Divine Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Matins

Annunciation by Mariotto Albertinelli

                        October 11

          Divine Motherhood of the

              Blessed Virgin Mary

                 Roman Breviary



Ant. Let us keep holy-day in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. * Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

Ant. Let us keep holy-day in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. * Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

                     Psalm 94

Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our Saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.
Ant. Let us keep holy-day in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. * Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. For the Lord will not cast off his people: for in his hand are all the ends of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are his.
Ant. Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. (kneel) Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us: For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

Ant. Let us keep holy-day in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. * Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works.
Ant. Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart. And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest.

Ant. Let us keep holy-day in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. * Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.

Ant. Let us keep holy-day in honour of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. * Let us worship Christ, her Son, and her Lord, and ours.


In heaven’s court the choice was weighed, and fixed upon the Blessed Maid, Whence there was born, by God’s decree, Christ’s ransoming humanity.

And so this Virgin-Mother bore Him who to save us suffered sore, Whose life-blood there the earth bedewed, where he redeemed us on the Rood.

Let anxious fears from man depart, and hope give joy to every heart. For with her Son she e’er will plead. That he our tears and prayers may heed.

He welcometh his Mother’s plea, and listeneth right graciously; Let his, like him, love her indeed. And seek her help for human need.

All glory to the Trinity, Who made the Virgin’s womb to be a Shrine for Christ’s humanity, To whom be praise eternally. Amen.

                  Lesson 1

The Lesson is taken from the Book of Ecclesiasticus

                  24: 5-11

God I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the firstborn before all creatures: I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth: I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud. I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea, and have stood in all the earth: and in every people, and in every nation I have had the chief rule: And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.

                 Lesson Two


                    24: 12-16

Then the Creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle, and he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect. From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.

                 Lesson Three


                    24: 17-23

I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion. I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho: As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted. I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon, and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh: And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm. I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine tree, and my branches are of honour and grace. As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.

Blessed Virgin Mary and cousin Elizabeth - Visitation

               Lesson Four

The Lesson is taken from the Sermons of Pope St. Leo the Great

   On the Nativity of the Lord

His Mother was chosen a Virgin of the kingly lineage of David, and when she was to grow heavy with the sacred Child, her soul had already conceived Him before her body. She learned the counsel of God announced to her by the Angel, lest the unwonted events should alarm her. The future Mother of God knew what was to be wrought in her by the Holy Ghost, and that her modesty was absolutely safe. For why should she, unto whom was promised all sufficient strength through the power of the Highest, have felt hopeless merely because of the unexampled character of such a conception? She believeth, and her belief is confirmed by the attestation of a miracle which hath already been wrought. The fruitfulness of Elizabeth, before unhoped for, is brought forward that she might not doubt that He Who had given conception unto her that was barren, would give the same unto her that was Virgin. And so the Word of God, the Son of God, Who was in the beginning with God, by Whom all things were made, and without Whom was not anything made that was made, to deliver man from eternal death, was made man.

                 Lesson Five

Sermon 2 on the Nativity of the Lord

Our Lord Jesus Christ, descending from His throne in heaven, but leaving not that glory which He hath with the Father, cometh into this lower world by being born after a new order and in a new birth. He cometh after a new order, in that He Who is unseen among His own, was seen among us; the incomprehensible was fain to be comprehended, and He That is from everlasting to everlasting began to be in time. He was the Offspring of a new birth; conceived of a maiden, born of a maiden, with out the passion of any fleshly father, without any breach of His Mother’s virginity, since such a birth beseemed the coming Saviour of mankind, Who was to have in Him the nature of man’s being, and to be free of any defilement of man’s flesh. Though He sprung not as we spring, yet is His nature as our nature; we believe that He is free from the use and custom of men; but it was the power of God which wrought that a maiden should conceive, that a maiden should bring forth, and yet abide a maiden still.

