Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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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.

Our Lady of the Atonement

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Today, is the feast of Our Lady of the Atonement. Under her patronage do the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement live their vocation. I was happy to celebrate with a favorite Atonement Sister today!

The Founder of the Franciscans of the Atonement, the Servant of God Father Paul, said of Mary’s part in the Atonement:

“She is necessarily “of the Atonement” since it was the will of God that she play a necessary part in the atonement or redemption. This is not to say that without her man would have remained unredeemed but that God’s plan gave her a large share in the redemptive work…Mary, although her part is in no way similar in nature to that of her divine Son’s, cooperated with Jesus Christ, as no other creature did, in his work of reconciling man with God. Her claim to this high title rests most solidly on the fact that she consented to become, and became the mother of the Redeemer; that she suffered with Jesus during the passion; and that all graces merited for mankind by Christ have come to us through Mary.

When we, therefore, give to our Blessed Mother the title of Our Lady of the Atonement we mean: Our Lady of Unity. As she sits enthroned, as the great wonder of heaven, wearing a crown of twelve stars, clothed with the sun, the moon her footstool, she presents to the universe the highest possible approach of a creature to intimate and exalted union with God.

More on Fr Paul Wattson and the devotion to Atonement.

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


The generosity of the young Virgin Mother of our Savior is honored today. As the prayer below says, Mary was moved by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we also ought to make God’s greatness known, loved and imitated.

On this feast I want to pray for 4 things:

1. for Giovannimaria, 7, who died yesterday after a prolonged illness;

2. for my friend Fr Edward Oakes, SJ, who was recently diagnosed Type-4 pancreatic and liver cancer;

3. for the Order of the Visitation

4. for those who need visit from a person and who lives a lonely existence.

Mary tells us of God’s mercy given to all generations.

With the Church we pray,

Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times.

Mother of silence preserving the mystery of God

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Mother of the silence that preserves the mystery of God, deliver us from the idolatry of the present, to which those who forget are condemned. Purify the eyes of pastors with the balm of memory:that we might return to the freshness of the beginning, for a praying and penitent Church.

Mother of the beauty that blossoms from fidelity to daily work, remove us from the torpor of laziness, of pettiness, and defeatism. Cloak Pastors with that compassion that unifies and integrates: that we might discover the joy of a humble and fraternal servant Church.

Mother of the tenderness which enfolds in patience and mercy, help us burn away the sadness, impatience, and rigidity of those who have not known what it means to belong.

Intercede with your Son that our hands, our feet and our hearts may be swift: that we may build the Church with the truth in charity.

Mother, we will be the People of God, on pilgrimage towards the Kingdom. Amen.

Pope Francis

23 May 2013

Our Lady Help of Christians, Our Lady of Sheshan: a prayer for Chinese Catholics

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Today is the day that Benedict XVI designated to be a World Day of Prayer for China, particularly our Chinese Christian brothers and sisters. The Catholics in China, indeed, all Christians in China have not been respected for the their belief in Jesus Christ and His sacrament, the Church. Pope Francis has reminded us of this act of charity. 

At Wednesday’s General Audience in Rome, Francis recalled that under the patroness of Our Lady, Help of Christians, we go to God. 

The Chinese Catholics venerate under the title of Our Lady of Sheshan, Shanghai.

Pope Francis said:

I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a way that is consistent with the faith they profess.

Making our own a few words of prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, together with you I would like to invoke Mary: Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus.

Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics, render their commitments, which are not easy, more and more precious in the eyes of the Lord, and nurture the affection and the participation of the Church in China in the journey of the Universal Church.”

Benedict XVIs prayer for today, inaugurated in 2008 for the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians; 
Our Lady of Sheshan, states:

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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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