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Victor H. Vallejo is the Marriage Programs Coordinator of the Office of Lifelong Formation.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Celebrating Mary by honoring Motherhood and the Unborn

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-29

The Virgin Mary loves and intercedes for each one of us all the time. What a wonderful Mother we have! Have you ever felt Mary’s love for you, the type of love that gladdens your soul? You may have experienced a similar love through your earthly mother. Unfortunately, many mothers, today, do not know Mary the way we as Catholics do. “We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ” (Paul VI, CPG ∫ 15).

Mary was chosen to be the Theotokos, which means "The One who bore God" or "the God bearer,” due to God’s grace. Mary knows by her own personal experience what it is like to hear, touch, see and smell Jesus on a daily basis and overall how it felt to be in love with our creator. Mary experienced the joy of the resurrection and had the opportunity to be with the resurrected Jesus before his ascension. Pope Paul VI Said “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.” (Lumen Gentium 61) What can we do to obtain that grace? The sacraments are a great opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and to obtain his graces, forgiveness, communion with Jesus and his love.

During this month dedicated to Mary, we celebrate and honor Motherhood and the unborn. The Respect Life Office offers two Masses on Mother’s Day for Expectant Mothers. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., will celebrate the Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, (735 N. State Street, Chicago) at 12:30 p.m., and Bishop Alberto Rojas will celebrate the Mass in Spanish at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph's Parish (4821 S. Hermitage, Chicago). At both Masses, all mothers will be blessed, and expectant mothers will be receive a special blessing from the new Rite for the Blessing for a Child in the Womb and a white silk rose with a St. Gerard Majella medal and prayer card. St. Gerard is the patron Saint of expectant Motherhood.

Mary is seen as both a role model, surrendering to God’s salvific plan for us, and a prayer model. ”Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 We pray for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so all expectant mothers will follow her courageous example, boldly accepting the new life growing within them.

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