1st October - Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux - Johnny
"I’d just like to say a few words about Our Blessed Lady - I call her blessed because all generations will call her blessed. To me Our Lady is the Queen of Heaven, but also a mother. Often in my past I felt far from Jesus but I'd always feel close to Mary."
Johnny is from London.
Our Lady's message to Mirjana Soldo, Medjugorje, 2nd October 2014:
"Dear children, with motherly love I implore you, love one another. May there be in your hearts, as my Son desired from the very beginning, love for the Heavenly Father and for your neighbour in the first place — above everything of this world. My dear children, do you not recognise the signs of the times? Do you not recognise that all of this that is around you, all that is happening, is because there is no love? Comprehend that salvation is in true values. Accept the might of the Heavenly Father, love Him and honour Him. Walk in the footsteps of my Son. You, my children, my dear apostles, you are always gathering around me anew, because you are thirsty. You thirst for peace, love and happiness. Drink out of my hands. My hands are offering to you my Son who is the spring of clear water. He will bring your faith back to life and purify your hearts, because my Son loves pure hearts and pure hearts love my Son. Only pure hearts are humble and have firm faith. I ask for such hearts of you, my children. My Son told me that I am the mother of the entire world. I ask of those of you who accept me as such to help me, with your life, prayer and sacrifice, for all of my children to accept me as a mother - so that I may lead them to the spring of the clear water. Thank you. My dear children, as your shepherds offer you the Body of my Son with their blessed hands, always in your hearts give thanks to my Son for the Sacrifice and for the shepherds that He always gives you anew."
"I would like to say thank you to the Blessed Virgin Mary for everything, for everything that she has ever done for me, and I know that she is my mother and my queen, because she is the Queen of Poland. Anything I ask, I go to Częstochowa and I pray and pray and pray, and she always answers, always answers. She's the most wonderful mother and a wonderful person. I don't know how to say but I owe to her my life and everything I've got, and I'll just say I love her very, very much."
Julitta is from Poland & gives her response in English & Polish.
4th October - Feast of St Francis - Fr Sebastian Maria CFR
"To me Mary is a mother, also a queen, but a queen who kind of reigns in a beautiful and gentle, tender way in my life. I've experienced it many times very tangibly but she's always very quiet, very humble, but always very effective, just like a good mother, tenderly guiding me, leading me always closer to her son. So I love her very much, I am very grateful and as much as I can I tell everybody else how wonderful she is."
7th October - Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - Anne
"For our family, we first really became involved with Our Lady when friends of mine had been to a small, backwater village called Medjugorje and they came back and said that Our Lady was asking for family rosary and family prayers. With a family of young children at the time, I suddenly felt that this was really important, and so we started praying the rosary each evening. Many years later now, even though we don't necessarily hit it every evening, we have our own chapel and we go in there as a family and we pray to the Mother of God. … So she's just been very prominent in our life and we just love her and we're very grateful to her for what she has given to our family.
Anne is from Lincoln in the UK.
"Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of us all, that’s it. And what can we say - one woman above all.
La Virgen María es la Madre de todos, la Madre de Dios."
Alfonso is from Peru.
9th October - Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman - Kevin
"Our Lady is a very real person in my life. She is incredibly kind and I look upon her as our Holy Mother who is an intermediary, who helps us get even closer to her Son Jesus Christ, to God the Father and to God the Holy Spirit. Amen."
Kevin is from Great Britain.
"I pray to Mother Mary and Mother Mary hears my prayers, and I love her very much."
Shweta is from India and gives her response in English & Konkani.
13th October - Anniversary of Fatima miracle of the sun - Runaine
"I am sure that a consolation for many of us is the confidence that we have in a mother's accompaniment throughout life's journey, but most especially at those important life events. Mary, the Mother, accompanied her Son Jesus in those moments of joy, sorrow and glory which marked Our Lord's life. Our Lady accompanies us as spiritual children on our journey to full maturity in Christ. During these trying times, Our Lady of Sorrows stands with us near the cross and so we can cry out with confidence: 'Cross of Jesus, give us hope. Cross of Jesus, give us peace.'"
