Tag Archives: Mary

Prayer to Mary, Mother of Women Hurt by Abortion

La vierge aux raisins
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Mary of Bethlehem and Nazareth,
  wife of Joseph,
Virgin mother of the Son of God made man,
  woman of sorrows, model of Faith,
You are our mother,
  living now in the joy of God’s presence.
You watch over each one of us
  with gentleness, compassion and tenderness.

We entrust all women hurt by abortion, and their
aborted children, to your motherly care.
May your unfailing love console our sisters,
  reassure them of their dignity, and be for them a
  source of healing, peace and joy. May they find
  comfort knowing their children are in your arms.

Protect and bless the work
  of women hurt by abortion.
Let it bring love and healing
  to your wounded daughters, and understanding
  to those who would help them.
May its members work with courage, dedication and
  perseverance to protect all women from the horror
  of aborting their children.

And may we all be united again with you in the
  presence of your Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Amen.

©1992 Human Life International

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Pledge to Pray the Rosary on July 4th

RosaryFriends,

I recently received a message from a group called America Needs Fatima. This is a pretty solid group reminding us that what we need here in the US is to return to Jesus. And there is no creature better able to help us than His very own Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In this message, which will be reproduced below, the group’s lead guy, Robert Ritchie, challenges us all to put our faith in action by pledging to pray the Rosary this Independence Day.

In his own words:

We desperately need spiritual solutions.

Will you please join thousands of America Needs Fatima members in praying the Rosary on July 4th?

 YES, I’ll pray the Rosary for America on July 4th.

July 4th is America’s birthday. Hurrah!

It’s the perfect time to pray the Rosary, asking the Blessed Virgin Mary to beg God to send desperately needed spiritual solutions to our nation.

When: July 4, 2011, 6PM

What: Pray the Holy Rosary

Why: To solve America’s growing moral, economic, family and national crisis

See, the more people who pray the Rosary on July 4th the more Our Lady will intervene for us before the Throne of Almighty God.

To win graces that we desperately need to save our children, families, and homes from the terrible decline that is affecting our society AT EVERY LEVEL.

YES. Pledge to say the Rosary for America on July 4th

There are still good things happening in America. For example, recently, there was a tremendous outpouring of Catholic reaction against a very offensive and blasphemous display of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a floral bikini at the Oakland Museum in California.

In reparation for this blasphemous display, hundreds of Catholics stood outside the museum in prayerful protest and prayer.

But this type of blasphemy is becoming more frequent in our secular world, which shows there’s still a lot of work to be done. So please:

Pledge to pray the Rosary for America on July 4th

See, those who seek to remove God and His holy law from our society fight press on:

  • abortion murders innocent unborn babies
  • the institution of the family is weakened by impure customs; and
  • threatened by the legalization of homosexual “marriage”
  • the sexual revolution pervades popular culture especially in television, media, movies and the Internet

However, the worst result of this secularist offensive is the rejection of God by which people disdain His wise and loving action and refuse His grace for our country.

And without His grace, how can we live?

How can our leaders properly govern?

From where will they get wisdom and strength to solve our great and complex problems?

And besides all these moral problems, how can we maintain our treasured national identity, while adopting a just and balanced solution for the immigration dilemma?

How can we solve our need to become self-sufficient in energy? How can we resolve our economic problems? How can we maintain a wise, strong and careful military strategy?

The answer is: we can’t do any of these things without the friendship of God. For without His grace, life is only disgrace and disaster.

And we cannot gain the friendship of God, without the intercession of His Most Holy Mother.

Now, the best way to win God’s graces for America is to beg Our Lady to intervene for us, by the power of the Holy Rosary.

That’s why I invite you to  pray the Rosary for America on July 4th .

Sincerely, 

Robert E. Ritchie

Robert E. Ritchie

America Needs Fatima

www.ANF.org

So let’s make this Independence Day a day of independence from sin!

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Old Calendar: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (historical)

Our Mother of Perpetual Help, a 15th Century M...

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Our Lady of Perpetual Help (or of Perpetual Succour) is a Byzantine icon from the late middle ages and has resided in Rome since the late 1400s. The Eastern Catholics call it “Holy Theotokos of the Passion.”

The image depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a blue mantle and veil. On the left side is the Archangel Michael, carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus. On the right is the Archangel Gabriel carrying the cross and nails. The Christ child rests in her arms and looks intently at the cross.

Tradition states that the icon memorializes an occasion in which the young Christ awoke from a dream in which He saw the instruments of His passion. Mary comforted Him, but remained solemn since she knew that that the dream was a portent of her Son’s future passion. The icon brilliantly captures both the reality of the incarnation and the reality of the crucifixion of Christ in one single image that mystically links the events to Mary – who was present for each.

The icon was brought to Rome by a pious merchant, who desired that the picture should be exposed in a church for public veneration. It was exposed in the church of San Matteo, Via Merulana, between St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran.

The rascally French invaded Rome in 1812 and destroyed the church – and the icon disappeared.

In 1865, the icon was rediscovered to the joy of many. Pope Pius IX as a boy had prayed before the icon in the church of San Matteo before it was lost during the French invasion. Pius IX took great interest when the icon was finally rediscovered – since he had been especially devoted to it. He subsequently approved a liturgical feast in commemoration of the icon. The Redemptorists especially revered the image for its profound spiritual meaning.

Today it is one of the most popular images of Our Lady and it is one of the few images that is universally revered in every rite of the Catholic Church – East to West.

Excerpted from Canterbury Tales

Things to Do:

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary.


O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fill my soul when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank God for having given thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name: let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Read more: EWTN Devontionals

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    Jesus, I Trust in You: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass During the Day

    Jesus, I Trust in You: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass During the Day

    trustinjesus:

    "Saint John the Baptist" (c.1560) by...

