Somethings about Mary in October 2011
Many, many thanks to Alessia, Andrea, Anne, Sister Bruna, Daniela, Elizabeth, Erin, Eugenia, Frances, Frances, Gabi, Jonathan, Julie, Sister Luke ocd, Maartje, Maika, Maria, Sister Marie Louise of Jesus ocd, Martin, Mike, Sister Patricia of the Presentation ocd, Pauline, Brother Reginald OP, Ritzel, Ronald, Simone, Stephen, Theresa, Valentina & Willy for giving their 'something' about Mary.
This beautiful painting of the Madonna & Child by Joe, was given to Ruth by her ridiculously generous & loving friend, Francesca, just like that, out of the blue this month! Thank you, thank you, dearest Fran.
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1st October - Feast of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus - Sister Luke ocd
"Mary means everything to me. As a child growing up in north east of England, I lived by the sea. So the image of Mary, Star of the Sea, made a lot of sense to me. Also the image of like lighthouse, Mary guiding the ships into the harbour to safety. I just love those two images of Mary, they've been with me throughout my life. She has been that guiding light throughout my life, in good times and in bad. And that light has never wavered; I may have wavered, but she has never wavered. So she is my star, she is the star, she is the only star. What more can I say? Only that I love her dearly."
"From my earliest years in my family we had a devotion to the rosary and we said it as a family. It wasn't always every night but we said it very regularly and all through the years. And even when I entered Carmel, my family used to keep a decade of the rosary for me, throughout my religious life. I love to say the rosary and Our Lady is alive in it, and to be with her in the rosary and she asked for this prayer, in Fatima, to be said daily."
Our Lady's message to Mirjana Soldo, Međugorje, 2 October 2011:
"Dear children; Also today my motherly heart calls you to prayer, to your personal relationship with God the Father, to the joy of prayer in Him. God the Father is not far away from you and He is not unknown to you. He revealed Himself to you through my Son and gave you Life that is my Son. Therefore, my children, do not give into temptations that want to separate you from God the Father. Pray! Do not attempt to have families and societies without Him. Pray! Pray that your hearts may be flooded with the goodness which comes only from my Son, who is sincere goodness. Only hearts filled with goodness can comprehend and accept God the Father. I will continue to lead you. In a special way I implore you not to judge your shepherds. My children, are you forgetting that God the Father called them? Pray! Thank you."
After the apparition, Mirjana said: "I have never said anything before, but are you aware, brothers and sisters, that the Mother of God was with us? Each of us should ask himself: 'Am I worthy of this?' I am saying this because it is difficult for me to see her (Our Lady) in pain, because each of us is seeking a miracle, but does not want to work a miracle in himself."
5th October - Feast of St Faustina - Martin
"Our Lady for me is everything; she's the example of what it is to be a Christian, because of what she knew and how she behaved, in humility continuously from the time Gabriel came to her, she took the message seriously that she became a prophet of the message."
Martin is from Zambia.
"St John Bosco wouldn't stop praying the rosary with the boys because the rosary is a biblical prayer. That's what Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes had - the rosary. The rosary is to pray to God. And meditating on the mystery is just like you read a description in the mystery of Jesus. So, when the family used to pray together saying the rosary, the family that prays together, stays together. So we have to revive our faith in the rosary, we have not to be ashamed. We don't need to preach, it's the way we live our life, and not to be afraid to say our faith in the rosary. Repetition is good; repetition revives the mind. We get bored with repetition, not with the rosary. And then Our Lady is there to guide us to her Divine Son and we have to remember every time she appears, it is with the rosary."
