Living the Year of the Eucharist in the school of the Heart of Mary
Mother Adela, SCTJM
For private use only -

The Year of the Rosary and the Year of the Eucharist

On October 16, 2002, the Holy Father John Paul II surprised the whole Church by proclaiming the Year of the Rosary.  This culminated the Great Jubilee Year with a Marian crown.  It was an exhortation for all of us to contemplate the face of Christ at the school of, and in union with, our Blessed Mother.  “With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ, and to experience the depths of his love” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, RVM, 1)

Together with the proclamation of the year of the Rosary, John Paul II gave us an apostolic letter on the Rosary, incorporating the Mysteries of Light to make this privileged form of contemplation an even more complete “compendium of the Gospel” (RVM, 19).  They are called the Mysteries of Light because they reveal the brilliance of the salvific presence of the Word Incarnate among us.  How could the Mysteries of Light not but culminate with the Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist?  In the midst of the Year of the Rosary, John Paul II issued his fourteenth encyclical letter entitled, Ecclesia de Eucharistia or The Church Lives from the Eucharist.   He wrote this with the intention of shedding light on the mystery of the Eucharist and its inseparable and vital relation to the Church.  Above all, the Holy Father suggested once again the need for a Eucharistic spirituality, pointing to Mary, the “woman of the Eucharist,” as its model (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, EE, 53).

On the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), in June 2004 during the 150th anniversary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father announced that a Year of the Eucharist would begin that October for the whole Church.  On October 7th, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, he gave us an apostolic letter for this Eucharistic year entitled, Mane Nobiscum Domine, translated, Stay with us, Lord.  Here, he exhorted us to rediscover the mystery of love of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (Mane Nobiscum Domine, MND,16).  This is like the saints, who “many times shed tears of profound emotion in the presence of this great mystery, or experienced hours of inexpressible ‘spousal’ joy before the sacrament of the altar” (MND, 31).  However, in a very special way, he again directed us to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who spent Her whole life pondering and contemplating the meaning and mystery of the Eucharist.  The Holy Father concluded his apostolic letter with these words: “the Church, which looks to Mary as a model, is also called to imitate her, in her relationship with this most holy mystery” (MND, 31).

We can see that the Holy Father is leading the Church with a pedagogy of love for Christ that can only come as a fruit of contemplation.  First, in the great Jubilee year of grace and mercy we were called to contemplate the face of Christ; in the Year of Rosary, to contemplate Him with the heart of Mary; in the Year of Eucharist, to rediscover the mystery of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist within the school of the Heart of Mary.

We could recapitulate this journey in the words which Blessed Pope John XXIII wrote in his diary:  “O, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I would like to be filled with love for you. . . O Mary of the Rosary, keep me recollected when I say this prayer of yours; bind me forever with your rosary to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Blessed be Jesus, my love, and blessed be the Immaculate Virgin Mary” (John XXIII, Journal of a Soul).

When the Holy Father initiated the Year of the Eucharist, he entrusted it to the Virgin Mary.  He went on to say, “May the one who in the Year of the Rosary helped us to contemplate Christ with her eyes and her heart (cf. RVM, nn. 10-17) enable every community in the Year of the Eucharist to grow in faith and love for the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord.” As we can see, the Holy Father in this prayer joined both years, calling us to a profound contemplation of the Eucharistic Christ with the Heart of Mary because Her life is intrinsically united to the mysteries of Christ.  Therefore, Mary and the Eucharist are inextricably linked . . . because the Heart of the Son and the Heart of the Mother are indissolubly one.  

It seems to me that, with these two years, our Holy Father has lifted high – just as the dream of St. John Bosco described – two pillars of strength and nourishment for us at the beginning of the Third Millennium: Mary and the Eucharist.  The Holy Spirit has called the Church to “go out into the deep” of a very rough sea:  our world.   The Holy Father told us, “Let us go forward in hope!  A new millennium is opening before the Church like a vast ocean upon which we shall venture, relying on the help of Christ” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, NMI, 58).   He goes on to say that we are daily nourished by the Eucharist and accompanied on this journey by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

