Blessed Virgin Mary – comprehensive Mp3 audio teachings on the Mother of God

LL75V(Also be sure to visit the Discerning Hearts Devotional and Prayer Page dedicated to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Father Mark Cyza:Fr. Mark Cyza

Consecration to Mary

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Virginity of Mary

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Mary and Pentecost

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Immaculate Conception

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Teresa Monaghen, of the International Pro Sanctity MovementTeresa-Monaghen

Our Lady of Lourdes

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Our Lady of Fatima

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Immaculate Conception

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Mother of God

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Assumption of Mary

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Queenship of Mary

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Specific teaching areas dedicated to Our Lady:

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Fatima








And here are more discussions and writings found in the posts of Discerning Hearts on the Blessed Virgin Mary:

A Prayer to Our Lady composed by Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko

Mother of those who place their hope in Solidarity, pray for us.

Mother of those who are deceived, pray for us.

Mother of those who are betrayed, pray for us.

Mother of those who are arrested in the night, pray for us.

Mother of those who are imprisoned, pray for us.

Mother of those who suffer from the cold, pray for us.

Mother of those who have been frightened, pray for us.

Mother of those who were subjected to interrogations, pray for us.

Mother of those innocents who have been condemned, pray for us.

Mother of those who speak the truth, pray for us.

Mother of those who cannot be corrupted, pray for us.

Mother of those who resist, pray for us.

Mother of orphans, pray for us.

Mother of those who have been molested because they wore your image, pray for us.

Mother of those who are forced to sign declarations contrary to their conscience, pray for us.

Mother of mothers who weep, pray for us.

Mother of fathers who have been so deeply saddened, pray for us.

Mother of our suffering country _____, pray for us.

Mother of our faithful country _____, pray for us.

We beg you, O mother in whom resides the hope of millions of people, grant us to live in liberty and in truth, in fidelity to you and to your Son. Amen.

Amy Welborn – Mary the Christian Life

Ann Ball – Other Faces of Mary

Ann Ball – The Rosary

Archbishop George Lucas – Immaculate Conception


Ave Maria, Hail Mary – Catholic Hymns of Praise

The lyrics and translation are as follows:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Áve María, grátia pléna, Dóminus técum.
Benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi, óra pro nóbis peccatóribus, nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae.

BG4 Mark Hart the Bible Geek “Answers from the Word” – Could Mary Have said “no”? and What about those Magi?

Mark answers

1. What makes Mary any different than you or me? What if Mary had said, “No”?

2. How did the tradition of there being three magi start up if Matthew:2 doesn’t give a number of Magi? How did they get named? Basically, I need some more information on how this Catholic tradition got started.

Mark Hart is an author, speaker, director and teacher, Mark’s work both written and spoken, is known across the country and world. While he serves as the Vice President of LIFE TEEN, he is known to tens of thousands simply as the “Bible Geek ®” Mark passionately echoes the gospel to all he encounters. He is as deep as he is funny, and his love for his wife and daughters is second only to his immense love for Jesus Christ.

Visit Mark at

BKL#24 – The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Evil is crushed by the lowly!  The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity.

Msgr. Esseff talks about the Blessed Virgin Mary and how a little girl named Marilee helped him come to a greater understanding of Our Lady.  Our salvation came about because of obedience and humility; our Mother,  Mary, was the exemplar of that submission.  God has such a love for the humble and small.  Msgr. Esseff recalls his past Christmas times with the poor in foreign lands and how they experienced such an extraordinary joy because of their simplicity.  For us to experience that same type of simplicity and joy think of Mary.  He looks at the Nativity scene in a the light of this simplicity and goodness.
Mother Teresa would say that those in prosperous lands are spiritually poor and those in third world lands are spiritual rich.  Hopefully, our homes this Christmas will find our homes resplendent with the Christian virtues, especially those of humility and love.

