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Dear Father,

as I told you, these are days of apprehension for my family… I started saying the litanies of the Order every evening, especially when the anguish takes me the most: if you knew what consolation, what hope I feel every time! The feeling is so pleasant that, if before I recited them to obtain the grace to preserve my family from contagion, now I say them also to try this  consolation again.

See you soon


The Priest’s reply

Dear Matteo,

1. I would like to take this opportunity to recall why, when the Holy Rosary or the Officium parvum B. V. Mariae are recited, or even when the litanies of the Dominican Order are recited, there is a sense of well-being and peace.

2. It must be remembered that Our Lady received a twofold outpouring of grace in her earthly life.

She received the first one in the first instant of its existence and in such a great way that it could not be more.

Saint Thomas says that God could create a more perfect world than he created because to say otherwise would mean to derogate from divine omnipotence.

But He could not give Mary greater dignity because He gave her an almost infinite dignity.

He gave her this fullness of grace because she had to become the Mother of God.

3. But when she began to become a Mother, that is, at the moment of the incarnation of the Word in her most pure womb, she received a new and extraordinary outpouring of grace.

This time she did not receive it for herself, but so that all who had met her would be infected by her holiness and grace.

The Gospel confirms this intuition of Saint Thomas because as soon as Elizabeth heard the voice of Mary, she was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit and the child she carried in her womb began to jump with joy, being at the same time purified and sanctified.

4. Whenever you meet Mary, something like this happens.

The holiness of Mary is a transfusive holiness. 

It is a holiness that is communicated by itself, that radiates.

So it is no wonder that all those who let Our Lady into their lives also through the recitation of the Dominican Litanies – which are much longer than the traditional Litanies of Loreto – feel its presence.

And they feel it like a purifying and sanctifying presence, in some way like John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb.

5. This intuition of Saint Thomas was taken up by Blessed Jacopo da Voragine (Giacomo da Varazze, Dominican of the late thirteenth century and archbishop of Genoa).

In his famous Mariale he writes: “Mary had a transfusive virginity: because it was transfused into others.

In fact, no matter how beautiful she was, she was never desired by anyone with lust: the reason is that her purity penetrated the hearts of all and extinguished in them every impure motion” (Mariale, V, 9).

And that “the perfume of her holiness penetrated into the hearts and extinguished the impure motions (Ib., B-I).

6. That’s why you write: “If you knew what consolation, what hope I feel every time! The feeling is so pleasant that, if before I recited them to obtain the grace to preserve my family from contagion, now I tell them also to try this  consolation again”.

When you recite the Dominican Litanies, the purity of Mary penetrates your heart.

And that is why you feel better, purified, sanctified and comforted.

7. Blessed Jacopo says that this transfusive purity was also typical of our Holy Father Dominic who, by giving his hand to kiss to a lustful young man, calmed his rebellious senses (cf. Sermon IV on Saint Dominic).

Father V. Bernadot says that this transfusive purity would be a characteristic of the Dominicans and that, according to some pious authors, the Holy Father Dominic obtained from Our Lady for his order the grace to manifest especially the angelic virtue of purity, as other Orders have the grace to manifest poverty and obedience in particular.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write these things.

I commend you to the Lord and I bless you.

Padre Angelo