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The Marian thread through all his life

12/04/2005: Vatican

“In speaking of the origins of my priestly vocation, I cannot forget the Marian thread. The veneration of the Mother of God in its traditional form came to me from my family and the parish of Wadowice… On the hill there was a Carmelite monastery and from here spread the devotion to the Carmelite scapular… When I was in Krakow, I joined a group of the “Living Rosary” in the Salesian parish where there was a particular devotion to Mary the Helper… I was convinced that Mary leads us to Christ, but in this period I started to understand that also Christ leads us to his Mother… There was a time during which I questioned my worship of Mary, believing that it compromised the supreme worship due to Christ. But I found help in a book written by Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort… Yes, Mary draws us closer to Christ, leads us to Him. This explained the origin of Totus Tuus. It is the abbreviation of the longer form of the prayer of trust in the Mother of God: Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea Tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor Tuum, Maria. (Gift and Mystery)

Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (cf. Mt 24, 42) - these words remind me of the last call, which will happen at the moment the Lord wishes. I desire to follow Him, and I desire that everything making up part of my earthly life should prepare me for this moment. I do not know when the moment will come, but like everything else, I place it too in the hands of the Mother of my Master: Totus Tuus. In the same maternal Hands I leave everything and everyone with whom my life and vocation have linked me. In these Hands I leave, above all, the Church, as well as my Nation and all humanity. I thank everyone. Of everyone I ask forgiveness. I also ask for prayer, that the Mercy of God may appear greater than my weakness and unworthiness. (Spiritual Testament)

As Marists we certainly cannot forget the words that John Paul II addressed to us in Saint Peter’s Square on that unforgettable day, the 18th April 1999: “I am pleased to greet you pilgrims who have come for the canonisation of Marcellin Champagnat… May the Blessed Virgin Mary be for us all our Ordinary Resource, as Father Champagnat liked to say with confidence! All for Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus! May our Marian spirituality be inspired by the new saint’s motto…”

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