Stefan Lochner (c. 1405–1451), “Madonna of the Rose Bower”
Running out of wine at the Wedding at Cana was not the Blessed Mother’s problem, but she made it her concern. I want to be one of Mary’s concerns.
The Blessed Mother provides divine symmetry; God went through her to get closer to us and we can go through her to get closer to him. Yes, “there is only mediator between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). We’ve got that. But, how can anyone not get that Jesus’ his first miracle showed the world how he responds to his mother’s requests?
Turning water into wine hardly seems significant compared to things like raising the dead, exorcising demons and healing the sick. And that is what makes it so significant. By bringing Mary into our lives, she will also bring our problems to her son. Here are 10 ways to do that.
1. Marian Pilgrimage
There are over two dozen Marian Shrines throughout the U.S. (Be sure they are Church approved and not based on condemned apparition claims.) I recently visited the Basilica of Mary Queen of the Universe in Orlando. Without any advertising, it consistently ranks among the top visited places, even above some Disney attractions. The founder, Father Joseph Harte, said he believes it’s a place of miracles, including many babies born to previously infertile couples.
Author Marge Fenelon made a novena of pilgrimages to nine Marian Shrines in the U.S. and wrote about it in My Queen, My Mother: A Living Novena. Readers can vicariously explore the Marian shrines and share in Marge’s love and passion for the Blessed Mother through this delightful new book. Marge chronicles the backstory for each shrine and includes prayers and meditations to grow closer to Jesus through the heart of Mary.
2. The Seven Sorrows of Mary
Seven graces were promised through St. Bridget for the Seven Sorrows of Mary devotion. Reflect on each Christ-centered sorrow and say a Hail Mary for each one.
- The prophecy of Simeon
- The flight into Egypt
- The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
- The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross
- The Crucifixion
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross
- The burial of Jesus
3. First Five Saturdays
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia, one of the visionaries from Fatima, that she would assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who make the first Saturdays for five consecutive months by going to Confession within the month, receiving Holy Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary, and keeping her company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation for sins.
4. Daily Rosary
In numerous apparitions, including at Lourdes and Fatima, the Blessed Mother asked us to pray the Rosary daily. Many saints and Catholic leaders have impressed upon us the power of the Rosary. It is centered on the life of Jesus in union with his Blessed Mother. Through St. Dominic, the Blessed Mother also made 15 promises to those who pray it daily, including “special protection and the greatest graces.”
5. Marian Consecration
You can use this prayer and consider doing the Total Consecration as imparted to us through St. Louis de Montfort. Consecration to the Blessed Mother means that you trust her with your life and pledge a desire to do everything in union with her. You can also use 33 Days to Morning Glory to prepare.
Since Mary is our mother, she knows our needs better than we; and since she is Queen of Heaven, she has immediate access to the infinite treasury of graces in the Kingdom of her Divine Son. Pope Pius XII said that the consecration “tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.”
6. Marian Novena
There are many novenas you can pray. One reported to be especially powerful is Our Lady Undoer of Knots prayed on a rosary or as a daily prayer for nine days.
7. Miraculous Medal
Both are sacramentals. The Miraculous Medal was given to St. Catherine Laboure offering us an outpouring of graces from Heaven.
8. Brown Scapular
The Brown Scapular given to St. Simon Stock from Our Blessed Mother offers divine protection “from the fire of hell.”
9. Spiritual Reading
Tap into the lives of the saints devoted to the Blessed Mother, the wonders of the Rosary and other Marian devotions by reading about them. The inspiration that led authors will also deepen your love of the Blessed Mother.
10. Marian Prayers
In addition to the “Hail Mary” is the “Memorare.” Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s "Flying Novena", a rapid-fire weapon that reaped powerful results, was praying the Memorare nine times.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency hear and answer me. Amen.
Also, Mother Teresa shared, “If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now. I must admit — this prayer has never failed me.”
Whatever you do, talk to your heavenly mother; have a relationship with her, and just like at Cana, she will anticipate your needs and go to her Son with them. All for Jesus through Mary!