"This good bee prepared a home; that is, she prepared her spirit by humility and her flesh by virginity, preparing a home for the King of angels to inhabit. And notice that the bee begins to build from the top down; this means that the Blessed Mary began to build, not from the bottom up (that is, in the sight of men), but from the top down (that is, in the sight of the Divine Majesty). And little by little, that is, step by step and in an orderly fashion, she began to come down where men might see her. Thus she, who was already chosen in God's sight, became wonderful in the sight of men.
Therefore let us say, 'the bee is small among flying creatures' (Sirach 11:3). Even though many virtues shone forth from Blessed Mary in an outstanding way, her humility shone forth even more brightly".
-St. Anthony of Padua, 'In festo Purificationis'