Friday, December 25, 2020



Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year

to all Marian Praise readers.

May blessings be with you and your loved ones

at this time of peace, joy and goodwill.

We pray for safeguarding from Covid-19.

A candle has been lit by Marian Praise in

remembrance of all who are suffering

or have lost their lives since the beginning

of the pandemic. Our thoughts are with

their families, colleagues and friends.

Thursday, October 29, 2020



Yes, there were other things that I foreknew
but could not bear to tell, seeing her eyes, -
knowing what two-edged anguish Joseph’s heart
was aching from.  For when I prophesied[1]
the sword of sorrow piercing Mary’s soul,
His arms yearned toward her, just as though he said,
“Not while I live to shield!”  But yet he spoke
no word, for Joseph is a silent man.
Such suffer most; I could not bear to say
the half of all I might have prophesied.

I told her of her own sharp sword of woe:
she only looked down at the Babe and smiled;
she scarcely seemed to heed; but had I told
what sword will pierce His Heart one bitter day,
she would have fallen there in the temple court
death-smitten with grief – and so I could not bear
to tell the half of all that I foreknew.

Just as she offered me her turtle doves,
(the price of Him they prized), and reached to take
back to her tender, mothering arms again
her Treasure - and the world’s – my mind’s eye saw
a thing that chills my very blood to tell:
There in the temple court a creature stood,
in form a man, but beast or devil, which,
I know not.  Gropingly, as one insane,
he flung a gift of silver down and cried:
“I cannot take this money, for it burns
my very soul! .... the price of innocent Blood!”[2]

But when I looked again, I only saw
the mother smiling down upon her Child –
and Joseph near them ... No, I could not bear
to tell the half of all that I foreknew.                                     

Sister Mary of the Visitation                                         
Magnificat.  February 1944        

[1] Luke II:25-38
[2] Matthew XXVII:



There is so little left us that you said
who knew so much!  Yet what more could you say,
knowing the Word?  Your lips must still obey
the intuïtions of your soul that fed
on pondered silences, as, wonder-led,
men came with glad-eyed worship, on a day
when God-made-man upon your bosom lay
Who, after, found no place to rest His head.[1]
Because you spoke so little, our slow speech
blessed by your silence vibrates through the world
until all nations, listening attent,
have heard the truth.  Our faltering accents reach
farther than heaven’s loud thunders echoing hurled:
for by your silence we are eloquent.

Sister Mary of the Visitation
Marian Library Collection

[1] Matthew VIII-20

Sunday, August 2, 2020



You laid Him in my arms the night He came,
you took me on the Flight,
and even when you lost your Little Boy
you let me share your fright.

I was at Cana when your quiet word
evoked His wonder-hour,
with you I followed Him when, down long days,
He taught as One with power.

I stood beneath the Cross with you and watched
the heart within you break,
I helped you wrap His Body for the tomb
and wept for pity’s sake.

But in that dawning, going home to you –
beautiful evermore! –
I understood when He went in alone;
and closed the door.

Sister M St Virginia
America.  15 April 1938
Used with permission



Even as children all of us learned of sorrow,
but some of us learned with method in a school
where even children study why tomorrow
will bring them tears.  Thus I, too, heard the rule
from a voice explaining that any exile must languish
away from home when night draws down on him;
I was given the formula for the hour of anguish,
saying it now while day grows grey and grim
across the years I hear St Bernard singing –[1]
out of the valley of tears wherein I grope –
his burden of grief: just as I now am bringing
my grief to her our Sweetness and our Hope
and shadows lift today as long ago,
above New York as once above Clairvaux.

Sister M St Virginia BVM
In: Robert.  1946
Used with permission

[1] Some people, like this author, believe St Bernard of Clairvaux to have written the prayer Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen).  Others, like Sister St Miriam of the Temple CND (cf page 80) ascribe the authorship of this poem to St Herman the Cripple.


                                                                        O you, who wear a diadem of stars,
                                                                        yet visit our drab earth from time to time
                                                                        holding converse with children, poor, unkempt,
                                                            yet pure of heart, great Lady, through the bars
                                                                        and prisons of man’s making and the grime
                                                                        of sin; the darkened regions of contempt,
                                                                        come!  Be our radiant Queen! Light up the way
once more. Bend down in beauty while we pray
of littleness: let there be seen
God's triumph in all hearts. Reign here blest Queen!

Sister M Thuribius
The Apostle. May 1958



                                                MAGNIFICAT IN CRUCE[1]

                                                Three vultures rend the blue Magnificat
                                                that breaks above the cross we grow upon:
                                                blind pride, replumed, and savage might have sought
                                                stability in nails that know the bone;
                                                and by these wounds rich, empty self would claim
                                     the very hour when hunger is fulfilled
                                                and, blessed from end to end in Wisdom’s Name,
                                                deep in the Father’s kiss lone fear is stilled.
                                                But, timed to Seven Words,[2] these three husks fall
     amid the skulls that missed the needle’s eye,
                                     while greening blade the least, full ear, and all
                                                rise in the harvest of a mother’s cry –
                                                our Fiat’s[3] flesh and blood, our last accord –
                                                “My very soul doth magnify the Lord!”
                                                Sister Thomas Aquinas OP

                                                Spirit.  July 1935                       

[1] (My soul) proclaims the greatness of the Cross
[2] Refers to Jesus’ words from the cross.
[3] Let it be done (unto me according to thy Word)