A GIFT FOR MARY
FR. TOMASZ TLAŁKA OSPPE
In the jubilee year of the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, the Pauline Fathers from Jasna Góra suggested an initiative entitled: ‘Alive Crown of Mary’. They invited everybody to give spiritual gifts to Our Lady, that is, their commitments of their life changing, so that it would take on evangelical brightness.
Alive Crown of Mary
Every day the sanctuary receives letters with individual photos, photos of families, parish groups, school classes, the youth, children and elderly people. Photos are also given by pilgrims arriving at Jasna Góra. Every photo has got an attached spiritual gift for Our Lady. What is the spiritual gift? Briefly speaking, this is a step towards our conversion. In the Apocalypse by St. John in the 12th chapter we read about the Woman clothed with the sun, and who is wearing a crown of twelve stars. This crown is an image of a new people of God, created by the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts are often our commitments to live one’s life full of prayers, when reading the Holy Scripture, a lot of people committed to pray the Pompeian Novena. Entering the prayer space, we let the Holy Spirit change us. Gifts for Mary are also commitments for radical conversion, rejecting life in non-sacramental relationship, confession after years….One of the gift was hope that somebody would convert into Catholicism. This person made a particular act of faith in order to get closer to God. Let’s quote his testimony: ‘One Sunday I was watching a programme on TV ‘Between the Heaven and the Earth’ and I heard about the application ‘Alive Crown of Mary’ - I decided to donwloaded it onto my phone. Since I received the first message in the evening, I have only been thinking about Mary and asking Her every day to help me kneel at a confessional and confess my serious sins which I had never confessed before- there were a lot of them. Today, that is, 14 March 2017, after two weeks of everyday talks with Mary I am after my confession, having confessed my worst sins. I am free because God forgave me them. Devote yourself to Our Lady completely, like me, and you will be the happiest in the world! Rafał’.
What makes a mum the happiest? The answer is simple – happiness of her children. It is just so with Mary and spiritual gifts given to Her.
Selfie for Mary
Among the photos sent via Internet and spiritual commitments we are building a mosaic of the Image of Our Lady of Częstochowa. It is going to be hung up on the walls of the monastery for the main jubilee ceremonies, that is, 26 August 2017. Through this initiative we want to show that we want to be like Her – like Mary, we want to be Her image in the world in which we live and have Her lifestyle – dear and particular, as pope Francis was teaching us about it at Jasna Góra.
It turns out that about 93 million people take photos of themselves every day in the world. 86 per cent Poles aged 18 – 30 take photos of themselves with their mobiles and 1/3 of them place them in social networks (http://www.networkmagazyn.pl/selfie_rewolucja_skad_wzial sie_fenomen_tego_autoportretu). Data prove that this is a kind of a contact with the reality, communicating. Placing it in social networks may be an expression of our desire to exist in a forum, we want to be noticed. Therefore ‘Selfie for Mary’ is a good way to let Mary see us.
The initiative was also joined by: cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, the primate of Poland archbishop Wojciech Polak, the apostolic nuncio in Poland Salvatore Pennacchio, archbishop Wacław Depo, bishop Roman Pindel and also Radek Pazura with his wife Dorota, Darek Malejonek, Jan Budziaszek, Adam Szewczyk with Magda Anioł, Wojciech Modest Amaro and Maciej Musiał…There is even a photo of Rita before her birth. All these people are ambassadors of Mary the Queen. Joining the initiative ‘Selfie for Mary’ they want to proclaim that we have Mother who loves us and want to be in Her image.
The whole cross-section of the society is taking part both in the first and the second initiative the – the elderly, young people and children.
On 26 August this year, on the feast of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Częstochowa, with participation of the supreme church and state authorities, as well as thousands of pilgrims, there are going to be the main ceremonies of the jubilee of the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Częstochowa. We want to bring Our Lady our all spiritual gifts on the jubilee of the coronation of Her image, in a procession. The Main Holy Mass is going to be celebrated at 11 a.m. at Jasna Góra. The Appeal Prayer at 9 p.m. will begin a great historical-musical performance ‘Jasna Góra – Polish Cana’, prepared by the Polish Television.