“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” // John 19: 26-27
During his final moments, Jesus looks to John and entrusts him with his mother. In this moment on the cross, Jesus is giving us too, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, Mary as our mother, to love and protect us from that moment forward.
St Louis de Montfort says, “Mary is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus.” Devotion to the Blessed Mother has been practiced as early as the 3rd century, and Marian feasts began to be celebrated in the 4th century. Marian feast days are recognized as days celebrating the events in the life of Mary and her veneration. Many titles have been given to the Blessed Mother over the centuries in order to honor her and the help she has given us.
Today, July 16, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a title given to the Blessed Mother in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. During the late 12th and early- to mid-13th century, the first Carmelites were hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land, where they built a chapel devoted to the Blessed Mother. In the 19th century, Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, became the patron saint of Chile.
A special devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is centered around the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular. A central belief of the Brown Scapular is its significance of the wearer’s consecration to Mary. The Scapular Promise is, “Take this Scapular. Whosoever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and pledge of peace.”
We call MaryMadonna, essentially translated asOur Lady, a title of respect and veneration because through her “yes” to becoming God-bearer, came our salvation, and thus she is worthy of endless honor.
At the foot of the cross, Jesus gifted Mary to us as a loving mother. She found herself no longer Madonna and Mother of God only, but our Mother too, Madonna and Mother of both heaven and earth.
Just as God sent his son to remind us of his unending love, Jesus gives us Mary so we may experience the love she has for each of her children. Every time we send our chain of prayers, the rosary, in her direction or wear beads in her honor on our wrist, we know that she is linked to us, urging us to come to the Divine life of her son, and inviting us to take part in the great love story that is our lives too.
She is very much ours… and we are hers.
Totus Tuus Maria. We are completely yours Mary.