Teaching of Pope Francis
Pope imitates in Laudato Si the simple, direct, bare concise and austere way in which the Gospel refers to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. He dedicates to her only number 241, almost a colophon of the document and with short allusion in the next number to her intercession together with her spouse Saint Joseph. He strenghtens the evangelical vision of Mary in her direct but effective mission of „loving and serving in humility” and signs the title with which we Christians invoke her in the prayer of the Holy Rosary:”Queen of all Creation, Queen of heaven and earth”. „Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. Completely transfigured, she now lives with Jesus, and all creatures sing of her fairness. She is the Woman, “clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). Carried up into heaven, she is the Mother and Queen of all creation. In her glorified body, together with the Risen Christ, part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She treasures the entire life of Jesus in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51)” (n.241). Implicitly, Mary in glorified flesh can be considered in reference to the new Jerusalem in common home of heaven, the way this document is crown: „At the end, we will find ourselves face to face with the infinite beauty of God (cf. 1 Cor 13:12), and be able to read with admiration and happiness the mystery of the universe, which with us will share in unending plenitude. Even now we are journeying towards the sabbath of eternity, the new Jerusalem, towards our common home in heaven” (n.243).
We pray with words of Pope Francis:
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
(A Christian prayer in union with Creation)
Experience and testimony of Francisco Palau
In contrast to concise teaching of Laudato Si about Mary, marian teachings of blessed Palau is fertile, even exuberant. Mary is profusely present in his life and his writings. In Struggle he calles her „Mary, Mother of grace and Queen of mercy”, „our great Queen Mary”, „Our Queen and Lady”, „Queen of all”, „Lady of the Universe”, which compromises in her favor patriarch Saint Joseph: „With him you will have Mary, with Mary Jesus and with Jesus the Father” (Id, Conference 4,27). In The Church of God, which principal source is Apocalypse, he included among the Laminas „The Woman of the Lamb”. The work was not concluded and this theme was not developed, but mary, figure of the Church in glorified flesh, is mentioned in some of published laminas: „God and the neighbour forming one single Body, the Church with Jesus Christ as Head. In the Plaza of the City we see not only God, but also all our neighbours: we see them forming one single body under Christ their head. We see the triumphant Church glorified in her immortal flesh” (Lamina 17,3).
In My Relationships, we see described Mary, the beautiful Woman clothed with the sun, in full cosmic and heavenly scenery,which is revealed to the one who contemplates: „You are a young woman, beautiful, without stain or wrinkle, always chaste, ever pure, ever virgin. And you are in heaven? –Yes, in body and soul, in glorified flesh. What is your name? –I am Mary, the Mother of God” (1,10). „Now – continued Mary – you have seen my body, you have seen me, you have seen in me the image of your Beloved, of that Virgin Mother who captivated the affections of your heart; see your Spouse in me.” After this the mountain was filled with the glory of God, and it was all adorned. The angels descended upon its peak and prepared their musical instruments to celebrate a very solemn day” (1,17). „At the peak of this mountain, my name is Mary” (9,5). „In the future, on this mountain my name is Mary, and it will be the Virgin Mother of God who will represent me in my relationship with you. As our spiritual union is now a consummated fact, there is no need to insist on the matter of love: you love me, I love you, and love is works” (1,19).
In the same way, an extraordinary beauty characterizes pages in which he confesses his mystical experience in the mountains of Montserrat: „And as I passed this mountain when travelling by train from Saragossa, you said to me: I am waiting for you in Montserrat“ (2,2). „I went up to the holy mountain where the Queen has her throne” (2,4). „The heights and sublime peaks of the mountain were clothed as for a great day of glory (angels, saints)” (2,6).
The preferred and the moste repeated expression is Mary, Mother of God, although not in exclusive form, because she is also cited as Mary, Mother of Jesus, „Mary, Mother of the Son of God, Spouse of Joseph”, etc. Cherished mention (for those who are devotees of Mary under the advocation of Virgen of Mount Carmel), is given to references to the Queen of Carmel. As an example of cosmic-spiritual description: „When the moon rose I was walking alone in the woods… Come to the mountain alone. Come to the holy Mountain (Vedrá), and there I will reveal to you the secrets of my heart... The darkness of night was so dense that it could be felt and cut. The calm sea made soft babbling sounds on the broken rocks with its waves; the gentle night breeze softly moves the leaves of the trees of the woods, and the stars in the firmament of heaven give so little light that objects can be seen only as black shapes. One figure is following me through the woods wherever I go, and what a fright! If I did not know the mystery…” (21,1-2).
Nevertheless, as a book of popular piety which weave catechesis, devotion, spirituality and beauty of creation,, we have Month of Mary or Flores de Mayo (Ibiza 1860; Mallorca 1861; Barcelona 1862). Francisco Palau shows himself as an expert knowing nature in drawing and description of the most diverse plants and flowers. He puts together text and drawings, letter and laminas, forming a harmonious unity. The central theme is Mary: sampler and model of virtue for every Christian: „Let us put together these 32 laminae; we will see in them Mary’s lover represented by the flowers of the season, the gardens, the streams, the fountains and irrigation: all analogous to our object” (Introduction 3). „The world owes its salvation to the love of Mary. She saw us lost; she looked for a saviour and found him. She offered him to us, sacrificed on the altar of the cross; and she wanted to be our co-redemptrix together with her Son in this sacrifice. Because of this love she deserved to be called Mother of all the living” (MM 3,3). „Mary gave thanks to God in our behalf and in a very special and effective way: in her purest affection toward God the redeemer, she saw in the incarnation the redeemed world” (MM 15,3). „The flowers symbolize our virtues. To present flowers to Mary is to commit ourselves to practice the virtues the flowers re p resent. Let us, then, enter into ourselves: our soul is a garden” (Introduction 1). „The garden is the Church, the garden is the soul: enclosed garden. Christ is the fountain that fertilizes it constantly, the fountain and the gardener. We entrust to Mary, our beautiful and skilful gardener, the cultivation of our garden who will do it with skilled care and good taste” (Introduction 4). „Mary commits herself in her quality as gardener to shower on us, at the opportune time, the rain of grace, gifts and infused virtues. . . Mary, having received in her hands our flowers, takes charge of presenting it to God and its cultivation remain entrusted to her maternal love” (Introduction 5).
Let us pray with words of Francisco Palau:
„Queen of heaven: Receive the flower that you ask from me. I promise, I oblige myself, I resolve to be grateful to God and to you; to God, because of the favours of creation, redemption, and vocation and the others which I receive everyday; and to you for having deigned to take me as your son. Accept my intentions and grant that they be efficacious” (MM 15,4)
„Queen of heaven: I have given to you during this month consecrated to you whatever I have found of the most beautiful and fragrant in the garden; I have given the best that I had and I give it to you again... I offer myself anew so that I can put them into action. I entrust them to your maternal solicitude, most beautiful, most amiable and skilful gardener, into your hands I leave my crown; into your sacred hands I commend my virtues. Guard them, protect them, water them, cultivate them and perfect them” (MM 31,4).
Hna. Josefa Pastor Miralles CMT