Reading 2 Heb 10:5-10

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'”First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving  in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Bl. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to  serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   



To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book by visiting here


Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of  Love


Celebrating Our Lady’s ‘Yes’ – Vatican Radio

Fra Angelico's "Annunciation" as described in the broadcast

From Vatican Radio – It is a day to remember the Blessed Virgin’s “yes” to the Lord. On the Feast of the Annunciation, Catholics celebrate the angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary, announcing that she has been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord. Usually celebrated on March 25th, the feast can be transferred to another date if it falls on a Sunday in Lent. This year, it is celebrated on Monday March 26th.

In the following reflection, Sr. Toni Harris, Justice and Peace promoter for the Dominican Sisters International, tells us how we, like Mary, can become witnesses to Christ in our every day lives…

CW4 Our Lady of the Rosary – Praying with the Blessed Virgin Mary – The Great Cloud of Witnesses: Guides for Prayer with Fr. Mark Cyza

CW4 Our Lady of the Rosary – Praying with the Blessed Virgin Mary – The Fr.-Mark-CyzaGreat Cloud of Witnesses: Guides for Prayer with Fr. Mark Cyza

Fr. Mark Cyza discusses praying with Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.  He speaks of the history of the devotion., as well as,  the importance of spending time in contemplation of the saving mysteries of our salvation.  Fr. Cyza explains why should welcome the opportunity to pray with Blessed Virgin Mary and how she walks with us in her great garden of prayer.


ourladyoftherosaryVisit the
Discerning Hearts
Holy Rosary Page




Elizabeth Ficocelli – Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette

Faith Check 4 – Mary Our Mother

Mary Our Mother

On this faith check let’s talk about why Catholics believe the Virgin Mary is not just Jesus’ mother, but our mother too.

It was during the crucifixion in St. John 19 that Our Lord looked down at Mary and the apostle John at the foot of the cross and said to Mary, “Woman behold your son,” and to John, “Behold your mother.” 1

Bear in mind here that Jesus is suffering the pains of the cross—He must be doing something bigger than simply asking John to watch after his Mother.  John here is a representative of all of Jesus’ followers, and Jesus is giving his mother to all of us.

In Revelation 12 John describes his vision of a “woman clothed with the sun,” 2 who brings forth a male child to rule the nations and defeat the ancient dragon who is the devil.  Verse 17 says that the offspring of this woman are those who keep God’s commandments and bear testimony to Jesus.

Friends, God has given us Mary, the Woman chosen from all eternity, 3 to be our spiritual mother and draw us closer to her son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 –  Jn. 19:26-27

2 –  Rev. 12:1

3 –  cf. Gen. 3:15, Is. 7:14; Jer. 31:22, etc.

Fr. Donald Calloway – Our Lady and the Theology of the Body

Fr. Gary Caster – Mary, In Her Own Words: The Mother of God in Scripture

Holy Mary, Mother of God…please pray for those of us who grieve and for those we now entrust into your care

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto You, O virgin of virgins, my Mother. To You I come, before You I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer me.

Immaculee Ilibagiza – Our Lady of Kibeho

IP#141 Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC – 33 Days to Morning Glory on Inside the Pages

What is Marian Consecration?  What is the role the Blessed Virgin Mary in our lives?  How can this bring us even more fully into the heart of Divine Mercy? What a joy to talk with Fr. Michael Gaitley, who serves as director of the Association of Marian Helpers, about   “33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration”.  He answers the above the questions above and so much more.

The goal of the retreat contained in the book is to learn how to ponder more deeply in our hearts what it means to enter into Marian consecration.  With the help of not only St. Louis de Montfort, but also St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. John Paul II, and Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Fr. Gaitley reveals to us the great connection between the heart of Mary and beautiful depth of Divine Mercy…and the key to it all is…TRUST.


