Something about mary day 10 notre dame du laus

It’s been quite some time since the Vatican has approved an apparition site. This is one I’m not familiar with at all:

Received Sunday, 4 May 2008 13:14:00 GMTnotre

NOTRE DAME DU LAUS, France, May 4, 2008 (AFP) – The Roman Catholic Church on Sunday officially recognised a shrine in the French Alps where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a young shepherdess more than 300 years ago.
Some 6,000 faithful and more than 20 bishops and cardinals attended a solemn mass at the sanctuary of Notre Dame du Laus, which draws some 120,000 pilgrims each year but had never been formally acknowledged by the Vatican.
Benoite Rencurel was 16 when she first reported seeing the Virgin Mary in 1664, the first of a series of apparitions that lasted until her death 54 years later.
Church authorities in the southeastern French town (similar to what Adelaide looks like in the early days) of Gap were informed during a visit to the Vatican in 2003 — to make the case for the beatification of the young shepherdess — that the site was not officially approved.
After three years of research, a team of theologians, historians and psychologists agreed to the move, in a report validated by the Vatican.
“I recognise the supernatural origin of the apparitions and facts experienced and recounted by Benoite Rencurel, between 1664 and 1718″, the Bishop of Gap Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri told the gathering.
“I encourage the faithful to come and pray and to seek spiritual renewal in this sanctuary,” he said.
The Vatican’s representative in France, Papal Nuncio Fortunato Baldelli, was also present for the ceremony.
Catholic authorities have recognised three other apparitions of the Virgin Mary in France since the 19th century: in the Rue du Bac in Paris, in the Alpine sanctuary of Notre Dame de la Salette, and most famously in Lourdes, where she is said to have appeared to the shepherdess Bernadette Soubirous exactly 150 years ago.

The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary


holy name of marySeptember 12th marks the traditional Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary. Here are few lovely quotes and observations about our Lady’s Most Holy Name:

Pondering the Meaning of “Mary”

In Hebrew, the name Mary is Miryam. In Our Lady’s time, Aramaic was the spoken language, and the form of the name then in use was Mariam. Derived from the root, merur, the name signifies “bitterness.”

Miryam was the name of the sister of Moses; and the ancient rabbinical scholars perceiving in it a symbol of the slavery of the Israelites at the hands of the Egyptians, held that Miryam was given this name because she was born during the time of the oppression of her people. The Old Testament, chronicling as it does the “Time of Expectation” of the Redeemer, is filled with “types,” or foreshadowings of people and events which would be made manifest during the “Time of Redemption,” when. Christ walked the earth. Jesus Mary and Joseph, the Sacrament of Baptism, the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of Calvary, etc., are all foreshadowed in the Old Testament, but we view them there “through a glass darkly,” so to speak, under the guidance of the Catholic Church, which alone possesses the authority to interpret the sacred texts.

Miryam, the sister of Moses is a “type” of the Blessed Virgin. Miryam was a prophetess who sang a canticle of thanksgiving after the safe crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army; Mary prophesied in Her Magnificat that all generations would honor Her, and She sang of how God would topple the proud and raise the lowly. Miryam supported her brother, Moses, the liberator of his people; as the Co-Redemptrix who united Her sufferings to those of the One Mediator on Calvary, Mary labored alongside the Redeemer, the true Liberator of His people. Just as Jesus was the “antitype” [i.e., fulfillment] of Moses, so was Our Lady the “antitype” of Miryam, the fullest realization of the courageous woman standing beside, and laboring with, the one who comes to free captives.

Throughout the centuries, Saints and scholars have put forth different interpretations for the name “Mary.” Since the age of computers we have found old computers that have been serviced. After the computer repairs of these old PCs we were able to retrieve these interpretations which was stored and transferred over from written text. A mixture of etymology and devotion has combined to produce an interesting array of meanings:

“Mary means enlightener, because She brought forth the Light of the world. In the Syriac tongue, Mary signifies Lady.” [St. Isidore of Seville +636]

“Let me say something concerning this name also, which is interpreted to mean Star of the sea, and admirably suits the Virgin Mother.” [St. Bernard +1153]

“Mary means Star of the sea, for as mariners are guided to port by the ocean star, so Christians attain to glory through Mary’s maternal intercession.” [St. Thomas Aquinas +1274]

“This most holy, sweet and worthy name was ‘eminently fitted to so holy, sweet and worthy a virgin. For Mary means a bitter sea, star of the sea, the illuminated or illuminatrix. Mary is interpreted Lady. Mary is a bitter sea to the demons; to men She is the Star of the sea; to the Angels She is illuminatrix, and to all creatures She is Lady .” [St. Bonaventure +1274]

