Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 17, 2017

THE NATURE OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II’s DEVOTION TO OUR LADY

 

      Without question, from an early age, St. John Paul had a beautiful devotion to our Blessed Mother as mother, and he relied on Her maternal care, protection and encouragement. Later, at about age 20, he was introduced to the works of St. Louis de Monfort and his Treatise of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. St. John Paul reflected, “I was already convinced the Mary leads us to Christ, but at that time I began to realize also that Christ leads us to His Mother.” From this understanding, he took as his motto, Totus Tuus (Gift and Mystery, p. 29-31).
Fast forwarding to his pontificate, Oct. 16, 1978, when elected as the Successor of St. Peter, Cardinal Jean Villot, asked then Cardinal Wojtyla, “Do you accept the election?” He replied, “In the obedience of faith before Christ my Lord, abandoning myself to the Mother of Christ and the Church, and conscious of the great difficulties, accepto” (Witness to Hope, p. 254). St. John Paul II took for his motto, Totus Tuus, and had an “M” for Mary placed on his papal coat of arms below the arm of the cross, symbolizing how Mary, the faithful mother and disciple, stood at the foot of the cross. In 1980, he noticed the lack of any monument dedicated to our Blessed Mother in St. Peter’s square, so he commissioned the beautiful mosaic of “Mary, Mother of the Church.” When it was installed Dec. 7, 1981, he remarked, “Now all who come to St. Peter’s Square may raise their eyes to Mary to greet Her with filial trust and prayer.” To mark the 25th anniversary of his pontificate, St. John Paul II added the Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary, i.e. five significant episodes of Our Lord’s public ministry. He noted in his apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” “With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love. Through the Rosary, the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer” (No.1). Here again, the Holy Father underscored the maternal care of our Blessed Mother for us. Lastly, Pope St. John Paul II also invoked our Blessed Mother when he was shot May 13, 1981, as he was passing through the crowd of St. Peter’s Square. Struck with two bullets, he fell into the arms of his secretary, Archbishop Dziwisz, who asked, “Where?” “In the stomach,” the pope replied. Archbishop Dziwisz asked, “Does it hurt very much?” The pope faintly responded, “Yes. Oh Mary, my Mother, my Mother,” and fell from consciousness. His survival was miraculous.No vital organ had been disturbed; the bullet had only brushed the organs that, if damaged, would have entailed death; the bullet had passed the main artery by millimeters. Dr. Crucitti said that it was as though the bullet had hit a steel wall and had changed directions. St. John Paul II later said, “Someone’s hand had shot me, but Another Hand directed the bullet. For in everything that happened to me on that very day, I felt that extraordinary motherly protection and care, which turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet.”Lastly, Pope St. John Paul II also invoked our Blessed Mother when he was shot May 13, 1981, as he was passing through the crowd of St. Peter’s Square. Struck with two bullets, he fell into the arms of his secretary, Archbishop Dziwisz, who asked, “Where?” “In the stomach,” the pope replied. Archbishop Dziwisz asked, “Does it hurt very much?” The pope faintly responded, “Yes. Oh Mary, my Mother, my Mother,” and fell from consciousness. His survival was miraculous. No vital organ had been disturbed; the bullet had only brushed the organs that, if damaged, would have entailed death; the bullet had passed the main artery by millimeters. Dr. Crucitti said that it was as though the bullet had hit a steel wall and had changed directions. St. John Paul II later said, “Someone’s hand had shot me, but Another Hand directed the bullet. For in everything that happened to me on that very day, I felt that extraordinary motherly protection and care, which turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet.”
One year later, visiting Fatima to give thanks, he reflected, “Jesus, dying on the cross, said to John, ‘There is your mother.’ From that moment, and from when ‘the disciple took Her into his care,’ the mystery of Mary’s spiritual motherhood has had its accomplishment in history with boundless amplitude. Motherhood means concern for the life of the child. Now, if Mary is the mother of all mankind, then Her concern for the life of man has universal extension. A mother’s concern embraces the whole man. Mary’s maternity has its beginning in Her maternal care for Christ. In Christ, She accepted John beneath the cross, and in him, She accepted every human and all humanity. Mary embraces all with a particular solicitude in the Holy Spirit. In fact, as we profess in our Creed, it is He who ‘gives life.’…. Mary’s spiritual motherhood is therefore participation in the power of the Holy Spirit, of Him who ‘gives life.’ It is likewise the humble handmaid of Her who says of Herself: ‘I am the servant of the Lord’” (Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, V, 2, 1580).
Yes, Mary is our Queen, but even more beautifully, She is our loving Mother. Pope St. John Paul II firmly believed so. Let us therefore conclude with invocation: Saint John Paul II pray for us. Amen. http://catholicstraightanswers.com/st-john-paul-iis-devotion-to-our-lady/9