Mary
Part 4 Mary in the Liturgy

Chapter m46 Memorials of Mary in the Roman Calendar

Introduction

The Immaculate Heart

August 22: The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 12: The Blessed Virgin Mary of Sorrows

October 7: The Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary

November 21: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Introduction

This is page is intended to help those who wish to celebrate these liturgical days by providing:  1) Background and other historical information which might be helpful to understand the feast; 2) A summary of the theology underling this celebration; 3) A brief exegesis of the readings from Scripture and the other pertinent liturgical texts for the liturgy of the day; and 4) A sample homily.

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Saturday After The Second Sunday After Pentecost
The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1.  Background

xxx

2.  Theology

xxx

3.  Exegesis

Reading 1

Gospel

Preface

4.  Homily

Sample homily...

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August 22
The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1.  Background

xxx

2.  Theology

xxx

3.  Exegesis

Reading 1

Gospel

Preface

4.  Homily

Sample homily...

.

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September 12
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Sorrows

The information on this feast and the homily is, in large part, the work of a participant in the seminar "12:635 Mary in the Liturgy" presented at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology during the Spring semester 2012 and is used with his permission; it remains his intellectual property.

1.  Background

Our Lady of Sorrows -- In 1667 an indult was given to the Servite Order to celebrate this feast, and in 1814 it was introduced into the Roman calendar for the third Sunday in September. In 1913 it was moved to September 15. (Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars, p 107)

Variations: Seven Sorrows of Mary -- Nothing is changed in the first observance except the title, which now reads: Our Lady of Sorrows. (Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars, p 107)

[Variations in the Liturgical Calendar: Friday after the First Sunday of the Passion: Seven Sorrows of Mary -- The commemoration on this day of the Seven Sorrows of Mary appeared in the Roman calendar in 1727. Since this is a duplication of the feast of September 15, it is suppressed. (Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars, p 121)]

Throughout history there have been many changes to all aspects of this memorial including its name, rank in the liturgical year, theology recognized, and day celebrated.  From the time it was just a devotion of the Servite Order in the early 13th Century it has always had a common thread of recognizing and honoring the suffering of Mary in her life as Jesus' mother. (Holweck, F. (1912). Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 15, 2012 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14151b.htm) 

The official observance of this day as a feast was in 1413 by a provincial synod of Cologne  (Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. www.newadvent.org)  . It was originally celebrated on the Third Sunday after Easter and it focused on the Spiritual martyrdom suffered by Mary which at first focused on her suffering during her son's passion and death, but eventually included a total of seven events. (Ibid.)  These seven events were:

1.  The prophecy of Simeon -Luke 2:22-35
2. 
The flight into Egypt -Matthew 2:13-21
3.  The Loss of Jesus in the Temple -Luke 2:41-50
4. 
Mary meets Jesus on the way to the cross -John 19:1; Luke 23:26-32
5. 
Jesus Dies on the Cross -Mark 15:22; John 19:18, 25-27; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46
6. 
Mary receives the dead body of her son -John 19:31-34, 38; Lamentations 1:12
7. 
Jesus is laid in the tomb -Matthew 27:59; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:46; Luke 27:55-56   (http://www.sevensorrows.com/explanation.htm  )

Once these additions were made it was referred to as the Seven Sorrows of Mary and in 1667 the Servite Order was given special privilege to celebrate this memorial as a feast.  (USCCB. Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars)   The memorial was officially added to the Roman calendar in 1814 and moved from the third Sunday after Easter to the Third Sunday in September.  (USCCB. Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars In 1913, it was moved to September 15th and is still currently celebrated on this day.  (USCCB. Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars)

Europe has been a crucial cultural influence in this liturgical day. Before the 16th Century it was only recognized in the North German, Scandinavian, and Scottish dioceses.  (Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. www.newadvent.org )   Then at the end of the 16th century the feast spread around Southern Europe to France. Even though it was not installed into the Roman calendar in 1727 the decree of Benedict XIII gave it recognition among the entire Latin Church.  (Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. www.newadvent.org  )  Therefore the memorial we know as the Lady of Sorrows celebrated on September 15th has undergone many changes over the past seven centuries yet has always been focused on the sorrow of Mary in unity with her son.

