Blessed Advent and Christmas greetings to you and your loved ones.
Are you familiar with this picture?
Were you aware that it is referred to as Our Lady of Advent?
Though having seen the work of art over the years, I only learned of this appellation this past week.
While visiting with my friend Lydia, she gave me an 8” x 11” copy and gave me an explanation of its symbolism, a subtlety whcih the artist crafted into its beauty. Do you see the outline of a lamb? Let’s look more closely.
Unmistakably we are drawn to the luminous aura which Mary is cradling. Unerringly, we think of she reverencing the fruit of her distended abdomen, the unborn Messiah.
This aura may be thought otherwise. My friend suggested viewing it as the crown of the head of a lamb, hidden by the Mary’s blue shawl except for the rear section protruding therefrom.
And what about these protruding limbs? Closer inspection suggests the body of a lamb – its hind quarters, one of the rear two legs, and its tail. All this is a fitting allusion for the Lamb of God.
(The following text is taken from the archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa)
As Advent is a period of anticipation, for the birth of Christ, Mary, as His chosen Mother, is intimately bound up in this season, as she is carrying Him in her womb.
To enter more deeply in this season, the Church encourages us to reflect in various ways on the mystery of God’s work in and through the Blessed Virgin Mary.
1. We are particularly encouraged to focus on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary (especially the first two Joyful Mysteries of Annunciation and the Visitation.)
2. Advent Marian Prayer – While many Marian prayers, the “Alma Redemptoris Mater” prayer has been traditionally prayed in Advent:
“Loving Mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature, you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.”
3. The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) – On December 8, we celebrate the Immaculate Conception, which is about Mary being conceived in the womb free from Original Sin, as she was to be the consecrated vessel to carry Christ in her womb, and to be the new mother of all humanity, the “New Eve.” While this teaching has existed and been believed from the very early centuries of Christianity, it was formally affirmed in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. This was then affirmed by Mary herself when she appeared in 1858 to St. Bernadette in Lourdes and said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” And speaking of Marian apparitions…
4. Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12) – Mary has continued to remain an intimate part of Christ’s saving work and an instrument of proclaiming his Gospel throughout history. One example is Mary’s miraculous apparition at Guadalupe, in Mexico, which led to thousands of conversions to Christ! And this major and beautiful celebration is especially significant for our Mexican brothers and sisters. And its beautiful that his celebration usually falls on or near “Gaudete (Rejoice!) Sunday,” as we light the “rose-colored” candle, and we celebrate Guadalupe with roses.
Quebec Life Coalition
p.s. 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, a summary. This past fall, we participated in the twice annual pro-life prayer vigil for the end of abortion. Running from September 28 to November 6, 2022, and held in 622 locations worldwide, the vigil had several remarkable results: 540 infant lives were saved, 6 abortion workers converted, and 12 abortion facilities closed. Be part of the next 40-day prayer vigil, beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023 and to be held in Montreal.
p.p.s. We are entirely dependent on your financial support to fund our activities such as the daily downtown vigils. Please, consider becoming a monthly donor. Thank you.