Blessed Virgin Mary: February 2007 Archives

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.

The Comfort of the Beads

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Given the grace of today's feast, you may want to begin praying the Rosary of the Seven Dolours. It is prayed on seven sets of seven beads. Although one can obtain the beads from the Servite Fathers and a number of other sources, my own were made by the wonderful ladies of the Rosary Workshop. Their work is exquisite; the beads are sturdy, beautiful, and a comfort to touch and to hold.

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Two memorials occurring in February, as well as the proximity of Lent, compel me to post once again what I wrote last September concerning the Rosary of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The two memorials are that of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites today, February 17th, and that of Saint Gabriel of the Addolorata on February 27th.

The Rosary of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a way of rememorating certain events in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Compassion of His Virgin Mother. The fruits of this particular prayer are compunction of heart, detachment from the occasions of sin, chastity, humility, reparation, compassion, intimacy with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, and desire to contemplate the Face of Christ. The power of this prayer — something that many have experienced — comes from allowing one's own heart to be irrigated and purified by the tears of the Mother of God. The tears of the Sorrowful Mother bring purity and healing wherever they fall.

It is significant, I think, that the first three of Our Lady’s Sorrows were shared with Saint Joseph and the last four with Saint John, the Beloved Disciple of Jesus. Saint Joseph and Saint John, the two men chosen by God to live in the intimacy of the Virgin Mother, were also chosen by God to enter into the mystery of her sorrows.

Here is one method of saying the Rosary of the Seven Dolours:

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.

Donations for Silverstream Priory

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