Find the book here


To learn more about the “All Hearts A Fire” parish programs that Fr. Michael spoke of  click here


IP#202 Fr. Donald Calloway – Under the Mantle on Inside the Pages

“Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest” is fantastic!  Fr. Donald Calloway’s books just keep getting better and better.  In this work, he Fr.-Callowaybegins this journey with Our Lady, who then guides the reader through the rich treasures found in the Church established by her Son, Jesus Christ.  Through the Sacraments, to the depth of devotion found in our spiritual practices, and then with a  rich appreciation of what authentic manhood and femininity truly are,  Fr. Calloway explores the many facets of our faith.   This book is a book well suited for everyday mystagogia.  Without ever dumbing down the content, Fr. Calloway’s writing style is engaging and designed for “joe or josephine”  pew person.  This book is perfect for those who are in the RCIA, for folks who have completed a consecration preparation to Our Lady, or for anyone just looking for a more penetrating study of the faith.  You will not be disappointed!  And what a beautiful tribute to Our Blessed Mother!

Under-the-MantleYou can find the book here

“We are living in an extraordinary time of grace and mercy. It is a time in which many people, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are experiencing a renewed appreciation for the sacred and unchanging truths of Catholicism. Though the vast majority of universities and colleges today indoctrinate their students into the dictatorship of moral relativism, the media puts forth an ideology of rampant secularism, and the political realm is filled with proponents of a culture of death, nevertheless, it is in these times that Jesus, through the Immaculata, is raising up a new generation of Catholics. In Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest, Fr. Calloway masterfully blends together aspects of his own conversion story with profound theological insights into Catholicism, presenting everyone from “Joe six-pack in the pew” to a seminary rector with incredibly vivid and thought-provoking analogies into why it is so important for a Christian to live under the mantle of Mary. I very highly recommend that everyone read this book! ”
-Very Rev. Douglas Mosey, C.S.B., Ph.D. President-Rector
Holy Apostles College & Seminary. Cromwell, CT

Also check out: IP#16 Fr. Donald Calloway – No Turning Back on Inside the Pages

IP#230 Gary Michuta – Making Sense of Mary on Inside the Pages

There’s no doubt that Gary Michuta has a great love  for the Blessed Virgin Mary. In “Making Sense of Mary“, he offers  Gary-Michutarich insight and research in regards to the teachings on Our Lady.  Steeped in Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Fathers of the Church, Gary shines a beautiful light on the multi-facet diamond which is Mary, the Mother of God. Wonderful.


You can find the book here

“The world is full of nonsense when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary from simple confusion and ignorance to disrespect and blasphemy. Michuta has done us a great service by blowing away the fog and shining the light of clarity on a matter so important to the story of God’s salvation. Drawing from Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Councils and the Fathers of the Church, Gary helps scholars and beginners alike to understand the ABC’s of the person and role of Mary.”

Stephen K. Ray, Author of Crossing The Tiber and Host of The Footprints of God video Series “

IP#269 Tim Staples – Behold Your Mother on Inside the Page

Tim-Staples“Behold Your Mother – A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines”, by Catholic apologist Tim Staples,  is  outstanding!  For those who are unfamiliar or even unsure what the Church teaches about the Mother of God, this is a tremendous entry point for your study.  For all who have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, this is the book to have in order to help articulate the truths of Marian Dogma clearly to others!   Director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, Tim Staples, has authored a work that is easy to navigate and filled with solid biblical and historical reasons for what we as Catholics believe about Mary. A must for the Catholic library in every parish and home!  A GREAT book for Advent reflection and study, as well as a gift for family and friends!

