Who was the Lord whom Mary made it possible to see?

According to the psalms that medieval Christians sang nightly in her praise, the Lord her Son was a great God and a great king above all gods in whose hands were all the ends of the earth . . . for the sea is his, and he made it, and his hands formed the dry land (Psalm 94:3–5). 
His name was admirable over the whole earth, and his greatness was exalted above the heavens, for he made man and set him over all the works of his hands (Psalm 8:2, 5–7). 
He made a tabernacle for himself in the sun and as a bridegroom came forth from it like a giant, making a circuit of the heavens in his heat; his judgments were true, more desirable than gold and many precious stones, and there was great reward for his servant in keeping his commandments (Psalm 18:6, 10–12). 
All the earth belonged to him, for he founded it upon the seas and prepared it upon the rivers, and his holy place was upon the mountain, whose eternal gates he entered as the King of glory, strong and mighty, the Lord of hosts, mighty in battle (Psalm 23:1–3, 8–10). 
He was beautiful above all the sons of men, and grace poured from his lips; he had a sword girded upon his thigh, and his arrows were sharp. He was beautiful and comely, reigning in truth, mercy, and justice. His throne was eternal and his scepter upright, for he loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, God had anointed him with the oil of gladness and his garments were perfumed with myrrh, stacte, and cassia from the ivory houses of the daughters of the king. His Mother, the Queen, stood at his right hand to welcome his bride on his wedding day (Psalm 44:3–10). 
He was a refuge and strength against earthquakes and floods, and he dwelled in the midst of the city in the tabernacle that he had sanctified; when he spoke, the earth trembled, for he was the Lord of armies, making wars to cease even to the end of the earth (Psalm 45:2–10). 
He spoke in his writings of the peoples and princes who lived in the city that he founded, where all who dwelled rejoiced (Psalm 86:6–7). 
He was to be feared above all gods, for all the gods of the peoples were devils, but he made the heavens. He has corrected the earth which shall not be moved, and he will come to judge the world with justice and the people with his truth (Psalm 95:4–5, 10, 13). 
Clouds and darkness were round about him as he sat upon his throne; fire went before him to burn his enemies, and the earth trembled at the lightning that went out from his throne. Mountains melted at his presence, and all peoples beheld his glory as the angels adored him (Psalm 96:1–7). 
His arm was holy, and his right hand wrought salvation, and he revealed his justice to all the earth. At his coming, all the rivers will clap their hands and the mountains rejoice, for he shall judge the world with justice and the people with equity (Psalm 97:1–3, 8–9).

Image: Carlo Crivelli, “Madonna della Candeletta” (after 1490)

Reference: Rachel Fulton Brown, Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), 437-38.


  1. Reminded of the Jewess who converted to Christianity. When asked why, replied that she was "struck by the beauty of the Psalms"

  2. Wonderful piece Fencing Bear, our very best wishes to you and yours for a Merry and Holy Christmas; a Blessed, Bountiful, and Joyous New Year filled with Blessings beyond measure from our Sovereign God.

    The First Antiphon of the Festal Antiphons of the Nativity of our Lord in the Flesh.

    Stichos 1: I will confess Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart, I will tell of all Thy wonders.
    Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
    Stichos 2: In the Council of the upright and in the congregation, great are the
    works of the Lord.
    Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
    Stichos 3: Sought out in all the things that He hath willed.
    Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
    Stichos 4: Confession and majesty are His works, and His righteousness abideth
    unto ages of ages.
    Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and
    unto the ages of ages. Amen.
    Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.


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