There's Something About Mary

Given that it’s Mother’s Day, I thought it would only be fair if I paid tribute to the Blessed Mother Mary. May is Mary’s month, after all. This blog post will share stories of ordinary and extraordinary people whose love for Mary made an impact on their lives.

Of course, I can’t start a post about Mary without mentioning the Rosary. If you were like me in college and had problems praying the Rosary on a daily basis, I have a few suggestions. There are websites that offer scriptural verses that correspond with the Mysteries of the Rosary. Fr. Dwight Longnecker has a great book Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing. There are a lot of YouTube videos and a Rosary CD from Lighthouse Catholic Media if you want to listen and pray along. But for me, what got me praying the Rosary on an almost daily basis was the 54-Day Rosary Novena.

Diana Von Glahn recently experienced a miracle after praying a 54-Day Rosary Novena for her husband’s health. If you want to know more about how to pray the 54-Day Rosary Novena, check out Tom McDonald’s blog.

I asked my Facebook friends to tell me their stories about how Mary made an impact on their lives. Here’s what some of them had to say:

My grandmother had asked for Mary’s intercession on having a girl. She did. So her daughters name became Marie and every girl in the family after that has the middle name Marie. My mom had problem having kids and she was going to be lucky to have one, she actually almost miscarried me, and she asked Mary that if she could only have one child to let it be a girl. And well she came thru!- Rebecca Marie

During my reversion period in my early 20’s (coming back to the Church after some years away) I LOVED going to the adoration chapel. I popped in on Christmas Day that year, to say “Happy Birthday” and was dismayed that no one was there. I didn’t want to go and leave Him alone, but was expected at my brothers for dinner, and in fact I was already late. I had read somewhere that Mary spent her latter days in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, so I thought to ask her to come and Adore Him so I could go. The room became filled with the scent of roses. There were no roses anywhere in the room, nor in the adjoining room (I checked.) I just KNEW, then, that Mama Mary was there, and I could go. Since then, every once in a while, I get a whiff of roses at particular times (like, for example, at the end of every Ordination I have ever attended) that tells me she is there: – Sharon Riel

The saints, of course, have had moments where Mary interceded for them in one way or another. St. Therese of Lisieux recovered from a very severe fever as she looked at a statue of Mary. St. Maximillian Kolbe devoted his life to The Immaculata, his favorite Marian title. And of course, St. John Paul II was well-known for his devotion to Mary. His motto was “Totus tuus” after all, echoing the devotion of the Marian consecration.

I always wonder what Marian title each pope was devoted to. Having a Marian devotion is practically a job requirement! I feel like St. John Paul’s particular devotion was to Our Lady of Fatima, especially since he credits her with saving his life from the assassination attempt. Although I don’t recall if Pope Emeritus Benedict ever expressed a devotion to a particular Marian title, I’d wager that it would be Our Lady of Lourdes, since he chose to announce his abdication on that particular feast day. Pope Francis, of course, has a devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots.

I also have my own relationship with Mary. Like Diana, I prayed a 54-Day Rosary Novena in the past and have discovered many graces from it, but none of which I can really pinpoint off the top of my head. However, during a recent retreat, I asked Mary to give me her heart. Rebecca Frech reminded me that Mary’s heart was pierced and filled with sorrow. Sad to say but that advice came after the fact. However, just as Mary did at the foot of the cross, I kept all of my sorrows in my heart and pressed on in spite of how I felt.

My favorite Marian title is Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It’s a popular devotion in the Philippines, but it was also the name of my Catholic school back in New Jersey. It closed down shortly after I moved, but the church is still there.

I think it’s only fitting that I end this post with one of my favorite Marian prayers, The Memorare. Danielle Rose recorded this beautiful version and I invite all of y’all to listen to it.

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