The Association of the Children of Mary Immaculate, known today under various names as the Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY), Juventud Mariana Vicenciana (JMV) (Spain), Jeunesse Mariale (France), Association of Vincentian Louisian Family (Indonesia), Associazione Mariana (Italy), etc. is an international association of young people that began in 1830 when the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Labouré. Mary asked (in addition to the Miraculous Medal) that young people be organized in her name and that “graces would be bestowed upon them.” By 2010 they had spanned the globe in 40 countries with over 100,000 members [data from their international website]. The Superior General, Father Étienne, obtained Pontifical Approbation from Pope Pius IX on June 20, 1847.
The following theme is from their Book of Prayers (published in 2002): “Your life matters to me.”
“Your life matters to me”
Introduction: God visited Mary and, at once, she felt the need to visit others and share her joy with them. Truly, the Virgin is favored from generation to generation because the Lord has done great things for her. She believed in the promise of the Lord. Bible Reading: Lk. 1:39-45 (The Visitation)
Points for reflection:
- Mary’s availability – a woman capable of bearing the difficulties and risks of life.
- A woman focused on God and attentive to the needs of others. She brings them the Good News – Jesus.
- Mary, a woman captivated by the love of God that becomes love-service for others. Love was always the driving force in Mary’s life – an unbounded love that brought her to be present for others and accompany them.
- How do I follow Mary’s example? How do I make myself present in the lives of others?
- Imagine that Mary is in your house … something is worrying you; a feeling of anxiety bothers you. Mary tells you: “It seems you need to talk…” What would you tell her? Open your heart and mind to her. Remember that she loves you…
Closing Prayer: Mary of the Visitation, today as in the past, you continue to visit your children by making yourself present in their lives and showing your love for each one of them. Through your intercession, we ask you to obtain from your Son the grace to live as you lived, allowing God to visit us and bringing His presence to others. Amen
Lord Jesus, we come to You with Mary Immaculate. You, the friend of the insignificant and the poor, we praise You. You regard each one of us with so much Love. Teach us to LIVE TOGETHER with the dynamism of Your Spirit which commits us to the way of wonder, of truth and of action. Grant us to LOOK AT others with the eyes of the heart, so as to recognize the wonders that You work in them and, in particular, in all those who are disadvantaged. Help us to BUILD a fraternal world where no one may be put aside. Make us act, not in a spirit of power or of domination, but humbly, in a spirit of service.
Watch this message from the YouTube channel of the VMY International Secretariat.