The Vigil of Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace
July 22, 2017
One of the unfortunate changes made to the Sacred Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council (note that I said “following” and not “by” the Second Vatican Council) is the elimination of commemorations at Holy Mass. For example, July 16 is the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This year, however, that date fell on a Sunday, and so at Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form, on her feast day she could not be commemorated liturgically (unless you were in a Carmelite parish, friary or convent, or a parish named after her).
So it is also tomorrow on July 23. This date is the feast of the Discalced Carmelites of Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace. It’s not at all a coincidence that it falls a week after the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Rather, Carmelites consider the feast of Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace the Octave feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
In this light, today on the day of the week dedicated especially to Our Blessed Mother, it’s fitting to recall the words of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort in his book The Secret of Mary:
- “It was Mary who gave existence and life to the author of all grace, and because of this she is called the ‘Mother of Grace’.
- “God the Father, from whom, as from its essential source, every perfect gift and every grace come down to us, gave her every grace when he gave her his Son. Thus, as St. Bernard says, the will of God is manifested to her in Jesus and with Jesus.
- “God chose her to be the treasurer, the administrator and the dispenser of all his graces, so that all his graces and gifts pass through her hands. …”
- “Since Mary produced the head of the elect, Jesus Christ, she must also produce the members of that head, that is, all true Christians. …”
- “Mary received from God a unique dominion over souls enabling her to nourish them and make them more and more godlike. St. Augustine went so far as to say that even in this world all the elect are enclosed in the womb of Mary, and that their real birthday is when this good mother brings them forth to eternal life. …”
- “… It was to Mary that the Holy Spirit said, “Place your roots in my elect”. Whoever, then, is of the chosen and predestinate will have the Blessed Virgin living within him, and he will let her plant in his very soul the roots of every virtue, but especially deep humility and ardent charity.”