    There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came to bear witness to the light, to prepare an upright people for the Lord.

    — Entrance Antiphon, cf. John 1:6-7; Luke 1:17

    Today the Church celebrates thenativity of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets (and patron saint ofPuerto Rico). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of Saint John:

    “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”(Jn 1:6) John was “filled with the Holy Spiriteven from his mother’s womb”(Lk 1:15, 41) byChrist himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.(cf. Lk 1:68)

    John is “Elijah (who) must come.”(Mt 17:10-13; cf. Lk 1:78) The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of “(making) ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(Lk 1:17)

    John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”(Lk 7:26) In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.(Cf. Mt 11:13-14) He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of theConsoler who is coming.(Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3) As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”(Jn 1:7; cf. Jn15:26; 5:35) In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.(Cf. 1 Pet 1:10-12) “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”(Jn 1:33-36)

    Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.(Cf. Jn 3:5) (Catechism of the Catholic Church 717-720)

    However, like the Transformers, there is more to John than meets the eye. He and his mother Elizabeth are the first to receive Our Blessed Lord in a “Eucharistic procession” as Christ was carried by His Blessed Mother Mary – the Ark of the New Covenant, His first Tabernacle. It is John’s reaction to the presence of God near him that fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit allowing her to proclaim the Gospel truth as Peter did later at Caesarea Philippi (Cf. Mt 16:16):

    In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke (RSV) 1:39-45)

    It is, in part, the witness of the unborn John that confirms the Church’s teaching on three dogmas:

    1. Jesus is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity Who is God. Jesus is God incarnate.
    2. Mary, ever-virgin and immaculately conceived, is the Mother of God Who is Jesus. When we see Mary, we see Christ. When we see Christ, we see God. It is her DNA alone that miraculously makes His incarnation.
    3. Human life begins at conception. For two unborn children to interact in such a manner is not only mind boggling with respect to mystery of Divinity but also because it occurs every day in every pregnant woman. Does a child not react to outside stimuli but most especially to familiar sounds such as the heartbeat of their mother, her voice or even their father’s voice and love?

    Simply put, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is “Advent in ordinary times” (Catholic Culture).

    Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass During the Day

    "Saint John the Baptist" (c.1560) by...

    There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came to bear witness to the light, to prepare an upright people for the Lord.

    — Entrance Antiphon, cf. John 1:6-7; Luke 1:17


    Today the Church celebrates the nativity of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets (and patron saint of Puerto Rico). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of Saint John:

    “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”(Jn 1:6) John was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb”(Lk 1:15, 41) by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.(cf. Lk 1:68)

    John is “Elijah (who) must come.”(Mt 17:10-13; cf. Lk 1:78) The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of “(making) ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(Lk 1:17)

    John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”(Lk 7:26) In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.(Cf. Mt 11:13-14) He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.(Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3) As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”(Jn 1:7; cf. Jn 15:26; 5:35) In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.(Cf. 1 Pet 1:10-12) “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”(Jn 1:33-36)

    Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.(Cf. Jn 3:5) (Catechism of the Catholic Church 717-720)

    However, like the Transformers, there is more to John than meets the eye. He and his mother Elizabeth are the first to receive Our Blessed Lord in a “Eucharistic procession” as Christ was carried by His Blessed Mother Mary – the Ark of the New Covenant, His first Tabernacle. It is John’s reaction to the presence of God near him that fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit allowing her to proclaim the Gospel truth as Peter did later at Caesarea Philippi (Cf. Mt 16:16):

    In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke (RSV) 1:39-45)

    It is, in part, the witness of the unborn John that confirms the Church’s teaching on three dogmas:

    1. Jesus is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity Who is God. Jesus is God incarnate.
    2. Mary, ever-virgin and immaculately conceived, is the Mother of God Who is Jesus. When we see Mary, we see Christ. When we see Christ, we see God. It is her DNA alone that miraculously makes His incarnation.
    3. Human life begins at conception. For two unborn children to interact in such a manner is not only mind boggling with respect to mystery of Divinity but also because it occurs every day in every pregnant woman. Does a child not react to outside stimuli but most especially to familiar sounds such as the heartbeat of their mother, her voice or even their father’s voice and love?

    Simply put, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is “Advent in ordinary times” (Catholic Culture).


    Read the Bible at Mass

    First Reading: Is 49:1-6

    Hear me, O coastlands,
    listen, O distant peoples.
    The LORD called me from birth,
    from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
    He made of me a sharp-edged sword
    and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
    He made me a polished arrow,
    in his quiver he hid me.
    You are my servant, he said to me,
    Israel, through whom I show my glory.

    Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
    and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
    yet my reward is with the LORD,
    my recompense is with my God.
    For now the LORD has spoken
    who formed me as his servant from the womb,
    that Jacob may be brought back to him
    and Israel gathered to him;
    and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
    and my God is now my strength!
    It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
    and restore the survivors of Israel;
    I will make you a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

    Responsorial Psalm: 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

    R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

    O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
    you know when I sit and when I stand;
    you understand my thoughts from afar.
    My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
    with all my ways you are familiar.

    R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.

    Truly you have formed my inmost being;
    you knit me in my mother’s womb.
    I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
    wonderful are your works.

    R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

    My soul also you knew full well;
    nor was my frame unknown to you
    When I was made in secret,
    when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.

    R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

    Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26

    In those days, Paul said:

    “God raised up David as king; of him God testified, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish. From his man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

    “My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent.”

    Gospel Reading: Lk 1:57-66, 80

    When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

    The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.


