On this feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major which Pope Francis visited on the eve of his departure for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, it seems appropriate to post the counsel he gave to seminarians, novices and those discerning a vocation in a gathering held on July 7, 2013:
I entrust you to the intercession of Mary Most Holy.
She is the Mother who helps us to take life decisions freely and without fear.
May she help you to bear witness to the joy of God’s consolation,
without being afraid of joy,
she will help you to conform yourselves to the logic of love of the Cross,
to grow in ever deeper union with the Lord in prayer.
On November 21, 2012, the Church will celebrate Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”). Catholics around the world are encouraged to honor the cloistered men and women religious who have devoted their whole lives, hidden in the world, to God. Blessed John Paul II established this worldwide day in 1997.
The faithful can honor these faithful servants by attending Mass and offering up special prayers for cloistered religious, by making visits to monasteries and cloistered convents, or by sending cards or letters to contemplative communities.
A Novena for the Feast of the Presentation of Mary
Pope Benedict XVI referred to cloistered, contemplative life as “the heart” which provides blood to the rest of the Body of Christ. When the heart weakens, we all weaken!
We pray for all the consecrated men and women in convents and cloisters, monasteries and hermitages, that their silent prayer and hidden sacrifices might supply the grace needed to transform our world.