The Magnificat

The Song of the The Blessed Virgin

The Song of the Blessed Virgin is a Sweet Song:

A Song that Brings us Encouragement!

  DEDICATION

To all those who Love the Blessed Virgin who bore our Lord and Saviour: May the Blessing of the Almighty rest on those who read This Book and draw Comfort and Strength from its pages.

CONTENTS

The Church Directs us to Scripture

Two Important Encyclicals

What the Holy Scriptures Can Do for You

The Rheims-Douai and the Vulgate

1. THE MAGNIFICAT

 Introduction

The Handmaid of the Lord

 Magnifying the Lord

 Rejoicing in Her Saviour

 Blessed Art Thou

Be Thou Therefore Holy

His Mercy and Justice

He Puts Down the Mighty

He Fills the Hungry

God's Eternal Faithfulness

2. THE BASIC STEPS TO OUR SAVIOUR.

How to Come to Our Saviour
How Can I Remain True Our Saviour

3. THE PROPHECY OF ST. SIMEON TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN

The Sorrows to Be Experienced

4. THE LETTERS OF ST. PETER TO THE CHURCH

Introduction

The First Letter of St. Peter

The Second Letter of St. Peter

5. THE ORIGIN OF EVIL

The Problem of Sin Is Not God's Fault  

6. CHRISTIANS WHO WERE TRUE TO GOD

Humble People Who Proved Faithful

7. LESSONS FROM THE MOST ANCIENT WRITINGS

Our Blessed Lord and the Scriptures

The Apostles and the Early Church

Old Testament Prophecies of Christ 

The Origin of Sin and Its Remedy 

The Great Image of Daniel Two

The Second Commandment   Historical Background

Founded on a Rock   Historical Background

The Keys of the Kingdom   Historical Background

The First Church Council

Our Confession of Sin    Historical Background

The Communion Service   Historical Background

The Blessed Virgin   Historical Background

8. REMEMBERING THE BLESSED DAY OF WORSHIP

How to Deepen Your Worship

9. OUR BELOVED DEAD

An Encouraging Truth

10. PRECIOUS SCRIPTURE PROMISES

Psalm 1

Psalm 33 [34]

Psalm 90 [91]

Isaias 53

St. John 3

St. John 17

St. John 18

St. John 19

St. Luke 24

1 Corinthians 15

Ephesians 1

The Apocalypse 22

 

"And may my God supply all your want, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

"He that spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, freely given us all things?" Romans 8:32

"The Lord is good and giveth strength in the day of trouble: and knoweth them that hope in Him."  Nahum 1:7

"For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:38-39

"Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. . Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love Him."  James 1:3, 12

 

THE CHURCH DIRECTS US TO SCRIPTURE

 The Church directs us to the Holy Scriptures. As we study it, the Sacred Writings direct us to our Lord. Coming to Him, we praise Him for His marvelous mercy to the children of men.

"The Church of Jesus Christ, by virtue of her divinely endowed infallibility, vouches for the divine origin of the Sacred Scriptures, and as such we respectfully, but confidently, submit them to the public." - His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons, Preface, p. 2, of the Holy Bible, Douay Version

"To be ignorant of the Scripture is not to know Christ" - St. Jerome; lsaiam Prologue

"A man who is well grounded in the testimonies of the Scrip�ture is the bulwark of the Church;" -St. Jerome, lsaiam 54:12

"Often read the divine Scriptures; yea, let holy reading be always in thy hand; study that which thou thyself must preach . .Let the speech of the priest be ever seasoned with Scripture reading." - St. Jerome, in Epistle to Nepotian S. Hier. de vita cleric, ad Nepot

"Those who are zealous in the work of preaching must never cease the study of the written Word of God." - St. Gregory the Great - M Regul: past. ii, 11 (al. 22) - Moral. xvii. 26 (al. 14)

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience." - Jeremias 29: 11

"He that feareth man shall quickly fall. He that trusteth in the Lord, shall be set on high." - Proverbs 29:25

"As many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His name." - St John 1:12

"The meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace. . The salvation of the just is from the Lord, and He is their protector in the time of trouble. And the Lord will help them and deliver them." - Psalm 36: 11, 39-40 [Psalm 37:11, 39-40]

 

TWO IMPORTANT ENCYCLICALS

Two important papal encyclicals demand our at�tention. The first encyclical was written by Pope Leo XIII (February 20, 1878 - July 20, 1903) in the fifteenth year of his reign. It is a profound document, full of meaning.

