It is said that when a whale sees her little ones in danger, from storms or from hunters, she opens her mouth and swallows them. Novarinus applies this to Mary, and says that when Mary sees her children in danger she receives them into her bosom and protects them there until she brings them to the harbor of salvation. O most loving Mother, most compassionate Mother, praise be to you forever, and praise be to God forever, for having given you to us as our mother and as a refuge from all the dangers of life.
The Blessed Virgin revealed to Saint Bridget that she is like a mother who sees her child surrounded by the enemy’s swords. She wants to do everything in her power to save him. “And this I shall do for my children, sinners though they be, as long as they turn to me for help.” There is no doubt, then, that in every battle with hell we shall surely win if we fly to Mary and repeat over and over again: “We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God.” O how many victories have the faithful won over the forces of hell because they had recourse to Mary with this short but powerful prayer! It was with this prayer that that great servant of God, Sister Mary Crucified, the Benedictine nun, always conquered the demons.
Rejoice, therefore, you who are Mary’s children. And know that Mary receives and accepts everyone who wants to be her child. Why should you fear to be lost when this mother defends and protects you? Saint Bonaventure says: “Say it, my soul, and say it most confidently: I rejoice and exult because, whatever my judgment will be, it depends on what my Brother and my Mother say.” The same thought makes Saint Anselm cry out with joy: “O blessed hope! O safe refuge! The Mother of God is my mother! How firm should be our confidence, since our salvation depends on the judgment of so good a Brother and so tender a Mother.” It is then our mother who calls out to us: “Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me” (Prov 9:4). Little children always have the word “mother” on their lips. And every time they are frightened, they immediately raise their voice and cry out: “Mother! Mother!” – O sweetest Mary, O most loving Mother, this is precisely what you want us to do. You want us to cry out to you like children in every danger. You want us to run to you always, because you want to help and save us, as you have in the past helped and saved all your children who ran to you for help.
-From the Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori