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Thursday, August 13, 2015
Our Lady Refuge of Sinners (Mass in Some Places)

Today in some parts of the world, the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored with the title: Our Lady Refuge of Sinners.

Today in the pre-1955 Traditional Catholic Missal is the Mass in Some Places (pro aliquibus locis) of Our Lady Refuge of Sinners. 

The Refuge of Sinners Madonna is a painting by the Italian artist Luigi Crosio. It was painted in 1898 originally for the Kuenzil Brothers of Switzerland. In 1964 the Swiss province of the Schoenstatt Sisters purchased the original painting. It was then also called the Mother Thrice Admirable Madonna.

Collect Prayer:

O Almighty and merciful God, Who in the Blessed Virgin Mary hast given sinners a refuge and a help, grant us, who are protected by her, the forgiveness of all our sins and the blessings of Thy mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Redemptorist Fathers, 1931
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur
There are three sources for our knowledge of and devotion to Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners:

St. John Bosco was given a vision wherein it was revealed that Our Lady is the resort of sinners and also the Lady of the Blessed Eucharist.

St. Alphonsus Liguori had a tremendous devotion to the Mother of God and suffered from scruples. He is known as the Doctor  of the Church who has promoted devotion to Our Lady as the hope or refuge of sinners and in his book, the Glories of Mary, he has several pages devoted to her as that refuge; the pages are scattered throughout, almost as a running theme within the overall theme.

There are specific devotions and feast days associated with our Lady of Refuge and or Our Lady of Confidence. The first is known as Our Lady of Montserrat [Spain]. The other is closely associated with Montserrat and Our Lady of Guadalupe and is a main devotion in Mexico. We have obtained a copy of the most famous of all of the Refuge images, that of the artist, Joseph de Paez. The image there is not quite as dark as Our Lady of Montserrat. All images of Our Lady of Refuge have her wearing the same crown as Our Lady of Confidence and also Jesus in her arms with His crown also, again just like the image of Confidence. So Our Lady must want sinners to also have confidence in her. While our Lady appears differently depending on the culture of the time, she really looks just like herself; thus, there is some resemblance in all her appearances and it is as if she is showing us all as we need to see her yet being herself physically speaking. I do not think it is a coincidence that her image as Refuge and Confidence are so similar. This presentation will focus on what St. Alphonsus instructs us regarding confidence in Mary as the refuge of sinners.

People outside the Church cannot endure our calling Mary our hope. They say that God alone is our hope, and that he curses those who put their trust in creatures according to Jeremiah the prophet in chapter 17, verse 5. They argue that since mary is a creature, she cannot be our hope. Yet, despite of this, the Church recommends that all priests and religious raise their voices every day in the name of the faithful and call mary by the sweet name of "Our Hope."

St. Thomas Aquinas says that we can place our hope in a person in two ways-----as a a principle cause and as a mediate cause. Thus, those who expect something from a king put their trust in him as their sovereign, and in his ministers or his favorite intercessors. When the favor is granted, it really comes from the king, though the favorite is the intercessor or intermediary. hence the petitioners have a right to call this intermediary through whom they received the favor, their "hope."

The King of Heaven, being infinite Goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with His graces. But because confidence is a necessary condition for being heard, and because He wants to increase our confidence, He has given us His own mother as our Mother and intercessor, and granted her all power to help us. Those who put their trust in creatures alone, apart from God, as sinners are tempted to do, and who do not hesitate to outrage the Divine Majesty, just to gain the friendship and patronage of another human being, are certainly cursed by god in the sense intended by Jeremiah.

But those who place their trust in Mary, who [being the Mother of God] is able to secure grace and eternal life for them, are truly blessed and acceptable to the heart of God. he desires to see this greatest of all His creatures honored, since she honored and loved Him in this world more than all human beings and Angels together.

St. Bernard expounds the reason behind this when he says: "See the designs of God-----designs which make it possible for Him to dispense His mercy more abundantly. For, desiring to save the whole human race, He has laid the full price of redemption in Mary's hands, letting her dispense it at her pleasure."

And who needs this special intercessor and Mediatrix of all graces more, than the sinner, especially one tempted by despair? Mary does not know how to refuse compassion, she does not let the comfortless go away uncomforted, and she will persuade her Son to pardon the penitent and grieving sinner.


del_button August 17, 2015 at 4:57 PM
Steve Finnell said...


There are many believers in Christ who honestly think they were individually selected to be saved by grace alone. They insist that no obedience to God is necessary. If God saves by grace alone then nothing is required of the person being saved, they reason.

First there is no Scripture that states men are saved by "grace alone."

The proof text for saved by "grace alone" is Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, least anyone should boast.(NKJV)

1. It does not say saved by grace alone. The word alone is not used nor is it implied in Eph. 2:8-9.

2. It says saved by grace through faith. God's grace and man's faith are required.

3. God does not give men the gift faith so they may be saved. The gift mentioned here is salvation, not faith.

4. Men are not saved because of their good works or keeping the Law of Moses.

Grace is offered to all men. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.(NKJV)

Faith comes by hearing the gospel. Faith is not a gift forced on unbelievers so they can be saved. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV)

Obedience is required to be saved. Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord who has believed our report?"(NKJV) If men are saved by grace alone, then all men would believe the gospel and be saved.

Obeying the gospel is essential to be saved, and men have a choice. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8....the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.(NKJV)

Why would Jesus take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel if God selects each individual to be saved by grace alone, and then forces them to believe the gospel? Is that the God you worship?

Jesus told all men the gospel not just for a select few. Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.(NKJV)

Obey the gospel by believing and being immersed in water, resulting in salvation, or reject the gospel and be condemned. All men have a choice.

Saved because of Grace. Ephesians 2:8. That is not a good work nor is it keeping the Law of Moses.

Saved because of believing in Jesus. John 3:15, Romans 10:9. That is not a good work nor is it keeping the Law of Moses.

Saved because of repentance and baptism. Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 3:19. Those are not good works nor are they keeping the Law of Moses.

Being obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a good work nor is it keeping the Law of Moses.



Posted by Steve Finnell at 11:57 AM No comments:
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