The Blessed Virgin Mary
( Originally Published 1922 )
The Blessed Virgin is our Lord's own true mother. She is very dear to Him, and so she can help us when she prays for us. Our Lord lived with His blessed mother and St. Joseph in Nazareth for thirty years. Now they are united in heaven. We honor the Blessed Virgin Mary because she is God's mother. She is the holiest and the purest of all God's creatures. God kept her always free from original sin. St. Joseph, too, is dear to God, for he took care of our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary for many years.
Tell me again today, children, how our Lord came to earth. Tell me about Bethlehem ; about the shepherds ; about the three kings ; about the wicked King Herod. Perhaps you would like to tell me something about St. John the Baptist, too. What relation was he to our Lord? Why did our Lord come down from heaven? Why is He called our Saviour? What person of the Blessed Trinity is our Lord? In what are the three divine persons equal?
When did God first promise to send our Redeemer? From whose power did our Lord redeem us? Why did He have to free us from the power of the devil? Why did our Lord wish to free us from the devil? Why could no one go to heaven before our Saviour came? How do you know that our Lord is truly God? What Church teaches us that our Lord is truly God ? Why does the Catholic Church always teach the truth?
How long had our Lord been God before He was born in Bethlehem? When did our Lord become man? What form did our Lord take in Bethlehem? What can our Lord do? What could our Lord do when He was a little baby? Of course, children, I am sure you like little babies. Tell me about some babies you know. What did your mother do for you when you were a little baby? Lead them here to consider the tender offices of good mothers toward their little ones.
Who is our Lord's mother? Tell me some of the things the Blessed Virgin Mary did for the child Jesus. Imagine now you were there in the stable after our Lord was born. Tell me what you think the Blessed Virgin would be doing with her divine child. What would you like to do if you were there when the Blessed Virgin was putting little Jesus to sleep? Who chose the Blessed Virgin to be our Lord's mother? Who told her that God had chosen her to be our Lord's mother? What did the Angel Gabriel say then?
Who is the purest of all God's creatures ? Why did God make the Blessed Virgin so pure and holy? Whose mother was she to be? Why did God keep the Blessed Virgin free from sin? What does the Immaculate Conception mean? When is the feast of the Immaculate Conception? What must you do on that day? Why do you have to go to Mass on that day?
Whom do yon think our Lord loves best of all the people that ever lived? What do you think our Lord wants us to do for His blessed mother? Why do you think our Lord is pleased when we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary? How can you show your love for God's blessed mother? What prayers do you say to the Blessed Virgin Mary? Who was the first to say the first part of the Hail Mary ? Who sent the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary? What words did the Angel Gabriel say?
Do you know who said the words ? —" Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." It was St. Elizabeth, the Blessed Virgin's cousin. The Blessed Virgin went to visit her after the Angel Gabriel came, and when St. Elizabeth saw her coming she said those words. Then the Church added the last part of the Hail Mary : "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." Now, could you tell any one where the Hail Mary came from? Where did the first part come from? the second part? the third part? When is the feast of the Annunciation? When is our Lord's birthday ?
The Blessed Virgin's birthday is September 8th. It is called the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joachim and St. Anne were the Blessed Virgin's parents. When she was a little girl they took her to the temple in Jerusalem to offer her to God. This day is called the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrate it on November 21st. There are many other feasts of the Blessed Virgin during the year. What is the color of the vestments which the priest wears on the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary? What do the white vestments signify? When is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary ? Who was the Blessed Virgin's mother ? Who was her father ?
July 26th is the feast of St. Anne. What two feasts of the Blessed Virgin are Holy Days? When is the feast of the Immaculate Conception ? When is the feast of the Assumption? Of what does the feast of the Assumption remind us? Why did our Lord take the Blessed Virgin's body to heaven? Which month is the month of Mary ? How do you honor the Blessed Virgin during May ? Why do you think the month of May is set aside for devotion to the Blessed Virgin? Which is one of the most beautiful months of the year?
Why do we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary so much ? Who made the Blessed Virgin our Lord's mother? Who came from heaven to honor her? Why did the Angel Gabriel bow before the Blessed Virgin? What little child used to put its arms around the Blessed Virgin's neck? Who loves the Blessed Virgin more than anybody else that ever lived? Why does our Lord love the Blessed Virgin so much? Since when have good people honored the Blessed Virgin? Why do you honor the Blessed Virgin every day? What do you do to show your love for her? What prayers do you 'say to her?
What litany do you like to say? Why do you honor the Blessed Virgin with all those beautiful names in the litany? The Litany of the Blessed Virgin is also called the Litany of Loretto. This is because it was first said in the beautiful church containing the Holy House of Loretto. Why do you answer?—"Pray for us." Whom does the Blessed Virgin ask to help you when you pray to her ? How do you know that our Lord will help you when the Blessed Virgin prays for you to Him? Where is the Blessed Virgin now? How long will she be with her divine Son in heaven?
