“Mary was the first person to take the ‘way’ to enter the Kingdom of God that Christ opened, a way which is accessible to the humble, to all who trust in the word of God and endeavor to put it into practice.” — Pope Benedict XVI
Prayer for the Faithful at St. Francis Chapel
O Mother of Jesus, whose intercession strengthens the Church, conserve, increase and make fruitful this congregation at St. Francis Chapel. O Mary, you care for the brethren of your Son with a mother’s love; watch with maternal charity over all who rejoice today to be part of this family. Sustain our priests in their apostolate, protect travelers on their journeys, guide students who seek truth, heal the sick and afflicted, and be a bulwark for all the faithful who gather at this chapel in living out their vocations at home and in the marketplace. Blessed Mother, who have already reached the perfection of grace, mercifully pray for us that by the merits of your Son we shall increase in faith, hope and love till the consummation of heaven. Amen.
One of the crusaders from the 7th crusade (13th century) sailed home to Italy from Jerusalem. During a violent storm the man prayed for Our Lady’s protection and promised to establish a sanctuary for her image wherever he landed safely. Providence would have it that, together with the skill of the sailors and the intercession of Our Lady, the ship landed safely in Trapani, Sicily. There the man established a shrine which through the centuries has become a site of pilgrimage, reminding the faithful of the privilege of cooperating with Divine Providence.
Our Lady’s humility allowed her to follow the way of Christ. She understood that only the humble open their hearts up in trust to the Word of God. Through prayer and acts of hope, Our Lady followed Divine Providence all the way through the crucifixion and into the resurrection of Christ.
Is there some inspiration from the Lord that you have been ignoring? Today, pursue this inspiration in prayer; ask a spiritual director or pastor; or, if you are ready, put this inspiration into action.