THE GREAT POWER OF MOST HOLY MARY
Let histories, Parthenius, extol the power of a Sesostris, Assuerus, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Solimaun, Tamerlane, Charlemagne, Louis, or any other potentate the world has yet seen, or may possess to the end of time: let them boast of their dominions, their states, their kingdoms, and their empires; their riches, their enterprises, their battles, their victories, and their deeds; the display of their luxury, of their power, and of their authority; the enemies they conquered, the cities, provinces, and kingdoms, however savage and barbarous, which they have subjugated or destroyed; what will they say at last? To what conclusion will they come? They will say that for a few years they were great and powerful in a small part of a small point, as the earth is with respect to Heaven, and then they found they must die, and see their power be reduced to dust and scattered by the wind. And what was their power? It could not raise itself to Heaven, extend over all the earth, nor descend into the bowels thereof; they could not command the animals, rule the elements, prevent the intemperature of the air, the changes of the seasons or of fortune, nor shield themselves from the many evils that afflict and torment the body, nor ward off the inevitable blow of death.
Mary, yes, Mary is that Most Powerful Empress of the Whole World, whose power rules in Heaven, extends over the whole earth, and reaches to the bottom of the abyss; she it is that commands the angels and most sublime spirits; is respected and obeyed by nature, and by the elements; is venerated and felt by rational, sensible, and vegetable beings; is formidable and terrible to the demons: her power extends even beyond the confines of life and of time, and makes death its tributary and vassal. Oh, this indeed is power! This is command! Let us examine, Parthenius, and consider that it is all for youall for your sake.
"All power is given to her in Heaven," says Saint Bernard. (Serm. sup. Salve Reg.). Do you doubt it? She is the Lady and Queen of Heaven, and although the blessed, and the saints, virgins, confessors, martyrs, apostles, prophets, and patriarchs, angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominations, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim are indeed reigning princes in that great kingdom, yet they are all vassals, subjects, and servants of this Great Queen, whom they all venerate and obey; and she is the Most High Queen, reigning over millions and millions of most sublime and supreme princes. If it be true, and it is most certain, that the more numerous and noble are the subjects, the more glorious and powerful is the prince who rules them and to whom they are subject, think what glory and what power Mary possesses, who presides and reigns over so many princes and principalities. Every one of her heavenly subjects is a prince and ruler so powerful, that all the princes and rulers that are and will be upon the earth are and will be obliged to yield them vassalage and obedience, with their knees and necks bowed down to the earth; and they are so numerous that it would be easier to count the stars of Heaven or the grains of sand upon the seashore than to tell or guess their number, which is known to God alone.
You may now understand what boundless power she has who rules and commands so many most high and powerful princes and sovereigns. And these most sublime spirits it is that serve her and form her court; they are her messengers, and the executors of her every will, in Heaven, on earth, and in the abyss. With reason did Bernardine Bustis, of the order of Saint Francis, say that Mary is the most powerful of all creatures; for although all the saints in Heaven are most powerful with God, on account of their merit, yet she surpasses them all in power, for she is the Mother of the Celestial Emperor, having with Him almost infinite power, for the Glorious Virgin has merited more than all the saints together; whence it follows that she is more powerful than them all with God: hence she says, "In Jerusalem is my power," that is, above all the saints.
But what will you say, Parthenius, if I tell you that not only the saints and angels in Heaven serve and obey Mary, but even God Himself? Perhaps you will say I go too far; yet I may say it, for it is not I that say it, but Saint Bernardine of Sienna. (Tom. 2, serm. 61). And what wonder that the Son, although He be God, should obey the Mother, since He even deigned to obey the command of men. Not only on earth did He wish to be subject to Mary (Erat subditus Mi), but also in Heaven. Yes, even in Heaven He glories that He obeys every wish, every thought, and every desire of hers. "Ask of Me what thou pleasest," Saint Bridget once heard Him say to His Mother, "for thou cannot ask in vain; because thou hast denied Me nothing on earth, I will deny thee nothing in Heaven."