holy family 8

                Lesson Six

    From the Acts of Pope Pius XI

In the year 1931, amid the applause of the whole Catholic world, solemn rites were celebrated to mark the completion of the fifteen centuries which had elapsed since the Council of Ephesus, moving against the Nestorian heresy, had acclaimed the Blessed Virgin Mary, of whom Jesus was born, as Mother of God.  This acclamation had been made by the Fathers of the Church under the leadership of Pope Celestine.  Pius XI, as Supreme Pontiff, wished to commemorate the notable event and to give lasting proof of his devotion to Mary. Now there had existed for many years in Rome a grand memorial to the proclamation of Ephesus, the triumphal arch in the basilica of Saint Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill. This monument had already been adorned by a previous pontiff, Sixtus III, with mosaics of marvelous workmanship, now falling to pieces from the decay of the passing ages. Pius XI, therefore, out of his own munificence, caused these to be restored most exquisitely and with them the transept of the basilica. In an Encyclical Letter Pius set forth also the true history of the Council of Ephesus, and expounded fervently and at great length the doctrine of the prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of God. He did this that the doctrine of this lofty mystery might sink more deeply into the hearts of the faithful. In it he set forth Mary, the Mother of God, blessed among women, and the most holy Family of Nazareth as the exemplars to be followed above all others, as models of the dignity and holiness of chaste wedlock, as patterns of the holy education to be given youth. Finally, that no liturgical detail be lacking, he decreed that the feast of the Divine Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary be celebrated annually on the 11th day of October by the universal Church with a proper Mass and Office under the rite of a double of the second class.

Loss of the Child Jesus In the Temple

                Lesson Seven

The Lesson is taken from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

                Luke 2: 43-51

In that time, having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem. And his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day’s journey and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.

Homily by St Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

     (1st Hom. in praise of the B. V. M.)

“Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us?” Mary called God, the Lord of Angels, her son. Which of the angels would have dared to do so? It is enough for them, and they reckon it a great thing, that, being naturally spirits, they should receive the grace of being made and called angels, as witness David: “Who maketh spirits His angels.” But Mary, knowing herself to be His Mother, doth boldly apply the word “Son” to that Majesty Whom the angels do serve with awe; neither doth God despise to be called what He hath made Himself. For a little after, the Evangelist saith: “And He was subject unto them.” Who to whom? God to men. I say that God, unto Whom the angels are subject, and Who is obeyed by the Principalities and Powers, was subject to Mary.

                 Lesson Eight

Marvel thou at both these things, and choose whether to marvel most at the sublime condescension of the Son, or at the sublime dignity of Mary. Either is amazing, either marvellous. That God should obey this woman, is a lowliness without parallel; that this woman should rule over God, an exaltation without match. In praise of virgins, and of virgins only, is it sung that “These are they which follow the Lamb Whithersoever He goeth,” (Apoc. 14: 4) Of what praise then thinkest thou that she must be worthy who even leadeth the Lamb? O man, learn to obey. O earth, learn to submit. O dust, learn to keep down. It is of thy Maker that the Evangelist saith: “And He was subject unto them.” Blush, O proud ashes! God humbleth Himself; and dost thou exalt thyself? God is subject unto men; and wilt thou, by striving to rule over men, set thyself before thy Maker?

                Lesson Nine

O happy Mary, lowly and virgin; and wondrous virginity, which motherhood destroyed not, but exalted; and wondrous lowliness, which the fruitful virginity took not away, but ennobled; and wondrous motherhood, which was both virgin and lowly. Which of them is not wondrous? which of them is not unexampled? and which of them doth not stand alone? The wonder would be if thou wert not puzzled at which to wonder most? motherhood in a virgin, or virginity in a mother; a motherhood so exalted, or lowliness in such exaltation. But indeed more marvellous than any one of these things is the combination of them all, and without all comparison, it is more excellent and more blessed to have received them all, than to have received any one of them alone. What wonder is it that God, of Whom we see and read, that “He is wonderful in His holy places,” (Ps. lxvii. 36,) should have shown Himself wonderful in His Mother? O ye that be married, honour this incorruption in corruptible flesh; O, holy maidens, gaze in wonder at motherhood in a maid; O, all mankind, take pattern by the lowliness of the Mother of God.


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