She stands stoically under a large tree at the edge of our driveway. Through rain, wind, heat, sleet and sun, and occasionally covered in snow, she stays calm. She is pure white with a gentle, pleasant expression as she looks down at the lovely flowers in spring bloom surrounding her bare feet. When the tree above her head is in full white blossoms, she shines the prettiest.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
She is my Mother Mary statue. I recite her prayer each time I pull out of the garage no matter who else is in my car; they either listen to the words or pray with me. (I have even taught it to myself in Italian.) I ask for Mary’s protection of me, my husband and our kids, as we come and go.
During the times I am outside walking to the mailbox, watering flowers or playing with the puppy, I stop and pray the Hail Mary then, too. I hold my hands down and out to the side, exactly as hers are poised.
In our Florida beach house, I have a second Blessed Mother statue. That minute I saw her for sale in Homegoods, I knew she was meant to go home with me. I plucked her off the top shelf, strapped her into the passenger-side seatbelt, and drove her home in my Camaro. There I nestled her into the red mulch in front of the house and placed white seashells at her feet. As I exit that house, too – on foot, bike or car, I pray the Hail Mary.
I think the Blessed Mother Mary “gets me” since I frantically pray for my kids and grandkids. She is a mom, too, after all, so naturally she understands me as a mother. I am the biggest advocate for my kids. She is Jesus’ biggest advocate.
I want my kids to be happy, succeed and attract good people into their lives. She wants her son to succeed, too, in attracting people to him. When a specific something is happening in my young adult kids’ lives – or needs to happen – I give it to the Blessed Mother. When I feel sad or worried, I take it to her.
There have been many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary around the world, some of them approved by the church and many others not. No Catholic is required to believe in any private revelation, even approved ones.
Among the apparitions recognized by the church as “worthy of belief” are Our Lady of Guadelupe in Mexico, Our Lady of Lourdes in France, Our Lady of Knock in Ireland and Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.
There have been many other alleged phenomena related to Mary. Once I read in the news about a Mother Mary formed from a block of ice in a convenience store refrigerator! People flocked to it, as they do to the many other sites. They light candles, leave photos of loved ones and fervently pray. People believe in and love our sweet Mother Mary for all she symbolizes. She is magnificent hope.
And oh, such beautiful names she has! The Blessed Mother … Our Lady … Mother Mary … Blessed Mary … The Virgin … Madonna … Queen of Peace.
Yes, I love my two Mary statues, I like praying her prayer, and I enjoy our relationship. I simply love Mary and me together!
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.