The second was penned by pope Benedict XV (September 3, 1914 - January 22, 1922) in the sixth year of his papacy. This significant document, from the papal chair, should be viewed with the deepest interest. 

THE ENCYCLICAL OF LEO XIII PROVIDENTISSIMUS DEUS

In November 1893, Pope Leo XIII penned his most famous encyclical, entitled Providentissimus Deus. It was addressed to priests and bishops throughout the world, on the study of Sacred Scripture by the laity. It included the following passages:

"1. DOCTRINAL-Among the reasons for which the Holy Scripture is so worthy of commendation�in addition to its own excellence and to the homage which we owe to God's Word�the chief of all, is the innumerable benefits of which it is the source; according to the infal�lible testimony of the Holy Ghost Himself, who says: 'All Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct injustice: that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work' (2 Timothy 3: 16�,17).

"a. Words and Example of Christ. That such was the purpose of God in giving the Scriptures to men is shown by the example of Christ our Lord and of His apostles. For He Himself who �obtained authority by miracles, merited belief by authority, and by belief drew to Himself the multitude' was accustomed, in the exercise of His divine mis�sion, to appeal to Scriptures. He uses them at times to prove that He is sent by God, and is God Himself. From them He cites instructions for His disciples and confirmation of His doctrine. He vindicates them from the calum�nies of objectors; He quotes them against Sadducees and Pharisees and retorts from them upon Satan himself when he dares to tempt Him. At the close of His life His utter�ances are from the Holy Scriptures, and it is the Scriptures that He expounds to His disciples after His resurrection, until He ascends to the glory of His Father."

Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical further states that Christ made use of the Scriptures and that He is our example: "We therefore, should follow His example by being conversant with the Holy Scriptures."

The pope even granted an indulgence for reading the Bible: �'Pope Leo XIII grants to the faithful who shall read for at least a quarter of an hour the books of the Sacred Scripture with the veneration due to the Divine Word and as spiritual reading, indulgence of 300 days.' "�Providentissimus Deus, 645. 

THE ENCYCLICAL OF BENEDICT XV SPIRITUS PARACLITUS

Pope Benedict XV wrote his encyclical, Spiritus Paraclitus (September 15, 1920), on the importance of regular study of Holy Scripture by everyone. These ex�cerpts are worthy of prayerful consideration by every Catholic:

"The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, had bestowed the Scriptures on the human race for their instruction in Divine things. He also raised up in successive ages saintly and learned men whose task it should be to develop the treasure and so provide for the faithful plenteous� consolation afforded by the Scriptures' (Romans 15:4). Fore�most among these teachers stands St. Jerome. . The responsibility of our Apostolic office impels us to set before you his wonderful example and so promote the study of Holy Scripture in accordance with the teachings of our predecessors, Leo XIII and Pius X.

"And none can fail to see what profit and sweet tranquility must result in well-disposed souls from such devout reading of the Bible. Whoever comes to it in piety, faith and humility, and with a determination to make progress in it, will assuredly find therein and will eat the 'bread that comes down from heaven' (St. John 6:50).

"Hence, as far as in us lies, we, Venerable Brethren, shall, with St. Jerome as our guide, never desist from urging the faithful to read daily the Gospels, the Acts and the epistles, so as to gather thence food for their souls. . But what, in his view, is the goal of such study? First, that from the Bible's pages we learn spiritual perfection. . Secondly, it is from the Bible that we gather confirmations and illustrations of any particular doctrine we wish to defend. . We confidently hope that his example will fire both clergy and laity with enthusiasm for the study of the Bible. . So convinced indeed was Jerome that familiarity with the Bible was the royal road to the knowledge and love of Christ that he did not hesitate to say: 'Ignorance of the Bible means ignorance of Christ' (Prol. in Comment. in Isa. cf. Tract. de Ps.77).

