Pope Francis’ Prayer To Mary During Coronavirus Pandemic

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick. At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain with steadfast faith. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the Father’s will and to do what Jesus tells us: He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen. We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Pray for Us.

May Crowning at St. Christopher Church

During these glorious days of May, we want to honor our spiritual Mother with nature’s bounty.  In the landscape between the church and the parish office now stands a statue of Mary and the baby Jesus.  This image is named “Our Lady of the Snow.” 
 
Our entire community is invited to surround this statue with flowers to honor Our Lady. Please drive by to see our mini-shrine and pay homage to our beloved spiritual role model and source of great consolation.
 
Be sure to check out our parish Facebook and Instagram feed to view the floral devotions in honor of our Blessed Mother throughout the month of May. Feel free to tag or post your own pictures of this beautiful display or any ways that you are honoring Mary this month to any of our social media platforms (Facebook / Instagram). 

Moments with Mary

From an article on the Schoenstatt of Ohio website

Submitted by an anonymous Schoenstatt  member | April 2020

Is there anyone else who doesn’t know what day it is? How many times have I asked what day of the week it is, just today? I believe I even had to ask what month it was? Ha! I hear my voice recite my morning prayer and it says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia!” The morning prayer says it every day during the Octave of Easter. What is there, in this time, to rejoice and be glad about? I have asked myself this question occasionally since the middle of March and by the postings on social media, I know I am not alone. Somedays it takes a whole lot of searching to find something to rejoice about, and others it almost smacks me in the face before I roll out of bed. It seems that little by little my searching for things to rejoice and be glad about has become easier, even now.
 
I have heard it takes 30 days to create a new habit. I’m hoping that the Lord has given me this time of solitude and borderline isolation to figure out how to rejoice and be glad in all circumstances. Where the first 10-20 days seemed like a never-ending boat ride of emotions, these last 10+ days have seemed like a sea of blessings. Flowers have sprung from their darkness in the ground, chicks have hatched, and the heartache of losing two baby goats early in the year has been erased by extra babies by our other does. I am in awe, wondering if God could show off anymore and how I could have possibly missed Him. Could it be because I wasn’t searching for Him? Yes, I know I can still go to church and sit with Him in the tabernacle, but was I searching for Him in and around me at all times? Have I ever searched for Him like I do now? The answer, quite simply, is no.

 

Mother,
            Help me to see as you see. Help me to search for your Son and our Father in all of the circumstances of my life. Stay with me Mother as this year progresses for much is unknown. Do not let me be deceived by the words of men who would want me to believe that I have to earn my Father’s love by their teaching. Give me the grace, Mother, to blindly trust our Father, to blindly follow the Holy Spirit, and to silently speak to your Son, my Brother. Protect my mind and heart from thoughts of loneliness, frustration, judgement, and fear. Show me the way, Mother, to find Jesus no matter where I am or who I am with and rejoice for every day is made by the Lord. Forgive me, Mother, for my idleness in my search for Jesus in my daily life. Teach me His truth. Teach me His way. Teach me His obedience, even to death, that I might rise again in the light of His glory. I love you, Mother, and am eternally grateful for your love of me.

Amen, alleluia!!

Bringing Mary into our Homes

Create a Marian Altar in your home as a family devotional. It serves as a visual reminder of Mary our Mother and a place to focus while we pray Marian prayers. If you don’t have a statue of Mary, remember you can always raid your Christmas Nativity Scene! Here are some examples – skies the limit!

Mary, Mother of Us All

Honoring Mary with the Family
 
An awesome, quick and easy introduction to who is Mary for older students and adults: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7AQGyqtoK0&t=64s
Reflecting on Mary as our role model by Loyola Press.  These are wonderful and very doable refections that adults and teens can do privately and individually.  They can also be completed as a family together (feel free to help younger students by re-wording if needed). There is one for each week of May plus a bonus one!

 

God is enough:  https://www.loyolapress.com/retreats/god-is-enough
Nothing is Impossible for God: https://www.loyolapress.com/retreats/nothing-is-impossible-for-god
Mary’s Yes: https://www.loyolapress.com/retreats/marys-yes
The First Follower:  https://www.loyolapress.com/retreats/the-first-follower
Blessed are You:  https://www.loyolapress.com/retreats/blessed-are-you
The blog “Catholic Icing” is full of great Catholic Content with kids.  Here is her complete list of ideas for celebrating Mary in the month of May:  https://www.catholicicing.com/honoring-mary-in-the-month-of-may-with-kids/
More from “Catholic Icing”… here is her complete list of Mary crafts to do with kids:  https://www.catholicicing.com/mary-kids-activities/
An article for the family from “Teaching Catholic Kids” with practical ways to honor Mary in May:  https://teachingcatholickids.com/the-blessed-virgin-mary-monthly-devotion-for-may/
Brother Francis is a delightful series of animated stories covering many Catholic topics.  Specifically there is an episode entitled “The Rosary, A Special Way to Pray”.  All Brother Francis videos are available on the Website FORMED.org to which St. Christopher shares a subscription with St. John the Baptist in Tipp City. 
 
