Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary, the Mother of God is united with the Church, St Ambrose teaches


By reason of the gift and role of divine maternity, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with His singular graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united with the Church. As St. Ambrose taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ.  For in the mystery of the Church, which is itself rightly called mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother.  By her belief and obedience, not knowing man but overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, as the new Eve she brought forth on earth the very Son of the Father, showing an undefiled faith, not in the word of the ancient serpent, but in that of God’s messenger. The Son whom she brought forth is He whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, namely the faithful, in whose birth and education she cooperates with a maternal love.

Second Vatican Council 

Lumen gentium

The Annunciation: God’s presence among us is true

Lent and Easter interrupted the March 25th observance of the Annunciation, so the Church transferred the Solemnity of the Annunciation until today. Two striking pieces for our mediation: one from Saint Leo the Great and the other from the Servant of God Father Luigi Giussani.

Annunciation by PCavallini.jpg

Each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration.  To every one, when he is reborn, the water of baptism is like the Virgin’s womb, for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing.  [s. 24.3]

St. Leo the Great


The Angel’s words could have astounded with wonder and humility the young woman to whom they were addressed. But they were not so astounding as to be totally unintelligible; they contained something that made them intelligible to the heart of that young girl who was living her religious duties. The Virgin embraced them to herself: “I am the handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to Your word.” Not because she understood but, in the confusion that had become boundless because of the Mystery that announced itself by vibrating in her flesh, the Virgin opened her arms wide, the arms of her freedom, and said, “Yes.” And she stayed alert every day, every hour, every minute of her life. The Virgin Mary’s state of mind, that state of mind which determines an attitude and decides for it in the face of the occasion and the moment, how can we better describe the Virgin’s state of mind than with the word “silence”? Silence as memory filled to overflowing. Two things contributed to this memory, two things determined this silence. The first was remembering what had happened. What had happened preserved its marvelousness, its true mystery, its mystery of truth intact because — and this is the second thing — it had something that was present: that Child, that present young Man, that Son who was present.

Luigi Giussani

Meditations on Rosary

Regina Coeli – Queen of Heaven

St Luke painting the BVM.jpg

During the 50 days of Easter the three-times prayed Marian antiphon, the Angelus, changes to the Regina Coeli. Like the Angelus, it is prayed morning, noon and night. Some people only pray it following Night Prayer (Compline); yet the greater tradition is to pray the Regina Coeli many times a day as a way of remembering (recall the Church’s example of being aware of Christ and His being with us, and what Pope Francis said about remembering yesterday in his Easter homily: we remember the events of Jesus life, death, and resurrection as a gift)! Hence, the Regina Coeli…

Several pious legends swirl around. One is that Pope Saint Gregory had a vision in which he heard the lines of the prayer that became known as the Regina Coeli connected with Saint Luke painting the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In reality, the Franciscans made the prayer popular when the concluded Compline during Easter with it. It is the custom of Catholics, since the 12th century, to pray with Mary, the Holy Theotokos (Mother of God), from Easter Day through Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter.

Queen of Heaven

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

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The Annunciation: the beginning of salvation

Today is the beginning of our salvation,

The revelation of the eternal mystery!

The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin.

As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.

Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:

Rejoice, O Full of Grace,

The Lord is with You!

(Troparion, Tone 4)

Annunciation Icon 2013.jpg

Indeed, today is the beginning of salvation history. As St Luke’s gospel (1:26-38) reveals, and as other languages portray the Incarnation, we’ve received “good tidings.” From the moment the angel’s message was received positively by Mary cosmic history has never been the same. March 25 is the solemnity of the Annunciation to the Mary that she’s be the Mother of God (the most Holy Theotokos). And it’s Holy Week followed by Eastertide, the Church will observe this solemn occasion on April 8. Nevertheless, a word or two need to be said about the Annunciation.

Liturgical history tells us that there exists a 2nd century painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla. And more widely celebrated since the 4th century, the Christian community has observed the Annunciation as  a solemn day of grace.

Ecclesiastical history bears witness to the Council of Toledo in 656 mentioning the Feast in Spain and then at the Council in Trullo in 692 indicating the Church there having a celebration of the Annunciation even though it was Lent. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council spoke about the Marian principle of the Church as being fundamental to the life of the Church (see the conclusion of Lumen Gentium), even more important that the Petrine principles because what we believe to be true about the Incarnation. 

On the Annunciation, the Knights of Columbus pray for the unborn children and the work of being pro Life.

The feast testifies that God fulfills His promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.” What the prophets and teachers of the Law believed and taught the people of Israel, was given by Gabriel’s announcement; and in the Christian dispensation the Fathers of the Church have taught that what is called “her seed” to refer to Jesus. Here is an unmistakable theological view that Jesus is the new Adam, the new tree of life, the new Law, the new Lawgiver, the new face of God.

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Pope Francis visits Marian Shrine

Pope Francis at Santa Maria Maggiore.jpgThe most significant Marian Shrine in Rome, and one of the central ones in Christian the world, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, had a visit by Pope Francis today for a half-hour of prayer before the Blessed Mother. He wanted to “go pray to the Madonna so that she may protect Rome.” 

A great beginning showing us that the Christian way is merciful and joyful in honoring the model of mercy and joy, the Mother of the Church, Mary, the Mother of God.
Vatican Radio’s report by Veronica Scarisbrick.

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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