Traditionally during the month of May, the Christian community lifts up its voice and heart to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of Humankind … and in doing so, people give praise and thanks to the Blessed Virgin for the many different ways in which she has intervened in both their personal and community history.
Vincent de Paul exhorted his followers to have special devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary by putting into practice the same virtues that she lived throughout her life. At the same time, Louise wrote: Prostrate yourself before the Holy Virgin whom God willed to redeem before he created her. Reveal your conscience to her and ask her to obtain for you conversion of life, deliverance from your most urgent needs as well as a greater love for her Son and closer union with his divine humanity (SWLM:735 [A.32b]).
In November 1852, Frederic Ozanam wrote the following words: O Our Lady of Burgos who are also Our Lady of Pisa and of Milan, Our Lady of Cologne and of Paris, of Amiens and of Chartres, Rome and all the great Catholic cities, yes truly “You are beautiful and gracious” … you have obtained miracles, obtain something for us also and for those belonging to us. Strengthen this fragile and broken-down dwelling of our bodies and cause the spiritual building of our souls to rise up to heaven (The Book of the Sick by Frederic Ozanam, p. 32).
On March 27, 2020, Pope Francis, at the time of his extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” blessing, prayed the following words: Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Peter 5:7).
This is an extraordinary month of May, we have seen things occur this month that never before in our lives have we experienced: 4.5 million people infirm as a result of Covid-19 and over 300,000 deaths throughout the world; millions of people unemployed; millions of children now learning in “virtual” classrooms; health care professions risking their own lives in order to serve their sisters and brothers; churches of every domination closed; and the list goes on and on and on.
In the midst of this situation, yes, we lift up our voices and pray … what are the words of your prayers as you cry out to Mary?
To view other posts in this series, click here.