APOSTOLATE PROMOTER: Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P. • PRIORY ADDRESS: 4640 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119 EMAIL: frmarianovelizop@preachmypsalter.com • VOICE MAIL: 731-483-1960 • MOBILE: 713-836-1152 FAX: 504-324-0160


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Traditional Dominican Penance for Repentance, Reparation and Healing in the Church

      THE DOMINICAN “LONG LENT”

     Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in September I will begin offering to God the Traditional Dominican Penance, called the “Long Lent” or “Great Monastic Fast” for the repentance of priests and bishops guilty of child abuse, for the reparation of their sins against God and His children, including their immoral handling of such cases, and for the healing of all people who have suffered from this abuse, including their family and friends, and all people.  God desires faithful bishops and priests in His Church.  He desires all shepherds to be faithful in preaching, teaching and living the Truth and Love of Christ for the salvation of all people.  I hope and pray that others will join me in offering this penance that God’s Church may be fully purified, healed and sanctified through God’s grace.  Would you please consider joining me?  This penance will be offered daily (except Sundays and Solemnities) from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Friday, September 14th) until the Easter Vigil (Saturday, April 20th), including all Fridays throughout the year.  May all Catholics, all people, open their hearts to enter the Passion of Christ sacrificially through penance for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church.

     For myself, this penance during the “Long Lent” will first involve fasting by eating only 1 full meal per day, normally dinner, and 1 small meal either in the morning or the afternoon, and bread and water for the other meal.  This also includes abstinence from all meat on Fridays during the “Long Lent” and throughout the year.  This is a choice I have made for myself.

     As for yourself, before you decide to do this penance, remember that your age, health or dietary needs may prevent you from participating. For this reason, please be prudent in determining this for yourself. This penance is not for everyone.

     On the other hand, if you decide that you can participate, please use these canonical norms for Lent in the Latin Church (including any norms that your ordinary may establish in your diocese) as guidance for fasting during the "Great Monastic Fast" or "Long Lent."  First of all, on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and Good Friday, the Roman Church requires Catholics to fast and abstain from meat. Moreover, all Fridays during Lent are days of fasting and abstinence from meat.  All members of the Latin Catholic Church, ages 18 to 59, are required to fast. This means only eating 1 full meal per day, and 2 smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are required of all members of the Latin Church from age 14. Finally, all Fridays throughout the year are days of penance for Catholics (see Canons 1249-1253).

     Futhermore, prayer cannot be separated from fasting, as Jesus teaches in the Gospel.  On the contrary, fasting prepares a person to offer a greater act of faith, hope and love to God in prayer. As such, I have decided to offer a fourth Rosary daily for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church. I will also be  offering a Mass every Friday for this intention.

     I hope and pray that many people will consider joining me in offering this penance by practicing the "Long Lent" through fasting and prayer.  This will be an annual penance for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church.  I have never abused a child in my life or in my vocation as a priest nor will I ever, but inasmuch as I am a sinner, I certainly have abused Christ and His Church spiritually and morally at times through my thoughts, words, actions and omissions. Consequently, I accuse myself in God's presence, in the presence of Blessed Mary, St. Dominic and all God's people of having sinned or failed at times in my life and vocation as a shepherd of the Church. On this basis, in offering to God this Long Lent of fasting and prayer, I also include myself as someone in need of repentance, reparation and healing. May God help me and all priests become holy shepherds of God's people.  If you are interested in joining me in this ministry, please email or message me.

In Christ with Blessed Mary,                      


Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.,
Promoter of the Rosary
frmarianovelizop@preachmypsalter.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Praying the Dominican Rosary

PRAYING THE DOMINICAN ROSARY

A. THE BEGINNING
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Tracing a cross over the lips with the right thumb:
. O Lord, open my lips.
. Any my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Making the Sign o the Cross:
. O God, come to my assistance.
. O Lord, make haste to help me. 

Bowing deeply for the versicle:
. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.  Alleluia. (From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday the ‘Alleluia’ is replaced with ‘Praise to Thee, O Lord, King of eternal Glory!)

