19th May 2018,
A sincere welcome to you all present here in Knock today, to all who travelled from our parishes of Corduff, Shankill and Thurles, to all our friends. We gather in a spirit of prayer, to mark our annual celebration of Mary Queen of Apostles, our patroness. It is a great honour for me personally to be here with you as a deacon as I prepare for my ordination to the priesthood on the 24th of June. Please keep me in your prayers. This year is especially important for our Pallottine family worldwide as it is the Bi-centenary of the ordination to the priesthood of our founder Vincent Pallotti.
We are here today, to celebrate Mary Queen of Apostles, devotion to Mary was very important for our founder Vincent, we know of that deep personal love that Pallotti had for his most beloved mother Mary, it was this personal love and the role of Mary in the Apostolate that prompted Pallotti to give Mary as patroness, intercessor, Model and Teacher to the members of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate.
From the beginning he placed the Society under the protection of Mary Queen of Apostles, he dedicated the Society to her telling his followers “that one who truly loves Mary, will not only be saved, but, through her intercession, will also increase in holiness day by day until they become a great saint.
Why has our Lady received the title Queen of the Apostles? What defines an apostle of Jesus Christ is the openness to co-operate with the working of the Holy Spirit in one’s life and as Vincent Pallotti claimed, no one not even the apostles co-operated more than Mary with the Holy Spirit.
We see Mary’s complete surrender to God’s will in becoming the Mother of the Saviour of the world. As Pope John Paul put it, ‘Mary was the first Tabernacle’, what a lovely title. It was through her sacred womb that God chose as the gateway to reveal to humanity the unconditional, infinite, immense love that he has for each one of us. A crisis pregnancy, a single mother, confusion, uncertainty, Mary’s ‘YES’ changed the world.
Mother behold thy son; Son behold thy mother. At the foot of the cross Jesus is entrusting all of humanity to Mary’s motherly care. She was the first person to hear Jesus’s cry ‘I THIRST’ Our Lady knew how deep is his longing and thirsting for all his children. Her whole life was about presenting Jesus to others, helping us all to get closer to her son.
Isn’t there something about mothers?, they know how to diffuse a situation, how to make light of things. I know when I was young, if I had any problem, I would chose to go to my mother. There’s a softness in mothers, mothers have a way of sorting out problems with gentleness and love and so too with Our Lady, she is the most tender and loving mother who keeps a watchful eye on all her children and points them to the way of her son.
In the picture brought up at the beginning of Mass, Mary is at the centre praying with the Apostles for the Holy Spirit to come. We pray today that we will stand up fearlessly in defending the gift of life over the coming week and that we will be filled with the conviction and courage the Apostles received at Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit is truth. The Holy Spirit does not lie. There is no confusion, no error, no grey area with the Holy Spirit, as it is the spirit of the Almighty God. That’s why we need to pray much to the Holy Spirit, for discerning minds and proper judgement in a sometimes erring and deceiving world. St Louis Marie de Montfort tells us when someone has devotion to our Blessed Mother the Holy Spirit flies to that soul and makes its home there. The Holy Spirit and Our Lady are inseparable. Stay close to our Blessed Mother and pray much to the Holy Spirit.
‘Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the immaculate heart of Mary your well beloved spouse.
Rev. John Regan, SAC.