“God the Father gathered all the waters together and called them the seas or maria [Latin, seas]. He gathered all His grace together and called it Mary or Maria . . .This immense treasury is none other than Mary whom the Saints call the ‘treasury of the Lord.’ From Her fullness all men are made
rich;” [St. Louis de Montfort +1716]

The hallowed title, “Star of the Sea,” dates back to St. Jerome [+420]. It has been said that the great Doctor had originally used the phrase Stilla Maris to describe Mary as a “drop of the sea,” the sea being God. A copyist’s error, then, could have resulted in stilla [drop] being written down as stella [star]. Of course, the hallowed title, “Star of the Sea,” suits Our Lady perfectly:

” ‘And the Virgin’s name was Mary.’ Let us say a few things about this name, which can be interpreted to mean Star of the sea, an apt designation for the Virgin Mother. She is most beautifully likened to a star, for a star pours forth its light without losing anything of its nature. She gave us Her Son without losing anything of Her virginity. The glowing rays of a star take nothing away from its beauty. N either has the Son taken anything away from His Mother’s integrity.

“She is that noble star of Jacob, illuminating the whole world, penetrating from the highest heavens to the deepest depths of Hell. The warmth of Her brilliance shines in the minds of men, encouraging virtue, extinguishing vice. She is that glorious star lighting the way across this vast ocean of life, glowing with merits, guiding by example.

“When you find yourself tossed by the raging storms on this great sea of life, far from land, keep your eyes fixed on this Star to avoid disaster. When the winds of temptation or the rocks of tribulation threaten, look up to the Star, call upon Mary!” [St. Bernard, Second Homily on the Missus Est]

The interpretation “Lady” for Mary was also proposed by St. Jerome, based on the Aramaic word, mar, meaning “Lord”. This would render the meaning “Lady” in the regal or noble sense [as in “Lord and Lady.”] Catholic sensibility, however, recognizing in Mary the simple dignity of a Mother, as well as the grandeur of a Queen, did not hesitate to add an affectionate touch to this majestic title. Mary is not just “Lady;” She is “Madonna,” Notre Dame—–i.e., She is Our Lady. This aspect of Mary —–”Lady” or “Mistress”—–is close to Our Lord’s Heart. We read in the Scriptures how, for a time, the youthful Christ made Himself “subject” to Her and St. Joseph, an act of Divine condescension which caused St. Bernard to wonder:

“Which shall we admire first? The tremendous submission of the Son of God, or the tremendous God-given dignity of the Mother of God? Both are marvels: both amazing. When God obeys a woman, it is humility without precedent. When a woman commands her God, it is sublime beyond measure.” [First Homily on the Missus Est]

It is not difficult to see why these various interpretations of the name “Mary” should have been proposed and cherished, for they encapsulate many of our Marian doctrines and beliefs. “Bitter sea [mara = bitter; yam = sea],” for instance, in addition to the interpretation given by St. Bonaventure, also calls to mind Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows and the sword which “pierced” Her soul on Calvary, recalling the lamentation of the mother-in-law of Ruth, who had lost a husband and two sons: “Call me not Noemi, [that is, beautiful,] but call me Mara, [that is, bitter,] for the Almighty hath quite filled me with bitterness [Rt. 1: 20].” Maror are “bitter herbs,” such as are found on the seder plate at Passover.

The “Illuminated” points us to St. John’s apocalyptic image of the “Woman clothed with the Sun,” a dual image encompassing both the Catholic Church and Mary, the Mother and Image of the Church. In addition, the “Illuminated” has also been rendered as the “Enlightener” and, like St. Bernard, St. Aelred [+1167] combines this meaning with that of the Stella Maris in a powerful passage:

“Therefore a certain Star has risen for us today: Our Lady, Saint Mary. Her name means Star of the sea; no doubt the Star of this sea which is the world. Therefore, we ought to lift up our eyes to this Star that has appeared on earth today in order that She may lead us, in order that She may enlighten us, in order that She may show us these steps so that we shall know them, in order that She may help us so that we may be able to ascend. And therefore it is a beautiful thing that Mary is placed in this stairway of which we are speaking, there where we must begin to climb. As the Evangelist says, Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, so immediately at the very moment of our conversion She appears to us and receives us into Her care and enlightens us in Her light and accompanies us along this laborious path.” [Sermon 24, For the Nativity of Holy Mary]