B. THE MYSTERIES (FOR EACH ROSARY, YOU PRAY A GROUP OF FIVE MYSTERIES, ONE MYSTERY PER DECADE)
1. Joyful Mysteries (Monday, Saturday)
a. Annunciation
b. Visitation
c. Nativity
d. Presentation
e. Finding in the Temple

2. Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday, Friday)
a. Agony in the Garden
b. Scourging at the Pillar
c. Crowning with Thorns
d. Carrying of the Cross
e. Crucifixion

3. Glorious Mysteries (Sunday, Wednesday)
a. Resurrection
b. Ascension
c. Descent of the Holy Spirit
d. Assumption
e. Coronation

4. Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)
a. Baptism in the Jordan
b. Wedding at Cana
c. Preaching of the Kingdom
d. Transfiguration
e. Institution of the Eucharist

C. THE DECADES (FOR EACH DECADE, YOU PRAY ONE OUR FATHER, TEN HAIL MARYS AND ONE GLORY)
1. One ‘Our Father’
. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

2. Ten ‘Hail Marys’
. Hail Mary, full of grace.  The Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

3. One ‘Glory’
. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

D. THE ENDING
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.  To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.  To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and, after this our exile, show unto us thy blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

. Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

. Let us pray:
. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
. Amen.

. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
. Amen.

. May the blessing † of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, descend upon us and remain with us always.
. Amen.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Confraternity of the Rosary

 THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE ROSARY
DOMINICAN PROVINCE OF ST. MARTIN DE PORRES

WELCOME

Greetings, dear friends!  Welcome to the page of the Confraternity of the Rosary of the Order of Preachers in the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres.  Our Province is geographically located in the Southern United States. This provincial area includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  If you live in any of these southern states, you are welcome to consider becoming a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary through this page.  The Confraternity is an ancient apostolate of the Order of Preachers that has led countless people to repentance and maturation in Christ for centuries through the maternal intercession of His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Rosary.

REGISTRATION

Membership in the Confraternity of the Rosary requires registration.  You become a member by registering in the Confraternity online.  You will then be officially enrolled in the register of the Rosary Confraternity.  There are no meetings or membership dues.

COMMISSION

As a member of the Confraternity, you are commissioned to offer at least Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary every week.  You may offer these Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary all together or separately in three groups of Five Mysteries.  You are also free to offer more Mysteries daily as the Holy Spirit moves you through the maternal intercession of Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary.  In doing so, you promise to pray for all the members of the Confraternity every time you offer a Rosary to Our Lady.  This is your only requirement as a member of the Confraternity, but the hope and prayer is that you will fulfill this requirement because of your faithful love for the Blessed Mother who directs all her children to her Son, Jesus Christ, through the Rosary.  In this act of love for her in the Rosary, you faithfully honor her as your Mother who became the Mother of God that she would become your Mother, the Mother of God's people.  At the same time, this commission to pray at least 15 Mysteries of the Rosary for all the members of the Confraternity does not bind under sin.

PROMISES

According to Tradition, after Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, commissioned St. Dominic to propagate her Psalter, her Holy Rosary, in the 12th Century, she revealed 15 Promises to him and later to Blessed Alan de la Roche in the 15th Century that would be fulfilled for them, and all other Catholics, who faithfully practiced the Rosary.

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all people who recite the Rosary.

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.

9.  I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my Son Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

BENEFITS

1. As a member, you are the beneficiary of the prayers of all the members of the Confraternity of the Rosary, even after death.

2. You also receive the fruits of the prayers, Masses and apostolic ministries of the Order of Preachers.

3. Moreover, various plenary and partial indulgences are made available to you.  On the one hand, you receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions on the day of your enrollment (as indicated in the register and certificate), on the Feast Days of Christmas, Easter, the Annunciation, the Assumption, Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculate Conception, and Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple.  On the other hand, you also receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions by praying the Rosary in a Church or oratory, in a family, religious community, or in a pious association of the faithful.  If not, the indulgence is only partial.

Concerning Indulgences: An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due for sin whose guilt has already been forgiven. It is a partial indulgence if it frees you partially from the temporal punishment due for your sin, and plenary if it frees you completely. Both partial and plenary indulgences can be applied to the dead, but only by means of suffrage.  Furthermore, you can only gain a plenary indulgence once a day, unless your are near death.  Finally, these are the conditions that you are required to fulfill for receiving an indulgence: Sacrament of Confession, Holy Communion, prayer for the intention of the Pope, and freedom from all sin, even venial.  If you are not detached from such sin, or if you have not fulfilled any of the other conditions, your indulgence is partial. 

