Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

The Visitation as a model for Christian life

Visitation LRobbia.jpgAdvent is moving us closer and closer to the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God–Jesus. Among the rich readings of sacred Scripture we have in the Liturgy, there is today’s that recalls for us Mary’s visiting her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. The Visitation is the second of the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

Looking at what is given to us to meditate on, the vocation of woman is brought out. Looking around us the culture does’t offer too many exceptional models of woman for us to take inspiration. 
This morning we prayed the Sacrifice of the Mass with the young women of New York’s Dominican Academy, Dominican Father Ignatius Schweitzer said he noticed six characteristics which portray Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as a fitting role model for all people, but noteworthy of women. While Mary may be a little removed from some Christians real experience, I think the lack is filled with Mass readings today.
The six characteristics are:
1. Mary is a woman of faith;
2. Mary puts her faith into action;
3. Mary takes the initiative;
4. Mary brings joy to Elizabeth;
5. Mary is a community-builder;
6. Mary is a caring mother.
It is up to us to flesh out the details of these characteristics because TODAY the Savior is recognized.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Partroness of America

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A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars

O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son’s most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace.

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Immaculate Conception woodcut.jpgThe dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception was given to us by Pope Pius IX and proclaimed in the document, Ineffabilis Deus (1854), solemnly defining a clear and consistent teaching of the Church since 33 AD.

If you ask the question: What can you tell me about Mary as Patroness of America? Boston’s Archbishop (later Cardinal) Richard Cushing wrote an answer.

Famously, the 23 US bishops in 1846 (note: nearly a decade before the dogma’s definition) wrote to the Pope asking for Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception to be bestowed on the country’s young Church. The bishops wrote:

We take this occasion, brethren, to communicate to you the determination, unanimously adopted by us, to place ourselves and all entrusted to our charge throughout the United States, under the special patronage of the holy Mother of God, whose Immaculate Conception is venerated by the piety of the faithful throughout the Catholic Church.

By the aid of her prayers, we entertain the confident hope that we will be strengthened to perform the arduous duties of our ministry, and that you will be enabled to practice the sublime virtues, of which her life presents the most perfect example.

Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the United States
Sixth Provincial Council, Baltimore, 5 May 1846

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

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Today we celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.  On this day, November 27th, in 1830, the Immaculate Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. 

At one point during the apparition Catherine saw Our Lady standing on a globe, with dazzling rays of light streaming from her outstretched hands. Framing the figure was an inscription: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee

Mary spoke to Catherine: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces.”  The Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary, popularly known as the Miraculous Medal, was approved by Pope Leo XIII on July 23, 1894.

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Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Benedictine Oblation

Presentation of the Blessed Virign Mary3.jpgAs 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.

In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
On this Feast of the Presentation in the Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I, too, offer myself to God through this renewal of my oblation. I commit myself anew to Stability of Heart, Fidelity to the Spirit of the Monastic Life, and Obedience to the Will of God as a Benedictine Oblate of the venerable monastery of Saint Meinrad.

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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