Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Nativity of Mary, the Mother of God

Nat of BVMPrayer in honor of Our Lady’s Nativity by Saint Anselm

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies, and against the enemy of the whole human race. Give me strength humbly to pray to thee. Give me strength to praise thee in prayer with all my powers, through the merits of thy most sacred nativity, which for the entire Christian world was a birth of joy, the hope and solace of its life.

When thou wast born, O most holy Virgin, then was the world made light.

Happy is thy stock, holy thy root, and blessed thy fruit, for thou alone as a virgin, filled with the Holy Ghost, didst merit to conceive thy God, as a virgin to bear Thy God, as a virgin to bring Him forth, and after His birth to remain a virgin.

Have mercy therefore upon me a sinner, and give me aid, O Lady, so that just as thy nativity, glorious from the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious from the stock of David, didst announce joy to the entire world, so may it fill me with true joy and cleanse me from every sin.

Pray for me, O Virgin most prudent, that the gladsome joys of thy most helpful nativity may put a cloak over all my sins.

O holy Mother of God, flowering as the lily, pray to thy sweet Son for me, a wretched sinner. Amen.

Queenship of Mary

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, established by Pope Pius XII in 1954:

Whoever, therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth – and let no one consider himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul – let him invoke the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace; let him respect and preserve peace, which is not wickedness unpunished nor freedom without restraint, but a well-ordered harmony under the rule of the will of God; to its safeguarding and growth the gentle urgings and commands of the Virgin Mary impel us.

Ad Caeli Reginam, 51

 

On this Feast of the Queenship of Mary, let us for the Church and society:

Holy Mary, Queen of heaven, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ and of his Church, who forsakes no one and despises no one, look upon me with an eye of pity, and entreat for me of your beloved Son the forgiveness of all my sins; that, as I now celebrate with affection your holy and immaculate conception, so hereafter, I may receive the prize of eternal blessedness, by the grace of him whom you, in virginity, brought forth, Jesus Christ our Lord: who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, in perfect Trinity, God for ever and ever. Amen.

(A prayer from the book, Maiden and Mother)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Inspired from on high by God’s Spirit,
the apostles convened from all over the world,
in honor of you, O Mother of light!

And all heaven’s powers stood by the Master,
filled with awe and love,
as they prepared to welcome you,
in whom the Word of God had dwelt.

With joyful voices they sang forth their hymns of praise:
Today, all creation rejoices,
for the Queen of all,
the very handmaid of the Lord, is nigh!

Open wide, all your portals on high:
Make way for the Mother of light to enter in,
for through her all the world received salvation,
from this Maid who exceeds all praise,
for her greatness is beyond all understanding.

So the, O fairest Lady,
we, too, celebrate your holy Dormition.
Now that you dwell in everlasting glory with your divine Son,
we give you thanks on this glorious day and we bless you,
for you never cease praying for us!

The above text from Vespers sung by Byzantine Church which celebrates a vigil of the Dormition, as they call the feast. They use the term for the vigil as the “foretaste” of the Dormition of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. Hymn texts are very great communicators of what the Church believes to be beautiful, good and true. Like music, sacred art has an interesting way to move a believer to know a truth. In the image I placed with the text was painted by the Dominican Fra Angelico (Blessed John of Fiesole). You’ll notice the dormition (the falling asleep) of Mary and her Assumption, an act seemingly happening at the same moment. From a dogmatic point of view, the Catholic Church never definitively taught whether Mary experienced death, or not. Pope Pius XII left it an open question. Perhaps it is a both/and point.

Today is a day to Bless Herbs. This is the blessing used by the Byzantines. More info: the Blessing of Herbs AND another Blessing.

Our Lady of the Angels and the Portiuncula Indulgence

Today the Church observes a Franciscan feast of Our Lady of the Angels on which the “Portiuncula” Indulgence is offered. You may not be encountering this feast in a lot of places, but it is very worth knowing. You can also read last year’s post on this feast.

As you know from the personal history Poverello, he repaired three chapels, the last of which is typically called the Portiuncula or the Little Portion, dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels. The chapel now exists within the larger basilica church as seen in the picture. It is here that Franciscans identify their spiritual home. Moreover, it’s here that Saint Clare professed her vows on Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Francis died on October 3, 1226.

The Franciscan tradition tells us that Our Lord accompanied by Our Lady appeared in 1216 Francis who was encouraged to requested from Pope Honorius III to grant an indulgence to all who visited the Portiuncula chapel. Later popes expanded the indulgence to include churches administered by the Friars, and now the indulgence is offered to anyone who fulfills the obligations (see below) in any church.

The usual conditions to receive a gift of a plenary indulgence:

  1. detachment from sin:  a true sorrow for, and repudiation of, all one’s sin, mortal and venial;
  2. sacramental confession within a week of the feast;
  3. reception of Holy Communion on the day the indulgence is sought;
  4. prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father (see the blog entry on August 1 for the intentions) on the day the indulgence is sought (recitation of the creed, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary suffice, or any other suitable prayer).

If these conditions are not met, the indulgence will be partial.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

OL of Mt Carmel and Carmelites.jpg

I was asking myself why today’s feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a universal feast of the Church. But, why, then, is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary a widespread feast? Because of the popularity of the devotion is a good approximate answer. Go to Mary for help is a certain gesture of dependence.


The feast recalls a 1226 victory over enemies of the Church and the Carmelite friars, and it also recalls the reception of the scapular by Saint Simon Stock on this date in 1251.


By the 14th century the proposed feast received approval of the Roman Pontiffs Honorius III and later by Sixtus V; over the years it has been questioned by ecclesiastical figures and found to be appropriate for the Carmelite order with a proper vigil Mass and a privileged octave.


Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s feast is another feast of the Virgin Mary that focuses our eyes on the Lord. And, we can never have a enough of that.


You may be interested in reading this piece on scapulars.

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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