Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sept. 8, 2011 Thursday: Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church's calendar observes the birthdays of only two saints: Saint John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary, Mother of Jesus. The birth of Mary was miraculous. She was conceived without sin as a special grace because God had selected her to become the mother of His Son (the feast of her Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8). 

St. Jean Vianney on Blessed Mother
"To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern." 
"Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is much too busy with her children." 
"Christian wife! Follow in the footsteps of the ideal of all womanhood, the Blessed Mother of God; in joy and in sorrow, she will be your advocate at the throne of her Son." 
"Jesus Christ, after having given us all he could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, his sufferings, and bitter death; after having given us his adorable body and blood to be the food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing he had let, which was his holy Mother," 
"When our hands have touched spices, they give fragrance to all they handle. Let us make our prayers pass through the hands of the Blessed Virgin. She will make them fragrant."

St. Therese on Blessed Mother
Shortly after her religious profession, as the consecrated spouse of Christ, Thérèse painted a symbolic picture of herself. It showed a snow-white lily, symbolizing her soul, above which was a glistening star tracing the letter “M” – Marie – and letting fall its rays into the open petals below. She used to call herself, “the Little Flower of the Blessed Virgin,” and Mary, on her part, was called her “heavenly Gardener.” When she received from superiors the order to write her life, she immediately had recourse to Mary. “Before I took pen in hand,” she writes, “I knelt down before the statue of the Blessed Virgin, which had given to my family so many proofs of her maternal protection, and I begged her to guide my hand and not allow me to write a single line that might displease her.” (Autobiography, 15)

St. Pio of Pietrecina (Padre Pio) on Blessed Mother
Padre Pio said: "Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother."

"When one acknowledges the importance of the Blessed Mother in Her Immaculate Conception, it is the first step on the path of salvation."

"Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today."

"All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother."

Mary Pyle told me that aside from all of Padre Pio's daily priestly duties, he said a fifteen decade Rosary thirty-five (35) or more times each day.

Many photographs show Padre Pio laughing and smiling with his right hand hidden in his chest-high pocket. He is actually doing two things at the same time. He is laughing, telling humorous stories and praying his rosary. This is another gift granted by God to his special chosen son.

With great tenderness, he always spoke of the Blessed Mother as "my dear little Mother."

He always said: "The Blessed Mother is the Mother of all Mothers."

On Padre Pio's death bed, his final words that he kept repeating were: "Jesus-Mary; Jesus-Mary; Jesus-Mary."

Padre Pio often told his fellow priests when they asked him of the Blessed Mother and if she was with him during his Mass: "The Blessed Mother accompanies me to the altar and remains at my side while I offer up the Holy Mass."

Padre Pio often said Mass at the altar of "The Immaculate Conception" in her honor.

A priest, a member of the monastery, asked Padre Pio: 'Does the Blessed Mother ever come to your room?' And he replied: "Why not ask me instead, 'does she ever leave my room?"

Padre Pio's dear friend, Padre Eusebio, asked him: "Does the Blessed Mother ever appear to you, and do you see her?" Padre Pio replied: "The Blessed Mother comes to me whenever I need her."

Giuseppa Forgione, Padre Pio's mother, loved the Blessed Mother like her son. When Francesco left for the Seminary in 1902, his mother's gift to him was a large, framed, beautiful picture of the Blessed Mother entitled, "Our Lady of Purity." His mother's gift was always with him. He always hung this picture at the foot of the bed, so that he could see his beautiful Madonna as he prayed his Rosary before sleeping. The pilgrims touring the Monastery today will see in Padre Pio's bedroom, Cell #1, this picture of "Our Lady of Purity" still hanging at the foot of his bed.