I will be at the Arizona Marian Conference this weekend

From what I have been told, there will be around 900 participants this weekend at the Arizona Marian Conference, being held at the DoubleTree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. I will be there selling my book, Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as promoting this blog and my “Mondays with Mary” series found on this blog.

Tom Perna Flyer

If you have happen to be coming to the Marian Conference this weekend, and you follow me through this blog, I would love to meet you. Please stop by table located in the bookstore at the conference.

O Blessed Virgin and Immaculate Mother…Pray for Us. 

“Mondays with Mary – 7 Quotes on the Queenship of Mary by Blessed Pope Pius XII

Since today, August 22, is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, a topic that I have written on many times, which you can read here; I thought I would add another blog post to this already extensive subject, which is often misunderstood by many non-Catholics. One of the questions often asked is – how is Mary a Queen? But if we believe that Christ is the King, then it makes perfect sense, as it did in the Old Testament and was completed in the New, that Mary would be and is the Queen.

If you are seeking an answer for what I have stated above, feel free to read any of the previous blog posts on the topic. However, for today’s post on the Queenship of Mary, I want to share with you 7 quotes from the encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam (On the Proclamation of the Queenship of Mary), written by Blessed Pope Pius XII and promulgated on October 11, 1954 –

1. “From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.”

2. “In this matter We do not wish to propose a new truth to be believed by Christians, since the title and the arguments on which Mary’s queenly dignity is based have already been clearly set forth…From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God…And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.”

3. “The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these [the Early Church Fathers] and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all…The Supreme Shepherds of the Church have considered it their duty to promote by eulogy and exhortation the devotion of the Christian people to the heavenly Mother and Queen.”

Queen of Heaven - Diego Velázquez

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

4. “But the Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. “What more joyful, what sweeter thought can we have” – as Our Predecessor of happy memory, Pius XI wrote – “than that Christ is our King not only by natural right, but also by an acquired right: that which He won by the redemption?…”

5. “Now, in the accomplishing of this work of redemption, the Blessed Virgin Mary was most closely associated with Christ; and so it is fitting to sing in the sacred liturgy: ‘Near the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ there stood, sorrowful, the Blessed Mary, Queen of Heaven and Queen of the World.’ Hence, as the devout disciple of St. Anselm (Eadmer, ed.) wrote in the Middle Ages: ‘just as . . . God, by making all through His power, is Father and Lord of all, so the blessed Mary, by repairing all through her merits, is Mother and Queen of all; for God is the Lord of all things, because by His command He establishes each of them in its own nature, and Mary is the Queen of all things, because she restores each to its original dignity through the grace which she merited.’”

6. “Since we are convinced, after long and serious reflection, that great good will accrue to the Church if this solidly established truth shines forth more clearly to all, like a luminous lamp raised aloft, by Our Apostolic authority We decree and establish the feast of Mary’s Queenship, which is to be celebrated every year in the whole world on the 31st of May [in the traditional calendar]. We likewise ordain that on the same day the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary be renewed, cherishing the hope that through such consecration a new era may begin, joyous in Christian peace and in the triumph of religion.”

7. “In some countries of the world there are people who are unjustly persecuted for professing their Christian faith and who are deprived of their divine and human rights to freedom; up till now reasonable demands and repeated protests have availed nothing to remove these evils. May the powerful Queen of creation, whose radiant glance banishes storms and tempests and brings back cloudless skies, look upon these her innocent and tormented children with eyes of mercy; may the Virgin, who is able to subdue violence beneath her foot, grant to them that they may soon enjoy the rightful freedom to practice their religion openly, so that, while serving the cause of the Gospel, they may also contribute to the strength and progress of nations by their harmonious cooperation, by the practice of extraordinary virtues which are a glowing example in the midst of bitter trials.”

Each of these quotes are powerful in their own right, but reading this seventh one makes me realize that much hasn’t changed in the nearly sixty-two years when it comes to religious freedom in the world, a topic the Second Vatican Council would take up ten years later. In the United States, we most certainly need something to combat our own religious freedom issues, and I believe that’s Our Lady of America. If you haven’t read my posts on her yet, I would encourage you to do so.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – Bishop Fulton Sheen and ‘The Assumption and the Modern World’

When I read many of the great Catholic authors of the 20th century – G.K. Chesterton, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Flannery O’Connor, Romano Guardini, and others like them, it seems to me as if they are writing today and witnessing the same distorted elements of the secular neo-pagan culture we see everyday. I think that many of these writers were prophets in their own times – for they saw then what was coming to the world in which we live in today. To understand the present, I believe we must look into the past.

