Every religious congregation has a particular Marian devotion. The Pauline devotion to Mary is Queen of Apostles. When as a teenager I first got to know the Daughters of St. Paul, I was wildly unfamiliar with this devotion. Honestly, I didn’t understand Mary in general, but I especially didn’t understand her as Queen of Apostles…. She sounded too majestic, too far out of reach for me. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways, so as I continued to discern my vocation with the Sisters, I also grew in my love for Mary as Queen of Apostles.
Our founder, Blessed James Alberione, gave us this particular devotion to Mary because she was truly the first apostle. She was the first one to give Jesus to the world. In her maternity she was united to him in a unique way, but she knew that he was not hers to cling to. In the image of Mary, Queen of Apostles we find her holding her Son, Jesus, out to the world, not clinging to him or keeping him to herself but she holds him out, small and vulnerable.
This is our goal, too. As baptized Christians, we are called to give Jesus to the world. In these days of living in the climate of a global pandemic I have found myself wondering how I’m called to live this. Questions swirl around my head: If I’m called to give Jesus like Mary, Queen of Apostles, how can I do this when I’m being asked to stay home, or when I need a mask covering half my face and should stay six feet away from people?
I was sitting in front of our Queen of Apostles statue the other day and was asking her how I should imitate her in these strange times:
- First, I thought of the Visitation and how Mary visited Elizabeth in an unexpected moment in her life. Now, we can’t go and literally visit one another, but we can reach out with a phone call or a text or a video call.
- Second, from personal experience, I have found Mary to be a very good listener. Throughout Scripture, you often find her in a posture of listening. I think we can learn from her to be a space of listening to God in prayer and listening to those around us.
- Lastly, Mary was a woman of prayer. I don’t know about you, but with all of the uncertainty whirling about, I don’t always have the energy to reach out or the capacity to deeply listen to others every single day… and if that’s you, too, that’s okay. It’s okay to not have the energy to reach out or the capacity to listen all the time, but know that the Blessed Mother is with you there also. In those moments I’ve been trying to make an effort to pray for others by name and for their specific intentions. A truly Marian heart is one that wants to bring Jesus to everyone. So on the days when you don’t have the capacity or energy to make that phone call or send that text, can you pray?
In these days I’ve been asking the Blessed Mother to form our hearts after hers, that we might bring Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, to people whether that’s in person, on the phone, on video chat, in a text, or in prayer. We are called to imitate Mary as an apostle and to bring Jesus to the world as he is.
Ask the Blessed Mother for the gift of her heart this May, that you might learn from her how to live and give Jesus to others.
by Sr Chelsea Bethany Davis, FSP