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mary devotional

feast day: assumption into heaven, august 15
patronage: many careers, cities, and dioceses


Mary was born into a devout Jewish family in Galilee (now part of Israel) when it was part of the ancient Roman Empire. Her parents were Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, whom Catholic tradition says that angels visited separately to inform them that Anne was expecting Mary. Mary's parents dedicated her to God in a Jewish temple when she was three years old. By the time Mary was about 12 or 13 years old, historians believe, she was engaged to Joseph, a devout Jewish man. It was during Mary's engagement that she learned through an angelic visitation of the plans God had for her to serve as Jesus Christ's mother on Earth. Mary responded with faithful obedience to God's plan, despite the personal challenges that it presented to her. When Mary’s cousin Elizabeth (mother of the prophet John the Baptist) praised Mary for her faith, Mary gave a speech that has become a famous song sung in worship services, the Magnificat, which the Bible records in Luke 1:46-55: "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me -- holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.'" Mary and Joseph raised Jesus Christ, as well as other children, "brothers" and "sisters" whom the Bible mentions in Matthew chapter 13. Protestant Christians think that those children were Mary and Joseph’s children, born naturally after Jesus was born and Mary and Joseph then consummated their marriage. But Catholics think that they were cousins or Mary's stepchildren from Joseph's former marriage to a woman who had died before he became engaged to Mary. Catholics say that Mary remained a virgin during her entire life. The Bible records many instances of Mary with Jesus Christ during his lifetime, including a time when she and Joseph lost track of him and found Jesus teaching people in a temple when he was 12 years old (Luke chapter 2), and when wine ran out at a wedding, and she asked her son to turn water into wine to help out the host (John chapter 2). Mary was near the cross as Jesus died on it for the sins of the world (John chapter 19). Immediately after the Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Bible mentions in Acts 1:14 that Mary prayed along with the apostles and others. Before Jesus Christ died on the cross, he asked the apostle John to take care of Mary for the rest of her life. Many historians believe that Mary later moved to the ancient city of Ephesus (which is now part of Turkey) along with John, and ended her earthly life there.


the memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen. Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through her I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul.

hail holy queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

morning consecration to mary

My Queen, My Mother, I offer myself entirely to thee. And to show my devotion to thee, I offer thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve. Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me as thy property and possession. Amen.