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When Christ said: ". . .Mother, behold thy son," He was referring to John; in no way were the Pharisees and Scribes and even the Jews included. So,  not every Christian is a child of Mary nor is every Christian a true child. Or, just to please everybody, all Christians are children of Mary; some, though, are good while others are delinquent.

Let us put aside how to be delinquents and concentrate on how to be true children of Mary. St. Francis de Sales enumerates two things that we must do: first, we must invoke her help. We must call on her as the Mother of Christ to help us because She is also our mother. And, secondly, we must obey her who said at Cana: "Do whatever He tells you."

Mary helps both the good and the delinquent, just like God who permits His rain to fall on both the good and the bad. But the very special helps and graces are given only to the true children of Mary, as they are to the true children of God.

The WOMAN of Revelation is definitely the Catholic Church. But the Church is also appropriately symbolized by Mary. Appearing to Juan Diego in Guadalupe, Mexico, Mary appeared as the Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet.

Even as early as the fourth century, Andrew of Caesaria identified the woman with Mary. And, in the next century, Quotvultdeus, friend and disciple of St. Augustine, was explicit: "None of you is ignorant of the fact that the dragon was the devil. The woman signified the Virgin Mary. . .who showed forth herself in the Image of the Holy Church. . ." In the sixth century, Oecumenius, the earliest Greek commentator of the Apocalypse, described the woman as "Our Lady, the holy, ever virgin and THEOTOKOS, Mary."

St. Bernard, in his homily, Signum Magnum, described the prophetic vision of the Woman as the Church and conveniently applied it also to Mary. St. Bonaventure thought that the literal sense was Marian and the mystical sense ecclesiological.

The significant thing about the Woman of the Apocalypse is that we, Christians, will only be protected by God if we are with the Woman who fled to the desert to a place especially prepared by God for her and her offspring, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. We must be with the Church and Our Lady, living in the desert, i.e. obeying all the commands of Christ, if God is to help us. If we want God's special help, we must be Mary's children, living with her in the desert.




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