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pathy; to whom he confided all his trials, cares, griefs, and woes with the certain assurance of consequent solace; and whom on the other hand he never failed to associate with his joys, successes, and triumphs. In his eyes Mary was not only the Immaculate Virgin, incomparable in grace and dignity among all created beings; the Mother of the Incarnate Word, and as such to be reverenced with a worship inferior only to that accorded to God Himself; the Queen by a thousand valid titles of men and angels, and therefore worthy of all loyal homage: she was, moreover, his own real Mother who regarded him as a darling son, to be loved and cared for, and soothed and comforted and protected with a tenderness undreamt of by the fondest maternal heart that has ever throbbed on earth since Mary's exile ended on the day of her glorious Assumption.
In this view of the reciprocal relations between the Blessed Virgin and himself, the subject of our sketch was practically as childlike in his eightieth year as in his eighth. Neither physical development, nor intellectual growth, nor the ceaseless activities of missionary and official life, availed to modify in the slightest degree his deep-rooted convictions as to the significance of Our Lady's maternity, and the import of the duties, obligations, rights, and privileges implied in that sweet title applicable to every individual of the Church's millions, “child of Mary." The voice which, clear and strong, was wont in 1820 to repeat “Je vous salue, Marie," before the Virgin's altar in the modest chapel of Ahuillé, had grown low and feeble seven
decades later as it murmured, "Hail Mary, full of grace," in the cathedral-like church at Notre Dame; but the greeting had lost nothing of its simplicity or its candor, and the heart of the aged patriarch proffered to his heavenly Mother a love as fresh and ardent as ever thrilled that of the innocent child.
From boyhood to manhood, from manhood to old age, in brief, Edward Sorin took our Lord at His word. "Son, behold thy Mother," was to him not a mere directive counsel given to St. John, nor yet a sweet privilege restricted to that Beloved Disciple; but a statement of fact that intimately concerned himself personally, and a truth which ought materially to affect the whole course of his private life and public conduct. That he never had reason to question the correctness of this view, or regret the boundless confidence in the Blessed Virgin which it naturally engendered, needs scarcely to be stated. His career in the United States furnishes overwhelming proofs (were any such necessary to confirm a doctrine universal among Catholics) that Our Lady never fails to justify the wisdom of those who confide in her power and goodness, nor ever allows herself to be outdone in generosity.
The outlines of that career, coincident with the history of Notre Dame's humble foundation, rapid growth, and marvelous development, have been too recently sketched in the columns of the American Catholic press to need extended recapitulation here. And yet, as illustrating the filial reliance of Father Sorin on the protecting care of
the Mother whom he loved so tenderly, and as emphasizing the congruousness of unlimited trust in the Blessed Virgin on the part of every priest of God in the United States or elsewhere, the story of Notre Dame can scarcely be told too often. There is no member of the American clergy especially, from the humblest rural curate to the ranking cardinal in our country's hierarchy, who may not draw from its perusal abundant store of inspiration and hope and courage for his individual labors in the vineyard of the Lord. It is emphatically a tale of deeds performed by men of faith; an account of herculean labors undertaken with an eye single to the glory of God and His gracious Mother; a record of zeal rewarded, of sacrifices blest, of supernatural love triumphant over every obstacle.
Three-quarters of a century ago, when Father Sorin, a poor young foreign missionary priest, and half a dozen poor foreign missionary Brothers settled upon an uncultivated tract of forest land with naught but a little rude log-cabin to distinguish it from the merest sylvan wilderness, confidence in the Mother of God, supplemented by their individual labors, was the only capital they had to invest in the arduous enterprise of founding in that Western country a shrine of religious education. No princely endowment of a million dollars, or a hundred thousand, or a tithe thereof, came to accelerate their material prosperity; yet never did dollars and cents invested in a business venture yield such magnificent results as have sprung from their steadfast reliance on Our Lady's aid and their con
stant endeavors to preserve Her favor. Much has been written of the wondrous development during the past half-century of the great metropolis of the Middle West; but, stupendous as has undoubtedly been the growth of the village by Lake Michigan that has come to be Chicago, the political economist, taking account of merely human resources, will find it an easier matter to explain that growth than to assign the causes of the marvelous transformation that has made of the barren wilderness on the banks of the St. Joseph River the most splendid sanctuary of Religion and Science to be found on this continent, if not in the whole world. The true explanation is beyond the economist: Notre Dame was built with "Hail Marys."
It is certainly not strange that, looking upon the material evidences of the success which so abundantly crowned the faith and zeal of Father Sorin, men of eminence in church and state have repeatedly averred that the University which he founded is both the grandest tribute offered to our Lady in the Western hemisphere and the worthiest monument by which to perpetuate the memory of her Franco-American son. In truth, the material Notre Dame, the many acres of fields and campuses, lakes and groves, gardens and parterres; the starcrowned colossal statue of the Blessed Virgin dominating at a height of more than two hundred feet the golden dome of the central edifice; the adjacent noble church, that treasure-house of religious art and beauty, from whose tower a brazenthroated giant booms out the Angelus with louder exultation than sounds from any other belfry in
the land; the number, variety, and thorough equipment of institutes of science and residence halls and religious dwellings scattered over this American Oxford-these naturally impress the minds, and are apt to elicit the enthusiastic praises, of transient visitors to Our Lady's Indiana home.
And yet, without minimizing in any degree the true significance of the noble University-fully acknowledging, on the contrary, both the capital importance of the Catholic education for which it stands, and the far-reaching beneficial influence of the thousands who have learned, and are learning, within its halls to combine practical virtue with intellectual development, it may well be questioned whether Father Sorin did not found a work still greater than the University, and establish his foremost claim to the Blessed Virgin's favor, when, in 1865, he began the publication of The Ave Maria. "They who declare me shall have life everlasting," was the significant text of our Marian Knight's first sermon on the Lady of his choice; and, assuredly, through few other agencies in either hemisphere during the past half-century have Mary's dignity and prerogatives, her beauty and her glory, the quasi-omnipotence of her supplication and the unfathomable depths of her compassionate tenderness been declared so constantly and adequately, with such loving enthusiasm and persuasive insistence, as through the beneficent pages of that magazine "devoted to the honor of the Blessed Virgin," and wearing as its felicitous title the Angel of the Incarnation's greeting to the Lily of Israel, the Judean Maiden "full of grace."