Author's Preface

This book, originally published under the title Madonna, is the fruit of a lifetime of loving study, the expression of the one thought and affection that have possessed the writer from his early boyhood, from an unforgettable day on which his earthly mother recounted to him the story of the Heavenly Mother, Since that day he has tried to read everything relating to Our Lady that has come his way, and a desire had been growing in him to contribute his mite to the glory of the Queen of Heaven. So he eagerly availed himself of the first opportunity that presented itself, a few months of enforced rest, which he considers a merciful disposition of Providence without which this book might not have seen the light of day. Whatever be its worth, he can honestly assert that he has put his best into the work. He is fully aware that human language at its best can only dim the divine beauty of the Masterpiece of God which this amateur work attempts to portray on so small a scale. Yet he ventures to hope that his work will help, however little, to make Our Lady better known and loved. In this hope he lays the work at the feet of the Immaculate Queen of heaven, the Virgin Mother of God, begging her to bless it and all who may read it.

The author wishes to thank all who have in any way helped or encouraged him in this work, above all Mr. Frank Duff whose kind solicitude has made this second edition possible: he found the Publishers for it, suggested improvements and a new title for the book, and crowned it with a valuable Introduction. Another name the writer feels happy to mention with gratitude is that of his old headmaster, Rev. Fr. Malachy, O.D.C., Dublin, who with his wonted kindness undertook to help him in the revision of the book.

Fr. Cyril Bernard (Papali), O.D.C.
Rome,
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1955.