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Ferdinand Chirino de Salazar. 1575 - 1646 AD

Ferdinand Chirino de Salazar

1575 - 1646 AD

Born in Cuenca, Spain, de Salazar entered the Company of Jesus in 1592, and taught Scripture in Alcala and Madrid. He played an important role at the court of Philip IV as spiritual advisor and court preacher. His most famous books are In Proverbiis(commentary on the Proverbs applied to Mary), Pro Immaculata Conceptioneand In Canticum (commentary on the Canticle of Canticles).

Texts quoted in French by Réné Laurentin (in Maria, Ecclesia, Sacerdotium, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris 1952, pp. 242 - 257) and translated into English by John Wijngaards. Italics in the text by John Wijngaards.

Mary was a priest because she offered Jesus to the Father

‘While the Father is said to have handed over his Son and the Son himself, what differs between these two facts is that the Father gave his Son to the world, but the Son gave himself for the world. The first giving, (the Father’s) is the act of a king, the second (the Son’s) the act of a priest, as Augustine tells us. As to Mary, not only did she, in harmony with the Father, give her Son to the world, but also, in harmony with the Son, offered him for the world with priestly devotion. For standing next to the cross. She imitated the will of her Son in her own will.   For the Son gave himself up for the world, but she gave him up voluntarily whom she held dearer than herself. ’ In Proverbiis, VIII, no 211, vol. 1, 622D - 623A.

Not only has the Virgin conceived Christ and brought him into the world.....but she has truly given him to the world and offered him for the salvation of the world as something that belonged to her . Therefore listen to what the divine Epiphanus says: “Oh Virgin, stupefying treasure of the Church who obtained it as a great mystery. I call the Virgin in someway both priest and also altar: because she, while bringing the table, has given us the heavenly bread for the forgiveness of sins”.
Reflect on these words. He calls the Virgin ”priest" because, acting in a certain way in the manner of a priest, she, together with her Son the Priest, offers to the eternal Father the victim of our redemption. He says also that she is an altar because Christ, who was only immolated a single time on the cross, was immolated a thousand times in her heart: namely every time that she voluntarily vowed to hand him over to his death. In Proverbiis, VIII, no 213, vol. 1, 623CD.

Mary offered for us and gave us the Eucharist

“Since the will of the Virgin has cooperated with the will of the Son in the realisation of the Eucharist, we can with enough certainty declare and absolutely affirm that she has given us and has offered for us this heavenly bread. In fact, we recognise that the gift which is entrusted to us under these species - - that is : the body and blood of Christ the Lord -- is truly her gift and belongs to her. The divine Epiphanus touched on this reason is his sermon ‘De Laudibus Virginis’.
What could we say or imagine that is more splendid ? He says that the Virgin is a priest in some way in the gift and in the offering of the celestial bread; which is true precisely for this reason that together with her Son she gave and offered [this eucharistic bread], thus realising at the same time both the sacrament and the sacrifice.”
. . . . “It was right that she who was present at the first act of giving, and of whom it was said that she had given and offered together with the Father and the Son, should also be present at the consummation and fulfilment of this donation, to such an extent that we can say that she has in the same way given and offered it (the Eucharist) with her Son. ”
. . “The manner in which the incarnation was achieved in the breast of the Virgin pleased Christ so greatly ...that he invented a new way of repeating it and reiterating it...-... that is, the Eucharist. In Proverbiis, IX, no 148-149, vol. 1, 770D-771A.

Christ anointed Mary, thus making her a priest

Note: The following texts are inspired by Canticle 1,3: “Your name is like ointment poured out . . . .”

“Christ the Lord has passed on to Mary much better and much more abundantly than in any other soul or even in the entire Church, the signification of his name. He who is called ‘Christ’, that is, “anointed”, because he was a saint, because he was king, because he was priest, because he was master and prophet, poured out the abundance of his ointment on Mary, and so made her a saint, a queen, a priest, and a governess for ever.”
“ Since the Virgin fulfilled the functions of every priesthood both ancient and new we can rightly say that, in this regard, the ointment implied in the name of Christ [‘Christ’ means ‘anointed’] has been entirely used up and poured out on her. ”
. . . “The most blessed Virgin fulfilled the function of priest because, manifesting a will completely in conformity to the will of her Son, she offered him and sacrificed him on the altar of the cross, exactly as he sacrificed himself . . . just as she offers every day with the priests the body of her Son in the non-bloody sacrifice of the most holy Eucharist.”
“The sacred anointing of divinity established Christ as sovereign priest and bishop. And also the Virgin, who was impregnated by this unction to a degree more excelling and eminent than other souls, obtained a priesthood that is more excelling and more eminent.Canticum, vol. 2, pp. 92, 94-95.

Mary offers the sacrifice as a priest, being only second after Christ

The blessed Virgin possesses another extreme dignity which can rightly be called that of the priesthood, namely that of the person who is offering as second after Christ. For together with priests who are performing the sacred mysteries, together with Christ and in the same way, she always offers the unbloody sacrifice, just as, at one with him, she offered the bloody sacrifice.” Canticum, vol. 2, pp. 40.

‘ Every day Mary offers with the priests the body of her Son in the non-bloody sacrifice of the most holy Eucharist.’ Canticum, vol. 2, pp. 95.

‘With the priests who are performing the sacred mysteries, at the same time that Christ does this and in the same way, she always offers the non-bloody sacrifice, as she had previously with him offered the bloody sacrifice.’ Canticum, vol. 2, pp. 40.

Though Mary was not ordained sacramentally, she possessed the highest degree of the priesthood

‘ In his “Mariale” Albert the Great asks the question: “Did the Virgin possess all the orders of the priesthood and episcopacy ? ”
He answers that she did not in any way possess the [sacramental] character of these orders, but that she has only participated in its tasks and functions according to the most excellent and noble way so that -- and these are the words of Albert -- “She possessed the priesthood in a sovereign way,” that is: she possessed the highest degree of the priesthood.
We will speak in another place about the quality and the grandeur of Mary’s priesthood: and then it will be clear that Christ has, not only shared, but totally exhausted over Mary the fullness of his own priestly anointing.’Canticum, vol. 2, pp. 95.

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