Blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb

c. 1445 Detached fresco transferred to canvas, 196 x 184 cm The Hermitage, St. Petersburg This fresco comes from the monastery of San Domenico da Fiesole, where Fra Angelico, a Dominican friar, was prior. After the monastery was closed in the 19th century this fresco was removed and sold. Originally the fresco was located at the top of the stairs leading to the dormitory.
c. 1445
Detached fresco transferred to canvas, 196 x 184 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
This fresco comes from the monastery of San Domenico da Fiesole, where Fra Angelico, a Dominican friar, was prior. After the monastery was closed in the 19th century this fresco was removed and sold. Originally the fresco was located at the top of the stairs leading to the dormitory.

The following exegesis on the “Hail Mary,” was written by the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.

The sinner sometimes seeks in a thing what cannot be attained there, but the just man attains it. Proverbs 13:22: “the substance of the sinner is kept for the just.” Thus Eve sought in the fruit and did not find there all the things that she desired, but the Blessed Virgin finds in her fruit everything that Eve desired. For Eve desired three things from the fruit. The first what the devil falsely promised her, that they would be as gods, knowing good and evil. You will be, that liar said, like gods, as is read in Genesis 3:5. And he lies because he is a liar, and the father of lies. Eve was not made like God when she ate the fruit, but unlike, because by sinning she receded from God her salvation and was expelled from paradise.

But this is what the Blessed Virgin and all Christians find in the fruit of her womb, because by Christ they are united with and made like unto God. 1 John 3:2: “when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him just as he is.” The second thing that Eve desired in the fruit was pleasure, because it is good to eat; but she did not find it and immediately knew that she was naked, and felt sorrow. But in the fruit of the Virgin we find sweetness and salvation. John 6:55: “he who eats my flesh has life eternal.” Third, the fruit of Eve was beautiful in appearance, but more beautiful is the fruit of the Virgin on whom the angels desire to gaze. Psalm 44:3: “Thou art beautiful above the sons of men;” this is because he is the splendor of his Father’s glory.

Eve could not find in her fruit what no sinner can find in his sin. Therefore, what we desire, we should seek in the fruit of the Virgin. Here is a fruit blessed by God, because he has so filled him with every grace that it comes to us by showing him reverence. Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing on high in Christ.” By the angels, Apocalypse 7:12: “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God.” The Apostle, Philippians 2:11: “and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.” Psalm 117:26: “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.”

So therefore the Virgin is blessed, but far more blessed is the fruit of her womb.