John Paul II has pointed out to us the key to the springtime of the Church and to the renewal of our spiritual life, through what he has called “a Eucharistic culture” (MND, 26).  In other words, we should contemplate the Eucharistic Lord as the center of the life of the Church and of our lives, leading a Eucharistic centered life.  We should learn to do this in the School of Mary, allowing ourselves to be formed, molded and guided in this intimate relationship with the Eucharist by the Heart that is most closely united to Him.  He told us that he wished to put the Church under the sign of the “contemplation of Christ at the school of Mary.  Consequently, I cannot let this Holy Thursday 2003 pass without halting before the ‘Eucharistic face’ of Christ and pointing out with new force to the Church the centrality of the Eucharist” (EE, 7).  The Holy Father is, in a few words, calling us to live for Jesus just as the Blessed Mother did.  He is calling us to learn in the school of Her Heart in order to contemplate with love the mysteries of the Eucharistic Heart of Christ.  St. Gemma Galgani used to say, “There is a heavenly school where one learns to love Jesus in the Eucharist; the school is the cenacle of the Heart of Mary; the subject, the Eucharist; and the teacher, Mary.”

In the School of the Heart of Mary

The Blessed Mother loved Jesus like no other human heart has or ever could.  She is perfectly and totally united to the heart, life, mysteries and mission of Her Son.  The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are one…from the moment of the Annunciation.  In Mary’s womb the Heart of Jesus was fashioned beneath Her own heart and began to beat in unison with it.  There, in that first tabernacle of the Real Presence, began “the admirable alliance of the Two Hearts,” an alliance that will never end (John Paul II, Angelus Message, Sept. 15, 1985).  It is the covenant of love and collaboration between the Two Hearts that found its maximum expression at the moment of the sacrifice of the Cross.  This bond of love is a dynamic union of redemptive mission and sanctifying action, which the Second Vatican Council in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium referred to as the “indissoluble tie” between the Son and Mother (no.53).

To enter in the School of Mary is “to put ourselves in living communion with Jesus . . . through the heart of his Mother” (John Paul II, RVM, 2).  The Heart of Mary is the greatest school to learn about the mysteries of Christ.  Who better than Her can teach us about Jesus?  St. Luke tells us repeatedly that the Virgin Mary kept all things in Her heart, even saying that She did it carefully.  She pondered lovingly and carefully all things about Christ.  The Blessed Mother is not only a careful guardian and custodian of the Body of Her Son, but also of His words, His life and mysteries.  As the Second Vatican Council teaches, Mary unites and re-echoes in Her own person the chief teachings of the faith (Lumen Gentium, 65).

The Immaculate Heart is the school of love for Christ.  It is a school not only meant to feed our intellects but most of all, it is meant to teach us to contemplate with our hearts, to ponder with love, and to reflect upon carefully the Heart of Jesus, so that we can be formed and transformed into living images this Heart.  How blessed we are to have such a teacher and model!  St. John Bosco was given his first prophetic dream when he was nine years old.  He tells us that Jesus appeared to him in his dream and told him that He {Jesus} would give him the wisest of teachers who would teach him true knowledge.   After this, the Virgin Mary appeared and took him by the hand (F.A. Forbes, St. John Bosco, ch.1).  From that moment on, St. John Bosco had the Blessed Mother as his teacher, and he allowed Her to guide him into the mysteries and designs of the will of God.

When we place ourselves in Mary’s Heart, we are intimately united to the Heart of Her Son.  In the words of Saint Louis de Montfort, the Blessed Mother  “is the safest, easiest, shortest, and most perfect way of approaching Jesus” (True Devotion to Mary, ch.1, no. 55).  He goes on to say that She is the best way of attaining union with Jesus (ibid).  “To Jesus through Mary” was his motto.  In Her Heart we learn to contemplate the mystery of love of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  John Paul II told us that “ . . . the Christian people sit at the school of Mary, and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and experience the depths of his love” (RVM, 1).

The Blessed Mother teaches us the art of love which is contemplation.  To contemplate is to look with the heart, to look with love.  We can only understand the mysteries of love of the Heart of Christ, if we contemplate them with love in our hearts.  Only the love of Christ can be the true desire of our contemplation, and only if we contemplate with love can we discover the greatness of His love.  This is the reason why we need to contemplate with the Heart of Mary: to read, understand and penetrate the mysteries of Jesus with the love of Her Heart.  She is our model and our teacher of contemplation, of looking upon the Heart that has loved us to the extreme of being pierced, broken and given on the Cross and in the Eucharist.

