19 April 2014

What tongue can tell, O blessed Virgin?

"What tongue can tell, what intellect grasp the heavy weight of your desolation, blessed Virgin? You were present at all these events, standing close by and participating in them in every way.

This blessed and most holy flesh - which you so chastely conceived, so sweetly nourished and fed with your milk, which you so often help on your lap, and kissed with your lips - you actually gazed upon with your bodily eyes now torn by the blows of the scourges, now pierced by the points of the thorns, now struck by the reed, now beaten by hands and fists, now pierced by nails and fixed to the wood of the cross, and torn by its own weight as it hung there, now mocked in every way, finally made to drink gall and vinegar.

But with the eye of your mind you saw that divine soul filled with the fall of every form of bitterness, now groaning in spirit, now quaking with fear, now wearied, now in agony, now in anxiety, now in confusion, now oppressed by sadness and sorrow, partly because of his most sensitive response to bodily pain, partly because of his most fervent zeal for the divine honor taken away by sin, partly because of his pity poured out upon wretched men, partly because of his compassion for you, his most sweet mother, as the sword pierced the depths of your heart, when with devoted eyes he looked upon you standing before him and spoke to you these loving words: 'Woman, behold your son,' in order to console in its trials your soul, which he knew had been more deeply pierced by a sword of compassion than if you had suffered in your own body.

- Saint Bonaventure


  1. Anonymous10:44 AM

    I recognize that statue - it's in the smaller church that fronts Piazza Navona. A nice place to stop and pray, usually quiet in there.

    1. I visited it for the first time Thursday night and thought then it would be a perfect image to use today.