Be-Hold-Your-MotherYou can find the book here

Tim Staples respectfully but clearly answers every conceivable Protestant objection to Mary, the Mother of God. With the street cred of one who has been there, Tim backs up his words with Scripture every time. His answers are exhaustive but not exhausting! An invaluable book for thoughtful, truth-seeking Christians. —-Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., EWTN host and author of Mary: Virgin, Mother, and Queen

The greatest doctrinal obstacle to my return to the Catholic Church was fear that Catholics had no basis for or boundaries on the Marian dogmas. If only Tim Staples had written Behold Your Mother then! His presentation is fearless, precise, biblically wise, historically rooted, and popular in expression. He addresses objections I haven t seen addressed elsewhere. I can t think of a more insightful, comprehensive single volume that persuades so thoroughly. Great, truly great, piece of apologetics. — Al Kresta, president, Ave Maria Communications and host of Kresta in the Afternoon

Tim Staples presents a remarkable defense of the six major Marian doctrines, including a veritable compendium of source material from the Bible, Fathers, and Church documents. He gives clear presentations of the controversial issues surrounding each doctrine, makes careful definitions and distinctions, and thinks his way through each issue as if he were having a conversation with the reader. Even well-informed readers will benefit from this engaging book. – –Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., president, Magis Center of Reason and Faith

IP#37 Fr. Peter John Cameron O.P. – Mysteries of the Virgin Mary on Inside the Pages

Stunning…simply stunning.  I love “Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: Living Our Lady’s Graces”! A beautiful and lovingly assembled collection of and meditations on the 13 principal Marian mysteries celebrated by the Church.  From the sound theological foundations for our devotion to Our Lady to the reflections and teachings of the saints, Fr. Peter John Cameron, founding editor-in-chief of the monthly worship aid Magnificat, has given us a wonderful resource to deepen our walk with the Blessed Mother of God.


You kind find this book at

Here is the extended web-exclusive edition of our “Inside the Pages” interview with Fr. Cameron Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

IP#48 Karen Edmisten – Through the Year with Mary on Inside the Pages

I can not imagine a better way of traveling through the year in prayer then with Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. It’s always a joy to talk with Karen Edmisten, especially talking about Our Lady.  “Through the Year with Mary: 365 reflections” is a wonderful book that provides beautiful and compelling nuggets for our prayer that will lead us to directly to Christ, Our Lady’s precious child and our Savior.

This book features one quote per day accompanied by a brief question or reflection designed to fuel prayer. Major Marian feasts will offer entries specific to the feast day, while other quotes will be more universally about Mary’s faith, life, example, and intercession. Quotes are from a wide variety of sources, including popes, the saints, spiritual writings, literature, and the Blessed Mother’s own words from approved apparitions. – from the Servant Book website

You can find Karen’s book here

Be sure to visit Karen’s fantastic blog site “Karen Edmisten”

Kerry Crawford – Our Lady of Lourdes

Marian Shrines #9: Portiuncula St. Mary of the Angels

Our Holy Father has a “spiritual weapon” and he’s not afraid to use it (and he wants all of us to use it too…The Holy Rosary!)

Vatican City, Oct 6, 2010 / 03:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Anticipating Thursday’s celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Holy Father called on the faithful to make an effort to rediscover the prayer. He urged Christians to seek intercession, protection and personal encounter with Christ through the “simple but efficient prayer,” especially during the Marian month of October.

Greeting the faithful in 10 different languages during Wednesday’s general audience, the Holy Father spoke of the Rosary as “a particular prayer of the Church and a spiritual weapon for each of us.”

He prayed that the meditation of Jesus and Mary’s life through the Rosary might be, “for all of us, light on the evangelical path of spiritual renewal and conversion of heart.”

Speaking in Portuguese, but referring to all people, he invited families to join together with the Virgin Mary so as to cooperate fully with the salvific designs of God. In Croatian, he said to ask for her intercession and protection for each person and family, exhorting prayers also for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

In still other languages, he asked that the faithful “rediscover the value” of the “simple but efficient prayer” of the Rosary “as a way for a personal encounter with Christ.”

“October,” he said in the Italian greeting that concluded his public words on Wednesday, “is the month of the Holy Rosary, which invites us to value this prayer so dear to the tradition of the Christian people.”

