Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 05-31-14, FEAST, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Posted on 05/30/2014 9:26:00 PM PDT by Salvation
May 31, 2014
Reading 1 Zep 3:14-18a
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.
or Rom 12:9-16
Brothers and sisters:
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.
Responsorial Psalm Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
R. (6) Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Gospel Lk 1:39-56
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
This prayer, which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.
Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
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1503 - Oil on wood, 232 x 146 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior..."
Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place about the vernal equinox, Mary left Nazareth at the end of March and went over the mountains to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to visit her cousin Elizabeth, because her presence and much more the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to John, Christ's Forerunner.
The event is related in Luke 1:39-57. Feeling the presence of his Divine Savior, John, upon the arrival of Mary, leaped within the womb of his mother Elizabeth; he was then filled with the grace of God.
St. Joseph may have accompanied Mary, returned to Nazareth, and when, after three months, he came again to Hebron to take his wife home, the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
PRAYERS and READINGS
Almighty ever-living God,
who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb,
inspired her to visit Elizabeth,
grant us, we pray,
that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit,
we may magnify your greatness
with the Virgin Mary at all times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18a
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jersalem! The Lord has taken away the judgements against you, He has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you in His love; He will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it."
Or Romans 12:9-16
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is he fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
And Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, He has put down the mighty from their thorns, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity for ever".
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
Feast Day: May 31
The Visitation of Mary
Feast Day: May 31
Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby boy in her old age. Mary loved Elizabeth and knew she could use some help. So she set out at once on the journey.
Mary too was expecting a baby, the baby Jesus. The trip into the hill country where Elizabeth lived was long, dangerous and uncomfortable. But that would not stop Mary and she rode there on a donkey, as that was the best way to travel in the hill country.
Mary reached her cousin's house and greeted Elizabeth. At that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth that Mary had become the mother of God our savior.
Elizabeth asked joyfully, "How have I deserved that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" Mary was not boastful or proud of this great honor, but remained humble and quickly gave all the credit to God. He had blessed her so richly.
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior," she said. "For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid, and holy is his name."
What graces the Blessed Mother brought to the home of her cousin! St. John, while still hidden in his mother's womb, was cleansed of original sin. His father Zachary who had lost his voice, was able to speak again. St. Elizabeth was filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Mary stayed three months at her cousin's home. With great kindness and love, she helped Elizabeth.
Reflection: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, and holy is his name." (Luke 1:46-55)
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|39.||And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.||Exsurgens autem Maria in diebus illis, abiit in montana cum festinatione, in civitatem Juda :||αναστασα δε μαριαμ εν ταις ημεραις ταυταις επορευθη εις την ορεινην μετα σπουδης εις πολιν ιουδα|
|40.||And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.||et intravit in domum Zachariæ, et salutavit Elisabeth.||και εισηλθεν εις τον οικον ζαχαριου και ησπασατο την ελισαβετ|
|41.||And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:||Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariæ Elisabeth, exsultavit infans in utero ejus : et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth :||και εγενετο ως ηκουσεν η ελισαβετ τον ασπασμον της μαριας εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν τη κοιλια αυτης και επλησθη πνευματος αγιου η ελισαβετ|
|42.||And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.||et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit : Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui.||και ανεφωνησεν φωνη μεγαλη και ειπεν ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν και ευλογημενος ο καρπος της κοιλιας σου|
|43.||And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?||Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me ?||και ποθεν μοι τουτο ινα ελθη η μητηρ του κυριου μου προς με|