St. John the apostle was the first student in the School of the Heart of Mary.  He learned to contemplate the mysteries of love of the Heart of Christ while being with the Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10:  “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”  But this contemplation is not only limited to seeing, but it also allows the actualization of the mysteries contemplated, since the Blessed Mother not only teaches us, but, with Her maternal mediation, obtains for us in abundance the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  She obtains for us the graces of the mysteries we contemplate.

Model of Contemplation

In his apostolic Letter on the Rosary, the Holy Father has given us a beautiful chapter on contemplating Christ with Mary.  He begins by inviting us to have the Blessed Mother as our model of contemplation since “the contemplation of Christ has an incomparable model in Mary.  In a unique way the face of the Son belongs to Mary.  It was in her womb that Christ was formed, receiving from her a human resemblance which points to an even greater spiritual closeness.  No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary” (RVM, 10).   

The Annunciation

The eyes of Her heart were already turned toward Him at the Annunciation, when She conceived Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.  She contemplated the miracle of His Incarnation, the miracle that took place inside of Her womb, through Her assent to the will of the Father.  God-made-man in Her womb, the first tabernacle of human history!  The infinite power of God was enclosed inside of Her.  What a profound and Eucharistic contemplation…what a model for us!

God who became man and dwelt in the virginal and maternal womb of Mary is with us today, enclosed in a tabernacle.  He allows Himself to be received by us so that we can contain Him inside of us, in our hearts and in our bodies.  Is not the fiat of the Virgin Mary the same Amen we are to say when we receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord?

In the nine months that followed, She experienced in Her whole being the tenderness of His presence.  Can we imagine Mary’s contemplation of Jesus, the Savior of the World, the Messiah for whom the people waited for centuries? …And the world did not know He was already among us.  What a Eucharistic contemplation and what a model for us!  The world today seeks God in many different forms, and many have not realized that He is among us, truly and really present in the Holy Eucharist.

He was hidden to many eyes, but fully known and understood by Her Heart, the new Ark of the Covenant that contained the greatest mystery in human history – the Word made flesh.  Can we imagine the care, the love, the constant contemplation of the Blessed Mother towards the fruit of Her womb, Jesus?  Can we imagine that contemplation?  How many times a day must the Blessed Mother have bent Her head to look upon Her child in Her womb.  She teaches us the meaning of humility, adoration, and reverence before the Lord.

The Visitation

She carried the presence of Christ, hidden inside of Her.  She, the first tabernacle, was so full of His presence that, through Her, Elizabeth and John the Baptist immediately received the effects and fruits of Christ’s salvific presence.

In the Visitation, She anticipated the Church’s Eucharistic faith and mission.  She, Mother and excellent member of the Church, became in the Visitation, a model of the Eucharistic mission of the Church.  This mission is to give us Christ, His presence – although not visible to our human senses, but powerfully, really, truly, and substantially present in the Eucharist – to be the life and sanctification of the Church and the world.

The Birth of Jesus

When Our Lady gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem, Her eyes gazed tenderly on the face of Her Son, as She held Him and laid Him in a manger (cf. Lk 2:7).   Can we try to imagine Her adoration and contemplation of the greatest mystery of love?  Her motherly heart was filled with love for the Child Jesus, Her Son and Her Lord.  He was so fragile and tender . . . what a contemplation of the humility of God!

The Virgin Mary, who sung in Her Magnificat, ‘He has looked upon the humility of His handmaid’ (Lk 1:48) could now sing, ‘I look upon the humility of my God.’  What a Eucharistic contemplation; what a model for us!  She looked at God who became a child.  We look at Him hidden under the species of bread and wine.  What a profound humility which could only be understood by the humility of the heart of Mary.  “ . . . Is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?” (EE, 55).   

Is not the contemplation of the child in Her hands the one that is to inspire priests as they hold the Eucharist in their hands?  St. John Mary Vianney had a powerful experience one Christmas.  He suddenly realized when he held the Eucharist, that “I am holding in my hands the same Jesus that Our Blessed Lady held in her pure hands in the stable of Bethlehem.”

