Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dormition Solesmes AbbeyWe have the great Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary today! We honor the transitus of the Mother of God because what happened to her, is also the gift God wants to give to us. The commemoration of the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary is known as the Assumption because of the tradition that her body did not decay but that she was raised up, body and soul, into heaven. The Eastern Churches call today’s commemoration the Dormition, or falling asleep. The Assumption tradition was already present among right-believing/worshipping Christians in the sixth century. It was thought at the beginning of the 20th century that since that this doctrine so widespread and after consulting the views of the world’s bishops, Pope Pius XII formally and infallibly declared the doctrine of the Assumption to be part of the authentic and ancient dogma of the universal Church on 1 November 1950.

Saint Robert Bellarmino reflects: “And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be the food of worms.”

I think Father David Petras gives an important sum of the feast in this way: This is the mystery the ends of the earth celebrate today, for it has transformed the meaning of human life, and “through he holy Dormition, the world is given new life.”

Virgin Mary’s Role in the Defeat of Satan

There is a very interesting conference being planned for next week that needs our attention even though the meeting is for clergy and related persons to the field of the spiritual life and exorcism only and the conference is closed to new registrations. The Pope Leo XIII Institute is hosting a conference, “The Virgin Mary’s Role in the Defeat of Satan” at Mundelein Seminary, August 7-12, 2016.

Keep the participants in prayer.

Our Lady of Mt Carmel

Flower of CarmelFLOS Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
singularis.

FLOWER of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“A man was rushed to a New York City hospital unconscious and dying. The nurse saw the man was wearing a brown scapular of a Our Lady of Mount Carmel and called for the priest. As the prayers were being said for the dying, the man became conscious. ‘Father, I am not a Catholic.’ The man said. The priest asked why he was wearing the scapular. ‘I promised friends I would wear it and say one Hail Mary each day.’ The priest asked the man if he wanted to baptized. The man desired his whole life to become Catholic. He was baptized and received the Last Rites and died in peace.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

OL Perpetual Help and Pius IXThe image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help measures around 50 centimeters (25 inches) high. It is in the Byzantine style, painted on wood with a gold leaf background. The Virgin is there with Her divine Child; each of them has a golden halo. Two Angels, one on the right and the other on the left, present the instruments of the Passion to the Child Jesus who is frightened, whereas the Blessed Virgin looks at the pathetic scene with calm, resigned sorrow.

The image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help had long been venerated on the Isle of Crete. The inhabitants of that island, fleeing a Turkish invasion, took it with them to Rome. By the invocation of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the ship transporting Her holy image was saved from a terrible storm.

On March 27, 1499, the portrait of the Virgin of Perpetual Help was carried in triumph through the streets of Rome. Preceded by the clergy and followed by the people, it was placed over the main altar of St. Matthew’s church, near St. Mary Major. Thanks to the care of the Augustinian friars, the holy image became the object of a very popular devotion which God rewarded for several centuries with many miracles.

During the disturbances of the French Revolution (1789-1793), the French troops occupying Rome destroyed St. Matthew’s church. One of the friars serving in that sanctuary had the time to secretly remove the miraculous Madonna. He hid it so well that for sixty years, no one knew what had become of the famous painting.

God permitted a concourse of providential circumstances which led to rediscovery of the venerated image. In 1865, in order to return the holy picture to the same spot it had been prayed to before, Pius IX gave orders to have it taken to the Esquiline Hill, in St. Alphonsus Liguori’s church, built on the site of old St. Matthew’s. On April 26, 1866, the Redemptorists solemnly enthroned Our Lady of Perpetual Help in their chapel.

From that time on, thanks to the zeal of the sons of Saint Alphonsus and the countless miracles obtained in their pious sanctuary, devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help has had an extraordinary development. To acknowledge and perpetuate the remembrances of these precious favors, the Vatican Chapter crowned the holy image in great pomp on June 23, 1867.

In 1876, Pope Pius IX erected an Archconfraternity in St. Alphonsus’ church under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Today the Blessed Virgin is invoked by this name throughout the Western Church.

(Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l’année, Mame: Tours, 1950, pp. 463-464 – Brothers of Christian Schools, 1932 ed., p. 483.)

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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