“Mondays with Mary” – Blessed Pope Paul VI on the Blessed Virgin Mary

It’s either God’s Providence or just the natural course of writing extensively on the Blessed Virgin Mary for nearly 2 ½ years, but today’s “Mondays with Mary”, the 125th blog post in this series, corresponds with the Beatification of Pope Paul VI. It was his document, Mense Maio, which inspired me to begin writing these weekly posts on the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 6, 2012. To learn about the story of how “Mondays with Mary” began, I encourage you to read the very first blog post in this series.

As I reflect back on the 2 ½ years and the 124 blog posts focusing on the great Theotokos, I am somewhat shocked that I have written so much on Mary, but also realize there is so much I have yet to write. There are some important Marian apparitions and titles that have yet to be written as well as not getting to the final chapter in the Second Vatican Council document, Lumen Gentium. It’s my hope in the month of November (the 50th Anniversary of the document) to write on this chapter, which focuses on Mary’s role as Maternal Mediator and Advocate. It’s also my hope that I will write more on what the Doctors of the Church have said about the Blessed Virgin.

I’ve said in my posts before that it’s an exciting time to be a Catholic. Yesterday’s beatification of Pope Paul VI is yet another indication of this time. We now have three popes that served nearly one after the other in the 20th century as saints of the Catholic Church. Although Paul VI has not been officially canonized, we know that he is there in Heaven with his predecessor, Pope St. John XXIII and his successor, Pope St. John Paul II.

Pope Paul VI

In honor of our newest beatification, I now give you some of the words on the Blessed Virgin Mary from Blessed Pope Paul VI –

1. “This pious practice, by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored and the Christian people enriched with spiritual gifts, gladdens and consoles us. Mary remains ever the path that leads to Christ. Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself” – Mense Maio #2

2. “The general norm ‘Through Mary to Jesus’ is therefore valid also for the imitation of Christ. Nevertheless, let our faith not be perturbed, as if the intervention of a creature in every way similar to us, except as regards sin, offended our personal dignity and prevented the intimacy and immediacy of our relationships of adoration and friendship with the Son of God.” – Signum Magnum, Part 2, Section 2.

3. “Mary is not only an example for the whole Church in the exercise of divine worship but is also, clearly, a teacher of the spiritual life for individual Christians. The faithful at a very early date began to look to Mary and to imitate her in making their lives an act of worship of God, and making their worship a commitment of their lives.” ­– Marialis Cultus, #21

4. “Whenever we say the rosary, the joyful mysteries thus place us once more before the inexpressible event [Annunciation] which is the center and summit of history: the coming on earth of Emmanuel, God with us.” – Gaudete in Domino, Section III.

5. “…the Church has always prayed from her earliest days, and in a special way calling on the intercession and protection of the Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of Peace” – Mense Maio #9

6.With Christ, she sums up in herself all joys; she lives the perfect joy promised to the Church: Mater plena sanctae laetitiae. And it is with good reason that her children on earth, turning to her, who is the mother of hope and of grace, invoke her as the cause of their joy: Causa nostrae laetitiae.” – Gaudete in Domino, Section IV.

7. “…the last description of Mary’s life presents her as praying. The apostles ‘joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers’ (Acts 1:4). We have here the prayerful presence of Mary in the early Church in the Church throughout all ages, for, having been assumed into heaven, she has not abandoned her mission of intercession and salvation.” – Marialis Cultus, #19

8. [St. Augustine] said, “’…Maternal consanguinity would not have benefited Mary if she had not felt more fortunate in having Christ in her heart than in her womb.’” And it is still in her that Christians can admire the example of how to fulfill, with humility and at the same time with magnanimity, the mission which God entrusts to each one in this world, in relation to his own salvation and that of his fellow beings.” – Signum Magnum, Part 2, Section 3.

9. “Nothing seems more appropriate and valuable to Us than to have the prayers of the whole Christian family rise to the Mother of God, who is invoked as the Queen of Peace, begging her to pour forth abundant gifts of her maternal goodness in midst of so many great trials and hardships.” – Christi Matri, #8

10. “On the morning of Pentecost she watched over with her prayer the beginning of evangelization prompted by the Holy Spirit: may she be the Star of the evangelization ever renewed which the Church, docile to her Lord’s command, must promote and accomplish, especially in these times which are difficult but full of hope!” – Evangelii Nuntiandi, #82

Mother of Jesus Christ

So as we celebrate the beatification of Pope Paul VI, let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to always show us the way to Jesus Christ and to continuously lead us to closer and close to Him each day of our lives. Blessed Pope Paul VI…Pray for Us.

As always, please feel free to share this post or copy and paste the quotes to your social media sites in order for your family and friends to experience the beauty of the Catholic Church and her Saints.

“Mondays with Mary” Turns 1 Year Old

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been one year since I began “Mondays with Mary.” Initially, it was going to be a four-week series that spanned the month of May, but the Holy Spirit inspired me to write more each week, and now I am celebrating a year of giving my readers Mariology – the theology pertaining to the Blessed Virgin Mary. My first “Mondays with Mary” was about how the month of May came to be the month celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary. I even said in the blog post that this was going to be a short series unless people asked me to write more. Well humans didn’t say much, but as I said previously, God had other plans for me with this series.