2.  Theology

The memorial that we know today as Our Lady of Sorrows is deeply rooted in scripture and has minimal theological issues that hinder anyone from questioning the validity and relevance of this celebration in our liturgical year. However before the 17thcentury, when it became officially known as the "Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin", there was much confusion among those who remembered their sorrowful mother (Resch, Peter, The Marianist Year, ed. John B. Shopp (St. Meinrad's Abbey Inc. 1945), 160.). From the 13th century, when it was common for the Servites to honor the sorrows of Mary, until the 17thcentury there was much debate to how many moments of Mary's life would be honored and which ones would officially be recognized ( Holweck, F. (1912). Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 15, 2012 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14151b.htm). This was cleared up gradually and in the mid17th century we see the first official recordings of the seven events of Mary's life that we celebrate today on September, 15th (Idib.)

Another theological issue that can occur is placing the sorrow of Mary as the ends to the devotion and the liturgical significance of what is celebrated on September 15th. As in all devotions to Mary, if we see her as the ends to our worship and we only concentrate on her than we have not really found the meaning of her presence in salvation and the importance of a devotion to her in the Catholic Church. She must lead us to Christ and every event of sorrow in her life can lead us closer to Christ and His suffering. Rooted in many scriptural references to this day (Luke 2:22-35; Matthew 2:13-21; Luke 2:41-50; John 19:1; Luke 23:26-32; Mark 15:22; John 19:18, 25-27; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:59; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:46; Luke 27:55-56; John 19:31-34, 38; Lamentations 1:12 (http://www.sevensorrows.com/explanation.htm) there is a great foundation for the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows with very few theological issues.

3.  Exegesis

Hebrews 5:7-9 and
2 options for the Gospel: Luke 2:33-35
John 19: 25-27

The readings for this feast day are short and to the point, but behind their simplicity there are deep theological themes present. To understand these theological themes you must understand some background and the way they connect to other points in scripture. In the first reading there is a theme of Jesus' humanity, especially in the sense of suffering. In both of the options for the Gospel there is a reflection on the role as Mary as the first disciple and each of the Gospel readings takes on this theme in a very different light.

Let us begin with the focus on Christ's humanity in the 1st Reading. We are made to reflect on his humanity instantly with the first line: "In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, ... ". There is a similarity with the Lord's passion starting at Gethsemane and the His suffering endured while offering prayers and supplication in Hebrews ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE" NRSV 2006). The type of prayers described represents those prayers in Psalms 22 and 116 ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). Even though He is the son of God, he is learning obedience to God through this suffering (BROWN, RAYMOND "AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT" 1997). This obedience is a model for His followers ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). Christ becoming obedient and perfect "has to do not with his moral character but his qualifications to be a sympathetic high priest. His sacrificial act in turn perfects his followers ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE")."

Starting at the beginning of Christ life we discover in Luke's account, the presentation of Jesus at the temple, two oracles proclaimed by Simeon. The Gospel for this day only presents Simeon's second oracle that is directed to Mary and foreshadows what is to come. It also describes the rise and fall of many in Israel which is found in detail in Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. We see later effects of the rise and fall of Israel in Acts ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). A few verses before this reading the first oracle praises God and demonstrates God's saving purpose ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). In the part of the oracle that is directed toward Mary, Simeon says that a sword will pierce her. We see that she does not fully understand this by seeing how she pondered in her heart things that happened in Jesus' childhood (Lk 2:19, 51). Raymond Brown considers this a formula of Jewish visionaries in the Old Testament (Gen 37:11 and Dan 4:28). This is important because this secures her spot as the first disciple because even though she heard the revelation of Simeon she still "has to learn about the identity of her Son as revealed through the suffering of the ministry and the cross (BROWN, RAYMOND)." The presentation of the temple shows us two important facts. First, we see how Jesus' parents were faithful to the law. Secondly, we see how Simeon and Anna accepted Jesus. This acceptance of Jesus is important because they represent devout Jews who are "waiting for the fulfillment of God's promise to Israel" (BROWN, RAYMOND). We see how this supports Luke's main thesis which was to show how the acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God was not contradictory to Judaism (BROWN, RAYMOND). The revelation that Jesus was the Son of God was to be the rise and fall of many in Israel.

