Mater Mea, Fiducia Mea!

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My telephone rang this morning shortly before 9:00. An Apostle of the Sacred Heart was calling to invite me to join her and two others on a "pilgrimage" to the Roman Major Seminary for the feast of the Madonna della Fiducia, Our Lady of Confidence or Trust. The Roman Seminary, situated just behind Saint John Lateran, is a less than ten minute walk from Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

The seminary was a beehive of activity this morning. Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting there this evening, continuing the practice of Pope John Paul II who venerated the miraculous image of the Madonna della Fiducia each year. The oratory containing the holy image is not usually open to the public. An exception is made on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, the feast of Our Lady of Confidence. The silver rays surrounding the miraculous image were made from the dog tags of the seminarians who returned safely from their military service during the First World War. Generations of young men have knelt before the miraculous image, entrusting themselves and their priestly vocations to the Madonna della Fiducia.

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I was moved to see the number of priests in prayer before their beloved Mother, their Confidence. Blessed John XXIII, an alumnus of the Roman Seminary, was known for his devotion to the Madonna della Fiducia. The invocation "Mater mea, Fiducia mea! — My Mother, my Confidence!" was ever on his lips, even at the hour of his death.

Look closely at the image. The Child Jesus is looking directly at us and pointing to His Mother. "Trust her," he says. "Trust her with your past, your present, and your future. He who has confidence in my Mother will never be disappointed."

The Discalced Carmelites of Savannah, Georgia, have a splendid page dedicated to Our Lady of Confidence, the patroness of their monastery.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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