     

    About the Feast Day

    This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

    Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint’s death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today’s feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today’s observance in the following words:

    “Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior’s birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God’s chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

    “For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace.”

    In other words, today’s feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ’s Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

    The Christmas season has for its object the mystery of God-become-Man, to which there is reference only now and then during the remaining part of the year, e.g., on Marian feasts, especially that of the Annunciation (March 25) and today’s feast in honor of the Baptist. In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ’s incarnation today. The birth of Jesus is observed on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice, while the birth of His forerunner is observed six months earlier at the time of the summer solstice. Christmas is a “light” feast; the same is true today. The popular custom centering about “St. John’s Fire” stems from soundest Christian dogma and could well be given renewed attention. St. John’s Fire symbolizes Christ the Light; John was a lamp that burned and shone. We Christians should be the light of the world.

    Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

    Patron: Baptism; bird dealers; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; hail; hailstorms; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Maltese Knights; lovers; monastic life; motorways; printers, spasms; tailors; Genoa, Italy; Quebec; Sassano, Italy; Diocese of Savannah, Georgia; Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Diocese of Portland, Maine.

    Symbols: Lamb; lamb on a book of seven seals; locust; camel’s hair tunic; girdle; his head on a charger; scroll with words Ecce Agnus Dei or with Vox Clamantis in deserto; long, slender cross-tipped staff; open Bible; banner of victory.

    Things to Do:

    • Read about the traditions connected with this feast, particularly the connection with bonfires.
    • The Liturgy of the Hours for the Evening Prayer (Vespers) of the Birth of St. John the Baptist has traditionally included the Gregorian chant Ut Queant Laxis. Tradition has ascribed the hymn to a Paul Warnefried (Paul the Deacon, 730-799). While preparing to sing the Exsultet at the Holy Saturday vigil, he found himself hoarse, and so prayed to St. John the Baptist, since his father lost his voice before John was born. Paul’s voice was restored and he wrote this hymn in honor of the saint. True or not, what makes this song memorable is that the Benedictine monk used this hymn as a pivotal reference for our musical scale. See Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry Ut Queant Laxis, more information on the hymn from Catholic Culture, a Beginner’s Guide to Modal Harmony, and Gregorian Chant Notation.
    • The Church year has two cycles. The more important cycle is the Temporal cycle (from the Latin tempus which means time or season). The life of Christ is relived in liturgical time, in both real time and Church’s memory. Throughout the year the Paschal Mystery (Christ’s work of redemption through His birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection and ascension) is relived, and broken down into the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Ordinary Time. Sundays are the usual means by which this cycle unfolds.

      At the same time with the temporal cycle, the Sanctoral cycle (from the Latinsanctus which means saint) progresses. The Church honors Mary, Mother of God “with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son” (CCC 1172). Then the memorials of martyrs and other saints are kept by the Church. They are held up to us as examples “who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God’s favors” (CCC 1173).

      This is one of the few saint feast days that is connected with the temporal calendar, not the sanctoral calendar, because John the Baptist was intimately involved in Christ’s work of redemption. Charting or making your own liturgical calendar would be a great family project.

    • Read the excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety on the cult of St. John the Baptist.
    • In Brazil, this day is known as Diário de Sáo Joáo (Saint John’s Day). The festivities are set off in the villages and countryside by the Fogueira de Sáo Joáo (bonfire) on St. John’s eve. Families and friends eat traditional foods around the fire while younger folks jump over the fire and firecrackers are exploded. The day is primarily a festival for children, who save up months in advance to purchase fireworks to set off for the day. In cities this is a day for parties and dances, with the urban dwellers dressing up in rural costumes.

      St. John is the protector of lovers, so for fun, young country girls in Brazil will roll up scraps of paper, each bearing a name of a single girl and place them into a bowl of water. The first one which unfolds indicates the girl who will marry first.

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    May 13: Solar Halo Impresses Crowed at Fatima

    The following story shows us that God continues to speak to us through His most perfect creation Mary.

    Media_httpwwwadforgbr_dfbhn

    On May 13 a large crowd of pilgrims gathered in Fatima, in fact, as is customary in this great day celebrating the first apparition of Our Lady in 1917. 

    At the height of the prayers there was a natural phenomenon that occurs rarely in place: a solar halo

    Whereas Our Lady of Fatima wanted to express to people with luminous phenomena such as the famous Miracle of the Sun, 13 October 1917, has merits wonder if this phenomenon was a sign from heaven. 

    The phenomenon of the solar halo is explained by science. What science can not explain – and, indeed, this task is not it – why it happened on May 13, Fatima, as noted by the Lusa News Agency

    But before any other consideration, the most important is to discern what is right in that the event was. 

    A friend from Spain, was in Fatima at the time of exceptional halo. 

    He told us his impressions and sent his pictures that reproduce the sequel. The trip to Fatima went perfectly as planned. At the end of Mass held on the terrace came the phenomenon of solar halo. 

    Media_httpwwwadforgbr_avfnz

    I was at the end of the esplanade, among the people, when I realized that the other side looked to the sky, and pointed upward. 

    There was a slight rustling among the pilgrims, and the private galleries of the front got a big applause that he never generalize. 

    I looked then to the sun that was a little behind me, but well above. 

    I saw with surprise that huge halo around it. The colors in my pictures did not turn out well. It was like a big eye, the sun itself being the apple of the eye. The pupil was a bright pink color, and the outer ring to pull the yellow-brown. 

    It reminded me of the giant jellyfish viewed from below, which appear in these films underwater National Geographic in three dimensions. 

    The phenomenon lasted a long time, maybe an hour, though more intense for about 20 minutes. 

