Jean de Machaut SJ
1599 - 1676 AD
In Le thrésor des grands biens de la Ste Eucharistie, Paris 1641.
Text quoted in French by Réné Laurentin (in Maria, Ecclesia, Sacerdotium, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris 1952, pp. 315-316) and translated into English by John Wijngaards.
- Mary shares in Jesus sovereign priesthood
- Mary offers the Mass with the priest
- Mary offered and offers Jesus to the Father
If the Saviour, as the priests of the Church assure us, is at each Mass
the principal priest and the one who offers himself to the Father and who
delivers himself up to people, the blessed Virgin shares in this function of
the sovereign priesthood, accompanying the oblation and immolation which her
Son makes of herself with her own agreement. For it is therefore that St
Epiphanius among other praises, calls the Virgin a priest and an altar.
The first title belongs to her much more because at each Mass which is celebrated in church, uniting her will with that of the sovereign priest who is her own Son, she offers to the eternal Father, in the manner of a priest, the victim of our redemption which is the body of her Son. Le Thrésor, vol III, pp. 152-153.
O Mary, this Son, you continue to offer without ceasing every day every
time when one says Mass . . . . Have you not sufficiently contributed to the
humiliations of Jesus when you put him to lie in a manger meant for animals? .
. . Therefore how can you now agree to hand him over to the new humiliations
which he undergoes in the Eucharist? For what else does it mean than immolating
him on the altar? Is it not covering his body with cloths and enclosing him as
a prisoner under the accidents of bread and wine which are even more base?
But offering him says even more, and something which a maternal heart does not seem to be able to suffer: for offering a Son is like demolishing him, and delivering him up to death. What then, oh very affectionate mother, - how can you show yourself so much without pity towards Jesus? How can you, in order to nourish your children, abandon your eldest Son to death?
For offering him for us at the altar, you hand him over to a kind of mystical and sacramental death which separates his body mystically from his blood and which reduces him as it were to an annulment and to a destruction of all the functions of sensible sensitive and corporeal life. Le Thrésor, vol III, p. 155.
The blessed Virgin and saint Joseph presented Jesus to God, but
since he belongs to Mary on the strength of his being her true Son, it is her
duty to offer him and this is what she does. Consider how you much you owe to
this very holy Mother in that she offers her own Son to the Lord for us. Note
that, since here it is the first time that the Son of God allows a creature to
offer him in public to the sourvereign majesty of his Father, he has wanted
that the person raised to this honour be perfect in vertue and accomplished in
That is why she can function as an instrument, in the words of St. Laurentius Justinian, and as a splendid model on which all those who were one day to offer her same Son to the eternal Father in the sacrifice of the altar could form themselves: whether through the proper function of holy orders as priests do, or through the practice of religion which is common to all Christians who offer the divine victim to God with the officiating priests, as we read in the eucharistic prayer of the Mass.
Priests, just remember this. At the altar you offer to God the same Son which the blessed Virgin presents to him today. Do you bring to this elevated ministry the sanctity, or at least a trace of the virtue, with which the Virgin celebrates this offering? You are associated to her in this august action, therefore you have to similar to her or at least imitate the purity of her life. Le Thrésor, vol I , pp. 236-237.
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