Hesychius calls Mary an ark more spacious than that of Noah, for in the ark of Noah only two animals of every kind were received, but under the mantle of Mary the just and sinners find place. This was one day revealed to St. Gertrude, for she was a multitude of wild beasts, lions, leopards, and the like, that took refuge under the mantle of Mary; and she not only did not drive them away, but with her benign hands caressed them, that they might not flee away. The animals that entered the ark remained animals; but sinners who are received under the mantle of Mary do not remain sinners. She is certain to change their hearts, and render them agreeable to God. The Blessed Virgin herself said to St. Bridget, “However much a man may have sinned, if he returns to me with a real purpose of amendment, I am ready at once to receive him; neither do I pay attention to the sins with which he is laden; but only to the good disposition in which he comes; and then I do not disdain to anoint and heal his wounds, for I am called and truly am the Mother of Mercy.”
O Mother of Mercy, will I then say to thee, in the words of St. Bernard, Remember that it has been heard of in any age, that any sinner who had recourse to thee was rejected by thee. I, a miserable sinner, have recourse to thee and trust in thee.