Runaine is 25 & a seminarian in the diocese of Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
"Mary is an amazing mother who looks after us and me especially."
Monika is from Slovakia and gives her response in English & Slovak.
17th October - Feast of St Ignatius of Antioch - Bianca & Jared
Bianca - "We have a huge dedication to Our Lady - we’re both consecrated to Jesus through Mary (St Louis de Montfort). And having a big love for her, she has taught me how to love Jesus and how to be a good woman, a good wife, and someone who leads me the way to Jesus. And I always pray to her to teach me how to love her Son even more."
Jared - "For me, Our Lady is my mother and she helps me to live purity and helps me to live simplicity. She's always there for me when I need her, and she shows me how to live in love with her Son and she keeps me close in times of difficulty."
Bianca & Jared, from Sydney Australia, are currently on honeymoon in Rome (having just got married on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi). This is the beautiful prayer on the back of their wedding card:
Most merciful Father, as we remember today the union of Bianca & Jared Yee in Holy Matrimony, we humbly ask that you protect & guide them through the joys & challenges of their marriage. We ask that you grant them joy, peace, understanding & many gifts of the Holy Spirit as they travel along this sacred path toward their heavenly home. Safeguard their bodies and souls, that they may be ever united as they were on their wedding day. Help them to love freely, completely & selflessly as you have loved them.
Bless them with the gift of children that their love may be fruitful & life-giving & that they may build the kingdom of God on earth. Protect their virtue and bind their family together by your grace & love that they may be ever faithful to you & to each other. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary & all the saints, guide & protect them all the days of their lives. Amen.
"Mary is the holiest woman in the world and she said yes to God and she brung Jesus into the world to save us."
Meena is 7 & from England.
"I would like to leave with you this experience of growing up in a Catholic family, with the Salesians and having this feeling of Mary as a mother, which I think is very, very important for all the key important moments in our lives: when we have to take decisions, when we don't know what to do, when we feel lost, when we feel abandoned, when we are angry, when we think 'what is next?', well, Mary is there. So we just need to put our trust in her. And like St John Bosco used to say 'She's our mother and she'll be with us always'."
Maribel is from Madrid, Spain.
"Mary is the Virgin Mary. So, I’m a Catholic, so I love her."
Edward is from Ghana.
"Our Lady for me is a guiding force, a light, a spiritual mother to whom I can turn; in those moments of difficulty, a spiritual mother to whom I can turn in the moments when I need a hug or when I just want to say 'Thank you for your prayers'."
Avery is 34 & from Dallas, Texas.
22nd October - Feast of St John Paul II - Derrick
"Saint John Paul II, his great change of heart when he read 'The True Devotion to Mary', ended up dedicating his entire pontificate to her - Totus Tuus - because of the power and presence of Mary when he was reading St Louis de Montfort's book. So I would ask all people to, if you have any problems, go to Mary. She's the quickest way to Jesus. Read the book, True Devotion to Mary, and read about St Maximilian Kolbe .. who is truly the inspiration of A Day with Mary."
Derrick was born in Hong Kong (& now lives in England).
"Mary is very important to me because she is my example and model, my best friend. She helped me to come closer to Jesus. My consecration to her, following the preparation of St Louis Maria de Montfort, really was instrumental in my conversion, so brought me to her Son and then helped reveal to me my vocation to a complete consecration to Him."
Janel is from the United States.
"Mary is somebody that protects, somebody that I feel safe with, she's all-encompassing. All will be well and all will be well with her. I'd say she's strong and always there."
Brigitte is from London (her mother is German, her father Mauritian & her husband Irish).
"In my daily life with Our Lord, I take Our Lady’s example of prayer and of just living with the Lord."
Katie is 27 & from the United States.
