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Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, skillfully shares his personal insights on topics including Divine Mercy, the Eucharist, the Church, Confession, prayer, the cross, masculinity, and fe... Read more

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'We All Need Our Blessed Mother'

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By Chris Sparks (Nov 5, 2013)
Rick and Tammy Hanna say the Blessed Mother brought them together. They met at a Marian evangelization conference. Rick proposed to Tammy at a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes on the feast of the Immaculate Heart on the third anniversary of Tammy's consecration to Mary. But it still took Rick a while to accept Mary's role in the faith.

He says his mother was a cradle Catholic and his father a convert, and the only Marian devotion he can remember from his youth was praying an occasional Rosary during Lent.

"My best friend was a sola Scriptura Evangelical, and so I heard a lot of questions like, 'Why do we pray to or worship Mary?'" Rick says. "I knew we never worshipped Mary, but I'll be honest, especially when I started coming into my own faith in college, I was skeptical of Marian devotion because I thought, 'Maybe it takes away from devotion to Christ.'"

A close friend and solid Catholic helped Rick grow in his faith and come to know that Mary really is the Mother of God. "He introduced the Rosary and good wholesome Marian devotion to me," Rick says. "And meeting Tammy was another big influence in my life. While we were still dating, we did the St. Louis de Montfort consecration together."

While making the consecration, Rick discovered that devotion to Mary, instead of taking away from Christ, magnifies the Lord. "I've grown closer to Jesus by growing closer to Mary," he says. "It's like she said in her Magnificat: 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord' (Lk 1:46). By being devoted to Mary, it magnifies your love and devotion to Jesus. If Jesus is the faithful Son, not only of God, but truly of Mary, then we as adopted children of the Father should love Mary just as Jesus loves her."

The Hannas, who attend St. Mary Parish (pastored by Fr. Andy Davy, MIC) in Plano, Ill., explain that having a healthy Marian devotion makes clear how, through Jesus, we've entered the family of God. "We love our Father, we love our Brother and Master Jesus, and we love our Mother," Rick says. "It really emphasizes that the Church is a family, and Mary is our Queen Mother."

When asked why people should come to know and love Our Lady, Tammy responded simply, "She's our perfect heavenly mother filled with love. She's always praying for us, no matter what, and guiding us to her Son. We teach our CCD kids, 'We have two mothers! We all love our wonderful mothers on earth and we also have a wonderful mother in heaven!' She's always sending us graces. We all need Our Blessed Mother to guide us closer to Jesus and heaven.

"We like to pray the Rosary. We started a Rosary prayer group more than 20 years ago," Tammy says. "And we like to promote praying the Rosary for people who are in need of prayer. The Rosary is so powerful, I can't even explain it."

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