“You know you’re Catholic when someone asks you what your favorite Madonna song is and you say ‘Salve Regina’” ~ Unknown
Today the Church commemorates the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Introduced by Pope Innocent XI in 1684 to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, this optional memorial was removed from the Church calendar in the aftermath of the liturgical reform of Vatican II, but restored by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
The mere utterance of Mary’s name cannot be pronounced without bringing grace to her son Jesus. Their stories are inextricably interwoven.
The Wedding Feast at Cana, wherein Mary in essence kickstarts her son and our Savior’s ministry.
The Fourth Station of the Cross, where a savagely beaten Jesus finds himself looking for someone... anyone... a familiar, loving face in the crowd. He sees his Mother. Their eyes meet. She cannot make the brutal beating and unceasing mockery stop, but by looking into her eyes, Jesus musters the strength to get up. Keep going. Vanquish sin. Open the gates of heaven.
Jesus crucified on the cross, Mary at the foot of this instrument of torture and death. Heartbroken. Inconsolable. It is finished.
"Blessed is the man who loves thy name, O Mary," exclaimed the great Saint Bonaventure. "Yes, truly blessed is he who loves thy sweet name, O Mother of God! For he thy name is so glorious and admirable, that no one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of death." Saint Camillus de Lellis urged the members of his community to remind the dying to utter the holy names of Jesus and Mary. Such was his custom when assisting people in their last hour. For as Saint Theresa of Calcutta once said “No Mary, No Jesus.”
Throughout Scripture, the name of Mary is venerated for her pristine example of motherhood. She reminds us what it truly means to be a mother. Her undivided devotion to her Son and his ministry. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, she remained so as to give birth to His church, holding the hands of the Apostles in the Upper Room, sharing in that unforgettable Pentecostal moment. When the time was right, she was assumed bodily into Heaven. It is there where she remains ever Virgin and Queen, our eternal mother who inspires us, sheds tears for us. Prays for us.
Our life, our sweetness.....our hope.
By virtue of her very being, Mary encourages us to diligently seek and ardently pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit, particularly those of wisdom, humility and of course submission.
”Be it done unto me according to thy word.”
As Mary continues to point us towards God, let us always look to cooperate with Jesus in building a peace based on justice, respect and decency for those we encounter on this journey to our Father’s House.
“I ask thee, O Mary, for the glory of thy name, to come and meet my soul when it is departing from this world, and to take it in thine arms. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” ~ Amen