Tag Archive for: Blessed Virgin Mary

A Journey to Pompeii, Italy

Let’s go to Italy! Continuing our celebration of the Month of Mary, come along with Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox on an audio pilgrimage to the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, located in Pompeii, Italy.  Today, the sanctuary also known as Our Lady of Pompeii attracts not only religious pilgrims but also a large number of tourists drawn by its beauty.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which destroyed Pompeii
  •  The painting of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is venerated at the Pontifical Shrine
  • St. Bartolo Longo, a former Satanic priest who became a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, and is an important figure in the Basilica’s history

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsor, Dian Coleman in memory of Ronald Coleman, who made this podcast episode possible.


WHERE to TUNE IN:

Live – Wed., May 18 @ 8:00 PM CDT

Guadalupe Radio Network (South/Central Texas Stations)

Listen to the archived audio recording on our website, ASAP beginning the next day; will also be available on major podcast apps – search for “Journeys of Hope.”


Jewel for the Journey:

“The Rosary is the prayer dearest to Mary, most loved by the Saints, most frequently used by Christian peoples, most honored by God with astounding wonders, most enriched with great promises, by the Virgin.” – Blessed Bartolo Longo


A Closer Look at Our Lady of Pompeii:

Pictures coming soon!


Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary by Blessed Bartolo Longo

This prayer is a fitting way for us to conclude and to pray for those who, like Blessed Bartolo once was, are still caught under the bondage of Satanism and the occult.

St. Bartolo Longo

Sign Of The Cross

O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain that unites us to God, bond of love that unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You are our comfort in the hour of death. May the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompei, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven.”Jesus, we thank you for giving us your mother, who is our Heavenly Mother!

Amen.


Where is Our Lady of Pompeii?

Schoenstatt Shrine & May Blossoms

In this week’s spiritual pilgrimage, join Angela Sealana as she leads us on a journey to a very special Marian shrine; the original located in Schoenstatt, Germany; and identical shrines located throughout the world!

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Be taken on a journey through the story of the founding of Schoenstatt, one of the first Marian movements of the 20thcentury that survived World War I and even the concentration camps of WWII
  • You’ll hear a description of the Schoenstatt Shrine, and learn about the meaning behind each carefully selected element
  • And discover a special, simple spiritual practice that your whole family can follow called May Blossoms which can not only improve your family life but also your personal lives.

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsor, Dian Coleman in memory of Ronald Coleman, who made this podcast episode possible.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“Our mates must be able to sense our Catholicism through our whole being. Every action must bear the stamp of belonging to God…” – Servant of God Josef Engling


A Closer Look at the Schoenstatt Shrine & May Blossoms:


Get More Out of Your Journey with This Suggested Reading:

Blog: A Simple Way to Boost Your Spiritual Life –Advice from a Young Soldier

Find books about Schoenstatt through your local Schoenstatt Shrine. Locate the nearest Schoenstatt Shrine here

May Blossoms, written by the Schoenstatt Junior Sodality, 1916


Map of Schoenstatt Shrines:

How Can a Woman Be the Mother of God? | Meet Mary

We especially thank the Marian Center of San Antonio for sponsoring this episode of Meet Mary! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.

What Mary & the Annunciation Teach Us Today

Have you known someone in your life who seldom speaks but people lean in to hear all they have to say? You find that if you listen carefully, their words are especially profound and meaningful to you personally.

I have found that the spoken words of our Blessed Mother invite me to lean in and listen and learn from her relationship with God.

The Blessed Mother’s spoken words in Scripture are few, recorded 3 times in the Gospel of Luke and once in John’s Gospel. Yet her brief spoken words, less than 200 words, have inspired innumerable prayers, hymns, homilies, and other devotional practices, perhaps none more than her words at the Annunciation.

How can these words of Mary at the Annunciation inform us and inspire us as part of our Lenten practices? What does Mary’s Yes mean for each of us?

“How can this be, since I have no husband?”  (Luke 1: 34)

Mary pondered the words of the angel Gabriel. She did not argue or challenge but rather, asked a clarifying question. She listened and heard God’s invitation and her heart was open to His plan for her life and for humanity.

Her words and her response encourage us to expand our prayer during Lent to ask God, “How can this be?”.  Her words remind us that God wants us to ask Him questions and be fully engaged in the conversation. We can ask Him anything that is weighing on our hearts! He desires a two-way conversation, the true sign of a personal relationship.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38)

After pondering the words of the angel in Luke (1:37) that nothing will be impossible for God, Mary responded with words of complete trust even if she didn’t fully understand. Her words remind us that God wants us to fully trust Him even when we don’t understand a situation, circumstance, or challenge in our lives.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. These words echo Mary’s words, Let it be done to me according to your word.

During our Lenten prayers, may the spoken words of our Blessed Mother encourage us to:

  • Engage in a two-way conversation with God and ask Him anything that is weighing on our hearts.
  • Pray “Thy will be done” in complete trust, echoing Mary’s “Yes” to God.

As we embrace Mary’s vocation as our vocation, we can also remember the words of St. Pope John Paul II:

“From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone.  From Mary we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God.”