Happy 1st Anniversary

Over the past year, my love for the Blessed Mother has grown even more than when I began this series. One year ago, I said that I had taken a course on the Blessed Mother in graduate school at Franciscan University of Steubenville and from that point on my relationship changed with the Mary. She is a major figure in my prayer life, only second to Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s Mary that assists me in knowing Our Lord better. She truly acts as my (our) Mediator and Advocate in bringing my requests to her Son. She is the Queen Mother!

The biggest prayer she has answered for me over the past year is my girlfriend, Tara. I prayed to the Blessed Mother for years that I could meet someone as beautiful, holy, and fun as Tara. She completes my earthly life, because Jesus and Mary complete it eternally. Tara understands this since it is the same for her. Our Lord, His Blessed Mother, along with a few others saints in Heaven, brought this wonderful woman into my life. As I told her when we were first dating and say it quite a bit to her – she “speaks my language.” The time we have ahead is only going to get better and the Blessed Mother will be our Advocate through it all.

Someone recently asked me, “What are your favorite posts from the past year in regards to “Mondays with Mary?”” I said, “all of them!” Honestly, I can’t really say I have favorites since I enjoyed writing them all. The link at the top of this post will take you to all my posts from this year.

I hope you can read some of them and pass them along to others. Over the next month and the year ahead, it is my mission to provide you greater Mariology posts. I realized there are some great topics I have yet to write on. They are coming…all in God’s time.

Two more things: first, please offer some prayers up for me. I am thinking about compiling some of these posts and trying to publish my first book. Second, I want to thank my friends at “My Mother Mary” on Facebook for posting some of my blog posts over the past 6 months on their page. They are a true blessing.

“May she, who knows the sufferings and troubles of life here below, the weariness of everyday work, the hardships and privations of poverty, the sufferings of Calvary, bring help to the needs of the Church and the world, head the appeals for peace rising to her from every part of the world, and enlighten those who rule the destinies of men.”  – Pope Paul VI, Mense Maio (April 30, 1965).

May – The Month of Mary

Last weekend when I was home for my niece’s Baptism into the Catholic Church, I decided to wait to get her presents at the King’s House, a Catholic religious store, in Scottsdale, Arizona. As I was walking around the store, I noticed a small cart with books marked for sale. By the way, this is a great method to build up your personal library too – see Brandon Vogt’s blog on building up a library.

As I looked through the books, one text caught my attention immediately! The text is a collection of documents on the Blessed Virgin Mary called Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church published by Pauline Press. As I picked up the text and started to flip through the pages, I noticed there were many documents that I had read before, but there was one that really caught my attention – The Month of May (Mense Maio), which was promulgated on April 30, 1965 by Pope Paul VI.

This encyclical on the “Occasion of the First May” is written about the importance of the month of May and how Mary through her intercession and throne brings mercy to all of God’s people in a magnitude of great abundance (remember: the mercy comes from God as she intercedes for us). I would suggest reading 1 Kings 2:19-21 to see where the Tradition of Mary as Queen began. During the month of May, it is my hope to write on her Queenship and I will start with this scripture verse.

A good chunk of Mense Maio focuses on the importance of World Peace. It was written at a time in the mid 1960’s when so much turmoil was occurring around the world in many countries (see paragraphs 5-9). In light of the HHS Mandate and threats on religious liberty, I would encourage you to read this document (it’s super short!), take it to heart and contact your local and state politicians.

In paragraph 6, His Holiness Paul VI states, “we beg all who hold responsibility in public life not to remain deaf to the unanimous desire of mankind which wants peace…continue at all times to foster and encourage conversations and negotiations at all levels…let efforts be made to single out for recognition every true and sincere yearning for justice and peace.” He is talking about justice as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas and Pope Pius XI (Social Justice), not that distorted idea of social justice that the world and Catholics who don’t understand the true meaning of this term promote. I will touch on this topic in the months ahead.

Beginning tomorrow and the three subsequent Monday’s of May, I will write a post on Mary – The Blessed Mother of God. This short series will be known as MONDAYS WITH MARY. For this series to continue after the Month of May will be contingent on the response I receive overall from my blog followers and Twitter followers. Is Mariology (the theology of Mary) important to you? Do you have a desire to have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ and do you think knowing his Blessed Mother will help? Are there things about Mary that you don’t know? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then let me know about it in the comment section of each of the posts or you can email me at catholictom@gmail.com to express your desire to know more about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I will tell from my personal experience, since I took an entire semester course on the Blessed Mother in college, that once you attain more knowledge (academic and intellectual) about Our Lord’s beautiful Mother, you heart will be hers forever. There is a reason Jesus gave her to all of us through John the Apostle while he was being crucified on the Cross.

With that being said, I will conclude the post with some of the writings from Pope Paul VI on the Blessed Mother in his encyclical, Mense Maio –

“This pious practice, by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored and the Christian people enriched with spiritual gifts, gladdens and consoles us. Mary remains ever the path that leads to Christ. Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself” (MM 2).

“…the Church has always prayed from her earliest days, and in a special way calling on the intercession and protection of the Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of Peace” (MM 9).

“…let our prayers ascend to Mary in this month of hers, to implore her graces and favors with increased fervor and confidence” (MM 10).

“…do not fail to lay careful stress on the saying of the rosary, the prayer so dear to Our Lady and so highly recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs” (MM 11).