Marian Devotion since, well, just take a look at how old the blog is.


October 2021
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September 17, 2021

Books about the Immaculate Conception from the 17th Century (in Latin, of course)

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine,Texts in Mariology — Fr. John Larson @ 7:22 pm

You might expect I’m going to link to full texts of some of these classics.

De Immaculata Beatae Virginis Conceptione ab omni originali peccato immuni Libri Quatuor, dicati sacrae maiestati Philippi 3 Hispaniarum regis by Aegidius a Presentatione. 1617. Translation: On the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Immune from all Original Sin.

Horizon Marianus sive De excellentia et virtutibus B. Mariae Virginis : tractatus novem, super totidem eius festa intra anni circulum ab Ecclesia celebrari solita by Fr. Bartholomaeo de los Rios et Alarcon. 1647. (Downloadable PDF) Translation: Marian Horizon, or of the Excellencies and Virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Geminum Sidus Mariani Diadematis, siue Duplex Disputatio de Infinita Dignitate Matris Dei, atque de eius Gratia habituali infinita simpliciter by Juan de Cardenas S.J. 1673. Translation: The Twin Stars of Mary’s Diadaem, or 2 disuptations about the Infinite Dignity of the Mother of God, and about her habitual infinite grace. It must be understood that he is using hyperbole here.

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September 17, 2013

The Holy Ways of the Cross

Filed under: Catholic Devotions,Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 9:00 pm

Full Title:
The Holy Ways of the Cross; or A Short Treatise on the Various Trials and Afflictions, Interior and Exterior, to which the Spiritual Life is Subject, and the Means of Making a Good Use Thereof.
Henri-Marie Boudon
Year Published:
Link to complete book: Holy Ways of the Cross
Link to PDF

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July 11, 2013

An “Extensive Summary,” but Not Well Understood

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine,Texts in Mariology — Fr. John Larson @ 2:35 am

Paul VI on Lumen Gentium, from a speech at the close of the 3rd Session of the Second Vatican Council (November 22, 1964) – my translation

“For this is the first time, and in saying this we are deeply moved in spirit, that an Ecumenical Council has concentrated into one extensive summary the Catholic doctrine regarding the place the Blessed Virgin Mary occupies in the mystery of Christ and the Church.”

In other words, Vatican II said more about Mary than any previous Ecumenical Council, yet the newspapers reported Vatican II as a “downgrade” of Mary or a “lessening of emphasis” on her [example 1] [example 2]. The vote to incorporate teachings on Mary into the document on the Church was seen as a de-emphasis, but in fact there was still more said than had ever been said before concerning Mary. Unfortunately, there were a number of clerics that wanted to believe the newspapers, and the new generation was all about change for the sake of change, and that meant downgrading Mary in practice.

The doctrine contained in Lumen Gentium requires careful study, and spin doctors of the ’60s tried to minimize the impact by focusing on certain phrases that would seem to de-emphasize devotion to Mary (avoiding false exaggeration, for instance). Overall, though, the document shows that devotion to Mary is very important, and gives a stronger doctrinal basis for her role in salvation history than any previous council.

from Lumen Gentium
53. The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer. Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. [Emphasis added.] At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. She is “the mother of the members of Christ . . . having cooperated by charity that faithful might be born in the Church, who are members of that Head.”(3*) Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother.

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November 11, 2012

Sunday Shopping

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 2:41 am

I think this is one of those cases where the teaching never changed but everyone forgot it. I still hold to the “no Sunday shopping except in case of necessities” because it just makes sense. If we shop on Sunday unnecessarily, we encourage stores to be open, etc.

It’s actually not that big of a deal to me. No Sunday shopping–my catechist taught it and the rule still holds. If people have forgotten, they just need to be reminded.

From CCC 2187: “Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day.” If we didn’t shop on Sundays, more people would have Sundays off, because there would be less business. The argument that everybody shops on Sunday has no weight. If we want to follow the 10 commandments, we should do our best to follow them, even if we see no examples from anybody we know.