7th October - Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - Theresa
"Mary has played an important role in my life. There was a time when someone was very sick - I didn't know where to go, I didn't know whom to turn, he was sick mentally. All I could do was to bring out my rosary and put it on him. And he was saying 'Oh, there's something burning me in this rosary.' I was a bit scared and he took the rosary and threw it away. I rushed to my parish church to tell the priest and the priest said 'Keep on praying the rosary because God is going to heal him through that rosary, through the power of the rosary.' And indeed he was admitted into the hospital a few days after that, and when I went to the hospital I put the rosary under his pillow, and to my surprise I went there the following week and he had that rosary on him and he was telling everybody that he was healed by this rosary. Even though he wasn't a Catholic then, he said he was healed by the power of that rosary and since then I think he has been carrying that rosary about. So Mary prays for us all the time, she plays an important role in my life, in my family's life as well. So I will always honour Our Lady wherever I am."
Theresa is from Nigeria.
"Ringrazio la Madonna per tutto quello che mi dà ogni giorno."
Valentina, from Italy, gives her qualcosa su Maria in Italian.
9th October - Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman - Ronald
"In our faith, the idea of having a Queen is so important and so beautiful. Scott Hahn, in his book, talks about the Dowager Queen in the Old Testament - how when Solomon was made King, his first act of reverence and homage was to his mother, the Queen Mother, the Dowager Queen. And he says that Our Lord has a similar relationship to his mother, even more so in the order of grace. We have such a powerful mother, a mother who can intercede for us like no other person can, and she's been so powerful throughout our history - I can attest to that myself personally. I'm what you'd call a revert - I slipped the faith for a long time, almost 20 years, but I knew a lot of people were praying especially to Our Lady, and that was one of the things that turned us back to the faith, my wife and I."
"Mary is my mother and she's your mother. She's the mother of all."
Elizabeth, from Ireland, has a blog entitled All the Little Epsilons.
"La Madonna è la madre di tutti noi."
Maika, from Italy, gives her qualcosa su Maria in Italian.
"I have prayed for years to Our Lady. I say the rosary every day and I pray to her for my husband to come into the Church. I've been married (in the Church) for 25 years but my husband is not Catholic. And now he's coming to RCIA classes with me, I'm his sponsor, and I prayed to Our Lady for this for years and she's answered my prayers and I just love Our Lady so very, very much. "
Frances is from the United States.
15th October - Feast of St Teresa of Avila - Frances
"What I love about Our Lady is that she never makes it about her, she always makes it about Jesus, and she always makes it about trying to love him and bring him into my daily life, and trying to live a life that's authentic. She never makes it about herself and I just feel she is my mother, I feel she's my best friend. I feel she's given me the greatest gift any mother could give which is her son and I think it's made a huge difference in my life."
Frances is from Ireland.
16th October - Feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque - Gabi
"Our Lady is a great gift for me because she is my heavenly Mother and I know that she's always caring for me, even if I'm not caring for her, and she's always loving me, even if I don't think of her. And she's always holding her hand towards me so that I can take her hand and she's carrying me towards heaven. And I know that she's carrying me personally in her heart. And, because she's got a heart without sin, I know that I'm really in the core of her heart and this is a secure place for me and for my personal life. I really want to love Mary - I'm on my way, I'm a very little child and I'm continuing to walk along life - but I really want to love Mary and to be like her image; to be like her and I especially like her love and her humility. She's always standing in the background, but she was taking a very important role: as she was standing in the background, Jesus could do his apostolic life and that's what I especially admire in her life."
"Our Lady means a lot to me; she's the most wonderful person to pray to and seems to be so accessible to all of us. When maybe sometimes God feels far away, she's always there close to us and shows herself to us in the most amazing ways."
Maartje is from the Netherlands.
"If we embrace Mary, she will take us by the hand and lead us to the very heart of the Church and in turn into heaven."
Jonathan is from England.
"Our Lady for me means mother: a mother who looks after me, who looks after my son, my husband, my family. Someone who takes care of us all and who I pray to every day. I feel she is blessing our lives and I am grateful for that."
Daniela is from Slovakia and gives her something about Mary in English & Slovak.
"Mary for me is like my other mother in heaven, who watches over us and she watches over also those that I love and keeps us close to her heart."
Stephen is from Australia.
