Translated and compiled by Robert Nixon, OSB
The veneration of a divine or quasi-divine feminine figure is a virtually omnipresent phenomenon in the various spiritual traditions of humankind, deriving from the complex archetype of a mystical woman: a Magna Mater. She is vested with both power and compassion; she serves as the complement, refuge, and telos of masculinity, and the speculum, idealization, or apotheosis of femininity. This archetype is so primal as to transcend all the more particularized mythological systems and finds a multitude of different expressions within each of them.
Lovingly translated and introduced by Fr Robert Nixon, OSB are several stories of her manifested miracles in the Catholic tradition, originally written by Pope Celestine V, the late thirteenth century monk who founded the Celestine branch of the Benedictine order. His stories speak to the compassionate nature of the Celestial mother Mary, as well as her powers of intercession and to defend against evil. The collection continues with tales by Ippolito Marracci of the ‘Noble Daughters of Mary’, those queens, princesses, and saints who devoted themselves to the Blessed Mother. These historiolae attest to the importance placed upon Magna Mater, while the quotes interspersed throughout reveal how widespread the adoration of this figure is, by whatever name She is known.