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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • MARY, HELP OF CHRISTIANS
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MARY, HELP OF CHRISTIANS
 
The plenitude of grace in Mary was such that its effects overflow upon all 
men. It is a great thing in a Saint when he has grace to bring about the 
salvation of many, but it is exceedingly wonderful when grace is of such 
abundance as to be sufficient for the salvation of all men in the world, 
and this is true of Christ and of the Blessed Virgin. Thus, "a thousand 
bucklers," that is, remedies against dangers, "hang therefrom."17 Likewise, 
in every work of virtue one can have her as one's helper. Of her it was 
spoken: "In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope 
of life and of virtue."18 Therefore, Mary is full of grace, exceeding the 
Angels in this fullness and very fittingly is she called "Mary" which means 
"in herself enlightened": "The Lord will fill thy soul with brightness."19 
And she will illumine others throughout the world for which reason she is 
compared to the sun and to the moon.20
 



17
. Cant., iv. 4.


18
. Eccl., xxiv. 25.


19
. Isa., lviii. 11.


20
. "The Blessed Virgin Mary obtained such a plenitude of grace that she 
was closest of all creatures to the Author of Grace; and thus she received 
in her womb Him who is full of grace. and by giving Him birth she is in a 
certain manner the source of grace for all men" ("Summa Theol.," III, Q. 
xxvii, art. 5). St. Bernard says: "It is God's will that we should receive 
all graces through Mary" ("Serm. de aquaeductu," n. vii). Mary is called 
the "Mediatrix of all Graces," and her mediation is immediate and 
universal, subordinate however to that of Jesus.





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