Somethings about Mary in January 2012
Many, many thanks to Amelia, Antohny, Antony, Charlotte, Charlotte, Daniel, Dominique, Dorothy, Graham, Juan, Leanne, Lucy, Sister Margaret, Maria, Margaret, Mary, Mazen, Nadia, Paola, Rachel, Richard, Rob, Sylvie, Teresita, Tom, Valentina & Vincent for giving their 'something' about Mary.
This painting of the Madonna and Child is by Duccio.
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"For me it's all about Our Lady. I mean, in a sense, she brought me back to the faith a few years ago when I was struggling. I decided to just pick up the rosary every day and through that I believe she has led me to the faith and where I am now. Through her guidance and protection I've pursued my vocation as best I can. I've given it all to her and she's leading me to Jesus Christ, so it goes to Our Lady and I'm very grateful for everything she does for me."
Tom is 21 & from South Africa.
Our Lady's message to Mirjana Soldo, Međugorje, 2 January 2012:
"Dear children, As with motherly concern I look in your hearts, in them I see pain and suffering; I see a wounded past and an incessant search; I see my children who desire to be happy but do not know how. Open yourselves to the Father. That is the way to happiness, the way by which I desire to lead you. God the Father never leaves His children alone, especially not in pain and despair. When you comprehend and accept this, you will be happy. Your search will end. You will love and you will not be afraid. Your life will be hope and truth which is my Son. Thank you. I implore you, pray for those whom my Son has chosen. Do not judge because you will all be judged."
"All I recommend about Mary is you've just got to ask her to come into your life and then she does, because she's like a mother, so mothers are always looking out for you even when you don't realise .. One of the things I'd recommend is just talking to her like she's there, coz she is there. I have a little prayer that I say all the time. I learnt it from Maximilian Kolbe and he learnt it from someone else [St Louis de Montfort]. I just say it to Mary: 'I am all yours and all that I have is yours.' It's a really easy prayer and you can say it all the time, and then it just redirects your whole life and everything that you are, so everything that you are thinking and hearing and speaking, and when you're walking .. just everything is through Mary to Jesus and that's just a very simple way of getting to know Our Lady, because she transforms your life when you do that."
Daniel is from Canada.
"Mary is very important in our home. We every day recite the rosary in the evening around the fire before bedtime, we give thanks and we ask for things, intercessions from her - it's so important to ask Mary. And she's a mother, and the children can understand that they're asking a mother, and the mother will ask the Son, and they make promises to Mary and it helps them move forward in their faith, I'm sure it does. So Mary is very central to our lives as a family and it all began really because our first daughter said to us one day 'We should say the rosary as a family' and we hadn't until that time, so we're very grateful to my first daughter for suggesting that."
Richard is from Wales.
"I love Our Lady so much because she's just a mother to me and she always has been, and I know without Our Lady I'd be lost."
Mary is from England.
6th January - Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord - Vincent
"The one thing that I really love about our mother Mary is her fiat, her 'yes'; how she said yes to the Lord even though she probably didn't dream about carrying the Son of God in her womb, she still said yes anyway. And that is a huge witness for me in being able to realise that even though times may be hard and tough, or that things may not turn out the way that we want them to, God has got a plan in it through it all, and by our fiat and our yes we could follow Mary's example and come to know her son Jesus."
Vincent is 21 & from the United States of America. Vincent's sister is getting married today, so here's wishing everyone a very blessed, happy day.
"Mary, I call her my mother because she is someone I choose to become my mother, because she's my real mother and she's always been here every time I need her, and for me I have to come to see her every Saturday and I love her.
Pour moi, la Vierge Marie représente tout. Je peux pas parler de Notre Dame sans parler de Jésus parce que, pour moi, être avec Jesus c'est être avec Maman Marie, et la prier c'est prier Jésus en meme temps. Donc c'est vraiment l'amour pour moi, c'est reconnaître l'amour de Jésus quand je prie Marie."
Charlotte is from France; she gives her quelque chose de Marie in English & French.
8th January - Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord - Valentina
"Our Lady means so much to me; she's a mother above all mothers. As a mother, she's always there: in time of sorrow, in time of joy, in time of hope, in time of anxiety, she's always there to look up to. She has undergone everything so she understands whatever the problem is we say to her, and she's always there, not only in time of problems, but she is always there for us as a mother, to guide and to lead us, to direct us and for us also to follow her example of motherhood."
