The Blessed Mother intercedes for our needs and brings us the and joy of Heaven. The proof is in the Bible. How could God have made it clearer than the first public miracle at the Wedding at Cana?
It was performed at the request of the Blessed Mother responding to an embarrassing situation for the host—running out of wine. If you or I were choosing the first miracle, we’d likely choose a bigger event. Yet, how significant it really is. Jesus turned water into wine in response to his Mother’s concern about someone’s stressful situation.
The Blessed Mother cares about our spiritual well-being, but she also makes time for our joy.
Our Lady of Surprises
There is an actual title for the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Surprises. God gives us our desires when they are in union with his will for our destiny and he gave us a heavenly mother who cares about us. We can ask her to lead us to all the graces and surprises that God desires for us. Consider how many former anti-Catholics surprised everyone, especially themselves when they converted. Many of them struggled with the idea of praying to Mary but later came to love her immensely. God’s never-ending surprises makes life exciting.
Here is a prayer to Our Lady of Surprises from the book Mary Take Over:
O Mary, my mother and Our Lady of Surprises, what a happy joy you caused the wedding guests, when you asked your Divine Son to work the miracle of water into wine. What a happy surprise for them since they thought the wine had run dry. I, too, Mary, love surprises and as your child, may I ask you to favor me with one today? I ask this only because you are my ever-caring mother.
Our Lady of the Smile
On May 13, 1883, ten-year-old St Therese of Lisieux was in bed, sick with a fever. Her sisters Celine, Leonie, and Marie prayed by her bedside. Her father Louis prayed in his study, struggling to accept God’s will since he had already lost his wife Pauline and four other children.
St. Therese in a moment of consciousness from her raging fever, looked up at a statue of the Virgin on a table near her bed. She saw the Blessed Mother smile and felt love radiating from her. The little Therese became instantly healed. The statue has since been called “Our Lady of the Smile.”
Our Lady smiles upon us and can help us to heal also. If we look to her for help, she prays for the Lord to make his face shine upon us and to fill us with graciousness.
Gentle Mary, My Mother,
I place before you the worries,
hurts and hopes of my heart.
They shrink my soul and I feel heavy and hopeless.
Darkness closes in around me.
I reach out to you, bright Lady of Hope.
Smile on me.
Smile on my loved ones and the intentions I place before you.
(Mention your intentions here…)
Your tender smile works miracles and heals,
as you did with St. Thérèse, the Little Flower.
You are my true Mother.
You show the tender mercy of God.
Smile on me, Blessed Mother,
and all will be well.
Our Lady of Joy
Several Catholic Churches are named, Our Lady of Joyincluding in Arizona and in Pittsburg and one built in 1620 at Valletta in Malta that serves as the chaplaincy for the Port of Valletta. The name comes from a miraculous occurrence in 1134. Muslims in Egypt held as prisoners, three Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. A statue of Our Lady, which they named Our Lady of Joy, or Notre Dame de Liesse, appeared in their cell.
A young Muslim princess took an interest in the Knights and became converted through their prayers. She helped them escape and joined them on their journey. The knights brought the statue with them and thirty-five miles northwest of Rheims; they founded a church as a resting place for the statue.
Notre Dame de Liesse came to refer to both the devotion and the church. During the French Revolution, the statue was destroyed but the devotion continued. A new statue was installed and crowned there in 1857.
When we have a heavy heart or the burdens of life feel particularly heavy, we can call on our Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Joy. We know that we cannot avoid all sadness, but there is also a time for joy.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
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