Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! …
There is that tribute word again – “Hail.” This seem to be a theme about how important Mary is to our eternal salvation. Our veneration of the Blessed Virgin mary in no way minimizes God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit who are the ONLY way to salvation. It just makes it a little easier for us poor sinners to have such a powerful mediatrix showing us how to be a good catholic christian in today’s environment of so much evil.
When I think of Mary as ‘Mother of Mercy’, I am taken back to a passage I once read about a catholic mystics dream in where she saw people purging their sins in purgatory. These poor souls were suffering greatly, but Mary was there as well, comforting and encouraging ‘her children’ in only a way ‘a true mother could do!’
I Love you Mary. Please help me to find my way along the path of salvation. Please be with me, along with your son, to keep me from stumbling on the rocks and crags of sin thrown at me daily. Amen.
Pax et Bonum,
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St Mary Francis of the Five Wounds 1715-1791
Anna Maria Rosa, as Mary Frances was christened, was born in Naples in 1715 of a family that belonged to the middle class of society. Her mother, a devout and gentle woman, who had much to contend with from her hot-tempered husband, was quite worried before the birth of this child. But St. John Joseph of the Cross, who lived in Naples at that time, calmed her and recommended special care of the child, as it was destined to attain to great holiness.
She was scarcely 4 years old when she began to spend hours in prayer, and sometimes arose at night for this purpose. Such was her desire to know the truths of the Catholic Faith, that an angel appeared to her and instructed her regularly. She had not yet attained her 7th year when she desired to receive holy Communion. Her pastor marveled at her knowledge of the Faith, as well as her ardent desire for the Bread of Angels, and felt that he could not deny her the privilege. In fact, it was not long before he permitted her to receive daily.
The earnest representations of a priest made her father consent that his daughter take the Tertiary habit and serve God as a consecrated virgin at home, as was customary in those days.
Filled with holy joy, Mary Frances now received the habit and with it the surname “of the Five Wounds.” This name was prophetic of her subsequent life. At home she had much to endure. Her father never got over it that he lost a wealthy son-in-law. When God favored her with unusual graces — she was sometimes granted ecstasies at prayer and suffered our Lord’s agony with Him — her own brothers and sisters insulted her as an imposter. Even her confessor felt obliged to deal harshly with her. For a long time she could find consolation nowhere but in the wounds of Christ.
Although she suffered continuously, our Lord also gave Mary Frances great graces and consolations. She received the marks of the wounds of Christ and was granted the gift of prophesy and of miracles. When Pius VI was crowned pope in 1775, she beheld him in a vision wearing a crown of thorns. Pope Pius closed his life 24 years later as a prisoner of the French Revolution at Valence.
Mary Frances also prophesied the tragic events of the French Revolution; and God heard her prayer, asking that she be taken from this world before they would happen. She died on October 6, 1791, kissing the feet of her crucifix. God glorified her by many miracles. She was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI, and canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1867.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)