I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico last year. I felt peace and understood the miraculous power of Marian apparitions. Mary brings us closer to her son, to God. She did that for me. Since my return from Mexico, my prayer life, my participation in the sacraments and in church life in general has grown. I am a different person now than I was then.
The month of May is devoted to Mary our Blessed Mother. We make an extra effort to honor her with a variety of celebrations, by praying the rosary and even by making pilgrimages like the one I made last year. It is fitting that we celebrate Mother’s Day in May, a day when we honor the mothers who’ve raised us in the flesh during the month we honor the Mother who raises us in spirit.
The church honors Mary as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf. It is times like these, in the wake of natural disaster or inexplicable violence, that we need Our Mother the most. We depend on her maternal intercession to bring us closer to God when we find ourselves in distress, despair or even doubt.
"Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ."