Mary ~ Comforter of the Afflicted

Turn to Our Lady for Comfort

We are living in very troubled times. The Corona Virus continues to cause much fear and sadness. Many have died, many are suffering and people are grieving the loss of loved ones to whom they could not say good-bye. We are hurting financially and we are frightened.
Psalm 46 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…….”
We can take solace in these words. Scripture offers many passages that reassure us of God’s presence and love.

But there is More

Are we missing something? Or someone? She stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus gave her to us as our mother, and as our mother, she wants to comfort us. It is Mary’s nature to comfort her children. For this reason, she is often referred to as Comforter of the Afflicted.

Since the 2nd century, Catholics have honored Mary as Comforter of the Afflicted. She bore unimaginable suffering and she understands the suffering of her children. Blessed John Henry Newman said, “Those are able to comfort others who, in their own case, have been much tried, and have felt the need of consolation, and have received it.”

“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, and call upon Mary.”
~Saint Bernard of Clairvaux~

To Thee Do We Cry

The prayer, Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) calls to Our Lady, “To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.”
We pray this because we trust that Mary will comfort us and that she will intercede on our behalf, to her Son, asking that He touch us and heal our brokenness. But we must remember that the only way we will find comfort in Mary is to ask her for it with confidence that she will, lovingly, wrap her mantle around us and dry our tears.

“When you see the storm coming, if you seek safety in that firm refuge which is Mary, there will be no danger of your wavering or going down.”
~Saint Josemaria Escriva~

She Experienced all that We are Feeling

In the Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden, referring to Jesus having been placed in the tomb, Mary said, “How I would rather have been placed in there alive with my Son if it had been his will!” No one before her and no one since has undergone the depth of sadness that was given to Our Lady. Through her sorrows and with broken heart, Mary went forward. She comforted the Apostles in their grief and I have no doubt that through the remaining years of her earthly life, she gave solace to many others. So here we are, in difficult times, hurting, frightened, and confused. No one understands our hearts better than Mary. Go to her. Tell her of your sorrow and as your mother, she will give you comfort. This is why she is called Comforter of the Afflicted.

“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”
~Saint Francis de Sales~

Prayer to Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted

Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of God and our most compassionate Mother,
we present ourselves in thy sight in all humility,
and with full confidence we implore thee for thy maternal patronage.
Thou hast been proclaimed by Holy Church the Comforter of the Afflicted,
and to thee constant recourse is had by the sorrowful in their afflictions,
the sick in their maladies,
the dying in their agony,
the poor in their straitened circumstances,
those who stand in all manner of need in both public and private calamities;
and from thee they all receive consolation and strength.

Marilyn Nash for

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