|44.||For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.||Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutationis tuæ in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo.||ιδου γαρ ως εγενετο η φωνη του ασπασμου σου εις τα ωτα μου εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν αγαλλιασει εν τη κοιλια μου|
|45.||And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.||Et beata, quæ credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino.||και μακαρια η πιστευσασα οτι εσται τελειωσις τοις λελαλημενοις αυτη παρα κυριου|
|46.||And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.||Et ait Maria : Magnificat anima mea Dominum :||και ειπεν μαριαμ μεγαλυνει η ψυχη μου τον κυριον|
|47.||And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.||et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.||και ηγαλλιασεν το πνευμα μου επι τω θεω τω σωτηρι μου|
|48.||Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.||Quia respexit humilitatem ancillæ suæ : ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes,||οτι επεβλεψεν επι την ταπεινωσιν της δουλης αυτου ιδου γαρ απο του νυν μακαριουσιν με πασαι αι γενεαι|
|49.||Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.||quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est : et sanctum nomen ejus,||οτι εποιησεν μοι μεγαλεια ο δυνατος και αγιον το ονομα αυτου|
|50.||And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.||et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.||και το ελεος αυτου εις γενεας γενεων τοις φοβουμενοις αυτον|
|51.||He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.||Fecit potentiam in brachio suo : dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.||εποιησεν κρατος εν βραχιονι αυτου διεσκορπισεν υπερηφανους διανοια καρδιας αυτων|
|52.||He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.||Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.||καθειλεν δυναστας απο θρονων και υψωσεν ταπεινους|
|53.||He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.||Esurientes implevit bonis : et divites dimisit inanes.||πεινωντας ενεπλησεν αγαθων και πλουτουντας εξαπεστειλεν κενους|
|54.||He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:||Suscepit Israël puerum suum, recordatus misericordiæ suæ :||αντελαβετο ισραηλ παιδος αυτου μνησθηναι ελεους|
|55.||As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.||sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini ejus in sæcula.||καθως ελαλησεν προς τους πατερας ημων τω αβρααμ και τω σπερματι αυτου εις τον αιωνα|
|56.||And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.||Mansit autem Maria cum illa quasi mensibus tribus : et reversa est in domum suam.||εμεινεν δε μαριαμ συν αυτη ωσει μηνας τρεις και υπεστρεψεν εις τον οικον αυτης|
Saturday, May 31
Liturgical Color: White
Today is the Feast of the Visitation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary. The Gospel of Luke
tells us that John the Baptist leapt for joy in
Elizabeths womb in the presence of Mary
carrying Jesus within her womb.
For whom is the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick intended?
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick can be received by any Catholic whose health is in a critical state.
One can receive the Anointing of the Sick several times in one's life. Therefore it makes sense for young people to ask for this sacrament also, if, for example, they are about to undergo a serious operation. On such occasions many Catholics combine the Anointing of the Sick with a (general) confession; in case the operation fails, they want to go to meet God with a clear conscience.
How is the Anointing of the Sick administered?
The essential ritual by which the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is administered consists of an anointing of the forehead and hands with holy oil, accompanied by prayers. (YOUCAT questions 243 & 244)
Dig Deeper: CCC section (1514-1519) and other references here.
Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)
Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)
Chapter 2: The Sacraments of Healing (1420 - 1532)
Article 5: The Anointing of the Sick (1499 - 1532)
II. WHO RECEIVES AND WHO ADMINISTERS THIS SACRAMENT? ⇡
In case of grave illness... ⇡
The Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived."130
SC 73; cf. CIC, Cann. 1004 § 1; 1005; 1007; CCEO, Can. 738.
If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.
" ... let him call for the presbyters of the Church" ⇡
Only priests (bishops and presbyters) are ministers of the Anointing of the Sick.131 It is the duty of pastors to instruct the faithful on the benefits of this sacrament. The faithful should encourage the sick to call for a priest to receive this sacrament. The sick should prepare themselves to receive it with good dispositions, assisted by their pastor and the whole ecclesial community, which is invited to surround the sick in a special way through their prayers and fraternal attention.
Cf. Council Of Trent (1551): DS 1697; 1719; CIC, Can. 1003; CCEO, Can. 739 § 1.
III. HOW IS THIS SACRAMENT CELEBRATED? ⇡
Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration,132 whether it takes place in the family home, a hospital or church, for a single sick person or a whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord's Passover. If circumstances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be preceded by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ's Passover the Eucharist should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the "viaticum" for "passing over" to eternal life.
Cf. SC 27.
