Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary’s Immaculate Heart

In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior’s Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not a new devotion. In the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes preached it together with that of the Sacred Heart; in the nineteenth century, Pius VII and Pius IX allowed several churches to celebrate a feast of the Pure Heart of Mary.

Pius XII instituted today’s feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession “peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue” (Decree of May 4, 1944). In 1942 during the ravages of World War II, Pope Pius XII dedicated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and set the feast for August 22nd.

In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the day, Saturday, immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

(cf. DG for text)

Today, let’s beg for the gift of “peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue.”

The Visitation, God’s in-breaking

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the in-breaking of God’s joy in history.

The theological explanation of the Vistiation reminds us that at the annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel informs Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant. A startling divine gift.

Then we see Mary hurrying to visit Elizabeth. An interior in-breaking extroverting itself.

I think the key here is Mary’s selflessness and her sharing in the joy of God. Containing the joy she feels is impossible. In her visitation Mary brings the joy of God to both Elizabeth and to John the Baptist who moves in Elizabeth’s womb. 

As we know, this second of the joyful mysteries of the Rosary is about Joy who desires to expand into our heart and abide there. Let’s pray for the movement of joy in our life today.

May Magnificat

MAY MAGNIFICAT
Gerard Manley Hopkins

MAY is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

Annunciation, a simple fact

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1.38)

The feast of the Annunciation is important not simply as a historical commemoration of something that happened long ago, but more of what it reveals about God: that God chose to create a world in which, to realize the dream he had for creation, human freedom had to be included. God never “decrees” in a way that violates human freedom. Rather, God offers and looks for the free acceptance of the creature. Thus God did not simply plant Jesus on earth arbitrarily. God required the free assent of the creature. This is what Mary’s “Fiat” really is: an utterance that frees the Divine Will to realize the ultimate plan for all creation.

(Credit: NS)

Propers for Mass of Mary, Mother of the Church

Here are the Propers for the Mass of Mary, Mother of the Church (in Latin).

Here is the Collect for the Mass (and hours) for Memoria Beatae Mariae Virginis Ecclesiae Matris, which is simply from the Votive Mass Mary, Mother of the Church:

Deus, misericordiarum Pater, cuius Unigenitus, cruci affixus, beatam Mariam Virginem, Genetricem suam, Matrem quoque nostram constituit, concede, quaesumus, ut, eius cooperante caritate, Ecclesia tua, in dies fecundior, prolis sanctitate exsultet et in gremium suum cunctas attrahat familias populorum.

LITERAL VERSION:

God, the Father of mercies, whose Only-Begotten affixed to the Cross established His Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary also as our Mother, grant, we beg, that as her charity is also at work, Your Church, ever more fruitful each day, may exalt in the sanctity of progeny and may draw into her bosom all the families of peoples.

(courtesy of P. JZ)

Ecclesiae Mater Liturgical texts

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]yahoo.com.
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