Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Immaculate Conception of Mary

IC BVMToday we honor Mary with a Solemnity, recalling the title she has carried as the Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception. Under the title of the Immaculate Conception is placed the USA. So, let us pray for our country and for ourselves asking for the solicitude of the Divine Maternity. As always, we need to remember that anything we say about Mary needs to be true for her Son –it all has to cohere. Saint Anselm wrote, “Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.”

Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem writes:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God that can never be lost. You have won from God a most glorious favor, a grace long desired, a grace of great splendor, a saving grace, an unfailing grace, a grace that will last forever. Many before you have been holy, but no one has been as favored as you, no one as blessed as you, no one as perfectly sanctified as you, no one as highly praised as you. No one else has like you been possessed from the first by purifying grace, no one else has been enlightened like you, or exalted like you, for no one has approached so close to God as you, or been enriched with such divine gifts, or endowed with such heavenly grace.”

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Presentation of Mary in the Temple

Presentation of Mary in the TempleThe feast of the Presentation of Mary is a contemplation on we relate to the Temple following Mary as the Perfect Disciple (the paradigmatic believer), relate to us. This feast asks the question of how we, in our bodies, are meant to live in the Temple of the Lord. Our bodies are meant for the Lord. You ought to read Saint Paul’s First Letter to Corinthians in the 6th chapter: our bodies are members of Christ. So, what is it that we are called by the Lord? What is Mary’s place in the economy of Salvation and how do we relate to the same economy? What has happened to us in Christ?

We the Church we pray:

As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace.

We need to appeal to the Byzantine Liturgy which proclaims,

“Today is the prelude to God’s munificence, and the announcement of salvation: in the Temple of God the Virgin is seen openly, foretelling to all the coming of Christ…The most pure temple of the Savior, his most precious bridal chamber, the Virgin, sacred treasury of God’s glory, enters today into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace of the divine Spirit. Wherefore the angels of God are singing: “Behold the heavenly tabernacle!…Wherefore let us cry out to her with all our strength: ‘Joy to you fulfillment of the Creator’s plan!'” At the moment when the young girl Mary was presented in the glorious Temple “everything that humans build was already diminished by the praise in her heart” (Rilke)

As a Benedictine Oblate, today is the day we renew our Oblation to our particular monasteries. As Through the intercession of Mary of the Temple may we Oblates recognize our true end in Christ. The hymn verse says it all: “Today, this day, is the day of the Lord. Rejoice, people, for lo, the bridal chamber of the Light, the book of the Word of Life, the Temple of the living God, has come forth from the womb, and the gate facing east, newly born, awaits the entrance of the great High Priest. She alone brings into the world the one and only Christ for the salvation of our souls.” God became flesh through Mary. So we should also be the Temple of the Lord today.

Here is an exposition of this feast by the Orthodox priest Father Thomas Hopko on Ancient Faith Ministries.

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

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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