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Purest of All Lilies

Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, explores St. Faustina's rich relationship with the Mother of God - from her love of Mary growing up in Poland to the many passages that she devoted to ... Read more

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (May 8, 2009)
Saint Faustina constantly affirms in her Diary the great title of Mary as Mother of God. Of course, St. Faustina understood Mary's Divine Motherhood as more than that; she is spiritual mother to us all. Father Donald Calloway, MIC, explain this in the following excerpt from his book Purest of All Lillies (Marian Press):

A consequence of the Divine Motherhood is Mary's role as spiritual mother of God's people. Saint Faustina deeply understood that, because of Mary's intimate maternal union with the Savior, there also existed an intimate maternal union between Mary and Christian disciples. For example, within the Diary we note that she refers to Mary as "spiritual" mother 20 times, to herself as the daughter of Mary 11 times and the terminology of "child" five times.

On one occasion Mary told St. Faustina that her role as spiritual mother is part of the will of God: "My daughter, at God's command I am to be, in a special and exclusive way your Mother; but I desire that you, too, in a special way, be My child" (Diary, 1414. Cf. Diary, 240). Knowing that Mary's role as personal spiritual mother in regard to St. Faustina was the will of God gave St. Faustina the understanding that she could entrust all of her cares and concerns to Mary, her spiritual mother. Maternity was part of the capacity God had given to the Virgin Mary, namely, to be a maternal presence in the spiritual life, one that nourished, protected, and taught St. Faustina how to grow closer to God.

The maternal presence of Mary in the life of St. Faustina was concrete. For example, on Dec. 9, 1936, she noted: "She [Mary], like a good Mother, watches over all my trials and efforts" (Diary, 798). In addition, the theme of Mary acting as a mother who guards, protects, and instructs her children in the spiritual life is a prominent one in the Diary. Saint Faustina even referred to Mary as "Instructress" (Diary, 620) and "Mother of grace" (Diary, 315).

Another interesting facet of how St. Faustina understood Mary's spiritual motherhood is that, much like her Divine Motherhood in which she co-suffered with Christ, she shares in the sufferings of her children. This theme comes up at least three times in the Diary, giving clear evidence that St. Faustina understood Mary's role as spiritual mother to be that of bringing comfort to her. Perhaps the clearest example of this dimension of Mary's spiritual motherhood can be seen in the following passage: "I know how much you suffer, but do not be afraid. I share with you your suffering, and I shall always do so" (Diary, 25).

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, is vocation director for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio. You can order Purest of All Lillies through our online catalogue.

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Jeffrey Mark Andrews - May 9, 2009

Our Blessed Lady,I Praise and Thankyou,
for being Our Holy Sacred Mother.AMEN!!

maryS - May 9, 2009

Thank you Fr. well explained,Mama Mary is one of our example who love us unceasingly,To all Mothers it is our great day today May 10,and to your mother father I personally great her Happy Mother's Day .I remembered what you shared to us in El Salvador shrine,about your mother how much she love you.God bless you Father.

Debra - May 9, 2009

Many thanks for sending this. Mary is our role model-mother.

Rose - May 10, 2009

Thank you Fr. From the first roses I received I cut the most beautiful and placed it in front of Mary's pictures saying: Happy Mother's Day, Dear Mother.I am happy that the first thing I saw in turning on the computer was your message. Thank you again

Markus Schummel - May 10, 2009

What a blessing to have Mary as my spiritual mother!

pamela - May 10, 2009

It's always Mary and me --when times are tough and trials are many and of course always and always when joy and victory are celebrated because of Her Love and Faithful promises.I went to the Bl.Sacrament to Adore Her and Jesus-lighted a candle and offered myGratitude..thank you Fr..and
St.Faustina for sharing the Love of a Dear Mother to all of us.

Teresa Pacheco - May 11, 2009

Thank you for this article. I have heard Fr. Calloway speak and he is awesome!

Erica T. - May 11, 2009

Beautiful article but why is Fr. Calloway's book title misspelled?

Tina - May 11, 2009

I so enjoy your book! Almost done, dont want to be..Saint Faustina and Mother of Mercy-Pray for us.

book promotion editor helper - Jan 10, 2012

typo corrections:
you put 178 pages but it is is only 128;
the dimensions are more like 5.5 X 8.5; perhaps it has another ISBN but the one actually listed in the book is: 978-1-59614-195-7
p.s. I loved the book couldn't put it down, it was a good read :D