Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Jan. 1 - Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God new

“Mary was present in the clarifying stages of St. Paul of the Cross’ vocation as founder, in the vestition with the black habit on the feast of her Presentation in the Temple. She assisted the founder when in St. Mary Major’s in Rome he vowed to promote the memory of the Passion of Jesus and to work for the foundation on the Institute. In places dedicated to our Blessed Lady (Annunication at Portercole, Our Lady of the Chain at Gaeta, Our Lady of the Civita in Itri) Paul sought to start the first community and finally dedicated to Mary the first retreat in memory of her Presentation in the Temple, which according to his first companions, was erected on a spot chosen by a particular inspiration from Our Lady. To Our Lady he dedicated five out of twelve retreats founded in this period. On the vigil of the feast of Mary’s Annunciation in 1769 Pope Clement XIV notified Paul of the confirmation of the rule and the solemn approbation of the Institute. Again on the vigil of the feast in 1773 he received the minutes of the brief granting him the house and basilica of Sts. John and Paul in Rome. And of the vigil of that same feast in 1775 Pope Pius VI informed Paul of the Cross that all was happily concluded concerning the new confirmation of the Passionist Rule. Sixty-two religious took as a devotional name some title referring to Our Lady. These external aspects give us a glimpse of the intense love the founder and his religious had to Mary and of their feeling that she was part of their existence.”  (History of the Passionists, Volume 1, Fabiano Giorgini, C.P. p. 319-320)

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