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  • Marian Reflections

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Marian thought for February

«It was not enough for God to give us his Son on a Cross, but he also gave Mary to us. When we honor the Virgin Mary, we will love Jesus more. When we place ourselves under her mantle we will better understand divine mercy. How great is God, how sweet is Mary!» (St. Rafael Arnáiz)

St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain. He studied in the Jesuit school, where he received his First Holy Communion in 1919. He showed a very great openness to the things that had to do with God from a very early age. The first signs of the illness that would mark the rest of his life appeared in 1922. His father, who believed that his recovery was due to the Virgin Mary’s special intervention, took Rafael to Zaragoza in thanksgiving and consecrated him to Our Lady of Pilar. As years went by, he developed many different traits, such as friendship. He also grew in his Christian life. God placed the desire in his heart to consecrate himself in monastic life. He met the Trappist monks of San Isidro de Dueñas and felt very attracted to that life, because he saw that it corresponded to his intimate desires. He entered there on January 15, 1934. He had to leave the convent three times due to the diabetes that God mysteriously used to test him. Each time he returned, he came back with more desires to be generous and faithful. These desires were fulfilled on April 26, 1938, when he left this world at only 27 years of age. He was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and canonized on October 11, 2009.

Blessed Paul VI

pablo vi

"The Blessed Virgin's role as Mother leads the People of God to turn with filial confidence to the one who is ever ready to listen with a mother's affection and efficacious assistance. Thus the People of God have learned to call on her as the Consoler of the afflicted, the Health of the sick, and the Refuge of sinners, that they may find comfort in tribulation, relief in sickness and liberating strength in guilt."

Blessed Paul VI was born in Concesio, near Brescia (Italy), on September 26, 1897. He felt the call to the priesthood and at 19 years of age entered the seminary in Brescia. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1920. In Rome, he studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and later served as a member of the Secretariat of State. He had several important positions in Nunciatures and in the Secretariat of State until he was named Archbishop of Milan in 1954. Pope John XXIII named him Cardinal in 1958 and in 1963 he succeed John XXIII as Pope. He continued the labor of the Second Vatican Council. He wrote several encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and letters, amongst which is the apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus for the right ordering and development of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which he signed on February 2, 1974. He died August 6, 1978 on the Feast of the Transfiguration.

 
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