ENROLLMENT

If you are a Catholic in the Southern United States who is fully prepared and ready to enroll in the Confraternity of the Rosary after reading this page about the requirements, promises and benefits of the Confraternity membership, please visit the sign-up page here: http://www.jotform.us/form. You may only enroll yourself, not your family members or friends, or the deceased.  After your enrollment form is processed and your name is enrolled in the register, you will be mailed a hard copy of the certificate of your Confraternity membership.


In Christ with Our Lady of the Rosary



Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P., Promoter of the Rosary
frmarianovelizop@preachmypsalter.com


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Invitation to Pray at least One Rosary Daily

Greetings, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, children of Our Lady of the Rosary!

     I am posting this message to invite you to participate in the Dominican Rosary Apostolate, Preach My Psalter.  Please consider joining me in offering at least one Rosary daily to build up the Body of Christ, the Church, through the maternal intercession of Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary. Here is my daily Rosary schedule. I pray these Rosaries in New Orleans, LA @ 6:00 AM, 3;00 PM and 10:00 PM CST. I have also listed the times for other geographic areas of the United States. This will help people join together in prayer. I have a General Intention for each Rosary, but you may email me your Particular Intentions for each Rosary. In fact, I have already been receiving many emails from people.  I anticipate that the number of these emails will only increase.  For this reason, I have some instructions for you that will help me manage this Dominican Rosary Apostolate efficiently.   

     First of all, when you email your intentions to me, please put in the SUBJECT field of your email message the Particular Rosary (Morning, Afternoon, or Night), the DAY and DATE. For instance, for each Rosary the Subject field would read as follows: "Morning Rosary for Wednesday, July 4th"; or "Afternoon Rosary for Thursday, July 5th"; or "Night Rosary for Friday, July 6th". 


     Secondly, be certain your Particular Intentions for each Rosary conform to the General Intentions.  This is what I mean.  MORNING ROSARY: The General Intention of the Morning Rosary is for the Healing of all People.  As such, your Particular Intentions for this Rosary should be for the healing of someone who is ill. AFTERNOON ROSARY: The General Intention for the Afternoon Rosary is for the Sanctification of all Vocations.  For this reason, your Particular Intentions for this Rosary should be for the sanctification of particular people in their vocations.  NIGHT ROSARY: The General Intention for the Night Rosary is for the Repose of all the Deceased. Accordingly, your Particular Intentions for this Rosary should be for particular people who have died, such as your parents or grandparents.


     Finally, please send your Particular Intentions to me at least 2 or 3 hours beforehand via email, so I have sufficient time to read them.  I certainly cannot respond to them all, but I will respond to some. I appreciate you understanding. Please share this flyer via social media and email. Thanks! 


In Christ with Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary



Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P., Promoter of the Rosary



Saturday, June 2, 2018

Rosary Novena Prayer to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Patroness of the Order of Preachers


