“Mondays with Mary” – National Marian Shrines from Around the World

Over the past months I have been racking my brain to come up with good “Mondays with Mary” articles for you all to read. And although I have lots of Marian books to choose from now in my personal library at home, finding the time to write has been difficult with marriage preparation and wedding planning with my fiancée. This is obviously the more important thing to do right now, but I still want to provide quality articles for you on Marian topics.

As I was flipping through the pages of the Dictionary of Mary, a recently acquired book and one that I have used in recent posts, I came upon the section focusing on the National Marian Shrines in different countries around the world. Although many of these would be considered international, since people from all around the world have visited them, they are still the National shrine(s) for each particular country. I have written on quite a few of these already over the years, but I think I am going to start with the first one listed and for the foreseeable future write about the different national shrines listed in this book. I will find other ones online since this book is from 1985.

Shrines are places that are sacred in nature often associated with a tomb or relic, an image or statue, or some form of religious event that took place in the location. Most shrines are developed by the people of the local Church and not by the universal Church herself. Prayer is often associated with shrines. The most common form of prayer at a shrine is called a devotion. Shrines and devotions can become part of the tradition of the people, however, the Church in her wisdom will involve herself in order to make sure that certain protocols are followed, such as the public liturgy that takes place, and that the theology of the private revelation is in union with the public revelation given to us in the Scriptures and Tradition.

Most shrines add to the beauty of the Church and they allow the faithful to pray more deeply in holy places. In the history of the Church, shrines have also been places that have interceded for the Church as a whole. They have assisted in the nurturing of the spirituality of the faithful. In the end, all of these shrines are really the work of the Holy Spirit.

The shrines we are going to focus on will be national, and in many cases, international, but shrines can also be local and regional. I hope that over the foreseeable future you will come to learn more about these important places in the life of the Church and their place in Marian theology.  As I write about them individually, I will list them below. Here are the first three that I will focus on –

Algeria: Our Lady of Africa

Argentina: Our Lady of Lujan

Austria: Our Lady of Mariazell

Our Lady, Mother of God…Pray for Us

“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” – 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.

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. 

“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 

Heads Up: On Vacation

Keep Calm - Vacation

I am taking a break/vacation/unplugging from blogging over the next two weeks. It’s been a glorious year of blogging since my vacation last year. So many blessings to speak about – writing projects, teaching at the parish, and still having a great job, although this vacation is definitely needed. It’s also been a difficult year, but it seems that suffering is very much of my life.

While I am gone this week, please share my blog with your family and friends!! Including this post, there are 772 blog posts/articles. Check out my archives from the past year.

If you have suggestions or topics you would like me to write on in the future, please leave those suggestions in the comment box below or email me.

See you all soon!

In Christ through Mary,

– Tom

“Mondays with Mary” – The Top 5 Most Popular “Mondays with Mary” of 2016

Since we are at the beginning of a new year, I wanted to share with you the Top 5 Most Popular “Mondays with Mary” of 2016. Many of you may have read these already, but I know there are new followers to my blog who may not have read these blog posts when they were first published. I do this from time-to-time as a way to share what readers found to be interesting in this series. They are numbered 1 to 5, 1 being the most views.

1. “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of La Salette 

2. “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of America, Part I 

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

4. “Mondays with Mary” – 10 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Presentation of the Lord 

5. “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Walsingham 

Please continue to pray for the success of this weekly series on the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am approaching the 5th Anniversary of “Mondays with Mary” this upcoming May. I have also turned some of these into a book and waiting to hear back from some Catholic publishers. Pray that they will publish my manuscript so that others, who may not know about this series or my blog, may come to grow in their relationship with Jesus through Our Lady.

Our Lady of Guadalupe…Pray for Us.

Our Lady of Fatima…Pray for Us.

Our Lady of America…Pray for Us.