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.
I have been writing about the virtues of the mysteries we meditate on during the Rosary and more often I am brought to think about the powerful tool of the Rosary in bringing peace to the world.
‘Even though the Fatima prophecies were made in the 20th Century, we must still hold them in high regard today. As Pope Benedict XVI said on May 13, 2010, “He deceives himself who thinks the prophetic mission of Fatima is concluded.”’ James Hanisch
The article below, from EWTN news, gives me more pause for thought and compels me to attend to my love for our Blessed Mother with real devotion…to avoid the “near occasion of sin” of neglecting my prayer for less worthy tasks on my daily to-do list!
A Nigerian bishop says that he has seen Christ in a vision and now knows that the rosary is the key to ridding the country of the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme says he is being driven by a God-given mandate to lead others in praying the rosary until the extremist group disappears.“Towards the end of last year I was in my chapel before the Blessed Sacrament… praying the rosary, and then suddenly the Lord appeared,” Bishop Dashe told EWTN News April 18. In the vision, the prelate said, Jesus didn’t say anything at first, but extended a sword toward him, and he in turn reached out for it. “As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary,” the bishop said, adding that Jesus then told him three times: “Boko Haram is gone.” “I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation,” he said. “It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.”
Could it be that all the virtues given to us in the Rosary can be attained by simply praying it or even singing it, not just saying it, each day? I have been amazed at the power of the Rosary in song (Our Lady’s Musical Rosary by Donna Cori Gibson). Even my 3 year old granddaughter loves to sing “Hail Mary full of grapes…” as we sing in the car! As with Fatima, the Blessed Mother speaks to little children for they see the truth with the clarity of innocence.
May our Blessed Mother protect us and save each life on this Earth from violence. Amen
This Lent I have restricted myself to only Catholic/Christian media. One of my favorites for many years has been Donna Cori Gibson. I first heard her on EWTN and fell in love with how she takes prayers from the Saints, the Church, and word-for-word from Scripture and sets them to contemporary music to make learning easy. She also sings the rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and a song for each station of the cross. You can get FREE downloads of some of her songs at www.donnacorigibson.com/FreeDownload1.html.
You will be inspired!