She is our Mother, the mother of all flesh, a new Eve. But she is also our daughter. The ancient world of sorrow, the world before the access of grace, cradled her to its very heart for many centuries, dimly awaiting a virgo genetrix.
For centuries and centuries those ancient hands, so full of sin, cherished the wondrous girl-child whose name even was unknown. A little girl, the queen of the angels! And she's still a little girl, remember! Our poor race is not worth much, but childhood always moves it deeply. The ignorance of the little ones makes it cast down its eyes. The Virgin was innocence itself …
Yes, my child, in order to pray her well, one must feel her gaze which is not entirely indulgent for there is no indulgence without something of bitter experience— they are eyes of gentle pity, wondering sadness, and with something more in them, never yet known or expressed, something that makes her younger than sin, younger than the race from which she sprang, and though a Mother by grace, mother of all graces, our little youngest sister.
Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest), Plon, 1936