"Jerome still calls to us. His voice rings out, telling us of the super excellence of Holy Scripture, of its integral character and historical trustworthiness, telling us, too, of the pleasant fruits resulting from reading and meditating upon it.

"Our one desire for all the church's children is that, being saturated with the Bible, they may arrive at the all surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ.

"Every professed Christian should accept the instruction of St. Jerome, who said, 'Love the Bible and wisdom will love you; love it and it will preserve you; honor it and it will embrace you; these are the jewels which you should wear on your breast and in your ears.' " Spiritus Paraclitus, 130:20.

"The fear of the Lord is the lesson of wisdom: and humility goeth before glory." Proverbs 15:33

"I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God my Saviour: my God will hear me." Michaes 7:7

"My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity."  2 Corinthians 12:9

"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure of the Egyptians. For he looked unto the reward,"  Hebrews 11:26

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you, "  St John 15:7

WHAT THE HOLY SCRIPTURES CAN DO FOR YOU

All Scripture quotations in this chapter are from the Rheims- Douai.

As Leo XIII and Benedict XV clearly established, the Holy Scriptures are the Inspired Word of Our Saviour. As we study the Sacred Writings, our Lord works by His Spirit to change our lives for the better.

Did Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, base His teachings on the Holy Scriptures? This is a very important question, Both the Church and the Scriptures themselves give a resounding yes!

Pope Benedict XV, in his encyclical Spiritus Paraclitus, published these words:

"When Christ preached to the people, whether on the mount by the lakeside, or in the synagogue at Nazareth, or in His own city of Capernaum, He took His points and His arguments from the Bible,"

We find that the record of Sacred Scripture bears this out. The basis of all religious authority is found in the Holy Scriptures. Here is why the Holy Scriptures are so important and what they can do for you:

The Holy Scriptures are God's Inspired Word. They were given to us by the Holy Spirit. "For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost."-2 St. Peter 1:21.

By studying and obeying the Sacred Scriptures, God can help you in ways which nothing and no one else can.

 "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my paths" -Psalm 118:105.

"All Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice. That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work."-2 Timothy 3:16-17.

"For what things soever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope."-Romans 15:4.

"Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth."-St. John 17:17.

"And because from thy infancy thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus."-2 Timo�thy 3:15.

Jesus taught the importance of Scripture study.

"Search the Scriptures, for you think in them to have life everlasting; and the same are they that give testimony of Me."-St. John 5:39. "Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the Word with all eagerness, daily searching the Scriptures, whether these things were so."-Acts 17:11.

"Blessed is he, that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy; and keepeth those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand."-The Apocalypse 1:3.

"And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God."-St. Matthew 22:29.

"And He [Christ] said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me."-St. Luke 24:44.

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things that were concerning Him."-St. Luke 24:27.

We must test everything by Scripture. If any teaching, theory, or doctrine is not found in it, we cannot accept it as Scriptural.

"I have not departed from the commandments of His lips, and the words of His mouth I have hid in my bosom.�-Job 23:12.

"To the law rather, and to the testimony. And if they speak not according to this Word, they shall not have the morning light."�Isaias 8:20.

The Inspired Word of God will never lose its importance or its authority in our lives.

 "The grass is withered, and the flower is fallen: but the Word of our Lord endureth for ever."-Isaias 40:8.

"Heaven and earth shall pass, but My words shall not pass.�-St. Matthew 24:35.

The Sacred Scriptures can help you clean your life and live in harmony with the will of God.

"Being born again not of corruptible seed, but in�corruptible, by the Word of God who liveth and remaineth forever."-1 St. Peter 1:23.

"By what doth a young man correct his way? By observing Thy words."-Psalm 118:9.

"Thy words have 1 hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee."-Psalm 118:11.

