Monday, January 17, 2022

January 17 - Our Lady of Hope (Our Lady of Pontmain) - Pontmain, France

 

On January 17, 1871, Paris was under siege at the height of the Franco-Prussian war. In the small hamlet of Pontmain, twelve-year-old Eugรจne Barbedette looked up at the winter sky and saw an apparition of a beautiful woman wearing a blue gown covered with golden stars and a black veil under a golden crown. He called to his family. Only his ten-year-old brother, Joseph, could see the apparition, but his mother suggested they start praying Our Fathers and Hail Marys. Soon other people gathered. Two other young girls could also see the vision while many of the other people gathered saw three stars forming a triangle.

The children saw a banner unfurl under Our Lady which read “But pray, my children. God will hear you in time. My Son allows Himself to be touched.” The crowd began to sing hymns. When they sang “My Sweet Jesus”, Mary’s face expressed profound sadness and a red crucifix appeared in her hands with the words “Jesus Christ” above it. When they sang “Ave Maris Stella”, the crucifix vanished. Two small white crosses appeared on her shoulders before Mary disappeared behind a cloud. The vision lasted about three hours.

That same evening, the Prussian forces unexpectedly stopped their advance. The armistice was signed January 23, 1871. The local bishop approved the apparition on February 2, 1872, and the shrine was consecrated in October 1900.


 

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Pontmain#/media/File:Pontmain_(53)_Statue_de_la_Vierge_sur_le_parvis_de_la_basilique.jpg

Prayer

Our Lady of Hope, you instructed us to pray. Help us not to grow weary of prayer, even when it seems our prayers go unanswered. Help us always to have hope.

Reflection

Mary always encourages us to pray, even when it seems all hope is lost. Say an extra prayer today for a seemingly hopeless situation.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

January 16 - Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners

 

The title of Our Lady as Refuge of Sinners dates back to the time of St. Germanus of Constantinople in the eighth century. Mary was the new Eve. As the original Eve led humanity into sin, so Mary shows us the way out of it by leading us to her Son.

In his book The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Liguori writes:

One of the titles which is the most encouraging to poor sinners, and under which the Church teaches us to invoke Mary in the Litany of Loretto, is that of “Refuge of Sinners.”  In Judea in ancient times there were cities of refuge, in which criminals who fled there for protection were exempt from the punishments which they had deserved.  Nowadays these cities are not so numerous; there is but one, and that is Mary, of whom the Psalmist says Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God (Ps. lxxxvi. 3).  But this city differs from the ancient ones in this respect—that in the latter all kinds of criminals did not find refuge, nor was the protection extended to every class of crime; but under the mantle of Mary all sinners, without exception, find refuge for every sin that they may have committed, provided only that they go there to seek for this protection.  “I am the city of refuge,” says St. John Damascene, in the name of our Queen, “to all who fly to me” (In Dorm. B. V.or. 2). 

(https://www.themarianroom.com/in-january-our-lady-refuge-of-sinners/)

We call on Mary as a refuge for sinners every time we pray the “Hail Mary.”

Prayer

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Reflection

Mary is a tender mother who wants to cover us and protect us under her mantle, especially when we realize our need for mercy. What sins, faults, and failings can you bring to Mary today?

January 17 - Our Lady of Hope (Our Lady of Pontmain) - Pontmain, France

  On January 17, 1871, Paris was under siege at the height of the Franco-Prussian war. In the small hamlet of Pontmain, twelve-year-old Eu...