It happened that one day the enemies of the Church were persecuting St. Felix of Nola, who lived in Italy in the first centuries of Christianity. They were trying to kill him, and while fleeing from them, he saw a cave where he could take refuge.
Right after he had hid himself in the cave, a spider appeared and spun a web that completely covered the entrance. The persecutors passed by, and seeing the web covering the entrance, they continued on without giving it a second thought, as they deemed it impossible for anyone to enter the cave without breaking the spider’s web.
This is how God helps us, and many times He does it by such simple means that we do not always realize that the assistance came from heaven. As St. Paulinus rightly says: “With the help of God, a spider’s web became a solid wall, because when God helps us, the strongest wall can be nothing more than a fragile spider’s web.”
I would like you to help us, making use of a “very simple means”, to spread the smile of Mary throughout the world: a beautiful decal of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Place it with great devotion where you see most fit, but be sure to put it where not only you can see it, but where it is visible to others, so that those who see it will feel that the Blessed Virgin Mary is “making her presence felt” throughout our beloved Canada. By this means, there will be many more people who turn to her for help and invoke her assistance.
I am certain that Our Lady will protect in a very special way all those who, with faith and love, give testimony to their devotion to her.
This decal can be an important means of evangelization in this world that is becoming increasingly indifferent to God, the Blessed Virgin and the Church, and thus they cannot partake of the Sacraments, a true font of life.
We are living in days in which the Church’s presence is increasingly less evident in society and in families. Many factors are working to prevent the redeeming influence of Jesus Christ from reaching souls.
The decal will have a wonderful influence on all those who see it, because they will see in it the symbol of a hope which no one can extinguish, “an open door, which no one can close” as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI so beautifully refers to the Blessed Virgin in his recent Encyclical: Mary, star of hope:
With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea”: Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route.
The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history.
But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us (cf. Jn 1:14) (Encyclical Letter “Spe Salvi” n. 49).
Let us be true apostles of Mary amidst the many who have lost the light of hope in their lives! Let us transmit to others this joy we have in being sons of Jesus and Mary!
This short prayer teaches us the important place devotion to Our Lady has in our spiritual life:
O Mary most holy, my powerful protector; thou are the celestial dew that alleviates my sadness; the light of my soul when I am in darkness, the guide on my journeys, the strength in my weakness, the treasure in my poverty, the balsam for my wounds, the joy in my sorrows, the refuge in dangers, the hope of my life and my eternal salvation.
“Carrying thee with me, I want to show the world thy immense mercy and goodness. Turning to her, I proclaim and will always do so: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus!”
I hope that this beautiful decal, of the Blessed Virgin, will be an occasion for many special graces for you and your family and that these graces also provide support in your necessities and give you a firm hope amidst your trials and sufferings.
This decal will be like the aforementioned spider’s web…