“Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” .Such was the cry of a pious woman as she followed Jesus.

How often do we hear such a comment in our own time. “Your mother must be very proud of you”. It is peoples’ way of acknowledging that human goodness does not suddenly appear from nowhere. It is almost always nurtured in a solid family environment where prayer and Christian values are promoted. Mothers frequently play a crucial role in this.

It should not surprise us then, to learn that Jesus himself regularly drew peoples attention to the uniqueness of his mother. Mary’s specialness, her unique postion in the story of faith, comes not so much from her biological relationship to Jesus but from her faith relationship. Jesus points to the real link between them, namely, among all the people in the gospels, Mary is the pre-eminent example of teh one who hears the word of God and keeps it.

That is something we too are asked to do. How can we manage it? For sure we cannot manage it on
our own. Family is crucial.

The SMA Novena to Our Lady is an opportunity for families to pray together in thanksgiving and in
petition. Thanksgiving for so many blessings received; petition for so many needs – health, exams, peace, safety, etc. It is also a wonderful opportunity to join with the large SMA family throughout Ireland and abroad who come together to pray in this Novena.

I invite you to join us once again over these nine days. And I look forward to meeting you at our
annual pilgrimage to Knock shrine on Saturday, May 22nd.

Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll sma
Provincial Superior

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