Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Most Holy Name of Mary

A feast honoring the Name of Mary was instituted in Spain in 1513, but on this day in 1693 a great military victory was won by King Jan Sobieski of Poland who, after entrusting his troops to the protection of Mary, came to the rescue of the city of Vienna which was under siege by Turkish forces. In thanksgiving for the deliverance of this Christian city, the pope extended this feast to the entire Church. It was dropped from the Church’s calendar in 1969, but Pope John Paul II reinstituted it. Let us invoke the Name of Mary upon politicians that they may seek the will of God and not their own interests as they fulfill their responsibility of service. Our reflection is from Pope John XXIII.

It is a name that moves heaven and earth, as well we know. We have had proof of this every time Mary has come back among us, with her visible appearances in places that have since become centers of devotion to her. Meanwhile we pray to her continually, and call upon her name. We have the holy rosary: a summary of the whole story of Redemption…. These are not events of yesterday—they go back two thousand years—yet they have preserved intact their meaning, their power and their lesson for every day. That is why we ask you all to recite the rosary, not only with the mechanical movements of your lips, or of your fingers on the beads, but really pondering each individual mystery. By so doing we shall have unending peace in our hearts and the hope, nay, the certainty, that Mary hears us, blesses us and guides us to salvation. In Mary’s company age does not wither us; everyone may keep the freshness and charm of childhood, which induced a great writer to comment: “Nothing can be lovelier than a child reciting the Hail Mary”. With the knowledge that this is the centuries old tradition of the Church, and the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman faith, we shall look forward also with serenity to our last hour on earth. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray now, and at the hour of our death.” Our last thought and look will be for her, and she will return like the dawn of a new day: “Turn to the morning star, and call on Mary”.

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