7th Day –  Mary at the foot of the Cross

O Mary, Our Mother
we come to this place
where you who are sinless
appeared full of grace.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

Make the sign of the cross.
– In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
   And of the Holy Spirit.
– Amen

John 19: 25-37

 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.  Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, this is your son.”  Then to the disciple he said, “This is your mother.”  And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.  After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and, so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said:  I am thirsty.  A jar full of sour wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth.  After Jesus had taken the wine he said, “It is fulfilled”; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.  It was the Day of Preparation, and to avoid the bodies’ remaining on the cross during the Sabbath-since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity-the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away.  Consequently, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other.  When they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.  This is the evidence of one who saw it-true evidence, and he knows that what he says is true-and he gives it so that you may believe as well.  Because all this happened to fulfill the words of scripture:  Not one bone of his will be broken; and again, in another place scripture says:  They will look to the one whom they have pierced.

On the eve of His Passion, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and asked His Apostles to “do this in memory” of Him.  Each time we celebrate the Eucharist, we are “proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians: 11,26).  Because He is risen, we can today receive in Communion, His body given up, and His blood poured out.

Pope John Paul II referred to Mary as the “Eucharistic woman”.  Simeon had told her that her soul would be pierced by a sword.  This prophesy is realized when the soldier’s sword pierces the side of her Son:  “and immediately there came out blood and water”.

We shall offer this decade of the Rosary so that Christians may be nourished with the Eucharist, and learn the meaning of a Eucharistic life, following Christ, His mother, and Bernadette.

Recite the Our Father.
Recite one decade of the Rosary thinking about the Mystery being contemplated.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now, and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit who is now and shall be evermore Amen!

Concluding prayer:

Lord
You prepared Mary to be the Mother of your Son.
By her Immaculate Conception,
You protected her from sin, from all the wounds of sin.
This is why She had the strength to say “yes” in faith,
from the Annunciation to the Cross.
What you realized in Mary, Lord, is admirable.
We give you thanks.

In Lourdes, Lord, you prepared Bernadette
to be a witness to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
In the transparency of her heart,
in her humility and courage,
she thwarted all the tricks of the evil one,
What you realized in Bernadette, Lord, is admirable.
We give you thanks.

In these days before our pilgrimage Lord,
Prepare us to receive the grace of the Jubilee.

That we may be ready to receive Your word,
of  which Mary is the echo;

Ready to be reconciled with You
And with our neighbors, close or distant;
Ready to experience this Church event
in fraternal communion, prayer and service.

May Mary guide us to the Grotto of Massabielle,
so that, on our return, we too may say with her
“The Lord has done great things for us”.

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