“Mondays with Mary” – The Miraculous Medal and Employment (and my new position at the parish)

For today’s “Mondays with Mary”, I found a prayer associated with the Miraculous Medal (Source: Association of the Miraculous Medal – http://www.amm.org/Default.aspx) where the specific prayer intention is for employment. The reason I am writing about a prayer focused on employment is twofold – first, I know a few people in my life that are seeking employment, and second, I wanted to share with my readers about the new position at the parish. Before I share with you my news, here is the prayer for employment associated with the Miraculous Medal –

Mary our Lady of the Miraculous Medal,

you once experienced hardships and difficulties

in getting the necessities of life.

Look kindly on me now

as I face the same difficulties.

Help me to find suitable employment.

Through my work I want to meet my physical needs

and to grow spiritually.

Help me find a job that lets me provide for myself

and for those who depend on me.

I trust you, Immaculate Mother,

to hear my prayers and intercede for me.

I will share your goodness with others

that they know your power with God

and give him honor and glory.



To learn more about the Miraculous Medal, I would encourage you to read my two articles from these series – The Miraculous Medal and Saint Theresa of Calcutta and the Miraculous Medal. If you know of someone in your life seeking employment, feel free to share this article with them or just pray for them.

Now to share my news – On June 1, just 17 days ago, I took over our family catechesis (children’s catechesis) program here at the parish. My new title is Director of Family Catechesis. In this position, I will oversee the catechetical formation of our children who are Pre-Kindergarten through 5th Grade. I will also oversee the weekly formation of the parents and the on-going training of our adult catechists and aides.

Here at the parish we require one of the parents to attend a parent formation session so that we can also evangelize and catechize them. I have participated in the parent formation sessions since I have been at the parish in my former role, but now I will oversee the curriculum and catechesis first hand.  One of the bigger additions to the parent sessions is going to be monthly Eucharistic Adoration. Last year, we took the parents to Adoration and many of them loved it. I am excited to add this portion to the parent sessions because I often use my Adoration time for writing and study (looking at Jesus right now as I type these very words).

This position was offered to me by our new Parochial Administrator (eventually he will be made Pastor) back on April 19. I did not seek this position out and to be completely honest, I was very content in my role as Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis, but the need at the parish was for me to accept God’s will, which I discerned through prayer and conversations with my fiancée (and a few mentors) and took on this new endeavor. Since June 1 (was prepping before then), I have been feverishly working on the new content as well as bringing up-to-date some things that needed it.  I am super excited that the Lord Jesus Christ called me into this position and will work hard to make the program reflect his goodness and to lead our children and their parents into a personal relationship with Him and His Catholic Church.

If you have the time, could you please pray three Hail Mary’s for me? Offer them up for courage, strength, and endurance – three attributes needed when working in parish life. Also pray that parishioners of our parish will hear the call of the Holy Spirit and come forward to serve as catechists and aides for our young children, for the parents, and for one another. Ask Saint Bosco and Our Lady, Help of Christians (Patrons for our new program) to answer these specific prayers. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes on the Immaculate Heart of Mary

This past Saturday the Roman lung of the Catholic Church celebrated the great Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Saturday devotion follows the Friday devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although St. John Eudes is known as one of the “Saints of the Sacred Heart”, he also popularized the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary during his time. To learn more about this devotion, check out my blog post from a few years ago.

For today’s “Mondays with Mary”, here are 10 quotes about the Immaculate Heart of Mary for you to pray and meditate with this week –

“Mary, give me your Heart: so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate; your Heart so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor.” – Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“Be Not Afraid; my Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and your safe page to God.” – Our Lady of Fatima to Saint Lucia

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” – Our Lady of Fatima

“If you put all the love of the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.” – Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Immaculate alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. She seeks souls that will consecrate themselves entirely to her, that will become in her hands forceful instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spread of God’s kingdom.” – Saint Maximilian Kolbe

“May I give you some advice for you to put into practice daily? When your heart makes you feel those low cravings, say slowly to the Immaculate Virgin: Look on me with compassion. Don’t abandon me. Don’t abandon me, my Mother! And recommend this prayer to others.” – Saint Josemaria Escriva

“I want My Church to…put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.” – Jesus to Saint Lucia

“Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Saint Jacinta

“Mother, dear, lend me your heart. I look for it each day to pour my troubles into.” – Saint Gemma Galgani

“After the love which we Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary.” – Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

O, Immaculate Heart, Virgin Mary…Pray for Us 

“Mondays with Mary” – 34 books added to my Marian Library

One month ago, it was like Christmas, Easter, and my birthday all wrapped into one when at the parish we received over 20 boxes of Catholic books. The boxes of books came from a parishioner who passed away recently. She left all of the books to the parish. Although we are adding many of the books to the parish library, there were so many we couldn’t add them all.