22nd October - Feast of Blessed John Paul II - Anne
"We have over the past 20 years done approximately 550 Youth 2000 retreats in the USA and, when I introduce the retreat to the people who are going to run the retreat, I always say to them that Our Lady is the person who will bring the young people to know her Divine Son, and every retreat we have we start with the rosary. I've been told by many people that young people are not into the rosary but I say 'Our Lady is the one that will bring them to the rosary.' It's really beautiful to see how Our Lady works: she is the mother of all these young people and it is through her that she brings them to know Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament."
"Ringrazio la Madonna per aver cambiato la mia vita."
Alessia, who's 20 & from Italy, gives her qualcosa su Maria in Italian.
"For me the Blessed Virgin is definitely a big part of my life, especially after High School .. I always pray to her, especially when I'm in need and I feel a comfort in praying."
Erin is from the United States.
"With whatever I've gone through, all the trials that I've been through, I have always asked Mother Mary to pray for me to the Lord our God to give me strength and patience and faith, and it's just helped me tremendously. And I am not the person that I am now if it weren't for my faith, for my renewed faith, and I will forever be grateful and devoted to her and to Jesus."
Ritzel is 30 & from the Philippines.
Our Lady of Medjugorje's message to Marija, 25 October 2011:
"Dear children! I am looking at you and in your hearts I do not see joy. Today I desire to give you the joy of the Risen One, that He may lead you and embrace you with His love and tenderness. I love you and I am praying for your conversion without ceasing before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call."
"Cari figli, vi guardo e nei vostri cuori non vedo la gioia. Oggi io desidero darvi la gioia del Risorto perché Lui vi guidi e vi abbracci con il suo amore e con la sua tenerezza. Vi amo e prego incessantemente per la vostra conversione davanti al mio figlio Gesù. Grazie per aver risposto alla mia chiamata."
"¡Queridos hijos! Los miro y en sus corazones no veo alegría. Hoy yo deseo darles la alegría del Resucitado para que El los guíe y los abrace con su amor y con su ternura. Los amo y oro continuamente por su conversión ante mi Hijo Jesús. Gracias por haber respondido a mi llamado."
"There are different ways of thinking about Marian prayer. In American football there is something called the Hail Mary Pass - it's something you do at the last minute, when you have no other option, when you're losing the game you might try to make up an extra touchdown by throwing the ball all the way down the field and hoping someone will catch it. So one way to think about praying to Mary is to think about it that way - you pray to the Blessed Mother as a last ditch effort when you feel you can't pray to anyone else, you can't address Christ directly. Now, certainly Mary's always there for us even in the most dire situations. But a more robust way to look at Marian devotion is to recognise how integral Mary's maternity is to our own relationship with Christ, and to make that explicit in all of our prayer. The rosary itself then becomes an excellent example of this, as a way of praying to Christ, contemplating the mystery of Christ, with the help of the Blessed Mother."
Brother Reginald is a Dominican Friar from the USA.
"For me Mary means the mother of us all, especially coming from a country where she appeared to St Juan Diego, a very simple Indian man and she appears to us always, especially during prayer, and I feel her company when I pray the rosary."
Eugenia is from Mexico; she gives her algo de María in English & Spanish.
"La Virgen Maria para nosotros los Cristianos es la madre de Dios, es la madre de todos los venezolanos, los puertoriquenos, los colombianos, es la madre de todas las personas que creemos en la iglesia catolica, y en especial para los creyentes."
Maria is from Venezuela.
"The Blessed Virgin is of course the Mother of God and she is the way that we gain access to Jesus, she is our intercessor."
Mike is from the United States of America.
"I love Our Lady very much. She is my queen and my mother."
Pauline is from Goa in India.
"I just think that Christ was so wonderful, that even at his most vulnerable during the time of his greatest pain, he was still thinking of us and giving us a mother. When I'm in my darkest moments, I just come and be at Mary's feet and I know that she went through all this pain too and if you want empathy, she's the fountain of empathy. It's a privilege to know that we have not only a father, we have also a mother who was purely human but she was also perfect, so she's I guess the absolute role model for us."
Andrea is from Trinidad.