Debbie Garza is a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Leon Springs, and is an experienced Pilgrimage Group Leader with Pilgrim Center of Hope. She has traveled with Pilgrim Center of Hope to the Holy Land, Italy, and Greece. She says, “On pilgrimage, I know the ears and eyes of my heart have been opened by God’s grace and I’ve experienced the Joy of the Gospel. I am committed to helping other pilgrims experience their personal journey of faith.” Debra is also a member of Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Speaker Team.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

A Visitor from Heaven | Meet Mary

We especially thank Michele Maxwell (Marian Center of San Antonio) for sponsoring this episode of Meet Mary! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.

Cultivating Holy Relationships

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Gospel will introduce us to God’s gift of holy relationships.

It takes us with the Virgin Mary as she travels in haste into the Judean Hill Country to visit her cousin, Elizabeth (Lk 1:39-45). This happens soon after Saint Gabriel asks Mary, on behalf of God, to be the Mother of the Messiah. He tells her that Elizabeth, who is very old, is pregnant. We have come to understand he shares this information to confirm to Mary that this strange and wonderful event that is happening to her is the way God works,

“For nothing will be impossible for God” (Lk 1:37).

Additionally, I believe God had St. Gabriel share this information with Mary because she needed someone with whom to share the wonder of God. She needed a holy relationship. Joseph, still to be prepared to embrace his role as guardian of Jesus and Mary, had not yet been brought into the mystery of the Incarnation.

With the news of her cousin’s pregnancy, Mary feels called to go, but she must have wondered if she can trust Elizabeth with the news of her own pregnancy. God does not make her wonder long. He fills Elizabeth with His Spirit at the moment they see each other and she exclaims,

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled (Lk 1:42-45).”

Wow! No wonder Mary’s response was her song of praise, the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-56). Their three months together surely included many conversations sharing their faith in God and discussing his “impossible” ways in their lives!

The Importance of Having Holy Relationships

Holy relationships are important, and God wants us to have them. Consider Jesus, who was born into a family, living for 30 years in holy relationships with Mary and Joseph, and then calling disciples into a relationship with him as soon as he embarked on his active ministry. Holy relationships help us to grow in our Christian faith; for God Himself is a holy relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To be in holy relationships is part of our Christian identity.

Holy relationships as explained here are not primarily about evangelization, though they certainly can evangelize us. Holy relationships are also not about having to prove God is at work in you or wanting the other to tell you what they think God is doing in you. That is for our pastors and spiritual directors. Holy relationships I am referring to are similar to what Mary and Elizabeth must have enjoyed. They are simply about sharing our faith journey with one or more in a mutual acknowledgment, affirmation, and appreciation of God as living in, through, and with us.

I have a couple of friends who fit this description. One is a holy relationship in which we take a couple of hours a week walking and talking about what God is doing in our lives. We do not give each other advice unless we are asked. We talk and we listen, that’s it. Another holy relationship is someone with whom I have absolutely nothing in common. Marveling at this, I once told her, “You know we are only friends because of Jesus.” We both laughed as she agreed. In our mutual talking and listening, she has been such an encouragement, and I believe she can say the same about me.

How Does One Cultivate a Holy Relationship?

The best way I know is through faith studies or ministries. Participating in a bible study or volunteering at a ministry is a great way to meet like-minded, Jesus-centered people with whom we can cultivate deep and lasting holy relationships. If personal restrictions keep us from actively participating at a parish or ministry, there are many virtual opportunities that can serve to form holy relationships right from our homes.

Holy relationships are God’s gifts for us to receive and be continuously renewed in our faith, but it does take discernment and a bit of courage to know who we can trust. Pray to the Virgin Mary and St. Elizabeth to help you both find and reach out to potential spiritual companions. Pray also that you will be a trustworthy companion in return. It is well worth the risk and effort.


Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

A Medal from Heaven | Meet Mary

We especially thank Michele Maxwell (Marian Center of San Antonio) for sponsoring this episode of Meet Mary! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.

The Ultimate Representation of Jesus’ Love | Meet Mary

We especially thank Michele Maxwell (Marian Center of San Antonio) for sponsoring this episode of Meet Mary! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.

Surprised by Mary | Meet Mary

A NEW JOURNEY: Jerusalem – St. Anne Church & Sacred Music

Come on a journey with Angela Sealana as she guides us in an audio pilgrimage to the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem, built over the Virgin Mary’s birthplace, the home of Mary’s parents Sts. Joachim and Anne.

During our journey, we will:

  • Learn about the history of this famous church and the City of Jerusalem itself
  • Take you on a guided walk through the Church –what you would see, experience, and hear as a pilgrim
  • Learn about the history of sacred music along with various samples, and will define some terms like Gregorian chant, Byzantine, etc.
  • Much more!

Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“There is the music of heaven in all things, but we have forgotten to hear it until we sing.” – St. Hildegard of Bingen


Sacred Music Clips In this Program:


A Closer Look at St. Anne Church:


Video clip demonstrating the church’s extraordinary acoustics; Fr. Victor Shoemaker singing the Salve Regina


Where is St. Anne Church?