1. Let’s keep the streak going with another Seven Quick Takes + #31DaysofMary. Not sure what I’m talking about with that long hashtag? Check out this post, or tl:dr, I’m blogging everyday this month, and featuring miraculous Marys from around the globe.
So far we’ve got:
- Our Lady of Siluva, Lithuania
- Our Lady of the Pillar, Spain
- Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland
- And today, Nyina wa Jambo (a.k.a. Mother of the Word), Rwanda
On November 28, 1981 Mary began appearing to a group of teenagers in Kibeho, Rwanda, introducing herself as Nyina wa Jambo, which means, Mother of the Word. The apparitions, which later included Jesus, continued until 1989 and are now understood to have predicted the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in just over three months. Two of the three teenage seers themselves were killed during this time.
Mary’s early messages to the girls Alphonsine, Marie Claire and Anathalie focused on the praying of a daily rosary to ward off temptation and for people to love and help one another. However, on August 15, 1982, the girls were given terrifying visions of rivers of blood, people killing one another, and corpses left with no one to bury them.
“I see a river of blood! What does it mean? No, please!…Why are You showing me this, Mother? Stop…please stop! The trees are exploding into flames, the country is burning!…Oh no!..no!….Why are those people slaughtering each other?” -Alphonsine
The Vatican approved the messages of the girls in 2001, and today, the shrine to Our Lady of Kibeho is a popular pilgrimage site. Her feast is celebrated on November 28th.
On April 3, 2014, the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide, Pope Francis, during his ad lima visit with the Rwandan bishops said,
“I join with all my heart in mourning, and I assure you of my prayers for yourselves, for your often torn communities, for all victims and their families, for all Rwandans, without distinction of religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation.”
“I commend you all to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary. I sincerely hope that the Shrine of Kibeho might radiate even more the love of Mary for her children, especially the poorest and most injured, and be for the Church in Rwanda, and beyond, a call to turn with confidence to Our Lady of Sorrows, who accompanies each of us on our way that we might receive the gift of reconciliation and peace.” (source)
Prayer to Mother of the Word
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word,
Mother of all those who believe in Him,
and who welcome Him into their life,
we are here before you to contemplate You.
We believe that you are among us,
like a mother in the midst of her children,
even though we do not see You with our bodily eyes.
We bless you, The Sure Way that leads us to Jesus the Savior,
for all the favors which You endlessly pour out upon us,
especially, that, in your meekness, You were gracious
enough to appear miraculously in Kibeho, just when our
world needed it most.
Grant us always the light and the strength necessary to
accept, with all seriousness, Your call to us to be converted,
to repent, and to live according to your Son’s Gospel.
Teach us how to pray with sincerity, and to love one
another as He loved us, so that, just as You have requested,
we may always be beautiful flowers diffusing their pleasant
fragrance everywhere and upon everyone.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows,
teach us to understand the value of the cross in our lives,
so that whatever is still lacking to the sufferings of Christ
we may fill up in our own bodies for His mystical Body,
which is the Church.
And when our pilgrimage on this earth comes to an end,
may we live eternally with You in the kingdom of Heaven.
Imprimatur: Gikongoro, the 25th of March, 2006
Augustin Misago-Bishop of Gikongoro (source)
Tomorrow, stop by to learn about Our Lady of El Cobre!
2. I’ve mentioned in the past that after our family prays the rosary, we say a litany of saints. Each child gets to say three saints. I’m not sure when we set that rule, but after kids trying to list dozens of saints each night, often mentioning saints they didn’t actually know anything about just because said saint had a cool sounding name, we needed to lay down some ground rules so we weren’t up until midnight. (Which is fine if you’re a monk; less cool if you’re an already exhausted mom.) Recently, Teddy got the idea to mention as many groups of saints as possible for his three turns; unlocking a family prayer time loop-hole that has now gotten out of control. It started with him saying, the three wisemen, the 14 holy helpers, and Sts Cosmas and Damian. FINE. NO BIG DEAL. But then Byron started researching groups of martyrs and one night during family prayers, he blurts out, St. Philip Neri, the 26 Japanese martyrs and the 103 Korean martyrs. #catholicnerdlevelexpert
Now it was on. Teddy immediately demanded someone help him search for the largest group of martyrs. What started out as a nice way to ask for the prayers of our favorite patrons became a contest in one-upmanship. For better or worse, I mentioned St. Ursula and her Companions and immediately a Google search was launched: HOW MANY COMPANIONS DID SHE HAVE?! Wikipedia listed 11,000. Check and mate big brother. Now every night after the rosary Teddy proudly lists his saints as, ST. URSULA AND HER 11,000 COMPANIONS (emphasis his), the 40 martyrs, and the Seven Founders of the Servite order, and shoots his brother a smug glance. Once Byron says his saints, Teddy always likes to point out that 11,047 is a lot more than all the saints Byron just said. If you need me, I’ll just be over here raising humble and meek children!!!
