The Queenship of Mary: 7 Blog Posts on the Marian Feast

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the many Marian feasts of the Catholic Church, and a topic, just like the Assumption, I have written about quite often on here. Below you will find links to the 7 blog posts on the Queenship of Mary, some that come from my weekly series – “Mondays with Mary.” 

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

I hope you enjoy them, learn from them, and share them with others. They are listed from the most recent to the first one I wrote in August 2012.

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

2. “Mondays with Mary” – The Queen of Mercy

3.  Blessed John Paul II (now Pope St. JP 2) on the Queenship of Mary

4. The Queenship of Mary: Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix

5. “Mondays with Mary” – If Jesus Christ is the King; then is Mary the Queen?

6. “Mondays with Mary” – The Queenship of Mary

7. “Mondays with Mary”: John the Apostle, Mother I Beseech You

O Theotokos and Advocating Queen Mother…Pray for All Christians and All of Humanity.

“Mondays with Mary” – Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima

This article first appeared in the August 6th edition of Vidi Dominum, the parish bulletin of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. Re-published here with permission.

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary, some saints and angels, as well as Jesus Christ himself, have appeared to human beings through apparitions. An apparition is an appearance of a heavenly being to people on earth. The apparitions of Jesus in his risen body to his disciples occurred between Easter and his Ascension into heaven.

Although there are many approved Marian apparitions by the Catholic Church, the apparitions at Fatima continue to be the most magnificent of all the Marian apparitions to affect the world in the modern era. Mary under her title, “Our Lady of the Rosary” at Fatima, gave us specific instructions that would lead us closer to her son, Jesus Christ. The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima occurred on the 13th of every month from May to October, 1917.

She asked that the Rosary be prayed on a daily basis, that our daily sacrifices be offered up for the conversion of sinners, that we would adore the Blessed Sacrament more frequently, that there would be an increase of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that there would be an offering of what are now known as the First Saturdays of Reparation.

The apparitions at Fatima occurred during the First World War and the messages from Our Lady declared that if the world did not stop offending God, then another war even greater than the current war would occur. She is obviously talking about World War II, the war that began during the pontificate of Pius XI, a fact that was also declared at Fatima.

The apparition on July 13th, 1917 could be called the most important private revelation of the Age of Mary. The message that came on this day speaks of how fundamentally important it is to have a devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Also included in the message was a vision of Hell, and the souls that are suffering there, and the potential chastisement that would come upon the mankind during the 20th century.

She says in one of the messages, “To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart…if my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not she will spread her errors throughout the world…”

Lucia, one of the very young visionaries (she was then 10 years old; St. Jacinta was 7, and St. Francisco was 8), asked Our Lady what was to be done. Our Lady said, “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is love for You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

Throughout her apparitions to the three young children, specifically in the third Fatima message, she emphasizes the importance of the Holy Rosary, having referred to herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary,” and the importance of praying the Rosary on a daily basis for world peace and the end of World War I.

She said in one of the messages, “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honour. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will return to their homes.” Not only was the Rosary to be prayed until the war ceased, but we must continue to pray the daily rosary today. In a time with so much strife and hostility, the daily rosary is a prayer that can fight the evils of our time. St. Pio of Pietrelcina said it’s the greatest weapon against Satan.

During the October apparition (original article said July – that was my error. Mea Culpa.), there is also the event known as “The Miracle of Fatima” where 70,000 pilgrims witnessed the “solar miracle.” The sun danced in the sky at noon and appeared to give off different types of color. It also approached the earth very rapidly and then returned to its place in the sky just as rapidly. As the sun was “dancing” in the sky, the three children saw a tableau composed of the Holy Family, Our Lady with Divine Son, who blessed the crowd, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

As often occurs with Marian apparitions, the Church remains reserved in any decisions until the apparitions have ceased and some time has passed as not to make a ruling based on emotions or feelings. Two years after the apparitions at Fatima had ended, the Bishop of the Diocese of Leira–Fatima, Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva, designated a commission to study the apparitions, which begun the official inquiry with the Church. Many pilgrims from the Portugal, Bishops and faithful, began to arrive in Fatima. In October 1930, thirteen years after the apparitions concluded, Bishop da Silva announced the results of the inquiry with a pastoral letter. In it, he said:

“In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reason of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in the diocese, we hereby: – Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from the 13th May to 13th October, 1917. – Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.”

