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The Blessed Virgin Mary: 'We need her'

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By Melanie Williams

She is the masterpiece of creation. God the Father's daughter, God the Son's mother, and God the Holy Spirit's bride. The Blessed Virgin Mary is a mystery, and she has captivated millions of disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the centuries.

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, would say devotion to Our Blessed Mother stands as a hallmark of Jesus Christ's most faithful disciples. In fact, he did say as much to thousands of college students, campus ministers, priests, seminarians, and religious at SEEK2019: Encounter Something More. The annual conference, held Jan. 3-7, in Indianapolis, Indiana, was hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and drew more than 17,000 people.

Mostly college students from 626 campuses and several international locations, they gathered to be built up and encouraged in their faith, hoping to "encounter something more," as was the theme for the conference.

Father Calloway, a bestselling author of books about Divine Mercy and Mary, earned a standing ovation for his talk, titled "The Virgin Mary: Masterpiece of Creation."

"I want to give you God's perspective on Our Lady," Fr. Calloway said. "He made a masterpiece, and He made it a living masterpiece. And you know what He did? He took up residency in the body of His masterpiece. ... That's how much He loves her. He makes her smell like roses."

He said that when people encounter Mary, they "fall on their knees and cry. ... Demons jump out windows when she comes on the scene."

Mary is the key to sanctity. But why?

"Because you're not going to be fully conformed to Jesus Christ unless you have a relationship with her," Fr. Calloway said. "She's the one perfect blueprint, model, prototype of what it means to be a disciple of Christ."

She is the Bride; and we, the Church, the Bride of Christ, are to be conformed to her, the pattern of the bride.

"That is the core of Christianity," said Fr. Calloway, whose latest Marian Press book, 10 Wonders of the Rosary, was released in January.

Thousands of millennials — clearly longing for beauty, truth, and God — soaked in this message from Fr. Calloway, captivated by the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the call to holiness.

Much like St. John Paul II, Fr. Calloway said, "Fight for beauty! ... That's what we all, as Catholics, are supposed to be doing. Our Lady will bring that dimension into your life. Jesus is not a phantasm. He's not a robot. He didn't just appear. He chose to come to us through that woman. He could have done it in a million other ways. No doubt about that. But He didn't. ... We need her. She's not an option."

He continued, "Jesus gave us His Flesh and Blood to eat. And where did He get that Flesh and Blood? From the flesh and blood of Mary. Without Mary, you wouldn't have Jesus. Without Mary, you wouldn't have the Eucharistic Body of Christ. Without Mary, you wouldn't have the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. You wouldn't have the Sacraments, Confession, the priesthood."

So how can you foster this relationship with Mary? Father Calloway's answer: the Rosary.

"Keep praying those Rosaries," he said. "Don't you think you can walk away from Mary to do this. You can't. If you struggle with Mary, pray about it. If you struggle with the Rosary, pray a decade of it. Don't walk away from this masterpiece of eternity, because God made her for you."

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