To the Immaculate Virgin

To the Immaculate Virgin

Saint Andrew of Crete (660-740)

O Virgin Mary, Mother of the only-begotten Son of God pre-ordained from all eternity: You who are the august Temple of the Divinity, fashioned with such Divine Art, your Maker deemed you worthy of Himself. O ever-blessed Lady: You are the beginning of our Salvation, in whom our nature is raised to the sublime pitch of glory.

Eve infected our race with sin: you, O Mother of the living, restored us to grace. In your person, O most glorious Virgin, the original nobility of the human race once more was seen upon the earth. Adorned by your Creator with all the blessings which sin of old had despoiled us, you appeared among us, the fairest, the truest image of the Divine Exemplar. God was so pleased by your beauty that the Eternal Word clothed Himself with your substance, as with a regal Mantle, so that He, as fairest of the Sons of men, might on the earth appear. You are the evergreen Rod of Aaron, whence the Immaculate Lily blossomed. You are the forerunner of that spiritual regeneration in Christ, by which our nature, previously despoiled of its every good, once more assumed its dignity. For just as God, creating man, used the still unstained virgin soil of earth, so the Son of God, wishing to raise our fallen nature up, chose you from among all the children of fallen Adam, so that He might become the second Adam, who was to effect the repair of wrongs caused by the first.

Hail, then, O most Blessed Virgin, Cause of our Joy! Through you has been repaired the curse of our first mother: through you we have received once more blessings of grace, adoption as children of God! Hail, O Virgin Mary–name most sweet! Hail, o Mother of God, most holy and most blessed! By the ineffable grace with which the Holy Spirit adored you as His Spouse and as the Mother of the Son of God, we beg of you to obtain from God, the Son, that we, by the sanctification of that same Holy Spirit, become worthy Temples to His glory. Amen.

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