our conversation with her earlier this summer.
Coming to know Our Lady of Charity, through my friendship with Maria, presents yet another opportunity to ponder our Holy Mother's many appearances across the world. Truly, she is everywhere, a powerful mediator with Christ through the Holy Spirit, demonstrating her graces in a loving and nurturing way. When we seek her, Mary continues to come to us under many names and titles, honored across culture and country.
A century-old print of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, given to me by my grandmother, has hung in my bedroom since I was a small child. This summer I experienced encounters with Mary under the (new to me) names Our Lady of La Leche, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and Our Lady of Charity. While she may not visit us through any visible apparition, there are so many small (and sometimes large) "coincidences" that reaffirm her constant presence in our lives, always guiding us towards Christ's love and salvation on the cross.
Even "Cachita's" feast day, Sept 8, represents more than one personal touchpoint for me. My early career grew partly because of another Storm associated with September 8, this one in 1900 Galveston, TX. Sept 8 is the original due date of not one, but both of my daughters, three years apart. And this year, with inspiration from Maria, I started a journey towards Marian Consecration which will come to fruition on Our Lady of Charity's feast day - Sept 8. Truly, Mary's graces are woven throughout our personal lives like those sticky spider webs you walk into without noticing.
As we continue our novena, we ask Our Lady of Charity - of Love - to strengthen our courage in the storm of life, knowing that our faith is magnified when united in her blessed intercession.
Most pure Virgin Mary, blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. We deplore our sins, knowing your Son died on the cross for our sins. May it be the fruit of our prayer that we atone for our sins on earth that we may bless eternally Jesus in heaven.
O beloved Virgin Mary, my Mother, I consecrate myself to you today: my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart, in other words, my whole being. I am yours, Oh Mother of Mercy, guard me and defend me as your son/daughter. Amen.
Ask for your petition here
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Want to Read More
For more reflection on how we can be more aware of Mary's presence in our lives, drop by Meditating on the Hail Mary, or Mary in the Front Seat. Leave a comment telling us how Mary makes her presence known to you, and you will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Maria's book.
Many thanks to Maria Morera Johnson for inviting us to share in her devotion. If you haven't picked up a copy of her latest book Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped me Grow in Faith and Love (Ave Maria Press), why haven't you?