Our Lady of Guadalupe • In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a humble, uneducated Native American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City. • She identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. • She made a request for a church to be built on the site, and submitted her wish to the local Bishop. • When the Bishop hesitated, and requested her for a sign, the Mother of God obeyed without delay or question, sending Her native messenger to the top of the hill in mid-December (during winter when there are no roses!) to gather an assortment of roses for the Bishop.
Our Lady of Guadalupe • She also left for us an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native's tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 475 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin. • She came to give Her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protection to all mankind. • An incredible list of miracles, cures and interventions are attributed to Her. • 14 million visit her Basilica every year, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine and the most visited Catholic sanctuary in the whole world.
Our Lady of Lourdes • Our Blessed Mother appeared to a poor and sick fourteen year old girl who lived in the Pyrenees at a time of turmoil in France. • On Thursday, February 11th 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, her sister Marie and another friend had gone to a nearby river to gather firewood. While Marie and her friend crossed the river to search the other side, Bernadette stayed on dry land. • While searching for wood she heard a loud noise like the sound of a storm coming from a nearby grotto. At the mouth of the grotto was a rosebush which was moving as if it were windy, which it was not.
Our Lady of Lourdes • From the interior of the grotto she saw a golden-coloured cloud, and soon after a Lady, young and beautiful who came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening above the rosebush. • The Lady smiled at Bernadette and motioned for her to advance. Bernadette lost any fear she may have had and fell to her knees to pray the Rosary. • After both she and the Lady completed these prayers (Our Lady only said the Lord's prayer and the Glory Be), the Lady slowly withdrew to the interior of the grotto and disappeared.
Our Lady of Lourdes • Bernadette experienced eighteen visitations from Mary over a six month period never knowing who the Lady was until the last apparition. • During the ninth apparition, Mary instructed Bernadette to dig a hole in the ground (meaning muddy water) and drink and bathe in it. • The hole later turned into a spring of water which Mary promised would be a healing spring for all who came to use its waters. • Mary also asked Bernadette to tell the local pastor, Cure Peyramale to have a chapel built in honour of her appearances there.
Our Lady of Lourdes • The pastor accused Bernadette of lying about the apparitions and told her to find out from the Lady just who she was and demanded from her that she perform a miracle by making the rosebush in the grotto bloom. • On March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, Mary answered the Cure's request when she told Bernadette, who had only received very little religious education, "Que soy era Immaculado Conceptiou“ I am the Immaculate Conception. • With these words, Our Lady confirmed what the Pope had declared as official Catholic Church doctrine just four years earlier - a highly unlikely fact to be known by an uneducated fourteen year old in rural France.
Our Lady of Lourdes • The apparitions were declared authentic in 1862 and Lourdes rapidly became one of the world's major pilgrimage sites. • Thousands have been cured from a variety of illnesses, both physical and spiritual, and a clinic to support the millions of pilgrims who come to Lourdes operates to this day. • Bernadette returned to a life of obscurity. She became one of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Nevers and died there in 1879 after a long and painful illness. • She was declared a saint in 1933, not because of the apparitions, but because of her dedication to a life of simplicity and service. • Bernadette’s body remains incorrupt even now, 120 years after her death.
Many more apparitions and miracles.. • Our Lady of Fatima • Our Lady of Medjugorje • Many more… go find out!
So, who is Mary? • In order to have a Christmas, there was a lot of preparation done Mary was the star performer
The Annunciation • Devotion to the Blessed Virgin began with the Archangel Gabriel's greeting "Hail, full of grace" at the Annunciation and has continued throughout the Church's history.
The Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
So is the Hail Mary the only Marian prayer? • Why do we pray Marian prayers in adoration of Mary anyway? Because of her "YES" to God
The Angelus • The Angelus is a devotion in memory of the Incarnation of Christ. • It has its name from the opening words, Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ. • It consists of three texts describing the mystery, recited as verse and response alternately with the salutation “Hail Mary!" • In modern times, it is said at noon together with the whole Church around the world
The Angelus V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, full of grace.. V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary, full of grace.. V. And the Word was made Flesh. R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, full of grace.. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
The Angelus V. Let us Pray R. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
The Visitation • Mary, having heard at the Annunciation that Elizabeth was six months pregnant, left her home to visit her. • Elizabeth and John the Baptist (in her womb) were inspired by the Holy Spirit at her arrival, and Elizabeth prophesied. • Mary pronounced the "Magnificat" and remained with Elizabeth some months. • It is the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. Theme: Spiritual Fruit & Love of Neighbour.
The Magnificat My soul glorifies the Lord. And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. For He has looked on His servant in her lowliness From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. The Almighty works marvels for me; holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age, to those that fear him.
The Magnificat He puts forth his arm in strength, and scatters the proud hearted He casts the mighty from their thrones, and raises the lowly He fills the starving with good things; sends the rich away empty He protects Israel his servant, remembering His mercy, The mercy promised to our fathers, to Abraham and to his children for ever.
Wrap up.. • Prayers addressed to Mary do not imply any divinity on her part (she is not God and we are not worshipping her) • but rather seek to take advantage of her role as the ultimate intercessor with her Son which began with her 'intercession' at the Wedding Feast of Cana. • Just as we offer prayers to God through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, so we offer our prayers to Jesus through Mary so that she may add her superabundant grace to them, making them more effective and acceptable to God.
Wrap up.. To Jesus, through Mary
Journal • Mary desires to have a relationship with us, desires to bring us closer to Jesus. • Who is Mary to you at this moment? • Make a conscious effort to find out more about her
Closing Prayer (sung) Hail Mary, full of grace The Lord is with you Blessed are you amongst women And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God Pray for us, sinners Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.