“Since our origins, the Good Mother has had a special place and a key role in our life as an Institute. She continues to do so today, with the same relevance as in the beginning. I have expressed on more than one occasion that “the great gift that Marcellin left us, having given us the name of Mary, was the invitation and the commitment to live according to her heart”. Brother François expresses it beautifully: “It is the blessed name of Mary that has given life to the Congregation”. Brother Ernesto Sanchez, Homes of Hope.
It is well known the blind and total confidence that Marcellin had in the Good Mother, an attitude that he knew how to transmit and make it his own in the hearts of the brothers. Since then, the Marian feasts and the month of May have been moments of special celebration and experience in our Institute.
We see how, throughout our history, Mary has been the inspiration and model. Gleaning among the circulars of our Superiors or in the documents of the chapters we find constant reference to Mary. Suffice it to recall the circulars: “In her arms or in her heart” by Brother Sean and “She gave us the name of Mary” by Brother Emili, or some of the references of the last chapters: “Like Mary at Cana (Jn. 2:3), we are challenged by the needs of the world around us”, one of the concluding ideas of the XXII Chapter, or “With Mary, go in haste to a new land”, of the previous Chapter.
However, the great richness is the deep experience of many brothers and lay people in their relationship with Mary, because for them the life of Mary, the attitudes of Mary and the answers she gives in her journey are inspiration and model in their actions and life.
For many friars the Annunciation to Mary is the first moment of admiration and imitation of Mary. To see how Mary risks her life, her projects, her image and accepts God’s project and places her life in his hands so that he may act as he sees fit is an inspiration in the availability of their lives.
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth is another invitation to live like Mary: the availability to go to those who need her, the service to the brother… is another defining trait and must be of any Marist. And at Cana, her message: “Do whatever he tells you”, is felt as an invitation to abandon oneself confidently into the hands of the Lord and let him be the one to trace his path.
At the heart of Mary’s life is faith; faith which, as Cardinal Newman said, is “the ability to bear doubts”. For Mary it is a source of happiness. It will always be, in spite of the trials she had to go through. On this mysterious path of faith, Mary offers herself to us as a model.
That is the reason for dedicating the month of May to Mary, because today Mary continues to be our model and our inspiration in how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, in how to live our life, in how to be faithful to our charism and in how we are to live our consecrated life.
Brother Gonzalo Saiz, Communications Office of the Iberian Province.