So you might be asking yourself – what is consecration?

In the womb of Mary, at the very point of conception, Jesus entrusted his whole being to her. In a similar way, through an act of consecration, we ask Mary to intercede for us, elevating us with a even higher mark of grace and greater encounter with Jesus Christ. We are completely and totally surrendered to God’s will and service, saying Yes (Fiat) to Christ just as Mary did at the Annunciation. The act of consecration commits us to Our Lady, which will move us closer to her Divine Son. The most popular consecration is that of St. Louis de Montfort, the “Apostle to Mary”, which is titled, “Total Consecration.” To learn more about this form of individual consecration, I would encourage you to read my article on my blog titled, “Mondays with Mary” – Marian Consecration: Knowing Jesus through Mary from September 2, 2013.

In connection with the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will consecrate the entire Diocese of Phoenix to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13th at 6:00pm at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. In preparation for this consecration, all the faithful in Phoenix are invited to pray a 54-day Novena, pray a daily rosary, and offer acts of penance, beginning on August 21st. Sign up to receive the prayers, messages from Bishop Olmsted, and more via text and/or email. Text fatima100 to 84576 from your phone to subscribe.

Also in connection with the 100th Anniversary, St. Mary Magdalene will host the world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, traveling worldwide since 1947. The statue has traveled around the globe many times, visiting more than 100 countries, including Russia and China.

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima was sculpted in 1947 by famous sculptor José Thedim, upon the precise instructions of Sister Lucia. On October 13th, 1947, the statue was blessed by the Bishop of Fatima and commissioned to serve as the Pilgrim Virgin that would carry the blessings of Fatima throughout the world. The Bishop prayed that Mary herself accompany the statue wherever it goes. Many graces and favors, including cures, and countless conversions have been associated with the precious image.

Join us on October 8th, 2017 from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the church. Hear a special presentation, pray the rosary together, along with other prayers, and take an opportunity to venerate this beautiful statue. We are the only East Valley parish hosting this tour, so spread the word! More information will be given soon!

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes by Pope St. John Paul II on the Assumption of Mary

Since tomorrow, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church (in the Eastern rites of the Church, today, August 14 is the Dormition of Mary – see my blog post from 2013 titled, Breathing with the Two Lungs of the Church for the Assumption of Mary), I thought I would use today’s “Mondays with Mary” as a way to continue my ever growing catechesis on this important dogma of the Catholic Church.

Ever growing because if you include this post, I have written on the Assumption of Mary 8 times over the past 5 years. It’s an important dogma to the Church and is the culmination of the other three Marian dogmas – Theotokos (God-Bearer), Perpetual Virginity, and Immaculate Conception. For a complete understanding of all four of these dogmas, I would suggest reading my book, Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that reads this blog and these series on a regular basis, but for those of you that are new, I am a big Pope St. John Paul II fan. I attribute his papacy to my intellectual conversion as well as all that I do for the Catholic Church in my current position and in my writings on here.

So for today’s post on the Assumption of Mary, here are 10 quotes from different homilies, audiences, and Angelus’ given by Pope St. John Paul II during his 26 year reign –

1. “In her, assumed into heaven, we are shown the eternal destiny that awaits us beyond the mystery of death: a destiny of total happiness in divine glory. This supernatural vision sustains our daily pilgrimage. Mary teaches about life. By looking at her, we understand better the relative value of earthly greatness and the full sense of our Christian vocation.”

2. “Taken up into heaven, Mary shows us the way to God, the way to heaven, the way to life. She shows it to her children baptized in Christ and to all people of good will. She opens this way especially to the little ones and to the poor, those who are dear to divine mercy. The Queen of the world reveals to individuals and to nations the power of the love of God whose plan upsets that of the proud, pulls down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the humble, fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich empty away (cf. Lk 1:51-53).”

