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II.

Hail, sweet Mary! whom, as Thou went giving Thyself up to holy exercises and contemplations, Almighty God did console with the frequent visits and intercourse of angels, and with the unspeakable joy of a pure conscience. Obtain for me, I beseech Thee, through Thy merits, that I may love silence and quiet, and that I may be constant in prayer and other spiritual exercises, with a sincere heart, and a calm and cheerful spirit. May these be my dearest pleasures as long as I am detained in the wretched prison. house of this body.

Hail, sweet Mary! who as a virgin wert 104betrothed by the divine counsels to the virgin Joseph, suffer me not, O Thou who art the comforter of hearts, suffer me not to wander far from Thee: look upon me with those benignant eyes of Thine, upon me who desire to please Thee. For as he cannot be saved and live for ever from whom Thou dost turn away Thy face, so he cannot perish everlastingly, whom, when he turns to Thee, Thou dost regard. Come out to meet me, O my Lady, as I seek for Thee, direct and preserve me, for I love Thee, and put my confidence in Thee. Be Thou ever propitious unto me, that I may find salvation through Thee.

Hail, sweet Mary! whom when Thou wert intent on heavenly things, the angel Gabriel having secretly entered Thy chamber, did respectfully salute, and did instruct in the secrets of the divine counsels. O that I may frequently salute Thee, and ever be glad to pay Thee all due reverence. May nothing ever be found cleaving unto me which may displease Thy more than angelic countenance.

Hail, sweet Mary! who by the power of the Holy Ghost, didst conceive in Thy most chaste womb the Son of God. O happiest of 105women! O what were Thy feelings at that moment in Thine inmost virgin breast? With what sweetness did Thy soul melt away for joy, when God, the Fountain and Source of all sweetness, entered the chamber of Thy womb, and took upon Him flesh of Thee? praise and glorify Thee, O Mary: I reverence in all humility Thy most holy womb. Preserve and increase in me the pious wish of serving Thee.

Hail, sweet Mary! who, when Thou wert carrying the King of glory in Thy womb, didst ascend, by the counsel of the Holy Ghost, to the hill country of Judea to visit Thy kinswoman Elizabeth, and didst salute her and give her Thy services. Visit, I beseech Thee, my soul, and grant that I may most fervently serve Thee all the days of my life, and love Thee with the chastest love.

Hail, sweet Mary! who didst not refuse to suffer a tedious journey in company with Thy most holy partner Joseph, when, though but a young girl, and withal with child, Thou didst go to Bethlehem. Obtain for me the grace to suffer patiently all the miseries of this exile, and continually to sigh after that heavenly Bethlehem where is the bread of 106life, Christ Jesus, the author of our salvation.

Hail, sweet Mary! who, when wearied with the labours of Thy journey, hadst no place of abode! but didst meet with a stable for an inn. Direct all the affections of my soul, that I may love nothing wrongly in this world, may cleave to no sensible thing; but as a stranger and pilgrim having no abiding city here, may I sigh after the Eternal One with all my heart, and repose myself in my God alone.

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