This Ordination Class of 2014 is a promising group of young men from a generation of priests that I like to refer to as “The Devoted Sons of Our Lady of Knock.”
When the proud Irishman, Monsignor Aloysius Callahan, was appointed as rector of St. Paul Seminary in 2005 he decreed that every priest ordained from there should have a strong devotion to Our Lady of Knock – a title given to our Blessed Mother after she appeared in 1879 at a church in Knock, County Mayo, in Ireland. I would not be surprised if at the Ordination Mass there is a prayer or a hymn in honor of the Irish patroness, Our Lady of Knock.
May is the month of Mary in the Church. So in addition to the May Crownings and Rosary Processions that are taking place, it might be fun to reflect on our own personal favorite Marian devotions and titles.
In our Catholic tradition Mary has been like a diamond reflecting light and beauty from her many, many facets. She is “Mary, Seat of Wisdom,” “Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help,” “Mary, Queen of Peace,” “Mary, Mother of Good Counsel,” “Mary, Theotokos/God-bearer.” Whatever need we have in this life, Mary is always there to offer her many faceted motherly care.
One of my favorite titles for Mary, and one that has helped me throughout my priesthood, is Stella Maris. It is a Latin title that translates, “Star of the Sea.” It is a title that reminds us that this life is like a great sea with all of its depth, profundity, storms, perils, and feelings of being lost and adrift. Mary, like the stars that guided the ancient sailors and seafarers to their destinations in safety, also serves us as that great light pointing us through the storms of this life always to our destination in Jesus. Stella Maris, pray for us.
Many people have a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a name by which Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. At that time Mary called herself coatlaxopeuh (pronounced “quat-la-supe” from which is derived the English pronounciation “Guadalupe”), which means, “the one who crushes the serpent.” Many have found help from Mary, under this title, in overcoming dangers or oppression in their lives. So whenever we are feeling oppressed, Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
So I’m glad to hear that the Ordination Class of 2014 has found a strong help in Mary. She has much to offer to everyone. Our Lady of Knock, pray for our new priests. Pray for us all!