There is another interpretation for the name “Mary” which is quite interesting in that it relates to the Church as well. This supposes the name to be derived from the Hebrew verb mara, meaning “to be fleshy or robust. In the East, such descriptions implying corpulence were used to indicate beauty and fecundity. Here, then, Our Lady’s name would indicate “The Beautiful One,” quite fitting for the Immaculate Conception. [Tota Pulchra Es, M aria!—–“You are all beautiful, Mary!”] The Psalms prophetically describe the Church in this manner, all alluding to the fruitfulness and spiritual gifts of the Holy Ghost:

“The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain . . . A mountain in which God is well pleased to dwell.” [Ps. 67:16-17]

This image resonates with the prophecy of Isaias concerning the New Dispensation [and the Church], and with the words of Our Lord:

“And in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all the nations shall flow unto it [Is. 2: 2] . . . You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a mountain cannot be hid.” [Mt. 5: 14]

It is here that the Psalms intersect with St. John’s Apocalyptic vision, to present the maternal function of the Church, a virginal maternity mirroring that of Our Lady, which begets new “brethren” of Christ, new sons and daughters of Mary [“the rest of Her seed,” as Catholics are called by St. John in his Apocalypse] and new children of God the Father:

“But as many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [Jn. 1: 12-13]

“The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains: The Lord loveth the gates of Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob. Glorious things are said of Thee, O city of God . . . Shall not Sion say: This man and that man is born in Her? And the Highest Himself hath founded Her.” [Ps. 86: 1-3, 5]

The inspired texts prophesy that the Church will be “exalted”—–It shall be exalted above the hills, and all the nations shall flow unto it. So, too, will be the Mother of the Church, She who prophesied that “all generations shall call Me blessed.” Another proposed meaning for the Blessed Virgin’s name reflects this exaltation, the majesty of the Queen of Heaven. It derives from ancient Canaanite literature, where the word mrym [pronounced somewhat like Maryam] means “height” [sharing the same derivation as marom, the Hebrew word for “height”]. This would render Mary’s name as “Highness” or “The Exalted One.”

This fascinating—–and very, very Catholic—–desire to explore the meaning and depths of the holy name of “Mary” is not merely a pious pursuit, unrelated to any theological concerns. In the various interpretations set forth, a wealth of Marian doctrine is made manifest, not in the clinical language of theology , but in rich, colorful meditations on Our Lady’s name, and sacred truths are explored and taught in language easily comprehended and appreciated by all.

In his fine book, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God, St. John Eudes [+1680] offers meditations on seventeen interpretations of the name “Mary,” taken from the writings of “the Holy Fathers and by some celebrated Doctors. “Among these are “God born of my race,” [St. Ambrose] “Rain of the sea, falling at convenient time and season,” [St. Peter Canisius] “Myrrh of the Sea,” [St. Jerome] and “The hope of those who voyage on the stormy sea of this world.” [St. Epiphanius] It is quite clear—–from Scripture, Tradition and history—–that the Church owes so much to Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer and our Mother “in the order of grace.” How does the gratitude and affection of Her spiritual children manifest itself in the beautiful Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, and what does this cherished name mean to those who love and venerate the Mother of God?

We are pro-life


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Just seventeen…

Cheerleader, gymnast and aspiring writer. Contestant in an upcoming national teen beauty pageant. Honor student, blue ribbon artist and art director for the school yearbook. Scholarship applicant to a prestigious women’s college. Nursing home volunteer and much-loved only daughter…


As she looked in the full-length mirror, she tried to imagine how this would all play out. Her parents would be furious, disappointed…would they even want her anymore? Her friends, incredulous…her reputation had been above reproach, now she was the ultimate hypocrite. How could she even do this? She looked at her thin, small frame and tried to imagine how she would be able to conceal a pregnancy, or at least wondered how long she could.

And so she did. For four months she said nothing to no one. Her boyfriend had begun to suspect, and questioned her continually, swearing that he would stand by her…that he truly loved her and would love their child. She just couldn’t process the information…his love wasn’t enough to penetrate the dark fog that had begun to gather around her.

She contemplated abortion. She knew other girls who had done it. Was it really all that bad? Just a quick trip to the local clinic and good as new. Yet, somehow, in the depths of her heart she knew there would never be a “good as new” with such a decision. She knew there was a tiny life growing within her and she must protect it. So she waited as long as she possibly could before she told.