As staff a member, I was invited to pick through some of the books, many very old and out of print, that I would like to have for my own personal library at home. Many of the books that I chose have to do with the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I also picked up some other theology books as well, including a two-volume set on some of the basic writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. I will share those books will all of you soon.

So, for today’s blog post, I am going to share with you the Marian books that are now part of my library at home. As my Pastor said, you now have years of writing for your “Mondays with Mary” series.

The Rosary – The Crown of Mary by a Dominican Father – a small booklet about the Rosary. Copyright is 1935.

The Miraculous Image of Our Mother of the Perpetual Help by R. J. Spitzer, C.SS.R. – a small booklet on the aforementioned image. Copyright is 1954.

The Secret of Mary by St. Louise de Montfort. Copyright is 1950.

The Reign of Jesus through Mary by Gabriel Denis, S.M.M. Copyright is 1944.

The Imitation of Mary by Alexander De Rouville. Copyright is 1977.

Papal Teachings (Our Lady) by The Benedictine Monks of Solesmes. Copyright is 1961.

Mary – The Blessed The Beloved by Rev. Timothy Harris. Copyright is 1951.

The Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary – Series No. 2 – The Sorrowful Mysteries. Copyright is 1949.

Mary – a periodical from July August 1955 (cost was 35 cents). Published by Agents for Mary in England.

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St. Louis de Montfort. Copyright is 1991.

Small booklets on Fatima:

Novena to Our Lady at Fatima

Fatima and the “The Way of Divine Love”

 Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal to Us in the 1980’s – An explanation of the Fatima Message

A Woman Clothed with the Sun – Eight great appearances of Our Lady. Copyright is 1960.

Mary – Catechist at Fatima by Rev. Fredrick L. Miller. Copyright is 1991.

Fatima – The Great Sign by Francis Johnston. Copyright is 1980.

The True Story of Fatima by John de Marchi, I.M.C. Copyright is 1947.

Novena – In Honor of Our Sorrowful Mother. Copyright is 1962.

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Copyright is 1914. [oldest of these books]

Our Lady Speaks – Thoughts on Her Litany by Leon Bonnet. Copyright is 1954.

Dictionary of Mary. Copyright is 1985.

Victories of the Martyrs by St. Alphonsus De Liguori. Copyright is 1954.

The Glories of Mary (Volume I – Hail, Holy Queen) by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Mary – God’s Masterpiece. Copyright is 1954.

17 Papal Documents on the Rosary (Pope Leo XIII, Pope Paul VI, and St. John XXIII). Copyright is 1980.

The Official Handbook of the Legion of Mary (Fourth American Edition). Copyright is 1941.

The Rosary – Chain of Hope by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. Copyright is 2003. [newest book]

Loves in the Heart of Mary. Copyright is 1965.

The Sun Her Mantle by John Beeves. Copyright is 1953.

Apparition of the Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette – booklet on the apparition. Copyright is 1976.

Rosarium Virgins Mariae by Pope St. John Paul II – I already have this but this copy is in a small booklet format. Copyright is 2002.

The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics. Copyright is 1991.

Lourdes – a land of the gospel. Picture book of Lourdes. Copyright is 1952.

Shrines to Our Lady Around the World by Zsolt Aradi. Copyright is 1954.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

Since this upcoming Thursday is the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (and my Mom’s Birthday), I wanted to briefly share with you a reflection on Mary and Elizabeth’s encounter as well as Mary’s Magnificat. This is a subject that I have written on numerous times over the 6 years of writing these weekly blog articles. Below you can read the previous articles on the Visitation.