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September 16, 2012

Ven. Fulton J. Sheen and Purgatory

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 2:15 am

I recently wrote an article about the thoughts of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen on the subject of Purgatory.

Here is a paragraph from his book The Moral Universe: A Preface to Christian Living.

Three possible states await a soul after death:
a state of perfect Love without suffering which is heaven;
a state of suffering without Love which is hell,
and a state of Love with suffering which is Purgatory.
Purgatory is a creation of the mercy of God. (128)

A PDF of the article can be found here.

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August 12, 2012

Vollert on Mary and the Church

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 11:43 pm

“But she was redeemed quite otherwise than the rest of men; she was preserved form contracting the sin of nature. She was redeemed apart, and therefore placed apart. Her fullness of grace, which grew in her all her life, was not dependent on the Church, but has its explanation in her divine maternity, its rule and measure. Thus she constitutes an order apart, so that she alone can enter into comparison with the rest of the Church. This fact makes possible an analogy between her, a particular person, and the collectivity which is the Church.” Vollert, Cyril, “Mary and the Chruch,” in Mariology (Carol, Juniper, editor) vol. 2, p. 558.

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July 24, 2012

Cardinal Lambruschini’s Defense of the Immaculate Conception

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine,Texts in Mariology — Fr. John Larson @ 6:13 pm

There are many classic Mariological works online, and some of them are even in English!

This one is a defense written about 12 years prior to the Dogma, defending the teaching of the Immaculate Conception. This English translation is from 1855, one year after the dogma was declared.

A Polemical Treatise on the Immaculate Conception by Luigi Lambruschini. You can download the book as a PDF file by clicking on the gear icon.

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July 15, 2012

The Interior Life

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 6:12 pm

Why didn’t somebody tell me?

Well, somebody has now, and I have discovered a rather important find in the world of books on the Spiritual Life. In fact, it’s such a classic that the whole thing is out on the Internet:

The Three Ages of the Interior Life by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

Now, the title is not all that catchy, and some other things I’ve read by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange are not necessarily the most exciting. Here, however, he is in his element, and this is incredibly useful reading.

He starts with something very simple:

I. The One Thing Necessary

As everyone can easily understand, the interior life is an elevated form of intimate conversation which everyone has with himself as soon as he is alone, even in the tumult of a great city. From the moment he ceases to converse with his fellow men, man converses interiorly with himself about what preoccupies him most. This conversation varies greatly according to the different ages of life; that of an old man is not that of a youth. It also varies greatly according as a man is good or bad.

So that’s what the interior life is. But, it can change into something different…

The interior life of a just man who tends toward God and who already lives by Him is indeed the one thing necessary. To be a saint, neither intellectual culture nor great exterior activity is a requisite; it suffices that we live profoundly by God. This truth is evident in the saints of the early Church; several of those saints were poor people, even slaves. It is evident also in St. Francis, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, in the Cure of Ars, and many others. They all had a deep understanding of these words of our Savior: “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” If people sacrifice so many things to save the life of the body, which must ultimately die, what should we not sacrifice to save the life of our soul, which is to last forever?

This is just the beginning, but one thing is clear. The Interior Life makes all the difference.

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August 21, 2011

More Books about the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Latin Language

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine,Texts in Mariology — Fr. John Larson @ 2:11 am

It’s amazing how many books about the Blessed Virgin Mary are available free online to either read or download. Here are more classic examples of Mariology.

Mariale of Bl. Bernadine of Busti, O.F.M. (1511)

Psalterium divae Virginis Mariae rhythmice conscriptum by Stephanus (Cantuarensis) (1579)

Theotocodia sive parthenodia opus eximium in laudem deiparae Virginis by Tito Próspero Martinengo (1583)

Apologeticus Marianus by Johannes Paludanus (1623)

Elucidarium Deiparae by Juan Bautista Poza (1627)

De Immaculata prorsusque pura, sanctissimae, semperque virginis genitricis Dei Mariae Conceptione by Juan Serrano (1635)

Sancti Bernardini Senensis ordinis Seraphici Minorum Opera omnia synopsibus ornata, postillis illustrata, nec non variis tractatibus… Volume 4 (1635). This book contains sermons of St. Bernardine of Siena concerning the Blessed Virgin.