Word and sacrament form an indivisible whole. The Liturgy of the Word, preceded by an act of repentance, opens the celebration. The words of Christ, the witness of the apostles, awaken the faith of the sick person and of the community to ask the Lord for the strength of his Spirit.
The celebration of the sacrament includes the following principal elements: the "priests of the Church"133 in silence lay hands on the sick; they pray over them in the faith of the Church134 this is the epiclesis proper to this sacrament; they then anoint them with oil blessed, if possible, by the bishop.
These liturgical actions indicate what grace this sacrament confers upon the sick.
Cf. Jas 5:15.
Daily Readings for:May 31, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Easter: May 31st
· Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Old Calendar: Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary; St. Petronilla, virgin
The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting; Elizabeth's proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—as Mother of God and "blessed among women"; Mary's singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church. The Visitation is frequently depicted in art, and was the central mystery of St. Francis de Sales' devotions.
The Mass of today salutes her who in her womb bore the King of heaven and earth, the Creator of the world, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Sun of Justice. It narrates the cleansing of John from original sin in his mother's womb. Hearing herself addressed by the most lofty title of "Mother of the Lord" and realizing what grace her visit had conferred on John, Mary broke out in that sublime canticle of praise proclaiming prophetically that henceforth she would be venerated down through the centuries:
"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name" (Lk. 1:46).
—Excerpted from the Cathedral Daily Missal
This feast is of medieval origin, it was kept by the Franciscan Order before 1263, and soon its observance spread throughout the entire Church. Previously it was celebrated on July 2. Now it is celebrated between the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the birth of St. John the Baptist, in conformity with the Gospel accounts. Some places appropriately observe a celebration of the reality and sanctity of human life in the womb. The liturgical color is white.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Petronilla. The feast of the Queenship of Mary is now celebrated in the Ordinary Rite on August 22.
Aurelia Petronilla was guided in the Faith by St. Peter, the first pope. She died three days after refusing to marry a pagan nobleman, Flaccus. There is no historic proof that she was martyred, but an early fresco clearly represents her as a martyr. Her feast is no longer on the calendar.
And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda. [Lk. 1:39]
How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke's description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. "Those days" in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse.
Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else.
The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary's own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth's need—almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.
She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother's womb and leapt for joy.
I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10, 10] Even before He was born His presence gave life.
With what piercing shoots of joy does this story of Christ unfold! First the conception of a child in a child's heart, and then this first salutation, an infant leaping for joy in his mother's womb, knowing the hidden Christ and leaping into life.
How did Elizabeth herself know what had happened to Our Lady? What made her realize that this little cousin who was so familiar to her was the mother of her God?
She knew it by the child within herself, by the quickening into life which was a leap of joy.
If we practice this contemplation taught and shown to us by Our Lady, we will find that our experience is like hers.
If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, "in haste," to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.
And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.
Excerpted from The Reed of God, Caryll Houselander
Patronage: St. Elizabeth: Expectant mothers.
Symbols: St. Elizabeth or Elisabeth: Pregnant woman saluting the Virgin; Elderly woman holding St. John Baptist; huge rock with a doorway in it; in company with St. Zachary.
St. Zacharias or Zachary: Priest's robes; thurible; altar; angel; lighted taper; Phyrgian helmet.
Things to Do:
It is probable that Aurelia Petronilla was of the imperial family of the Flavii. The early traditions of the Church speak of her as being the spiritual daughter of the Prince of the Apostles; and though she did not, like Domitilla, lay down her life for the faith, she did offer to Jesus that next richest gift, her virginity. The same venerable authorities tell us also that a Roman Patrician, by name Flaccus, having asked her in marriage, she requested three days for consideration, during which she confidently besought the aid of her divine Spouse. Flaccus presented himself on the third day, but found the palace in mourning, and her family busy in preparing the funeral obsequies of the young virgin, who had taken her flight to heaven, as a dove that is startled by an intruder's approach.
