Queen of the Holy Rosary, Help of Christians, Refuge of the human race, Conqueress in God’s battlefields, to You and to Your Immaculate Heart in this tragic hour of human history we entrust and consecrate ourselves, and the Holy Church.
- The opening words of pope Pius XII’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1942.
Mary, Marie, Maria
The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary celebrates a name that doesn’t only belong to Jesus’ mother, but also to millions of women - and men - worldwide.
Especially among Catholics it is very common to name one’s child Mary, Marie or Maria. For instance, my paternal grandmother was called Marie, my father’s third name was Marie, and my sister’s second name is Maria. Catholics have an almost natural inclination to pay tribute to the Mother of God, and naming one’s child after her is one of the many ways of doing so. Moreover, it is believed Mary especially looks out for those named after her.
Catholics believe there are many graces attached to the name Mary. As St Bonaventure once said: Happy is he who loves your sweet name, O Mother of God!
"Tell me child, why do you decorate these statue with flowers?" Domenica replied: "Because of the love I have for Jesus and Mary." "And how much is that?" "As much as they help me to love them." "Continue to love them then," said the lady, "for they will repay you in heaven."
- St Alphonsus in The Glories of Mary about the apparition of Mary to the 10 year old Dominica of Paradise, who at first did not realise ‘the lady’ was Mary.
Heart of Mary
In order that (…) there may be devotion to the Heart of Mary, the attention and the homage of the faithful must be directed to the physical heart itself. However, this in itself is not sufficient; the faithful must read therein all that the human heart of Mary suggests, all of which it is the expressive symbol and the living reminder: Mary’s interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for her God, her maternal love for her Divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for her sinful and miserable children here below.
- From Catholic Encyclopedia
If you are not able to assist at the public services or devotions in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your own church, erect a little altar to Mary in your house, and adorn her picture, or statue, with flowers, and there, every day, either alone or with others of your household, meditate upon her virtues, and implore her powerful intercession.
- Instructions for May devotions (source)
Mater Boni Consilii
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, an image of Mary venerated in Genazzano near Rome.
Records dating from the 1460s relate that the image miraculously appeared in Genazzano’s church of Santa Maria on the feast of St Mark, 25 April 1467.
Some weeks later two Albanian men arrived in the city. They had fled from the Ottoman armies that had occupied Albania. According to the men the image had been venerated in a church in their home town Scutari, now known as Shkodra. While the city was under siege they saw the image being transported on a cloud in the direction of Italy. The men decided to follow the image and embarked on a journey which eventually led them to Genazzona.
The old church of Santa Maria in Genazzano soon became of place of pilgrimage. The devotion of Our Lady of Good Counsel spread rapidly. It has been popular with many saints and popes, many of which have visited the shrine. The Augustinians greatly promoted the devotion: they chose Our Lady of Good Counsel as their patroness and erected churches and shrines in her honour in many countries around the world.
Nuestra Señora de la Correa
The image of Our Lady of the Cord in Valencia, Spain. According to tradition, the devotion of wearing a belt in honour of Mary was initiated by St Monica, the mother of St Augustine.
In a vision Mary gave the saint a black leather belt and told her she would grand all those who wore it special protection.
Anonymous asked: What is the iconography of Mary, Star of the Sea?
Star of the Sea is one of Mary’s ancient titles. It refers to her role as patroness of travelers, sailors and fishermen. She is also the guide of pilgrims, both on their physical and spiritual journeys.
There is no set iconography of the Star of the Sea, though sometimes Mary is depicted on a boat, standing by or floating above the sea. Images of Mary as Star of the Sea can be found in many Catholic countries, especially those by the sea.
Ave Maris Stella (Hail Star of the Sea) is a famous Catholic hymn about the title. It was composed in the 9th century.
Pilgrims filling bottles with water from the spring in the grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes.
The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by Mary in February 1858. Since that time millions of pilgrims have followed Mary’s instruction to “drink at the spring and wash in it”.
Although never actively encouraged by the Church, Lourdes water has become a focus of the pilgrimage to the French shrine. The water is believed to possess healing power. Miraculous springs are also found at many other Marian shrines around the world.