Theresa Doyle-Nelson enjoys researching and writing about holy people from the Bible. She has written for a variety of Catholic resources and is the author of Saints in Scripture. Theresa and her husband Chad have been married for over 30 years, and although their nest is now empty, their three adult sons have growing families — providing enjoyable opportunities for growing gatherings and grandchildren graces! Theresa and Chad are parishioners at the beautiful and historic St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Bandera, Texas. You can find Theresa’s blog, “The Hill Country Hermit” at TheresaDoyle-Nelson.blogspot.com.
Blogs | Jan. 1, 2019
The Blessed Virgin Mary—A Heavenly Mother to All
Ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to be with you during this novena, and quietly express any intentions that you would like her prayers for.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” ―Luke 1:30–31
Mary is a remarkably popular saint in the Catholic Church. People seem to feel a special closeness and warm affection toward her. Reading the Bible makes it easy to understand why. Each story in the New Testament involving Mary presents a woman full of tenderness, compassion, and quiet humility, completely lacking any sense of arrogance or rudeness.
The main narratives in the Bible that help us better understand and love Mary tell of rich, thought-provoking events: the various happenings surrounding Jesus’ birth, the dramatic finding of the child Jesus in the Temple, asking Jesus for help at the wedding at Cana, witnessing with tremendous grief the Crucifixion, and praying with the apostles in the Upper Room after Jesus’ ascension into heaven.
All of these chronicles demonstrate her perfect willingness to please God, even though logically she must have felt confusion, terror, and extreme sadness at times. They all illustrate her calm, loving, and gentle nature―as a mother and as a person.
The Rosary is a beloved prayer for those with a keen devotion to Mary. Although the Rosary encompasses many prayers, the “Hail Mary” is the largest part of the devotion; it is a meditative prayer derived almost entirely from the Gospel of Luke with a plea to Mary for prayers at the end.
Mary seems to have taken all of humankind on as her own children. Through her many apparitions over the centuries, she has delivered countless messages for all of humankind―messages of love, prayer, peace, and hope. Among her better-known apparitions are those of Fatima (Portugal), Lourdes (France), and Mexico City.
With Mary’s appealing and mystic expressions of love and interest, numerous feast days have evolved to celebrate the many aspects of our Blessed Mother. Jan. 1, one of the older feast days, commemorates her motherhood. Other feast days include Aug. 22, which honors her Queenship, and Sept. 8, the feast of Mary’s birthday.
A Biblical Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Many claim St. Mary as their patroness: mothers, nuns, and aviators to name just a few. There are buckets of novenas out there to our Blessed Mother; however, perhaps you’d like to try a Biblical Novena in order to ponder her life through Scripture at a more ponderous, meditative pace. Prayerfully read one passage a day for nine days—ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to be with you during your nine days, and quietly express any intentions that you would like her prayers for.
Day 1) Matthew 1:18–25
Day 2) Matthew 2:1–23
Day 3) Luke 1:26–45
Day 4) Luke 1:46–56
Day 5) Luke 2:1–21
Day 6) Luke 2:22-52
Day 7) John 2:1–12
Day 8) John 19:25–27
Day 9) Acts 1:13–14