|The Burning Bush, Francisco Collantes, 1634, Musee du Louvre|
Read The Jesse Tree, pp. 37-41. Hang ornament (burning bush)
In the wilderness, God calls Moses to lead the children of Israel out of bondage and into the Promised Land.
Scripture Reference: Exodus 3-15
Comment: When God first appears to Moses in the wilderness, He shows Himself in a bush that burns and burns but does not burn up. The Fathers of the Church saw in this burning bush an image of Mary who remained a virgin, even though she was the mother of Jesus. Just as the burning bush was a sign that God would soon free his people from slavery, the Virgin Mother was a sign that God would soon free all of us from the sad effects of the Fall. He is coming to His people to set them free from sin and to bring them into Heaven.
Related Title: Mary, Ever Virgin
|L'Innocence by William-Adolphe Bouguereau|
"It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?" (St. Augustine, Sermons 186:1 [A.D. 411]).
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
Here is a detailed listing of the history of the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. Go to this page to read more quotes from the Fathers of the Church.