FEAST OF THE DIVINE MATERNITY OF OUR LADY : OCTOBER 11

FEAST OF THE DIVINE MATERNITY OF OUR LADY

This feast, observed throughout the Western Church on October 11, honor Mary as Mother of God, and bears the same sort of relation to the Annunciation and to Christmas as does the Synaxis of Our Lady in the Byzantine rite. It was long known in Portugal and elsewhere, but was finally instituted in 1931 by Pope Pius XI in view of the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus.

At the same time the Pope ordered at his own cost the restoration of the Marian mosaics in Saint Mary Major, much decayed through age. He issued an encyclical letter, “Lux veritatis.” In this, among the objects of the new festival, is named one truth that was particularly close to the heart of Pius XI, “…that Mary, who is loved and revered so warmly by the separated Christians of the East, would not suffer them to wander and be unhappily led further away from the unity of the Church, and therefore from her Son, whose vicar on earth we are.”

“On this occasion the heavenly Lady was full of the Holy Ghost and moreover bore within Her, as His Mother, the Divine Word, who proceeds from the Father and the Holy Ghost. Saint Joseph received special enlightenment and the plenitude of divine graces, and altogether renewed in fervor of spirit he said:

“Blessed art Thou, Lady, among all women, fortunate and preferred before all nations and generations. May the Creator of heaven and earth be extolled with eternal praise, since from his exalted kingly throne He has looked upon Thee and chosen Thee for his dwelling place and in Thee alone has fulfilled the ancient promises made to the Patriarchs and Prophets. Let all generations bless Him: for in no one has He magnified his name as He has done in thy humility; and me, the most insignificant of the living, He has in his divine condescension selected for thy servant.”

In these words of praise and benediction Saint Joseph was enlightened by the Holy Ghost, in the same manner as Saint Elizabeth, when she responded to the salutation of Our Queen and Mistress. The light and inspiration, received by the most holy spouse was wonderfully adapted to his dignity and office. The heavenly Lady, upon hearing the words of the holy man, answered in the words of the Magnificat, as She had done on her visit to Saint Elizabeth, and She added other canticles. She was all aflame in ecstasy and was raised from the earth in a globe of light, which surrounded Her and transfigured Her with the gifts of glory.

At this heavenly vision Saint Joseph was filled with admiration and unspeakable delight; for never had he seen his most blessed Spouse in such eminence of glory and perfection. Now he beheld Her with a full and clear understanding, since all the integrity and purity of the Princess of heaven and mystery of her dignity manifested themselves to him. He saw and recognized in her virginal womb the humanity of the infant God and the union of the two natures of the Word. With profound humility and reverence he adored Him and recognized Him as his Redeemer, offering himself to his majesty. The Lord looked upon him in benevolence and kindness as upon no other man, for He accepted him as his foster-father and conferred upon him that title. In accordance with this dignity, He gifted him with that plenitude of science and heavenly gifts which Christian piety can and must acknowledge.6a00d83451c3ed69e2017d3ca496d8970c-800wi 109_MilanMadonna_Cathedral image0 images Maternity of Mary New Popup 01 mother-god2 Our Lady Good Remedy2

UR LADY’S MIRACULOUS CURE OF ST JOHN DAMASCENE october 9

Oicon of 3 hands mary19-damascene

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “In the year 723, in the night following the day when the prince of the Saracens had unjustly ordered the hand of Saint John Damascen to be cut off, Our Lady reunited it miraculously to his wrist, after this faithful servant had prayed to her for it with the design of continuing to write in defense of holy images.”

Saint John of Damascus (645-749), also known as Saint John Damascene, was a priest and Doctor of the Church, who is sometimes also referred to as the Doctor of the Assumption, as he wrote on the Assumption of Mary into heaven. During the time of the iconoclasm in the east, Saint John Damascene also wrote in defense of holy images.

