Mary and My Mum

Over the past month, you might have seen some pictures of our sisters and their mothers on our Facebook page. What does it all mean?

May is not only the month in which we celebrate Mother’s Day; it’s also the month traditionally dedicated to the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is not a lot that we know about Mary’s life, but we do know she had many beautiful qualities that made her so special and that made her a mother. Like Mary, our mothers are special women.

Mary’s YES at the Annunciation took real courage and faithful trust. After the Annunciation, Mary shows kindness in travelling a long distance to be with her pregnant cousin Elizabeth. Like Mary, our mothers are courageous and kind women. Sr Grace describes her mum as a “constant inspiration and motivation to never give up in loving and caring”, and Sr Sophie’s mum teaches her to “always have courage and to be kind”.

Mary and Joseph travelled to the Temple in Jerusalem for important rituals and celebrations: the presentation of Jesus, Mary’s purification, and the Passover. Their faith was clearly an important part of their lives, and something they lived authentically. Our mothers are also strong examples of faith for us. Sr Jean describes her mum as “a believer that faith was something to be lived, not just talked about.”

We don’t know much about Jesus’ upbringing, but he surely learned the virtue of love from Mary and Joseph. The love of our mothers reflects the love that Mary had for her Son. Sr Agnieszka says, “If I know what love is, it’s because of my mum”, and for Sr Rita, “My mum teaches me to always treat other people with love and compassion, regardless of their status in life.” Sr Valerie says her mum “loved her children to the moon and back”, and Sr Paula expresses gratitude for her mum’s “big heart for everybody.”

At the wedding at Cana, Mary shows the trust she has in Jesus and encourages him to take initiative and make his own decisions through her words, “Do whatever he tells you.” Our mothers walk with us on our life journeys, helping us to grow and mature through our own choices and learning. Sr Lois says that her mum “trusted in us, believed in us, and allowed us to make our own mistakes so that we might learn from them”, just as Mary did. Sr Irene also describes her mum’s trusting heart and guidance: “Thank you for helping me to become what I am today.”

Mary’s continued YES, at the Annunciation and beyond, gave life to Jesus and to the world. Our mothers are life-givers, not only physically, but also through their continued “yes” in times of joy and of difficulty. This is especially significant for Sr Bogumila, who says that her mum “gave her life twice”.

The virtues of our Blessed Mother Mary are reflected in the lives and examples of our own mothers. Our May “Mothers project” on social media has encouraged us to give thanks for our own mothers and to strive to be like them and our Blessed Mother and has also given us an opportunity to meet and learn a little about our sisters’ mums too. May you celebrate the virtues and gifts of your own mum, and always feel the loving care and protection of our Blessed Mother in your life.