Missionaries follow Mary’s model of faith & love to serve those in need
Devotion to the Blessed Mother is deep and strong in many Mission lands as they recognize Mary as the Queen of Missions.
Our Blessed Mother was incredibly perceptive and paid close attention to Jesus’ every word and action. The subtleties of His teaching were not lost on her; she progressively came to realize the unfolding mystery of her own unique “calling.” As the Mission of her Son grew clearer to her eyes and spirit, Mary understood her “part,” beside her Son.
If she had not said from the very beginning, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” Luke 1:38 her understanding and strength of acceptance of the truth may not have been made possible. Through faith Mary continued to hear and to ponder that Word . . . thus in a sense Mary as Mother became the first “disciple” – the first Missionary of her Son. She became the first to whom Jesus said, “Follow me!”
Mary’s faith and example are a model for Missionaries throughout the world. She not only shows the need for prayer, as she consistently “ponders” what she is seeing and experiencing throughout the life of her beloved Son, Jesus, but also reaches outside herself and serves. Mary was the first Missionary when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explained this during his papacy:
In the Virgin Mary who goes to visit her relative Elizabeth, we recognize the true meaning and the way of the Church herself. The Church is Missionary by nature, called to proclaim the Gospel everywhere and always. Mary’s is a true Missionary journey . . . one that leads her far from home, leading her into the world, in places foreign to her daily activities; it makes her reach, in a sense, to the very ends of where she can reach. Agenzia Fides, May, 2010
You can follow the model of Our Blessed Mother in two ways: Pray for Mary’s intercession to provide those who are called to a Missionary vocation. Ask her to give them the strength say “Yes” to Jesus’ request to “Follow me!” to the ends of the earth
Here are examples of how your support helps Missionaries who respond to Jesus’ call and follow Mary’s model of faith and love to serve those in need throughout the world.
Excerpts; St. John Paul II on Mary by Reverend Michael Gaitley
Be Missionary . . . present a child with a gift of hope
In Cambodia, many families move to the city from the countryside to look for jobs. Soriya, whose name means “sun,” her little sister, Chanlina, whose name means “moonlight,” and her family are one such family. They struggled to earn a living with subsistence farming in their village, so a move to the city of Phnom Penh, held promise.
Moving, however, has created complications for seven-year old Soriya. In the Cambodian school system, children can only be registered at their local school and many do not allow the children to transfer. Soriya is hoping for her transfer and is locked in at her home during the day, for her and her sister’s own protection, while her parents go to work.
Having her school papers is only one barrier for Soriya. Another is the cost to attend school. In Phnom Penh, her parents are lucky enough to both find jobs. As city factory workers they earn less than $65 a month – only about $2 day. School fees of $35.00 a month are therefore impossible to afford.
Darang, a thirteen-year old, is also left at home. He wanders the narrow dark streets in a drug-infested are of the city, collecting rubbish to earn a little money for his family.
Considered a Gift to Children
Thankfully, the Lindalva Centre, run by Sister Eulie Desacula and the Daughters of Charity, Missionaries originally from the Philippines, help provide families with the support they need. The Sisters, over the past ten years, have made friends with local families – all among the poorest in the city – by making individual visits to their homes. “It’s dangerous for these children to be left all day,” explains Sister Eulie. “So we try to encourage the parents to send their children to our center for schooling.