Our Lady of the Birds, a.k.a. the Original Disney Princess

"Sometimes, in order to afford Her sensible relief, innumerable birds would come to visit Her by the command of the Lord.  As if they were endowed with intellect, they would salute Her by their lively movements, and dividing into harmonious choirs, would furnish Her with sweetest music, and they would wait for her blessing before again dispersing.  This happened in a special manner soon after She had conceived the divine Word, as if they wished to congratulate Her on her dignity in imitation of the angels.  The Mistress of all creatures on that day spoke to the different kinds of birds and commanded them to remain and praise with Her the Creator, in thanksgiving for the creation, and for the existence and beauty given to them and to sing his praises for their conservation.  Immediately they obeyed Her as their Mistress and anew they began to form choirs, singing in sweetest harmony and bowed low to the ground to worship their Creator and honor the Mother, who bore Him in her womb.  They were accustomed to bring flowers to Her in their beaks and place them into her hands, waiting until She should command them to sing or to be silent according to her wishes.  It also happened that in bad weather some birds would come and seek the protection of the heavenly Lady, and She took them in and nourished them, in her admirable innocence glorifying the Creator in all things.

"And our weak ignorance must not be estranged at these wonders, for, though the incidents might be called small, the purposes of the Most High are great and venerable in all his works; and also the works of our most prudent Queen were great, no matter of what kind they might have been.  And who is so presumptuous as to ignore the importance of knowing how much of God's essence and perfections are manifest in the existence of all the creatures?  How important it is to seek Him and find Him, to bless Him and magnify Him in all his creatures, as admirable, powerful, generous and holy?  Why should it not be our duty to imitate Mary, who overlooked no time, place or occasion, to attain this object?  And how also shall our ungrateful forgetfulness not be confounded, and our hardness of heart not be softened?  How can our listless heart fail to be aroused, when we see ourselves reprehended and urged for very shame to thankfulness by the irrational creatures?  Merely for the slight participation of the Divinity that consists in bare existence, they proclaim his praises without intermission; whereas we men, who are made to the image and likeness of God, furnished with the powers of knowing Him and enjoying Him eternally, forget Him so far as not even to know Him, and instead of serving Him, offend Him!  Thus it comes that in no wise can men be preferred to the brute animals, since they have become worse than the brutes (Ps. 48, 13)."

--Mary of Agreda, The City of God: The Incarnation, trans. Fiscar Marison (1912), bk. I, chap. XIV, paragraphs 185-86, pp. 149-51.


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