Mary, Pro-Life Inspiration

by Kimberly Baker

"Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia." So begins the Regina Caeli prayer, which replaces the noon-time Angelus during the Easter season. Because the Easter season extends well into May, we are able to use this special prayer to Mary during much of the month traditionally dedicated in her honor. Marian devotion can be a wonderful help in pro-life efforts.

Mary has many beautiful titles: Patroness of the Americas, Patroness of the New Evangelization, and Patroness of the Unborn, to name a few. We see her immense faith and total gift of herself at the moment of the Annunciation, when$ she agrees to be the Mother of God. We see her sensitivity and her spirit of charity when she visits her pregnant older cousin Elizabeth. We see her love and maternal care for new life when she shelters her infant son Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem. We see her conviction in pointing to Christ at the wedding of Cana when she says, "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). We see her at the foot of the Cross, even there opening her heart to be the mother of all humanity.

Mary’s example is especially important to remember in pro-life efforts. She can be a tremendous source of inspiration and hope for women in today’s society, where there is so much woundedness resulting from the culture of death. Mary’s example of authentic Christian living speaks especially to a model of womanhood that is life-giving and love-affirming, and therefore very relevant to the pro-life message.

We have a beautiful message to share, a message of life, love, and true freedom. Let us remember the Queen of Heaven— not only during the month of May, but throughout the year—as we share the Gospel of Life.

Kimberly Baker is a staff assistant for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Catechetical Corner

May: The Month Of Mary

"As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us. Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. (Lumen Gentium, no. 53) "Mary embraces God’s will and freely chooses to cooperate with God’s grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God’s plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, 'while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed' (Lumen Gentium, no. 66). The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf."1 "Popular piety dedicates the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary."2 "Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary deserves special attention because it is such an important part of worship in the United States. The United States of America is under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception."3 "The various forms of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary reflect the many different cultures, religious convictions, and popular sensibilities that make up the Church in the United States. Catholic people of all cultures have a deep love for the Mother of God. They employ many different expressions of that love to show the one faith that characterizes their particular prayer life and spirituality."4 Notes1 Excerpt from "Why Does Mary Have a Special Role in Helping Us?" Popular Devotional Practices: Basic Questions and Answers (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB], 2003), no. 7.2 Excerpt from Essential Guide to Saints and Seasons (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2013), 127. 3 Excerpt from National Directory for Catechesis (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2005), 154.4 Excerpt from National Directory for Catechesis (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2005), 155.Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.