Before Mary conceived Christ in her womb, she had conceived Him in her heart, said St. Augustine. Before Our Lady wrapped her first-born in swaddling clothes, she had already embraced the Messiah with her will, her intellect, and her nature. Before she followed His way of passion and stood below His bloody cross, she had freely immolated herself before God for the sake of the coming Messiah. Before she rejoiced in His resurrection, she had dedicated her life to His glory and victory. Before knowing the immediacy of His coming–and before comprehending her own role as His Mother–she had already unreservedly offered herself to God for His divine purposes.