So for today’s “Mondays with Mary”, I draw from one of the great Catholic Bishops of the mid 20th century, a figure I spoke about from above, and fan favorite of many devout Catholics today – Bishop Fulton Sheen.

In his book, The World’s First Love – Mary, Mother of God, Bishop Sheen writes about the contrast between today’s modern philosophies and the fourth Marian dogma – The Assumption of Mary into Heaven, which by the way is today’s Solemnity. Although I would love to explain in great detail the words of Fulton Sheen to you, I just don’t have that kind of time nor should you hear it from me. Reading him your self is the best option since I only have a small fraction of his intelligence.

The modern philosophies that Bishop Sheen begins with are Darwinism, Marxism and Totalitarianism. He continues down the rabbit hole of modern secularism by explaining the damages of not only the three philosophies above, but also dives into Jean-Paul Sartre and Sigmund Freud – two philosophers that have sowed countless seeds of confusion and distortion regarding the human person and human sexuality. Each of these modern philosophies has developed like weeds, seeking to destroy the fruit that grows around it – and this is what we witness today in our modern culture.

This however is only one side of the battlefield, for the Assumption of the Mary into Heaven brings light into the darkness, pouring upon us Love and Life. Even though the modern world seems to be heavily steeped in the philosophies above, the Assumption of Mary takes these head-on and insures us that these philosophies are bound to fail, finding themselves upon the trash heap of history and eternity. It is in Love and Life that the Assumption finds its home and rest.

Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Rubens.

Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Rubens.

To conclude today’s post, I now give you seven quotes from Bishop Fulton Sheen focusing on ‘The Assumption and the Modern World’ –

1. “This ‘pull’ on our hearts by the Spirit of God is always present, and it is only our refusing wills and the weakness of our bodies as a result of sin that keep us earth-bound…If God exerts a gravitational pull on all souls, given the intense love of Our Lord for His Blessed Mother that descended and the intense love of Mary for her Lord that ascended, there is a created suspicion that love at this stage would be so great as ‘to pull the body with it’.

2. “Love in its nature is an ascension in Christ and an assumption in Mary…One thing is certain: the Assumption is easy to understand if one loves God deeply, but it is hard to understand if one loves not.”

3. “To a world that worships the body, the Church now says, ‘there are two bodies in Heaven, one the glorified human nature of Jesus, the other the assumed human nature of Mary.’ Love is the secret of the Ascension of one and of the Assumption of the other, for love craves unity with its beloved. The Son returns to the Father in the unity of Divine Nature, and Mary returns to Jesus in the unity of human nature. Her nuptial flight is the event to which our whole generation moves.”

4. “In this doctrine of the Assumption, the Church meets the despair of the world in a second way. She affirms the beauty of life as against death. When wars, sex, and sin multiply the discords of men, and death threatens on every side, the Church bids us life up our hearts to the life that has the immortality of the Life that nourished it…Eat the food of earth, and one dies; eat the Eucharist, and one lives eternally. She, who is the mother of the Eucharist, escapes the decomposition of death.”

5. “The modern man gets back to nothingness through despair; the Christian knows nothingness only through self-negation, which is humility. The more that the pagan ‘nothings’ himself, the closer he gets to the hell of despair and suicide. The more the Christian ‘nothings’ himself, the closer he gets to God. Mary went so deep down into Nothingness that she became exalted…And her exaltation was also her Assumption.”

6. “In Mary there is a triple transition. In the Annunciation we pass from the holiness of the Old Testament to the holiness of Christ. At Pentecost we pass from the holiness of the historical Christ to the holiness of the Mystical Christ or His Body, which is the Church…The third transition is the Assumption, as he becomes the first human person to realize the historical destiny of the faithful as member of Christ’s Mystical Body, beyond time, beyond death, and beyond judgment.”

7. “Mary is always in the vanguard of humanity…by her Assumption, she goes ahead like her Son to prepare a place for us. She participates in the glory of her Son, reigns with Him, presides at His Side over the destinies of the Church in time, and intercedes for us, to Him, as He, in His turn, intercedes to the Heavenly Father…Mary always seems to be the advent of what is in store for man.”

In a time, when humanity seems to care nothing for the supernatural that pertains to God, let us ask for the intercession of Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen to intercede for not only our country, but for all of humanity. Let us pray that the Assumption of Mary will wake up the world to beauty, love, and life – the same Beauty, Love, and Life that not only died for the world, but also intercedes on its behalf.