3. We had a SUPER FUN all day clinic visit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Wednesday. And by super fun I mean, long and drawn out, but no needles. A day with needle pokes would mean EPIC FUN. While sitting in rush hour traffic to get to this appointment at the butt crack of dawn, I was chatting with Fulton’s nurse and discussing all the additional costs that come from hospital visits and stays. I was inspired to throw together a quick list of things you can do for families whose children are inpatient at a hospital, or perhaps making repeated trips for diagnosis and treatment.
- CASH- Just stick it in a card and hand it to them and say, “This is for tolls, gas and parking.” I pay $5 every time I leave Jersey to go over the bridge into Philly. When Fulton has been inpatient we go back and forth everyday, sometimes several times a day. There’s also the toll roads, the gas cost, the wear and tear on the vehicles and the parking fee at the garage. It quickly escalates into the hundreds.
- CASH (or gift cards to the hospital cafeteria or restaurants within walking distance of the hospital) – Fulton’s food got billed to insurance but anything I needed I either had to remember to bring in with me, or buy in the cafeteria. And packing food to bring is tough because, who’s got time to grocery shop? It’s not long before there’s not much for to scavenge around the house and buying becomes the default.
- FOOD- See above. If you know the family well enough, bring over groceries. Or ask for a list and go shopping. Be sure to consider allergies and purchase items that can easily be packed and taken to the hospital. Offer to have groceries delivered, or if the family prefers, give them a gift card to their preferred store.
- FOOD – When Fulton was inpatient, Tony’s parents held down the fort and kept the other kids fed, but friends also delivered meals. If mom and dad are running back and forth and there’s still other kids at home, take over meals and offer to prepare them and get them on the table.
- BABYSITTING – Mom and dad are probably EXHAUSTED, their house is a mess, and they may have other kids that need attention or maybe driven to lessons/ activities. Offer to help with the kids; see them onto or off the bus, pick them up, drop them off, hang out, help with schoolwork, bring them over for a playdate, etc. Their life is out of whack too and your help in keeping them on their normal routine is huge. BONUS if you help with laundry and housekeeping when you stop by.
- VISIT – Do you know how fun it is to only interact with adults when they show up to disturb your child (usually when he’s sleeping) often to inflict pain and discomfort, or just discuss all the things going wrong? There’s a lot of long hours, and all the free wi-fi in the world can’t make the days go faster. If you’re healthy, offer to go sit a couple of hours so mom or dad can run and get food, take a brief walk outside, or just to talk about the world outside the hospital. Hospital time is weird; you know life is going on as normal outside, and you know there’s a million things you need to do, but all you can do is sit and wait, and try not to worry. Plus, you still feel wiped out, usually from trying to sleep on awful hospital sleeping chairs and daybeds. I didn’t want just anyone to visit, but good friends and family were always a welcome sight.
- What would you add?
4. Teddy makes his First Holy Communion tomorrow!! And he’s got a squeaky clean soul thanks to receiving his first confession last night. OBVIOUSLY we’re having a party and I am determined to have the piano bar ready to go in some form for the big day. The harp comes out today (fingers crossed!) so anything is possible!! To celebrate his big day, I’m giving away two children’s books from Bonsai Books Publishing! Enter the drawing and win both! They’re filled with bright colorful illustrations, and are just the right style for kids who want to start reading more on their own, but still love picture books. Enter below!
I think that’s enough “Quick” Takes for today. How was your week? Write it down then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!