Rome (Italy) In this month of May 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some events related to the Marian tradition, such as rosaries in the courtyards and processions, will not be able to take place. With a short letter, Pope Francis invites all the faithful to pray the Holy Rosary, valuing the domestic dimension:
«The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view. For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May».
The Pope accompanies the faithful by suggesting ways of praying – “there is a secret to doing it: simplicity” – indicating prayer patterns available on the internet and making available to everyone «the texts of two prayers to Our Lady, which you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and which I myself will recite in May, spiritually united with you». The recitation of the Rosary, together with your Pastors, helps us to feel united as Church in this time of trial: «Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating together the face of Christ with the heart of Mary, our Mother, will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this trial».
Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in the “Goodnight” on the eve of the online celebration of the World Feast of Gratitude 2020, recalls the aspect of the home, in which Mary Help of Christians makes herself present:
«Mother Mary Help of Christians is present in our homes, next to each of us, and each of our young people, and makes them open to the action of the Spirit who wants to do ‘great things’ also in them».
“Mary walks in this house” is also the expression that accompanies the Triennial of preparation for the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the FMA Institute (1872-2022) which takes up the words spoken by Don Bosco in 1885 in the house of Nizza Monferrato (AT) – Italy: “Our Lady walks in this house and covers it with her mantle” (cf. Cronistoria V, 51-52).
Also in the ‘Goodnight’, Mother Yvonne invites us to join the gestures of consecration to Mary made by the Church – the consecration of Latin America to the Our Lady of Guadalupe on April 12 and the entrustment of Italy to the protection of the Mother of God on May 1, in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fonte near Caravaggio (BG):
«I invite you, then, to join in a gesture of great trust in Our Lady that the Italian Church is about to make and that the American Church made a few days ago: the consecration of the Nation to her so that she continues to be its solicitous and loving Mother. It is an entrustment that we can make ours wherever we live: we are all under her mantle, with our homes, our works, the young people and adults who frequent them. She watches over everything and protects us from what could make us sterile trees. She invites us to be His presence for our brothers and sisters and makes us generate life in every place and situation».
The month of May is also dotted with significant anniversaries for the Salesian Family, including the feast of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello, Co-founder of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, on May 13, and the feast of Mary Help of Christians, on May 24, for which all the Educating Communities prepare with the Novena, as Mother General reminds in Circular 996, entitled ‘With Mary Help of Christians’:
«In various circumstances, Don Bosco suggests to invoke her by praying the Novena as an irresistible means, in the certainty that Mary intervenes efficaciously in the history of humanity redeemed by Jesus. Mary is the ‘Mother of the Church’ and as such she is present. We must be convinced of this in the depths of our heart and make her ‘work’; she who is active and attentive, never ceases to help us and sustain us».