Rome (Thursday, May 24, 2018, Gaudium Press) The month of May is par excellence a month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the time when the Heralds of the Gospel coordinates a project called “Marian missions”. ACI Stampa spoke about this project with Fr. Pablo Werner, coordinator of the Marian Missions of the Heralds of the Gospel in Italy.
ACI: This is the month of May, a month dedicated to Mary, how do the Heralds of the Gospel live this special moment?
Fr. Pablo: For the Heralds of the Gospel, the month of May is a privileged time to glorify the Queen of the Angels who is venerated in popular piety during this month throughout the vastness of the Catholic Church. In fact, just as this spring time is the favorable moment when nature is reborn, flowers bloom and the chaste and genuine perfumes of renewed vegetation spread in the air, in the same way spiritual life can also be renewed. The natural freshness that surrounds us in May reminds us that under the gaze of Mary everything comes to life anew, beautiful fruits are born. As the Gospel of St. John reminds us: ” It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit.” (John 15, 8). It is precisely the favorable time for announcing the glories of Mary: “All generations shall call me Blessed!” (Lk 1, 48). Therefore, after the motionless which corresponds to the winter season, a new missionary impulse follows which gush forth the light of the Virgin to all those who desire to get closer to the Lord Jesus through his Mother Mary. The Heralds of the Gospel, hence, live with particular joy the month of May precisely because it provides the opportunity to spread in many places, parishes and families the devotion to the Queen and Mother, the Virgin Mary.
ACI: What exactly is a Marian mission?
Fr. Pablo: The Marian mission usually takes place in the parishes. It is an occasion for ecclesial communion in which the Heralds of the Gospel make themselves available to parish priests and people who desire to evangelize by bringing the love of Mary to her dear children wherever they may be. The statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Heart is offered to the veneration of the faithful in a convenient place. On many occasions the statue also visits the sick in their bed of pain, children in schools, the elderly and families at their home, blessing them and bringing to everyone a maternal encouragement, with the recitation of the Holy Rosary and helping people to follow Jesus, as Mary said in Cana: “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2: 5). Each day, during the mission, a lesson on catechism is given on topics related to our faith or the story of the Marian apparition at Fatima. Also processions, torchlight processions, recitation of the Rosary, meditations and Eucharistic adorations are carried out. The latter has a privileged place since the shepherds of Fatima, even before seeing the Mother of God, received communion from the hands of an angel who instructed them on how to adore Jesus in the host. During the mission a priest, frequently is a Herald priest, is always available for confessions, as long as the parish priests wishes it. Confessions, sometimes, lasts more than twelve hours a day, counseling and forgiving sins in the name of Christ.
ACI: Father Pablo, who can participate in the Marian missions?
Fr. Pablo: The whole local community participates in the different activities. The friendship in Jesus and Mary which develops between the missionaries of the Heralds and the community that receives them is one of the most beautiful fruits of the mission: it is an authentic and lasting brotherhood based on faith and affection for Mary. The missionaries each time do not cease to be amazed at the warm welcome received by the parish priest and the people, because they are treated with immense goodness, like true Heralds of the Gospel, in that sense. On the other hand, hearing the testimonies of people, one can, so to speak, touch the grace of God working in their soul through the intercession Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces. Conversions, healings, favors, reconciliation and other heavenly gifts are poured out on all those who approach the mission with a faith at least the size of a mustard seed. It is truly wonderful to witnesses how Jesus through Mary works great things in the deep of the heart of good people.
ACI: What can a simple believer do to bring Mary’s message of love and sweetness to the whole world? Can he also be a missionary of Mary?
Fr. Pablo: First of all, by following Mary’s advice who asked at Fatima to spread the devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Our founder, Monsignor Joao Scognamiglio Cla Dias, taught us what this devotion means. The word heart appears in the first place. What does it mean? Certainly, it refers to the love of the Mother, a love that would generously consent to the passion of her Divine Son for the salvation of sinners. What love could be greater than this one? Only the Heart of Jesus can surpass the Heart of Mary in loving men to the extremes of incalculable liberality and suffering. But when we think about the heart it also encompasses another very strong meaning: nothing could move a child more than when he feels the heartbeat of his mother. And Mary, showing her heart to us, wants to draw our love to her. But we are often ungrateful, we look and pass over without making a case. And this is the meaning of the crown of thorns which surrounds the heart of Mary: it signifies the indifference, the hardness of the hearts of contemporary men and women. Therefore, the first way to bring about the message of the Virgin Mary is to open our hearts and receive Jesus and Mary respectively as the King and Queen of our lives. Not only to love them in times when we need a certain grace, but to put them at the center of our lives. Another important aspect to be considered is the fact that the she wanted to present her Heart as being Immaculate. Immaculate undoubtedly because Mary was the only human being to have the privileged of being conceived without original sin and also to be full of grace, exceeded only by Jesus. But Immaculate as well because she is completely pure. And in our present world, so much enslaved to voluptuous passions, the Immaculate Heart of Mary represents an appeal for the restoration of the virtue of chastity which is to be lived in celibacy, in consecrated life to God, and in fidelity among spouses. The virtue of chastity has as its reward the gift of seeing God, as the Gospel of Matthew reminds us. To see Him by participating in the life of grace during our earthly pilgrimage and to see Him, face to face, in all his glory in eternity. Instead, the fate of those who follow impurity is very different, and we can remember Saint Jacinta of Fatima saying that the sin against chastity is the one that leads more souls to hell. Therefore, the first step in spreading devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is to imitate our Holy Mother! Let us try to follow her in her intense love for those who are around us; as she stood at the feet of the Cross we ought to be helping others to discover the path of Heaven. Let us face the battle of purity with courage and confidence allowing us to have a clean look to capture the supernatural light and to be faithful to our faith. In sum, we pray relentlessly the Holy Rosary for the conversion of the world and we hope with confidence in the triumph of the woman clothed with the sun over the serpent of old. In this way, a faithful son of Mary can become an effective messenger of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, setting a good example, spreading the good word and inviting others to entrust themselves to Jesus through Mary!
Source ACI Press