In the eighth century, the holy Pope Paul I had the body of Petronilla taken from the cemetery of Domitilla, on the Ardeatine Way. Her relics were found in a marble sarcophagus, the lid of which was adorned, at each corner, with a dolphin. The Pope had them enshrined in a little church, which he built near the south side of the Vatican Basilica. This church was destroyed in the sixteenth century, in consequence of the alterations needed for the building of the new Basilica of St Peter; and the relics of St Petronilla were translated to one of its altars on the west side. It was but just that she should await her glorious resurrection under the shadow of the great Apostle who had initiated her in the faith, and prepared her for her eternal nuptials with the Lamb.
Thy triumph, O Petronilla, is one of our Easter joys. We lovingly venerate thy blessed memory. Thou didst disdain the pleasures and honors of the world, and thy virginal name is one of the first on the list of the Church of Rome, which was thy mother. Aid her now by thy prayers. Protect those who seek thine intercession, and teach us how to celebrate, with holy enthusiasm, the solemnities that are soon to gladden us.
Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
Patron: against fever; dauphins of France; mountain travellers; treaties between Popes and Frankish emperors.
Symbols: Keys; broom and closed book; crown of roses; dolphin.
Often portrayed as: Being healed by Saint Peter; early Christian maiden with a broom; holding a set of keys; lying dead but incorrupt in her coffin with flowers in her hair; receiving the newly dead into heaven; spurning a marriage proposal, with a ring being offered by a king; standing with Saint Peter; woman with a dolphin.
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Most blessed are you among women. (Luke 1:42)
Don’t you find it remarkable that God chose to bring about his work of redemption through two unborn children and their mothers? Jesus was still in Mary’s womb, yet in his presence, Elizabeth and her own unborn son, John, were filled with the Holy Spirit. This short but powerful scene gives us a glimpse of the forceful love of God, who is always eager to pour out his life. What a foreshadowing of the glory of the risen Christ, who wants to pour his Spirit on all people!
Elizabeth’s pure and humble response to the work of God in their lives must have brought great comfort to Mary. In Elizabeth, she finally found someone with whom she could share her joy and awe at what was happening within her. Who else at this time could understand the song welling up within Mary’s heart? Rather than being jealous of her younger relative’s exalted position, Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary and embraced her own supportive role. For her part, Mary did not wait for Elizabeth to come to her, but hastened to her side.
While this meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is unique, there is something here that we can all experience. As baptized believers, each of us is capable of bearing Christ to the world. If our eyes were opened to the glory of this truth, we too would rejoice and be humbled in the presence of so holy a vessel as a sister or brother in Christ. Even nonbelievers would move us to great reverence because they too are created in God’s image and have just as much potential of being filled with the Holy Spirit. If God has so highly honored human beings this way, how could we fail to show them equal honor?
God used Jesus, even when he was just a fetus in the womb, to pour out divine life. Everyone, no matter how young or old, no matter how strong or weak, has been created as a dwelling place for God. So how can we long for God’s presence and yet disregard him in the people all around us?
“Lord Jesus, just as you opened Elizabeth’s eyes in the presence of Mary, please open my eyes to those who also bear Christ. Help me to honor the potential of each person to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Zephaniah 3:14-18; (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6
Daily Marriage Tip for May 31, 2014:
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste. (Lk 1:39) Mary lost no time in going to her cousin Elizabeth. Do you travel to meet your beloveds needs in haste? Taking Mary as your model, try responding without hesitation today to requests from your spouse.
For the Feast of Our Lady of the Cenacle
Saturday, 31 May 2014 06:32
My dear Oblate family,
Turn to Mary
The Invitatory for today’s feast — Our Lady of the Cenacle — is drawn from the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: Alleluia! Let us persevere in prayer * with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, alleluia. The presence of Mary makes perseverance in prayer possible. Without Mary, in our midst and at our side, we would grow weary and listless, and so lose the virile spirit of perseverance in prayer. So often prayer seems futile, or empty, or not worth the effort; at moments such as these we must turn to Mary, confident that she will pray in our stead and, gradually, almost imperceptibly, draw us into her own prayer until, as if by surprise, we find that we have persevered in praying after all.