     O Blessed Virgin Mary, Lady of the Holy Rosary, as I prepare myself to preach, contemplate and pray God’s Word in the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary in this Novena, I proclaim you, in the presence of God and His people, to be the Second Eve, “the woman” prophesied in Scriptures who would become the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer, the “Second Adam,” the Lord Jesus Christ.  As “the Mother of my Lord,” you are “the most blessed among women.”  “The Lord is with you” as with no other human being. For through His conception in your womb as man by the Holy Spirit, He became “really related” to you as a Son to His Mother.  In doing so, He formed a singular personal union or relationship with you not only through the body He received from you in becoming your Son, but also through the singular grace you received from Him in becoming His Mother.  In this sense, your communion as Mother and Son through nature and grace is far beyond any other relationship involving God and creature.  For this reason, Blessed Mary, I approach you NOT to worship you as the Uncreated God, but to “honor” you as God’s greatest creature, His Most Holy Mother.  In the Scriptures God calls His people to honor their mothers. This included honoring not only the good mothers in their society, but also those mothers considered bad or imperfect. In this sense, the first and natural basis for honoring them was neither their goodness nor their imperfection as mothers, but their natural maternity or motherhood they received from God as a blessing. For this reason, their sons and daughters had a natural sacred responsibility to honor them throughout their life. For they conceived them as their children in the order of nature.  Thus, “Children, honor your mother for being your mother, whether she is good or bad. In doing so, you will be acting righteously. You will be loving her faithfully as good sons and daughters as the Living God wills.”  Nevertheless, Blessed Mary, natural maternity was not the only reason for honoring their mothers.  They also had a second, spiritual basis for honoring “certain mothers” in their society. Specifically, God called His people to especially honor certain mothers for their spiritual goodness or righteousness.  Accordingly, they could only offer this honor to those righteous or virtuous mothers among God’s people who loved God and their neighbors faithfully, including their children.  These mothers alone had the goodness required for being models of spiritual motherhood to their sons and daughters and others.  They lived holy lives.  Hence, they could nourish, form, counsel and instruct their children spiritually by their words, actions and prayers. Thus, God called His people to honor them by humbly receiving their spiritual help. In this sense, through their holiness of life as spiritual mothers, they could act as maternal mediators or intercessors for their spiritual good. This is especially true of you, Blessed Mary, as the Most Holy Mother of God.  You are the greatest maternal intercessor for human beings before God.  As such, your maternal mediation is far greater than any other spiritual mother.  In God’s Providence, you became the most perfect model of spiritual and natural motherhood.  In you, the spiritual fully perfects the natural through the singular grace of holiness you received in your Immaculate Conception. For God created you “full of grace” as His Immaculate Daughter to prepare you to say yes to the greatest blessing you would receive in your life, “the blessed fruit of your womb,” the uncreated person of God the Son as man, in your Divine Maternity.  Blessed Mary, as I preach, pray and contemplate God’s Word in your life through the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary, may I honor you as the Most Perfect Mother, the all-holy Virgin Mother of God, throughout my life.

     O Blessed Mother of God, Lady of the Holy Rosary, God created you in His divine image as a rational, free person, full of grace. For He desired you to respond rationally and freely to His Word in “the fullness of time” by believing and loving Him perfectly as only you could as the Immaculate Conception.  As a result, after the angel Gabriel announced to you God’s plan for you to become the Mother of His Son, you humbly opened your heart to His Word in faithful and loving obedience to Him, as the Second Eve. For this reason, “Blessed are you, Mary, who believed and obeyed God’s message.” In doing so, you proclaimed your great fiat, your great yes, to God. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” In this great fiat to God, you became His Mother by choice.  You said yes to your singular vocation in God’s plan of salvation. As such, you are honored as the first and greatest disciple of your Son, the first member of His Body, the Church. For you responded faithfully and lovingly to your call to become His Mother. Accordingly, Blessed Mary, as Mother of God the Redeemer, you desire only to lead others to salvation in Him. In this sense, in offering yourself fully to your Son as His Mother through your great yes, you teach all peoples to say yes to Him.  You teach them to do as He says.  You did this during the marriage feast of Cana by instructing the people, “Do whatever He tells you.”  Blessed Mary, as I preach, pray and contemplate God’s Word in your life through the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary, may I also humbly say yes to Him throughout my life as a faithful and loving disciple, as you did.