To log onto our subscription follow these steps:
  1. Go to www.Formed.org
  2. Choose “Sign Up”
  3. Choose “I belong to a Parish or Organization”
  4. Search St. John the Baptist in Tipp City
  5. To find Brother Francis, click on Movies, then click on Kids.
Look to Him and Be Radiant” is another great source of Catholic acitivities for students.  Here is her list of Mary activities: https://www.looktohimandberadiant.com/2015/05/honoring-mary-collection-of-ideas.html
A 30 minute Mary Crowning for toddlers at home: http://callherhappy.com/30-minute-may-crowning-toddlers/

Local Marian Pilgrimage

Get out of the house, take a drive, get some fresh air and exercise, and take a walking tour of some beautiful Marian Sites around Dayton.  Great for all ages!
Mount St. John / Bergamo
Statues of our Blessed Mother and the Grotto

Click on the image above to see a map of the grounds – particularly site #2, 8 and 9 are locations of special devotion for Mary.

Marian Sites at UD
The University of Dayton provides a walking tour of their Marian sites throughout the campus. 

Click on the image above to view a map. 

Shrine of Our Lady of Belmont
A local and beautiful shrine to our Blessed Mother

(2300 S. Smithville Rd. Dayton, OH 45420) Easy access to parking and easily viewed or accessed.  Enter off of Smithville Rd. in the one way entrance between the school and church. Click on the image above to view on google map. 

Maria Stein Shrine
Maria Stein Retreat Center

(2365 St. Johns Rd, Maria Stein, OH 45860) includes a Rosary Walk and a Respect Life Memorial on their grounds.  Click on the text above to learn more.

Montezuma Retreat Center

(6731 State Route 219, Montezuma, OH 45866) also boasts beautiful walking grounds with a sitting area surrounding a statue of Mary.  Click on the text above to learn more.

Ohio Wayside Shrine
The River Ridge Nature Preserve, located at the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal.

Former estate of Kathryn Lange. In her last will and testament, Lange asked that her estate be used to provide housing for retired priests of the Catholic Church (which it does). The preserve is about 150 acres of wooded trails and prairies located along the Stillwater River. A wooden observation deck provides amazing views of the prairie and riparian corridor. Click on the image above to learn more.

Please share any pictures by posting them to our St. Chris Cares Facebook page or tagging us on Instagram  (@stchristophervandalia)

Marian Sites & Shrines

Video Tours of National and International Marian Sites and Shrines

Marian Music

What’s a Marian month without music? 
Hail Mary - Gentle Woman
The Lourdes Hymn
Ave Maria (at St. Christopher)

Marian Mega-Resource!

Learn More and Grow Closer to Mary While Having Fun 

Quality content for EVERYONE of all ages!
 
The Marian Library was founded by the Marianists (a.k.a. Society of Mary) of the University of Dayton in 1943 to make the Blessed Virgin Mary better known, loved, and served. It is a special library whose presence on campus highlights its mission of supporting the Study of Mary and the sound devotion of our Blessed Mother. This library is recognized both nationally and internationally as a center for scholarship, operating in conjunction with the Marian Research Institute and the Pontifical Institute. Regularly hosting visitors from around the world, it documents the diverse expressions of popular devotions for Mary from around the world, and provides public outreach through exhibits, tours, and an incredible website All About Mary.
 
The most notable and poplar exhibit hosted by the Marian Library is their international creche (nativity scene) collection, believed to be the extensive in the world. Every year the library hosts a special exhibit from one region of the world, and distributes other collections for display all across the United States.
 
The Marian Library’s holdings include circulating books, periodicals, rare books and incunabula, artwork, and archival materials. The collections document the history, spirituality, and ecclesial foundations of Marian studies. As devotions to Mary are present in cultural traditions around the world, the collection is international in scope and includes materials in over one hundred languages.
 
Visit the Marian Library website for more information on policies, procedures, and to set up a visit.

Thank you for spending time with Mary today!