Mother Mary Has Many Faces – The Assumption

August 14, 2015

Mother Mary has Many Faces

rosary-basilicaFamily, when we gave a talk in a church, Penny and I always asked our audience to think about their mother.  The reactions were varied, and very often surprising.  Most would smile and reminisce about times with their mother when they were young.  Others would grimace.  We always found it strange.  Then we asked them to think about our Blessed Mother.  We always got a good reaction then.

Mary has different faces.  She is a different person to the same child many times over in their lives.  As are we different people at different times in our lives.  I want to tell you a story of how we named the title of our book, “The Many Faces of Mary.”

Actually it was my darling wife Penny, who coined the phrase, Many Faces of Mary in 1983.  It was a warm summer day in Italy.  The afternoon sun cast its shadows from the buildings onto the pavement of the sleepy narrow Corso Boccalino, which leads to the Holy House in Loreto.

As we walked down the street towards the famous shrine to Mary, we praised and thanked her for the relief from the heat the shadows afforded us.  It was a lazy day, partly because of the heat, and partly because of the conversation with our luncheon guest.  He was a young Italian manufacturer of religious articles, Paolo Georgetti.  He was eager to know why people prayed to Mary under so many different names.  He used the pretext that he was interested in manufacturing plaques of Our Lady, but we could tell from his conversation that he had been seriously flirting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Penny, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit and had a great love for Mary, rattled off with great enthusiasm various titles of Our Lady to which people had the greatest devotion.  “Let’s see, there’s Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima.  Then you definitely need Our Lady of Pompeii and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal……”

Young Paolo started to laugh, sarcastically.  “But signora, how many ladies can there be?”  The sound of his laughter ricocheted off the buildings, assaulting the peaceful silence of the afternoon.  It was like a shriek against our ears.  We felt as if he had blasphemed.

Penny looked at him, her expression a combination of hurt, anger and defensiveness.  “How many people are you?  To your wife, you are Paolo, husband and lover.  To your children, you are daddy, pillar of strength, provider.  To your father, you are Paolo, successor to his business, learning your trade from him.  To your mother, you are the baby she held inside her womb those nine months, and watched with pride as you grew up.  To your employees, you are Signor Georgetti, the Patrone.  Same Paolo, but different people, addressing different needs.”

“It’s the same with Our Lady, only multiplied ten thousand fold.  Mary has many faces.  Each title of Mary answers a special need in those who reach out to her.  And she answers the needs as a loving mother, an understanding friend, a trusting confidante, whatever you need.  She’s available.  Don’t ever underestimate the Many Faces of Mary.”  And there we had it, out of the mouth of inspired, brilliant Penny Lord, the title of our new book, “The Many Faces of Mary.”

Family, this month, August 15, we will celebrate the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, Body and Soul.  It was after this that she was able to help us in so many ways, in so many titles, with so many faces.  The following week, August 22, we celebrate the Queenship of Mary, when our dear Mother Mary was crowned Queen of Heaven and earth, of all the Angels and the Saints.

FHC61-2Everyone who has ever visited Our Lady’s Shrine in Lourdes, France, has a special place where they just like to be with Mary.  It could be the Grotto where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette 18 times in the year 1858.  It could be the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  It could be the Miraculous Baths or the Way of the Cross.  My special place for the last 40 years has been the Basilica of the Rosary.  I go up to the very front row and sit on either side, and just look above the altar on the dome at this beautiful mosaic of Our Lady, dressed as Queen of Heaven and Earth.  She wears her Crown and is dressed in a white gown with a blue sash.  A cape of ermine drapes her shoulders.  She looks straight at me. I can walk anywhere in the Basilica and her eyes follow me.  I cannot escape her.  I never want to escape her.  She is there, and she is talking to me and to you.  If you get everything out of your mind, you may hear her.  Every time I go there, I tell her that this may be the last time I see her.  She just smiles.  I’ve been saying that for years.

We Catholics have always believed in the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.  It was just a part of our Faith.  But the world started to go tipsy towards the middle of the Nineteenth Century.  There had been a popular heresy spreading all over Europe called Pantheism, which claimed that man was equal with God.

In 1854, in the midst of all of this, and in the face of massive opposition, His Holiness, Blessed Pope Pius IX declared a Dogma of the Church, the Immaculate Conception, by which all Catholics were required to believe this.  What His Holiness declared was that, with the exception of Jesus, only Mary was born without the Stain of Original Sin.  The rest of us were heirs of Adam and Eve, and all that went with that.

