14 October, Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pillar of Faith

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The Blessed Virgin Mary, Pillar of Faith, is celebrated in Spain and in other places on October 12th. It seemed fitting to celebrate on the Saturday nearest her feast the Mass given for that title in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Honoured as the Pillar of Faith for having sustained the Apostle Saint James in a moment of weariness and discouragement at Saragossa in Spain, the Blessed Virgin Mary is also the Destroyer of All Heresies and the Succour of Christians in distress.

In this particular image of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca the Blessed Virgin is shown brandishing a club to save a small boy from the clutches of the devil. The boy, filled with a surplus of energy, had driven his mother around the bend. In a moment of classic Mediterranean exasperation, the little one's mother had exclaimed, "Oh, let the devil take you!" To her horror, the devil showed up, set on doing just that. The poor mother cried out to the Madonna to save her little boy. Clobbering the devil over the head and driving him away, the Blessed Virgin welcomed the child under her mantle and then released him to his mother, saying, "Fear not, my children, for I shall never abandon you."

The Blessed Virgin offers a pillar of stability in our inconstancy and, when necessary, she comes to our rescue, brandishing a club against the powers of darkness.


You, O Virgin Mary, are like the pillar of light
that by day and by night went before the people in the desert
to show them the way of life (cf. Wis 18:3; Ex 13:21–22).


Glorious Mother of Christ,
you conceived your Son in faith
and believed that after suffering for us
He would rise again.
You, O loving one, are the guardian of our faith.


Almighty and eternal God,
who gave the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the glorious Mother of your Son,
as a pillar of strength to all who call upon her,
grant that, by her intercession,
we may be strong in faith,
steadfast in hope,
and constant in charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


Lord Jesus Christ,
by whose gift the Blessed Virgin Mary, your mother,
has become our mother,
ready at all times to succour and defend us,
grant, we beseech you,
that we who earnestly implore her protection,
may be counted worthy of reaping through all eternity
the fruit of your redeeming work.
Who live and reign forever and ever.


That the Church in every place
may proclaim the splendour of the truth,
trusting in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Pillar of Faith and Destroyer of Heresies,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That Catholics seeking election to public office
may have the courage
to hold fast to the Gospel of Life,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That Christians suffering persecution
for the sake of Christ and of the Gospel
may be comforted by the Blessed Virgin Mary
and sustained by her intercession,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That in moments of temptation and doubt
we may fly to the Mother of God and,
in her presence, find courage and strength,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (Lk 1:28, 42).


Lord, Holy Father,
who have brightened our minds with the light of faith,
grant that, through the intercession
of the loving Mother of the Redeemer,
the gifts that we offer you
and the prayers we pour out
may render us constant in faith
and quick in charity.
Through Christ our Lord.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
for the countless wonders of love and of grace
that you have mercifully worked in the Blessed Virgin Mary.

You preserved her unstained from the contagion of original sin
and untouched by the corruption of the tomb.

Remaining inviolate in her virginity,
she became the beauteous bridal chamber
from which Christ came forth
as the light of the nations and the Bridegroom of the Church.

She is the glorious shoot
whose shining gives hope to the faithful;
she is their pillar of faith.

And so, with the Virtues of the heavens,
we celebrate you ceaselessly on earth,
forever proclaiming your majesty:


Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,
because He that is mighty
has done great things for me (Lk 1:48–49).


O God who in many ways are present to your Church,
we give you thanks for the sacraments we have received
and humbly implore
that, sustained by the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we may follow the precepts of the faith on earth,
and at length be found worthy
of contemplating your glory in heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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