Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

The Most Holy Name of Mary

Czestochowa OL.jpgThe Church has offered us a “Marian sandwich.” Let me explain. This week we are honoring the Mother of God with three distinct memorials: The Nativity of Mary (Sept. 8) and Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept 15) and today the commemoration of the Holy Name of Mary. In liturgical history this feast has been observed on various days before settling on this day. The feast was reintroduced to our Roman Missal by Pope John Paul II.

The Roman Martyrology writes,
The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on which the inexpressible love of the Mother of God for her Holy Child is recalled, and the eyes of the faithful are directed to the figure of the Mother of the Redeemer, for them to invoke with devotion.
The Church prays,
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, for all who celebrate the glorious Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she may obtain your merciful favor.

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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nativity of Mary print.jpgLet us celebrate with joy the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for from her arose the sun of justice, Christ our God. (antiphon)

Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation.

Several things to pray for today,

  • the Most Rev. Edoardo Aldo Cerrrato, CO, on the day of his episcopal ordination in Rome;
  • the Cistercian Order;
  • those who professed vows today;
  • the Benedictines of Saint Mary’s Monastery (Petersham, MA);
  • Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM, Cap, on the first anniversary of being the archbishop of Philadelphia;
  • Michael Maggiore who is healing.

Keeping in mind what Saint Thomas of Villanova reflected upon for today’s feast,

“What joy, what happiness there is in heaven! The shoot for the root of Jesse, sown so long ago in the patriarchs, has today sprung up and began  to grow, and will bear a Flower which is destined to heal the world; a Flower whose scent revives the dead, whose taste heals the sick, whose beauty delights the angels; a Flower both white and red, which the angels long to see.”

Father Francis Weiser, S.J., in his The Holyday Book writes about today’s feast thus:

On Our Lady’s birthday the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Saviour’s mother, Mary.

The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too.

Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as “Cause of our joy,” one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

Since September 8 marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, this day has many thanksgiving celebrations and customs attached to it. In the Old Roman Ritual there is a blessing of the summer harvest and fall planting seeds for this day.

The winegrowers in France called this feast “Our Lady of the Grape Harvest”. The best grapes are brought to the local church to be blessed and then some bunches are attached to hands of the statue of Mary. A festive meal which includes the new grapes is part of this day.

In the Alps section of Austria this day is “Drive-Down Day” during which the cattle and sheep are led from their summer pastures in the slopes and brought to their winter quarters in the valleys.

This was usually a large caravan, with all the finery, decorations, and festivity. In some parts of Austria, milk from this day and all the leftover food are given to the poor in honor of Our Lady’s Nativity.

The 2010 post which includes a portion of a homily Saint Andrew of Crete is here.

Queenship of Mary

Mary crowned Van Eyck.jpg

We, too,
approach thee to-day, O Queen; and again, I say, O Queen, O Virgin Mother of
God, staying our souls with our trust in thee, as with a strong anchor. Lifting
up mind, soul and body, and all ourselves to thee, rejoicing in psalms and
hymns and spiritual canticles, we reach through thee One who is beyond our
reach on account of His Majesty. (Saint John of Damascus)

… devotion to Our Lady is an important element
in our spiritual lives. In our prayer, let us not neglect to turn trustfully to
her. Mary will not neglect to intercede for us next to her Son. In looking to
her, let us imitate her faith, her complete availability to God’s plan of love,
her generous welcoming of Jesus. Let us learn to live by Mary. Mary is the
Queen of heaven who is close to God, but she is also the Mother who is close to
each one of us, who loves us and who listens to our voice. 

Pope Benedict XVI

Queenship of Mary, 2012

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

OL of Assumption with angels.jpg“those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom

Almighty ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into heavenly glory, grant we pray, that always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.

What was given to Mary, is offered to us: to share in the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Unlike the Gaga song of “being on the edge of glory,” we Christians are offered the possibility of being in the center of glory. But do we believe it?

Eastern and Western Christians observe on the same day the glorious move
of Mary from this world to the next. The Eastern Christians call today’s feast
the “Dormition,” the falling asleep of the Theotokos and the assumption to
heaven. In the West, we refer to this feast as the Assumption. That Mary,
without decay of the human, was called to heaven body and soul, by God.

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Saint Mary of the Angels & The Portiuncula Indulgence

Little Portion chapel.jpgThe spiritual tradition of the Franciscans is connecting the with the good work of the sainted founder, Saint Francis, who as you know, fixed three chapels: the third was called the Portiuncula (the Little Portion), dedicated to Saint Mary of the Angels. As you can see, the chapel sits in a large basilica in Assisi. The friars have been at the Portiuncula since early thirteen century. SaintClare made her vows following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Francis died on 3 October 1226.

For centuries the Church, at the request of Francis, has attached a spiritual favor in the form of indulgence, a
grant remission of sins to all who came there. It used to be given only at the Portiuncula but now the privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula especially those administered by Franciscans, throughout the world, to others churches as well.

The Church teaches that a plenary indulgence is a powerful tool for works of mercy and weapon in the living of the Christian life, that is, in our spiritual warfare. A plenary indulgence is the remission of the effects of sin, through the merits of Jesus Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven through the reception of the sacrament of Confession.

To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan church or chapel, or even one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. The recites the Creed and prays the Our Father for the Pope’s designated intentions (see the monthly papal prayer intentions). Key is going to Confession (“free of attachment to venial and mortal sin). One can make a confession and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.
Previous posts here and here.
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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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