After receiving the news from the Angel at the Annunciation that she would be the Mother of God, Mary quickly departs for the hill country, very similar to King David in the Old Testament, where she goes to serve her cousin, Elizabeth. Two major events of grace occur when she goes to Elizabeth. First, Elizabeth declares by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Mary is the Mother of her Lord and the child in womb (St. John the Baptist) leapt for joy. Second, the same Holy Spirit inspires Mary to declare her “Magnificat” or song of praise. A song of praise similar to that of Hannah’s hymn, a hymn that we believe Our Lady would have known by memory.

The two reflections below come from the Dictionary of Mary, a book that recently came into my possession. Next week, I will share with you the exciting news of this book and the other 33 books on Our Lady that are now part of my Marian library. I also have 20 or so more books on a wide variety of Catholic topics and theology. Come back next week and hear the story about these books – some that are so old they are no longer in print.

The first reflection on the Visitation is titled – “Blest Is She Who Trusted [Believed]…” –

At the same time, Elizabeth makes known to us the mystery of Mary and the basic reason why she is blessed. The mystery of Mary stems entirely from the privileged bond of her motherhood, which unites her with the “fruit of [her] womb” (Lk 1:42). To capture the spirit of Elizabeth’s greeting, the translation out to read: “Blest are you among women BECAUSE blest is the fruit of your womb.”  The blessedness, the holiness, of the Son is reflected in the Mother. Better still, the Son is cause of the Mother’s holiness. In the estimation of the Evangelists and the first Christians, there is not a more beautiful title for May this one: “Mother of Jesus” (cf. Jn 2:1), “Mother of my Lord.”

But it is a motherhood first received in faith. Mary is most of all believer, a woman who has given a total yes to God’s Word, unlike Zechariah who doubted.

It is this faith of Mary that Elizabeth extols: “Blest is she who trusted [believed] that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45). Luke sees no opposition between Mary’s motherhood and her hearing the Word of God (cf. 11:27-28). On the contrary, he associates one with the other.

Visitation, Oil on Canvas. For more from Steve Bird, visit his website – http://www.stevebirdart.com

The second reflection on the Visitation is titled – Mary’s Thanksgiving

The scene of the Visitation is extended in Mary’s personal act of thanksgiving, the Magnificat. Mary gives her praise for the intervention of God, her Savior, in the stupendous motherhood that is coming to pass within her: “God who is mighty has done great things for me” (1:49).

But Mary’s vision does not stop at herself. It moves over the whole history of Israel, and her thanksgiving take on the accents of a whole people singing the great deeds of God. This woman, “blessed above all women” (cf. Jdt 13:18), belongs entirely to the history of Israel, the long line of men and women who have experienced the extolled the salvation of God. Like them, Mary sings praise to the God faithful to his Covenant, faithful to the Promise made the Fathers.

To learn more about Mary’s Magnificat, I would encourage you to read one of my very first “Mondays with Mary” here.

To read more about the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would encourage you to check out the seven articles I have written previously –

“Mondays with Mary” – Pope Benedict on the ‘Visitation of Mary’

“Mondays with Mary” – St. Francis de Sales on the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Mondays with Mary” – The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Mondays with Mary”- The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Take 2

“Mondays with Mary” – ‘Bringing Jesus to Others’ 

“Mondays with Mary” – The Visitation of Mary in Advent 

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary Greets Elizabeth  

Remembering what Memorial Day is all about

Today here in the United States of America, we commemorate Memorial Day – the day we remember all those who gave their lives defending our freedom while serving in our armed forces. In the FoxNews article, SEAL who shot bin Laden: Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day, the author says,

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid. Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.

For me, today is a little more real than in years past since I have gotten to know some real good men and women at my parish who have served in our military. I have also started to support a company, while drinking coffee, that was founded by a veteran and employs many veterans. This company is known as Black Rifle Coffee Company. If you drink coffee and want to support our veterans, I would encourage you to check out this growing company. The video below is produced by them, and titled – Never Forgotten.