There was an uproar inside the Church in Catholic Circles, and outside the Church in Protestant circles.  It was outrageous, they claimed, to give this singular honor to a woman.  Shades of Lucifer.  He said the same thing when told that a woman, Mary, would be Queen of Heaven and Earth, of all the Angels and the Saints.

Our Lady waited.  The situation was bad.  One year passed.  Not much better.  Two years passed.  The situation remained the same.  The third year passed, and still Mother Mary waited.  And then she did the predictable.  She found a remote town of no great importance, and within that speck on the earth, she chose a simple child of the poorest family in the region, and led her to a garbage dump, the Grotto of Massabielle.  From that vantage point, she was to send out a message to the world for all time, loud and clear, a confirmation of Pope Pius IX dogma, in the statement she made in the 16th Apparition to Bernadette:

I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

our-lady-of-lourdes

 

Honor her on her Feast Day this Saturday, August 15, and for the rest of your lives.  We love you!

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Pray the Rosary

May 2, 2008

Since May is the month of Mary and she has urged us to “Pray the Rosary.” We thought we would add an excerpt from our book, “The Rosary the Life of Jesus and Mary,” on how to pray the Rosary.
You may want to pass this on to your friends that do not know how to pray the Rosary.
On Monday and Saturday, pray the Joyful Mysteries; Tuesday and Friday, the Sorrowful;
Thurday the Luminous Mysteries
Wednesday and Sunday, the Glorious; or say all 20 decades each day.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross.
2. Recite the “Apostles Creed”. (holding the Crucifix)
3. Recite the “Our Father”. (Large Bead)
4. Recite 3 “Hail Marys”. (Small Beads)
5. Recite the “Glory Be to the Father”.
6. Say Fatima Prayer and Short Prayer to Mary (optional)
7. Announce the First Mystery of the Joyful Mysteries
8. Recite the “Our Father”. (Large Bead)
9. Say 10 “Hail Marys” (Small Beads)
10. Recite the “Glory Be to the Father”.
11. Then pray the Fatima Prayer (optional)
12. Then pray a Short Prayer to Mary (optional)
13. Announce the Second Mystery of The Joyful Mysteries
14. Repeat 7-8-9-10-11-12
15. Then repeat the same prayers as you meditate on all the Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious Mysteries.
16. After the five (or fifteen) decades are finished,
Pray the Hail Holy Queen
17. Pray the Memorare
18. V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
R. That we maybe worthy of the promises of Christ.

LET US PRAY
O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and Resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers of the Holy Rosary

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven; sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the Resurrection of the body; and life everlasting. Amen.”

THE OUR FATHER
“Our Father, Who art in Heaven; hallowed by Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

THE HAIL MARY
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

THE GLORY BE TO THE FATHER
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

THE FATIMA PRAYER
“Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”

A SHORT PRAYER TO MARY
“Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us, or Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us, or Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us, or
Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us, etc
any other title of Our Lady you would like to use”

THE HAIL HOLY QUEEN
“Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs; mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy Womb, Jesus.
O Clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.”

THE MEMORARE
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother.
To thee, I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. AMEN

The Joyful Mysteries

First Joyful – The Annunciation
Second Joyful – The Visitation
Third Joyful – The Birth of Jesus
Fourth Joyful – The Presentation in the Temple
Fifth Joyful – The finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Luminous Mysteries

First Luminous – Baptism in the Jordan river
Second Luminous – Marriage Feast at Cana
Third Luminous – Proclaimation of the coming of the Kingdom of God
Fourth Luminous – Transfiguration
Fifth Luminous – Institution of the Holy Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries

First Sorrowful – Agony in the Garden
Second Sorrowful – Scourging at the Pillar

Third Sorrowful – Crowning with thorns

Fourth Sorrowful – Jesus carries the Cross

Fifth Sorrowful – Jesus dies on the Cross

The Glorious Mysteries
First Glorious – The Resurrection of Jesus
Second Glorious – The Ascension
Third Glorious – Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
Fourth Glorious – The Assumption
Fitth Glorious – The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

For more information on our book, “The Rosary, the Life of Jesus and Mary.” click here
You also may be interested in obtaining some of the famous St. Clare of Montefalco Rosaries, click here for more information

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