Valentina is from Nigeria.
"For me Our Lady is a very special person because she embodies what it means to serve God. She was given a task and she accepted; and even though she had questions, she asked her questions and when they were answered, she accepted without any further ado and she never turned back. Throughout the life of Jesus, we see her in different ways supporting him and just being there for him."
Lucy is 27 & from Nigeria (& she's Valentina's daughter).
"I think it's really important to pray to Our Lady for many reasons. Because she is the mother of Our Lord and he entrusted us to her in a motherly way. On the very Cross he said 'Woman, behold your son' and pointed at his beloved apostle. There are many other reasons as well. Throughout the history of the Church people have asked for the intercession of our Blessed Mother and we've been told that the rosary has on occasions literally stopped wars. I think also if you look in the Gospel, whenever she is quoted as having spoken, it is always very deep and profound. Once she asks for Our Lord to help the wedding couple at Cana and what she says is so simple, she just says 'They have no more wine': she knows exactly what the couple needed because she was their mother, and so that is why I think we should pray to Our Lady."
Graham is 20 & from England.
"The rosary was the family prayer and it is still my favourite form of prayer, and particularly with the addition of the Mysteries of Light I find it very inspiring. It's a communal prayer as well as a private prayer, and I like the structure of it. And also it involves the senses and is a very human prayer. I pray the rosary with Mary, asking Mary to help me to get to know better and to love and serve her son Jesus, and through that to love and serve others, with whom I come in contact."
Sister Margaret is from Northern Ireland.
"Our Lady means to me my mother, my second mother, because she's really kind, she's humble and she brought Christ into the world for us which is really good because he saved all of us. So for me she's this humble person who just gave herself completely to God; she accepted to carry the Saviour of our world for 9 months, which isn't easy. And I love her for that. And I love the fact we can pray to her. We can tell 'Can you please go tell Jesus that I need him. Can you please show me the qualities of a woman. Can you show me how to be a woman in this kind of environment, not being trendy or anything, just be humble and just be yourself really.' And I love that about her, I can relate to her.
Ce que j'aime à propos de la Vierge Marie c'est que pour moi elle est ma deuxième maman. Elle est toujours là pour moi. Elle a accepté de porter notre Sauveur pendant 9 mois dans son ventre, ce qui est immense et je la remercie pour cela. Elle est très humble, elle est gentille, elle est souriante, elle est paisible et j'aimerais avoir ces qualités, et c'est pourquoi je prie la Vierge Marie par le rosaire, qui est très important."
Dominique is 21 & from Cameroon.
13th January - Feast of St Hilary of Poitiers - Nadia
"I'd like to encourage you to pray the rosary for Our Lady's intercession because she's very powerful, and whatever problems we have, whatever difficulties we may encounter, she's always there to help, and many miracles have happened in my life and the lives of my family, friends and neighbours."
Nadia is from London.
"I love Mary because Mary is Jesus' mother but she is my mother too. She is my friend and she is the one who gives me strength to carry on with my children; especially when you are a single mother, she helps you really to go through difficult situations. I always encourage people to know more about Mary, I try to teach the rosary to the children every Friday here - for me being close to Mary is by the rosary.
Marie est la maman de tout le monde, comme nous le savons, mais aussie c'est elle qui nous guide vers le Christ. J'encourage toutes les mamans, les chrétiennes, catholiques ou non catholiques, d'être familier avec le chapelet parce que le chapelet c'est l'arme qui nous permettre de combattre le démon, qui nous permettre de combattre et surmonter toutes les difficultés en tant que mère."
Sylvie is from the Ivory Coast.
"I thank God that He led me here … because I was lost and I came back about 18 years ago, searching. It's really true: search and you will find, because I was searching 'What is the truth?' And the truth was running after me, I was running away from the truth, because Jesus said 'I am the truth.' But I was searching and I went eventually to a gnostic society .... Eventually they said that Jesus gave everything to his mother. I said 'What! What. Really! Mummy! Mummy. Mummy!' Within a month I was back in the Catholic Church."
Maria is from Hungary.
"Our Lady to me is our Mummy in heaven and she looks after us and we can pray to her and hand everything over to her and ask her to help us."
Paola is from New Zealand.
