Somethings about Mary in January 2011
Many, many thanks to Ale, Anna, Father Anthony, Bernadette, Catherine, Chantal, Connie, David, Deirdre, Elizabeth, Ettie, Hannah, Jessica, Joshua, Laetitia, Lucy, Maria, Marta, Mesi, Michael, Michael, Fr Nathan, Nely, Nyasha, Olivia, Patrick, Przemek, Rosario, Sheryl, Siobhan & Steve, for contributing to 'Something about Mary' in January.
1st January - Feast of Mary, Mother of God - Father Anthony SJ
"Mary means so much to me because she's one of our humanity. She's one of us, specially without sin so that she could receive Jesus into her womb - God Emmanuel, God with us, and so in His humanity one of us. And when we think of Mary we think of Him and when we think of Him we think of His mother and we think of the share in our humanity so that we can share in His divinity."
Fr Tony Nye is a Jesuit from England; he is based at Farm Street in London.
"Just recently I've developed a relationship with Our Lady. Before I kind of had the idea that she was a bit of a Catholic extra, perhaps. But I've just really come to know her as the mother of Christ and, through praying the rosary especially, she has really taught me how to have a deeper relationship with her son. I can come to her with different things and always have a conversation like a motherly-daughter conversation and for me this is a really beautiful step in my prayer life."
Lucy is from England.
"The first time I really needed God and Our Lady in my life was when I was 16 and my brother was in a very serious car accident. I just remember my parents rushing to the local hospital and I really didn't know what to do so I ended up taking the rosary beads in my hands and for the first time in my life, I prayed the full rosary on my own. And as soon as I started to pray the rosary I just felt a deep peace come over me and I just knew that Our Lady was there with me and I knew that she was going to look after my brother."
"I talk with the Virgin Mary, I know she can hear me. She always gives me an answer in everything. She takes care of me all the time."
Mesi is from Ethiopia.
"What I love about Our Lady is that she is like a mother to me and, just like how my mother is, she shows care and love to her children."
Sheryl is 19 and from Singapore.
6th January - Feast of the Epiphany - Father Nathan CSJ
"When I was 17 I made the de Montfort consecration and I gave my entire life to God by surrendering it at the same time to the providential care, to the solicitude, of Our Lady. And that consecration meant so much to me because, as I journeyed through life, there were many times I wanted to run from God and sometimes regrettably I actually did kind of run from God, because I was scared of what I would lose if I said yes to everything God wanted from me. But the one thing I could never do was run from that consecration I made; there was something about Mary, she was like my lady. In a sense, I mean I could run from God's will but I never wanted to shame her. I think obviously there I am not speaking as a theologian .. but from the heart, Mary kept me in God. My love for her as my lady and my queen was something I never wanted to leave behind and I think that that tender love is something that we can all discover. So that de Montfort consecration I made when I was 17, the total consecration of myself that John Paul II also made - Totus Tuus - well, that in many sense is the reason I am a priest today. Because, in the end, my love for her enabled me to even stand at the Cross next to her and to give my life with her and with Jesus for the salvation of souls. And I know that she can do the same for you."
Father Nathan, from America, is a brother of the Community of St John. He has recently set up the Marian Faith Network - a website and community structure "to help young people who want to make and live out the total consecration to Jesus through Mary of St. Louis de Montfort to the fullest extent possible. Totus Tuus!"
"Our Blessed Lady is very special. I always put Mary and Jesus together. She is always there beside Jesus, helping him, watching him, and she suffered so much for him; what suffering to see her son suffering. She kept everything in her heart, she never spoke about it, she never shared it with others. She pondered it in her heart, but she suffered so much. She loved. She gave Jesus strength, she gives us the strength to help each other, that's what I feel - to give each other strength and love, true love."
Hannah is from Ireland.
"I'm passionate about Mary. I didn't become so consciously though until my mid-twenties because I had the wrong ideas about Mary, and then I suddenly realised that she was the most wonderful, passionate, warm, loving woman that had ever lived."
Anna is from England.
9th January - Feast of the Baptism of Jesus - Bernadette
"Mother Mary means to me everything ... Jesus loves me because of Mary. He forgets my sins because of my Blessed Mother… I have never given her anything but I give her my heart to take it to Jesus; she takes my heart to Jesus. I know she loves me: she loves everyone."
Bernadette is from Uganda. (Apologies for the crying in the background on the recording ... it was a baby being baptised :-)
"What I love most about Our Lady is that I'm really close to my mum and Our Lady is also my mum. Being away from family, I turn to Our Lady the most as she's the closest connection with home. I also remember my grandmother had a strong devotion to Our Lady, so whenever I have any trouble I always turn to Our Lady and I pray and she has been my mother here."
