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Dedicatory Prayer

MOST holy Mother of God, vessel of incomparable election, Queen of sovereign dilection, thou art the most lovely, the most loving and most beloved of all creatures! The love of the heavenly Father found its good pleasure in thee from all eternity, destining thy chaste heart to the perfection of holy love, to the end that one day thou mightest love his only Son with unique motherly love as he had done from all eternity with unique fatherly love. O Saviour Jesus, to whom could I better dedicate words on thy love, than to the most amiable heart of the well-beloved of thy soul?

But O all triumphant Mother! Who can cast his eyes upon thy majesty without seeing at thy right hand him whom for the love of thee thy Son deigned so often to honour with the title of father, having united him unto thee by the celestial bond of a most virginal marriage, that he might be thy coadjutor and helper in the charge of the direction and education of his divine infancy? O great S. Joseph! Most beloved spouse of the well-beloved Mother, ah! how often hast thou borne in thy arms the love of heaven and earth, while, inflamed with the sweet embraces and kisses of this Divine child, thy soul melted away with joy while he tenderly whispered in thy ears (O God what sweetness!) that thou wast his great friend and his well-beloved father.

Of old the lamps of the ancient temple were placed upon golden lilies. O Mary and Joseph, Pair without peer! Sacred lilies of incomparable beauty, amongst which the well-beloved 2feeds himself and feeds all his lovers—ah! if I may give myself any hope that this love-writing may enlighten and inflame the children of light, where can I better lay it than amongst your lilies, wherein the Sun of Justice, the splendour and brightness of the eternal light, did so sovereignly recreate himself that he there fulfilled the delights of the ineffable love of his heart towards us? O well-beloved mother of the well-beloved Son, O well-beloved spouse of the well-beloved mother! Prostrate before the feet of you who bore my Saviour, I dedicate and consecrate this little work of love to the immense greatness of your love. Ah! I conjure you by the heart of your sweet Jesus, King of hearts, whom your hearts adore—animate my heart, and all hearts that shall read this writing, by your all powerful favour with the Holy Ghost, that henceforth we may offer up in holocaust all our affections to his divine goodness, to live, die, and live again for ever, amid the flames of this heavenly fire, which Our Lord your son has so much desired to kindle in our hearts, that he never ceased to labour and sigh for this until death, even the death of the cross.

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