In Bethlehem, She was the first one to adore Him, and from Her, the shepherds and wise men learned to adore Him, as we read in Mathew 2:11: “ . . .on entering the house they saw the child with Mary, his mother.  They prostrated themselves and did him homage.  Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts.” Likewise, the Church “has feared no ‘extravagance,’ devoting the best of her resources to expressing her wonder and adoration before the unsurpassable gift of the Eucharist” (EE, 48).   In a sense, the Eucharist is a perennial Christmas, the sacramental prolongation of the Incarnation.

The Presentation

Our Lady contemplated with all of Her heart the mystery of suffering which was so profoundly connected with the mystery of the redemptive love of Jesus.  The salvific mission of Her Son would take place in the midst of suffering.  “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sing of contradiction (and you yourself a sword shall pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34).  The tragedy of Her Son’s crucifixion was thus foretold, and also the sufferings of Her heart.  In Her daily preparation for Calvary, Mary experienced a kind of “anticipated Eucharist” – one might say a “spiritual communion” – of desire and of oblation.  This would culminate in Her union with Her Son in His passion - the piercing of both Hearts.  Can we contemplate the Eucharist, this sign of contradiction, which is so rejected by many, and not also unite ourselves with the sufferings of His heart, which seeks to be loved even though very few respond to Him?

During the whole life of Christ, Mary’s gaze, filled with adoration and amazement, would never leave Him.  This is the kind of ‘Eucharistic amazement’ which the Holy Father has spoken of in his encyclical letter and which he would like to rekindle in our hearts (EE, 6).  

Our Blessed Mother’s Gaze

At the Temple

Here, Her gaze was a questioning one when She asked in the Temple, “Son, why have you done this to us?” (Lk 2:48).  She contemplated the actions of Her Son, trying to understand in Her Heart their wisdom and their full meaning.

At Cana

Her gaze was always a penetrating gaze, as in Cana, one capable of deeply understanding Jesus, even to the point of perceiving His hidden feelings and anticipating His decisions.  She indicated to Jesus that the wine had run out.  He replied to Her that ‘his hour’ had not yet come. To this, She prompted Him with maternal urgency, saying to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).   “In this way she shows she has more insight than anyone into the profound intentions of Jesus.  She knows Him ‘heart to heart,’ for from the outset she has cherished and pondered on his every act and his every word” (John Paul II, Angelus Message, Sept 21, 2003).

“Do whatever He tells you . . .” (Jn 2:5).   What a Eucharistic connection!  In the Last Supper, Jesus would say, “Do this in memory of me” (Lk 22:19).  It seems to me that, already in Cana, the Virgin Mary was preparing us for the Eucharist, teaching us to have the right internal disposition of faith to receive such a gift.  The Holy Father said in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, that “Mary seems to say to us, ‘do not waver; trust in the words of my Son.  If he was able to change water into wine, he can also turn bread and wine into his body and blood… ” (no. 54).

At the Cross

Here Her gaze was a look of sorrow.  Her contemplation was that of a Mother who is offering Her Son for the salvation of the world, the look of a maternal heart that, out of love, becomes one with the sacrifice of Her Son.  The Second Vatican Council says that She “faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan…uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth” (Lumen Gentium, 58).   Arnold of Chartres, a disciple of St. Bernard, states,  “There were really two altars on Calvary.  One was in Mary’s heart, the other in Christ’s body.  He sacrificed his flesh, Mary her soul” (Arnold of Chartres, De Septum verbis Domini in cruce,3: PL 189, 1694.  This is a text quoted by John Paul II in his catechesis on Marian Coredemption on October 25, 1995). 

So intimate and permanent was the bond of love between Jesus and Mary, from whose Immaculate body Christ came, that we can proclaim with St. Augustine that the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary and that their hearts are one (cf. Sermon 174, 7).  It reminds me of the movie The Passion of the Christ, when the Blessed Mother, approaching Jesus at the foot of the Cross, told Him, “Flesh of my flesh, Heart of my Heart!”