"If we offer our prayers through Mary's most pure and immaculate heart, first she will purify our prayers and make them holy, and then she will offer them to her son, and as her son obeying his mother, Jesus is really gonna listen to those prayers when given through Mary's immaculate heart. I think it's just so important to know the importance of the twin hearts - the Immaculate Heart and Sacred Heart and how beautiful they can be when used together: to know Jesus' Sacred Heart and to use Mary's Immaculate Heart for our prayers. "
Leanne is 20 & from England.
"Our Lady to me is my life. She's obviously our spiritual mother but she is also going to be my intercessor at the hour of my death."
Margaret is from Ireland.
"Mary is without sin, completely immaculate, she is the Immaculate Conception, and it's this sinless, her purity that makes her the closest person to us. She's so close to us, she experiences life with us and she loves us as a mother, as a heavenly mother, and she wants to lead us to her son, to her beloved son Jesus. So in times of loneliness or in despair, I know that she is with me, she is always there. She is very close to our hearts and we can share everything with her."
Dorothy is from London.
"One thing I like about Mary is just how she points us to Christ and, in view of that, I like reflecting on the wedding at Cana, when the servants needed more wine first they went to Mary. In that they were able to get what they needed because Mary brought them to Christ. Also Mary's words 'Do whatever he tells you' so do whatever Jesus tells us."
Doug is 22 & from the United States.
24th January - Feast of St Francis de Sales - Mazen
"I've always prayed to the Virgin Mary and recently I've been praying more often, but I feel that she's making me get closer to Jesus, closer to God, and she's been blessing me with lots of love, lots of happiness, taking my worries away, making me feel a happier person."
Mazen is 29 & from Lebanon; he gives his response in English & Arabic.
Our Lady of Medjugorje's message to Marija Pavlović, 25 January 2012:
"Dear children! With joy, also today I call you to open your hearts and to listen to my call. Anew, I desire to draw you closer to my Immaculate Heart, where you will find refuge and peace. Open yourselves to prayer, until it becomes a joy for you. Through prayer, the Most High will give you an abundance of grace and you will become my extended hands in this restless world which longs for peace. Little children, with your lives witness faith and pray that faith may grow day by day in your hearts. I am with you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
"Cari figli! Anche oggi vi invito con gioia ad aprire i vostri cuori e ad ascoltare la mia chiamata. Io desidero avvicinarvi di nuovo al mio cuore Immacolato dove troverete rifugio e pace. Apritevi alla preghiera affinché essa diventi gioia per voi. Attraverso la preghiera l’Altissimo vi darà l’abbondanza di grazia e voi diventerete le mie mani tese in questo mondo inquieto che anela alla pace. Figlioli, testimoniate la fede con le vostre vite e pregate affinché di giorno in giorno la fede cresca nei vostri cuori. Io sono con voi. Grazie per aver risposto alla mia chiamata."
"¡Queridos hijos! Con alegría también hoy los invito a abrir sus corazones y a escuchar mi llamado. Yo deseo acercarlos de nuevo a mi Corazón Inmaculado, donde encontrarán refugio y paz. Abranse a la oración, hasta que ésta se convierta en alegría para ustedes. A través de la oración, el Altísimo les dará abundancia de gracia y ustedes llegarán a ser mis manos extendidas en este mundo inquieto que anhela la paz. Hijitos, testimonien la fe con sus vidas y oren para que la fe crezca en sus corazones día tras día. Yo estoy con ustedes. Gracias por haber respondio a mi llamado."
26th January - Feast of Ss Timothy & Titus - Charlotte
"I'm recording this on the 50th anniversary of my mother's death, who died when I was 9. I was obviously very young but I inherited from her a beautiful gift of great faith and love for Our Lady, and Our Lady has a very special place in my heart, in all our family's heart, as she's our Queen of Peace and Mother in Heaven. We always look to her to protect us, and I know that she has us always in mind. We've dedicated our family to her and she watches over us safely always and every day, and we love you, Mary."
Charlotte is from England.
"Our Lady is my stronghold, my light, my guidance, my help for all my life."
Mariola is from Ealing, London.
"I have a big statue of Our Lady in my house and I pray to her to pray to Jesus for me. She'll talk to him you know, to help the family, and help everyone, help the homeless on the street and the people in need too, you know, because there are a lot of people in need."
Bridget is from Ireland.
"I pray everything, anywhere I want, I pray to Our Lady."
Winifred is from Sri Lanka.