    Began around noon and shortly. But what really surprised me was the ease with which people followed. No fuss, no hallucinations, or exaltation, or hysteria. 

    Media_httpwwwadforgbr_rwcdh

    Everyone was calm, looking with curiosity and continuing to watch the ceremony. I am also surprised that something so remarkable was not commented upon by some of the celebrants who were using the microphone, yet it was only to register the fact. 

    In short, these are the impressions I had and I send to you is of some use. 

    I am sending you attached photos of what the newspapers Correio da Manha and Jornal de Noticias published the next day. 

    Cheers,
    In Jesus and Mary
    F.

    Media_httpimgzemantac_cweoa

    May 13: Solar Halo Impresses Crowed at Fatima

    The following story shows us that God continues to speak to us through His most perfect creation Mary.

    On May 13 a large crowd of pilgrims gathered in Fatima, in fact, as is customary in this great day celebrating the first apparition of Our Lady in 1917. 

    At the height of the prayers there was a natural phenomenon that occurs rarely in place: a solar halo

    Whereas Our Lady of Fatima wanted to express to people with luminous phenomena such as the famous Miracle of the Sun, 13 October 1917, has merits wonder if this phenomenon was a sign from heaven. 

    The phenomenon of the solar halo is explained by science. What science can not explain – and, indeed, this task is not it – why it happened on May 13, Fatima, as noted by the Lusa News Agency

    But before any other consideration, the most important is to discern what is right in that the event was. 

    A friend from Spain, was in Fatima at the time of exceptional halo. 

    He told us his impressions and sent his pictures that reproduce the sequel. The trip to Fatima went perfectly as planned. At the end of Mass held on the terrace came the phenomenon of solar halo. 

    I was at the end of the esplanade, among the people, when I realized that the other side looked to the sky, and pointed upward. 

    There was a slight rustling among the pilgrims, and the private galleries of the front got a big applause that he never generalize. 

    I looked then to the sun that was a little behind me, but well above. 

    I saw with surprise that huge halo around it. The colors in my pictures did not turn out well. It was like a big eye, the sun itself being the apple of the eye. The pupil was a bright pink color, and the outer ring to pull the yellow-brown. 

    It reminded me of the giant jellyfish viewed from below, which appear in these films underwater National Geographic in three dimensions. 

    The phenomenon lasted a long time, maybe an hour, though more intense for about 20 minutes. 

    Began around noon and shortly. But what really surprised me was the ease with which people followed. No fuss, no hallucinations, or exaltation, or hysteria. 

    Everyone was calm, looking with curiosity and continuing to watch the ceremony. I am also surprised that something so remarkable was not commented upon by some of the celebrants who were using the microphone, yet it was only to register the fact. 

    In short, these are the impressions I had and I send to you is of some use. 

    I am sending you attached photos of what the newspapers Correio da Manha and Jornal de Noticias published the next day. 

    Cheers,
    In Jesus and Mary
    F.

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    Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

    This is a superb post on what is certainly a controversial subject and that is Mary’s role and title as Mediatrix of All Graces.

    Much of the controvery that surrounds this issue is a result of misunderstanding Mary’s role in Salvation History and how the New Eve fits in the scheme of things in relation to the New Adam, Who is Jesus Christ.


    Is Mary the Mediatrix of All Graces? This a two-part question. First, is Mary a “mediatrix”? (the Latin suffix -tor denotes masculine agency and the Latin -trix denotes feminine agency – like waiter and waitress – Mediator and Mediatrix)? Second, if she is a mediatrix, is she the mediatrix of all graces?

    Is Mary a Mediatrix?
    Before addressing this title, let it be confirmed at the outset that Mary’s mediation does not violate the words of Saint Paul regarding the mediating priesthood of Jesus Christ, when he writes:

    Media_http3bpblogspot_jomhf
    Jesus and Mary:
    the New Adam and New Eve 
    applying graces to humanity

    “For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5, D-R)

    Christ is the one mediator between God and men because He is both full God and fully human. Since He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to God, He alone can redeem mankind from sin. However, Saint Luke records that the Holy Simeon prophesied to Mary that she too would suffer with Her divine Son:

    “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35).

    The Fathers of the Church identify the “piercing sword” in Mary’s soul as the moment when Mary beheld her dying Son on the cross, even more, when she held his cold, lifeless body in her arms. Her quiet and maternal presence with Christ’s high priestly sacrifice envelops her into the sacrifice of Christ in a unique way. Consider this, the Son of God acquired His flesh and blood from her flesh and blood. Jesus could die for us, because she gave to Him a body. Jesus and Mary at the cross are the redemptive Adam and Eve. Eve once looked up to a tree in order to seize its fruit unlawfully. Now, Mary as the New Eve, beholds the tree on which hangs the “Fruit of her womb.” She does not claim rights over this Fruit, but willingly offers It to the Father. The New Adam hangs suspended on the wood for every sinner. The New Eve stands by in sorrow. Mary’s mediation is based on her intimate union and consent to the Passion and Death of Christ. Moreover, we find in Scripture that Jesus comes to the world through Mary, literally. St Elizabeth and her baby St John the Baptist are filled with the Holy Spirit when St Elizabeth hears the voice of Mary. Jesus works His first miracle at Cana at Mary’s request. Furthermore, Mary is present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the Apostles. Just as Mary’s voice was the instrument that carried grace to Saint Elizabeth, so Mary is the personal instrument by which grace flows to us from Christ. St Bernard of Clairvaux called her the “aqueduct of grace.”

    The Liturgical Feast: Mediatrix of All Graces
    In 1921, Pope Benedict XV, responding to petitions from the bishops of Belgium, established the annual feast day of “Mary Mediatrix of All Graces.” This feast was included in the Missale Romanum under the title “Omnium Gratiarum Mediatricis” for the date May 31. If you have a pre-conciliar Latin Missal, you can usually find it there (look under Missae pro aliquibus locis). Two of my missals include the feast.