Blessed Virgin Mary, in your Assumption, as the Immaculate Conception…Pray for Us.

The Blessing of Saint Clare

Today, August 11, is the memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin and Foundress of the Order of Poor Ladies of San Damiano, which was changed officially to the Order of Saint Clare by Pope Urban IV in the year 1263, and today these religious sisters are commonly known as the Poor Clares.

She is the patron saint of television (yes, television), laundry, eye diseases and goldsmiths. She was born in 1194 and entered Heavenly Glory in 1253. On September 26, 1255, two years after her earthly death Pope Alexander IV canonized her as a Saint of the Catholic Church. To learn more about Saint Claire, click here.

St. Clare of Assisi

To conclude this quick post on Saint Clare, I would like to focus on the Blessing that is attributed to Franciscan saint. The reason it’s attributed to her is because there is no real historical evidence of her actually saying it, however, within the Poor Clares tradition this blessing plays an important role for they cherish it as a reminder of their great foundress. The blessing is mentioned earliest during the year of 1350, where it was found in a Middle High German translation. This blessing is also very similar to a blessing she wrote to Blessed Agnes of Prague in a letter.

The story follows – As Saint Clare was on her deathbed, she asked that all the Poor Sisters at San Damiano come together once last time with her so she could give them, as well as all the future sisters of the Order, a final blessing…

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He show His face to you and be merciful to you. May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.

I, Clare, a handmaid of Christ, a little plant of our holy Father Francis, a sister and mother of you and the other Poor Sisters, although unworthy, ask our Lord Jesus Christ through His mercy and through the intercession of His most holy Mother Mary, of Blessed Michael the Archangel and all the holy angels of God, and of all His men and women saints, that the heavenly Father give you and confirm for you this most holy blessing in heaven and on earth. On earth, may He increase [His] grace and virtues among His servants and handmaids of His Church Militant. In heaven, may He exalt and glorify you in His Church Triumphant among all His men and women saints.

I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed His sons and daughters in heaven and on earth. Amen.

Always be lovers of God and your souls and the souls of your Sisters, and always be eager to observe what you have promised the Lord.

May the Lord be with you always and, wherever you are, may you be with Him always. Amen.

Saint Clare…Pray for Us.

Source:

Francis, Regis J. Armstrong, Ignatius C. Brady, and Clare. Francis and Clare: The Complete Works. New York: Paulist, 1982. Print.

 

 

 

 

The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence and 5 Things We Can Learn from It

With the intensification of Christian martyrdom across the globe in recent years, and most especially the recent martyrdom of Father Jacques Hamel, I found it very fitting today to rebrand an article that I wrote a few years ago focusing on the early Church Deacon and Martyr, St. Lawrence. He is one of the most venerated martyrs of the early Church.

In the year 257, the Roman Emperor Valerian ordered that all Christians as well as Bishops, priests, deacons, and Pope Sixtus II, were to be apprehended and put to death. One year after this decree was issued, Pope Saint Sixtus was taken into custody by Roman soldiers and martyred. Four days later, the Pope’s good friend, Saint Lawrence, would follow him into martyrdom. According to tradition and the writings of Saint Ambrose and Prudentius, Saint Lawrence said to Sixtus, “Father, where are you going without your deacon?” The Pope said in reply, “I do not leave you, my son. You shall follow me in three days.”

As tradition tells us, a Roman prefect demanded that Saint Lawrence bring the treasures of the Church to him immediately. For three days, Saint Lawrence quickly did what he was told to do. He went throughout the entire city seeking the followers of Christ. The actual gold and silver that the prefect wanted was sold and distributed throughout the Church. On the third day, he reported back to the prefect with a countless number of Christian followers. At seeing all the people gathered before him, the Roman prefect became enraged and asked Lawrence where was the “treasure” of the Church. In a confident voice, Lawrence replied, “What are you displeased at? These are the treasure of the Church.”

After hearing this reply, his anger increased even more so and he ordered that Lawrence be taken into custody. The prefect ordered that a large gridiron be built and that hot coals were placed under it in order to slowly cook the deacon to death. Lawrence was stripped of his clothes and tied to the gridiron that slowly burnt his flesh. He remained on the gridiron for a long time suffering in great pain. With a smile of pure joy, he looked at the judge and said, “Let my body be turned; one side is broiled enough.”

