Theotokos, as the ever-blessed and immaculate Mother of our God. More honorable
than the cherubim, and by far more glorious than the seraphim, ever a virgin, you
gave birth to God the Word; O true Theotokos, we magnify you!
Saturday was the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the liturgical
commemoration of Mary on which we automatically thought of the brown
scapular. Or, we did make an association with the BVM of Mount Carmel and the scapular. Our sensibilities have changed dramatically to the point that only the old people remember such devotions by-and-large.
Recently at the parish we were talking about selling rosaries,
bibles, catechisms nun-made fudge, and I introduced offering the brown
scapular. The person who is organizing this very small “church store” looked at me
quizzically: what are scapulars? So much for Catholic culture and the Catholic
liturgical imagination! I explained that as a concept originally referred to a
form of clothing, a wide band of clothe put on the shoulders reaching down to the front and back of the legs, often to the ankles. The scapular is worn by priests, nuns, and sisters like, but not limited to
the Dominicans; the scapular historically was worn as an apron that would
protect the tunic. Later the scapular was blessed taking it out of the realm of
a work outfit. But I am not talking about the scapular worn as part of the religious habit of the religious.
The missionary image of Our Lady of Pompeii is making the rounds the various parishes in the USA strengthening the faith of the people and evoking the confidence in Christ. Tonight, the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Pompeii was brought to the parish church named for the same in East Haven, CT. Thanks to Father Matthew R. Mauriello, pastor of Saint Roch Church (Greenwich, CT) and the coordinator of the US Marian Mission of Our Lady of Pompeii.
Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.
Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.
Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.
Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.