Addressing some of the special guests at the audience, he said, “I invite you, dear young people, to make of the Rosary your daily prayer. I encourage you, dear sick, to grow, thanks to the recitation of the Rosary, in the trusting abandonment to the hands of God. I exhort you, dear newlyweds, to make of the Rosary a constant contemplation of the mysteries of Christ.” CNA

Our Lady of Czetochowa, pray for us

Praying to Mary and the Saints – A Biblical Defense

Regina Coeli – Queen of Heaven

Salve Regina…favorite prayer, favorite hymn…beautiful

English translation


Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy
[Hail] our life, our sweetness and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished chidren of Eve,
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn, then, o most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy and after this our exile
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary.


Latin.png Latin text

Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae,
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, Salve!
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii [H]evae,
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes,
In hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo, Advocata nostra,
Illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
Nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende,
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria. (more…)

Salve Regina: Hail Holy Queen

Gregorian hymn chant of Roman Catholic Christian Church in honour of Mary, Mother of God. It is also a common prayer to the Virgin Mary; usually recited at the end of the rosary.

St. Alphonsus Liguori on Holy Mary and Holy Repentence

Holy Mary

From “Saints Speak”:

From heaven, in his own words, St. Alphonsus speaks on how the intercession of Mary is necessary for our salvation and shares the process of reviewing ones conscience before holy repentance..

Holy Repentance

St. Catherine of Siena – “Saints Speak” Holy Repentance and Holy Mary

Holy Mary

Holy Repentance

St. John Eudes….It’s all about the heart!!!!!

St. John Eudes Statue is located on the right side facing the altar high in St. Peter's in Rome

St. John Eudes,  the great disciple of the two hearts of  Jesus and Mary….it is ALL about the heart! 

He believed in the unity of the hearts of Jesus and Mary and wrote:”You must never separate what God has so perfectly united. So closely are Jesus and Mary bound up with each other that whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary; whoever loves Jesus, loves Mary; whoever has devotion to Jesus, has devotion to Mary.”

We “heart” St. John Eudes!
May this great lover of the two hearts, pray for us!


ST16 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – The Virginity of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Episode 16 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran, hosted by Bruce McGregor on his KVSS  program “The Ninth Hour”.   Ep 16 – The Virginity of the The Blessed Virgin Mary,


Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion forscripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your every day life.


Episode 16 – Sharon and Bruce discuss the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  How is this possible? What is the significance of Mary’s silence after the annunciation? Why is the Virgin Birth so important?What do the Church Fathers have to say about this?  Where is all this found in Sacred Scripture?


“Seeking Truth” is an in depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go

ST5- Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – “Do Whatever He Tells You” Chapter 2

Episode 5 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran, hosted by Bruce McGregor.   Ep 5 – “Do Whatever He Tells You”, the wedding feast at Cana.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your every day life.

Episode 5 – The wedding feast of Cana and the intercessory role of Mary.  The significance of the term “woman”.  The “blessed” women of the bible…there’s only two others, besides Mary….the “head-crushers”…a fascinating exploration of the term.

“Seeking Truth” is an in depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:

The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:

And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary . . .

Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.


“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28)

“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb”
(Lk 1:42).


The Annunciation – Our Blessed Mother’s Assent to the Will of God – “I am the Handmaid of the Lord”

“As a sheaf of grain is tied together in the middle and spreads out at either end, so Mary’s life is bound together by her assent” – from the beginning of “The Handmaid of the Lord” by the great 20th century wife, mother, physician and mystic Adrienne von Spyer.  It has become my absolute favorite book on the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It has transformed my understanding and deepened my love and appreciation for Mary, the Mother of God…Our Blessed Mother.

Mary’s assent to the Lord binds the whole of her life such that “From this assent her life receives its meaning and form and unfolds toward past and future”.  This assent, the great “Yes” to the will of God is the moment.

