Explaining, reflecting on titles for the Blessed Virgin Mary
From the Southern Nebraska Register
LINCOLN (SNR) – A series of videos will launch on Easter Monday, April 13, briefly explaining and reflecting on each of the titles for the Blessed Virgin Mary in the “Litany of Loreto.”
The Litany of Loreto – approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V – is one of the prayers St. Louis Marie de Montfort includes in the 33-day preparation for consecration to Mary that participants renew on a yearly basis. A litany is a prayer of supplication, calling upon Mary in multiple titles and saying after each, “pray for us.”
The videos are presented by Brother Michael Mary, general vicar of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist and local guardian or superior of the brothers at Sacred Heart Friary in Lincoln.
He said the video project as a whole is meant to support and deepen devotion to the Blessed Mother.
“Many times I have wondered what some of the titles refer to,” he explained; titles such as “Tower of Ivory” or “Mystical Rose.”
“Each title has a history in the Church of how it came to be, and that is quite interesting. But the greatest benefit to me has been the Scriptural references and the writings of the saints in reference to the particular titles and to the role that Mary plays in our salvation.”
Since the Protestant reformation, he said, the role of Mary has been downplayed, but that is not so with the saints – both before and after that time.
For example, he pointed out, St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, taught, “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
“We must remember that our love for her can never be too much, only too little,” Brother Michael said. “The saints trusted her example and intercession to make their confession of faith in their words and deeds authentic. She is the most authentic Christian who ever was, who ever is, and who will ever be. She is our mother. She wants to help us. The more you come to love, honor and trust the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the more you come to love, honor, and trust in Jesus.”
Filming of the videos began in mid-February, with a few more yet to film as the project launches. Production takes place at the home of Wayne Ringer, a member of St. Mary Parish in Denton. He built a studio in his home over the winter, and it is used for Lincoln Right to Life’s podcast on local issues, “Pro-Life Nebraska,” and for Lt. Gov. Mike Foley’s podcast on faith, family and politics named “Foley’s Forum.” Both podcasts are available on Facebook and YouTube.
The timing of the release of the Loreto videos was intended to honor Mary during the month of May.
“Since there are 52 titles and only 31 days in May, we decided that starting immediately after Easter was the best course of action,” Brother Michael said. “With the pandemic going on and more people stuck at home, we hope that these short meditations will aid us in coming closer to our Lady, and ultimately to our Lord.”
In a particular way during the coronavirus pandemic, he said, we can look to “Mary, Health of the Sick” – one of the titles – “in this unique time in history to teach us how to suffer well – to draw close to the Sacred Heart of Christ; He who walks by our side, weighed down by the cross.”
Mary reminds us of Christ’s words in the Gospel, he said: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28) We will all die someday. So, we call upon Mary, Health of the Sick, and St. Joseph, patron of a holy death. Remember that St. Joseph had Jesus and Mary at his sickbed, his deathbed. Mary kept vigil at his side. Let us have the same confidence in her.”
The Knights of the Holy Eucharist, who came to the Diocese of Lincoln in 2016, were established in 1998 by Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, PCPA, well known as the foundress of EWTN Global Catholic Network.
The brothers’ main apostolate is prayer – something greatly needed at this time, Brother Michael stressed – and fostering reverent devotion to our Eucharistic King.
The Knights offer talks, server training and other charitable works in the diocese.
“We have also been tilling the soil not only spiritually but also physically as we are developing a raised bed garden system to be able to grow some of our own produce come spring and summer.”
The brothers’ community life leads well to devotion to the Blessed Mother, but in a manner accessible to all vocations.
“We should zealously look to Mary for strength and conviction,” Brother Michael said, “in living our particular mission to build Christ’s kingdom – first, in our own hearts, making Him Lord of our entire life – to reflect Him in our inner and outer dispositions, thoughts, words, and actions. Then to build Christ’s kingdom in our families, our parishes, and our cities.”
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