Q My wife and I are recent converts to the Catholic faith. As recent non-Catholics, devotion to the Blessed Mother is new to our family. Where do we start?
— T. L.Dover, Delaware
A George: A subject dear to our hearts! Since we first started dating, Lisette and I have always given the Blessed Mother a special place in our relationship. And now that we're married and have a family, she has a place of honor in our home.
First and foremost, Mary has been a true heavenly mother to us. Whenever we've faced troubles or sufferings, we've turned to her for solace and protection. And through our prayers and petitions, rosaries and novenas, which our son, George Alexander, sees us doing — and participates in at his level — we hope to pass on a love of Our Lady to him. We want him, as he grows older, to realize that Mary can be a mother for him as well.
Lisette: As I began to grow more in my faith, I felt I needed a place in my life for Our Lady. I knew she was the Mother of Christ and our mother but I really didn't own that thought in my heart.
One time, George and I made plans to visit a pilgrimage site of Our Lady. Before going, I shared my thoughts with a friend, who suggested I take the time before the trip to pray: “Lord, show me what your Mother's role is in my life.” I prayed this prayer daily, and little by little I began to read and know more about Our Lady, which in turn made me love her more. I began to give all my decisions, intercessions and even practical concerns to Jesus through the hands of Mary.
My relationship with Mary began to grow as I continued those simple steps. This all happened during the time George and I were dating. Before we would go out, I would say a quick prayer and end it by placing our date in the hands of Our Lady.
I realized that when I allowed Mary to be my mother, I knew her abiding presence in my life. I don't think it's a question of whether she's there or not. She is definitely there. But I ask myself, “Do I recognize her presence?”
George: One of the practical ways we show love for the Blessed Mother in our home is by celebrating her feast days. From the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Immaculate Conception, Lisette and I try to make these days a special occasion. We try to attend Mass together as a family to celebrate the feast day. We also bake cookies or a cake in honor of the Virgin Mary. And of course we say prayers that are appropriate for that particular feast.
This past year, on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we celebrated the day with another family. We all sang songs while the kids led a procession through the house.
Lisette: This was our simple way to honor our Lady, and the kids had fun doing it. God bless you, and please pray for us in your next rosary!
George and Lisette de los Reyes host “The Two Shall Be One” on EWTN.