Skip to main content


Eucharist and Marian Devotion

11/21/2005 - 6:00 AM PST

Advertisment

Perspective of Theologian Father Michael Hull

NEW YORK, NOV. 21, 2005 (ZENIT) - Here is the text of a talk given by Father Michael F. Hull, who participated in the recent videoconference of theologians on the topic of the Eucharist. The Vatican Congregation for Clergy organized the event. Father Hull is a professor of sacred Scripture at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, New York.

* * *

The Holy Eucharist and Marian Devotion
Michael F. Hull

Devotion to the Holy Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady are so closely bound as to be inseparable. As Mother and Son are united in an "indissoluble tie" ("Lumen Gentium," No. 53), so too devotion to Mother and Son are tightly linked. This is expressed most beautifully by the medieval religious poem "Ave Verum," immortalized as a motet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791.

In his encyclical letter "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," the late Pope John Paul II devotes the sixth and final chapter to Mary, which he entitles "At the School of Mary: 'Woman of the Eucharist.'" Therein, the Pope points out significant parallels in the lives of Jesus and Mary.

For example, Jesus' words at the Last Supper -- "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19) -- echo Mary's words at the wedding at Cana -- "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). Likewise, Mary's fiat to the Archangel Gabriel (Luke 1:38) prefigures the Amen of each communicant at the reception of Holy Communion.

Speaking of Mary's own reception of holy Communion after the Lord's paschal mystery, John Paul remarks: "For Mary, receiving the Eucharist must have somehow meant welcoming once more into her womb that heart which had beat in unison with hers and reliving what she had experienced at the foot of the Cross" ("Ecclesia de Eucharistia," No. 56). "Mutatis mutandis," we are also brought to the foot of the Cross in holy Communion, where we are united not only with the Lord, but also with the "stabat Mater dolorosa."

Finally, we find Our Lord entrusting his Mother to St. John, who as the "beloved disciple" had such a prominent place at the bosom of Jesus at the Last Supper, and St. John to his Mother (John 19:26-27). Holy tradition recounts how Mary and St. John eventually settled at Ephesus, the place where Mary kept so much in her heart until her assumption (cf. Luke 2:33-35 and 2:51).

During the public ministry of the Lord, Mary is rarely in the foreground. Except for the wedding at Cana -- when Jesus prefigured his miracle of the Eucharist by turning water into wine at Mary's request (John 2:1-11) -- and at the foot of the Cross -- when Jesus concluded his passion (John 19:25) -- Mary is always in the background. Her presence is always pointing toward her Son. And that is the very heart of Marian devotion: a strong, omnipresent, and relatively silent expression of devotion to the will of God oriented to his and her Son.

Throughout the history of the Church, the saints have understood this truth. Two examples will suffice.

In the fourth century, St. Ambrose expressed the hope that all of his people would inculcate the spirit of Mary as a means to glorify God: "May the heart of Mary be in each Christian to proclaim the greatness of the Lord; may her spirit be in everyone to exult in God."

Similarly, 1,400 years later St. John Bosco had a vision of two pillars anchoring the bark of Peter in the midst of a stormy sea: the pillar of the Eucharist and the pillar of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The larger pillar, that of the Eucharist, had the words "Salvation of Believers," and the smaller, that of Mary, "Help of Christians."

Mary is, indeed, the help of Christians, leading them to Jesus and the Eucharist. Devotion to Our Lady is always together with devotion to Our Lord, especially in the Eucharist, as the Church sings: "Ave verum corpus natum de Maria Virgine "

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org  CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Eucharist, Mary, Hull, Eucharist

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:14-21
This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from the honest. ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 23 Saint of the Day

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... Read More