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Salve, Regine, Mater misericordiae!  Vita, Dulcedo, et Spes nostra!  salve.  Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae.  Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrymarum valle.  Eia ergo, Advocata nostra!  illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.  Et Jesum, benedictum Fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende, o clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria!

Hail, O Queen, O Mother of mercy!  hail our life, our comfort, and our hope.  We, the banished children of Eve, cry out unto thee.  To thee we send up our sighs, groaning, and weeping in this vale of tears.  Come, then, our advocate, and look upon us with those thy pitying eyes.  And after this our banishment, show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb; O merciful, O compassionate, O sweet Virgin Mary.  

To Jesus and Mary.

My most loving Redeemer and Lord Jesus Christ.  I, Thy miserable servant, well knowing what pleasure he gives Thee who endeavors to exalt Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou lovest so much; knowing, too, how much Thou desirest to see her loved and honored by all, have determined to publish this work of mine, which treats of her glories.  I know not, however, to whom I could better recommend it than to Thee, who hast her glory so much at heart.  To Thee, therefore, do I dedicate and commend it.  Accept this little homage of the love I bear Thee and Thy beloved Mother.  Do Thou protect it by showering down on all that read it the light of confidence and flames of love towards this Immaculate Virgin in whom Thou hast placed the hope and whom Thou hast made the refuge of all the redeemed.  And as a reward for my poor labor, grant me, I beseech Thee, that love towards Mary, which, by the means of this book, I desire to see enkindled in all that read it.

            And now I turn to thee, O my most sweet Lady and Mother Marry.  Thou well knowest that, after Jesus, I have placed my entire hope of salvation in thee; for I acknowledge that everything good—my conversion, my vocation to renounce the world and all the other graces that I have received from God—all were given me through thy means.  Thou knowest that in order to see thee loved by all as thou deservest, and also as some mark of gratitude for the many benefits thou has conferred upon me, I have always endeavored in my sermons, in public and in private, to insinuate into all thy sweet and salutary devotion.  I hope to continue doing so until my last breath, but my advanced years and feeble health admonish me that I am near the end of my pilgrimage and my entry into eternity; and therefore I wish, before dying, to leave this book to the world, in order that in my place it may continue to preach thee, and encourage others to announce thy glories, and the tender compassion thou showest to thy clients.  I trust, my most beloved Queen, that this little gift, which is one of love, though far beneath thy merits, will yet be acceptable to thy most gracious heart.  Extend, then, that most sweet hand with which thou hast drawn me from the world and delivered me from hell, and accept it and protect it as thine own.  But at the same time thou must know that I expect a reward for my little offering; and that is, that from this day forward I may love thee more than ever, and that every one into whose hands this work may fall may at once be inflamed with love of thee; and that his desire of loving thee, and of seeing thee loved by others, may be increased, so that he may labor with all affection to preach and promote, as far as he can, thy praises, and confidence in thy most powerful intercession.  Amen.

            Thy most loving though unworthy servant.

            ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI.


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