The Glories of Mary
by William C. Michael
“The Glories of Mary” by St. Alphonsus Ligouri (1696–1787) is one of the greatest Catholic books ever written. Actually, it is five complete books in one volume. Here the great Doctor of the Church has assembled the very finest information about Our Lady that he could find, all taken from many writings of Saints, Doctors of the Church and other holy authors, as well as from Sacred Scripture. The first book (called the “First Part”) explains the words of the Salve Regina (the “Hail Holy Queen”), showing how God has given Mary to mankind to be the “Gate of Heaven,” even for those who may presently be entrenched in mortal sin. The second book explains Our Lady’s principal feasts-the Immaculate Conception, Nativity, Purification, Annunciation, Assumption, etc.-revealing to the reader’s mind fresh truths about these mysteries in her life. The third book explains the Seven Sorrows of Mary, showing why Our Lady’s “martyrdom” was longer and greater than that of all other martyrs. The fourth book describes ten different virtues of Our Lady, and the fifth book gives dozens of famous prayers, meditations and devotions to her. Actually, The Glories of Mary contains even more than all the above, for St. Alphonsus’ books are always packed with treasures on every page. For example, he also includes here the theological proofs for the Immaculate Conception, explanations of the mysterious invocations in the Litany of Loreto, and a description of Our Lady’s death. In all, The Glories of Mary amounts to nothing less than the greatest compendium of nearly 18 centuries of Catholic teaching on and devotion to Our Lady. Easily understood by all, this famous book is undoubtedly the best composite of teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary ever penned and is one that will lead many souls to a greater love of Jesus through a more intimate knowledge of Mary and her exalted role in our salvation.