I try and talk to my Mom every day. I enjoy talking to her and telling her about my problems, or just telling her about how my day went. She’s a great listener and she totally loves me.
The truth is: you can also experience the same with your Mom, too. I’m talking about Mary; Jesus’ mother who is also our mother, too. I grew up talking to Mary whenever I had a problem, or if I was thankful for a prayer answered. It wasn’t until after I went on a pilgrimage to Fatima, Lourdes and Paris that my relationship with Mary, my mother changed. She became real for me when I went to three places that she appeared: Fatima, Lourdes and Rue du Bac. I was very fortunate to go on this pilgrimage last year with a group of 58 people with the Pilgrim Center of Hope. It was an enriching, life-changing experience.
On this pilgrimage, our first stop was Fatima. We visited the same places where the three visionaries – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – stood. We got to see their homes, their parish church, and Aljustrel. In the evening, we took part in a rosary procession with the Our Lady of Fatima statue. This was very special.
One important message our Mother Mary gave here in Fatima was to pray the rosary daily. Did you know that
when you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: “O Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.”
was told to the children by Mary herself? It was!
Next stop was Paris. It was neat to see the Eiffel Tower, but what was really cool was to be at Rue du Bac! This is where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Catherine Laboure several times and said to her, “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.” Mary appeared to Catherine several times before she said this, and each time St. Catherine had a vision of Mary, what she saw is what is now on the ‘Miraculous Medal’ some of you wear today.
Our last and final stop was in Lourdes. Here, we walked in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. We visited the homes she lived in, and also saw the famous Grotto where Mary appeared to Bernadette. Mary’s main message here was repent. (How relevant this message is right now, during the season of Lent.) Mary appeared to St. Bernadette 18 times. At one of those apparitions, Bernadette was instructed by Our Lady to drink from the spring. Bernadette recalls,
Since I couldn’t see it, I went to drink from the river. She told me it wasn’t there I was to drink and with her finger pointed under the rock. I went there and found only a little brackish water. Put my hand into it but was unable to take any. Then I dug with my hand and so was able to take some. Three times I threw water away since it was dirty; then, the fourth time, I managed to drink.
This is where the healing waters come from. In Lourdes, they have baths where you can literally submerge yourself in water, and many people have been healed here. We also had the opportunity to experience these baths in Lourdes. This is an experience I will never forget. I, too, believe in the miraculous healings that take place here.
Even though this trip took place last year in October, it still is fresh in my mind. Just yesterday, some of us who went on this pilgrimage got together for a reunion. It was wonderful to share the many blessings that have happened to us all as a result of this pilgrimage. Some were miracles. Others like me talked about how their relationship with Mary had changed.
I’m not saying that in order to obtain a relationship with Mary, our mother you have to go on a pilgrimage. No, absolutely not! I’m saying to you that Mary our Mother is always available to you! All you have to do is start talking to her… believe me she will listen to you! She loves you just as much as she loves her son!