Mary, Tower of David ~ Cardinal Newman

Tower, Church

Tower of David is another title of the Virgin Mary that is not self-evident. Blessed John Henry Newman explains its meaning to us. King David is a type of Our Lord, and thus the Tower of David is a defence of Our Lord. And Mary is just that defence because all the veneration that she receives reinforces truths about his divinity. She does not eclipse Him; “He is infinitely above His Mother; and all that grace which filled her is but the overflowings and superfluities of His incomprehensible Sanctity.”

Newman argues that countries which pay veneration to the Mother of Jesus keep faith in her Son’s Divinity and Humanity.

Holy Mary, Tower of David, defend the Church, and pray for us that we may courageously teach and hold on to the truths about your Son.

May 27
Mary is the “Turris Davidica,” the Tower of David

A TOWER in its simplest idea is a fabric for defence against enemies. David, King of Israel, built for this purpose a notable tower; and as he is a figure or type of our Lord, so is his tower a figure denoting our Lord’s Virgin Mother.

She is called the Tower of David because she had so signally fulfilled the office of defending her Divine Son from the assaults of His foes. It is customary with those who are not Catholics to fancy that the honours we pay to her interfere with the supreme worship which we pay to Him; that in Catholic teaching she eclipses Him. But this is the very reverse of the truth.

For if Mary’s glory is so very great, how cannot His be greater still who is the Lord and God of Mary? He is infinitely above His Mother; and all that grace which filled her is but the overflowings and superfluities of His incomprehensible Sanctity. And history teaches us the same lesson. Look at the Protestant countries which threw off all devotion to her three centuries ago, under the notion that to put her from their thoughts would be exalting the praises of her Son. Has that consequence really followed from their profane conduct towards her? Just the reverse—the countries, Germany, Switzerland, England, which so acted, have in great measure ceased to worship Him, and have given up their belief in His Divinity while the Catholic Church, wherever she is to be found, adores Christ as true God and true Man, as firmly as ever she did; and strange indeed would it be, if it ever happened otherwise. Thus Mary is the “Tower of David.”

Meditations and Devotions,  see

4 Comment(s)
  • Rick Marcantonio Posted May 29, 2014 8:26 am

    Thanks for posting this, Father. This is one title of the Blessed Mother whose meaning had eluded me.

    • jrvg98 Posted May 29, 2014 8:34 am

      And me too Rick. It is a wonderful advocation.

    • Marius Gunasekera Posted December 2, 2018 11:17 pm

      Dear Father, I did not know that Mother Mary was called the “Tower of Ivory” and “Tower of David” and she was extremely courageous than all the apostles of the Lord Jesus and it is reflected by the image of a tower. I study in New Zealand. I saw a vision of mother Mary. I saw a very tall tower on which a very large statue of Mother Mary is placed. I was asked to name this statue as “Miraculous Tower of Mother Mary”. The majority of the people are atheists and under the influence of various kinds of sin that go against the will of the God. Please pray for me and advise what I should do about this vision.

      • Fr. Juan Velez Posted December 3, 2018 4:20 am

        Maria, I cannot offer you specific advice but encourage you to pray with faith to the Mother of God under the title of Tower of Ivory, and Tower of David for the people in your community. And ask her to help you to meet someone in New Zealand who can advise you and help you discern what you saw.

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