The third Joyful Mystery is the Nativity. This story can be found in Luke and Matthew’s Gospel. We all know what happens here Jesus is born. The fruit of this mystery is a bit more complex than other mysteries as it is multifaceted being Poverty (poor in spirit), Detachment from the things of the world, Contempt of Riches, Love of the Poor. This is perfectly illustrated in the Nativity as Jesus, the king of the Jews, was born in a cave/barn and placed in a manger since there wasn’t room at the inn.
Most everyone in the world today is attracted to the opposite of these things. Popes across the years have tried to stress these thing we need to care more about the Poor and forget about things of the world. This is one of the seven points in Catholic Social Teaching, as Pope Benedict XVI said “the love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel”. We need to become a society that cares about each other rather than one obsessed with being the best and having the most as this does nothing in the long run but create social problems.
The Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is meeting next year at the Vatican to discuss the topic of Young people, faith and vocational discernment. Earlier this week the Vatican released an online questionnaire so that the young can voice their opinions on the state of the Church. If you’ve got some time fill it out. It doesn’t matter what religion you are as The Vatican just wants to take the pulse of the youth of the world. This is your chance to voice your opinions about the Church and hopefully the Bishops will listen and do something about it.
A couple of days ago was 13 June this was the second appearance of Mary to the children in Fatima. This time around according to the writings of Lucia, Mary appeared and told the children to continue praying the Rosary everyday but to add a prayer after each decade “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins , save us from the fire of hell. Take all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need. ” Mary also asked to learn to read and write. The children asked if they would make it to heaven and Mary responded that Jacinta and Francisco will come soon, but Lucia will remain a little longer, for there is more for Lucia to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart.
Let us all take out a rosary and pray it at least once a month since it is not that much to ask of all of us.
The second Joyful Mystery is when Mary goes and visits her cousin Elizabeth. This story can be found in Luke’s Gospel 1: 39=56. In the Western churches the feast is celebrated on 31 May and the Eastern churches celebrates it on 30 March. The fruit associated with this mystery is love of neighbor, since at the Annunciation Mary learned that Elizabeth was with child. When Mary arrived Elizabeth was about six months pregnant and Mary stayed for three months. Sure, Mary and Elizabeth were family but the general idea of love of neighbor, going out on a mission of charity, would be a wonderful thing if we could all do something like this. These are sort of outlined by the works of mercy, as how to love your neighbor. Let us all be able to stir the spirit within our neighbors like Mary did for Elizabeth when she her the voice of Mary the babe leapt in her womb. We need to bring love into the world all too often we are surrounded by hate in the world and that is never fun.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these decade posts so we begin going through them all again. We start with the Joyful Mysteries.
The first Joyful Mystery is The Annunciation, this is when the Angel of the Lord (Gabriel) came to Mary this is found in Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel came to Mary and Mary said Yes to become the Theotokos. This event also takes place in the Quran and according to Muslim tradition it took place during the month of Ramadan. The fruit of the mystery is humility. According to the Catechism humility is the root of prayer, so it is fitting that we reflect on humility as we begin the Rosary. It is one of the seven heavenly virtues the obverse of the seven deadly sins. Humility is something that we need more of in the world, too many people it seems are obsessed with themselves and forget about everyone else. Humans are social creatures and we should care more about others. I mean look at that TED talk from Pope Francis a couple of weeks ago in which humility played a big role. Let us all try to care more for other.
“The Golden Bull” Gloriosae Dominae is an Apostolic Letter from Pope Benedict XIV way back in 1748. In Gloriosae Dominae, Benedict called Mary the Queen of Heaven and Earth and says that the sovereign King has in some way communicated to her his ruling power. It also honors the Sodality of Our Lady, this is like a confraternity sort of. the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary was formed in 1563 for school boys by a Jesuit at the Roman College. According to a Jesuit historian the young men from the college agreed to daily mass, weekly confession, monthly Communion, as well as to a half-hour of meditation each day and to some other pious exercises. They would also “serve the poor” and their patron was Mary. Later on Pope Sixtus V allowed non students to join in as well. Simply put it was a Marian society. Gloriosae Dominae is called the Golden Bull since Benedict used gold instead of the normal lead to seal the document in honor of Mary.
Bis Saeculari is an Apostolic Constitution from Pope Pius XII was issued for the 200th anniversary of “The Golden Bull” from Pope Benedict XIV. This was later quoted by Pius XII in Ad Caeli Reginam, which we will get to later. In Bis Saeculari, Pius praises the work of the Sodality and says that by propagating, spreading and defending Catholic doctrine they must be considered among the most powerful spiritual force in the world. Pius also calls for a revival of Marian congregations especially in the post war years. Many saints have been members of Marian congregations and we should follow their examples.