    The first reading for this feast is Isaiah 55:1-3, 5 and the Gradual is the famous passage from Ecclesiasticus: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. ” (Sirach 24:24–25) The Gospel reading for the feast is the Marian passion account from John 19:25-27.

    Pope Benedict XV’s inclusion of a feast for “Mary Mediatrix of All of Graces” popularized doctrine. By the beginning of the Second Vatican Council (1962), there was a push among the bishops to formally declare the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “Mediatrix of All Graces.” This attempt was eventually recast and she was instead declared “Mother of the Church,” a softer title, but beautiful all the same. “Mother of the Church” was was preferred since it defined the truth in a more ecclesiastical way.

    You can find this definition of “Mother of the Church” in Chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium. Nevertheless, Lumen Gentium 8 does refer to the Immaculate Mary as “Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix.” Notably, the qualifier “of All Graces” was not included in the final text of Lumen Gentium even though it was proposed.

    Did Pope Benedict XV go to far?
    So then, it is a matter of faith that our Blessed Mother is a “Mediatrix”…but is she the “Mediatrix of All Graces”? Most Catholics have no problem with the title “Mediatrix” though I do notice that some Catholics flinch when they hear “Mediatrix of All Graces.” Did Pope Benedict XV go too far in adding “of All Graces”?

    The full title including “all graces” is controversial. Some protest that Mary could not possibly be the mediatrix of all the graces in the Old Testament since she did not yet exist. Moreover, could she have been the mediatrix of all graces while she was still on earth? Did she only become the mediatrix of all graces after Pentecost or perhaps only after her glorious Assumption? Even still, is she currently the mediatrix both of actual graces and sacramental grace? That is, does the grace of baptism and the Holy Eucharist also flow through her hands?

    Two Difficult Questions regarding “of all graces”
    These questions, essentially, raise two difficult questions:

    1. When did Mary become the mediatrix of all graces. From all time? At the Immaculate Conception? Crucifixion? Pentecost? Assumption?
    2. When we say “all graces” do we mean “each and every grace” or “all kinds of grace” or “all actual graces”?

    I will reveal my hand at the beginning. I take the extreme position. I insist that she is the mediatrix of every single grace ever given to humanity, from Adam to the last moment of time. It is true that she didn’t yet exist, but she is nevertheless the mediatrix of all these graces.

    The New Adam as Mediator. The New Eve as Mediatrix.
    How can one say such a thing? The argument depends on Our Lady’s ancient status as the New Eve and upon Christ’s status as the New Adam. All grace is absolutely mediated through Christ since he is fully God and fully man. He is the mediator of humanity necessarily and absolutely. Yet, He mediates this grace to humanity by virtue of His Incarnation, His Death, and through the Holy Spirit.

    Now then, Mary as the New Eve was the instrument of the Incarnation, and she held the primary role at the Crucifixion and at the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. So we discover that Scripture links her with these three moment of Christ’s absolute mediation.

    We also know that all the graces of the Old Testament were mediated in anticipation of Christ’s Incarnation and Death. Since Mary’s flesh and cooperation are necessary for the Incarnation and Death of Christ, these graces are also mediated with her role in mind. This is why Pope Pius IX says that the decree of Christ’s predestination is one and the same with that of Mary.

    So the graces of the Old Testament were mediated in light of her, though not actually dispensed by her. Here we distinguish the term “mediating” from the term “dispensing.” The Immaculate Mary has always been the Mediatrix of All Graces, but she became the Dispensatrix of All Graces at her glorious Assumption.

    One could take an even more extreme and say that Mary became the Dispensatrix of every grace from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. This would necessitate that from her first moment, she had an enormous infusion of knowledge even while still in the womb of Saint Anne. I’m not so sure this happened, though I wouldn’t fault anyone for holding it. It seems that Saint Alphonsus Liguori may have held this position, though I can’t quite make it out (I’d be grateful if any Alphonsists could help me out on this point.)

    What about Scripture?
    We do know that the sanctification and confirmation in grace of Saint John the Baptist while still in his mother’s womb occurred through the mediation of Mary’s audible voice. “For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. ” (Luke 1:44, D-R)

    Both the Latin and Greek liturgies apply Ecclesiasticus 24 as a prophecy of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It reads: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. ” (Sirach 24:24–25) Mary is the “Mother of Fair Love” and “in [her] is all grace.” Here then is an Old Testament prophecy of Mary’s title as Mediatrix of All Graces.

    As discussed above, Our Lady’s presence at the Lord’s Conception, Nativity, Life, Death, Ascension, and then Pentecost reveal her mediating office under Christ.

    Does Mary mediate Sacramental Grace?
    As for sacramental grace, Saint Cyril of Alexandria, when addressing the Fathers of the Council of Ephesus (AD 431) stated that the grace of baptism, confirmation, and Holy Orders flow through Mary to the Church.