Once the executioner turned him over, Lawrence said, “It is cooked enough, you may eat.” After praying for the city of Rome and all the faithful of the Church one last night, Saint Lawrence gave up his spirit and died. Since the fourth century, Saint Lawrence has been celebrated as one of the most venerated martyrs of the Church.

the-martyrdom-of-st-lawrence-palma-giovane

Now that we know a little more about St. Lawrence, here are 5 things we can learn from his life and death…

1. Always speak the Truth of Jesus Christ and spread His Gospel message to those we encounter. The Gospel message is to be evangelized to all – from faithful Christians to unbelievers. As disciples of Jesus Christ and His Church, we are not to impose the views of the Church, only propose them to the world.

2. We must always strive for holiness. From the moment we are baptized, we are called to live a life of universal holiness. As the saints militant here on Earth, we must be joyful Christians. There is no room for grumpy Christians. As St. Teresa of Avila said, “A sad saint is not a saint at all.”

3. Always stand against those who seek to destroy us and persecute us for our beliefs in Jesus Christ and His Church. With great confidence and fortitude, we can overcome the challenges that stand before us. Throughout the world, many of us are being faced with a threat against our religious freedom. We must stand against such tyranny and battle for our religious freedom.

4. As Christians, we are called to be witnesses to the world. The term, martyr, comes from the Greek term meaning witness. Many of us will never endure red martyrdom (death), but we will endure white martyrdom (social persecution). As we stand against the depravity of this modern secular culture, many of us will endure social persecution.

5. All suffering leads to Jesus Christ on the cross. Whether our suffering is physical, mental, or spiritual, it can unite us closer to Our Lord who endured great suffering during his Passion. All suffering will eventually lead to glory and resurrection.

In his Apostolic Letter, Salvific Doloris, Pope St. John Paul II says, “Suffering is also an invitation to manifest the moral greatness of man, his spiritual maturity. Proof of this has been given, down through the generations, by the martyrs and confessors of Christ, faithful to the words: “And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.”

For more on the subject of martyrdom, I would suggest reading my Quick Lessons from the Catechism and what Pope Francis said about martyrdom.

Let us pray: O Lord, you gave us the great Deacon and Martyr of the Church, St. Lawrence, who passionately served you and your Vicar, Pope St. Sixtus II. Help us to be obedient to our current Vicar in all avenues of the Church. Give us the strength and courage we need to endure martyrdom and social persecution in this modern age. Amen. 

St. Lawrence…Pray for Us. 

Fr. Jacques Hamel…Pray for Us. 

All Holy Martyrs…Pray for Us. 

“Mondays with Mary” – The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Holy Rosary, and St. Dominic

Since today is the memorial of Saint Dominic – The Hound of the Hounds, and the primary founder of Dominican Order, also known as the Order of Preachers, I found it fitting to talk about one of his most important contributions to the Catholic Church – The Holy Rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort in the Second and Third Rose, explains the origin of the Rosary and the role that St. Dominic plays in its final format, as we know it today –

“Since the Holy Rosary is composed, principally and in substance, of the Prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, it was without doubt the first prayer and the first devotion of the faithful and has been in use all through the centuries, from the time of the apostles down to the present.

But it was only in the year 1214, however, that Holy Mother Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by Saint Dominic who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.

I will tell you the story of how he received it, which is found in the very well-known book, ‘De Dignitate Psalteri’ by Blessed Alan de la Roche. Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.

At this point Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said:

‘Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?’

‘Oh my Lady,’ answered Saint Dominic, ‘you know far than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.’

Then Our Lady replied:

‘I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.’

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district he made straight for the Cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together and Saint Dominic began to preach.

Mary and the Rosary

At the very beginning of his sermon an appalling storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightening that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when looking at a picture of Our Lady exposed in a prominent place they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God’s vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the Holy Mother of God.

God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the Holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.

At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compelling did he explain the importance and value of the Holy Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.

This miraculous way in which the devotion to the Holy Rosary was established is something of a parallel to the way in which Almighty God have His law to the world on Mount Sinai and obviously proves its value and importance.

Inspired by the Holy Ghost, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Holy Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics.

The Holy Rosary which he said every day was his preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with Our Lady immediately after preaching.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Holy Rosary, I recommend the thirteen posts I have written on the subject in the past. You can also search the Holy Rosary and find other articles teaching on the devotion.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary…Pray for Us.

Saint Dominic…Pray for us.

