As told in the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament, Satan well knows that in order to capture the city of Bethulia, Holofernes cut off its aqueducts. This same evil spirit garners all of its powers to destroy the devotion to the Mother of God in faithful souls, because when this salutary canal is closed, it is easier to subjugate them. “See, faithful souls,” wrote Saint Bernard, “with what affectionate devotion the Lord wants us to honor our Queen! He placed in her the fullness of all good, in order to oblige us to have recourse to her continually with complete confidence in her protection, and to admit now that if we have the smallest hope in obtaining grace and reaching eternal glory, we can only realize this through Mary.”
Every letter of pardon from the King passes through the door of his palace; in the same way, all graces coming down from heaven to earth pass through the hands of Mary
Saint Antoninus likewise said: “All the graces that have ever bestowed upon humanity, have come through Mary.” That is why it she is often compared to the moon: “Placed between the sun and the earth,” says Saint Bonaventure, “the moon reflects the light it receives from the sun, and Mary receives from the Divine Sun the heavenly influences of grace, in order to send them to us here below. For this same reason the Church invokes her under the title of Propitious Gate of Heaven or Felix coeli porta.
Every letter of pardon from the King must go through the door of his palace; in the same way, all graces coming down from heaven to earth, pass through the hands of Mary. Saint Bonaventure added that no one can enter heaven without going through this door which is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saint Jerome confirmed this sentiment in a famous sermon on the Assumption –although some attribute its authorship to a more ancient author whose text might have been inserted among Jerome’s works. This homily tells us that the fullness of grace is in Jesus Christ, as in the head, from which all the vital spirits flow to the rest of the body, meaning in a spiritual sense all the divine help necessary for salvation; and that the same fullness lies in Mary as in the neck, through which vital spirits flow down into the limbs.
Just as a line from the center of a circle cannot leave without passing through the circumference, no graces can come to us from Jesus Christ, the center of all good, without going through Mary
San Bernardine of Siena took up this thought and developedit: “By the Blessed Virgin,” he said, “all the graces of spiritual life come from Jesus Christ, the Sacred Head of the Church in His mystical body, i.e. in the faithful.” And, reflecting upon the prerogative of the divine Mother, he added: “Since the Lord chose to dwell in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, she has, in a matter of speaking, acquired a certain jurisdiction over all graces, because Jesus Christ, leaving her chaste womb, at the same time caused a current of divine gifts to come out of it, like a heavenly reservoir.” The saint repeated the same idea elsewhere, and drew the conclusion that since the Incarnation of the Word none of God’s creatures has obtained any kind grace except by the hands of our good and tender Mother.”
In this same sense, another author interpreted a passage concerning the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of Mary, in which Jeremiah predicted that a woman would give birth to a Man-God. “In the same way,” he says, “that a line from the center of a circle can not leave without passing through the circumference, no graces can come from Jesus Christ, the center of all good, without going through Mary, who, upon receiving the Son of God in her womb, actually surrounded Him on all sides.” It follows in suit, according to San Bernardine, that all graces, every virtue and every gift, are given by the hands of Mary, to whom she desires, when she desires, and as she sees fit.
Since the birth of Jesus and by a heavenly decree all graces come through Mary
Richard Saint-Laurent expressed this notion in similar terms, saying that “God grants no good to His creatures that does not pass through the hands of the Virgin Mother.” Also the Venerable Father de Celles urged all of us to have recourse to this Treasurer of all graces, as he called her, insisting that she is the only canal through which the world and every man in particular may receive the favors they await from God.
One can clearly see that in stating that all graces come to us through Mary, all these saints and all these pious authors did not intend their words to be taken in a narrow sense. Indeed, they meant to say that we have received Jesus Christ from Mary, the source of all good. They stated in formal terms that since the birth of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of a heavenly decree, all graces from His merits were, are now and will be distributed to humanity until the end of time, through the hands and the intercession of Mary.