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Our Lady, Comfort of Migrants

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

Last month, we talked about Our Lady's title "Mother of Hope," which was one of three new titles added to the Litany of Loreto by the Vatican this summer. This month, we will discuss the third and final title added to the Litany, "Comfort of Migrants."

Traveling hundreds of miles and crossing borders to escape the threat of death, the Holy Family lived several years as migrants. So, it makes sense to call Our Lady "Comfort of Migrants." She knows what it's like to have to leave a home that she knew and loved out of fear for her family's well-being.

First, even while the Blessed Mother was on the verge of giving birth to the Christ Child, the Holy Family dutifully traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to be counted for the census. The Holy Family respected the laws of their government. At the same time, when their government threatened their lives, they eagerly sought refuge.

After the birth of Jesus, an angel came to Joseph to warn him about the murderous King Herod. The angel told him, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him" (Mt 2:13). Imagine the shock that the Holy Family must have felt upon receiving this news. They left immediately, under cover of night, likely without getting the chance to say goodbye to family and friends. The danger they faced forced their hand. They only returned to their homeland after they found out that King Herod had died.

The truth is, many people throughout history have faced similar dangers. In his 1952 apostolic constitution Exsul Familia (On the Spiritual Care of the Migrant), Pope Pius XII wrote:

The family of Nazareth in exile, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, emigrants and taking refuge in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are the model, the example and the support of all emigrants and pilgrims of every age and every country, of all refugees of any condition who, compelled by persecution and need, are forced to abandon their homeland, their beloved relatives, their neighbors, their dear friends, and move to a foreign land.


We're blessed to live in a free country where we can worship how we please without fear of death. But many throughout the world live in fear for their lives, whether from threats of an oppressive government, lawlessness, or a lack of economic opportunity. Thankfully, anyone who leaves their country of origin, hoping for a better future elsewhere, can find help and protection from the Blessed Mother.

Our Lady, Comfort of Migrants, pray for us!

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