Nomenclator Marianus, e titulis selectioribus, quibus B. Virgo a S.S. Patribus honestatur, contextus (1639) by Théophile Raynaud

Rosetum Deiparae Virginis Mariae (1641) by Johann Christian Itzstein

Philosophia tota deiparae sacra by Conrad Calmelet, Ignatius Waizenegger (1642)

Diptycha Mariana. Quibus inanes Beatissimae Virginis Praerogativae, Plerisque Novis Scriptionibus Vulgate, a Probates et Veris Apud Patres, Thelogosque Receptis, Solide, et Accurate Secernuntur (1643) by Théophile Raynaud

Corona augustissimae Virginis Dei Matris (1645) by François Poiré

Directiones Mariani colloquii Deiparae Virginis (1645) by Jacob Rhem. This book is from Jakob Rem, the Jesuit who founded the Sodality of Our Lady in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and received in a private revelation the term “Mother Thrice Admirable,” which is used today most commonly in the Schoenstatt movement.

Adae abbatis Perseniae, sacri ordinis Cisterciensis alumni, … Mariale Quo … By Adam de Perseigne collected by I. Marracci (1652)

Firmamentum Symbolicum in quo Deiparae Elogia, Quibus velunt firmamentum stellis est (1652) by Sebastianus (a Matre Dei) Mary is the symbolic firmament, the firmament of stars as it were.

Opera Omnia by Raymond Jordon (Idiota) (1654) collected by Théophile Raynaud. Included in this book ascribed to “Idiota,” are a number of “contemplations” of the Virgin Mary: a shorter set of contemplations that was translated into a number of languages, including English, which begins on page 204, and a complete tract on the Blessed Virgin, which covers many topics (de Vita et Laudibus Gloriosae Virginis Mariae). This is found beginning on page 219 according to the PDF file/viewer or 119 according to the book (there is an error in the book pagination it really should read 219. A Spanish translation: Contemplaciones del Idiota (1550) has the short set of contemplations on the Virgin Mary beginning on page 245.

Domus propitiationis pauperis in patrocinium Mariae Deiparae by François Van Hondegen (1655). The title translates to: The House of Propitiation of the Poor Under the Patronage of Mary the Mother of God. The first section of the book deals with the mediation and mercy of Christ, and then afterwards examples of the patronage of Mary to those devoted to her.

Exceptiones Concilii Tridentini pro omnimoda puritate Deiparae Virginis expensae (1655) by Juan Eusebio Nieremberg

Annus Marianus by Paul de Barry and Adam Schirmbeck (1659)

Maiestas gratiarum ac virtutum omnium Deiparae Virginis, Mariae (1659) by Francisco Guerra (only Volume 2 is online)

Disputationes Theologiae Scholasticae, Volume 2 (1661) by Georges de Rhodes. This text contains a tract on Mary, the Mother of God.

Hyperdulia Deiparae seu Conciones, in omnia Festa B. Virginis Mariae (1673) by Joannes Dedinger

Hebdomada Mariana Divisa In Diversas Orationes Jaculatorias Pro Qualibet Die … (1675) by Constantius Arzonni

Hyperdulia Mariana (or Hyperdulia Sacra Mariana) (1676) by Maximilian Schmidt, Pietro Antonio Spinelli

Excitationes dormitantis animae circa Psalmum 86, Canticum Magnificat, Salvatationem Angelicam, et Antiphonam Salve Regina, ad colendam, laudandam, et diligendam Sanctissimam Virginem Deiparam by Angelo Paciuchelli (1682)

Sacra Beatae Mariae Virginis ex Evangelio ad literam epitheta:
sanctorum Patrum ac interpretum doctrina accurate explanata …
by Miguel de Ulate (1707)

Virginis Mariae, magnae Dei, et hominis Christi Iesu, dignissimae matris … by Miguel de Ulate (1714)

Quaestiones disputatae de Immaculata Conceptione Beatae Mariae Virginis by William of Ware, John Duns Scotus, Petrus Aureoli (1904)

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July 16, 2011

Are St. Peter Canisius’ writings available in English?

