Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Mother & Child.jpg

God our Father, may we always profit by the prayers of the
Virgin Mother Mary, for You bring us life and salvation through Jesus Christ
her Son who lives and regins with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever.

from Catechism of the Catholic:

Called in the Gospels “the Mother of
Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and
even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord.” In
fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became
her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son,
the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is
truly “Mother of God.” (495).

from the Directory on Popular and the
: The Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God:

On New Year’s Day, the octave
day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of
God. The divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a
singular salvific event: for Our Lady it was the foretaste and cause of her
extraordinary glory; for us it is a source of grace and salvation because
“through her we have received the Author of life.”

The solemnity of the 1
January, an eminently Marian feast, presents an excellent opportunity for
liturgical piety to encounter popular piety: the first celebrates this event in
a manner proper to it; the second, when duly catechised, lends joy and
happiness to the various expressions of praise offered to Our Lady on the birth
of her divine Son, to deepen our understanding of many prayers, beginning with
that which says: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners”.

the West, 1 January is an inaugural day marking the beginning of the civil
year. The faithful are also involved in the celebrations for the beginning of
the new year and exchange “new year” greetings. However, they should
try to lend a Christian understanding to this custom making of these greetings
an expression of popular piety. The faithful, naturally, realize that the
“new year” is placed under the patronage of the Lord, and in
exchanging new year greetings they implicitly and explicitly place the New Year
under the Lord’s dominion, since to him belongs all time (cf. Ap 1, 8; 22,13)

connection between this consciousness and the popular custom of singing the Veni
Creator Spiritus can easily be made so that on 1 January the faithful can pray
that the Spirit may direct their thoughts and actions, and those of the
community during the course of the year.+New year greetings also include an
expression of hope for a peaceful New Year. This has profound biblical,
Christological and incarnational origins. The “quality of peace” has
always been invoked throughout history by all men, and especially during violent
and destructive times of war.

The Holy See shares the profound aspirations of
man for peace. Since 1967, 1 January has been designated “world day for
peace”. Popular piety has not been oblivious to this initiative of the
Holy See. In the light of the new born Prince of Peace, it reserves this day
for intense prayer for peace, education towards peace and those value
inextricably linked with it, such as liberty, fraternal solidarity, the dignity
of the human person, respect for nature, the right to work, the sacredness of
human life, and the denunciation of injustices which trouble the conscience of
man and threaten peace. (115-117)

Feast of the Patronage of Our Lady of the Order of Friars Preachers

St Dominic & BVM.jpg

O God, who for the salvation of souls didst place the Order
of Preachers under the special protection of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and
wast please to pour out upon it her constant benefits: grant unto thy
suppliants that we may be led unto the joy of heaven through the aid of that
same protectress whose memory we revere today. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray for the Friars Preachers on the anniversary of papal approval in 1216.

2 beating hearts, hidden but present in Mystery

Thumbnail image for Annunciation detail Angelico.jpgWe have all had the occasion by a moment to sense more
intensely the presence of Christ in the Eucharist during the celebration of the
Mass, during Eucharistic adoration, or even in the Tabernacle, when we walk
into a church. There is Christ. He is there whether we sense or experience His
.  But precisely because this is the case, we are sometimes given
to experience that He is present. Such experience is not the source of faith,
but in some way it is its consequence.

But what about the experience of the
Blessed Virgin Mary during Advent? It is reasonable, like the Fathers of the
Church, to see Mary as the original tabernacle. The Word became flesh and
dwells among us.  This being hidden but present among us is first of all
realized during the time of Advent in the home of Nazareth, in the womb of
Mary, under the protection of Saint Joseph.  Mary meditated upon all these
things and kept them in her heart. We can reasonably speculate that she read
scripture during this time, in silence, most likely the words of Isaiah, his
prophesies, and found in them a sense of the meaning of what was happening to

St. Augustine says that she conceived the Word in her heart before she
conceived the Word in her flesh. So that her maternity was accompanied by an
intensification and growth in faith, in contemplation, in the intelligent
perception of mystery
. The Second Vatican Council says that during the time of
her pregnancy the heart of the Incarnate Word beat gently below the heart of
Mary, her immaculate heart. Two immaculate hearts, beating silently and
prayerfully in the night of this world.

(Fr. Thomas J. White, OP, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC)

Our Lady of Guadalupe

OL Guadalupe.jpgOur Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession
for the holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff,  help all those who invoke thee in their necessities, and
since thou art the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God,  obtain for us from thy most holy Son the
grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning
charity and the precious gift of
final perseverance. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us.

This prayer was approved and enriched with an
indulgence by Pope Pius X at all audience held on August, 1908, and was
included in the official edition of approved indulgenced prayers (1950).

“I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear the weeping and their sorrows, and will remedy and alleviate their sufferings, hardships and misfortunes…Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”

Words spoken by Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 1531

Grace at work in Mary Immaculate

The privilege of Mary Immaculate does not consist solely in the absence of original sin, but much more in being “full of grace.” The Mother of Jesus gave to the world that very life which renews all things … and was enriched by God with gifts befitting such a role … She was adorned from the first instant of her conception with the splendors of an entirely unique holiness (Lumen Gentium 56).

Gabriel’s greeting, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” is the strongest testimony of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, who would not be “full of grace” in the complete sense of the word if she had been stained by sin for a single moment.

Thus the Blessed Virgin began life with a richness of grace which far surpasses that which the greatest saints acquire at the end of their lives. When we also consider her absolute fidelity and her total availability to God, we can faintly imagine to what heights of love and communion with God she attained far beyond all other creatures in heaven and on earth (Lumen Gentium 53).

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
Divine Intimacy

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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