I Will Put Enmities Between Thee and the Woman
I will put enmities between thee and the woman,
and thy seed and her seed:
she shall crush thy head,
and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
Genesis 3, 15 (DRB)
“You shall be holy to me; for I the Lord am holy,
and have separated you from the peoples,
that you should be mine.”
You have seen what I have done to the Egyptians,
how I have carried you upon the wings of eagles,
and have taken you to myself.
Exodus 19, 4
Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a
child, so that
he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a
male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was
snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the
wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be
nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days…. But the woman was
given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent
into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times,
and half a time. And the dragon cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the
woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
Revelation 12, 4-6, 14-15
The azure sky encompasses the parched and barren land:
an untouched, silent vacuum devoid of mortal ploys.
No stamp of human grandeur
imprints the endless sand;
no thoroughfares are chiselled
through the undulating dunes.
Standing in the wilderness
we wait with open hearts:
we may yet tend the desert
and find our way to Eden.
And a great sign appeared in heaven:
A woman clothed with the sun,
and the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
Revelation 12, 1
When God sanctified Mary’s soul and preserved her free from the stain of original sin and all its ill moral effects, He intended, by His almighty power, to keep her from ever stumbling and falling from His grace (Jude 1:24). God clothed His handmaid in the radiance of the light of His justice. She was enrobed with the sun of His justice. What paled in comparison within the soul of humanity lay under her feet like a waning moon. Our Blessed Lady had crushed the head of the serpent. The Blessed Virgin Mary blossomed like a crocus among thorns and thistles in the desolate wasteland of fallen man.
God “tilled the land that was desolate” and had it “become like the garden of Eden” by restoring in Mary what Adam and Eve had reduced to a wasteland. God replanted in her what was uprooted from humanity by their transgression (Cf. B’midbar 1:1; Nedarim, 55a). God put His spirit within our Blessed Lady and a heart of flesh that would never turn to stone. And by the efficacious influence of His grace, God caused Mary, without violating her free will, to observe all His commandments and to walk in His statutes free from all abomination that infests sinful humanity (Ezek 36: 16:37). Mary was indeed the creation of God’s sublime handiwork, His greatest masterpiece of grace in all creation, who in awe all generations shall pronounce blessed. The Lord had done great things to her, for holy is His name (Lk 1:48-49).
And I passed by thee, and saw thee: and behold thy time was the
time of lovers:
and I spread my garment over thee and covered thy ignominy. And I swore to
thee, and I entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God: and thou
becamest mine. And I washed thee with water, and cleansed away thy blood
from thee: and I anointed thee with oil. And I clothed thee with embroidery, and
shod thee with violet-colored shoes: and I girded thee about with fine linen, and
clothed thee with fine garments.
Ezekiel 16, 8-10
Early Sacred Tradition
the beginning, the Serpent, having captivated the ears of Eve, spread poison
into the whole body; today Mary receives by means of the ears, the advocate of
perpetual happiness. So (woman) who has the instrument of death was also the
instrument of life.”
Ephraim of Syria, De devirsis, sermo 3
(ante. A.D. 373)
a grand and most wise strategy against the devil! The world, which had
once fallen under the power of sin because of a virgin, is now restored to freedom
because of a Virgin. Through the virginal birth, a great multitude of invisible
demons has been cast down to Tartarus.”
Amphilochius of Iconium
In Natalia Domini, 1
(ante A.D. 394)
not, O man, that this is a birth to be ashamed of, since it was made the
cause of our salvation. For if He had not been born of woman, He had not died;
and if, in the flesh, He had not died, neither would He have destroyed him through
death, who had the empire of death, that is, the devil.”
Proclus of Constantinople
Oratio 1Laudatio Dei genitricis mariea
(ante. A.D. 446)
have heard that it deals with this, that man would return
to life by the same route by which he fell into death.”
Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 142
(ante. A.D. 450)
elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures,
but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues,
and having no affinity with sin whatever.”
Germanus of Constantinople
Marracci in S. Germani Mariali
(ante A.D. 733)