“In the Eucharist, the Church is completely united to Christ and his sacrifice, and makes her own the spirit of Mary” (EE, 58).   What better way to participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice than in the school of the heart of Mary?  What better way to contemplate in Holy Mass the sacrificial memorial, in which the sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated, than with the eyes and Heart of Mary, the Mother who stood at the foot of the Cross?

St. Pio of Pietrelcina understood this very profoundly, as we can see in a conversation with Padre D'Apolito: “‘What great care Our Lady took to accompany me to the altar this morning!’ ... Padre D'Apolito asked him: ‘Was the Madonna present at your Mass?’ He answered: ‘Yes, she placed herself to the side.’ ‘Has she attended your Mass only once or she is always present?’ Padre Pio responded, ‘How can the Mother of Jesus, present at the foot of the Cross on Calvary, who offered Her Son as Victim for the salvation of souls, be absent at the Mystical Calvary of the altar?’”

She, united with Christ, was dying of sorrow in Her heart.  At the same time, She was giving birth…opening Her Heart to the new maternity announced by Christ on the Cross.  That is why also, at Calvary, Her gaze was one of a woman giving birth, for Mary not only shared the passion and death of Her Son, but She also received new children given to Her in the beloved disciple: “Behold, your Son!” (Jn 19:26).  In suffering, She became the mother of the Mystical Body, the Church.

On the Morning of Easter

According to many Fathers of the Church, Doctors of the Church, Saints, and the Holy Father John Paul II, without a doubt Jesus appeared first to His Mother in all His risen beauty. How did She contemplate Him?  “Hers would be a gaze,” says John Paul II, “radiant with the joy of the Resurrection” (RVM, 10). 

None of the Apostles could have seen the beauty of Jesus as Mary saw it.  Since spiritual vision is always proportionate to purity of the heart, the Immaculate gaze of the Virgin Mary penetrated even to His interior glory.  She must have seen Him in all the radiant splendor of His divinity.  She saw His pierced side, the wounds of His body that She had so tenderly kissed at the descent from the Cross; but now they were radiant.  She had looked at Him pierced and wounded, but now She sees Him glorified.

What a contemplation!  How can we imagine the way She must have gazed at the Heart of Her Son, which only three days earlier was pierced by a lance, but was now beating again – palpitating – full of life and ardent with love.  Her contemplation of Jesus Crucified and Resurrected made Her understand more perfectly that suffering and glory, death and life, are intimately connected.  What a Eucharistic contemplation; what a model for us!

On Pentecost

And on the day of Pentecost, Her contemplation was a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).   “…Mary, by Her prayers, was imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed Her in the Annunciation” (LG, 59).

Having already had a unique experience of the effectiveness of such a gift, the Blessed Virgin was fully aware of the importance of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles (Jn 14:16), and She helped them to be well-disposed for the coming of the Paraclete, as She was in Nazareth.

Mary’s prayer and contemplation fostered the coming of the Spirit, imploring His action in the hearts of the disciples and in the world.  Just as in the Incarnation the Spirit had formed the physical Body of Christ in Her virginal womb, now in the Upper Room the same Spirit came down to give life to the Mystical Body.

Pentecost is a fruit of the Blessed Virgin’s incessant prayer, which was accepted by the Holy Spirit with special favor because it was an expression of Her motherly love for the Lord’s disciples.  St. Louis de Montfort says, “The Holy Ghost, finding his dear spouse, as it were, reproduced, in souls, shall come in with abundance, and fill them to overflowing with His gifts . . .” (True Devotion to Mary, no. 217). 

She owes Her divine motherhood to the powerful intervention of the Holy Spirit.  It was appropriate that a new outpouring should be repeated and reinforced since, at the foot of the Cross, Mary was entrusted with a new motherhood, which concerned Jesus’ disciples.  It was precisely this mission that demanded a renewed gift of the Spirit.  The Blessed Virgin, therefore, needed it for the fruitfulness of Her spiritual motherhood.

What a model of Eucharistic intercession!  We are to be in the Cenacle of Her Immaculate Heart, united in prayer with Her, imploring the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the whole Church and ourselves, in order to be empowered by His gifts – gifts that will allow us be holy witnesses of love and ardent apostles for the New Evangelization in this Third Millennium.