The second Gospel option, John 19: 25-27, brings us to the culmination of Christ's passion. We find a description of Christ on the Cross surrounded by his disciples. John has a way to be more dramatic than the other Gospels because he is presenting some major theological theme out of the details of tradition (BROWN, RAYMOND). Two of the disciples present are his mother, whom John never names Mary within the Gospel, and the "disciple whom he loved". Mary is said to represent Israel, the Church, and herself as the mother to all Christians ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). The beloved disciple, on the other hand, may symbolize the Christian community to whom John is writing and demonstrates the quality of the ideal follower of Jesus ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). "Jesus brings his mother and the disciple whom he loved into a mother-son relationship and thus constitutes a community of disciples who are mother and brother to him and the community that preserved this Gospel (BROWN, RAYMOND)." Even though Mary and the beloved disciple symbolize a larger idea, the reality that the beloved disciple became an adopted member of Jesus' family by taking Mary into his home is a crucial point for our respect for Mary ("THE HARPER COLLINS STUDY BIBLE"). This was also important because this was Jesus' last act before offering his life for all mankind.

 4.  Homily

Don't you want to be happy?  Isn't that what we are all striving for in this life? This is why we have so many bars, dance clubs, golf courses, churches, movie theaters... and the list goes on and on. It is not wrong to look for joy. This is part of the human condition and this is what God wants for each and every one of us. Every sin we commit is just a misguided attempt to obtain happiness that we so desperately desire. But it becomes a sin because we are trying to obtain this happiness by our own doing... we are trying to steal something that God is wanting to give to us freely.

One may ask: What is the reason that we have to deal with the pains, suffering, and negative effects of life when the almighty, powerful God wants us to be eternally happy?

An example which was recently revealed in my relationship with my Father may clear up this question:

As a child any time I would put a mint in my mouth he would always, without hesitation, say "bite that thing in half". Nothing would make me so infuriated as a child. It upset me so much because I just wanted to enjoy sucking on the mint until it dissolved in my mouth and each time I had bite it in half I could not resist the urge to chew on it until within a few seconds the fun was over. Now as a child my point of view was "my dad was trying to show his authority by making me do what he wanted even in the smallest act of eating a mint." I thought he was on a power trip. I believed his motives were mean-spirited and he was trying to purposely ruin all fun in my life. (I know I was a melodramatic child). However recently I realized that my dad was driven by the fear that I would choke and die. He would not allow the possibility of losing his child from something that he could prevent by simply saying "bite that in half". He was driven by love and no protest of mine would hinder it and I was obedient to him every time even if I disliked it.

In the first reading, we reflect on Jesus in the flesh, particularly in his passion and death. This is the cosmic and perfect example of a son listening to his father even though it would cost him everything. Jesus is our only HOPE and source of eternal salvation and yet he was driven to immense sorrow. The Son of God, the one made perfect, suffered immensely and yet he did so because He loved his father. Jesus Christ, son of Mary, also knew happiness... but not the happiness or the joy we typically think of. He knew the profound happiness that demands obedience and sacrifice and leads to suffering. He knew that suffering would make him perfect and He offered this suffering to the only One who could save Him from death ... His loving Father. He sacrificed the rewards of immediate, selfish, fleeting joy for everlasting, infinite happiness that is given through grace to all mankind. He understood that the negative aspects of life can be endured and offered up because God has eternal happiness in mind for Him.

