Mother of Mercy

XKH141325 Waft of Mist, c. 1818-20 (oil on canvas); by Friedrich, Caspar David (1774-1840); 32.5x42.4 cm; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; German, out of copyright

Editor’s note: Our authors have been away enjoying their Christmas break. This respite provides Dominicana an opportunity to highlight the two great Jubilees currently being celebrated: the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and the Dominican Order’s 800th Anniversary. Each day this week, we offer a reflection by a Dominican mystic upon some aspect of divine mercy.


[Our Lady’s] entire life was patterned after the presence of mercy made flesh. The Mother of the Crucified and Risen One has entered the sanctuary of divine mercy because she participated intimately in the mystery of His love.  -Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, §24


From The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom by Bl. Henry Suso:

[S]ee how the sweet Queen of the heavenly country, whom you love so intensely, hovers above the whole heavenly host in dignity and joy, bowing in tenderness to Him whom she loves, surrounded by roses and lilies of the valley. Look how her wondrous beauty gives delight and joy to the whole heavenly host and astonishes them. Now take a look—it will elate your heart and spirit—and see how the Mother of Mercy has her eyes, gentle and merciful eyes, turned kindly toward you and all sinners and how she powerfully protects them and reconciles them to her beloved Child.


O esteemed Queen, you are also the Gate of all grace, the Portal of mercy that has never been closed. It is more likely that heaven and earth would pass away than that you would let someone depart from you without help, if he sought it in earnest. Look, this is why you are the first thing my soul gazes upon when I arise. You are the last thing I see when I go to bed. What your pure hands bring to God’s sight, though it be small in itself, because of the dignity of the messenger, how can that be rejected which you, O Pure One, offer to your dear Child? And so, gentle Beloved, take my insignificant works and present them, that they might seem of some value in your hands before the eyes of God almighty. You are, after all, the pure vessel of red gold, permeated with mercy, inlaid with precious emeralds and sapphires and all virtues. In the eyes of the King of heaven the sight of this surpasses the sight of all pure creatures.


Lord, I ask you to remember all the love that you enjoyed from her in the days of your childhood… [and] the great sorrow that her maternal heart alone helped you bear beneath the desolate cross, as she saw you dying and her heart and soul again and again died with you in misery and distress, and through her grant me the grace to renounce all obstacles, to seek to gain your favor, and never to lose it.


Blessed Henry Suso (♰ 1366) was a German Dominican priest and popular spiritual author. His mystical writings focus on the divine wisdom and love for Christ’s Passion.

Image: Caspar David Friedrich, Waft of Mist


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