     O Blessed Mother of the Church, Lady of the Holy Rosary, in calling you to be the Mother of His Son, God also called you to be the Mother of His disciples. You would fulfill this Maternal vocation on their behalf throughout your life, first interiorly in your heart and later publically. This Maternity would become more and more public during your lifetime, especially after the death of your Son, Jesus Christ. For this reason, from the cross before He died, He publically proclaimed you to be the Mother of His disciple, St. John. For He said to John, “Behold, your Mother,” Mary. In doing so, He also told you, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Henceforth, John publically honored you as his Mother by welcoming you into his home as a faithful and loving son.  In a sense, he represents all your Son’s disciples in this Gospel story.  As such, he receives you as his Mother on their behalf.  For God providentially predestined you to “full or perfect Motherhood” of BOTH the “Head” and the “Body” of Christ.  The Head represents your Son, Jesus Christ, and the Body signifies His Church.  They form a spiritual communion in grace through the Holy Spirit. Hence, the Holy Spirit unites the Head and the Body to one another supernaturally as a single subject. For this reason, they belong to one another spiritually in the Holy Spirit.  Consequently, Blessed Mary, people who claim that your Motherhood does not include the Body, but only the Head, have an imperfect or incomplete understanding of the nature of your Maternity.  For through the Holy Spirit, you became the Mother of the Head in the order of nature and the Mother of the Body in the order of grace.  Accordingly, your perfect or full Maternity includes being both natural Mother to the Head and spiritual Mother to the Body.  For through your yes, God created your Maternity first by conceiving His Son as man and later His disciples as Church by the Holy Spirit.  In this sense, He called you not merely to be the Mother of the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, but also to be the Mother of the members of the Church, the disciples.  Hence, God fulfilled your first or natural Maternity by conceiving His Son in you as man through the Holy Spirit. For this reason, you are the Mother of God the Son by nature, for He received His body from yours and His soul from God in His conception, as all human beings do.  On the other hand, God fulfilled your second Maternity, your spiritual Maternity, in you by recreating the disciples in the image of your Son as adopted sons and daughters of the Father by the grace of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  In doing so, He made them your spiritual children; and spiritual siblings to Christ, their Lord and Redeemer. Accordingly, Blessed Mary, in the Church you are a spiritual Mother to all the disciples of Christ in the order of grace.  Thus, the basis for your spiritual Maternity is your natural Maternity of God the Son. For you first received your spiritual Maternity interiorly by becoming the natural Mother of God. In His preaching ministry, your Son briefly mentions this spiritual Motherhood, at least implicitly. He says that the woman who “does the will of God” is His “mother.” But no woman has ever fulfilled God’s will more perfectly in life than you have, Blessed Mary. You are the most perfect model of spiritual motherhood for all women in the Church because you fulfilled God’s will perfectly.  In you, they can all learn to be true spiritual mothers through their faithful and loving obedience to God’s will.  As I preach, pray and contemplate God’s Word in your life through the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary, may I become more and more a faithful and loving son of yours throughout my life.  I welcome you into my heart to be “my Mother” for all eternity, as St. John did.

     O Blessed Mother of God and Mother of His People, Lady of the Holy Rosary, as I preach, pray and contemplate your faithful and loving response to God’s call in the Sacred Mysteries, I am inspired to offer myself completely to Christ through you. You are the greatest Mother and Disciple of your Son.  You only desire for all people to be fully perfected in Him spiritually. This is the goal of your discipleship vocation as Mother of God and Mother of His Church.  Dear Mother, intercede to your Son for me this day through your prayers. May I find blessing in Him through your maternal  intercession. For as His Mother, you have received the singular vocation of mothering all peoples to salvation in Him. Hence, all generations have called you “blessed” because in your blessedness as God’s Mother, they have all received blessing. They have become beneficiaries of God the Son through your Motherhood. Therefore, Blessed Mother, I call upon you as your son to help form and guide me as a faithful and loving disciple of Christ.  As children are naturally subject to their mother in life, I freely and fully subject myself to you as my Mother, including my intellect and will, all the senses of my body, my heart, my soul and all my passions. Mother me, Blessed Mary. Teach and guide me to love your Son and all people faithfully all the days of my life. May this Rosary Novena help me become increasingly perfected in your Son through your faithful and loving maternal intercession. Amen.


In Christ with Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary,


Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.
frmarianovelizop@preachmypsalter.com 


Friday, June 1, 2018

The Adam-Christ Parallel in Saint Paul as the Basis for the Eve-Mary Parallel in Saints Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons



     In Sacred Tradition an early Marian teaching that the Fathers of the Church proclaimed concerning Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, was the belief that she was the Second Eve.  This Marian title involved an Eve and Mary parallel.  In fact, Saint Justin Martyr, a second-century apologist (A.D. 100-165), was the first Church Father to develop this parallel in his Dialogue (A.D. 161) after reading the related parallel of Adam and Christ that Saint Paul had developed in the first century, beginning in his First Letter to the Corinthians (A.D. 56), and later in Romans (A.D. 57 or 58).  In this Eve and Mary parallel that Justin develops from Paul in his Dialogue, he considers their relationship only briefly at the end of Chapter 100, but he is the first Father of the Church to do this.  As such, his brief parallel here still represents a meaningful development in Mariology in the second century. This is really a development in the understanding of the received revelation of God concerning the person and mission of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  Accordingly, before considering the Eve and Mary parallel in Justin’s Dialogue, I will first consider Paul’s parallel of Adam and Christ.  For Justin uses Paul’s as a basis for his.  This will help people more fully understand and appreciate the Eve and Mary parallel that Justin develops in his Dialogue, including his Pauline influence there.