Today we reflect on the Sorrow of Mary. This is a difficult memorial because we typically do not like to reflect on the sadness that Mary felt in her life. Yet in her lifetime Simeon prophesied that she would have to suffer greatly and this is evident we reflect on her life. She had to escape to Egypt with her newborn baby because King Herod wanted to kill Him and she must have tried to comprehend why someone would want to kill her defenseless baby. She was also brought to sorrow when she lost the Son of God somewhere in Jerusalem when he was only a child. And finally we are brought to the climax of human history... the crucifixion of Jesus. Mary had to witness her baby boy mistreated, abused, and killed even though she knew He was innocent. Yet in her lifetime she also has experienced joy and happiness. Emotions make us human.

Throughout her life she spent a lot of time with the Word of God and she knew it very well. The familiarity she found in the Word was eventually made flesh in her womb. Many times when raising Jesus she pondered in her heart what all of it meant. She continually spent time reflecting and meditating on the Word. She may not have known everything that she would suffer in her life, but she was familiar enough with the Word that she was able to follow the inspiration of God and act accordingly.

She followed Christ with great devotion and was at the foot of the Cross with Him at the end. The profound way in which she knew Christ made her sorrow that much more profound. She was the first disciple and a great example for us today. Nowadays an unbeliever could care less about Christ and would not think twice about how he was murdered, but one who is in an intimate relationship with Christ is sorrowful when reflecting on His passion even though we know that He rises from the dead on third day. All emotions are a gift from God. Emotions make life worth living. Striving to have happiness as our only emotion will eventually numb us from any emotion at all. The road to salvation is full of sorrow and struggle but if we are obedient to God we will be able to find the everlasting happiness that we all strive for in the deepness of our heart. So let us ask for the intercession of Mary, especially in the times that we are struggling and sad, and pray that we obtain the intimacy with Christ that she enjoyed. We can be confident that no matter what kind of sorrow and struggle that intimacy may entail God is preparing us a home in eternal life and in the mean time let us be sustained by the Eucharistic feast and give God thanks for all the emotions that we encounter in our lives.

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October 7
The Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary

The information on this feast and the homily is, in large part, the work of Rev. Hai Nguyen, a participant in the seminar "12:635 Mary in the Liturgy" presented at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology during the Spring semester 2012 and is used with his permission; it remains his intellectual property.

1.  Background

Our Lady of the Rosary -- This feast was instituted in 1573 in gratitude for the victory of the Christian forces at Lepanto. In 1716 it was assigned to the first Sunday of October, but in 1913 it was transferred to October 7. (Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars, p 108)

The feast of Our Lady of The Rosary was celebrated October 7 as a universal memorial (USCCB, Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars, 96) in relation to the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary with the theme: following Christ by living His Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mystery in union with Mary.  (Dictionary of Liturgy, Peter D. Day, 1936, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press., 399.)

Prior to 1573, this feast was instituted by pope Gregory XIII for a certain churches with the title "Mary of Christians as a special commemoration of the victory gained at Lepanto on Sunday, October 7, 1571. 

On this day the Christian forces defeated the forces of Islam threatening to invade Europe. This miracle victory was attributed to intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother. Its observance gradually spread and became a feast of the universal church. In 1716, it was inserted into the Roman Calendar and assigned to the first Sunday of October by pope Clement XI in thanksgiving another victory over Turks at Peterwarddein by Prince Eugene of Savoie Carignan. (
Dictionary of Catholic Devotions, Michel Wash, 1993, 223)  

Eventually, it assigned to October 7 in 1913 by pope Pius X as part of restoration of the Roman Calendar.
In the aspect of the theology in term of Christology and Mariology, although the feast of the Rosary has no debate, it related to the theological issues in terms of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The theological issues debate on "there is a Redeemer: Coredeemer, Mediatrix, and Advocate." (
Dright Longenecker , Mary: A Catholic-Evangelization debate (Brazos Press: Mich: 2003), 198-207.)

