In the cold winter months, when pilgrims no longer came to the shrine, then the Missionaries would go out to the surrounding villages to preach the Gospel in prolonged parish missions.

From there, after having preached repentance to these good and faithful people and after having shown them the grandeur and glory of Mary, we will spread throughout the mountains to proclaim the Word of God to these simple souls, better disposed to receive this divine seed than those who live around us, corrupted as they are.

Letter to Pierre Mie, October 1818, EO VI n.31

Mary “ received Christ in order to share him with all the world, whose hope he is. In her, we recognize the model of the Church’s faith and of our own.” (OMI CC&RR, Constitution 10)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Mary “received Christ in order to share him with all the world…” This was not just something that ‘happened’ to her – she received him. There is within those few words an act of participation, she took part in this. And she did that in order to be able to ‘share him’ with all others. I think of her standing at the foot of the Cross – there with him, simply there with him. And then later receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit with the Apostles. Even that leads me to thinking how it was the 12 who were there with her and she was with them. The Church, the beginning – going out to share, to evangelize, to share their experiences of God, of Jesus the Christ with all they met. That looked a little bit different from how it had happened to the first 12 but nevertheless it was from that point on the receiving of the Holy Spirit. The Church, the people of God.

    There is within me a connection between all of this that I had not noticed before. Heart-stopping with the flood of recognition and then a moment or two to simply sit with it and give thanks. Not something that just happened 2000 years ago, or even 200 years ago. Apostolic.

    Mary is not just ‘someone that we pray to because we have been told to do that’. There is an immense connection – it is actively personal, intimate and yet it will be shared outwardly.

    A week and half ago in our studies we spent time with Lamirande and Ciardi, with Motte and many others receiving the gifts of their experiences. It is from that backdrop that I have been reflecting and pondering, allowing them all to settle in and become a part of me. With all of this there is a deeper sense of the Body of Christ, of my beloved Church, of Mary who walks with us – along with so many others – most particularly my brothers and sisters in the Mazenodian Family.

    I feel as if a veil has been removed from the eyes of my soul for I see differently. Today is a day for giving thanks for all that we are given, for all that we receive and then share with others.

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