Our Lady of Medjugorje's message to Marija Pavlović on 25 October:
“Dear children! Pray in this time of grace and seek the intercession of all the saints who are already in the light. From day to day may they be an example and encouragement to you on the way of your conversion. Little children, be aware that your life is short and passing. Therefore, yearn for eternity and keep preparing your hearts in prayer. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you, especially for those who have consecrated themselves to me and to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
“Queridos hijos! Oren en este tiempo de gracia y pidan la intercesión de todos los santos que ya están en la luz. Que ellos sean un ejemplo y un estímulo día tras día en el camino de su conversión. Hijitos, sean conscientes que su vida es breve y pasajera. Por eso, anhelen la eternidad y preparen sus corazones en la oración. Yo estoy con ustedes e intercedo ante mi Hijo por cada uno de ustedes, especialmente por aquellos que se han consagrado a mí y a mi Hijo. Gracias por haber respondido a mi llamado."
"Cari figli! Pregate in questo tempo di grazia e chiedete l'intercessione di Tutti i Santi che sono già nella luce. Loro vi siano d' esempio e d' esortazione di giorno in giorno, sul cammino della vostra conversione. Figlioli, siate coscienti che la vostra vita è breve e passeggera. Perciò anelate all'eternità e preparate i vostri cuori nella preghiera. Io sono con voi ed intercedo presso il mio Figlio per ciascuno di voi, soprattutto per coloro che si sono consacrati a Me ed a mio Figlio. Grazie per aver risposto alla mia chiamata.”
"Because we're from the traveling community, Our Lady was the first real traveler. She faced the same thing that we face every day: prejudice, racism. And the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords was born in a stable. So Jesus and Mary were the first real travelers. And Our Lady to me, she's everything. If we want to get to her Son Jesus, we go through Mary. So she's the handmaid of the Lord, 'Be it done unto me according to Thy word' as Our Lady would say. So, you know, Our Lady is our yes, Our Lady is our hope, Our Lady is our everything, she's blessed among women. And, you know, I'm so honoured to be born into a Catholic family, to be able to find the love of Our Blessed Mother, and I know she's got her mantle around each and everyone of us. Even as we speak now, she's looking down on us, probably smiling."
Margaret is from London.
"You’re asking me about my mother. Oh, Mary is a wonderful mother, there’s no mother like her. Oh, you’re asking me something that really touches my heart. She's a beautiful, beautiful, caring mother. Amen."
Theresa is from Lagos, Nigeria, & gives her response in English & Yoruba.
28th October - Feast of the Apostles Ss Simon & Jude - Laura
"The Virgin Mary is my mother, always she is with me. Now I'm living in London and I'm from Madrid, and so when I have difficulties I pray the holy rosary. It is very great for me because she is helping me the whole time. Thank you so much Mary."
Laura is 24 & from Madrid, Spain.
"Our Blessed Mother to me is my protector and my best friend. And I feel that when I am in need, she is my comforter. Our Blessed Mother, pray for us all who are in need. Amen."
Susan is from Ireland.
"As I reflect on the Angelus, Mary’s response ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord', we can look at that and say that's how she lived her life. I'm reflecting on this and like, you know, that's how God sees all of us, He sees all of us at his disposition. We're the ones who don't always see it that way, but we're really in the same position as Mary (except for the Immaculate Conception part) that our lives are entirely in God's hands. And maybe the great gift that Mary can give us is the gift of being able to reflect on that mystery of divine providence in our lives, that nothing comes my way that doesn't come to me in God's providence, I'm always at God's disposition, even when I'm not aware of it, even when I think I'm not, we're entirely within God's providential plan. And the trick is to get to the point where, Mary pondered on these things and reflected on them in her heart, always seeing things in the light of divine providence - that's the challenge for me, the Marian challenge that I have right now."
Sister Anne Flanagan, a daughter of St Paul, is from New Orleans in the USA. You can read her thoughts on her Nun blog and follow her on Twitter @nunblogger. Today is her birthday - Happy Birthday, dear Sister Anne! Here's wishing you a very blessed year ahead, full of grace.