St. Paul, apostolic evangelist of Marian spirituality

The reader will search in vain for an explicit mention of the Blessed Mother in the epistles of St. Paul. One needn’t read far, however, to appreciate how his writings are infused with a Marian spirit.

Consider the well-known verse 9 from Chapter xii of his second epistle to the Corinthians, shown here in the Vulgate and in the RSVCE translation.

Et dixit mihi: Sufficit tibi gratia mea: nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

We find this resonant of several phrases from the Magnificat, such as verse 48 from the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, additional parallels to which the reader is encouraged to find and share:

Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae: ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.

For he has regarded the low status of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

At slightly different times and in vastly different ways, Our Lady and the apostle to the Gentiles recognized that we must freely admit our weakness and emptiness in order for the Holy Ghost to transform us. May we do likewise in imitation of both.

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