“Mondays with Mary” – The Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes by Pope St. John Paul II

Since this Saturday was the optional memorial for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I thought I would share with you briefly the prayer of Pope St. John Paul II to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title. This prayer was originally published on August 15, 2004.

Pope St. John Paul in Lourdes, 2004

Pope St. John Paul in Lourdes, 2004

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.

Amen.

For more catechesis on this important Marian feast, I would suggest reading the following blog posts I have written in the past – Our Lady of Lourdes“Mondays with Mary” – Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes and “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Benedict XVI on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes…Pray for Us 

Saint Bernadette…Pray for Us

Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is the optional memorial for Our Lady of Lourdes. It was on this day that the Our Lady first appeared to the fourteen year-old, St. Bernadette Soubirous. Overall, there were eighteen appearances to St. Bernadette. The very last one was on July 18, 1858. The general message of Lourdes is the call to repentance (conversion), prayer, and charity. 

Below are the three blog posts that I have written on in the past focusing on Our Lady of Lourdes – 

1. “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Lourdes 

2. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Benedict XVI on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes 

3. “Mondays with Mary” – Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes 

Our Lady of Lourdes…Pray for Us.

Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette

 

 

Sacred Relics: Treasures of the Church

This past Thursday, Fr. Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross-presented to the parish I work at 169 relics (165 first class and 4 second class) of the saints of the Church. This traveling evangelization mission is known as the Sacred Relics: Treasures of the Church. My girlfriend had just arrived in Phoenix, so it was a blessing that we could enjoy this together. We were able to pray together holding the relics for our relationship, her children, and our families. I was also one of the parish staff members, along with our parochial vicar, who assisted Fr. Carlos prepare for the presentation and exposition at our parish. Getting to hold the relics of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Paul, St. Peter, and many others as well as looking upon remnants of Mary’s Veil and the True Cross was a blessing. Words really couldn’t describe the presence we felt when the relics were on display and in our hands. You need to experience this for yourself!

Since today is the feast day of St. Bernadette, I want to share with you one of the stories that Fr. Carlos told us was about her. He explained that thirty years after St. Bernadette had died, her cause for sainthood had come up. During this process, the Church will often exhume the body of the proposed person to examine the remains. With most people, depending on the composition of the soil, the body completely corrupts, but in the case of St. Bernadette, when her coffin was opened, the examiners had found that her body was completely intact. The only things that corrupted were her clothes and the rosary beads in her hands had rusted, leaving the beads scattered in the coffin.

St. Bernadette - Incorruptible

(The incorruptible body of St. Bernadette as it looks today)

To make sure that the Church was not hiding something or playing a trick to scandalize the faithful, the Church hired the leading pathologist in the world at the time – a Frenchman who happened to also be an atheist. The incision at the abdomen proved that there was no smell of corruption inside or outside of her body. The only scent that came from her body was the smell of roses. Most of her organs were in intact and fresh blood dripped from her liver. After sometime, reporting that there was no scientific explanation of the mummification of her body, the pathologist converted to Catholicism. Her body is now on display in the chapel of Gildard in the convent of Nevers, where she lived as a religious sister.

For the complete story on St. Bernadette, St. Maria Goretti, and the great exposition of 169 relics, please consider bringing Fr. Carlos Martins to your diocese or parish in North America. You can contact Fr. Carlos here. You don’t want to miss out on this great event of evangelization!