The reactions were as expected. Her boyfriend was supportive and insisted that they marry as soon as possible. Her parents were devastated and prophesied the end of all her hopes and dreams. Her friends laughed and said “right…good joke…you, pregnant? I don’t believe it…” Her tearful insistence soon demonstrated just how serious the situation was. In her small high school, teachers with hurtful/helpful suggestions visited her daily. She was mortified. Her head was filled with a chorus of “abort it!” “give it up!” “keep it!” She knew this nameless “it” was her child, yet she felt like such a child herself…

Her mother, who had always been so very proud of her good girl, was in total crisis. She left home for a week to visit her own mother, looking for solace during the emotional storm that was raging within the household. When she returned, she asked her daughter if she wanted an abortion. The poor, beleaguered child said, “no…I can’t…please don’t make me.” Her mother, weeping as though her heart would break said “I just don’t know what to do…but I won’t make you if you don’t want it. Years ago, I was forced into a decision like this, told that it was medically necessary to terminate my pregnancy. You were twelve…you never knew and I’ve never gotten over it. We’ll figure this out…” This sad teenager looked into her mother’s sorrowful eyes, heartbroken at having never known the burden and loss that she had carried for so many years for the child that had been taken and mourned ever since. Now there was another child, unborn and waiting…its fate resting in the hands of this mother and her child.

The poor, worried mother of this pregnant teenager looked in the phonebook for help. Planned Parenthood seemed the most obvious choice…the ad said they offer pregnancy counselling and this poor family needed help. So, on a cold, windy-rainy April day, mother and daughter went to Planned Parenthood for advice. Oh, the irony of such a name for such an organisation! There was never any talk of parenthood, planned or otherwise. This frightened girl and her mother were barraged with effective and compassionate insistence that the pregnancy be terminated; there was no other choice that could possibly be considered. How would this young woman with such a promising future ever manage a child? How could her frail body even accommodate a full-term pregnancy? These fear tactics were powerfully persuasive and for a brief moment both mother and daughter wavered. The mother said “I thought this was Planned Parenthood…that you helped girls who were going to be parents. baby gift from godDon’t you have any literature or at least the name of an obstetrician that my daughter could see? We aren’t looking for an abortion.” How hard it must have been for her to say those words! Yet she did, and the embarrassed “counsellor” rifled through the bottom drawer of her desk and pulled out a couple pamphlets on fetal development. The young girl rifled through the first one, and quickly turned to the incredibly detailed photograph of a fetus, four months gestation, just the age of the little one that was growing inside her. She was shocked as she looked at two hands…ten fingers and ten toes…large eyes and delicate features…she looked back at the woman sitting at the desk, who was now looking in the phonebook for an obstetrician’s phone number and realized, with horror, that this woman had only ever considered the death and never the life of her child. She looked at the little one in the photo and placed her hand on her swollen abdomen…she had been feeling the slightest little fluttering for several days now, wondering what they were, but that picture seemed to confirm that her baby was moving inside her and not only was this child alive, it was…

…a life. A life separate and yet dependent upon her, even now in all her fear and uncertainty. There was only one direction from here…

With the love, encouragement and support of two families, this young girl…this young couple…succeeded in spite of every obstacle. A beautiful little girl with bright red hair and enormous blue eyes was born to them, and became the light of their lives, a joy they had never planned but praised God for. This young couple learned how to be husband and wife, mother and father, and welcomed another eight planned and unplanned miracles into their lives, never ceasing to marvel at the beauty of each new life. Grandchildren followed, a gift from that first little one saved from the horrors of abortion, and now mother to four precious little girls of her own.

And then another test. One cold November day, a frightened twenty-two year old called home and with sorrow and many tears, told her mother she was pregnant. Her boyfriend, who had become involved with another woman, had told her to abort the child, and for a brief moment, this young mother thought perhaps she should. Oh, the heartbreak! But the “choice” was really no choice at all…it was life, presenting itself under the most difficult and challenging circumstances and yet waiting to be affirmed. This sweet girl, with the help of her mother, father and extended family chose that LIFE. The pregnancy became complicated and both mother and child were in danger, yet after an emergency delivery and an extended stay in the NICU, a sweet little boy was welcomed into the family. He lights up his mother’s life and every room as soon as he enters…

This is my story.

I was that frightened seventeen year old girl who knew so very little of life, yet in choosing it for my unborn child, was given so much more than I ever dreamed. Nine children. Five grandchildren. An adoring husband of thirty one years and the most amazing and supportive parents on both sides. I could never have predicted the life of love and grace that came from that difficult choice, but I’ve since learned that God presents the best gifts under the most trying circumstances. We’ve tried hard to show appropriate thanks for all He’s given us and have never wavered in our understanding that God Himself is the ultimate giver and advocate for life.

“Pro-life.” It’s more than just a slogan on a banner or bumper sticker. It is what we do and how we choose to live. It is the way we vote, the way we worship and the way we think. There will always be difficulties to overcome, but it is in the overcoming that we show the depth of our love and trust in the goodness of God and in the beauty of living.