this charitable Savior does not cast off sinners, and far from sending them away from his presence, he does not disdain to call them the most honored members of his kingdom. He set the conduct of his flock in the hands of Peter, who denied him; he placed at the head of his evangelists Matthew, who was a tax collector; he made the first of his preachers Paul, who had persecuted him. These are not innocent men; these are converted sinners whom he raised to the highest ranks. Yet you should not therefore believe that he would choose his holy mother from the same lot. There must be a great difference between her and the others. What will that difference be?

He chose Peter, Matthew, and Paul for us, but he chose Mary for himself. Those whom he called for others, he drew forth from sin, so that they might the better proclaim his mercy. His plan was to give hope to those souls beaten down by sin; who could more effectively preach divine mercy than those who were themselves its illustrious examples? Who else could have said with greater effect, “the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” than a St. Paul, who was able to add, “and I am the foremost of sinners”? 

Yet if he treated in this way those whom he called for the sake of us sinners, we must not think that he did the same for the dear creature, the extraordinary creature, the unique and privileged creature whom he made for himself, whom he chose to be his mother. In his apostles and ministers, he brought about what would be most useful for the salvation of all, but in his holy mother, he did what was sweetest, most glorious, and most satisfying for himself, and, consequently, he made Mary to be innocent.

We must not persuade ourselves that to distinguish Mary from Jesus we must take away her innocence and leave it to her Son alone. To tell the morning from midday, there is no need to fill the air with storms or cover the sky with clouds: it suffices that the rays of the morning sun should be weaker and their light less brilliant. To distinguish Mary from Jesus, there is no need to put sin into the mix. It suffices that her innocence be a weaker light. That light belongs to Jesus by right, but to Mary by privilege, to Jesus by nature, to Mary by grace and favor. We honor the source in Jesus, and in Mary a flowing forth from the source. What should console us is that this flowing forth of innocence shines for the benefit of us poor sinners. Innocence normally reproaches the guilty for their evil lives and seems to pronounce condemnation upon them. Yet it is not so with Mary. Her innocence is favorable to us, and why? Because it is only a flowing forth of the innocence of the Savior Jesus. The innocence of Jesus is the life and salvation of sinners, and so the innocence of the Blessed Virgin serves to obtain pardon for sinners. Let us look upon this holy and innocent creature as the sure support for our misery and go and wash our sins in the bright light of her incorruptible purity.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the recollection of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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