Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. // Luke 1:45
The Church honors Mary in a special way today as we celebrate the Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary. Let’s receive this invitation to pause and reflect on the powerful name of Mary. Over eight hundred years ago, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote a famous homily about the name of Mary. He wrote:
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for a guide, you shall never go astray” (Hom. II super Missus est, 17: PL 183, 70-71).
There have been many Saints who have died with the name of Mary on their lips. Our Heavenly Mother prays for us “now and at the hour of our death.”
I have a very vivid memory of my family’s last visit with my ninety-nine-year-old great-grandmother before she died. I was twelve years old and this was the first time I had been with someone so close to death. My great-grandmother was unresponsive to us when we arrived at her nursing home room. We noticed a cassette tape player near her bed with a recording of the Rosary on it. My family played the recording and began to pray the Rosary together. My great-grandmother became more attentive and began to move her lips to say her prayers. These prayers were deeply written on her heart; I wonder how many thousands of Hail Marys she said throughout her life. What an unforgettable witness to see how my great-grandma did not let Mary’s name depart from her lips, even in her final days.
Let us take Mary as our patron and be formed by her Immaculate Heart. Keep the name of Mary on your lips and say with her, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:46).Let us take Mary as our patron and be formed by her Immaculate Heart. // Rose Coleman Click To Tweet