     In Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians in about the year 56, he first develops an Adam and Christ parallel.  In doing so, he compares Adam and Christ to one another as originators or progenitors for the human race.  On the one hand, he calls Adam the origin of death for all human beings.  For they incur death through the human being, Adam.  This is, first of all, a spiritual or interior death for them, but also a bodily death.  On the other hand, Paul also calls Christ the origin of the resurrection of the dead for all human beings.  For they receive resurrection to life through Christ.  According to Paul, this is a spiritual resurrection in Baptism that prepares them for a bodily resurrection from the dead on the Last Day.  As such, for Paul, Adam is the cause of death, and Christ, the cause of the resurrection.  For this reason, as all human beings die in Adam, the man of death, all human beings will also be raised to life in Christ, the man of resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).  Accordingly, Paul calls Adam “the first man”; and Christ, “second man” or “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47).  In this sense, the first Adam, he says, became a natural living being as man through his creation, but the last or second Adam, became a spirit, a supernatural spiritual being, the source of life for all others, as man, through His resurrection.  As a result, the first man lived for himself, the second lived for others.  For as a spiritual person, a person of the spirit, Christ Himself was conceived and born to communicate spiritual life to others as the second Adam.  On this basis, Paul completes this first “Adam and Christ parallel” in his first letter to the Corinthians by proclaiming that the first man, Adam, is earthly, for he is from the earth; and the second man, Christ, is heavenly, for He is from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:46-48).

     Furthermore, Paul develops a second feature to his Adam and Christ parallel in his Letter to the Romans about the year 57 or 58 (Romans 5:12-21).  Justin will use this parallel as a second basis for his Eve and Mary parallel.  Specifically, Paul develops a parallel of Adam and Christ in Romans by comparing the judgment Adam received for his disobedience and the gift Christ received for His obedience.  For as the first Adam received a judgment of condemnation to death for his disobedience, Christ, the second Adam, the righteous Son of God, merited the gift of justification for His obedience.  Consequently, as the heads or fathers of their natural and spiritual descendants, Paul says both the first Adam and the second Adam communicated to their people the consequences or fruits of their actions.  On the one hand, this means that the natural descendants of the first Adam, all human beings, received the judgment of condemnation he received for his act of disobedience.  This was a condemnation to death for all people.  As such, by the disobedience of the first Adam, he fathered them to spiritual death, the loss of original grace, from their conception in their mother’s womb.  This death was fulfilled in bodily death.  On the other hand, the second Adam communicated to His spiritual descendants, members of His Body, the gift of justification He merited for Himself and for them by His act of obedience.  As such, they became righteous.  This was their salvation in Christ.  Accordingly, this is the second feature of the Adam and Christ parallel from Paul’s Letter to the Romans that Justin develops as the second basis for his Eve and Mary parallel.

     In Justin’s Dialogue, he develops this Eve and Mary parallel by comparing the obedience of the Virgin Mary to the disobedience of the virgin Eve.  In particular, he says that the Son of God became man through the obedience of the Virgin Mary to destroy the disobedience of the virgin Eve. For as Eve destroyed her obedience to God’s Word by obeying the word of the serpent, Mary destroyed Eve’s obedience to the serpent’s word by obeying the Word of God as announced through the angel Gabriel.  Consequently, on the one hand, by conceiving the word of the serpent through disobedience, Eve became the origin or mother of death.  On the other hand, by conceiving the Word of God in faith through obedience, Mary became the origin or mother of divine life through the Holy Spirit.  For she faithfully obeyed the Word of God she received through the angel Gabriel by saying: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).  As a result, at the Visitation her cousin Elizabeth proclaimed to her: “Blessed are you who believed that what was revealed to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:45).  In this sense, through her faithful fiat or yes, Mary conceived and bore the Word of God as man to save all human beings.  For Justin, this salvation of human beings through Mary’s faithful obedience to the Word of God involved destroying the serpent, the fallen angels and unrepentant sinners.  For in this act, the Person of the Son of God, the Word of God, becomes man to fulfill God’s plan of salvation.  On this basis, Justin develops this Eve and Mary parallel to proclaim that Eve, the helpmate of Adam, was the origin of the death of human beings through her disobedience to God, but Mary, the helpmate of Christ, was the origin of the life of human beings, through her obedience to God (Dialogue, Chapter 100).
    
