Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Providence

OL of ProvidenceI didn’t know that today was the feast day of Our Lady of Providence or Our Lady of Divine Providence until I saw it noted on a friend’s FB page. This title given to the Mother of God is a reference to Mary as the Mother of Jesus who lives in relationship with Divine Providence.

As my friend noted, “Devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence began in the first house of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites) in Rome at San Carlo ai Catinari church around year 1611. Around 1580, the Italian painter Scipione Pulzone created a work titled “Mater Divinae Providentiae,” which depicted the Blessed Mother cradling the Infant Jesus. This painting was given to the Barnabite religious order in 1663.”

“In 1774, Pope Benedict XIV authorized the Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence, a lay organization created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety. Pope Gregory XVI elevated it to an Archconfraternity in 1839. In 1888, Pope Leo XIII ordered the solemn crowning of the “Miraculous Lady” and approved the Mass and Office of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence.”

On 5 August 1896, Superior General of the Barnabites Father Benedict Nisser decreed that every Barnabite have a copy of the painting in their home.

For a variety of reasons, this new information is a great “find” for me. I entreat you to call upon Our Lady of Providence right now!

Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message

This production is narrated by Jim Caviezel and produced by Knights of Columbus.
 
“Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message” paints an inspiring picture of the history, legacy, and continued relevance of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
 
The documentary will air as part of ABC’s Visions and Values Series between Oct. 11 and Dec. 10. Check local listing.

Our Lady of the Rosary

Pio praying rosary“Have you not often met poor old women who are most faithful to the pious recitation of the Rosary? You also must do all that you can to recite it with fervour. Get right down, at the feet of Jesus: it is a good thing to make oneself small in the presence of so great a God.”

Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB
Christ, the Ideal of the Priest

Our Lady of Sorrows –connecting Mary with her Son

OL of SorrowsOn this liturgical memorial of Our Lady, perhaps it is a good time to introduce the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows (or Dolors) of Mary. This method of praying the rosary follows events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary that are a popular devotion. Meditated prayerfully on are:

1. The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34–35) or the Circumcision of Jesus

2. The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)

3. The loss of the child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43–45)

4. Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary.

5. Jesus dies on the cross. (John 19:25)

6. The piercing of the side of Jesus, and Mary’s receiving the body of Jesus in her arms. (Matthew 27:57–59)

7. The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb. (John 19:40–42)

Our Lady of Sorrows… the Mother of God with a pierced your heart

Mary of SorrowsFrom a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot:

The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.

Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus—who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours—gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.

Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!

Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.

Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.

RESPONSORY

When they came to a place called Calvary, they crucified Jesus there.
– His mother stood beside the cross.

A sword of sorrows pierced her blameless heart.
– His mother stood beside the cross.

O God, who willed
that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross,
his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering,
grant that your Church,
participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ,
may merit a share in his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– 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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