The shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, near Mexico City, is one of the most celebrated places of pilgrimage in North America. On December 9, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to an Indian convert, Juan Diego, and left with him a picture of herself impressed upon his cloak. Devotion to Mary under this title has continually increased, and today she is the Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn. For more about this saint, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is the doctrine that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin, that twist in our nature that makes our will tend not to follow what it knows to be right. It was this grace that enabled Mary to give a true and considered “Yes” to the request, conveyed by the Angel Gabriel, that she should consent to be the mother of the incarnate God. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was almost universally believed over the centuries but was only formally defined as a doctrine of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1854. For more about this day, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
November 21st is the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or, as it is known in the East, The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos [God-Bearer] into the Temple. According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary was consecrated to God as a young child; when she reached three years of age her holy parents, St. Anne and St. Joachim, presented her before God in the Jerusalem temple where she was to be educated and raised. This dedication was a result of a promise St. Anne made to God while she suffered from many years of infertility. The liturgical celebration honoring this event appeared in the East much earlier then it did in the West. In the late Middle Ages it was promoted as a feast day for the universal Church. For more about this saint, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Many saints through the ages have had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and consecrated their lives to Jesus through Mary; most recent and notable: Saint Louis de Montfort, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Saint John Paul II, to name a few. In Catholic teachings, consecration to Mary does not diminish or substitute the love of God, but enhances it, for all consecration is ultimately made to God. Throughout his pontificate Pope John Paul II taught us that such a devotion to Mary, in an act of Marian consecration, is to entrust all of one's being through, with, and in the Virgin Mother. His episcopal motto, Totus Tuus, from the Latin meaning "all yours," is the example of giving oneself to Jesus totally, wholeheartedly, and unreservedly through, with, and in his mother whose lifeblood he shared with her; and through the Paschal Mystery, in this Mystery of Faith - the Eucharist - he shares with the whole human race. For the Reason2bCatholic Prayer of Consecration, to Jesus through Mary, on this Feast of the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Each year on August 22nd the Catholic Church celebrates a memorial feast recognizing the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven. This, like all other Marian feasts, reminds us that we can turn to Mary in every need, counting on her intercession and mediation. For more about the Queenship of Mary and saints who had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, please click on the image. Remember, in the words of St. Maximilian Kolbe, "Never worry about loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You could never love her more than Jesus did." Peace be with you!