Tag Archives: Virgin Mary

The Midwife of God

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road pregnant with the holy and say,

“I need shelter for the night,

please take me inside your heart, my time is close.”

Then, under the roof of your being,

you will witness the sublime intimacy,

the Anointed One will take birth inside you,

as the Virgin grasps your hands for help,

for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yes, there, under the dome of your being Creation comes into existence, through your womb, dear pilgrim— the sacred womb of your soul,

as God grasps our arms for help;

for each of us is a beloved servant never far,

so yes, if you want

the Virgin will come walking down the street toward you pregnant with light and singing.

The Midwife of God, by Juan de la Cruz [St. John of the Cross] (1542–1591)

Leave a comment

Filed under Poems

Mary, did you know

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb!

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM.
The great I AM…

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Music

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;


Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
This have I done for my true love.

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man’s nature
To call my true love to my dance.


In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Between an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.


Then afterwards baptized I was;
The Holy Ghost on me did glance,
My Father’s voice heard I from above,
To call my true love to my dance.


–Traditional English carol

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Music

Angelus ad Virginem

Angelus ad virginem,
Subintrans in conclave,
Virginis formidinem
Demulcens, inquit “Ave!
Ave, regina virginum:
Coeli terraeque dominum
Concipies et paries intacta
Salutem hominum;
Tu porta coeli facta,
Medela criminum.”

The angel came to the Virgin,
entering secretly into her room;
calming the Virgin’s fear, he said, “Hail!
Hail, queen of virgins:
you will conceive the Lord of heaven and earth
and bear him, still a virgin,
to be the salvation of mankind;
you will be made the gate of heaven,
the cure of sins.”

“Quomodo conciperem,
Quae virum non cognovi?
Qualiter infringerem,
Quae firma mente vovi?”
“Spiritus sancti gratia
Perficiet haec omnia.
Ne timeas, sed gaudeas
Secura, quod castimonia
Manebit in te pura
Dei potentia.”

“How can I conceive,
When I have never known a man?
How can I transgress
resolutions that I have vowed with a firm mind?”
The grace of the Holy Spirit
shall do all this.
Do not be afraid, but rejoice
without a care, since your chastity
will remain in you unspoilt
through the power of God.”

Ad haec, virgo nobilis
Respondens inquit ei,
“Ancilla sum humilis
Omnipotentis Dei.
Tibi coelesti nuntio,
Tanti secreti conscio,
Consentiens et cupiens videre
Factum quod audio,
Parata sum parere
Dei consilio.”

To this, the noble Virgin,
replying, said to him,
“I am the humble maidservant
of almighty God.
To you, heavenly messenger,
and bearer of such a great secret,
I give my consent, and wishing to see
done what I hear,
I am ready to obey
the will of God.”

Angelus disparuit
Et statim puellaris
Uterus intumuit
Vi partus salutaris.
Qui, circumdatus utero
Novem mensium numero,
Hinc exiit et iniit conflictum,
Affigens humero
Crucem, qua dedit ictum
Hosti mortifero.

The angel vanished,
and at once the girl’s
womb swelled
with the force of the pregnancy of salvation.
He, protected by the womb
for nine months in number,
left it and began the struggle,
fixing to his shoulder
a cross, with which he dealt the blow
to the deadly Enemy.

Eia Mater Domini,
Quae pacem reddidisti
Angelis et homini
Cum Christum genuisti!
Tuum exora filium
Ut se nobis propitium
Exhibeat, et deleat peccata,
Praestans auxilium
Vita frui beata
Post hoc exsilium.

Hail, Mother of our Lord,
who brought peace back
to angels and men
when you bore Christ!
Pray your son
that he may show favor to us
and blot out our sins,
giving us help
to enjoy a blessed life
after this exile.

–14th Century Irish carol

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Music

Song of the Crib

Joseph dearest, Joseph mine,
help me cradle the child divine;
God reward thee and all that’s thine
in paradise, so prays the mother Mary.

Gladly, dear one, lady mine,
help I cradle this child of thine;
God’s own light on us both shall shine
in paradise, so prays the mother Mary.

He came among us at Christmastide in Bethlehem;
men shall bring him from far and wide Love’s diadem.
Jesus, Jesus, lo, he comes, and loves, and saves, and frees us!

Peace to all that have good will!
God, who heaven and earth doth fill,
comes to turn us away from ill,
and lies so still within the crib of Mary.

All shall come and bow the knee;
wise and happy their souls shall be,
loving such a divinity,
as all may see in Jesus, son of Mary. Refrain

–Words: from the 15th century German

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Music

O magnum mysterium

O magnum mysterium (O great mystery)
et admirabile sacramentum (and wondrous sacrament)
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum (that the animals should see the Lord born)
jacentem in praesepio (lying in a manger)
O beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt (O blessed Virgin, whose womb was worthy)
portare Dominum Christum (to bear the Lord Christ)

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Music

The angel Gabriel

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden, Mary,
most highly favoured lady,”

“For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honor thee,
thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
most highly favoured lady,”

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“my soul shall laud and magnify His holy Name.”
Most highly favoured lady,

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born
in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say
“Most highly favoured lady,”

–Words: Basque carol; para. Sabine Baring-Gould (19th century)
–Music: GABRIEL’S MESSAGE – Basque carol; harm. Edgar Pettman (20th century)

Leave a comment

Filed under Hymns

Ave Maria

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum:
benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

–Words: traditional Latin, based on the Gospel of St. Luke
–Music: Robert Parsons (1535-1572)

Leave a comment

Filed under New Testament, Other Music

A tender shoot

A tender shoot has started up from a root of grace,
as ancient seers imparted from Jesse’s holy race:
It blooms without a blight, blooms in the cold bleak winter,
turning our darkness into light.

This shoot Isaiah taught us, from Jesse’s root should spring;
The Virgin Mary brought us the branch of which we sing;
Our God of endless might gave her this child to save us,
Thus turning darkness into light.

–Composer: Otto Goldshmidt, 1829-1907 (composer and original German lyricist)
–English translation: William Bartholomew

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Music

Isaiah 7:10-16

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Hebrew Bible