Virtue means the qualities held to be particularly important; admirable quality; accordance with moral principles; conformity of behaviour or thought with the structures of morality; good moral conduct. A virtue is a habit of goodness that becomes a part of the soul and affects the whole life and make-up of the person.
The virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary are explained extensively in the Legion of Mary Handbook, Chapter 3, Spirit of the Legion. The Legionaries are encouraged to adopt the perfect virtues of our mother, the Virgin Mary in carrying out our works and in living our daily lives and activities.
A true Christian, who is a child of God should endeavour to emulate our mother for true blessings that come from God and being devoted to her, would preach and see Jesus Christ working both in our lives and in the lives of others whom we encounter every day.
The Ten Virtues of Blessed Virgin Mary Highlighted By The Legion Handbook are:
- Her Profound Humility
- Her Perfect Obedience
- Her Angelical Sweetness
- Her Continual Prayer
- Her Universal Mortification
- Her Altogether Spotless Purity
- Her Heroic Patience
- Her Heavenly Wisdom
- Her Self Sacrificing Courageous Love of God
- Her Faith
1. Her Profound Humility
Humility is the characteristic of being humble. Humble can be said to being not proud or not arrogant. It is a way of being modest with oneself. Jesus Christ showed humility by coming down to earth and dying for us on the cross. This is a pure act of love and humility. The first virtue in which the Blessed Mother particularly exercised herself from her very childhood was that of humility.
Although she saw herself enriched with greater graces than all creatures, she never preferred herself to anyone. St. Bernardine says that “after the son of God, no creature in the world was so exalted as Mary, because no creature in the world ever humbled itself so much as she did”. Her humility was one of the virtues that attracted God to her. All the praises she receives and had received, she refers them all to God.
In our mother’s humility, even as a mother of God, she served Elizabeth for three months. She served, regardless of her heavenly virtues. The Blessed Virgin Mary was with the Apostles awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. There was no record of her taking the highest places even after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. She was simple and humble. She lived all her life to please God and aligned herself with the will of God in humility.
Humility is not lying down for people to rubbish you nor discounting the gifts, talents and blessings God has given us. To be humble is to do things for the general good of all humanity involved. The humble do not admire themselves nor seek to be admired, despite the gifts they acknowledged. They put them at the service of God and neighbours. The humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us to acknowledge our nothingness before God. The humble do not cease to strive for great things, but they strive for them with confidence in Go, asking them from God and exalting God for the gifts. In Luke 1:28-29 – The Angel called her “full of grace”, and Mary was “troubled”. This is because she was filled with humility, disliked praise, and desired that God only be praised.
2. Her Perfect Obedience
Obedience is the willingness to comply with the commands, orders, or instructions of those in authority. Blessed Virgin Mary obeyed God and carried out her duties without questions or complaints. Even at the temple during the prophecy of Simon on the day of Jesus Christ’s presentation. She only meditated on the words in her heart. The condition for being the mother of Jesus is obedience to the Father, who made the Blessed Virgin Mary the mother of God. She submitted wholly to the will of God – “Be it done to me according to your words”, is an assertion speech that has an unflinching belief and obedience to God. She listened to the word and kept the word, hence, her uncommon preeminence.
3. Her Angelical Sweetness
Angels are warriors and messengers created by God for several purposes. Angels can move between heavens and earth if God permits them. Mary had an encounter with Angel Gabriel as we read in the first Joyful mystery. After this encounter, she visited Elizabeth. The child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy after BVM greeted her and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. An Angel visited the shepherds and told them about the birth of Jesus Christ. They took gifts to him and also the Angel appeared to them in the dream to avoid King Herod. An Angel appeared to Zechariah the Jewish priest and told him that his wife Elizabeth will give birth to a son, John.
We can infer from these encounters how the Angels of God are carriers of good news, joys and favours to those they encounter. The Blessed Virgin Mary also radiates Joy and Peace to those she encounters. BVM made it possible for the first miracle of Jesus Christ at the wedding at Cana when the drink finished; bringing joy, liveliness and happy moments. Blessed Virgin Mary assumed into Heaven and became the queen of all the Angels in heaven. Having drawn down Angel to earth, and becoming the queen of Angels, she simplifies the grace and favours of God to those she encounters. The Assumption of our mother and queen, Blessed Virgin Mary is an honour and grace from God. She becomes our guide to holiness, our source of grace, favours and good news from God, and a life with her son, Jesus Christ.
4. Her Continual Prayer
BVM is known as one who prays and is always ready to do the will of God. We are encouraged to imitate this character and virtue. We should strive hard to always pray and constantly in grace to carry out what God wants us to do. From the character of BVM, we are to praise God always in good, neutral and bad situations. We should be conscious of God in every situation we find ourselves in. In humility, we can seek God in our quiet times, meditation is very important in every Christian life. Also, bringing Christ in everything that we plan to achieve or do.
5. Her Universal Mortification
As Christians and Legionaries, we are encouraged to be completely dead in sin and bad habits in our daily lives. This is a conscious effort everyone has to make in his or her life. We can also make sacrifices and offer prayers for someone else. Let our prayers not be only for ourselves, we could also pray for others. Finally, in our daily activities, we should embrace and accept the inconveniences and humiliations of life. We should seek to do the will of God as Blessed Virgin Mary.