In my poverty and misery, and as reparation, I should like to come to be the servant of the Mother of my Lord. Separated from communion with the angels because of the fall of our first parents, I should like to be the servant of her who is Handmaid and Mother of my Creator. As a docile instrument in the hands of the immense God, this is how I should like to be subject to the Virgin Mother: totally dedicated to her service.


Grant it to me, Jesus, God and Son of man. Grant it to me, Lord of all things and son of your Handmaid. Grant me this grace, O God humbled in man. Allow me, a man raised up to God, to believe in the childbirth of the Virgin and to be filled with faith in your Incarnation. When I speak of virginal maternity, allow me to have words gushing in your praise. And while loving your Mother, let me be full of your very love for her.


Make me serve your Mother in such a way that you recognize me as your servant. Let her be my Sovereign Mistress on earth, so that you may be my Lord for eternity. See with what impatience I long to be a vassal of this Queen, and with what faithfulness I dedicate myself to the joy of serving her…with what ardor I wish never to back away from her commands. How I wish never to be taken away from her service…. Make her admit me to the ranks of her subjects, and while serving her, allow me to merit receiving her favors, to live always under her mandate, and to love her for all eternity.


Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo


Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo († 667) was a Benedictine monk who became the Archbishop of Toledo, Spain. [Cited in: Glimpses of the Church Fathers, Claire Russell, Ed. © 1994, Scepter Publishers, Inc. Used with permission.]

Raphael Benedict

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