This is a nice way to end this Month of Mary
Auspicia Quaedam is one of the Encyclicals from Pope Pius XII. The focus is public prayer for world peace as well as a solution of the problem of Palestine. It was written back in 1948, so World Peace was still something that people cared about not wanting to have another World War. Sure this was during the Cold War but according to the Pope a vast community of nations are turning towards the path of peace. Pius says that we need to first turn to God in prayer then as in previous Encyclicals turn to Mary asking for “mutual, fraternal and complete peace among all nations and the longed for harmony among all social classes.” Pius consecrated the world ti the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the lead of Leo XIII, who consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pius points out some significant things that we should pray for
“Let there be an end to dissensions that redound to no one’s advantage.
Let there be a reconciliation of disputes that often sow the seeds of further misfortunes.
Let international relations, public and private, be fittingly strengthened.
Let religion, the foster mother of all virtues, enjoy the liberty to which she is entitled.
And let men set about their peaceful work of abundant production for the common welfare – with justice their guide and charity their motive.”
The second part of the Encyclical is a bit funny as we are still dealing with the “problem of Palestine” today we are still dealing with the problems but it’s a bit more complicated now and this was before Israel became a Nation so it the the Palestine Region that Pius is talk about. However, Pius is more concerned about the Holy Sites and that they become safe places.
So pray to Mary especially if you are a child and let us take up the prayers for World Peace as it seems like we are always on the brink of War nowadays.
This past Friday and Saturday, Pope Francis made a quick trip over to Portugal and canonize two of the three shepherds (Jacinta and Francisco Marto), Rocco Palmo over at Whispers in the Loggia has a great recap of all that happened. It began simply enough with Pope Francis bringing a Golden Rose and bestowing it to our lady, it is Fatima’s third rose. The main event was Saturday the one hundredth with the Canonization mass. This bishop dressed in white delivered a message which had double meaning in the United States this weekend of “honoring your mother” since Mary is Mother to us all. The Homily at the Canonization I think gave the greatest reason why we should honor Mary. Pope Francis echoes Mary’s message from 100 years ago and added to it a bit “Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures. Such a life – frequently proposed and imposed – risks leading to hell.” Sure Russia and the World have been Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary several times but perhaps we need to do something about it rather than just says that it’s been consecrated. We need to pull out those Rosaries and get to praying.
On this upcoming Saturday one hundred year ago Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were herding sheep outside of Fátima, Portugal. Pope Francis will be canonizing Jacinta and Francisco when he travels to Fatima this Friday and Saturday. Saturday will be the hundredth year since the shepherd children first saw a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.” This woman asked the children to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to pray the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war (World War I). This was the first of six appearances to the children between May and October of 1917, now these were about once a month and I’ll go into those during their months.
EWTN has a nice website up about the Fatima Apparitions. If you want an easy overview of all the apparitions take a look at their site. I think that if Mary were to come today she’d ask us to do the same thing devote ourselves to the Trinity and to pray the Rosary for world peace. I hope that as we reflect on the events in Fatima this year we are compelled to pick up a Rosary and pray it. Pope John Paul II also has a connection with Fatima as on May 13 in 1981 John Paul was shot and critically wounded, and John Paul believed that it was through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima that his life was spared. Next week we will reflect on what Pope Francis did and said in Fatima.
Ubi Primum and Deiparae Virginis Mariae are a unique set Encyclical since it isn’t a typical Encyclical but in it the Pope asking the bishops of the world along with all the clergy and lay people if it is wise and prudent that the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption should become Dogma. It is pretty cool to see some “working documents” on these points of dogma.
In Ubi Primum Pius IX in 1849 writes to the bishops of the increase of Marian devotion both public and privately took place during Pope Gregory XVI’s reign (Pope before Pius). Gregory’s reign was also a time when people began pressing for a definition of Immaculate Mary. Yet the entirety of the Encyclical is asking if the Immaculate Conception should be made dogma.
In Deiparae Virginis Mariae Pius XII in 1946 almost 100 year later begins that there have been calls about making the Assumption dogma for about the same amount of time, Pius notes that there are several petitions from 1849-1940 have been compiled in a two volume and these came from just about everyone. So in the steps of Pius IX he thought to ask if the Assumption should be made dogma