Seven things you didn’t know about Mary

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1. Forget-me-nots are a symbol of the blue ‘Eyes of Mary’ (their other name).

– It’s believed when the child Jesus was sitting on Mary’s lap looking up into her eyes, He wished future generations could see Him and his mother together. He then touched the earth and Forget-me-not flowers sprang up in her memory.

Mary with the Christ Child

Mary with the Christ Child. Photo: Grant Whitty/Unsplash

2. Irish rock band U2’s song Magnificent was inspired by Mary’s beautiful song of praise, commonly called the Magnificat, found in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:46-55).

3. The colour blue became associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary in the early 5th century, after she was declared “Queen of Heaven, Spiritual Mother and Intercessor” by the Church in 431.

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary. Photo: Mateus Campos Felipe/Unsplash

4. The Hail Mary prayer first appeared in print in 1495 in Girolamo Savonarola’s “Esposizione sopra l’Ave Maria.”

– “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” are the words of the angel Gabriel when he greets Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28) and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth welcomes her with the words “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” during the Visitation (Luke 1:42).

Forget-me-nots and rosary beads

Forget-me-nots and rosary beads. Photo: Anthony Levlev/Unsplash

5. Rosary is derived from ‘rosarium’, Latin for ‘crown of roses’.

– It is believed when you pray the rosary it is like you are taking a walk through Mary’s beautiful garden of roses.

6. The book Pope Francis and the Virgin Mary: A Marian Devotion, by Vincenzo Sansonetti, focuses on Pope Francis’s love for the Virgin Mary.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis. Photo: Ashwin Vaswani/Unsplash

7. In 2018, Pope Francis decreed that a new feast day devoted to Mary as the “Mother of the Church” would be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost.

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