Blessed Virgin Mary: May 2010 Archives

Visitation.jpgEternal Father, You inspired the Virgin Mary, mother of Your Son, to visit Elizabeth and to assist her in her need. Keep us open to the working of Your Spirit, and with Mary may we praise You for ever.


Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile. ... It is not necessary at this stage of our contemplation to speak to others of the mystery of life growing in us. It is only necessary to give ourselves to that life, all that we are, to pray without ceasing, not by a continual effort to concentrate our minds but by a growing awareness that Christ is being formed in our lives from what we are. We must trust him for this; because it is not a time to see his face, we must possess him secretly and in darkness, as the earth possesses the seed. We must not try to force Christ's growth in us, but with a deep gratitude for the light burning secretly in our darkness, we must fold our concentrated love upon him like earth, surrounding, holding, and nourishing the seed. We must be swift to obey the winged impulses of his love, carrying him to wherever he longs to be: and those who recognize his presence will be stirred, like Elizabeth, with new life. They will know his presence, not by any special beauty or power shown by us, but in the way that the bud knows the presence of the light, by the unfolding in themselves, a putting forth of their own beauty.

Caryll Houselander (1901-1954), The Reed of God, p. 77

To be sure, we do not invoke Mary's name in order to worship her but rather to venerate her as a sinless reflection of God's glory. Many Christian writers applied to Mary what was saint in the Old Testament Book of Judith: "[God] has so exalted your name that human lips will never cease to praise you." What was said of Judith came to complete fulfillment in Mary.

Today, the Holy Father who is making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (Portugal) made this consecration of for himself and all priests to the Blessed Mother, Mother of God, Mother of Priests, Mother of the Blessed Sacrament. The Pope's prayer is presented here for all priests to pray at the Mary Altar.

Immaculate Mother, in this place of grace, called together by the love of your Son Jesus
the Eternal High Priest, we, sons in the Son and his priests, consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart, in order to carry out faithfully the Father's Will.

B16 & BVM.jpg

We are mindful that, without Jesus, we can do nothing good (cf. Jn 15:5) and that only through him,with him and in him, will we be instruments of salvation for the world.

Bride of the Holy Spirit, obtain for us the inestimable gift of transformation in Christ. Through the same power of the Spirit that overshadowed you, making you the Mother of the Savior, help us to bring Christ your Son to birth in ourselves too. May the Church be thus renewed by priests who are holy, priests transfigured by the grace of him who makes all things new.

Mother of Mercy, it was your Son Jesus who called us to become like him: light of the world and salt of the earth (cf. Mt 5:13-14).

Help us, through your powerful intercession, never to fall short of this sublime vocation, nor to give way to our selfishness, to the allurements of the world and to the wiles of the Evil One.

Preserve us with your purity, guard us with your humility and enfold us with your maternal love that is reflected in so many souls consecrated to you, who have become for us true spiritual mothers.

Mother of the Church, we priests want to be pastors who do not feed themselves but rather give themselves to God for their brethren, finding their happiness in this. Not only with words, but with our lives, we want to repeat humbly, day after day, our "here I am."

Guided by you, we want to be Apostles of Divine Mercy, glad to celebrate every day the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar and to offer to those who request it the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Advocate and Mediatrix of grace, you who are fully immersed in the one universal mediation of Christ, invoke upon us, from God, a heart completely renewed that loves God with all its strength and serves mankind as you did.

Repeat to the Lord your efficacious word: "They have no wine" (Jn 2:3), so that the Father and the Son will send upon us a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Full of wonder and gratitude at your continuing presence in our midst, in the name of all priests I too want to cry out: "Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43).

Our Mother for all time, do not tire of "visiting us", consoling us, sustaining us.  Come to our aid and deliver us from every danger that threatens us.  With this act of entrustment and consecration, we wish to welcome you more deeply, more radically, for ever and totally into our human and priestly lives.

Let your presence cause new blooms to burst forth in the desert of our loneliness, let it cause the sun to shine on our darkness, let it restore calm after the tempest, so that all mankind shall see the salvation of the Lord, who has the name and the face of Jesus,
who is reflected in our hearts, for ever united to yours!


May is Mary's month

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BVM of the Cenacle.jpg

May is a month that is loved and its arrival is welcome for several reasons. In our hemisphere spring advances with so many and colorful blossoms; the climate is favorable for walks and excursions. For the liturgy, May always belongs to the Easter Season, the season of the "alleluia," of the revelation of the mystery of Christ in the light of the Resurrection and of the Easter faith; and it is the time of expectation of the Holy Spirit, who descends with power on the nascent Church at Pentecost. With both these contexts, the "natural" and the liturgical, the tradition of the Church is well in tune in dedicating the month of May to the Virgin Mary. She is, in fact, the most beautiful flower to blossom in creation, the "rose" that appeared in the fullness of time, when God, sending his Son, gave the world a new spring. And she is at the same time humble and discreet protagonist of the first steps of the Christian community: Mary is its spiritual heart, because her very presence in the midst of the disciples is a living memory of the Lord Jesus and pledge of the gift of his Spirit.