3. “Mary’s Assumption is an event that concerns us precisely because every human being is destined to die. But death is not the last word. Death – the mystery of the Virgin’s Assumption assures us – is the passage to life, the encounter with Love. It is the passage to the eternal happiness in store for those who toil for truth and justice and do their utmost to follow Christ.”

Fra Angelico – Assumption

4. “The Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption into heaven reminds us that Mary has returned to the Father’s house in body and soul, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of peace towards which we are all journeying. This is the reason why the Church, which addresses the Mother of the Lord by the title of Queen of Heaven, also loves to invoke her with the fitting name of Queen of Peace.”

5. “Mary shines on earth “until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God” (Lumen gentiumn. 68). A caring mother to everyone, she supports the efforts of believers and encourages them to persevere in their commitment. Here I am thinking most particularly of young people, who are more exposed to the attractions and temptations of fleeting myths and false teachers.”

6. “Mary, glorified in her body, appears today as the star of hope for the Church and for humanity on its way towards the third Christian millennium. Her sublime exaltation does not distance her from her people or from the world’s problems, on the contrary, it enables her to watch effectively over human affairs with that attentive concern with which she obtained the first miracle from Jesus at the wedding in Cana.”

7. “Today the Church celebrates Mary’s glorious Assumption body and soul into Heaven. The two dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are closely related. Both proclaim the glory of Christ the Redeemer and the holiness of Mary, whose human destiny is even now perfectly and definitively realized in God.”

8. “Chosen by God as the purest vessel in which to “come and dwell” among men, Mary, at the end of her earthly existence, was immediately taken up into heaven. This is why the Christian community, in a renowned hymn, joyfully sings her praise and invokes her: “Hail, O steadfast foundation of faith; / Hail, O shining emblem of grace…. /Hail, O key to the kingdom of Christ / Hail, O Hope for the ages of bliss…. / Hail, for the heavenly rejoice with the earth; / Hail, for the earthly meet the heavens in song!” (Akathistos).”

9. “In Mary and in the mystery of her Assumption, every person is called to discover the bold, connatural end of life, according to the plan established by the Creator: in other words, to be conformed to Christ, the incarnate Word, authentic image of the heavenly Father, to join him on the journey of faith and to rise with him to the fullness of blessed life.”

10. “Today Mary seems even closer to us: from heaven she sees us and protects us. Contemplation of paradise does not distance us from the earth; indeed on the contrary, it is an incentive to us to work with all our might to transform our world in view of eternity. In our minds resounds the Apostle’s invitation to seek the “things that are above” (Col 3:1), where an eternal dwelling place is prepared for us in the common house of the Father.”

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Assumed into Heaven…Pray for Us

Pope Saint John Paul II…Pray for Us

12 Quotes from Edith Stein – Jewish convert, Carmelite Sister, Martyr and Catholic Saint.

Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint Edith Stein, a Jewish woman who became a religious sister, a martyr, and Canonized Saint of the Catholic Church. If you were not familiar with the incredible conversion story and death of St. Edith Stein before reading this post today, I would encourage you to read about it here.

In her quest for truth while studying philosophy, she found the Truth, Jesus Christ, as well as the truth of philosophy in the Catholic Church. Born to Jewish parents, she converted and was baptized on January 1, 1922. Because of her love for St. Teresa of Avila, Edith Stein joined the Carmelite Order and became Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. It is quite fitting and providential that she took that name, since she would endure her own cross. She was martyred in a Nazi Concentration Camp of Auschwitz on August 9, 1942. To read more about her life, please see the aforementioned link above.

On May 1, 1987, Pope St. John Paul II beatified her and on October 11, 1998, he officially recognized her as a Saint of the Catholic Church. In his homily, which you can read here in its entirety, the Polish Pope said,

“The new saint teaches us that love for Christ undergoes suffering. Whoever truly loves does not stop at the prospect of suffering: he accepts communion in suffering with the one he loves. Aware of what her Jewish origins implied, Edith Stein spoke eloquently about them: ‘Beneath the Cross I understood the destiny of God’s People…. Indeed, today I know far better what it means to be the Lord’s bride under the sign of the Cross. But since it is a mystery, it can never be understood by reason alone.’”

