Refuge of Sinners

Why do we call Mary the "refuge of sinners"? It seems that she has this title because, as the most perfect of mothers, she is one any sinner can turn to, no matter how terrible the sins, and ask for her mercy and intercession with Our Lord. So many promises of salvation through the intercession of Mary have been revealed to the saints. For example, Mary is said to have told St. Dominic, Blessed Alan, and St. Louis de Montfort all that anyone devoted to the Rosary would be saved. 

This does not mean, however, that we should be presumptuous and just commit any kind of sin we choose, imagining that a few hurried Hail Marys and Our Fathers will save us from hell. Instead, we should pray the Rosary with the hope of salvation in mind, with the desire to overcome our sinful tendencies and amend our lives. As a counterpoint to this welcoming image of Mary, we might remember Michelangelo's "Last Judgement", where an implacable Christ sends those on His left hand into hell while His mother turns away, unable to bear the sight of her children leaving the face of God forever.


Holy Mary our Mother, Refuge of Sinners, help us to amend our ways and turn back to our Lord Jesus Christ, your only Son. May we never imagine that our salvation is guaranteed, and help us to avoid judging others, for only God knows the heart. 

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