We welcome the year 2020 with joy, thanksgiving and hope. With joy, because at last there is a promise of new things to come. The past year may have been very difficult for us but all that is past now and we look forward to a brighter future.


With thanksgiving, because we are still here, alive, with our loved ones, survivors of great challenges. We may not have all we want but what we have is enough and precious. With hope, because every beginning is a chance to dream, to aspire, to desire and to believe in God’s promises and our capacity to make them happen.


We begin the year with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The past year has shown us how truly wise it is to make this gesture, this offering to her. In God’s plan, Mary is our companion in good times and in bad. In the middle of the pandemic, bishops in different countries consecrated their people to Mary. The Pope asked us to add to the litany these news titles of Mary: Mother of mercy, Mother of Hope, and Comfort of Migrants.


The title Mother of Mercy comes from the ardent devotion of the people of Lithuania. In Vilnius they have a chapel dedicated to Mary, Mother of Mercy. The image above is said to be miraculous and many times, the Mother of Mercy has saved their country from their enemies and from the most difficult moments.


God, the Father of mercy, has sent his Son into the world to save us and bring us into his Kingdom.

Jesus, therefore is the human face of mercy and he spread only love, forgiveness, and peace. Mary did not only experience the mercy of God but held in her hands the God of mercy who became her Son. She welcomed the God of mercy in her heart, in her womb and in her entire life. Like her Son, Mary too, was a vessel of mercy for others.


One of the earliest casualty of the pandemic was courageous frontliner, a doctor who almost died of the covid virus. In an interview he gave after he recovered, he attributed his healing to two things: that he was athletic, an avid runner, and that his rosary never left his side in the hospital.


A good friend of mine shared how prior to her youngest daughter’s bout with cancer her family never prayed. There was not even an altar at home. But cancer in the family taught them to pray each day the rosary. The daughter is now well and at the center of their family life is a deep devotion to Mary.


God’s mercy reaches us through Jesus his Son. It also comes to us through Mary, the Mother of Mercy.  Do not be afraid to pray to Mary, to take up your Rosary and call on her. Jesus chose her to be his Mother and he shares her to us to experience the love, protection and help that are God’s special gifts to her. This year, pray daily to Mary, the Mother of Mercy.


“O my Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, I offer myself entirely to Thy grace and to Thy overwhelming mercy today and forever, but mostly at the hour of my death do I dedicate myself to thee. To thee do I dedicate my body and soul, all my happiness and hope, all my sorrows and sufferings! I offer my life and the end of my life to Thy holy hands so that through Thy merits all my deeds and acts go according to Thy holy will and according to the will of Thy sweetest Son! Amen.”



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