Since she had such a brilliant mind, her words are often quoted, however, I am guessing that some people aren’t familiar with these words. To remedy that, I now give you 12 quotes from Saint Edith Stein for you to contemplate and pray with during this day and the rest of the week, and maybe the rest of your life –

1. “We cannot separate love for God from love for man. We acknowledge God easily, but our brother? Those with whom we do not identify his background, education, race, complexion. We could not have imagined that love for God could be so hard.”

2. “God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him — really rest — and start the next day as a new life.”

3. “Since Mary is the prototype of pure womanhood, the imitation of Mary must be the goal of girls’ education.”

4. “All I need is a quiet corner where I can talk to God each day as if there were nothing else to do. I try to make myself a tool for God. Not for myself, but only for him.”

5. “Each woman who lives in the light of eternity can fulfill her vocation, no matter if it is in marriage, in a religious order, or in a worldly profession.”

6. “O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace.”

7. “The walls of our monasteries enclose a narrow space. To erect the structure of holiness in it, one must dig deep and build high, must descend into the depths of the dark night of one’s own nothingness in order to be raised up high into the sunlight of divine love and compassion.” (Me, after reading this – “Wow!”)

8. “In the last few months one has often heard the complaint that the many prayers for peace are still without effect. What right have we to be heard? Our desire for peace is undoubtedly genuine and sincere. But does it come from a completely purified heart?”

9. “Those who join the Carmelite Order are not lost to their near and dear ones, but have been won for them, because it is our vocation to intercede to God for everyone.”

10. “Learn from St. Thérèse to depend on God alone and serve Him with a wholly pure and detached heart. Then, like her, you will be able to say ‘I do not regret that I have given myself up to Love’.”

11. “Every true prayer is a prayer of the Church; by means of that prayer the Church prays, since it is the Holy Spirit living in the Church, Who in every single soul ‘prays in us with unspeakable groanings’.”

12. “The limitless loving devotion to God, and the gift God makes of Himself to you, are the highest elevation of which the heart is capable; it is the highest degree of prayer. The souls that have reached this point are truly the heart of the Church.”

St. Edith Stein…Pray for Us..

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary, the Morning Star (through words of Blessed John Henry Newman)

There are times when I know exactly what I am going to write for a “Mondays with Mary” and then there are times when I struggle to find a topic. Today was one of those days, however, after a miscue on what reading I was suppose to read last night at our monthly Latin Novus Ordo Mass, it came to me, well it came to me through a friend. I was supposed to read the first reading, but I read the second reading. She said to me, Tom, you had to read that reading because it mentioned “morning star” and you had to read about Mary.

So for today’s blog post on the Blessed Mother, I am going to focus on the Marian title, Morning Star, but through the words of Blessed John Henry Newman. However, before I give you his words, let me briefly explain this title to you and what it means.

In the Litany of Loreto, there isn’t a title that is more precise than “Morning Star.” All stars image the Blessed Virgin Mary for she is the reflection of the brightest star, Jesus Christ. One of the most popular titles for Mary is “Star of the Sea”, which derives from ancient Marian hymns. In September, I will focus on this Marian title more.

The title “Morning Star” is often associated with the Blessed Mother because the Church interprets this verse from Song of Songs – “Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?” (6:10) as a description of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the “Morning Star”, Mary precedes the coming of the star that lights the day, the star that points to the largest star. As always, Mary is leading us closer to Jesus Christ.

Now that we have a brief understanding of this title, let us turn to the words of Blessed John Henry Newman, a man who can say hello and good-bye more eloquently than me. As often happens with the saints, after I read this explanation of the Morning Star from Newman, my one word was…Wow!

“WHAT is the nearest approach in the way of symbols, in this world of sight and sense, to represent to us the glories of that higher world which is beyond our bodily perceptions? What are the truest tokens and promises here, poor though they may be, of what one day we hope to see hereafter, as being beautiful and rare? Whatever they may be, surely the Blessed Mother of God may claim them as her own. And so it is; two of them are ascribed to her as her titles, in her Litany—the stars above, and flowers below. She is at once the Rosa Mystica and the Stella Matutina.

