Behold the Handmaid of the Lord
the banquet of the king or drunk the wine of libations. From the day I was
brought here till now, your servant has had no joy except in you, Lord, God
of Abraham. O God, whose power is over all, hear the voice of those in
despair. Save us from the power of the wicked, and deliver me from my fear.”
Esther 4, (C) 28-30 (NAB)
Luke 1, 38
aloud to the Lord! O wall of daughter Zion!
Let tears stream down like a torrent day and night!
Give yourself no rest, your eyes no respite!
Lamentations 2, 18
one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for
our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are
wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in
her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”
why art thou drawn together with grief?
Hast thou no king in thee,
or is thy counsellor perished,
because sorrow hath taken thee as a woman in labour?
Micah 4, 9
I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
anguish as of one bringing forth her first child,
the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath,
stretching out her hands,
“Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”
Jeremiah 4, 31
the place of thy tent,
and stretch out the skins of thy tabernacles,
spare not: lengthen thy cords,
and strengthen thy stakes.
For thou shalt pass on to the right hand, and to the left:
and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles,
and shall inhabit the desolate cities.
Isaiah 54, 2-3
sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
Then all your people will be righteous
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.”
Isaiah 60, 20-21
of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God hath shined forth.
Psalm 50, 2
disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also
the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled,
conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the
Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her
the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the
power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One
being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied, ‘Be it done unto me
according to your word.”
St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 100
according to your word.’ Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded to be
obedient to God. In this way, the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of
the virgin Eve. And thus, as humanity fell into bondage to death by means of
a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin. Virginal disobedience has been balanced
in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. For in the same way, the sin of
the first created man received amendment by the correction of the First
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5:19:11, 38
Eve and Mary. Eve became for men the cause of death, because through her
death entered the world. Mary, however, was the cause of life, because life
has come to us through her. For this reason, the Son of God came into the
world, and, ‘where sin abounded grace super-abounded’ (Rom. 5:20). Whence
death had its origin, thence came forth life, so that life would succeed death.
If death came from woman, then death was shut out by him who, by means
of the woman, became our life.”
St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Against Heresies, 87
(inter A.D. 367- 402)
that just as death comes to us through a woman,
life is born to us through a woman.”
St. Augustine, Christian Combat 22.24