 

“Mondays with Mary” – Marian Reflections from St. Alphonsus Ligouri

Since today is the memorial of St. Alphonsus Ligouri – The Patron of Theologians, I found it fitting to use some of his Marian spiritual writings for today’s “Mondays with Mary.” Like many of the saints before him, St. Alphonsus Ligouri had a great love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As Catholics today, we too are called to nurture a deep devotion with her, as did those who came before us. Beginning at the Wedding Feast of Cana to our present time, the Blessed Mother intercedes for us, most especially when we call out and ask her. Mary is the perfect intercessor between Jesus and us. She secures his grace and also dispenses it to us. Don’t wait a second longer – call out to her in prayer and she will be your Mother.

The Glories of Mary, written by St. Alphonsus is said to be one of the greatest Catholic books ever written on the Blessed Virgin. It’s one-volume consisting of five books. Bringing together some of the greatest works from the Saints, Doctors of the Church, other authors, and Sacred Scripture, St. Alphonsus explains the beauty that makes up the Blessed and Holy Mother of God. One of the four short meditations (#3) I provide for you below comes from The Glories of Mary.

At this time, I don’t yet have this book in my Marian library, but hope to buy it soon. If you are interested yourself, click here to purchase a copy.

Now let us turn to the four meditations on Our Lady –

This first and second meditation comes from his work titled, The Passion and the Death of Jesus Christ, and focuses on Mary’s standing at the cross

1. “’There stood by the cross of Jesus his Mother’ (John 19:25). We observe in this the Queen of Martyrs, a sort of martyrdom more cruel than any other martyrdom, — that of a mother so placed as to behold an innocent Son executed upon a gibbet of infamy: ‘she stood.’ Ever since Jesus was apprehended in the garden, he has been abandoned by his disciples; but Mary abandons him not. She stays with him till she sees him expire before her eyes; ‘she stood close by.’ Mothers, in general, flee away from the presence of their sons when they see them suffer, and cannot render them away any assistance: content enough would they be themselves to endure their sons’ sufferings; and, therefore, when they see them suffering without the power of succoring them, they have not the strength to endure so great a pain, and consequently flee away, and go to a distance. Not so Mary. She sees his life away; but she flees not, nor moves to a distance. On the contrary, she draws near to the cross whereon her Son is dying. O sorrowing Mary! disdain me not for a companion to assist at the death of they Jesus and mine.”

2. “She stood near to the cross. The cross, then, is the bed whereon Jesus leaves his life; a bed of suffering, where this afflicted Mother is watching Jesus, all wounded as he is with scourges and with thorns. Mary observes how this her poor Son, suspended from those three iron nails, finds neither a position nor repose. She would wish to give him some relief; she would wish, at least, since he has to die, to have him die in her arms. But nothing of all this is allowed her. Ah, cross! she says, give back my Son! Thou art a malefactor’s gibbet; whereas my Son is innocent.

But grieve not thyself, O Mother. It is the will of the Eternal Father that the cross should not give Jesus back to thee until after he has died and breathed his last. O Queen of Sorrows! obtain for me sorrow for my sins.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary

3. “In a world, when we love a person, it is customary to speak of them and praise them so that these individuals will be esteemed and praised by others…Those who really love our Lady…endeavor to praise her always and everywhere to make the whole world love her…So that everyone may be convinced, both for our own good and for the good of the Christian people, how important it is to promote devotion to Mary…I confine myself, for the most part, to her mercy and power of her intercession…I find that the mercy and the power of our Lady are admirably portrayed in the prayer Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Mary)…which marvelously describes his power and mercy of the Virgin Mary…” (Glories of Mary, pages 24-25).

4. Here is a prayer focusing on our death and Mary’s intercession at that point –

“Majestic Sovereign – pardon my boldness – come, before I take my last breath, come in person to console me with your presence. Without a doubt, I am only a sinner, I am not worthy of this favor; but I am your servant, I love you, and my trust in you is without limitations, O Mary! I then wait for you; don’t disappoint my hope. Anyway,…at least help me from heaven so that I leave this life loving God and you, O my Mother, to then continue to love you eternally in paradise.”

I would suggest for this week focusing and meditating in your prayer life on one or all four of these Marian mediations. I would also suggest asking and reflecting on the following questions:

Is your spirituality a Marian spirituality? Is your spiritual life colored with hope?

Where is Mary in your life as a Catholic Christian? Does she hold a place greater than all the other saints or she someone you randomly ask for intercession from?

In what ways to you seek to create a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Do you prayer the Holy Rosary? Do you prayer Marian prayers such as the Hail Mary, the Memorare, and Hail, Holy Queen?

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy and Hope…Pray for Us.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri…Pray for Us.