    Just think about the seven sacraments and you’ll that this makes sense:

    1. Baptism removes the stain of Eve (Mary is the New Eve), gives us the Holy Spirit (the Spouse of Mary), and unites us to the death and resurrection of Christ (Mary mediates under the cross)
    2. Confirmation is the sacrament that confers the grace of Pentecost to each us. Mary is the Spouse of the Spirit and she was present at Pentecost
    3. Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. This flesh and blood of the Eternal Logos were derived from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No human Mother? No Body and Blood.
    4. Penance is the application of Christ’s merit and blood to the sinner. Mary’s mediating presence under the Cross confirms her role in this sacrament.
    5. Extreme Unction is the sacrament that prepares the believer for death. Christ gave Mary dominion over the “hour of death” and over Purgatory by her desire to die a human death even though she remained without sin. She desired to die in order to be conformed more perfectly to Christ. This is also foretold by Siracides: “I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord. ” (Sirach 24:45)
    6. Holy Orders is the mystery of the priesthood, and Christ became the High Priest of Humanity by virtue of His Incarnation. However, Mary was absolutely necessary for His assumption of the human nature. No Mother? No Incarnation? Again, Mary’s presence at the Cross also affirms her role here, since Christ manifestly exercised His priesthood on the Cross.
    7. Holy Matrimony was raised to the dignity of a sacrament at the Wedding of Cana. Christ’s miracle and blessing at the Wedding of Cana occurred through the direct mediation of Mary. Thus, she too is the mediatrix of the sacramental grace of Holy Matrimony.

    So then, it’s easy to see that Scripture links Mary to all seven of the sacraments. While some oppose the position that Mary is the mediatrix of sacramental grace, I see every reason to affirm that she is the mediatrix of sacramental grace.

    In summary, then, we have confirmed the following:

    1. Mary’s mediation does not conflict with Christ’s mediation but is the highest form of sub-mediation under Christ. She is the aqueduct that channels the infinite grace and merits of Christ.
    2. Pope Benedict XV institute a liturgical feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
    3. Mary’s universal mediation is entailed by her title New Eve. Christ is the New Adam and his redemptive work is universal. Consequently, Mary’s sub-mediation is universal.
    4. All graces, even those of the Old Testament are mediated through the ministry of the New Adam and the New Eve. Although, Mary did not yet exist, the graces prior to the New Testament were granted in expectation of a New Adam and a New Eve – Jesus and Mary.
    5. Even sacramental graces are mediated and applied by the Immaculate Mary. Sacred Scripture shows that the graces and gifts associated with each sacrament (e.g. the pouring of out Holy Spirit in Confirmation) were accomplished through Mary (e.g. when Elizabeth and John the Baptist were filled with the Holy Spirit).

    For more information, see also:

    via Is Mary the Mediatrix of ALL GRACES? ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall

    Media_httpimgzemantac_gilfr

    Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

    This is a superb post on what is certainly a controversial subject and that is Mary’s role and title as Mediatrix of All Graces.

    Much of the controvery that surrounds this issue is a result of misunderstanding Mary’s role in Salvation History and how the New Eve fits in the scheme of things in relation to the New Adam, Who is Jesus Christ.


    Is Mary the Mediatrix of All Graces? This a two-part question. First, is Mary a “mediatrix”? (the Latin suffix -tor denotes masculine agency and the Latin -trix denotes feminine agency – like waiter and waitress – Mediator and Mediatrix)? Second, if she is a mediatrix, is she the mediatrix of all graces?

    Is Mary a Mediatrix?
    Before addressing this title, let it be confirmed at the outset that Mary’s mediation does not violate the words of Saint Paul regarding the mediating priesthood of Jesus Christ, when he writes:

    Jesus and Mary:
    the New Adam and New Eve 
    applying graces to humanity

    “For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5, D-R)

    Christ is the one mediator between God and men because He is both full God and fully human. Since He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to God, He alone can redeem mankind from sin. However, Saint Luke records that the Holy Simeon prophesied to Mary that she too would suffer with Her divine Son:

    “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35).

    The Fathers of the Church identify the “piercing sword” in Mary’s soul as the moment when Mary beheld her dying Son on the cross, even more, when she held his cold, lifeless body in her arms. Her quiet and maternal presence with Christ’s high priestly sacrifice envelops her into the sacrifice of Christ in a unique way. Consider this, the Son of God acquired His flesh and blood from her flesh and blood. Jesus could die for us, because she gave to Him a body. Jesus and Mary at the cross are the redemptive Adam and Eve. Eve once looked up to a tree in order to seize its fruit unlawfully. Now, Mary as the New Eve, beholds the tree on which hangs the “Fruit of her womb.” She does not claim rights over this Fruit, but willingly offers It to the Father. The New Adam hangs suspended on the wood for every sinner. The New Eve stands by in sorrow. Mary’s mediation is based on her intimate union and consent to the Passion and Death of Christ. Moreover, we find in Scripture that Jesus comes to the world through Mary, literally. St Elizabeth and her baby St John the Baptist are filled with the Holy Spirit when St Elizabeth hears the voice of Mary. Jesus works His first miracle at Cana at Mary’s request. Furthermore, Mary is present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the Apostles. Just as Mary’s voice was the instrument that carried grace to Saint Elizabeth, so Mary is the personal instrument by which grace flows to us from Christ. St Bernard of Clairvaux called her the “aqueduct of grace.”

    The Liturgical Feast: Mediatrix of All Graces
    In 1921, Pope Benedict XV, responding to petitions from the bishops of Belgium, established the annual feast day of “Mary Mediatrix of All Graces.” This feast was included in the Missale Romanum under the title “Omnium Gratiarum Mediatricis” for the date May 31. If you have a pre-conciliar Latin Missal, you can usually find it there (look under Missae pro aliquibus locis). Two of my missals include the feast.

    The first reading for this feast is Isaiah 55:1-3, 5 and the Gradual is the famous passage from Ecclesiasticus: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. ” (Sirach 24:24–25) The Gospel reading for the feast is the Marian passion account from John 19:25-27.

    Pope Benedict XV’s inclusion of a feast for “Mary Mediatrix of All of Graces” popularized doctrine. By the beginning of the Second Vatican Council (1962), there was a push among the bishops to formally declare the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “Mediatrix of All Graces.” This attempt was eventually recast and she was instead declared “Mother of the Church,” a softer title, but beautiful all the same. “Mother of the Church” was was preferred since it defined the truth in a more ecclesiastical way.

