On our Blessed Father’s Devotion to Mary
“All [the apostles] with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary, the Mother of Jesus.” Acts 1:14
On the day of Pentecost, Mary rejoiced to see the Holy Spirit fill the hearts of the apostles as her own heart had been filled at the Annunciation. These men, her new sons, were filled with a new zeal to preach the glory of her first-born Son.
St. Dominic, successor to the great zeal of the apostles, was no less ardent in preaching the glories of Mary than he was in preaching the glories of her Son. There was nothing in his life or Order that Dominic did not entrust to Mary’s protection. So clear was this to all at the time that the friars were often called the Friars of Mary. Mary rewarded this filial trust by entrusting to Dominic and his Order the preaching of her Rosary. Mary’s love of our Order was her response to the love of St. Dominic and his children. Each night the friars loved to visit and pray at her altars, and even today Compline holds a special place in the hearts of Dominican religious because it ends with the great Salve procession in honor of Our Lady.
Many are the stories which come down to us about the love and protection that Mary has afforded the Order. As we kneel each night during the Salve Regina, let us remember that our Queen and Mother lies prostrate before her Son, interceding for us and our Order. What joy it will be to hear those same words as we depart from this life to spend eternity under the mantle of our loving Mother in heaven. It is Our Lady, who, ever a tender Mother, came to bless and watch over the brethren as they slept, and who presented her scapular to Blessed Reginald, healing him for the service of the Gospel.
Nowhere can we see Mary’s love for the Order more clearly than in St. Dominic’s dream of heaven. Saddened that he did not see any of his own religious present, Dominic did not dare to approach Mary or Jesus. Being commanded by Christ, he came forward, and was asked if he would like to see his Order. Mary opened her mantle to reveal a multitude of saintly Dominicans all safe in her maternal protection.
With what love for Mary should we not be filled, knowing that we shall spend eternity under her mantle. As was St. Dominic, we must be completely devoted to our most loving Mother. As in heaven we shall be clothed with Mary’s mantle, so here on earth we must act and pray so that Mary may be seen in us. May we always act as she would act, and may we honor her and glorify her Son, both here and in eternity.
Let us honor today the third glorious mystery of the Rosary, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, and let us beg, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and St. Dominic, a true and ardent devotion to Mary, Queen of Apostles and Patroness of the Dominican Order.