Faith and Hope
Resolve never to pray apart from Mary. Her presence in the Cenacle was a living flame of love, a hearth of fire and of light in the midst of a community bewildered by the mysterious Ascension of the Lord. Absent, but present, and present, but absent, the Lord was, already, in these days before Pentecost, schooling His Church in the prayer of faith, a persevering prayer, that goes on hoping even when the object of her hope seems far removed from her.
Present in the Cenacle
Just how was Our Lord present in the Cenacle after His Ascension? He was present, first of all, in faithfulness to His promise that where two or three gather in His Name, there would He be, in the midst of them. He was present too in His words, repeated, remembered, and held in the heart. He was present in Peter, who in spite of all his weaknesses and failings, remained the rock chosen by Christ. He was present in John, the Beloved Disciple in whose heart burned an inextinguishable fire of love, the one enkindled at the Last Supper when, for the first time, Jesus fed Him with the mysteries of His Body and Blood. He was present in the silence, in the face, and in the voice of His Virgin Mother. She is the pillar of faith against whom every lie, every temptation, and every heresy is smashed to pieces. Finally, He was present in the bread become His Body, and in the chalice of wine mixed with water become His Blood.
The Lamb, the Altar, and the Holy of Holies
What must Our Lady have felt when, in the Cenacle, she beheld, lying before her on the table, the very Flesh of her her own flesh and the very Blood of her own blood? Her Maternal Heart leapt in recognition of the Lamb. The table had become her altar. The Cenacle itself had become her Holy of Holies.
Here was her Son, the very fruit of her womb: the Jesus whom she had carried, nourished, washed, clothed, and kissed. Here, veiled, was the Face that disappeared from her sight on the Mount of Olives, when He ascended. Here, beating with a passionate love His Bride, the Church, was the very Heart that she saw pierced by the soldier’s lance on Calvary.
Perseverance in Prayer
There is but one way to persevere in prayer, and that is by remaining close to Mary. Distance from Mary is distance from the Church, and distance from the Church is distance from Christ. Moreover, where Mary is, there too is the Holy Ghost. To abide with Mary is to abide under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. To withdraw from Mary’s presence and to withdraw from beneath the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. It is to choose sterility over fecundity, self-assertion over obedience, and fleeting things over the imperishable treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Most Humble Heart of Mary
One who remains close to Mary will grow in humility of heart, and one who grows in humility of heart becomes like a vessel emptied out, ready to be filled to overflowing with the sweet and fragrant anointing of the Holy Ghost. An antiphon in the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary places these words in her mouth: “Ego placui Altissimo cum essem parvula” — “I was pleasing unto the Most High because I was so lowly”. As I prayed this morning, it seemed that Our Lord was saying to me:
Humility draws down the grace of the Holy Spirit
and an abundant outpouring of His gifts.
Without humility there is no space into which the Spirit of God can descend.
Humility prepares the dwelling of God in the midst of men.
It was by her humility
that my most pure Mother
caused the heavens to open over the Church
gathered in the Cenacle.
It was by her humility as much as by her ceaseless prayer
that she obtained the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
God resists the proud,
but pours out His Love upon the lowly of heart.
The Immaculate Heart of my Mother is the lowliest of hearts,
free of all self–seeking, free of all reference to herself,
and open to all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And these were given her in such abundance
that the Church, even now,
continues to receive all graces from her Heart
as from a pure and inexhaustible fountain.
You Will Find Her in the Cenacle
More than anything else, my prayer for you today, asks that you may never depart from Mary. You will find her today in the Cenacle, all silent and absorbed in adoration. Approach her as closely as you can, and if you are too weak to make your way to her, ask her to make her way to you. This she will do, for hers is a Maternal Heart, and no weakness of our repels her. On the contrary, she has for the weakest and most unstable of her children, a tenderness that must be experienced in order to be understood. Blessed feast, then, of Our Lady of the Cenacle, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
With my loving blessing to each one.
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