Now that we’re knee deep into Advent and preparing for the coming of our Lord, we pause and celebrate another important figure in Catholicism … His Blessed Mother.
Though it can be confusing to celebrate the origins of Mary now, it’s fitting since without Mary, there would be no Jesus.
Mary was the very beginning of God’s master plan. Her immaculate conception, which we celebrated on Dec. 8th (Dec. 9th in the U.S.), meant that from the very moment she was conceived in her mother’s womb, she was without original sin.
Mary was filled with God’s grace. And as a teenager, she said yes to God.
She continued to say yes throughout her life.
No matter how difficult the consequences, Mary put her faith in the Lord to do as He said.
Mary is the perfect example for us. Though sin is inherently part of our nature, we can look to her as an example of how we should live our lives.
Mary is our heavenly mother there to help us … to intercede on our behalf with the Lord. And she helps us to grow closer to Him.
One way she does this is through private apparitions.
Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary’s apparitions to Juan Diego in Mexico with a request to build a church. Her first visit to Juan Diego was on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception … 488 years ago this week.
We looked at ways to honor Mary last May. This week, we dig a little deeper into understanding our universal mother. What her Immaculate Conception is really all about, why we consider Mary to be a Queen, why our devotion to her is not too exaggerated, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Marian apparitions, and some prayers to Mary.
Take time out during this Advent to give praise to the one who started it all … Immaculate Mary.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
Give a beautiful Rosary to your loved ones for Christmas … or find a new one for yourself to pray with during Advent. Our imported Rosaries are hand made by craftsmen in the Holy Land with stones indigenous to the Bethlehem area. They come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Shop all our Rosaries.
‘Immaculate Conception’ Does Not Mean What You Think it Means
The Immaculate Conception is oftentimes confused with the Virgin Birth of Jesus. It doesn’t help that it’s celebrated during Advent, when we are preparing for the Lord’s birth. And that the Gospel reading on that day is the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary for the Annunciation. Caroline Bologna sets us straight by explaining the correct meaning of the Immaculate Conception.
Queen Mary According to Scriptures
One of the biggest differences between Catholics and Protestants is our adoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While we don’t elevate Mary to the level of God, we do value her role in our Lord’s life and her ability to intercede on our behalf. And Mary is our Queen. But she wasn’t married to Jesus, so why would she be a Queen? For the answer, we can look no further than scriptures, along with an understanding of the role of a King’s mother..
Why Scripturally Mary is Our Queen | Catholic Stand
In Defense of Exaggerated Marian Devotion
Some Protestants criticize Catholics for their devotion to Mary. And even some Catholics may feel it’s a bit over the top sometimes. But Joe Heschmeyer explains the two reasons why this exaggeration is acceptable.
In Defense of Exaggerated Marian Devotion | Word on Fire
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
If you live in the Americas, you no doubt are familiar with Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her presence has grown increasingly over the years. We celebrate her feast day on Dec. 12th. Although she originated in Mexico, she doesn’t just belong to the Mexicans. In 1945 Pope Pius XII declared her the Empress of all the Americas. This is likely due to her role in helping spread Catholicism in the Americas, converting 8 million to Catholicism in a short period of time. Her apparitions to Juan Diego were miraculous and the tilma with her image on it is a miracle that endures even today.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe | Catholic Culture
Our Lady of Guadalupe Printable Craft For Kids
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a beautiful one and the story of her apparitions to Juan Diego and the miraculous tilma are even more inspiring. Celebrate her feast day on Dec. 12th with this fun craft for the kids.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Printable Craft For Kids | Catholic Icing
5 Key Marian Apparitions
The Holy See has a lengthy, formal process for validating Marian apparitions as worthy of our belief … though no Catholics are required to venerate Our Lady under these titles. Here’s an interesting overview of how apparitions are approved and 5 that have been officially approved by the Holy See.
A Guide to 5 Key Marian Apparitions (#3 is Hardly Known) | Ascension Press
A World Map of Virgin Mary Apparitions
Apparitions of Mary that have been approved by the Vatican as “believable” date as far back as 1531 in Mexico City and as recent as 1981 in Rwanda. But there are many, many more Marian Apparitions that have been documented around the world. Some have been approved by the local Bishop; many are still under investigation. Take a look at these fascinating maps put together by National Geographic that document the locations of apparitions around the world.
A World Map of Virgin Mary Apparitions | Big Think
Prayer to Mary
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary last Sunday, Pope Francis visited the Piazza di Spagna — a statue of Our Lady that commemorates the Immaculate Conception. At the foot of the statue, Pope Francis recited this prayer for all who are discouraged by sin.
5 Marian Titles to Remember When Life Seems Hopeless
Our Lord’s mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, has received countless honors in the Catholic church. In fact, she has more than 2,000 titles given to her! Here are 5 titles for Our Lady that can help when you’re feeling discouraged and hopeless.
Pray This Novena to Mary to Undo Your Knots
We all have sins to overcome and Mary can help. Since the second century, Mary has been known as the undoer of knots and Pope Francis has encouraged the devotion to this novena.
Mary Undoer of Knots Novena | Pray More Novenas
Marian Inspiration on Your Desktop And Phone
Click below to download this week’s free inspirational Marian wallpaper for your desktop and your phone. Or download one of the previous wallpapers
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