Refuge of Sinners

Refuge of Sinners, pray for us.

Thus is Mary called by St. Germanus; he says, “She is the ever-ready refuge of sinners.” Yes, of all sinners; for, as the Abbot of Celles says, “She can despise no sinner, but receives all, and welcomes all, the moment they have recourse to her.” Hence St. John Damascene affirms, that Mary is not only the refuge of the innocent, but also of the wicked, who implore her protection: “I am a city of refuge to all who fly to me.” Therefore St. Bonaventure says to her: “Thou embracest with maternal affection a sinner who is even despised by the whole world, nor dost thou cease thine embrace until thou hast reconciled him with his judge.” By this the saint gives us to understand, that a sinner being hated by God is also odious and abominable to all creatures; but if he has recourse to Mary, the refuge of sinners, not only she does not despise him, but embraces him with affection, and does not leave him until her Son Jesus Christ, who is our judge, has forgiven him.

Since, then, O my Lady, thou art the refuge of all sinners, thou art also my refuge. Thou, who despises no one who has recourse to thee, despise me not, who recommend myself to thee: “Refuge of sinners, pray for us.” “O Mary, pray for us, and save us.”

From The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

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