Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Fatima

FatimaOur Lady of Fátima, pray for us!

Today is the day set aside by Mother Church to liturgically memorialize Mary’s appearances to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal in 1917. Here is an essay looking at why this title of Mary is important to us, “Our Lady of Fatima and Coincidences.”

Those who pray the rosary likely add this prayer following the Doxology: O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy. The prayer is given to us by the Virgin Mother indicates her maternal care for our eternal destiny. While optional, I don’t know many who refuse to pray this prayer. Sometimes those most in need of the Lord’s mercy is me.

A published editorial…

Much has been written concerning the six famous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a little town in Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917. Later it would be said, and rightly so, that everything She predicted there to the three little shepherds has been fulfilled point by point. The story is too long to tell in detail in a few words, and indeed it is not over yet.

Our Lady of Fatima was sent to warn the 20th century that humanity had not followed the path that had been indicated to it by her Son; humanity had not developed as God intended, and the time of the last and worst enemy was fast approaching. She said that if Her requests for prayer and penance were not heard, Communism would spread its errors all over the earth. She appealed to the Apostles of the Latter Times to come forth, those who lived in humility, poverty and contempt for the world, repeating what She had already said at La Salette, France, in greater detail in 1846.

During the final apparition on October 13th, She appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, accompanied by Saint Joseph and the divine Child. Through Lucy of Fatima, Mary had promised a miracle to convince doubters of the reality of Her presence and the Will of God She had conveyed by Her words, and She fulfilled that promise. On October 13, 1917, the great Miracle of the Sun occurred, witnessed by all who were present at Fatima, an international crowd of 70,000 spectators. The sun whirled about and seemed to be plunging down as it sent off multicolored rays; many cried out that it was the end of the world.

A large shrine was built at Fatima, and in the 1940’s more than a thousand miracles had already been duly confirmed there. The famous Secret of Fatima, part of which was disclosed by the Vatican to certain heads of State in 1963, still remains largely a secret for most of the people who have been waiting for it since 1960, the year that the Virgin said it was to be made public.

Magnificat magazine — special edition on Fatima. Editions Magnificat, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

Regina Caeli for Eastertide

marco_p5We change the praying of the daily praying of the Angelus to the Regina Caeli for the 50 days of Easter. (That is, from Easter Day through Pentecost Sunday). Please add this prayer, in Latin and English, to your iPhone.

Queen of Heaven 

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. 
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. 
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia. 
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. 
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Regina caeli

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. 
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. 
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. 
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. 
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

OL GuadalupeMary, the Mother of God is an example of the tenderness that is at the heart of the Gospel. It is also said that Mary is at the center of what is called “the revolution of tenderness” by the Pope. Today as we remember Our Lady of Guadalupe. Saint Juan Diego said in 1531:

Do listen, do be assured of it, my littlest one, that nothing at all should alarm you, should trouble you, nor in any way disturb your countenance, your heart. For am I not here, I, your mother? Are you not in the cool of my shadow? In the breeziness of my shade? Is it not I that am your source of contentment? Are you not cradled in my mantle, cuddled in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?

Immaculate Conception of Mary

IC BVMToday we honor Mary with a Solemnity, recalling the title she has carried as the Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception. Under the title of the Immaculate Conception is placed the USA. So, let us pray for our country and for ourselves asking for the solicitude of the Divine Maternity. As always, we need to remember that anything we say about Mary needs to be true for her Son –it all has to cohere. Saint Anselm wrote, “Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.”

Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem writes:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God that can never be lost. You have won from God a most glorious favor, a grace long desired, a grace of great splendor, a saving grace, an unfailing grace, a grace that will last forever. Many before you have been holy, but no one has been as favored as you, no one as blessed as you, no one as perfectly sanctified as you, no one as highly praised as you. No one else has like you been possessed from the first by purifying grace, no one else has been enlightened like you, or exalted like you, for no one has approached so close to God as you, or been enriched with such divine gifts, or endowed with such heavenly grace.”

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Presentation of Mary in the Temple

Presentation of Mary in the TempleThe feast of the Presentation of Mary is a contemplation on we relate to the Temple following Mary as the Perfect Disciple (the paradigmatic believer), relate to us. This feast asks the question of how we, in our bodies, are meant to live in the Temple of the Lord. Our bodies are meant for the Lord. You ought to read Saint Paul’s First Letter to Corinthians in the 6th chapter: our bodies are members of Christ. So, what is it that we are called by the Lord? What is Mary’s place in the economy of Salvation and how do we relate to the same economy? What has happened to us in Christ?

We the Church we pray:

As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace.

We need to appeal to the Byzantine Liturgy which proclaims,

“Today is the prelude to God’s munificence, and the announcement of salvation: in the Temple of God the Virgin is seen openly, foretelling to all the coming of Christ…The most pure temple of the Savior, his most precious bridal chamber, the Virgin, sacred treasury of God’s glory, enters today into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace of the divine Spirit. Wherefore the angels of God are singing: “Behold the heavenly tabernacle!…Wherefore let us cry out to her with all our strength: ‘Joy to you fulfillment of the Creator’s plan!'” At the moment when the young girl Mary was presented in the glorious Temple “everything that humans build was already diminished by the praise in her heart” (Rilke)

As a Benedictine Oblate, today is the day we renew our Oblation to our particular monasteries. As Through the intercession of Mary of the Temple may we Oblates recognize our true end in Christ. The hymn verse says it all: “Today, this day, is the day of the Lord. Rejoice, people, for lo, the bridal chamber of the Light, the book of the Word of Life, the Temple of the living God, has come forth from the womb, and the gate facing east, newly born, awaits the entrance of the great High Priest. She alone brings into the world the one and only Christ for the salvation of our souls.” God became flesh through Mary. So we should also be the Temple of the Lord today.

Here is an exposition of this feast by the Orthodox priest Father Thomas Hopko on Ancient Faith Ministries.

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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