    You can find this definition of “Mother of the Church” in Chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium. Nevertheless, Lumen Gentium 8 does refer to the Immaculate Mary as “Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix.” Notably, the qualifier “of All Graces” was not included in the final text of Lumen Gentium even though it was proposed.

    Did Pope Benedict XV go to far?
    So then, it is a matter of faith that our Blessed Mother is a “Mediatrix”…but is she the “Mediatrix of All Graces”? Most Catholics have no problem with the title “Mediatrix” though I do notice that some Catholics flinch when they hear “Mediatrix of All Graces.” Did Pope Benedict XV go too far in adding “of All Graces”?

    The full title including “all graces” is controversial. Some protest that Mary could not possibly be the mediatrix of all the graces in the Old Testament since she did not yet exist. Moreover, could she have been the mediatrix of all graces while she was still on earth? Did she only become the mediatrix of all graces after Pentecost or perhaps only after her glorious Assumption? Even still, is she currently the mediatrix both of actual graces and sacramental grace? That is, does the grace of baptism and the Holy Eucharist also flow through her hands?

    Two Difficult Questions regarding “of all graces”
    These questions, essentially, raise two difficult questions:

    1. When did Mary become the mediatrix of all graces. From all time? At the Immaculate Conception? Crucifixion? Pentecost? Assumption?
    2. When we say “all graces” do we mean “each and every grace” or “all kinds of grace” or “all actual graces”?

    I will reveal my hand at the beginning. I take the extreme position. I insist that she is the mediatrix of every single grace ever given to humanity, from Adam to the last moment of time. It is true that she didn’t yet exist, but she is nevertheless the mediatrix of all these graces.

    The New Adam as Mediator. The New Eve as Mediatrix.
    How can one say such a thing? The argument depends on Our Lady’s ancient status as the New Eve and upon Christ’s status as the New Adam. All grace is absolutely mediated through Christ since he is fully God and fully man. He is the mediator of humanity necessarily and absolutely. Yet, He mediates this grace to humanity by virtue of His Incarnation, His Death, and through the Holy Spirit.

    Now then, Mary as the New Eve was the instrument of the Incarnation, and she held the primary role at the Crucifixion and at the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. So we discover that Scripture links her with these three moment of Christ’s absolute mediation.

    We also know that all the graces of the Old Testament were mediated in anticipation of Christ’s Incarnation and Death. Since Mary’s flesh and cooperation are necessary for the Incarnation and Death of Christ, these graces are also mediated with her role in mind. This is why Pope Pius IX says that the decree of Christ’s predestination is one and the same with that of Mary.

    So the graces of the Old Testament were mediated in light of her, though not actually dispensed by her. Here we distinguish the term “mediating” from the term “dispensing.” The Immaculate Mary has always been the Mediatrix of All Graces, but she became the Dispensatrix of All Graces at her glorious Assumption.

    One could take an even more extreme and say that Mary became the Dispensatrix of every grace from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. This would necessitate that from her first moment, she had an enormous infusion of knowledge even while still in the womb of Saint Anne. I’m not so sure this happened, though I wouldn’t fault anyone for holding it. It seems that Saint Alphonsus Liguori may have held this position, though I can’t quite make it out (I’d be grateful if any Alphonsists could help me out on this point.)

    What about Scripture?
    We do know that the sanctification and confirmation in grace of Saint John the Baptist while still in his mother’s womb occurred through the mediation of Mary’s audible voice. “For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. ” (Luke 1:44, D-R)

    Both the Latin and Greek liturgies apply Ecclesiasticus 24 as a prophecy of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It reads: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. ” (Sirach 24:24–25) Mary is the “Mother of Fair Love” and “in [her] is all grace.” Here then is an Old Testament prophecy of Mary’s title as Mediatrix of All Graces.

    As discussed above, Our Lady’s presence at the Lord’s Conception, Nativity, Life, Death, Ascension, and then Pentecost reveal her mediating office under Christ.

    Does Mary mediate Sacramental Grace?
    As for sacramental grace, Saint Cyril of Alexandria, when addressing the Fathers of the Council of Ephesus (AD 431) stated that the grace of baptism, confirmation, and Holy Orders flow through Mary to the Church.

    Just think about the seven sacraments and you’ll that this makes sense:

    1. Baptism removes the stain of Eve (Mary is the New Eve), gives us the Holy Spirit (the Spouse of Mary), and unites us to the death and resurrection of Christ (Mary mediates under the cross)
    2. Confirmation is the sacrament that confers the grace of Pentecost to each us. Mary is the Spouse of the Spirit and she was present at Pentecost
    3. Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. This flesh and blood of the Eternal Logos were derived from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No human Mother? No Body and Blood.
    4. Penance is the application of Christ’s merit and blood to the sinner. Mary’s mediating presence under the Cross confirms her role in this sacrament.
    5. Extreme Unction is the sacrament that prepares the believer for death. Christ gave Mary dominion over the “hour of death” and over Purgatory by her desire to die a human death even though she remained without sin. She desired to die in order to be conformed more perfectly to Christ. This is also foretold by Siracides: “I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord. ” (Sirach 24:45)
    6. Holy Orders is the mystery of the priesthood, and Christ became the High Priest of Humanity by virtue of His Incarnation. However, Mary was absolutely necessary for His assumption of the human nature. No Mother? No Incarnation? Again, Mary’s presence at the Cross also affirms her role here, since Christ manifestly exercised His priesthood on the Cross.
    7. Holy Matrimony was raised to the dignity of a sacrament at the Wedding of Cana. Christ’s miracle and blessing at the Wedding of Cana occurred through the direct mediation of Mary. Thus, she too is the mediatrix of the sacramental grace of Holy Matrimony.

