Mary, May, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day

May has some special remembrances: it combines the Month of Mary, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day all in one. There is a connection to be made between all three. Patricia Kasten writes the following in an online site called The Compass.

We are used to referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Queen of Peace. She is, after all, the Mother of Mercy, the throne of Mercy himself, since Jesus – God’s Mercy made flesh – sat on her lap. However, there is a tougher side to Mary — she’s not exactly a warrior with a sword in hand, but she is known
to be a protective mother….A more unusual image of Mary as a protective mother is seen in several images of Mary as “Madonna del Soccorso” (Our Lady of Help) in 15th century Italy….In these images, a demon tries to snatch a child from its mother, who prays to Mary. Mary holds the child safe by one arm while raising a stick to 
threaten the demon.
While an image of Mary beating off a demon with a stick seems unusual to our eyes, think of how protective all mothers are when their children are under attack. As Jesus was dying on the cross, he told his mother, standing bravely by him, “There is your son.” By doing so, the church teaches, Jesus entrusted all of us to Mary’s protective care.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, writing about the Aug. 22 feast of the Queenship of Mary, said that, in ancient times, “The Queen Mother — like all of the monarchs of Israel — (was) a fighter. Israel frequently brought the Ark into battle with them.” The Ark of the Covenant contained the stone tablets bearing God’s Law on them. One of Mary’s many titles is “ark of the new covenant,” since she carried Jesus — the living
Word of God — safely within her own body. Bishop Barron continued, “The Queenship of Mary is not a sentimental feast. Whenever biblical people spoke of kings or queens, they were speaking of warriors.”

So Mary is mother, and warrior – hence the connection between May, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.

Below are 2 images of Mary as the Madonna del Soccorso. Finally, let’s all take to heart the gift of her maternal protection, during these days of our lives or – as we pray - “now and at the hour of our death”. Whether we think of Mary as warrior or not, the protection of Jesus’ mother – The Mother of God- is essential.

(1510) von Tiberio d’Assisi   Unknown, Isola di Ischia
(1510) von Tiberio d’Assisi   Unknown, Isola di Ischia



Heart, Soul and Mind

Monsignor Royal's weekly column as featured in our bulletin.


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