The Immensity of Mary according to Saint Bonaventure

by Angelus Press

The Immensity of Mary according to Saint Bonaventure

It is difficult to grasp the true greatness of Mary. People often tend to consider her more in her smallness, in her charm as the Mother of the Child Jesus. However, this Virgin, so beautiful, so humble, is more immense than the whole universe.

To understand a little of Mary’s immensity, let us contemplate somewhat that of God. He is outside of time and yet He created time. He has no beginning and no end, but He created the world with a beginning and an end. He is Father generating Life, He is Word begotten and incarnate, He is procession and Love, creating grace in order to be able to give Himself to His creature and reflect His immensity in it.

Saint Bonaventure sees in Mary three kinds of immensity which are the image of this immensity of God: “The first is the immensity of your blessed womb, which contained Him who is immense and infinite, and whom neither the heavens nor the whole universe are capable of containing.”

Indeed, if the immense God wished to dwell in Mary, in her womb, and to enclose Himself for nine months in this virginal womb, it is mostly convenient to create her immense. God proportioned Mary to His Being.

This immensity of Mary is visible in her Immaculate Conception, since although she was created in time, she was nevertheless conceived outside of time, before the beginning. It is because of the incarnation of the immense God that Mary had to reflect this immensity from the beginning.

Having been able to contain her God, she can now contain us all in her chaste spiritual womb.

St Bonaventure goes on to contemplate the immensity of “her spirit and her heart; for if your sacred womb is immense, how much more so your virginal Heart!” Indeed, if God, who is immensely spiritual, decided to take on the flesh of His creature in order to make Himself human, it was necessary for this spouse to be just as immense in heart and spirit in order to contain Him, without, however, understanding Him entirely.

Thus, in Mary, her intelligence and will were created immense in order to radiate and reflect the Divine Immensity. Thus, the Father who eternally begets the Word, continues, in Mary, in this created but nevertheless immense spirit, His eternal act of begetting.

This immense will of Mary returns everything to the Father as the eternal Word is to the Father. And this infinite and immense Love of the Father to the Son and of the Son to the Father, this Love which is the Third Divine Person, also reproduces in Mary, in her Heart and in her soul, an almost infinite echo.

Thus, the immensity of the Trinity dwelling in her “requires, says St Bonaventure, that the grace and charity which fill her be immense.” It is for this reason that Mary, on the verge of containing the Author of grace within her, the angel Gabriel greets her with this title which manifests her Immensity: “Full of grace”. She is unique in her immensity.

This immensity of grace was created first for God, so that she could contain Him, and then for us. God gave us His only Son, and with Him his immensity of graces. The one who is more immense than all the angels, than all the saints… this immensity is Our Mother - Magna Mater.

What overwhelming joy! Discouragement cannot stand in the face of such splendour given to humans. O immeasurably great Mother and Queen, strengthen our trust in You!





Angelus Press
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