"Who and what was the blessed and glorious Mary, always a Virgin, hath been revealed by God by the message of an Angel, in these words,
'Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee
blessed art thou among women.'
It was fitting that a fulness of grace
should be poured into that Virgin who hath given to God glory and to man
a Saviour, who hath brought peace to earth, who hath given faith to the
Gentiles, who hath killed sin, who hath given law to life, who hath
made the crooked ways straight. Verily, she is full of grace.
grace cometh measure by measure; in Mary grace dwelleth at once in all
fulness. Verily, she is full of grace.
We believe that the holy Fathers
and Prophets had grace; but they were not full of grace. But into Mary
came a fulness of all the grace which is in Christ, albeit otherwise
(than as it is in Him.) Therefore is it said 'Blessed art thou among
women, that is, Blessed art thou above all women.'
The fulness of
blessing in Mary utterly neutralized in her any effects of the curse of
Eve. In her praise Solomon writeth in the Song of Songs, ii. 10,
'Rise up, my dove, my fair one, for the winter is past, the rain is over
and gone'. And again, 'Come from Lebanon, my Spouse, come, thou shalt be
crowned'. iv. 8.
- St Jerome