|Pope John XXIII|
Mary and Joseph are visible influences in Vatican I. Pius IX taught solemnly the Immaculate Conception of Mary on December 8, 1854, on the day of this celebration. Mary is redeemed by Jesus, Child of her and of our merciful Father, and sanctified by his Holy Breath more radically and fully than any other person in our created family. Before this solemn teaching, in 1830, Catherine Labouré was missioned by Mary to spread the medal, now called miraculous, with the inscription, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." After this solemn teaching, in 1858 Bernadette experienced Mary identifying herself, "I am the Immaculate Conception," and was missioned to make the Lourdes cave a special prayer place. Nearer to our time, in 1917, the three children of Fatima, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia, experienced the Immaculate Heart of Mary and were missioned to make Fatima likewise a special prayer place. Holy Mary attracts us her sinful children to pray with her to her and our Jesus for our needs and concerns. Pius IX on December 8, 1870, at the end of Vatican I, named Joseph patron of the universal Church. So Mary and Joseph were prominent at the time of this conciliar teaching.
|Pope Pius IX|
|Sculpture by Timothy P. Schmalz at Holy Family Church, Whitefish Bay, WI.|
These reflections were inspired by the Gospel of John and St. Thomas Aquinas on grace and love. We are not to use the others for self as the isolation of enemies. For this, we need to be graced now and then glorified forever. We need to be mercied and familied and friended and fathered and mothered and brothered and sistered. We are to mercy and family and friend and father and mother and brother and sister. We need to be the family of friends of Mary and Joseph and Jesus to the image and likeness of the Family of Friends of our merciful Father and his Child our Jesus and his Breath, of our merciful Lover and his Beloved, our Jesus, and his Love.