According to tradition, a Muslim caliph unjustly ordered that Saint John’s right hand should be cut off and hung up for public display. Some days after this despicable act took place, Saint John prayed for the restoration of his hand. Saint John had an icon of the Blessed Virgin before which he fervently prayed, and soon his hand is said to have been miraculously restored. To recognize the miracle, and in appreciation for the return of his right hand, Saint John had a replica of his restored hand produced in silver, which he then placed at the bottom of the icon. Those who came after him, and saw the third hand on the icon, subsequently named it “Three-handed,” or Tricheirousa.

The Bogorodica Trojerucica is considered the most important icon of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is currently located in a monastery of Hilandar on Mount Athos, Greece. The portrait is of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Divine Child in her right arm. It is thought to have possibly been painted by Saint John Damascene himself, but however that may be, it is the very same image before which he prayed for the restoration of his severed hand.

“Gratitude for the benefits received at the hands of the Lord is a virtue so noble, that by means of it we may preserve our intercourse and correspondence with God Himself: He, as rich, generous and powerful conferring upon us his gifts; we, as poor, humble and aware of our needs, returning for them our thanks. He desires to give us plentifully, but at the same time He wishes us to be grateful, rendering Him the glory, honor and praise contained in gratitude” (The Mystical City of God, by Ven. Mary of Agreda).

CTOBER 8 : OUR LADY OF OUR LADY OF GIFTS, AVIGNON (FRANCE)

CTOBER 8 : OUR LADY OF OUR LADY OF GIFTS, AVIGNON (FRANCE)
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OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY (EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA)

Church of Our Lady of Gifts, Avignon France (1st Century) founded by St. Martha

Saint Martha of Bethany was the sister of Lazarus and Mary. She it was who is mentioned in the New Testament waiting on Jesus “troubled about many things.” According to the Golden Legend, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, she left Judea with her brother and sister “in a ship without sail, oars, or rudder.” This occurred in about the year 48 AD.

Their boat was conducted on its way by Our Lord from heaven. Martha went first to the territory of Aquenese or Aix, a region now known as Provence, France. After converting the people to the True Faith, she and her siblings then travelled on to settle in Avignon.

There is a tradition that attributes the foundation of the church of Our Lady of Gifts, or “Our Lady of Doms,” at Avignon, to Saint Martha, and this while Our Lady was still alive! This church was built over what remained of a pagan temple atop a hill called “Le Rocher des Doms.” It is reported that this church was visibly consecrated by Our Lord Himself. Later in history the church was demolished by the Saracens, and was repaired by the Emperor Charlemagne.

The Golden Legend also details another event involving Martha.

“There was at that time upon the river of Rhone, in a certain wood between Arles and Avignon, a great dragon, half beast and half fish, greater than an ox, longer than a horse, having teeth sharp as a sword, and horned on either side; head like a lion, tail like a serpent, and defended him with two wings on either side, and could not be beaten with cast of stones nor with other armor, and was as strong as twelve lions or bears; which dragon lay hiding and lurking in the river, and perished them that passed by and drowned ships. He came thither by sea from Galicia, and was engendered of Leviathan, which is a serpent of the water and is much wood, and of a beast called Bonacho, that is engendered in Galicia. To him Martha, at the prayer of the people, came into the wood, and found him eating a man. And she cast on him holy water, and showed to him the cross, which anon was overcome, and standing still as a sheep, she bound him with her own girdle, and then was slain with spears and glaives of the people.”

Also known as Avignon Cathedral, and the Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms d’Avignon in French, the church at the present location was constructed in the 12th century in the Romanesque style. The seat of the Archbishop of Avignon, it is also a national monument in France. Atop the western tower is the large gilded statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary shown above.

Our Lady of Good Remedy

800 years ago Christians were being captured and sold into slavery by the thousands, and nobody knew what to do about it. Then, in the year 1198, a man had an idea. St. John of Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary. They were so successful at that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance, St. John of Matha honored Mary with the title of “Our Lady of Good Remedy.” Devotion to Mary under this ancient title is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8. Our Lady of Good Remedy is often depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John of Matha. When in need – for whatever reason, but especially where you have had difficulty obtaining help – invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.