Are you familiar with the Marian devotion Mystical Rose? On the 13th of each month, the Montreal Lithuanian parish community of Notre-Dame-Porte-de-l’Aurore holds evening prayer sessions devoted to the Mystical Rose representation of the Virgin Mary, a request from Mary to Sister Emilia in the 1930s.
On December 13, day of the Feast of St. Lucy, a special Mass was celebrated for the priests at Notre-Dame-Porte-de-l’Aurore Church. The evening opened with a time of prayer to the Mystical Rose to invoke Mary’s prayers and grace for the Church and for all its pastors. The Mass dedicated to priests was presided over by the Most Rev. Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal. As they stepped into the church, people were invited to draw the name of a diocesan priest and to pray for him over the year. About a hundred names had been selected among 500 priests from the Archdiocese of Montreal. These names change from one year to another.
The Call to Priesthood
In order to stress the importance of this special celebration for the call to priesthood, Father Robert Gendreau, a diocesan priest in Montreal, took the time to share the story of his own call to the priesthood and of God’s work in his life: “It has been a long time since my last testimony,” he said laughing. He was seized by the Sacred-Heart of Jesus at a moment when he was facing a dead end in his own existence, struggling to find the meaning of life in Christ and, above all, seeking His love: “I stood up and realized I was alive!” Through the priesthood, he came to meet with God: “The greatest joy in someone’s life is to know what God has in mind for us,” he said. He concluded on the importance of keeping in mind the “starting point” of all vocations: “Yes, Christ calls you because you call him.”
Being Like Children
Archbishop Lépine, who was presiding over the Mass with some colleagues, first stressed the importance of keeping innocent hearts like children: “When we are young, we think about the day we will get older […]. It takes us a whole life to discover that we will always stay young.” In a special prayer to Mary, the Mystical Rose, he stressed how lucky we are to have a mother who constantly keeps watching over us: “The beauty in the Catholic faith is that a mother, Mary, helps us to remain like children.”
On the Feast of St. Lucy, the Archbishop pointed out how powerful saying “yes” was to St. Lucy who, by the grace of God, followed Christ in all circumstances to the point of becoming a martyr. He also seized the opportunity to pray for those who are still today persecuted in the world because of their faith. “Let us pray to Mary to have the strength and the courage to speak about our faith in public,” he concluded as he invoked God’s grace for everyone.
The evening unfolded with a short time of adoration during which everyone had the opportunity to express one’s intentions through silent prayers and to receive the blessing of the Blessed Sacrament.
A lunch concluded the gathering. The person in charge of the prayer group Rosa Mystica also reminded the assembly that a special time of prayer devoted to “Mary, the Mystical Rose and mother of the Church,” has been held on the 13th of each month over the last 15 years.