Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Medjugorje & 2 popes

OL Medjugorje.jpgOn the premise that the faithful require the truth, I am still wondering about the authenticity of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje, especially with how one pope dealt with the cult and how the current pope is dealing with it. At the end of July I posted a question about the possibility of the apparitions being a hoax with the reduction to the lay state of the Franciscan priest who promoted the apparitions. With 30 million+ pilgrims since the messages were revealed, there seems to be some continued interest among the Church, Mariologists, and the faithful. I think we all need the discernment of the Church.

The day before the octave day of the Assumption an interview regarding the Medjugoje appearances was posted. Matt Abbott makes some interesting known.
After reading what Abbott’s article, I wonder if the lack of a more swift ecclesial judgment on Medjugoje’s validity whether this is a good example of justice delayed is justice denied.

Queenship of Mary


Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me
according to your word.



Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be
our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the
glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven.


OL of the Pomegranate SBotticelli.jpg

From the encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam of Pope Pius XII in 1954:

“We [Pope Pius XII] are
convinced that this feast will help to preserve, strengthen and prolong that
peace among nations which daily is almost destroyed by recurring crises. Is she
not a rainbow in the clouds reaching towards God, the pledge of a covenant of
peace? “Look upon the rainbow, and bless Him that made it; surely it is
beautiful in its brightness. It encompasses the heaven about with the circle of
its glory, the hands of the Most High have displayed it. “Whoever,
therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth – and let no one consider
himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul – let him invoke
the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace; let him respect and
preserve peace, which is not wickedness unpunished nor freedom without
restraint, but a well-ordered harmony under the rule of the will of God; to its
safeguarding and growth the gentle urgings and commands of the Virgin Mary
impel us.”

Pius XII wrote a stunning treatise on the Queenship of Mary showing
how through the millennia Mary was honored with the title of “Mother of God” and
therefore theologians and preachers have accorded her the title of Queen of Heaven
and Earth

Read the entire encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam (1954)
 and pray the prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed
Virgin Mary as proposed by the pope.



A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we
consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our
country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and
use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the
World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King.
Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and
homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for
souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence
to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same
Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make
our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus,
together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. Amen.

Venerable
Servant of God Pope Pius XII


Mary leads us on the path to Christ

“Following Jesus from Bethlehem to exile in
Egypt, in the hidden life and public life, even to the foot of the Cross, Mary
lives her steady ascent to God in the spirit of the Magnificat, adhering in
full, even through moments of  ‘darkness and suffering’, to the project of
the love of God and nourishing in her heart her total abandonment to the hands
of the Lord, so as to be a paradigm for the faith of the Church (cf. Lumen
Gentium
, 64-65). All of life is an ascent, all of life is meditation,
obedience, trust and hope even in darkness and all of life is this sacred haste
that knows that God is always the priority and nothing else should create haste
in our lives.


The Assumption reminds us that Mary’s life, like that of every
Christian is a journey to follow Jesus, a path that has a clearly defined goal,
a future already mapped out: the final victory over sin and death and full
communion with God.”

(Pope Benedict XVI Assumption 2009)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

See the beauty of the daughter of Jerusalem, who ascended to
heaven like the rising sun at dawn.

The ark which God has sanctified,

OL Assumption ACastagno.jpg

Which He has filled with
grace,

Within the temple of the Lord

Has found a resting-place.

More glorious
than the seraphim,

This ark of love divine,

Corruption could not blemish her

Whom
death could not confine.

God-bearing Mother, Virgin chaste,

Who shines in
heaven’s sight;

She wears a royal crown of stars

Who is the door of Light.

To Father, Son and Spirit blest

may we give endless praise

With Mary, who is Queen of heaven,

Through everlasting days.

(from Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal)

Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula


OL of the Angels of teh Portiuncula.jpgToday is the feast of Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula, the Virgin under whose mantle Saint Francis of Assisiwas wrapped; Mary’s maternal protection made it possible for blessed Francis to experience an intentse Presence of the Lord and to receive his vocation to rebuild the Church. The Portiuncula is also the place where Francis knew first hand the experience of being sustained by the Angels. Likewise his intimate devotion to the Blessed Mother, under whose protection did he place himself to do the Lord’s work did this place become holy for the members of the Franciscan family and for the Church universal. As a place of pilgrimage, the holy Portiuncula is a poignant reminder of how important the encounter with Christ was for Saint Francis and how much the encounter ought to be pivotal for us today. Without meeting Christ, little makes sense. Saint Bonaventure had this to say about this devotion:

The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin
Mother of God which was abandoned. Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ. This is also the place where St Clare took her vows and where Saint Francis died.

Consider the words of an early biographer of Saint Francis of Assisi:

From there he moved to another place, which is called the

“Portiuncula,” where there stood a church of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God built in ancient times.  At that time it was deserted and no one was taking care of it.  When the holy man of God saw it so ruined, he was moved by piety because he had a warm devotion to the Mother of all good and he began to stay there continually. The restoration of that church took place in the third year of his conversion. At this time he wore a sort of hermit’s habit with a leather belt. He carried a staff in his hand and wore shoes. One day the gospel was being read in that church about how the Lord sent out his disciples to preach. The holy man of God, who was attending there, in order to understand better the words of the gospel, humbly begged the priest after celebrating the solemnities of the Mass to explain the gospel to him. The priest explained it all to him thoroughly line by line.  When he heard that Christ’s disciples should not possess gold or silver or money, or carry on
their journey a wallet or a sack, nor bread nor a staff, not to have shoes nor two tunics, but that they should preach the kingdom of God and penance, the holy man, Francis immediately exulted in the spirit of God. “This is what I want,” he said, “this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart.” The holy father, overflowing with joy, hastened to
implement the words of salvation, and did not delay before he devoutly began to put into effect what he heard. (From The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano)

Read about and perhaps seek The Portiuncula Indulgence if you visit any Franciscan Church and observe the conditions for receiving the indulgence.

The Holy Father made reference to this in his Sunday Angelus address:

… today is the feast of the “Pardon of Assisi,” which St. Francis obtained from Pope Honorious III in the year 1216, after
having a vision while he was praying in the little church of the Portiuncula. Jesus appeared to him in his glory, with the Virgin Mary on his right and surrounded by many Angels. They asked him to express a wish and Francis implored a “full and generous pardon” for all those who would visit that church who “repented and confessed their sins”. Having received
papal approval, the Saint did not wait for any written document but hastened to Assisi and when he reached the Portiuncula announced the good news: “Friends, the Lord wants to have us all in Heaven!”. Since then, from noon on 1 August to midnight on the second, it has been possible to obtain, on the usual conditions, a Plenary Indulgence, also for the dead, on visiting a parish church or a Franciscan one.

A note about indulgences, which are often misunderstood.  Indulgences are not forgiveness for sin but forgiveness
for temporal punishment due to sin; that the residual effects of sin are forgiven.

Also, visit The Shrine website (read in 3 languages)

On this feast we pray

August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the hell.

Who can be compared to God? Oh good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen.

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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