    So then, it’s easy to see that Scripture links Mary to all seven of the sacraments. While some oppose the position that Mary is the mediatrix of sacramental grace, I see every reason to affirm that she is the mediatrix of sacramental grace.

    In summary, then, we have confirmed the following:

    1. Mary’s mediation does not conflict with Christ’s mediation but is the highest form of sub-mediation under Christ. She is the aqueduct that channels the infinite grace and merits of Christ.
    2. Pope Benedict XV institute a liturgical feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
    3. Mary’s universal mediation is entailed by her title New Eve. Christ is the New Adam and his redemptive work is universal. Consequently, Mary’s sub-mediation is universal.
    4. All graces, even those of the Old Testament are mediated through the ministry of the New Adam and the New Eve. Although, Mary did not yet exist, the graces prior to the New Testament were granted in expectation of a New Adam and a New Eve – Jesus and Mary.
    5. Even sacramental graces are mediated and applied by the Immaculate Mary. Sacred Scripture shows that the graces and gifts associated with each sacrament (e.g. the pouring of out Holy Spirit in Confirmation) were accomplished through Mary (e.g. when Elizabeth and John the Baptist were filled with the Holy Spirit).

    For more information, see also:

    via Is Mary the Mediatrix of ALL GRACES? ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall

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    Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    Media_httpfarm5static_ctlrv

    Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

    Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady’s greeting; Elizabeth’s proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—as Mother of God and “blessed among women”; Mary’s singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”) which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church. The Visitation is frequently depicted in art, and was the central mystery of St. Francis de Sales‘ devotions.

    The Mass of today salutes her who in her womb bore the King of heaven and earth, the Creator of the world, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Sun of Justice. It narrates the cleansing of John from original sin in his mother’s womb. Hearing herself addressed by the most lofty title of “Mother of the Lord” and realizing what grace her visit had conferred on John, Mary broke out in that sublime canticle of praise proclaiming prophetically that henceforth she would be venerated down through the centuries:

    “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name” (Lk. 1:46).

    –Excerpted from the (Cathedral Daily Missal)

    This feast is of medieval origin, it was kept by the Franciscan Order before 1263, and soon its observance spread throughout the entire Church. Previously it was celebrated on July 2. Now it is celebrated between the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the birth of St. John the Baptist, in conformity with the Gospel accounts. Some places appropriately observe a celebration of the reality and sanctity of human life in the womb. The liturgical color is white.


    READ THE BIBLE AT MASS

    First Reading: Zep 3:14-18a

    Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
    Sing joyfully, O Israel!
    Be glad and exult with all your heart,
    O daughter Jerusalem!
    The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
    he has turned away your enemies;
    The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
    you have no further misfortune to fear.
    On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
    Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
    The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
    a mighty savior;
    He will rejoice over you with gladness,
    and renew you in his love,
    He will sing joyfully because of you,
    as one sings at festivals.

    or

    Rom 12:9-16

    Brothers and sisters:

    Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.

    Responsorial PsalmIsaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

    R. (6) Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

    God indeed is my savior;
    I am confident and unafraid.
    My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
    With joy you will draw water
    at the fountain of salvation.

    R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

    Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
    among the nations make known his deeds,
    proclaim how exalted is his name.

    R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

    Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
    let this be known throughout all the earth.
    Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
    for great in your midst
    is the Holy One of Israel!

    R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

    Gospel: Lk 1:39-56

    Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb,
    and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

    And Mary said:

    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
    my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
    From this day all generations will call me blessed:
    the Almighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his Name. 

    He has mercy on those who fear him
    in every generation.
    He has shown the strength of his arm,
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
    He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
    and has lifted up the lowly.
    He has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has come to the help of his servant Israel
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
    the promise he made to our fathers,
    to Abraham and his children for ever.”

    Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


    THE VISITATION
    The Visitation And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda.

    [Lk. 1:39]

    How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke’s description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. “Those days” in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse.

    Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else.

    The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary’s own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth’s need—almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.

    She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother’s womb and leapt for joy.

    I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10, 10] Even before He was born His presence gave life.

    With what piercing shoots of joy does this story of Christ unfold! First the conception of a child in a child’s heart, and then this first salutation, an infant leaping for joy in his mother’s womb, knowing the hidden Christ and leaping into life.

    How did Elizabeth herself know what had happened to Our Lady? What made her realize that this little cousin who was so familiar to her was the mother of her God?

    She knew it by the child within herself, by the quickening into life which was a leap of joy.

    If we practice this contemplation taught and shown to us by Our Lady, we will find that our experience is like hers.

    If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, “in haste,” to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.

    And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.

    Excerpted from The Reed of God, Caryll Houselander

    Patronage: St. Elizabeth: Expectant mothers.

    Symbols: St. Elizabeth or Elisabeth: Pregnant woman saluting the Virgin; Elderly woman holding St. John Baptist; huge rock with a doorway in it; in company with St. Zachary. St. Zacharias or Zachary: Priest’s robes; thurible; altar; angel; lighted taper; Phyrgian helmet.

    Things to Do:

    • Read Luke 1:39-47, the story of the Visitation. Read and meditate on the words of the Magnificat and the Hail Mary, two prayers from this feast. For those with children, depending on the ages, assign memorization for these prayers. Also discuss the meaning of the text as a family.
    • This feast reminds us to be charitable to our neighbors. Try to assist some mother (expectant or otherwise), visit the elderly or sick, make a dinner for someone, etc. 

    via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year

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