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 8:50 pm

Generally not. There is his Sum of Christian Doctrine printed in 1622 in English. Ok, technically it is A SUMME OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE composed in Latin, by the R. Father PETRUS CANISIUS, of the Society of Jesus.

Still, no English translation exists of his monumental work DE MARIA VIRGINE INCOMPARABILI ET DEI GENITRICE SACROSANCTA. I had thought this work in Latin was not available online, but I was (thankfully) wrong. It was, in fact, reprinted in Jean-Jacques Bourassé’s monumental 12 volume work, Summa aurea de laudibus B. V. Mariae.

A link to volume 8 of the Summa Aurea which contains the first 4 books of the work: Summa Aurea Volume 8

Volume 9, which contains the fifth book, can be found at this link.

The quality of the scan of the text leaves something to be desired, and the OCR of the text has many, many errors. Still, if you type out a passage you want to translate and use Google Translate for a rough English translation, you at least have a start.

Here is an example I created. In a section where St. Peter Canisius deals with the accusation of Jesus being harsh with His mother when he is found in the temple, here is (roughly) part of what St. Peter says:

“He did not allow them to suffer for three days out of contempt, but because of love and honor of the sovereign Father, he remained in the temple, and gave this example in accordance with teaching others a method of more perfect obedience, and eventually it is, as it were, a prelude to the teaching in public after the baptism, which gave glory to the eternal Father.”

The Latin original:
Hac oratione Christus puer exponit parentibus, cur minus admirari debeant, quod ipse in urbe Hierosolymitana hoc triduo manserit, illos vero in quaerendo permiserit sollicite et anxie laborare. Subindicat etiam, se ex nullo illorum contemptu, sed ob amorem et honorem summi Patris in templo remansisse, quodque hoc exemplo velit docere alios perfectioris obedientiae praestandae normam atque rationem; ac demum dicto et facto quasi praeludit ea quae post baptismum in publico docendi et disputandi munere, ad aeterni Patris gloriam apud Judaeos erat exhibiturus.

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July 3, 2011

The Second Ark of the Covenant

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 11:06 pm

“When the Lord spoke to Moses about the model of the divine sanctuary, He spoke first of all about the Ark of the Covenant; so the first creature predestined to exist was the Most Blessed Virgin, who would become a living Ark containing God.” — St. Lawrence of Brindisi translated by moi with the help of Google Translate.

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June 30, 2011

William of Ware

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 11:17 pm

Yes, I’m back at the Marian Library. I’m learning plenty of information about the Blessed Virgin Mary — things that are worth learning. Right now in one of my classes we are going over the history of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. One of the figures in this history is William of Ware. He believed in the doctrine and taught Bl. John Duns Scotus.

I can see a “Who’s on first” routine developing with this name.
He’s William of Ware.
He’s Bill of where?
That’s what I said.
Where is Bill from?
That’s right.
He’s from that’s right?
No, he’s from Ware.
Where is Ware?
It’s right where it is!
Wait a minute, I want to know where Bill is from.
I told you. He’s from Ware.
That’s what I want to know.
And I’m telling you……

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October 31, 2008

Unity of Government in the Church

Filed under: Catholic Doctrine — Fr. John Larson @ 12:22 am

“Unity of government is not less essential to the Church of Christ than unity of doctrine. Our divine Saviour never speaks of His Churches, but of His Church. He does not say : ” Upon this rock I will build my Churches,” but, ” Upon this rock I will build my Church,” from which words we must, conclude, that it never was His intention to establish or to sanction various conflicting denominations, but one corporate body, with all the members united under one visible Head ; for as the Church is a visible body, it must have a visible head.”

Cardinal Gibbons:
Faith of Our Fathers

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