EACH MAY, our thoughts and prayers turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a time when Catholics around the world come together for pilgrimages, processions, hymns and other devotions in her honor.
May 2020 is different. Due to the pandemic, public devotions to Mary will not take place. How we will miss those shared expressions of our love for the Blessed Mother! However, I suggest instead that we make an inward pilgrimage to Mary — a pilgrimage of the heart. This is one way we can draw near to the Blessed Virgin Mary to ask for her help in times of crisis. Let me offer a few ideas for thought and prayer as a point of departure for our inner pilgrimage.
First, let’s begin with the rosary, which we Knights are encouraged to pray daily. The rosary itself is like a pilgrimage in which our Blessed Mother leads us through the mysteries of her Son, Jesus. It’s as if she takes us by the hand and accompanies us through the places and events in Jesus’ life — his birth and childhood; his public ministry; his passion and death; his resurrection and exaltation. Making this pilgrimage with Mary, we experience her loving protection. She who gave us our Redeemer — the high priest able to sympathize with us in our weakness (cf. Heb 4:15) — will also draw close to us in our time of need and intercede for us with her own Son.
How much Mary can teach us who struggle with the sufferings brought about by this pandemic.
Second, along the way, let us allow Blessed Mary to show us what it truly means to follow Christ: to believe in him, to trust him, to love him, especially in these days when we are being put to the test. For the Church has always recognized Mary as the Lord’s first and greatest disciple. Even before Jesus was born, Mary lived in the spirit of the Beatitudes. She, who was poor, lowly, and pure of heart, was fashioned by the Holy Spirit as the tabernacle of the Divine Savior. As the events of Christ’s life unfolded, Mary carefully retained them in her heart and pondered their meaning. Jesus’ words, “Blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it” (Lk 11:28), apply preeminently to Mary. Walking with our Blessed Mother, we learn how to pray, how to open our heart to Jesus, how to trust in his promises, and how to bear witness to him by a life of goodness and charity.
Third, our pilgrimage with Mary brings us along the Way of the Cross to the summit of Calvary. As we walk with Mary, Jesus undergoes his passion and death. With Mary, we stand beneath the cross. Suffering was always part of Mary’s vocation. She must have known that someday her Son would die; Simeon had predicted that a sword of sorrow would pierce her heart (cf. Lk 2:35). Mary, who loved her Son beyond all telling, suffered with him as no one else. In her sinless heart, she accepted her share in the sufferings of Christ with complete freedom and trust in God. How much she can teach us who struggle with the sufferings brought about by this pandemic. Instead of lamenting what this pandemic seems to have stolen from us, we can learn from Mary how to offer these trials in communion with the sufferings of Christ.
Finally, our pilgrimage with Mary leads us to the empty tomb, where we share her inexpressible joy in the glory of the Resurrection. It brings us to the upper room, where she received the Holy Spirit along with the Apostles. It takes us to the earliest celebrations of the Eucharist, at which Mary was present. Yes, Mary walks before us and with us, as with the grace of the Holy Spirit, we profess unwavering hope in her risen Son. For, as St. Paul wrote, “If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we persevere, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim 2:11-12). May we indeed persevere, in this and in every trial, so that one day we may reign with Christ in the presence of Mary our Queen.
Logos & Emblems
Fraternal Leader Advisory
Knights in Action
Share your Knights in Action News
Please contact the
Knights of Columbus News Bureau