Mary and PP II

On May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II delivered a homily at a Mass in Fatima, exactly one year after being shot. May 13th was also the day that Mary, our Blessed Mother, appeared to the three children at Fatima, sixty five years earlier. This Pope, called a Marian Pope because of his devotion to Mary, delivered to us a beautiful glimpse into his life of prayer to and his love for Mary. Some of this is extracted from that homily.To see the full text of his homily, click here.

It begins with “And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:27). The pope recounts the scene at the foot of the cross, where Jesus tells Mary to behold her son, and then to John to behold his mother. With these few words, Mary’s role is re-written to now encompass the whole world, you and me. With her maternal love, she embraces the whole world. She embraces you and me with her loving care.

John shows us how to respond to this gift that Jesus entrusted to him. Taking her to his home does not just signify our giving her shelter, but also bringing Mary into our life, our way of living. We take Mary into our worries, our sufferings, our joys, and our family. Thus, we can understand Pope John Paul II’s motto of “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours).

Think of all the times Mary has appeared throughout the  history of mankind. On each occasion, she has come for a purpose, for a reason that will benefit us, her children. Her words always reflect a concern for our lives, how we are living them and where they are headed. A true mother is she, to us. And this motherhood, spiritual in nature, was bestowed upon her by Jesus, the Son of God. And, in John, she accepted all of us totally.

Pope John Paul II then states, “In the light of the mystery of Mary’s spiritual motherhood, let us seek to understand the extraordinary message, which began on 13 May, 1917 to resound throughout the world from Fatima, continuing for five months until 13 October of the same year”. On that day was the miracle of the sun, witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 people. (Exact number was only estimated.) The children had predicted that at high noon the “lady” who had appeared to them several times would perform a great miracle in a field near Fatima called Cove da Aria. The rest is documented history.

The message, of “The Lady of Fatima”, was one of “convert and repent”. The call to repentance is a motherly one. This call is linked, as always, with a call to prayer. In harmony with the tradition of many centuries, the Lady of the message indicates the Rosary, which can rightly be defined as “Mary’s prayer”. The solicitude of the Mother of the Savior is solicitude for the work of salvation, which is the work of her Son. It is solicitude for the salvation, the eternal salvation, of all. The greatest obstacle to man’s journey towards God is sin, perseverance in sin, and, finally, denial of God, which is the rejection of God by man.

Pope John Paul II then changes the focus a little bit. He speaks of the consecration of us to Mary. Here, consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means drawing near, through the Mother’s intercession, to the very Fountain of life that sprang from Golgotha. And so she calls us. She not only calls us to be converted: she calls us to accept her motherly help to return to the source of Redemption. It means accepting her help by having recourse to her motherly Heart, which beneath the Cross was opened to love for every human being. In turn, we are to love each person, as a result of her love for us.

Today’s world, more than ever, seems on the brink of destruction. This century has, more than any other, rejected God, rejected sound moral values and principles. Today, we see ourselves as gods, seeking only what we think we need. And, today, more than ever, we really do need to pray, not mindless, unemotional prayer. But, prayer that stems from and resides in our hearts. Give our prayers, our life to Mary, our spiritual mother. She waits for us. She strains to hear our prayers. Like her Son, her opened heart is waiting for us to enter, waiting for us to bring our heart, our hopes and dreams, ourselves. Her love for us is almost as boundless as her Son’s. She has advised us, warned us and cautioned us that we must begin to change not only our lives, but to change the path of the world, as well. A daunting task for any one of us, especially, if we think that we must do something dramatic. No. All she wants, all that is needed is for us to pray. She has told us again and again, “Pray the Rosary”.

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