From a sermon by Saint Anselm, Bishop (1033-1109), from the Office of the Readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8.
Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night, everything that is subject to the power or use of man, rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.
The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God Himself, its Creator, it sees Him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary's womb.
Through the fullness of grace that was given to you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son Who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before His life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.
Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator Himself has been blessed by creation.
To Mary God gave His only-begotten Son, Whom He loved as Himself. Through Mary God made Himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God Who made all things gave Himself form through Mary, and thus He made His own creation. He Who could create all things from nothing would not remake His ruined creation without Mary.
God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary is the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by Whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through Whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to Him as the Savior of the world. Without God's Son, nothing could exist; without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed.
Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to Himself.
Tr. by ICEL.
Quattour Antiphonae (Final Four Antiphons)
The next four prayers, aside from the Hail Mary, are perhaps the four most popular Marian prayers. They are used in both private and public devotions and hold a prominent place in the Liturgy of the Hours as the concluding antiphons for Compline. Franciscans were apparently one of the first to introduce these prayers into the Liturgy and St. Bonaventure is credited with being the first to add them to the Office around 1274. From the 14th century on they have been used universally in the Latin Rite as concluding Antiphons for Compline.
Orationes et Devotiones (Prayers and Devotions)
The Angelus (from the Orationes Cotidianae section)
- Ave, augustissima Regina pacis
Hail, Most Venerable Queen of Peace
- Litaniae Dominae nostrae Dolorum
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
- Litaniae Lauretanae
Litany of Loreto
- Maria, Mater Gratiae
Mary, Mother of Grace
- Memorare, O piissima Virgo Maria
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary
- Memorare, o Domina Nostra a Sacro Corde
Remember, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
- Novena ad Beatam Mariam Virginem
Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary
- O Beata Virgo Maria
O Blessed Virgin Mary
- O Beatissima
O Most Blessed and Sweet Virgin Mary
- Obsecro te
- O Domina Mea
My Queen! My Mother!
- O Domina mea, Sancta Maria
O Holy Mary, my Mistress
- O Excellentissima
O Most Excellent Virgin Mary
- O Intemerata
- Oratio Sancti Bernardi ad Deiparam Virginem
Prayer of St. Bernard to the Virgin Mother of God
- Oratio Sancti Sophronii ad Benedictam
Prayer of St. Sophronius to the Blessed Virgin Mary
- O Virgo et Mater Sanctissima
Most Holy Virgin and Mother
- Rosarium ex Horis ad usum Sarum
Rosary from the Hours, Sarum Use
- Sancta Maria, Succurre Miseris
Holy Mary, be Thou a Help to the Helpless
- Salve a nobis, Deipara Maria
Hail, Mother of God
- Sanctissima Virgo de Cenaculo
Our Lady of the Cenacle
- Sub Tuum Praesidium
We Fly to Thy Patronage
Conceptio Immaculata (Immaculate Conception)