Who is queen of the angels in heaven? Why do the angels honor the Blessed Virgin in heaven ? Who made the Blessed Virgin even purer than the angels? Why did God make the Blessed Virgin queen of the angels? Why did the Apostles honor the Blessed Virgin? To which Apostle did our Lord give His blessed mother when He was hanging on the cross? What did the Apostle St. John do for the Blessed Virgin after that? When did God make the Blessed Virgin our mother ?
Why do you think the Blessed Virgin loves us so much? What does the Blessed Virgin do for us? How does she help us? Where does she want us all to go when we die? Why does she want us to go to heaven? Why does she pray to make everybody pure? Why do people have to be pure? Why did all the martyrs honor the Blessed Virgin? Whose mother is she? The early Christians honored the Blessed Virgin very much. Even today you can still see pictures of the Blessed Virgin in the catacombs. They have been there for about seventeen hundred years.
Why did all the saints honor the Blessed Virgin Mary? Why did they pray to her ? Of course you can say the Rosary. The Blessed Virgin gave the Rosary to St. Dominic about seven hundred years ago. St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers, or the Dominicans. There are fifteen mysteries in the Rosary. While we are thinking about each one of these mysteries we say one Our Father and ten Hail Marys in the Rosary. We count thèse prayers on beads that are blessed by the priest. We generally have only one part of the Rosary in our beads. In this there are but five decades. The first Sunday of October is Rosary Sunday. October is the month of the holy Rosary. Why do you think it is good to say the Rosary every day ? Whom do you honor when you say the Rosary ? How many mysteries are there in the whole Rosary ?
These mysteries are all great truths about our Lord and His blessed mother. There are five joyful mysteries : the Annunciation, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin to St. Elizabeth, the Birth of Our Lord, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
Then there are five sorrowful mysteries : the Prayer and Bloody Sweat of Our Lord in the Garden, the Scourging of Our Lord at the Pillar, the Crowning of Our Lord with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion of Our Lord.
Then there are five glorious mysteries : the Resurrection of Our Lord from the Dead, the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, the Coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven, and the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin as Queen of Angels.
So the Rosary is a very beautiful form of prayer. While we are saying it we think all about our Lord's life, death, and resurrection. Did you ever hear of Lourdes ? About fifty years ago the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a little girl there, called Bernadette Soubiroux. The Blessed Virgin taught her to say the Rosary. A very beautiful church is built there now. Many miracles are performed there every year. Lourdes is in the south of France.
Why do we sometimes call our churches St. Mary's, Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, and the like ? Why do we honor the Blessed Virgin in this way ? Why do we have altars and statues and pictures of the Blessed Virgin in our churches and in our homes?
Whose house is the church? Whose picture should we find in God's house? In what Stations of the Cross do we see the picture of our Lord's mother? What happened at the Fourth Station? What happened at the Thirteenth Station? What happened at the Fourteenth Station?
Who was the Blessed Virgin's husband? Why do we honor St. Joseph so much? What did he do for our Lord and the Blessed Virgin? What kind of work did St. Joseph do? Who helped him in his work? Who was with St. Joseph when he died? To what saint do we pray for a happy death? Why are so many churches called St. Joseph's ? Why do we have altars and statues and pictures of St. Joseph? Where is St. Joseph now? What can St. Joseph do for us? Why does our Lord love St. Joseph so much ? Why do they often put a lily in St. Joseph's hand in pictures and statues? Of what is the lily the sign? Why is the lily the sign of purity? Why did God make St. Joseph so pure? With whom was St. Joseph to live?
Why do you think St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin lived together like angels? Why do we pray to St. Joseph when we are in need? Who helped our Lord and the Blessed Virgin when they needed anything? St. Joseph did not know that the Blessed Virgin was going to be our Lord's mother until the angel came and told him. Then he was very happy.
What did St. Joseph do when Herod tried to kill the child Jesus? How did he learn what Herod was going to do? How do you think St. Joseph felt when the angel told him that? Why did Herod fail to kill the child Jesus? What do we call those little boys whom Herod killed? When is the feast of the Holy Innocents? What is the color of the vestments which the priest wears on that day?
How did St. Joseph know when to leave Egypt ? Who sent the angel to tell St. Joseph that ? Where did the Holy Family go when they returned from Egypt? What kind of place is Nazareth? What would you do if you went to Nazareth? Tell me about the Holy House of Nazareth. Tell me where it is now. When will you see the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph? When will you be able to talk to them? With whom will you be in heaven? How do you think the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph know when you pray to them?