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Catechetical Saints: Apparitions of Our Lady
‘By faith, Mary accepted the Angel’s word and believed the message that she was to become the Mother of God in the obedience of her devotion (cf. Lk 1:38). Visiting Elizabeth, she raised her hymn of praise to the Most High for the marvels he worked in those who trust him (cf. Lk 1:46-55). With joy and trepidation she gave birth to her only son, keeping her virginity intact (cf. Lk 2:6-7). Trusting in Joseph, her husband, she took Jesus to Egypt to save him from Herod’s persecution (cf. Mt 2:13-15). With the same faith, she followed the Lord in his preaching and remained with him all the way to Golgotha (cf. Jn 19:25-27). By faith, Mary tasted the fruits of Jesus’ resurrection, and treasuring every memory in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19, 51), she passed them on to the Twelve assembled with her in the Upper Room to receive the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14; 2:1-4). ‘Let us entrust this time of grace to the Mother of God, proclaimed “blessed because she believed” (Lk 1:45).’ Pope Benedict XVI, Porta Fidei, for the indiction of the Year of Faith, October 11, 2011 In discerning which saint I should write about for these articles, I wanted to pay attention to this Year of Faith. I began to recollect the preparation for the Jubilee marking the New Millennium. In 1987, Pope John Paul II had initiated a Marian Year as the remote preparation for the Jubilee Year. Redemptoris Mater was written to guide us into the heart of Mary as we prepared to celebrate the New Millennium of the life of the Church. In this document, he focused our attention on Our Lady who leads the pilgrim Church from Pentecost until the Second Coming of Christ. In our age of instant communication and social networking, we can often find ourselves involved in spending more and more time in relating to people in ways that have no grounding in what is profound. All that one has to say is increasingly reduced to utterances involving pressing a few characters on a keyboard or what can be expressed in a ‘tweet’. Our ‘friends’ exist only in cyberspace. How different with the Incarnation! The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became flesh! He was born of the Virgin Mary and from the moment of her fiat her life was totally focused on her personal relationship with her Son. She continually tells us, ‘Do whatever he tells you’. And Jesus gave His mother to all of us from His cross –‘Behold your Mother’. She can teach us the meaning of personal relationship with Christ.