In the aspect of culture in terms of devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, the feast of the Rosary was spread over the universal Church, typically in Hispanic and Asian churches. For example, the feast is patron of many places and common Spanish name: Maria de Rosario. In Asian churches, there are processions, dances with recitation of the Rosary during Month of October.

2.  Theology

The feast of the Presentation of the Lord seems to have few, if any, theological issues.The event of the presentation of the infant Christ in the Temple comes directly from a passage in the Gospel of Luke, and this passage is proclaimed in the Mass of the feast day. 

One of the central ideas in this text is the faithful observance of the law of the Lord. In the text, there is a footnote that reads, "The presentation of Jesus in the temple depicts the parents of Jesus as devout Jews, faithful observers of the law of the Lord  ...  i.e., the law of Moses" (NAB Luke 2:22-40). The law being faithfully observed by the Holy Family may be seen as two-fold. First, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph are fulfilling the law of Moses as prescribed in Exodus 13,The LORD spoke to Moses and said, "Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites, both of man and beast, for it belongs to me" (NAB Exodus 13:2)  ...  you shall dedicate to the LORD every son that opens the womb; and all the male firstlings of your animals shall belong to the LORD (13:12)  ...  When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every first-born in the land of Egypt, every first-born of man and of beast. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD everything of the male sex that opens the womb, and why I redeem every first-born of my sons (13:15).

Second, the Blessed Virgin Mary is fulfilling the law of Moses as prescribed in Leviticus 12,
The LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites: When a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, with the same uncleanness as at her menstrual period (NAB Leviticus 12:1-2) ... then she shall spend thirty-three days more in becoming purified of her blood (12:4)  ...  When the days of her purification  ...  are fulfilled, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the meeting tent a yearling lamb for a holocaust and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering (12:6)  ...  If, however, she cannot afford a lamb, she may take two turtledoves or two pigeons, the one for a holocaust and the other for a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for her, and thus she will again be clean (12:8).

One of the theological issues pertaining to the feast of the Presentation of the Lord was settled by the revisions made to the Liturgical Calendar. "From the tenth century the Western liturgical books listed this feast as the Purification of Mary" (Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars). Naming the feast in honor of Mary, as opposed to naming it in honor of Christ, arguably removes Christ from the focus of worship. "In accordance with the traditions of the Eastern Churches, the Code of Rubrics for 1960 declared that this feast should be celebrated as a feast of the Lord" (Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars). This prudent change in title arguably removes any and all concern for this potential issue.

Another theological issue pertaining to the Gospel text of the feast may arise from a misunderstanding of the ritual purity prescribed by the law of Moses. The idea that a woman was unclean for forty days after giving birth may offend people, especially women, in the congregation who are unfamiliar with these ancient practices.

3.  Exegesis

Reading 1   Act 1, 12-14

Gospel  Luke 1, 26-38

The Lectionary indicates two readings of the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary which consist of Act 1, 12-14 and Luke 1, 26-38. The two readings picture the Blessed Virgin Mary as an archetype of the Church. The first reading identifies Mary as a woman of prayer in terms of participation in the Eucharist and in common prayer, which takes at the apostolic forms. The Gospel of Luke shows Mary as the blessed woman who merits "favor." Here, I will offer an exegesis on the Gospel of Saint Luke.

The account describes the Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus in which Mary is figured as an archetype. She is the "blessed" woman. In other words, Mary obtains the all-important promise, and the angel reassures us that "She had found favor with God" (The New Interpreter's Bible, A Commentary in Twelve Volumes, Volume IX, Luke and John, 1995, 51). Mary plays a typical role in the history of salvation because of "God's choice of her for a special role in his salvation" (The Collegeville Bible Commentary, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1989, 940).

The story describes how God initiated His Grace and Power on Mary because Mary became "Mother of the Son" for the sake of human generations. For that, God is gracious to Mary and pours out His power upon Mary. As the message of Gabriel that goes, "For God nothing will be impossible." (Fred B. Craddock, Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for teaching and Preaching, Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1990).

