It’s all about Mary.
She has many titles…Blessed Mother, Woman Clothed with the Sun, Queen of Angels…
Marian feasts originate ultimately or primarily by ecclesial decision. The Church decides whether they should be local, regional or universal, and what degree of solemnity should be attributed to them (solemnity, feast, memorial) depending on the importance of the theme celebrated.There are universal Marian feast days…the Immaculate Conception feast, the Assumption feast, the Solemnity feast. And there are local feasts. You can celebrate some virtue of Mary every day of the year!
People’s love of Mary has resulted in probably thousands of prayers written to her the most familiar being the Hail Mary, of which the meditative repetition of comprises the Rosary given to the Church in 1214 by St. Dominic.
Artists have been creating images of Mary for two thousand years and she is represented numerous nationalities and races attesting to her role as “mother of all” as a gift from her son, Jesus Christ.
And, last but not least, who can forget the May procession?! I LOVED getting dressed up for this day at my Catholic grade school and bringing clippings of bright purple azaleas and iris from my mother’s garden to carry in the procession and leave at the foot of the statue of Mary in front of our church.
What ever you decide to do to honor Mary this month, make it special. For yourself. For your children. And for her son, our Lord, Jesus Christ
I have spoken here before of my growing devotion to Our Lady and my new enthusiasm for the prayer of the Rosary. Today is the memorial of the Our Lady of the Rosary. She is the connection to Christ her son and has made many promises that this meditative prayer will bring peace to the world.
If you had asked me about praying the Rosary many years ago, I would have scoffed at it, feeling it an “old ladies” prayer. Well, to tell the truth, I am getting older and maybe, just a little wiser, so maybe that is why my attraction to the prayer grows. But, I do feel the fruits of it in my own life and see it active in the lives of others whom I know are devoted to it.
Our Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s in Pylesville, hosted another Living Rosary this past Monday, to commemorate the memorial. Some years ago a member constructed a rosary that fills the aisle of the church, constructed of wire and white and blue lights, a medallion and a crucifix. Members of the church line the pews at the aisle and lead each prayer with a lighted “bead” in their hands. The church is dark except for these lights and a few low lights in the narthex. It is a simple, yet powerful experience.
This year our Pope has declared that a Jubilee of Mercy will begin on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Francis lives and models mercy for us each day and is drawing many people back to faith in Christ through his actions. St. Mary’s will hold the 33 days preceding this Jubilee in prayer with a program of Consecration to Mary, a practice started by St. Louis de Montfort.
Anyone can do this offering of prayer in private or as a group! I urge you to consider it as a gift of self to our Lord and his mother and an offering towards peace in our world which starts as love between neighbors, our best merciful act.
Here is a wonderful article by Dr. Peter Howard on the power of the Rosary as a spiritual weapon with acknowledged evidence of the work of Our Lady of the Rosary. Enjoy!
May you be blessed by our ever loving mother and model of holiness. Amen.
Today is the Feast Day of The Holy Name of Mary
Okay, I am sharing a piece of information with you today that not all women like to divulge…I am 56, born in 1959. In today’s feminine culture, I am at my prime, but I will admit that being on this side of 50 gives one a different perspective on life. Deeper, wiser and more particular about what you want in your life.
Why the information on my age? Because my middle name is Marie, a popular form of Mary. In 1959, 2.62% (or 54,465) of the girls born were named Mary and it’s rank in popularity was number 1. Interestingly enough, there were 169 boys named Mary, in some way shape or form! In 2011, the latest census information available, the rank of the name Mary has fallen to 112th. In absolute numbers, the number of girls given the name Mary at birth has fallen 94 percent since 1961.
There are more than a few reasons for this drop in rank and the truth is the name is still a popular middle name in many of its forms, especially Marie. In Hispanic culture, where faith is still predominantly Roman Catholic, forms of Mary are still popular as a name for girls. Faith inspiring a name…our Roman Catholic sacrament of Confirmation inspires this with the taking of a Confirmation name.
Philip Cohen wrote an insightful and well researched article in the December 2012 issue of The Atlantic magazine about the name Mary.
Bless our Holy Mother Mary! Incorporate her name as a reminder of her glorious work as intercessor to her son, Jesus Christ in your daily prayer.
May your day be blessed.
Today is the feast of the The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I am prompted to ponder the day for Anna and Joachim. Simple Jewish parents of a new baby girl. Girls were of no big deal when they were born in those times. In fact, they could be a burden if a proper marriage could not be arranged. There was no angel sent to Anna and Joachim to let them know they had better keep close watch on her and raise her as a model of holiness for those born thereafter so she could become the Mother of the Messiah!
I have a special place in my heart for them as I am now a grandmother. Watching my children grow to productive adulthood, with their own children, gives me the promise of the future that I helped to create. It also reassures me that I was at least a “good enough” mother.
Here is a sharing of an article by Sr. M. Danielle Peters, of the University of Dayton, entitled The Jewishness of Mary, to shed some light on the life of that little girl born into obscurity so many years ago.
May the Lord bless you today as you ponder the life of our Holy Mother Mary and what she offered so willingly for us, her children.
Birthday cake photo from: Eagles Rise Above, a blog of St. Casmir’s School, September 2011