Since yesterday was the Solemnity of All Saints, the great feast where we celebrate not only the canonized Saints of the Church, but also the unknown saints that have reached the Heavenly Kingdom, I found it fitting to discuss Mary and her role with the saints through the words of a Saint – Pope St. John Paul II.
As many of you know from your own knowledge of the great Polish Pope, John Paul II had a profound devotion and love for our Blessed Mother. It was a passion even evident on his Papal Shield. In nearly every document that he wrote, in the 26 years as Supreme Pontiff, as well as in many of his speeches/teachings, John Paul II mentioned Our Lady nearly each the time.
For us as Catholics, her role as the Queen Mother is fundamental since it finds its development in the Sacred Scriptures (1 Kings 2). Although she is more Mother than Queen as Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen states at the beginning of his book, The World’s First Love, it still does not take away from the fact that her Queenship assists us, because in this role she serves as our Advocate to her Son, and our Savior, Jesus Christ. If you are interested and/or have never read any of my posts on Mary as Queen Mother, I would suggest you read the following post – The Queenship of Mary: 6 Blog Posts on the Marian Feast.
Now here are five dynamic quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Mary’s role as the Queen of All Saints –
“In order to live for Christ and no longer for ourselves, to collaborate in the ministry of reconciliation, to build the kingdom of God, we must bear the cross and follow Christ. Let us not be afraid to be signs of contradiction. Let us embrace the cross, confident that it is a “tree of eternal life,” trusting in the firm promise of resurrection. Together with the Virgin Mary and all the saints, let us build God’s kingdom here on earth, so as to able to live for ever with the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” (Homily in New Guinea, 1994)
“Finally, I entrust you to the intercession of the holy martyrs of Nagasaki, and especially to the protection of Mary, Queen of Martyrs and Mother of the Church. She is indeed the Mother of All Christians, especially of those who lead the religious life, she who is so venerated in Japan as Edo no Santa Maria and as Our Lady of Otometoge.” (Address in Nagasaki, 1981)
“As we ourselves pursue every day the justice and holiness born of truth, let us look to Mary, Mother of Jesus, Queen of the Apostles, and cause of our joy. May St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. John Neumann pray for you, and for all the people who are called to serve in holiness and truth in the unity of Christ and his Church.” (Homily in Chicago, 1979)
“Our communion is a communion of prayer, in which we all draw strength from the whole praying Body of Christ. The activity of prayer is very much a part of the life of the Church, uniting us with the living and the dead in the communion of saints. The saints of God are our intercessors. In particular, the Mother of Jesus, who is the Mother of the whole Body, intercedes for all who have received life in her Son. Legions of Christians faithful fulfill an ecclesial role of inestimable value by praying for the Church and her mission. We count on all these prayers, and are especially grateful for the contribution of the sick and the suffering.” (Address in Rome, 1980)
“In of her apparitions to St. Catherine Laboure, our Lady said to the young sister – frightened by the greatness and the difficulty of the mission which had been entrusted to her – ‘It is here at the foot of the tabernacle that you must seek the strength and consolation!’ The heavenly Mother addresses the same words to each of you. With the Eucharist, near the tabernacle, may you be holy and fearless sisters, today and for the rest of your lives!” (Address in Milan, 1983)
Like so many of the Saints before him, Pope St. John Paul II desired to be a Saint. Let us through his intercessory prayer reach that same goal and become saints for Jesus Christ.
Mary, Queen of All Saints…Pray for Us.