Perhaps the words of Simeon inspired by the Holy Spirit kept ringing in Virgin Mary’s ears from the time she went with baby Jesus to the temple after she had fulfilled her days of purification according to the law of Moses … ” Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also” ( Luke 2:34,35). And despite all the prophecies she’d heard ; glorifying her Son, as well as the beautification of her person and honor, the words of prophecies from Simeon became rapidly true before she heard them and since she accepted the divine wondrous birth. And despite the pain Of this sword piercing through her soul, there was a great faith to support her heart, making her overpass the pain, experiencing glory with her Son and God Jesus Christ the King of Glory. This saint remained silently watching and weeping to the piercing of this harsh sword to her affectionate motherly heart. But at the same time ” And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. ” ( Luke 1 :46,47 ). She summarized her acceptance in her answer to the angel Gabriel ” Behold the maidservant of the Lord! ” ( Luke 38:1 ) + The sword of doubt The annunciation had the accounts of pain and glory together, the words of the angel Gabriel that she will bear and give birth to a son carried a sword within. How can this be and she is a virgin. ” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” ( Luke 1:34 ) but when the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” ( Luke 1:35 ) ; she submitted herself to her God and answered with faith “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” ( Luke 1:38 ). And immediately she bore the divine Son, the Word, in her womb, starting to feel the pain of the sword in her thoughts and pure mind, what will she say when she starts looking pregnant ? Should she tell Joseph? Would he believe her Story and he is 90 years old? Then what would his and the Jewish community’s reaction be? ; the daughter of the temple?! Most dangerously, would she get stoned to death as a penalty for adultery ” as they might think? Saint Mary didn’t think of herself , but with faith she kept silence, knowing in her heart that God had planned for that, and that he is capable of revealing the truth, and she did not delay in going to her pregnant relative Elizabeth to serve her in her old age, and as soon as Elizabeth had heard Mary’s greeting the bebe leaped in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit and said “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? ( Luke 1:42,43). Here, Mary began to feel that God Himself is taking care of her and is revealing the truth in His own divine way, so she spoke by the Holy Spirit saying “My soul magnifies the Lord,And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. ( Luke 1:46,47 ). Having stayed at Elizabeth serving her for three month, she returned to her home, showing signs of pregnancy . And here the doubt sword pierced through her ; Joseph’s looks almost Crushed her. Despite all that she did not speak, knowing that since Mose’s time It was ” The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” ( Exodus 14:14). Saint Mary had lived in the temple sinc her childhood and she knew many psalms and scriptures, she might have remembered the psalm saying ” Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! ( Psalm 27:14 ) , which is what actually happened, as soon as Joseph had doubted , an angel appeared to him and said ” Do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. ( Matthew 1:20 ) …… For how great are you O Lord + The sword of poverty Saint Mary lived with Saint Joseph with a sword of poverty and need piercing her soul , sharing with him the daily bread, with the few dirhams he would earn at his work, but the severe pain of this sword was felt when she had no place to give birth but a despicable manger. How difficult were those moments, when she didn’t find what’s worthy for the king, swaddling him in some old rags, being torn for she is his mother, how painful was that sword ? ! but she had strong faith, and total submission,so the Lord was her strength and support. We then find the heavens trembling and shaking and the angels announcing the divine birth to the shepherds, who ran to the manger to find Jesus with Mary and Joseph, telling them what they have seen and heard. And those words fills Mary’s heart with peace. “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” ( Luke 2:19 ). David also reminds us : ” The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold.” ( Psalm 45:13 ). It is not random that in the gifts of the magi to the born king of the Jews was some gold, most certainly used by the holy family in the expenses of the exhausting escape journey to Egypt from the face of Herod the king, who wanted to kill the divine child . We find my beloved, that the acceptance of the blessed Virgin to the pain of that sword with thanks, faith and total submission made the glory of the works of God takes control, arranging everything in absolute goodness and in a timely manner. Did not our savior say ” By your patience possess your souls.” ? ( Luke 21:19 ) + the sword of the cross Virgin Mary lived the sword of the cross since the beginning. And was expecting this end to her son by the Jews. Since Jesus Began his service he was led by the spirit to the wilderness fasting for 40 days, tempted by the devil, I wonder what were the feelings of a caring mother about this ? Knowing that Satan has always been : ” a murderer from the beginning ” ( John 8:44 ), then after when Jesus entered the synagogue of the Jews in Nazareth, and he began preaching from Isaiah, blaming them for their sins, ” So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. ( Luke 4:28,29 ). What would a mother’s feelings be when she hears of all the injustice and hatred surrounding her holy son in the beginning of his service ?! They accused Jesus of blaspheming when he told the paralytic ” your sins are forgiven you.” ( Luke 5:20 ) they also accused him of not respecting the sabbath. They watched him asking to catch something from his mouth to complain about it. It was known that as per the law, these things were punishable by death, all these threats terrified Mary’s heart, reminding her of the cross . The only thing that strengthened her heart was faith. The events that she experienced confirmed the truth of the word of God and angel Gabriel’s annunciation, the shepherds, Elizabeth, Hanna at the temple, Simeon who testified that it is through her child they will see the salvation of the lord, the visit of the magi and heaven’s protection of this child from the oppression of king Herod , and much more miracles known and unknown supported her heart against the sword that pierced it , and perhaps she felt the cross when the magi offered Jesus myrrh as a present, his crucifixion that Jesus offered as a salvation present to the entire humanity, accomplishing what was impossible. She saw with her own eyes her son crucified as a sinner , and the perfection of Love stepped on by hatred and the truth and life murdered by death. Perhaps the last Piece in the ninth hour o the daily prayers of the church sums up the feelings of the blessed Virgin at the foot of the cross, saying : When the mother saw the Lamb and Shepherd the savior of the world , hung on the cross, she said while weeping, ” The world rejoices in receiving salvation, while my heart burns as I look at your crucifixion which you are enduring fit the sake of all, my Son and my God “. Intercede on our behalf O mother of God, our mother, so that he might help us and deliver us.
The Descent from the cross (fragment) By: Duccio di Buoninsegna, Circa 1308-1311, Tempera on wood, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena, Italy