Today we celebrate the feast of the “Most Holy Name of Mary”. To all those women who bear that name – my own mother and my sister were among them, as the Bishop mentioned – I offer my heartfelt good wishes for their feast day. Mary, the Mother of the Lord, has received from the faithful the title of Advocate: she is our advocate before God. And this is how we see her, from the wedding-feast of Cana onwards: as a woman who is kindly, filled with maternal concern and love, a woman who is attentive to the needs of others and, out of desire to help them, brings those needs before the Lord. In today’s Gospel we have heard how the Lord gave Mary as a Mother to the beloved disciple and, in him, to all of us. In every age, Christians have received with gratitude this legacy of Jesus, and, in their recourse to his Mother, they have always found the security and confident hope which gives them joy in God and makes us joyful in our faith in him. May we too receive Mary as the lodestar guiding our lives, introducing us into the great family of God! Truly, those who believe are never alone. Amen!
1. “My heart rejoices in the Lord” (Resp. psalm). It is with deep joy and profound gratitude to God that I join you in this square, dear Brothers and Sisters, to celebrate today the memorial of the Holy Name of Mary.
The place where we are assembled is especially meaningful in the history of your city. It calls to mind the respect and devotion of your Ancestors towards Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the same time it recalls the attempt to profane this precious inheritance, perpetrated by a bleak regime of not so many years ago. To all of this the column of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a silent witness……
…..4. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Mary believes and therefore she says “yes”. Her faith becomes life; it becomes a commitment to God, who fills her with himself through her divine motherhood. It becomes a commitment to her neighbour, who awaits her help in the person of her cousin Elisabeth (cf. Lk 1:39-56). Mary abandons herself freely and consciously to God’s initiative, which will achieve in her his “marvellous things”: mirabilia Dei.
With the Virgin Mary’s example before us, we are invited to reflect: God has a project for each of us, he “calls” everyone. What is important is knowing how to recognise this call, how to accept it and how to be faithful to it.
5. My dear Brothers and Sisters, let us make room for God! In the variety and richness of diverse vocations, each one is called, like Mary, to accept God into one’s own life and to travel along the paths of the world with him, proclaiming his Gospel and bearing witness to his love.
May this be the resolution that we all make together today and that we place confidently in Mary’s maternal hands. May her intercession obtain for us the gift of a strong faith that makes clear the scope of our life and enlightens our mind, our spirit and our heart.
There are actually a lot of Marian feasts in September, aren’t there? Nativity of Mary (9/8), Our Lady of Sorrows (9/15) and today – Holy Name of Mary. More on September with Mary here.
Also…the feastday of St. Francis of Assisi is on its way..considering ordering Adventures in Assisi as a way to deepen your child’s understanding of St. Francis beyond the legends, helping them understand his core message of poverty and humility and what that actually means..