Today, we begin the novena to Mary, Queen of Apostles. This feast day is celebrated on May 23rd this year–the Saturday before Pentecost, when Mary gathered the apostles in prayer to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Of course, when the Holy Spirit descended, the Apostles received very special graces to go forth and carry out their mission! It’s a very special feast day for my community as communicators of the Gospel, because Mary is the ultimate Communicator of the Word of God.
Our Pauline website has an explanation of what the title means. In the images of Mary, Queen of Apostles, Mary is holding Jesus out–as if to give him away. Blessed James Alberione describes the meaning of this gesture very specifically: “In the ‘Hail, Holy Queen,’ the Church describes her [Mary] to us with very beautiful titles, but the most beautiful is the one we see portrayed in the new painting of the Queen of the Apostles, in which the Madonna does not clasp Jesus to her heart, but holds him out to the Apostles, as her most sweet fruit, in order that they, in turn, will hold him out to humanity.”
For our purpose as discerners, Mary is also known as the “Spouse of the Spirit” because she so closely listened to, treasured, and responded to the invitations of the Spirit.
I invite each of you to send in your prayer intentions–you can email me if you want to remain anonymous, or send me a message on Twitter. (@SisterMPaul) If you add it in as a comment below, I will cut and paste all the prayer intentions (including the initials of those who wish to be anonymous), and we can all pray for each other on our discernment journeys.
I will post up a short prayer each day of the novena, so that if you check in over the next nine days, we can unite not just in intention, but also focus our prayers. The prayer below is an excerpt from our Founder’s prayer of entrusting to Mary–his own version of Consecration to Mary. It’s a beautiful prayer to begin our novena:
Receive me, Mary, Mother, Teacher and Queen,
among those whom you love, nourish, sanctify and guide,
in the school of Jesus Christ, the Divine Master.
You identify in God’s mind those whom he calls,
and for them you have special prayers, grace, light and consolations.
My Master Jesus Christ entrusted himself wholly to you,
from the Incarnation to the Ascension.
For me this is doctrine, example and an ineffable gift.
I too place myself entirely into your hands.
Obtain for me the grace to know, imitate and love always more
the Divine Master, Way and Truth and Life.
– Blessed James Alberione