Ever since writing an article back on this day in 2013, every time I see a military veteran (usually wearing a hat or shirt saying when or where they served) or a current active service member of any branch of the military, I go up to them, shake their hand, and say Thank you for serving our country. At first this was hard to do, but I once I did it a few times, it became easier. I think we all need to do this for those who have served or currently serve in the armed forces. We have the freedoms we do because brave men and women decided to put their lives on the line and defend this country. This day and everyday, let us pray for all of the military men and women who have died defending our country.

As we watch the military movies that are playing on television today, grilling burgers and dogs, drinking a beer, and enjoying this day off, just remember Why you have this day off and to offer up a prayer to those who have fallen and have died for us. Today is only possibly through the service and actions of our fellow citizens who have chosen to serve, fight, and defend our country.

If you are looking for specific military prayers, you will find them on this website. Ask for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George – the Patron Saints of Military Personnel.

And, make sure you watch this short video from Black Rifle Coffee Company

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Vladimir

Since it’s been some time that I have focused on a specific title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I thought for today’s “Mondays with Mary” I would turn our attention to one of today’s feasts for Our Lady – the Theotokos of Vladimir, which is celebrated intently in Russia. It’s also a perfect day to discuss this image as we have just celebrated the inaugural memorial – Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. In this image, we see Christ with his Mother.

This specific image of Mary holds a special place in my heart since I received a depiction of this image 10 years ago from a good friend whose marriage I was in as a groomsman. Still a good friend today, he will be my best man when I get married this September. The image he gave to me of Our Lady hangs today in my office/library at home.

Our Lady of Vladimir in Greek (Eleousa) means Mother of Tenderness. We see Christ, as a child, closely nestled to his mother as he gazes into her eyes while his left arm embraces her and his right hand is gently touching her left cheek. The original image is a large icon believed to be one of the images that Saint Luke drew of Mary. Although Mary in the image looks towards us, there is no doubting that she is tightly connected and union with Christ. She is gentle and tender not only with Christ but all of those who love him and seek to know him more. She is the gentle mother leading all believers closer to Christ.

Our Lady of Vladimir

In the year 450, it is believed that image left Jerusalem and was moved to Constantinople. Around the year 1131, the icon left Constantinople and was moved to Vishgorod, near Kiev. In 1155, Prince Andrei Bogolubsky moved it to Vladimir. Eventually the image was transferred to Moscow in 1395, which became the religious capital for the country. Our Lady of Vladimir is the most venerated icon in all of Russia. It has escaped numerous tragedies, which include fires and the plundering of churches. The Theotokos of Vladimir is tied intensely to the life and history of Russia. Many miraculous interventions have been ascribed to it.

The most notable miracle occurred in 1395 when Moscow was facing invasions by the Mongol Empire. After prayers were said before the image and she was asked to intercede for the battle, she became a shield of protection for the Russian people and they held back the Mongol invasion. From that time one, Our Lady of Vladimir became the national sign of the Russian Orthodox Church.

It hung in the Church of the Annunciation in Moscow until 1918. It is now located in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Our Lady of Vladimir…Pray for Us

The 6th Anniversary of “Mondays with Mary”

Today marks another milestone in my writing – it is the 6th Anniversary of “Mondays with Mary.” I started this series on a whim 6 years ago thinking that I would only do it during the month of that first year, but after receiving some comments on the blog posts that I wrote in May of 2012, I decided to continue to write every Monday on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As of late though, my writing on this series and overall has decreased due to family commitments (marriage/wedding preparation and our newest four-legged addition to our family, who we rescued and adopted). Writing has allowed me to share with you the importance of the Catholic faith and why it is so important to me. If writing wasn’t important to me, I would have quit long ago, but in case you are unaware, today’s post is my 828th overall and the 287th “Mondays with Mary.”

Our Lady of the Host by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

To celebrate today’s 6th Anniversary, I am going to provide for you the Top 6 “Mondays with Mary” of all time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them and sharing them with you today –

1. “Mondays with Mary” – The Flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

2. “Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes from Padre Pio on the Blessed Virgin Mary 

3. “Mondays with Mary” – 10 Memorable Quotes about the Blessed Virgin Mary from St. John Vianney 

4. “Mondays with Mary” – 7 Benefits of Praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

5. “Mondays with Mary” – Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant 

6. “Mondays with Mary” – 5 Quotes from the Saints on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Our Lady, Most Pure and Immaculate…Pray for Us.