Our Lady was well used to the sick-bed, the death-bed. There is silence in the Gospels about most of the details of Her life, only those being told which concern the vital facts of Her cooperation in the Incarnation. So much is told, however, that we know Her character, the fundamental principle of which was Her dedication to duty. She had Her duty as daughter, as wife and as mother. Every one of these relationships demanded that She serve as an Angel of Mercy.
…But it was as Mother—Mother of God—that Mary was consecrated “Health of the Sick.” Jesus was immune to sickness and death, but He willed that He be struck as a leper, and He died. Who will try to estimate the source of strength Mary was to Him in His dereliction, in His scourging, His crowning with thorns, His way of the Cross, and finally in the three-hour passion and death? Every line of the Stabat Mater is a commentary on Her title—”Health of the Sick,” with its final prayer for a happy death, applying to us: “Christ when Thou shalt call me hence, be Thy Mother my defense; be Thy Cross my victory. While my body here decays, may my soul Thy goodness praise, safe in Paradise with Thee.” And “Health of the Sick” (Salus Infirmorum) primarily means our eternal health, our eternal salvation—for salus means not only “health,” but “salvation.”