“This single, all-encompassing act accompanies her at every moment of her existence, illuminates every turning point of her life, bestows upon every situation its own particular meaning and in all situations gives May herself the grace of renewed understanding.  Her assent gives full meaning to every breath, every movement, every prayer of the Mother of God

Everything that we understand Mary to be, do, and say finds her assent at its source.  But, the assent must be understood as one of freedom, “This is the nature of an assent: it binds the one who gives it, yet it allows him complete freedom in shaping its expression”.  Her assent binds her to the Lord, yet it frees her to express herself dramatically much like the sheaf is bound by the cord around its middle but the sheaf bursts freely outward from the binding cord.

“Mary’s meeting with the angel is like the summation of her entire preceding life of contemplation. It is the first thing we learn about her.  We do not know who she is, we do not know her past.  But when we learn that she saw the angel, the whole composition of her soul becomes visible.  The angel which appears is the fulfillment of her prayer – not in the sense that she had prayed for the appearance or prepared herself for it, but rather in the sense that she has held herself in readiness for a mission still unknown to her.  She has lived in an attitude of prayer, and in virtue of this life she is capable in the crucial moment of seeing and obeying the angel who comes to her.  Both vision and obedience flow from the same source in her; from the openness toward the mission which God may give her, when and in whatever way he likes.  Her obedience is the prototype of every future instance of Christian obedience, which draws its whole meaning from the life of prayer and the perception of God’s will.” [Adrienne von Speyr: Handmaid of the Lord. From the Chapter, “Mary and the Angel“, pg. 27]

Take a look at an excerpt from “Handmaid of the Lord”  you can purchase it from Igantius Press as a book or you may like to download the mp3 reading.  Check it out….

The Annunciation – The everlasting “Be it done unto me…”

A modern meditation on the Divine Mystery of the Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary.

The Feast of the Visitation – Daily Reading and Reflection on the Gospel from the Mass

“Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

an excerpt from today’s reflection by Don Schwager:

Do you recognize the indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus in your life? Blessed are you if you see and recognize the Lord with the “eyes of faith”. The word “blessed” [makarios in Greek] literally means “happiness” or “beatitude”. It describes a kind of joy which is serene and untouchable, self-contained, and independent from chance and changing circumstances of life. There is a certain paradox for those “blessed” by the Lord. Mary was given the “blessedness” of being the mother of the Son of God. That blessedness also would become a sword which pierced her heart as her Son died upon the cross. Anselm, a great teacher and Archbishop of Canterberry (1033-1109), spoke these words in a homily: “Without God’s Son nothing could exist; without Mary’s son, nothing could be redeemed.”  To be chosen by God is an awesome privilege and responsibility. Mary received both a crown of joy and a cross of sorrow. Her joy was not diminished by her sorrow because it was fueled by her faith, hope, and trust in God and his promises. Jesus promised his disciples that “no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). The Lord gives us a supernatural joy which enables us to bear any sorrow or pain and which neither life nor death can take away. Do you know the joy of a life given over to God in faith and trust?

What is the significance of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth before the birth of Jesus? When Elizabeth greeted Mary and recognized the Messiah in Mary’s womb they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with a joyful anticipation of the fulfilment of God’s promise to give a Savior. What a marvelous wonder for God to fill not only Elizabeth’s heart with his Holy Spirit but the child in her womb as well. John the Baptist, even before the birth of the Messiah, pointed to his coming and leapt for joy in the womb of his mother as the Holy Spirit revealed to him the presence of the King to be born. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us to enable us to know and experience the indwelling presence of God and the power of his kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the way in which God reigns within each of us. Do you live in the joy and knowledge of God’s indwelling presence with you through his Holy Spirit?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me joy in seeking you more closely. Increase my faith in all your promises, my hope in the joys of heaven, and my love for You as my All.”