"For the Word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."-Hebrews 4:12.

"If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new."-2 Corinthians 5:'17.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Amen, amen I say unto thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."-St. John 3:3.

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, He will save: He Will rejoice over thee with gladness, He will be silent In His love, He will joy over thee in praise. "- Sophonias 3:17

"If anyone love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with Him."-St John 14:23

"Behold My servants shall rejoice. . My servants shall praise for joyfulness of heart. " -Isaias 65:14

"Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter In by the gates into the city." - The Apocalypse 22:14

"Our help is In the name of the Lord." -Psalm 123:8 [124:8] 

THE RHEIMS- DOUAI AND THE VULGATE

All Scripture passages quoted in this book have received the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur. Most are from the Rheims-Douai Version (also known as the Douai and Douay). This is the standard Catholic translation, in English, of the Latin Vulgate. References within brackets refer to verse locations in other translations. (All other Scripture quotations in this book are cited, and are from other Church-approved Scripture versions.) ,

Here is additional information on the Rheims-Douai and its origins:

The Rheims-Douai Bible: In 1568, several Catholics left England and established an English-language college in Douai, in Flanders, France. This city was the seat of a university founded by Philip II of Spain in 1562, and was an important center of English Roman Catholicism.

The founder of this English college, William Allen, was an Oxford graduate and a canon under Queen Mary. He conceived the idea of producing an English translation of the Scriptures for English Roman Cathollcs. Gregory Martin, another Oxford graduate, headed the translation team. During the progress of the work, political problems compelled the removal of the college from Douai to Rheims in 1578. By 1582 the entire work of translation had been completed and the New Testament section was published. In 1593 the college was compelled by political turmoil to return to Douai where the Old Testament was printed in 1609-1610.

For this reason, scholars refer to this translation as the Rheims-Douai Bible, but generally the Douai Bible. (It is often called the Douay Bible today.)

 This Douai Version was translated from St. Jerome's Vulgate. This version became the official English Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, The revision of Bishop Challoner in the middle of the eighteenth century, along with later minor changes while adapting it to the needs of its modern readers, have not fundamentally affected its character.

In spite of the later introduction of other Church-approved English Bibles, because of its qualities and the authority of ecclesiastical superiors, the Douai continues to maintain its position as the Bible of English-speaking Catholics the world over.

The Douai has the approbation of His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, For this reason, it is the only Bible quoted in the book you have in hand (with one or two exceptions, which are quoted from other Church-approved versions).

It should be remembered that, in the Rheims-Douai, some Old Testament passages, when quoted in the New Testament, have been placed in Italics.

The Rheims-Douai was translated from the Latin Vulgate. Here is the story behind that translation:

The Latin Vulgate: St. Jerome (c. 345-c. 419) was born near Aquileia, on the Adriatic Sea's northernmost point, about the year A.D. 345. Jerome spent his youth obtaining a broad education in Rome. In 375, St. Jerome became concerned about his soul, and began a period of intense study of the Bible. To do this required learning Hebrew and Greek, the languages in which the Bible was written. In 377, St. Jerome was ordained to the priesthood; and, in 385, he became personal secretary to Pope Damasus.

Throughout this time, St. Jerome continued his deep personal study of the Bible. From 382 to 385, while he was still with Pope Damasus, St. Jerome translated the New Testament from the Greek into Latin.

In 386, after the death of Pope Damasus, St. Jerome moved to Bethlehem, where he spent .the last years of his life. From 390 to 4O5, he completed his final revisions of the New Testament and translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew to the Latin. He died about the year 419. St. Jerome had produced what became known as the Vulgate. It was later declared to be the official Latin Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him."  1 Corinthians 2:9

"Hearken to My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people: and walk ye in all the way that I have commanded you, that It may be well with you."  Jeremias 7:23

"He became to all that obey Him, the cause of eternal salvation,"  Hebrews 5:9 

"Who keepeth mercy unto thousands, who taketh away iniquity, and wickedness, and sin,"  Exodus 34.7

Continue:  PART 1

 

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