Saturday, April 27, 2013


To the readers and followers of this blog,

I wish to apologize for my lack of posting.  The lack of posts was not caused by a dearth of references to Mary by our Holy Father.  Instead, my day to day duties as a seminarian have consumed much of my time, and in other free time I have been working on a few other side projects.  My hope is to post a comprehensive post for the month of April listing Pope Francis' Marian references with a brief commentary.  Look for that on May 1.  

Thanks for your understanding. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Anthology of Pope Francis' April Marian References

I wish to apologize for not posting immediately as I had been with the Pope's Marian references.  I guess you could say life happened.  My work load picked up over the past few weeks so blogging about the Pope had to go to the side for a bit.  Only time will tell, but I think that I will begin to post weekly on Sunday's with a post called, "Week in Review: Pope Francis and Mary."  You will find below the Pope's Marian references since the Easter Vigil, which was my last post.  

April 1, 2012- Regina Coeli

After reflecting for a few moments on the power of grace at work in our lives, Pope Francis called everyone to prayer, saying:

Let us pray together, in the name of the dead and risen Lord and through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that the Paschal mystery might work deeply in us and in our time so that hatred may give way to love, lies to truth, revenge to forgiveness, and sadness to joy.

April 7, 2013- Regina Coeli

Together let us pray the Virgin Mary that she help us, Bishop and People, to walk in faith and charity, ever trusting in the Lord’s mercy: he always awaits us, loves us, has pardoned us with his Blood and pardons us every time we go to him to ask his forgiveness. Let us trust in his mercy!

Pope Francis encourages us to seek the help of the Virgin Mary, that the bishops and people, may walk in faith and charity ever trusting in the Lord's mercy.  Mary was a woman of great faith who surrendered herself obediently to God's will for her life, who showed love toward many people in the scriptures beginning with Elizabeth and the couple at Cana, and who trusted in the Lord's mercy as she was the recipient of the saving work of Christ from her conception in the womb of St. Anne.  

April 11, 2013- Telegram on the death of Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara, Italy on the death of Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti. In it the Pope stated: 

I pray fervently to the Lord Jesus that He, through the Virgin Mary, may give the late cardinal the eternal reward promised to his faithful disciples.

Many Catholics have a difficulty in understanding the idea of Mary as the dispenser of grace.  Many saints (for example, Bernard of Clairvaux) of the tradition have wrote about the way distribution of grace through Mary.  That God wishes to give graces through the hands of Mary.  While I do not wish to delve into this theological discussion at this time, it is interesting to note that Pope Francis prayed that the Lord Jesus, through the Virgin Mary, would give the Cardinal his eternal reward.  It seems to me that Pope Francis indicates that the grace being asked for, namely eternal rest, will be granted by Jesus through the mediation of Mary.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter and Mary

At the conclusion of his Easter Vigil homily, Pope Francis invoked the intercession of Mary. 

On this radiant night, let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary, who treasured all these events in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51) and ask the Lord to give us a share in his Resurrection. May he open us to the newness that transforms, to the beautiful surprises of God. May he make us men and women capable of remembering all that he has done in our own lives and in the history of our world. May he help us to feel his presence as the one who is alive and at work in our midst. And may he teach us each day, dear brothers and sisters, not to look among the dead for the Living One. Amen..

While this was a brief reference to Mary, it is nevertheless, filled with meaning.  His invocation mimics the closing prayer of the Regina Coeli in which we ask through the intercession of Mary to experience the joys of eternal life--to share in the Lord's resurrection.  But notice what Francis continues to do: he names what  we should ask the Lord to do in our lives.  I think we could say that Pope Francis lists these as specific graces of the Virgin Mary's prayers asking the Lord to share in the Resurrection.  He asks the Lord for these Easter graces which come through the mediation of Mary's intercession.
Furthermore, one of the graces he asks of the Lord are quite similar to Mary's Maginficat.

Pope Francis: May he make us men and women capable of remembering all that he has done in our own lives and in the history of our world.

Mary:   "The Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name."  Mary lists the marvels of the Lord in her song of praise:  "His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.  He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,  according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

Mary's list are just a few things that we can remember how God has worked in our lives and in the history of the world.  

To read Pope Francis' full homily go here.

Read my own Marian Easter reflection, Celebrating Easter with Our Lady on Ignitum Today.