Articles by Fr. Alfonse
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the
moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
In December 2015, National Geographic Magazine published a fascinating
article titled How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman.
(Read full article here.) The award-winning Catholic author Maureen Orth
discusses several examples of Mary’s influence around the globe.
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day we celebrate today, is
one of the most popular Marian images in the world, highly cherished by the
Mexican culture. Millions of terminally and chronically ill people travel to the
cold waters of Lourdes, France for healing. Medjugorje, although still not
officially approved by the Vatican as an apparition, draws thousands of
pilgrims each year. Clearly, Our Blessed Mother is a source of comfort for
devout Christians throughout the world. Interesting how even our Muslim
brothers and sisters honor the Virgin. It is said that Mary is mentioned more
times in the Koran than in the Bible!
Undeniable, Mary plays an important role as intercessor. Ever since 40 A.D.
Christians have reported apparitions of her; some appearances verified and
Why is Mary so popular..and powerful? What is it about her that inspires
songs, prayers, pilgrimages, processions, and even priceless works of art?
Author Maureen Orth offers the following insight:
As a universal symbol of maternal love, as well as of suffering and sacrifice,
Mary is often the touchstone of our longing for meaning, a more accessible
link to the supernatural than formal church teachings. Her mantle offers both
security and protection. Pope Francis, when once asked what Mary meant to
him, answered, “She is my mamá.”
Not only does the Blessed Virgin Mary provide security and protection but also
mercy. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we should turn to our “Mama” for
guidance. How can we be more merciful toward our fellow brothers and
sisters in Christ? What does the word “mercy” really mean to us? Where
have we failed in being merciful toward the weak, the poor, and the
marginalized? Do we accept the Lord’s mercy or deny it as something of no
Today’s meditation artwork, a non-traditional rendition of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, colorfully illustrates the Blessed Virgin Mary in different roles.
Red represents the Virgin’s mighty protection against the snares of the devil.
Green and yellow symbolize Mary’s intercessory role between Christ and us.
Even the purple and blue is seen as Mary’s maternal vocation – providing the
love, care and mercy we desperately need in this challenging world. Overall,
the kaleidoscope of colors show the importance of the Virgin Mary in our faith
Our Lord will never deny his Mother what she wants for her children just as he
will never deny us his infinite mercy.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us!
“Heavenly Father, in Our Lady of Guadalupe our eyes can behold your long-
awaiting promise of salvation; may our eyes behold him for ever when the
promises of Christ are filled “
-Prayer from The Magnificat Advent Companion 2015 (pg .31)
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. Please follow her blog:
Jennifer’s Spectrum of Spirituality.
Mother of the Living… Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they ate forbidden fruit. As a result, evil entered the world. Pain, sickness, famine, war, and death became commonplace. Comforting to know Mary’s “yes” reversed the course of history….
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