Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

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

Immaculate Conception of Mary

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Hail Mary, full of grace!
Today we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As we venerate her life of holiness, full of grace from the beginning of her existence, we praise God and acclaim the power of his gifts. May all Christians, filled with joyful hope and following the example of Mary, be faithful to God’s grace and seek a life of holiness.
(Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus address, December 8, 2009)
She is the branch of Jesse, the Virgin Mother, the garden wherein grew the divine plant, the holy fountain sealed with the mysterious gift: she it is that made the world happy by the fruit of her virginal womb.
Paul the Deacon, monk of Montecassino

Vatican to comment on Medjugorje claims

The cardinal of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic, said that the Holy See will make an official statement about the supposed apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. These sightings of Mary have been happening since 1981 to six people. The news story is seen here. This is a welcomed and necessary pastoral development.

Mary sustains our hearts

OL Perpetual Help.jpgIn danger, in distress, in uncertainty, think of Mary, call upon Mary. She never leaves your lips, she never departs from your heart; and so that you may obtain the help of her prayers, never forget the example of her life. If you follow her, you cannot falter; if you pray to her, you cannot despair; if you think of her, you cannot err. If she sustains you, you will not stumble; if she protects you, you have nothing to fear; if she guides you, you will flag; if she is favorable to you, you will attain your goal….


(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Hom. II super Missus est, 17: PL 183, 70-71.)

Medjugorje still garners attention

Until recently I really didn’t pay too much attention to
“new apparitions” of the Blessed Mother. I had all I can do to maintain what
knew or to explore what I wanted what I felt I needed to know about some of the
trends in Marian devotion. One more apparition of the BVM, even if current and seemingly
well-practiced, is not always interesting to me because of a perception that
yet another devotion to the Virgin Mary is creeping its way onto my plate
without ecclesial approval. Skepticism may be from the devil. I have raised the question about the truthfulness of this appearance of the BVM. But as Providence
would have, the apparitions of Mary from Medjugorje have found me. A few people
have written to me in the past suggesting that I have misread the situation
(perhaps I have) in a place like Medjugorje. Now I have a friend, a Franciscan
sister, keeping me informed on Marian visits. It’s all helpful, indeed and I
appreciate the feedback.

Reading the Catholic news services this morning I
noticed an article saying that the Bosnian cardinal, Vinko Puljic, thinks
someone at the Holy See (the pope?) is going issue a directive on Medjugorje’s claim
on the BVM making frequent visits there since the early 1980s. It is only speculation
at this point that the Holy See will say anything soon, but I do think he’s right in asking for such a directive to
appear for pastoral reasons. A little more guidance from the Holy See would be
extremely helpful. An evaluation of what has happened and what is happening
could set the record straight and help direct a reasonable pastoral response.
Throwing clichés and acidic words around on matters of doctrine, people
involved and spiritual practice is tantamount to spiritual malpractice. Plus,
fidelity to the teaching office of the Catholic Church is essential for true
Catholics. I just hope the Holy See takes Cardinal Puljic’s suggestion.

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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