Photo: Felix Carroll
The Marians at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, in Stockbridge, Mass.
A Shared Mission of 'Immaculate' Mary
By Dan Valenti (Dec 5, 2011)
The Marians of the Immaculate Conception, founded in 1673 in Poland by Bl. Stanislaus Papczynski, has as one of their major missions the daily devotion to the Blessed Mother as a way of interceding to Jesus on behalf of all mankind.
Ask Marians what the glorious title of Mary's purity means to them and you elicit heartfelt convictions that occupy the soul and border on poetry. For example, for Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, the Immaculate Conception prompts reflection on the beatitudes, especially "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
"Mary Immaculate embodies this perfectly," Fr. Joe says, "and that purity is what I strive for as a Marian."
Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, mentions the events at Lourdes, which profoundly reinforces the truth and importance of Mary as the Immaculate Conception.
"Because that is how she named herself to Bernadette," Fr. Seraphim says, "Our Lady has confirmed her role as an unfailing refuge of sinners. Only one who is perfectly pure and removed from all stain of sin can provide us with the consolations and comforts our restless soul require. Only such a perfect being could act as an unfailing intercessor on our behalf to her beloved Son, our merciful Savior."
Father Mariusz Jarzabek, MIC, a missionary stationed in the Philippines, says, "The Blessed Mother many appearances deliver a message of hope. This is the message we Marians try to bring to the world. This is how we represent Mary's work. Her work is our work. For example, this is why we are going halfway around the world [to the Philippines]. Through our example and actions, we try to emulate the evangelical virtues of Mary and share with people the graces they attain."
Father Anthony "Tony" Nockunas, MIC, picks up on this theme of action, saying, Marian apparitions, particularly at Lourdes, are meant to inspire us to search for holiness, mend the brokenness of our lives, and find refuge in the arms of "our Mother, the Mother of all."
Father Tony counsels us to heed Mary, who "tells us not to overlook the importance of daily prayer. In all of her appearances, the Blessed Mother calls for penance, repentance, and prayer. These are the means to a better life, even a holy life. This is why Marians consecrate our lives to her. We do it for ourselves, because we take responsibility for our lives, but we do not do it selfishly, because we want to share this way with the whole world."
To listen to these men is to hear men of goodness. That's as "Marian" as a soul can get.