Why I Love You, O Mary! – a poem by St Thérèse of Lisieux

Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

WHY I LOVE YOU, O MARY !

Oh! I would like to sing, Mary, why I love you,
Why your sweet name thrills my heart,
And why the thought of your supreme greatness
Could not bring fear to my soul.
If I gazed upon you in your sublime glory,
Surpassing the splendour of all blessed,
I could not believe that I am your child
O Mary, before you I would lower my eyes!

If a child is to cherish his mother,
She has to cry with him and share his sorrows,
O my dearest Mother, on this foreign shore
How many tears you shed to draw me to you!…
In pondering your life in the holy Gospels,
I dare look at you and come near you.
It’s not difficult for me to believe I’m your child,
For I see you human and suffering like me…

When an angel from Heaven bids you be the Mother
Of God who is to reign for all eternity,
I see you prefer, O Mary, what a mystery!
the ineffable treasure of virginity.
O Immaculate Virgin, I understand how your soul
Is dearer to the Lord than his heavenly dwelling.
I understand how your soul, Humble and Sweet Valley,
Can contain Jesus, the Ocean of Love!

Oh! I love you, Mary, saying you are the servant
Of God whom you charm by humility.
This hidden virtue makes you all powerful,
It attracts the Holy Trinity into your heart.
Then the Spirit of Love covering you with his shadow,
The Son equal to the Father became incarnate in you,
There will be a great many of His sinner brothers,
Since He will be called: Jesus, your first-born

At least you find Him and you are overcome with joy,
You say to the fair Child captivating the doctors;
“O my Son, why have you done this?
Your father and I have been searching for you in tears.”
And the Child God replies (O what a deep mystery!)
To his dearest Mother holding out her arms to him:
“Why were you searching for me? I must be about
My Father’s business. Didn’t you know?”

The Gospel tells me that, growing in wisdom,
Jesus remains subject to Joseph and Mary,
And my heart reveals to me with what tenderness
He always obeys his dear parents.
Now I understand the mystery of the temple,
The hidden words of my Lovable King.
Mother, your sweet Child wants you to be the example
Of the soul searching for Him in the night of faith.

Since the King of Heaven wanted his Mother
To be plunged into the night, in anguish of heart,
Mary, is it thus a blessing to suffer on earth?
Yes, to suffer while loving is the purest happiness!…
All that He has given me, Jesus can take back.
Tell Him not to bother with me….
He can indeed hide from me, I’m willing to wait for Him
Till the day without sunset when my faith will fade away…

Mother full of grace, I know that in Nazareth
You live in poverty, wanting nothing more.
No rapture, miracle, or ecstasy
Embellish your life, O Queen of the Elect!…
The number of little ones on earth is truly great.
They can raise their eyes to you without trembling.
It’s by the ordinary way, incomparable Mother,
That you like to walk to guide them in Heaven.

While waiting for Heaven, O my dear Mother
I want to live with you, to follow you each day.
Mother, contemplating you, I joyfully immerse myself,
Discovering in your heart abysses of love.
You motherly gaze banishes all my fears.
It teaches me to cry, it teaches me to rejoice.
Instead of scorning pure and simple joys,
You want to share in them, you deign to bless them.
At Cana, seeing the married couple’s anxiety
Which they cannot hide, for they have run out of
wine,
In your concern you tell the Saviour,
Hoping for the help of his divine power,
Jesus seems at first to reject your prayer:
“Woman, what does this matter,” he answers,”to you
and to me?”
But in the depths of his heart, He calls you his Mother,
And works his first miracle for you…

One day when sinners are listening to the doctrine
Of Him who would like to welcome them in Heaven,
Mary, I find you with them on the hill.
Someone says to Jesus that you wish to see him.
Then, before the whole multitude, your Divine Son
Shows us the immensity of his love for us.
He says: “Who is my brother and my sister and my
Mother,
If not the one who does my will?”

O Immaculate Virgin, most tender of Mothers,
In listening to Jesus, you are not saddened.
But you rejoice that He makes us understand
How our souls become his family here below.
Yes, you rejoice that He gives us his life,
The infinite treasures of his divinity !…
How can we not love you, O my dear Mother,
On seeing so much love and so much humility ?

You love us, Mary, as Jesus loves us,
And for us you accept being separated from Him.
To love is to give everything. It’s to give oneself.
You wanted to prove this by remaining our support.
The Saviour knew your immense tenderness.
He knew the secrets of your maternal heart.
Refuge of sinners, He leaves us to you
When He leaves the Cross to wait for us in Heaven.

Mary, at the top of Calvary standing beside the Cross
To me you seem like a priest at the altar,
Offering your beloved Jesus, the sweet Emmanuel,
To appease the Father’s justice…
A prophet said, O afflicted Mother,
« There is no sorrow like your sorrow ! _ » O Queen of Martyrs, while remaining in exile
You lavish on us all the blood of your heart !

Saint John’s home becomes your only refuge.
Zebedee’s son is to replace Jesus…
That is the last detail the Gospel gives.
It tells me nothing more of the Queen of Heaven.
But, O my dear Mother, doesn’t its profound silence
Reveal that The Eternal Word Himself
Wants to sing the secrets of your life
To charm your children, all the Elect of Heaven ?

Soon I’ll hear that sweet harmony.
Soon I’ll go to beautiful Heaven to see you.
You who came to smile at me in the morning of my life,
Come smile at me again … Mother… It’s evening now !…
I no longer fear the splendour of your supreme glory.
With you I’ve suffered and now I want
To sing on your lap, Mary, why I love you,
And to go on saying that I am your child !…

[This poem was written by St Thérèse of Lisieux in May 1897 from the Infirmary where she lay dying. “Do not be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much, you will never love her enough, and Jesus will be very happy, because the Blessed Virgin Mary is His Mother.”]

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