for the full reflection visit : Daily Reading and Meditation

The Holy Rosary for Discerning Hearts – Our Lady’s Garden of Prayer

rosary1Outside of the Sacramental prayers of the Church, for me, there is no other prayer more important then the prayerful recitation of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our late great Holy Father, St. John Paul II put it beautifully in His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary:

“A path of contemplation”

“But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness”: “What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the heart of The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.”–  His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary

Please take some time to check out the Discerning Hearts “Holy Rosary Page”

Audio mp3 download/podcasts of the Holy Rosary

The Holy RosaryJoyful Mysteries

Sorrowful Mysteries

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Luminous Mysteries

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Glorious Mysteries

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The Holy Rosary

meditative music  provided by


The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – reflections by Msgr. Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the birth of the Virgin Mary.  But even more than that, he ponders the importance of the Blessed Mother in our lives.  The gift of her presence in the action of salvation history and  role is the “Mother” of us all.

Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building A Kingdom of Love

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother

I LOVE it…the birthday of the mother of all “moms”!  Happy Birthday to the dearest Mother of  all.  The Church celebrates 3 birthdays on the calendar…Jesus, John the Baptist, and the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy.  We celebrate the day the Immaculate Conception was brought through birth into the world.   

From The Catholic News Agency
“The Catholic Church will soon celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on its traditional fixed date of September 8, nine months after the December 8 celebration of her Immaculate Conception as the child of Saints Joachim and Anna.

The circumstances of the Virgin Mary’s infancy and early life are not directly recorded in the Bible, but other documents and traditions describing the circumstances of her birth are cited by some of the earliest Christian writers from the first centuries of the Church.

These accounts, although not considered authoritative in the same manner as the Bible, outline some of the Church’s traditional beliefs about the birth of Mary.

The “Protoevangelium of James,” which was probably put into its final written form in the early second century, describes Mary’s father Joachim as a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Joachim was deeply grieved, along with his wife Anna, by their childlessness. “He called to mind Abraham,” the early Christian writing says, “that in the last day God gave him a son Isaac.”

Joachim and Anna began to devote themselves extensively and rigorously to prayer and fasting, initially wondering whether their inability to conceive a child might signify God’s displeasure with them.

As it turned out, however, the couple were to be blessed even more abundantly than Abraham and Sarah, as an angel revealed to Anna when he appeared to her and prophesied that all generations would honor their future child: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.”

After Mary’s birth, according to the Protoevangelium of James, Anna “made a sanctuary” in the infant girl’s room, and “allowed nothing common or unclean” on account of the special holiness of the child. The same writing records that when she was one year old, her father “made a great feast, and invited the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all the people of Israel.”

“And Joachim brought the child to the priests,” the account continues, “and they blessed her, saying: ‘O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations’ . . . And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed her, saying: ‘O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever.’”

The protoevangelium goes on to describe how Mary’s parents, along with the temple priests, subsequently decided that she would be offered to God as a consecrated Virgin for the rest of her life, and enter a chaste marriage with the carpenter Joseph.

Saint Augustine described the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an event of cosmic and historic significance, and an appropriate prelude to the birth of Jesus Christ. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley,” he said.

The fourth-century bishop, whose theology profoundly shaped the Western Church’s understanding of sin and human nature, affirmed that “through her birth, the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” – CNA

The Queenship of Mary

Fr. James Kubicki, the director of the Apostleship of Prayer,  shares insights of the Queenship of Mary

There’s Something About Mary….

Content very good…music a little much, but it gives us a chance to offer it up…or turn it down

USCCA12 – The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults with Archbishop George Lucas – Chap. 12 Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member

USCCA12- Episode 12-  Mary:  The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 12:

The Second Vatican Council remains us that Mary is a member of the Church who “occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and also closest to us” (LG, no. 54).  She is the first and the greatest of all the disciples of Christ.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha. 

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of  relevant material used in this series.
Also we wish to thank Fr. Ryan Lewis   for his vocal talents in this episode.

Prayer Rooms dedicated to Our Lady: