This weekend I will be making my annual pilgrimage to Kevelaer, a small town in Germany close to the Dutch border. It has been a place of special devotion to Mary since the 1640s. She is venerated there as the Consoler of the Afflicted.
If anyone has a prayer request, please submit it here. If you wish, you can do so anonymously. A candle will be offered to Mary on behalf of all those who sent a request.
In the chapel of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Maastricht there is a notice that says:
The first candle that is lit here every day is for all the people who have nobody praying for them.
These words have always moved me. But it also raises the question: do we all have people who pray for us? I’m not someone who prays intensely. However, I do believe that we should never underestimate the power of prayer. With that in mind perhaps most of us could pray more frequently or heartfelt.
The next time you forget to pray for a loved one or someone in need, don’t worry. Remember to do it next time, but also remember that in a chapel somewhere in the Netherlands a candle is burning for all those in need of intercession. It is a humble reminder of Mary’s constant prayer and protection.
Behold, this is the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin and of the renewal of the human race! The Virgin is born, She groweth and is raised up and prepareth Herself to be the Mother of God All-Sovereign of the ages.