Many Names, One Mother
No matter what we call her, Mary always guides as a loving mother
No human being has influenced the world the way that Mary, the Mother of God, has.
Of course, Jesus — who is both divine and human — is on another level entirely. But among human beings, no king, no hero, no military leader, no scientist, no explorer, no celebrity, no philosopher, no religious leader, or saint comes close to having the kind of the influence that Our Lady has had on human hearts and affairs.
Let’s start with her “fiat, her “yes” to God. It was through her “yes” that the redemption of the entire world took place. The single most important event in all of human history was worked through her.
She is the Mother of God, and the Immaculate Conception. She is Queen of Heaven and Earth and the Terror of Demons, which speak to her power. Mary continues to be honored and invoked in prayerful confidence in every country of the world. She is honored by nations and whole continents as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady Queen of Poland, and Our Lady of Africa, to name just a few.
Her apparitions have changed the world, bringing new faith and hope to whole peoples. Millions upon millions visit the shrines that mark these apparitions to show devotion and to invoke her help.
Images of Our Lady have helped shape the faith of entire peoples, such as Our Lady of Aparecida, the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Charity in Cuba, Our Lady of the Cape in Canada, and Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn in Lithuania and around the world, from Alaska to Argentina, Knights turn to Our Lady of Guadalupe as their patroness. The miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, like so many other Marian images, is associated with miracles — illustrating the power of her intercession.
Her special influence on the Knights of Columbus is profound. Our founder, Father Michael McGivney, loved her and is buried in a church dedicated to her, the same church in which our Order was founded. In more recent decades, the Knights played a role in making the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe widely known throughout North America and the entire world. In Poland, France, Ukraine, Korea, the Philippines and the entire world, Knights have pledged to serve our Lord and to honor his mother.
She’s more than a model for how to live life. She’s more than a close spiritual friend — like many of the saints may be to us. She is more than a guardian, though her protection is powerful. She is our intimate, personal, loving mother.
And our response? It is the response of John who, “from that hour took her into his home.” To bring Mary into our homes means welcoming her as the mother of ourselves and our families. It also means bringing her into our inner most being.
The Christian,” St. John Paull II wrote, “brings her into everything that makes up his inner life” (Redemptoris Mater 45).