Thursday, February 09, 2012

Day Seven of Honoring Mary

Holy Mother has been present in my life from my earliest age. From rosaries, to Holy Cards, to statues, to medals, She has always been there.

We have woven in and around each other in ways expected and then again surprising. I love the book/movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" and the abiding presence of Mary floating through the lives of the people of Cortona and the magic she works in the life of Frances Mayes.

The author, Beverly Donofrio literally rebuilt her life as she recounts her struggle for peace in her memoir, "Looking for Mary".
Reading stories of other women's struggles and recovery to the fullness of life makes me reflect on how fortunate I have been in my life. Yes, I've had dark times (particularly in my 20's) but their stories remind me of how little I've been challenged since then. I've been married for 33 years and God knows that has had a few challenges; raising two children to be accountable adults and hitting a home runner on both has been a challenge, surviving a tough job to finally arrive at the reward of a happy retirement certainly had me shedding some tears from time to time.

The sepia Madonna image just above is a surprise that was sent to me just last month from Robyn in Australia. Like Donofrio, Robyn attributes the peace in her life, that she is experiencing now, to her absolute dedication and reliance on the Virgin.

The white Madonna in my opening picture was a gift to my mother. Mom is gone now and this statue of Madonna and Child is designed to actually be a lamp that when lit emits a translucent glow.

Mary Immaculate with her arms outstretched, was a gift to me for my First Communion in second grade.

The Sacred Heart of Mary was a spontaneously given gift to me almost four years ago. I was visiting a friend in Willows, CA. Some of you may know her, Corey from Tongue in Cheek. Corey's mother is a great collector of antiques and all things wonderful. I was exploring a shed on their property filled with all sorts of stuff and there was Mary. I think she was sitting on a window sill just waiting for me. I picked her up in admiration and Delores, right on the spot, gave her to me. I treasure her.

The small polished wood Madonna and Child I found at a Hallmark shop recently. I was draw to its shine, its smooth sleekness, and the fit of it within my grasp.

To the left is a Madonna and Child vase. The vase is large enough to hold a small nosegay of violets and tea roses perhaps? It is typical 50s kitsch but the reason I picked her up (I found her on eBay) is because I have a very similar in appearance figurine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There is something very circular and complete about the two of these icons next to each other - the Mother holding the Babe and then her grown son at her side.

And finally - finally - I offer you all this
Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes


Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings deign to cast upon us a look of mercy.

By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request.

(state your request)

Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

For more beautiful visits with Our Holy Mother, please visit HERE.


Jeanie said...

You have such a beautiful collection. I don't have the same connection with Mary that Catholics seem to, but I have such respect and love the beautiful images. Thanks for sharing yours.

Lea said...

In all my travels, I have searched for Mary and found her in wondrous places and in so many different forms... visiting here with you and these five days enfolds me yet again in her all reaching embrace. Thank you Annie and Our Holy Mother. XO

Hettienne said...

Annie, somehow I missed this one. Such a beautiful post with such beautiful images of the Blessed Mother. thank you for letting us into your sacred spaces.