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Immaculate Conception Prayer Program

Immaculate Conception IconToday at the conclusion of Mass we held a short Immaculate Conception prayer program. This is a program of the Knights of Columbus which includes this traveling icon. Several of us processed to the altar where we placed the icon and then said a prayer.

The Knights of Columbus Immaculate Conception Marian Prayer Program honors the central place the Blessed Virgin Mary holds in the life of our Order and the historic devotion that has been afforded to the Immaculate Conception by the Church in North America. The first cathedral in the New World north of Mexico was named for the Immaculate Conception, and the bishops of the United States named Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception as the patroness of the nation.

The image used for this prayer program is a reproduction of a painting of Mary as the Immaculate Conception that hangs above the main altar of the Basilica-Cathedral of Notre- Dame de Québec. It was painted in 1925 by Sister Mary of the Eucharist, a Sister of Charity of Québec, to replace the 18th-century painting destroyed during a fire at the cathedral in 1922.

At the bottom of the image it says, “His Holiness Pope Francis cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing. From the Vatican June 29, 2013.”

Total Consecration Time

I just completed my annual Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary and thought I’d suggest once again that you consider it for yourself. This 33 day effort is well worth your time, especially if you’re looking for a good series of meditations that let you focus on what’s important.

The preparation for consecration booklet is currently available for $5 from Montfort Publishing. I would recommend you first read “True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin Mary.” You can also find these in the iPieta app for iOS or Android smartphones.

I’ve been using this “spiritual journey” for quite a few years and have come to look forward to it. The 33 days of preparation are broken up into series of reflections on your self, Mary and Jesus. We should all be doing daily meditation, especially with a particular examen. However, several weeks of extra contemplation time are really useful in our fast paced world. I also have been able to start out this devotion each year deer hunting. So I’ve been able to do the daily readings, prayers and reflections while sitting in a tree or on the ground in the woods. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

Feel free to email me if you’ve got questions about this devotion.

A May, Month of Mary, Pilgrimage

My wife and I did a pilgrimage today to the National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church in Laurie, MO. It is a beautiful day for a drive and the Shrine is in great shape. There is a Mother’s Wall on which you can have your Mother’s name inscribed and they will be included in the prayers said for all Mothers. Both of our Mother’s names are on the wall.

It is my understanding that during this month of Mary a plenary indulgence can be gained by saying 5 decades of the rosary on the way, 5 decades while at the shrine and 5 decades on the way home. So that’s how we spent part of our day today. I will try to find a source to point you to for this indulgence and add it later.

A magnificent Shrine dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church features an awe inspiring fourteen foot stainless steel sculpture of Mary, which stands in a natural amphitheatre surrounded by beautiful fountains.

The Mothers’ Wall of Life has become a great attraction of the Shrine, with the names of mothers from around the world engraved in the polished black granite. The Mothers’ Wall of Life continues to grow daily and is an everlasting tribute to all mothers.

The first engraving on the Mothers’ Wall of Life was April 1, 1999. It is a tribute to motherhood and family life, for all mother’s living or deceased, regardless of race, color or creed. There are now 37 states and 13 countries represented on the Wall, making this one of the most meaningful shrines in the country. Go into the web site and search for a loved ones name on the Wall.

In 2003, the Shrine became a National Shrine, making this the sixteenth Nation Shrine in the United States, and the only recognized National Shrine in Missouri.

True Devotion To Mary During May

May is the month dedicated to Mary. Pope Paul VI said the following about it in his encyclical, Mense Maio.

. . . a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Our heart rejoices at the thought of the moving tribute of faith and love which will soon be paid to the Queen of Heaven in every corner of the earth. For this is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God’s merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother’s throne.

For spiritual reading during this month a great book to consider is “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” by St. Louis de Montfort. You can find a pdf of it on the Montfort Missionaries website or buy it on Amazon. I also found it in the Amazon Kindle e-books and loaded it on my iPad.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

May I also say a special Happy Mother’s Day to our Queen of Heaven, Mary!

If you’d like to better understand why we give Mary the title of Queen of Heaven then read the Encyclical on the subject by Pope Pius XII. Excerpt:

AD CAELI REGINAM

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON PROCLAIMING THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY
TO THE VENERABLE BRETHREN, THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHIOPS, AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SEE

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Blessing.

From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.