Mary

POPE’S MESSAGE | Pope entrusts to Mary victims of disasters, conflict, social tension

Pope Francis gave a blessing at his Angelus prayer on the feast of the Assumption, Aug. 15, at the Vatican. After the prayer, the pope asked Mary to obtain “for everyone consolation and a future of serenity and harmony.”

VATICAN CITY — In a week in which natural disasters, war and racial conflicts dominated the headlines, Pope Francis prayed that Mary would bring peace to a divided world.

After reciting the Angelus prayer on the feast of the Assumption, the pope asked Mary to obtain "for everyone consolation and a future of serenity and harmony."

BEFORE THE CROSS | The ark of the covenant pre-figures — and is fulfilled by — Mary

There's a fundamental pattern that can help us to understand the Bible and provide guidance for our lives. The readings for the Feast of the Assumption — which we celebrate this week (Aug. 15) — provide a perfect example.

The Old Testament reading for the vigil recalls how David took the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. The ark of the covenant wasn't just a symbol of God's presence. The Israelites considered it His actual dwelling place among them. The Psalm that follows speaks of the ark, and Jerusalem, as the "resting place" of God.

Pilgrimage to Fatima a time of prayer, encounter, pope says

Pope Francis arrived May 12 at Monte Real air base in Leiria, Portugal. The visit took place around the 100th anniversary of the first Marian apparition in Fatima, Portugal, and includes the canonization of two of the visionaries.

LEIRIA, Portugal -- Pope Francis said his two-day pilgrimage to Fatima would be a time of prayer and encounter with Jesus and Mary.

The visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima "is a bit special," he told reporters aboard his flight from Rome May 12. "It is a journey of prayer, an encounter with the Lord and the holy Mother of God."

After a three-hour flight, during which Pope Francis greeted each of the 69 journalists traveling with him, the papal plane landed at Monte Real air base, about 25 miles from Fatima.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Mary teaches people to hope in life’s darkest moments

Pope Francis ordained one of 10 new priests for the Diocese of Rome at an ordination Mass May 7 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Mary, like many mothers throughout the world, is an example of strength and courage in accepting new life and in sharing the suffering of their children, Pope Francis said.

Although she had no idea of what awaited her when she accepted to bear God's son, "Mary in that instant appears to us like one of the many mothers in our world, courageous to the extreme," the pope said May 10 at his weekly general audience.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Mary helps lets us focus on closer union with Jesus

The Gospel reading for Sunday, Jan. 1, helps us understand why the calendar year begins with the celebration of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.

It all began with the shepherds tending their flocks when an angel appeared to them and told them to go to a stable in Bethlehem, where they would find a savior who is "Messiah and Lord." "You will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

BEFORE THE CROSS | Mary brings us closer to Jesus

We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, and three closely related elements of this celebration deserve our attention: Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth 2,000 years ago, Mary's visitation to the people of Mexico in 1531, and Mary's visitation to us today.

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