     This Eve-Mary parallel in Justin’s Dialogue and Paul’s Adam-Christ parallel in First Corinthians and Romans helped Saint Irenaeus (A.D. 115-202), Bishop of Lyons, develop his teaching about Mary in his Against Heresies in about the year 180.  He begins by saying that although Eve had Adam for a husband, she was still a virgin.  By her disobedience, the virgin Eve became the cause of death for herself and for all human beings.  Similarly, although Mary had a husband, she was still a virgin. Through her obedience, the Virgin Mary became the cause of salvation for herself and for all human beings.  Accordingly, through Mary’s obedience, Mary untied Eve’s disobedience.  Indeed, through her act of obedience, she freed human beings from a slavery to disobedience, including death.  On the one hand, Irenaeus calls Mary’s obedience an act of faith.  For she faithfully obeyed the Word of God.  On the other hand, Irenaeus considers Eve’s disobedience an act of unbelief, because she unfaithfully disobeyed the Word of God.  As a result, she became the mother of slavery, but Mary became the mother of freedom.  Thus, what the virgin Eve tied by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary untied by her faith. 

     Later in Against Heresies, Irenaeus says the Virgin Mary became the “advocate of Eve” through her obedience to God.  For instructed by the Word of God, Mary was moved to obey God that she would free all human beings from death, including Eve.  As such, Irenaeus proclaims that Mary has formally received from God a particular vocation of advocacy for people in God’s economy of salvation.  Indeed, through her obedience to God, she became the maternal advocate as the Mother of the Son of God, the Savior, who would save the descendants of Eve, including Eve herself (Against Heresies, V, Chapter 19). 

     Finally, in his Proof of the Apostolic Preaching about the year 190, Irenaeus proclaims that just as Adam had to be recapitulated in Christ for death to be destroyed in immortality, Eve also had to be recapitulated in Mary for the disobedience of Eve to be destroyed by the obedience of Mary, her advocate (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, 31-33).  In Irenaeus, recapitulation means that God summed up His creation of the first Adam in Himself from the virgin soil of the Earth by, once again, gathering up another Adam, a second Adam, from the virginal soil of the humanity of a second Eve, the Virgin Mary.  As God breathed life in the body of the first Adam created from the virgin Earth, He also breathed life in the body of the second Adam recreated from the Virgin Mary.  Here Irenaeus briefly recalls in the Proof of the Apostolic Preaching what he had already developed earlier in Against Heresies concerning recapitulation (Against Heresies, III, Chapter 21, par. 10).  In this act of recapitulation, God prepared another man, a second Adam, Jesus Christ, to complete or fulfill in Himself for human beings through His obedience what the first Adam lost for them through disobedience.  As such, this second Adam became their second head to reconcile them to God. For Irenaeus, this involved a restoration process by Christ called recirculation.  As the first Adam fell from God by ordering his actions contrary to God through his disobedience, the second Adam rose to God by ordering his actions to God through his obedience.  In this sense, here the actions of Christ conformed to the actions of Adam’s fall, step by step, in reverse order.  This is the process of restoration of the human race that Christ fulfilled by retracing the missteps of Adam to undo them by His obedience (Mary and the Fathers of the Church, pg. 55).  All the same, for Irenaeus, the obedience of Christ depends upon the obedience of the Virgin Mary.  For unless she obeys God first, Christ does not become man to fulfill His obedience to God.  On this basis, Irenaeus proclaims in the Proof of the Apostolic Preaching that the second Eve, the Virgin Mary, participated in God’s economy of salvation as no other human being by becoming the Mother of the second Adam, the Savior (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, 31-33; Against Heresies, V, Chapter 19).

     In conclusion, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons would be the first Church Fathers to develop the Eve-Mary Parallel after reading the Adam-Christ parallel in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians and Romans.  In doing so, they proclaimed God’s revelation that in becoming the Mother of God through her obedience to God, the Virgin Mary, the Second Eve, became the Mother of all God’s people, His Church.  Indeed, she is the Mother of all human beings recreated in the image of her Son, the Second Adam.

In Christ, the Second Adam with the Virgin Mary, the Second Eve,

Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.