Loving Jesus in the Eucharist

In the celebration of the Eucharist at the beginning of the Church, “she understood better than any human or angelic creature the immensity of the gift of the Eucharist.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard, taken from Venerable Pierre Julien Eymard by Reverend Edmond Tenaillon, S.S.S, 1914, p.67).

Can we imagine the contemplation of the Blessed Virgin Mary when the Eucharistic Jesus was elevated before Her eyes?  What must the Blessed Mother have felt as She heard from the mouth of John, Peter, James and the other Apostles the words spoken at the Last Supper:  “This is my body . . . this is my Blood” (cf. Lk 22:19-20)?  The body given up for us and made present under sacramental signs was the same body which She had conceived in Her womb!  She could say that it was also her body and blood since She gave them to the Word who became man.

In the Eucharist, the Blessed Mother was receiving Her Son!  Can we try to understand the love and adoration of the Heart of Mary for Her Eucharistic Son?  The Son She had for nine months in Her womb…the son She held in Her arms as a child…the Son She saw on the Cross offering Himself…the dead Son She held in Her arms and later contemplated resurrected and radiant…and now, Her Son in the profound humility of the Eucharist.  How She must have kept Her heart and eyes fixed on Him!!!  What a Eucharistic contemplation.  “Teach us, O Mary, the life of adoration,” was a constant prayer in the heart of St. Peter Eymard (Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament ).  Her adoration is literally perpetual, in keeping with the ‘indissoluble bond’ uniting Her now and forever with the heart of Her Son.  According to St. Peter Eymard, it is Mary who led the apostles to understand, care for, guard and appreciate the gift of the Eucharistic presence of Christ.  How many times the apostles must have said to the Blessed Mother, as Saint Louis de Montfort many times said when receiving the Eucharist, “It was you, Virgin Mary, who gave us this body and blood, which raises our status so high that it is beyond the reach of the angels. May you be blessed throughout the world for giving us such a great gift” (Hymns, 134:11). 

At the school of Mary, says John Paul II, the apostles learned to have an intimate, profound and constant relationship with the Eucharistic Lord.  She must have taught them to be custodians of the greatest treasure of the Church: the Eucharist.  As the Second Vatican Council said, “In the Most Blessed Eucharist is contained the entire spiritual wealth of the Church, namely Christ Himself” (Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5).   From Mary, the primitive Church must have learned to have such an ardent love for the Eucharist that they were willing to die to protect it.  We see in so many of the martyrs, as in the life of the young boy St. Tarcisius who preferred to die before giving a consecrated host to the pagans.

Inspired by the love of the Virgin Mary for Her Eucharistic Son, Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist said, “I want to be like Mary... to be Mary for Jesus, to take the place of His Mother. When I receive Jesus in communion Mary is always present.  I want to receive Jesus from her hands, she must make me one with Him.  I cannot separate Mary from Jesus…I ask my Jesus to be a guardian of all the tabernacles of the world, until the end of time” (The Eucharist). 

Blessed Francisco Marto was so moved by the messages of the Blessed Mother and the Angel that, realizing he had but a short time to live, he did not have any desire to go to school, but told his sister and cousin to go ahead; he then would remain in church where he could make reparation to the Eucharistic Heart and accompany Him who is usually so alone.  He did not want Him to be alone, and he was so penetrated with the love for “the hidden God,” that he often spent many hours on his knees in silent adoration before the tabernacle (Gerald Francis, Our Lady and the Eucharist).  He used to say that he wanted to make God happy (John Paul II, Homily, May 13, 2000). 


May the love of Mary for Her Son in the Eucharist and Her constant and faithful contemplation of the mysteries of love of the Heart of Jesus be the model for us to acquire ‘a Eucharistic centered life.’  May we live this year of the Eucharist in the Heart of Mary since, “from the very first moment, the Church ‘looked at’ Mary through Jesus, just as she ‘looked at’ Jesus through Mary.  For the Church of that time and of every time Mary is a singular witness” (MR, 26).  She is a model of love for the Eucharist and of contemplation of the mysteries of His Heart because “the mysteries of Christ are also in some sense the mysteries of his mother…for she lives from him and through him” (RVM, 24). 

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