Of all the titles and epithets of Mary, the ones that make her most human and real to us are those relating to her motherhood... There is something about a nourishing love that was central to the spirituality of St. Francis. He used to say to his Brothers that they were to love one another, as far as grace enables them to do so, the way a mother loves and nourishes the child of her flesh. And for St. Francis Mary was the mother because of the way she loved and nourished Jesus (cf. St. Francis, Rule of 1221, Chapter IX).
— from the book Nourishing Love: A Franciscan Celebration of Mary
by Murray Bodo, OFM