L’ Annonciation, 1644
Philippe de Champaigne
The Solemnity of the Annunciation, the conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is on March 25, nine months before Christmas. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1)
Happy Mother’s Day! God bless all the mothers—thanks for all that you do! As a certain rapper once said in a tribute to his mother, “you are appreciated.”
Our Lady of Lourdes (feastday: Feb. 11)
Mosaic from the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes, France
The Nativity (16th Century)
Jacob de Backer
Madonna and Child
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Oil on canvas, 166 x 115 cm
Murilllo’s religious paintings are some of the best in all Christendom. I like this portrait for the month of Our Lady of Holy Rosary.
Carlo Dolci (Florence, 1616-1687]
REGINA MARTIRUM ORA PRO NOBIS
Queen of Martyrs pray for us!
In this morning I found out that it’s the feast day of Our Lady of Czestochowa thanks to the following reflection from the apostleship of prayer:
Sadly they’re still trying to desecrate our Lady’s image in Poland. Recently on the feast of the assumption of the Blessed Virgin, there was a concert held by Madonna —the other kind. The gesture was not lost on the faithful Catholics of Poland who love the real Madonna and visit her famous shrine of. In addition to the date chosen, promotional materials were mocking in tone. This is no surprise because, after all, the pop singer has pulled offense stunts in the past. There was protest but nothing substantial enough for the concert to be cancelled. Anyway it’s on her, so, people of goodwill start– or continue– praying for the poor soul. When everything is said and done with, God will not be mocked nor will His mother.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, one that only Queen of Poland, pray for us!
August 22, the Queenship of Mary.
The prayer of the Hail Holy Queen is one of the most beautiful prayers ever composed. It was composed by Blessed Herman Contractus of the 11th century. Considering the author, it is that much more powerful. He had a cleft palate and cerebral palsy. Blessed Herman suffered. He was raised by monks and eventually became one himself, being wheeled out on a cart. I can feel what he must have felt whenever I pray that prayer and other Marian prayers that he composed. Blessed Herman poured out so much in the Salve Regina. It is a prayer of hope*, a loving pleading.
The Queen is so close to us. She makes our life sweet. She brings us LIFE. Our sufferings become more bearable when we know that our Mother is mercifully looking down upon us, her children. She is a symbol of hope and at the same time our hope itself. She intercedes for us with her Son on our behalf. God Most Merciful and Compassionate, has bestowed upon us the great gift of the immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
When Jesus ascended into heaven he took his place at the right hand of the father. he is with us and within us, most especially in the holy Eucharist. The Lord Jesus also took his mother up into heaven, body and soul, so that she can also be with us as our mother. He, the King of the Universe, crowned her as the Queen of the Same. Our Lady reminds us that God will raise us all from the dead at the last day and will give us all a crown of victory.
She is also my friend.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and, after this our exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus!
* I like the definition: “confident expectation of fulfillment”
(10th Anniversary of pilgrimage to Lourdes)