Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Sorrows


Nuestra Senora de Dolores.jpgThe Virgin Mary, who believed in the word of the Lord,
did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, abused and
crucified. Rather she remained beside Jesus, suffering and praying, until the
end. And she saw the radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to
witness to our faith with a life of humble service, ready to personally pay the
price of staying faithful to the Gospel of love and truth, certain that nothing
that we do will be lost. 


Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus – September 13, 2009

The Most Holy Name of Mary

Czestochowa OL.jpgThe Church has offered us a “Marian sandwich.” Let me explain. This week we are honoring the Mother of God with three distinct memorials: The Nativity of Mary (Sept. 8) and Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept 15) and today the commemoration of the Holy Name of Mary. In liturgical history this feast has been observed on various days before settling on this day. The feast was reintroduced to our Roman Missal by Pope John Paul II.

The Roman Martyrology writes,
The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on which the inexpressible love of the Mother of God for her Holy Child is recalled, and the eyes of the faithful are directed to the figure of the Mother of the Redeemer, for them to invoke with devotion.
The Church prays,
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, for all who celebrate the glorious Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she may obtain your merciful favor.

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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nativity of Mary print.jpgLet us celebrate with joy the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for from her arose the sun of justice, Christ our God. (antiphon)

Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation.

Several things to pray for today,

  • the Most Rev. Edoardo Aldo Cerrrato, CO, on the day of his episcopal ordination in Rome;
  • the Cistercian Order;
  • those who professed vows today;
  • the Benedictines of Saint Mary’s Monastery (Petersham, MA);
  • Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM, Cap, on the first anniversary of being the archbishop of Philadelphia;
  • Michael Maggiore who is healing.

Keeping in mind what Saint Thomas of Villanova reflected upon for today’s feast,

“What joy, what happiness there is in heaven! The shoot for the root of Jesse, sown so long ago in the patriarchs, has today sprung up and began  to grow, and will bear a Flower which is destined to heal the world; a Flower whose scent revives the dead, whose taste heals the sick, whose beauty delights the angels; a Flower both white and red, which the angels long to see.”

Father Francis Weiser, S.J., in his The Holyday Book writes about today’s feast thus:

On Our Lady’s birthday the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Saviour’s mother, Mary.

The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too.

Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as “Cause of our joy,” one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

Since September 8 marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, this day has many thanksgiving celebrations and customs attached to it. In the Old Roman Ritual there is a blessing of the summer harvest and fall planting seeds for this day.

The winegrowers in France called this feast “Our Lady of the Grape Harvest”. The best grapes are brought to the local church to be blessed and then some bunches are attached to hands of the statue of Mary. A festive meal which includes the new grapes is part of this day.

In the Alps section of Austria this day is “Drive-Down Day” during which the cattle and sheep are led from their summer pastures in the slopes and brought to their winter quarters in the valleys.

This was usually a large caravan, with all the finery, decorations, and festivity. In some parts of Austria, milk from this day and all the leftover food are given to the poor in honor of Our Lady’s Nativity.

The 2010 post which includes a portion of a homily Saint Andrew of Crete is here.

Queenship of Mary



Mary crowned Van Eyck.jpg

We, too,
approach thee to-day, O Queen; and again, I say, O Queen, O Virgin Mother of
God, staying our souls with our trust in thee, as with a strong anchor. Lifting
up mind, soul and body, and all ourselves to thee, rejoicing in psalms and
hymns and spiritual canticles, we reach through thee One who is beyond our
reach on account of His Majesty. (Saint John of Damascus)


… devotion to Our Lady is an important element
in our spiritual lives. In our prayer, let us not neglect to turn trustfully to
her. Mary will not neglect to intercede for us next to her Son. In looking to
her, let us imitate her faith, her complete availability to God’s plan of love,
her generous welcoming of Jesus. Let us learn to live by Mary. Mary is the
Queen of heaven who is close to God, but she is also the Mother who is close to
each one of us, who loves us and who listens to our voice. 

Pope Benedict XVI

Queenship of Mary, 2012

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


OL of Assumption with angels.jpg“those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom
8:30)


Almighty ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into heavenly glory, grant we pray, that always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.

What was given to Mary, is offered to us: to share in the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Unlike the Gaga song of “being on the edge of glory,” we Christians are offered the possibility of being in the center of glory. But do we believe it?

Eastern and Western Christians observe on the same day the glorious move
of Mary from this world to the next. The Eastern Christians call today’s feast
the “Dormition,” the falling asleep of the Theotokos and the assumption to
heaven. In the West, we refer to this feast as the Assumption. That Mary,
without decay of the human, was called to heaven body and soul, by God.

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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]yahoo.com.
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