Pope Benedict XVI, Regina Caeli Address, 9 May 2010

BVM Queen of Preachers.jpgVirgin Mother Mary, with trust we approach you. We, your preachers, fly to you who believed in the words sent from heaven and pondered them in your heart. We stand close around you, who are always present to the gathering of apostles.

In you the Word was made flesh, that same Word which we receive, contemplate, praise together and preach. Therefore, under your guidance we today devote ourselves anew to the ministry of the Word. Furthermore, we declare to you that, hearing with you the Word within ourselves and anointed by the Spirit whose sacred vessel you pre-eminently are, we are consecrated in the name of Jesus Christ to the evangelization of the world.

With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you understood the mystery of the Word. Through you we, too, are able to perceive the presence of that same Word in the history of our time, so that we may finally contemplate him face to face.

Through you the Father sent his Son into that world that he might save it. Through you we will be powerful in the sight of your people, becoming witnesses of that truth which frees and of that love that unites.

To this place we have brought our needs and here we ponder them. Do you, Mother, give us strength and perserve the harmony of our family, so that what was begun by our profession may be brought to completion by our love for one another, for the salvation of the world and to the praise and glory of God.


Today the Dominican family (the friars, second order nuns and third order sisters) re-dedicated themselves to the Blessed Virgina Mary, who with Saint Dominic, is a patron of the Order of Preachers (the Dominincans).

BVM & OP.jpgBlessed are you, O Virgin Mary, for you came the salvation of the world. Already glorious, you rejoice before the Lord. Intercede for us with your Son. Alleluia!


Faithful God, our Father Dominic founded the Order of Preachers under the special patronage of the Blessed Virign Mary. May her prayers continue to support us that we may rejoice in the glory you promise.

Fr Szivos blesses crown 2010.jpgThe practice of adorning the Blessed Mother's statue or icon developed as a pious custom of the people in their familiar surroundings. By the sixteenth century the coronation images of the Blessed Virgin Mary became widespread. While it is not as prevalent today, a ceremony of crowning of Mary continues to be a sincere yet profound spiritual and human gesture on the part of the faithful in front of Mary's beauty.

Something gestures of the past continue today and evoke great sentiment for holiness observed in such a great woman like Mary, Mother of God. I fondly recall when I was a student at Saint Stanislaus Church & School (New Haven, CT) the sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth instilled in me and my fellow students a great love for the Blessed Virgin under the titles of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Czestohowa by singing a daily hymn to Mary, frequently rosary praying, and the yearly May Crowning following the First Holy Communion Mass. Somewhere I have photos of Sister Rosetta training us in the third grade to execute the ritual correctly and piously. 

Golden Rose.jpg
Indeed, for a long time the popes --Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI-- have endorsed this custom. What good Catholic can deny the extraordinary value of remaining close to Mary and showing a modicum of affection to her? As I bring my own mother flowers, so I bring my heavenly Mother flowers. This crowning of Blessed Mary is sign of our confidence in her spiritual motherhood. A fitting custom revived by the current Holy Father (something done by his predecessors) is the giving of the Golden Rose to a Marian Shrine he visits, showing his filial devotion.

The 1987 Marian Year provided an opportunity for the Church to strengthen a sincere devotion to Mary. What developed in the Marian year was a renewal of the venerable tradition of honoring images of Mary in homes, parish church, religious houses and seminaries with the promulgation of the Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Order describes the Marian honor of crowning as follows:

Patric crowns BVM 2010.jpg
The queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute "crown" of creation. She is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King. Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Word Incarnate... "He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; the Lord will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Lk 1:32-33). Elizabeth greeted the Blessed Virgin, pregnant with Jesus, as "the mother of my Lord" (Lk 1:41-43). Mary is the perfect follower of Christ. The maid of Nazareth consented to God's plan; she journeyed on the pilgrimage of faith; she listened to God's Word and kept it in her heart; she remained steadfastly in close union with her Son, all the way to the foot of the Cross; she persevered in prayer with the Church. Thus, in an eminent way she won the "crown of righteousness" (II Tim 4:8), the "crown of life" (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10), the "crown of glory" (I Pet 5:4) that is promised to those who follow Christ. (Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, NCCB, 1987)

Following First Vespers for the Fifth Sunday of Easter last evening, the seminarians formed a procession to the grotto of Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy, to crown her with flowers. Saint Joseph Seminary is placed under the title of Mary, Cause of our joy and we invoke her solicitude frequently by this title. Father Charles Szivos, one of the seminary's spiritual directors, led the seminarians in the rosary before he blessed the crown of flowers and the statue.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Blessed Virgin Mary category from May 2010.

Blessed Virgin Mary: March 2010 is the previous archive.

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