Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Regina Coeli – Queen of Heaven

St Luke painting the BVM.jpg

During the 50 days of Easter the three-times prayed Marian antiphon, the Angelus, changes to the Regina Coeli. Like the Angelus, it is prayed morning, noon and night. Some people only pray it following Night Prayer (Compline); yet the greater tradition is to pray the Regina Coeli many times a day as a way of remembering (recall the Church’s example of being aware of Christ and His being with us, and what Pope Francis said about remembering yesterday in his Easter homily: we remember the events of Jesus life, death, and resurrection as a gift)! Hence, the Regina Coeli…


Several pious legends swirl around. One is that Pope Saint Gregory had a vision in which he heard the lines of the prayer that became known as the Regina Coeli connected with Saint Luke painting the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In reality, the Franciscans made the prayer popular when the concluded Compline during Easter with it. It is the custom of Catholics, since the 12th century, to pray with Mary, the Holy Theotokos (Mother of God), from Easter Day through Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter.


Queen of Heaven


V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

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The Annunciation: the beginning of salvation

Today is the beginning of our salvation,

The revelation of the eternal mystery!

The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin.

As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.

Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:

Rejoice, O Full of Grace,

The Lord is with You!

(Troparion, Tone 4)

Annunciation Icon 2013.jpg

Indeed, today is the beginning of salvation history. As St Luke’s gospel (1:26-38) reveals, and as other languages portray the Incarnation, we’ve received “good tidings.” From the moment the angel’s message was received positively by Mary cosmic history has never been the same. March 25 is the solemnity of the Annunciation to the Mary that she’s be the Mother of God (the most Holy Theotokos). And it’s Holy Week followed by Eastertide, the Church will observe this solemn occasion on April 8. Nevertheless, a word or two need to be said about the Annunciation.

Liturgical history tells us that there exists a 2nd century painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla. And more widely celebrated since the 4th century, the Christian community has observed the Annunciation as  a solemn day of grace.

Ecclesiastical history bears witness to the Council of Toledo in 656 mentioning the Feast in Spain and then at the Council in Trullo in 692 indicating the Church there having a celebration of the Annunciation even though it was Lent. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council spoke about the Marian principle of the Church as being fundamental to the life of the Church (see the conclusion of Lumen Gentium), even more important that the Petrine principles because what we believe to be true about the Incarnation. 


On the Annunciation, the Knights of Columbus pray for the unborn children and the work of being pro Life.

The feast testifies that God fulfills His promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.” What the prophets and teachers of the Law believed and taught the people of Israel, was given by Gabriel’s announcement; and in the Christian dispensation the Fathers of the Church have taught that what is called “her seed” to refer to Jesus. Here is an unmistakable theological view that Jesus is the new Adam, the new tree of life, the new Law, the new Lawgiver, the new face of God.

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Pope Francis visits Marian Shrine

Pope Francis at Santa Maria Maggiore.jpgThe most significant Marian Shrine in Rome, and one of the central ones in Christian the world, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, had a visit by Pope Francis today for a half-hour of prayer before the Blessed Mother. He wanted to “go pray to the Madonna so that she may protect Rome.” 

A great beginning showing us that the Christian way is merciful and joyful in honoring the model of mercy and joy, the Mother of the Church, Mary, the Mother of God.
Vatican Radio’s report by Veronica Scarisbrick.

Benedict XVI’s final address: to the College of Cardinals: “I vow unconditional reverence and obedience to the future Pope”

Benedict XVI final day.jpg

I welcome you all with great joy and cordially greet each one of you. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who as always, has been able to convey the sentiments of the College, Cor ad cor loquitur. Thank you, Your Eminence, from my heart.

And referring to the disciples of Emmaus, I would like to say to you all that it has also been a joy for me to walk with you over the years in light of the presence of the Risen Lord. As I said yesterday, in front of thousands of people who filled St. Peter’s Square, your closeness, your advice, have been a great help to me in my ministry. In these 8 years we have experienced in faith beautiful moments of radiant light in the Churches’ journey along with times when clouds have darkened the sky. We have tried to serve Christ and his Church with deep and total love which is the soul of our ministry. We have gifted hope that comes from Christ alone, and which alone can illuminate our path. Together we can thank the Lord who has helped us grow in communion, to pray to together, to help you to continue to grow in this deep unity so that the College of Cardinals is like an orchestra, where diversity, an expression of the universal Church, always contributes to a superior harmony of concord. I would like to leave you with a simple thought that is close to my heart, a thought on the Church, Her mystery, which is for all of us, we can say, the reason and the passion of our lives. I am helped by an expression of Romano Guardini‘s, written in the year in which the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution Lumen Gentium, his last with a personal dedication to me, so the words of this book are particularly dear to me .

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Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Mother of God Greco.jpg

No better way to begin a new year of the Lord, on this beautiful 8th day of Christmastide, than to pray the Mass. The 8th day observance is the traditional Jewish practice of naming the child. Today, the Gospel recalls the babe receiving the name, Jesus. We might also call this day the “giving of the holy name.” A liturgical observance is held on January 2. Keeping our lives close to Mary, the holy Mother of God is essential. With the Church we pray,
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
May Mary intercede before her Son for  our families, friends, clergy and religious and civil leaders. Oh, for ourselves, too.

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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