Joshua is from Singapore.
"I think the thing about Our Lady that I really hold quite important to me is her sacrifice and how she willingly gave up her life to do God's will; and if only I could do the same. And so I feel that's something quite close to my heart."
Jessica is 19 & from Singapore.
"Our Lady means to me everything. She means eternal life, she means sacrifice, she means devotion, she means hope and she means life. Alleluia!"
David is from England.
"Mary is my mother. She speaks to your heart. She only wants your good. She wants to lead you on the path to eternal life through her son Jesus."
Elizabeth is from England.
"I have great faith in Mother Mary. She is everything to me."
Connie is from India.
"Our Lady brought me back to Jesus and that is why I love her so much."
Deirdre is from England.
"Mary came into my life about 20 years ago. Having been brought up a Catholic and kicked it all pretty well into touch, somehow a place called Medjugorje came on the scene to me, and when I was searching I thought 'Yes, I'll have a look at this place. If she is there, she can tell me. If not, I'll carry on the way I'm going.' I went to Medjugorje - Mary touched me in the most extraordinary way and I can't really say very much other than that my parish priest (who said I was the most unlikely member of the pilgrimage) asked me what I was feeling and I said 'I am feeling extraordinarily loved, unbelievably loved and yet I am absolutely nothing.' And that has remained with me ever since. So Mary, through Medjugorje, brought me back to her Son and since then, yes, a change of life."
Michael is from England.
"I forgot a little bit about Our Lady until I was taken by the scruff of my neck. She didn't forget about me, I was her child, a child of Mary in my childhood. So she took me to Medjugorje and then she taught me about her love for me, and I learnt to love her there. Loving her has drawn me to her son, has drawn me to Jesus."
Chantal is from Madeira.
"To me Our Lady is like a mother. She is a perfect role model, someone I would love to grow and be like. I admire her obedience because it brought us, it brought the world, salvation. I admire her submission to the Lord's will and I am always praying to be more and more like her."
Nyasha is 21 and from Zimbabwe.
"For me, Mary is the mother of Our Lord and, just as I turn to my mother, I turn to her when I need reassurance and guidance, and I pray to her every day and ask her for her help and support essentially. So for me I am particularly aware of her role as a mother."
Ettie is from England.
"Maria is for me like a mother. My mum died 8 years ago and I started coming to church and praying to Maria and she helps me. I pray all the time to her, she's very important for me, she listens to me. You know, when I have a problem, she helps me. She is a very important person in my life. I feel inside when I have prayed that she has helped me and she does everything the best for me."
Przemek is 27 & from Poland; he gives his coś o Maryi in English & Polish.
"I realised I have a mother in heaven who loves me; and she loves me the same as she loves her son, Jesus Christ, which amazes me, absolutely amazes me… Our Lady's love is fully, wholly, entirely complete."
Steve is from England.
"Our Lady is my mum. She has been my mother for a long time and she is replacing the not very good relationship I had with my mother but I have a very good relationship with Our Lady. I pray to her and she very often gives me an answer and she is always on my side ...
La Vierge Marie est vraiment ma mère, elle est toujours à ma côté, je la prie souvent, si c'est pas tous les jours. Elle est dans mon coeur et elle a fait beaucoup pour moi, elle a souvent répondu à mes prières très concrètement."
Laetitia is from France.
25th January - Feast of the Conversion of St Paul - Maria
"Our Lady gave me everything I asked for especially when my daughter went through with her pregnancy… I can never, never thank Our Lady with what she gave us. She was with us with all this journey … I thank her every day and every moment."
Maria is from Malta.
"For me Mary is just so incredibly beautiful because of her absolute strength in letting God enter into her and her ultimate submission to Him."
Olivia is 26 and from Australia.
"Maria is very, very important for me. I pray to her, of course for peace and for love in the world, and for peace in my heart."
Marta is from Poland; she gives her response in English & Polish.
"No-one has ever gone to Holy Mary, Mother of God, and asked her for something and in some way hasn't been granted her help .. So if you ask for her help, she will give you her help. Amen."
Alex is 24 & from Germany; he gives his response in English & German.
"Our Lady's faith is just phenomenal and always when I reflect on her faith, it points me to God in a way because she just couldn't have done it on her own. She did it with such beauty and humility, and it just gives me encouragement as a woman in today's society to stay faithful and courageous for my faith."
Siobhan is 30 and from London.