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VI.

Hail, Mary, brightest and sweetest Mother of the Messiah and our King! O Lady, Thou art that most chaste turtle dove whose note doth wondrously soothe the ears of the Almighty. Thou art that purest dove whose plaintive notes do in all things please the Holy Ghost. O gracious Virgin, O Virgin of most amazing loveliness, cast out from my inmost heart whatever is impure or wanting in comeliness. Enlighten the darkness 120that reigns within me by a ray of Thy brightness, that my sins being chased away and blotted out, I may be able purely to contemplate Thy loveliness. Listen, O Lady, listen to my sighs and groanings after Thee. Come, thou desired, a thousand times, and out of the multitude of Thy graces pour somewhat on my soul, that I may intimately and most devoutly love Thee.

Hail, Mary, lonely handmaid of God, and most secret bride of a most secret spouse! Hail, lovely maiden, and chosen daughter of grace! O bashful virgin! O most beautiful of all women, show me, I beg of Thee, Thy lovely countenance, at the sight of which the most chaste affections that nought can quench, arise within me! Thy sweet voice soundeth in my ears, at the sound of which my spirit revives within me, and rises from the death of sin, and the slumber of a lukewarm life. May the unspeakable perfumes of Thy sweetness continually refresh my soul. May the unalloyed love of Thee enter the chamber of my heart, and happily take possession of all that is within, so that I may feel nothing but disgust for all worldly things.

Hail, Mary, spotless bosom friend of the 121blessed Trinity! Hail, O woman most pure in body and in soul. O virgin that delightest in silence, O virgin most humble, O virgin most beloved of God, cast, I beseech Thee, the dazzling beams of Thy most peaceful countenance upon my inmost soul, that my heart may rejoice and exult in Thee. Draw me after Thee, that I may cheerfully run after the odour of Thine ointments. Gladden my spirit, O Thon that art kind, that I may cheerfully serve Thee and love Thee from my inmost heart. Visit Thy poor little one, as he sighs and mourns: touch the lyre of my heart, that it may echo forth the praises of Thy sweet name. May my soul love Thee, and venerate and bless Thee for ever.

Hail, Mary, daughter of Sion, million times blessed! Hail, sweetest Mother of God! O virgin most holy, O virgin before the birth of Thy Son, O virgin in His birth, O virgin after His birth, clothe, I beseech . Thee, and adorn my soul with the grace of heavenly beauty. O most illustrious Queen, look down from the glory of thy lofty throne upon this poor wretched creature: draw nigh, O Lady, to the abode of me, a miserable sinner, and comfort 122me with Thy wished-for presence. May my spirit rejoice in Thee, may my heartstrings praise Thee, and may my soul melt away by reason of my love for Thee.

Hail, Mary, sweet and holy virgin! hail, eastern gate inviolate, through which He that is beautiful beyond the sons of men, hath come unto us! Turn, O glorious one, turn those gentlest eyes of Thy virgin countenance towards me: enlighten the shades of my blindness by the brightness of Thy approach. Listen to the complaints of my soul that longs to love Thee: satiate the desire of my heart, which day and night pineth and languisheth for Thee. Separate, O Lady, my soul from all things that are under heaven, and fix it in the purest contemplation of Thyself, and cause it to have a foretaste of the honied drops of the pleasures of eternity.

Hail, thou lover of solitude! hail, thou gentle cultivator of inward peace! hail, O woman wonderful for thine uprightness. O Mary, adorned with unspeakable wisdom, O chosen virgin, O virgin most beautiful among the daughters of Jerusalem, collect, I beseech Thee, the wandering thoughts of Thy poor servant, and compose my distracted 123mind, that I may give myself to pure and peaceful meditations upon Thee. May the vision of Thy lovely beauty, that inspirer of chastity, cleave to my soul; may the purest love of Thee for ever penetrate my heart’s very core. Thou art the most fragrant tabernacle of the Divinity, Thou the closed garden from which that loveliest and most rare flower came forth, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of our souls: may every age praise and venerate Thee.

Hail, Mary, Thou fragrant violet of lowliest humility, and deep red rose of most fervent charity! Hail, most generous Mother of our great Creator! O sweet virgin, O most beloved for Thy delights, may the perfumes of Thy precious spices come unto me, may my spirit feel Thee in the night, may my heart-strings yearn for Thee by day, may my breast feel Thy sweet influence, may the inmost marrow of my soul love Thee, may my tongue for ever, and at all times, be occupied in singing cheerfully Thy praises. Thou art the flowery bridal-chamber of the heavenly bridegroom; Thou art the pleasant paradise of holy delights; Thou art the perfumed storehouse of the divine sacraments; Thou art the mother, the 124daughter, the spouse of God; Thou art, and always shall be, my sweet hope, and the glad comfort of my soul. Be present with me, Thou holy Guide, whilst I traverse the dangerous ocean of this world; but especially be Thou present at the closing of my life, that by the beacon of Thy brightness, of Thy guidance, of Thy leading, I may happily arrive at the haven of the heavenly Jerusalem, where I may love and praise Thee, world without end. Ah, my Lady! show unto me, at the hour of my death, Thy most gladsome presence, assuage my pains and sorrows by Thy rosy and beaming countenance, and the glance of Thy gentle eyes, and for the glory of God secure for me the blessedness of eternal life for ever and ever. Amen.

Laus Deo


RICHARDSON AND SON, DERBY.

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