And of these two, both of them well suited to her, the Morning Star becomes her best, and that for three reasons.

First, the rose belongs to this earth, but the star is placed in high heaven. Mary now has no part in this nether world. No change, no violence from fire, {77} water, earth, or air, affects the stars above; and they show themselves, ever bright and marvellous, in all regions of this globe, and to all the tribes of men.

And next, the rose has but a short life; its decay is as sure as it was graceful and fragrant in its noon. But Mary, like the stars, abides for ever, as lustrous now as she was on the day of her Assumption; as pure and perfect, when her Son comes to judgment, as she is now.

Lastly, it is Mary’s prerogative to be the Morning Star, which heralds in the sun. She does not shine for herself, or from herself, but she is the reflection of her and our Redeemer, and she glorifies Him. When she appears in the darkness, we know that He is close at hand. He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Behold He comes quickly, and His reward is with Him, to render to everyone according to his works. ‘Surely I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.'”

Blessed Virgin Mary, Morning Star…Pray for Us 

775th Blog Post 

“Mondays with Mary” – Prayers to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima

For today’s “Mondays with Mary,” I want to provide for you a very simple and a very practical article focusing on three prayers of three different Marian titles – Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima. Although there are many approved Marian apparitions, I would say these three are three of the biggest. I am not discounting the others, but these three are very significant in the life of the Catholic Church and private revelation. I have written on them in the past and those links are provided below with the prayers.

The “Star of the New Evangelization’ is the title given to Pope St. John Paul II to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, intercede for our Holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from you most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning love and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.

My website/blog is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Pray to Our Lady of Lourdes

O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; look with mercy on me. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with complete confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. Through gratitude for your favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one share your glory. Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima

Pray to Our Lady of Fatima

Queen of the Rosary, sweet Virgin of Fatima, who was pleased to appear in the land of Portugal and bring peace, both interior and exterior, to that once so troubled country, we beg of you to watch over our own country and to assure its moral and spiritual revival.

Bring back peace to all nations of the world, so that all, and our own nation in particular, may be happy to call you their Queen and the Queen of Peace.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for our country. Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for all humanity a lasting peace. Amen.

During this week, I would encourage to pray one or all three of these prayers asking for the intercession of Our Lady for the needs in your life and needs of our countries.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima…Pray for Us

Cherish the time you have with your Parents

A couple of weeks ago I visited the grave of my father, Thomas Michael Perna, at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona after attending the burial of my friend’s miscarried daughter and my would be goddaughter. While praying, and crying, in front of Dad’s grave, I took a picture of the headstone with one specific friend in mind. This friend does not have the best relationship with their parents, and although it has improved recently, there is still a strain to the relationship. I sent them the picture below with the caption – cherish the time you have with your parents.

There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t wish I had more time with my Dad, especially today since it would have been his 70th birthday. Dad passed away on April 22, 2015 due to complications with Crohn’s Disease, after battling the disease for forty-years.

If your parent(s) are still on this side of Heaven, and you are either in your forties, fifties, sixties, or even younger than those generations, please call your parents today and tell them that you are thinking about them and love. Don’t text – call them!! If you see them on a regular basis, drive to them today and tell them the same thing.

Dad and I at Yankee Stadium – August 2008

You can’t imagine the suffering and pain you will feel once they are gone. I often ask for intercessory prayers from St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Pope St. John Paul II. To conclude, here is a quote from Familiaris Consortio about fatherhood, written by Pope St. John Paul II –

“In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God, a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family: he will perform this task by exercising generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother, by a more solicitous commitment to education, a task he shares with his wife, by work which is never a cause of division in the family but promotes its unity and stability, and by means of the witness he gives of an adult Christian life which effectively introduces the children into the living experience of Christ and the Church.”

Happy 70th Birthday in Heaven, Dad! We love you and we miss you! 

Last picture of Dad.