I am a Roman Catholic, was born and raised in the Philippines and grew up having a statue of Most Holy Mother Mary in our home. Most Filipinos call her “Mama Mary.” We were taught from an early age to seek her help in everything. In third grade, I learned to pray the rosary and some of us joined our teacher in bringing the statue of Mama Mary to one home at a time. Being a poor child, I was always excited at the delicious food the family would share with our prayer group. Little did I know that food was Mama Mary’s way of inviting me to get to know her more. By the time I was in high school, and joined the Legion of Mary I would ask Mama Mary for help with everything. Some prayers were answered exactly as I had asked, others were not. In my heart, Mama Mary is our most powerful intercessor, how could our Lord Jesus refuse a request from his beloved Mother, if that request is in accordance with God’s will?
Mary is the living tabernacle, who carried our Lord Jesus in her immaculate womb for nine months. Mary was the first to feel Jesus’ heartbeat, his first movement in her womb, to hear his first cry in this world. Mary’s were the first eyes that gazed lovingly at the beauty of newborn Jesus, the first hands that caressed, fed, clothed, bathed, took care and loved Jesus.
At the Presentation in the Temple, Mary’s heart was pierced with Simeon’s revelation, the flight into Egypt brought distress and hardship for the holy family. No other human being has suffered and loved Jesus more than our most Holy Mother Mary.
In Cana, where the first recorded miracle of Jesus took place, it was Mary who turned to Jesus “Son they have no more wine” and told the helpers “Do whatever he tells you” showing Mary’s strong faith in our lord Jesus Christ. The water turned into the best wine. During our 2018 pilgrimage in Israel, my husband and I visited Cana where the miracle of the wine took place. Inside a glass case was a stone jar, from Jesus’ time. I was surprised to see that the jar is huge and thought “how much wine filled those six stone jars, O how generous our Lord Jesus is to the request of His Holy Mother.” Mary is our most powerful intercessor and the mediatrix of all graces from Heaven.
At the foot of the Cross in Golgotha, Jesus gave us Mary as our mother “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. From that moment, Mary became our most holy mother.
After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, in the early years of the Church, Mary guided the Apostles and disciples. After her ascension to Heaven, and coronation as queen of heaven and earth, many Marian apparitions are now known all over the world. During these apparitions, our most holy mother implores us to pray without ceasing, to repent and return to God, and to pray the rosary. In Medjugorje, Mary continues to appear daily to three of the original six visionaries since June 24, 1981. In Medjugorje Mary said “If you knew how much I love you, you’d cry of joy.”
In all Marian apparitions throughout the world, Mary implores us to pray the rosary every day.
According to the tradition, Alanus de Rupe received the following 15 promises to those who pray the rosary devoutly from our most holy mother Mary herself through a private revelation:
1. Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary shall receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
3. The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. The recitation of the rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish. It will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God. It will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary shall not perish.
6. Those who recite the rosary devoutly, applying themselves to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. In His justice, God will not chastise them; nor shall they perish by an unprovided death, i.e., be unprepared for heaven. Sinners shall convert. The just shall persevere in grace and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Those who have a true devotion to the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who faithfully recite the rosary shall have, during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces. At the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
11. By the recitation of the rosary you shall obtain all that you ask of me.
12. Those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13. I have obtained from my divine son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of their death.
14. All who recite the rosary are my beloved children and the brothers and sisters of my only son, Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion to the rosary is a great sign of predestination.
With the world now in crisis, when many do not believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, we need Our Most Holy Mother more than any other times in the history of humanity. We need our most holy mother to protect us with her Mantle, to crush the head of the serpent with her foot, and to lead us back to her Son, our lord Jesus Christ.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen.
• Gina Del Rosario is a Roman Catholic, was born and raised in the Philippines. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.