In light of this interpretation and commentary, my homily should meet crucial points that displace the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the history of Salvation and Her life in response God's demand. The powerful prayer with the Holy Rosary would encourage and inspire Catholics in daily life that they can confront struggles, obstacles and hardships in their own lives.

In addition, the perspective of participation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jesus Christ should be pictured in order to remind us the value of prayer with the Holy Rosary in the journey of faith. Therefore, the Mary's response to the angel Gabriel would be focused so that Catholics can obtain virtues needed to be strong Catholics, "The center of Mary's Yes lies in the very center of the Son, but it does not disappear into it. For Mary was the first to utter it, and she did this in order to help make the Incarnation possible in the first place, and her Yes remains for the members of the Church the central and full valid answer to Lord's demands" (Mary, The Church At The Source, p. 120).

In conclusion, the homily is supposed to point out that the Blessed Virgin Mary is granted God's grace to fulfill her role in the work of Salvation. For this, "fiat" is the means to arrive at cooperation with Christ in His work of Salvation. As the Constitution on the Church writes, "At the message of the angel, the Virgin Mary received the word of God in her heart and in her body and gave life to the world."

4.  Homily

By tradition, October is a month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Rosary. On October 7, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the yearly feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Known for several centuries by the alternate title of "Our Lady of Victory," the feast day takes place in honor of a 16th century naval victory which secured Europe against Turkish invasion.  Pope St. Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was invoked on the day of battle through a campaign of praying the Holy Rosary throughout Europe.

It is timely to call to mind the preeminent role Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, has in our living faith. Today's liturgical celebration of the feast of the Holy Rosary calls all Catholics around the world to the historical event of the Catholic Church that happened in Lepanto. However, we cannot pause on this "victory" in the past. The Church encourages us to reflect on the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an "archetype" in the history of salvation, in the Church, and for the Church. As Lumen Gentium states, "In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfect in the world to come."

Saint Luke paints a lively scene of the conversation between the Angel Gabriel and Mary. The Gospel tells us about the faith of Mary in response to God's demand. In her faithfulness, she answered "yes" to God's invitation to become the Mother of His Son by the Holy Spirit, making the Incarnation a reality. Pope John Paul II speaks of Mary's obedience of faith. The Blessed Virgin Mary shows "both perfect cooperation with the grace of God that precedes and assists, and perfect openness to the action of the Holy Spirit, who constantly brings faith to completion by his gift (Redemtorist Mater, #13). For this, the Blessed Virgin Mary participated in Christ's life to fulfill the History of Salvation.

We hold the Blessed Mother in such great esteem because of her great faith.  However, the Blessed Mother is a "Mediatrix" in Christ's Salvation. She is also an "archetype" of the Church and for the Church.  We can find these points scattered in the Holy Scripture. Therefore, authentic Marian devotion is not a diversion; rather, it leads to Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is believed that the prayer of Holy Rosary is powerful. Pope John Paul II tells us, "The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at the heart a Christocentric prayer... Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer" (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Introduction).

Whatever we think concerning the past, there can be no question about the position the Rosary occupies in the present day. There are in the Church diversities of grace and diversities of operations, corresponding to the diversities of human character and inclination. Hence, the practice of devotion to the Holy Rosary should produce a profound component of Catholic faith. So long as our sanctification is the will of God, and the process of sanctification an assimilation to the life of Christ.

The Rosary is one of the highest forms of mental prayer and is excellent for everyone. The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary echoes the words of the Marian response to the Angel Gabriel, "Fiat," and must remain in our faith. Let us reflect upon the mysteries of Our Holy Rosary that is unraveling itself upon the world. Let us give thanks to the Lord for the wonders that He bestowed upon Our Lady of the Rosary.

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November 21
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1.  Background

xxx

2.  Theology

xxx

3.  Exegesis

Reading 1

Gospel

Preface

4.  Homily

Sample homily...

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 05/09/12 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org