Mary’s Favourite Child – a family story

Mary’s Favourite Child, a family story.   JANUARY 1 2019.

This last of my Christmas holiday stories complements Pope Francis Message for the January 1 World Day of Peace,

Do parents and teachers have favourites?  Be honest.  We think they do, and it is true in the way that some people just get on better than others. Isn’t that the same as having a “best friend?”

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, lived more than 2000 years ago, is now a saint in heaven, concerned for us, loving us like a mother. One wonders who, apart from Jesus of course, could have been her favourites over all those years.

St Dominic must have been one of her favourites because she asked him to introduce the Rosary which has become a favourite prayer for millions of people.   St Don Bosco really put her through her paces one time.   He was preaching a mission in a small farming community in Italy where there was a very severe drought.  On the first day he felt inspired to challenge the people that if they would come and take part in the mission, to pray and repent, Mary would send them rain to save their grapes, maize and potato crops.  The parish priest was skeptical and other people in the village even took bets to see whether Mary would keep the promise Don Bosco had made on her behalf.   Don Bosco had great faith but on the very last day of the mission when it still hadn’t rained he went off to pray because he was getting a little worried himself.  “Don’t worry” he said to the skeptical priest. “Mary is concerned for these people and she can’t let her reputation be ruined either.“ Just before the last service he checked outside and there was a tiny cloud on the horizon.  While he was preaching it grew and grew.   Soon there was a loud thunder-clap, followed by another and before the service ended the rain came in buckets. When it was over the people couldn’t leave the church as it was raining so hard.   Mary had shown her concern and love for St John Bosco and for the people of the village.

It is a fact that Our Lady has been an inspiration to pretty well every one of the saints.  Some people would say you cannot become a saint without having a strong relationship with her.

She has also appeared to many people all over the world, even in Ngome in Kwa-Zulu Natal where she appeared to a nun, Sr Reinolda.   Mary appeared holding a very large host from which such a bright light shone that Sr Reinolda was almost blinded by it. Many people in South Africa make a pilgrimage to Ngome to pray. Some go as families. Theses apparitions are recognized by the Church and Sr Reinolda may be declared a saint one day.

Mary doesn’t appear to people just to show her love, but always to bring her Son’s message.  ‘Pray for peace, be reconciled, come to Communion.’   Sometimes she heals people too.   She clearly likes children particularly.  She appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes in 1858, to three children in Fatima in 1917, to six children in Medjugorge from 1981 and still appears there regularly.  In one message she told them, “You are chosen to witness peace and joy.  If there is no peace, pray and you will receive it.  Through you and your prayer, little children, peace will begin to flow through the world.  Prayer works miracles in human hearts and in the word.  I am with you and I thank God for each of you who has accepted this and lives prayer with seriousness.   Thank you for responding to my call.”

Would you say that the people she chooses are her favourites? Or would you say that they become her favourites because they do what she asks?  She asks us to listen to Jesus, her Son and particularly to pray for peace in the world so that children will not suffer so much.  In the book of Revelation in the Bible there is an image that describes her as a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.   Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could be a star in the crown of Mary, the Mother of God and our mother too.  That is what being a favourite of hers would mean and heaven is so special that Mary could have everyone on earth as her favourites.   If we choose.

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