Moments of Grace February Video
A few days ago, the Church celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and so February provides for us a good opportunity to reflect on the shrines of Mary around the world and the importance they have had and still have for the Oblate mission and our charism.
Apart from the foundation house at Aix-en-Provence, many of the first Oblate communities where based at Marian shrines around France. The Oblates, being dedicated to the Immaculate Virgin, were attracted to these places out of devotion, but the shrines also gave a great advantage to their mission. Parish churches were constrained by law and politics, whereas shrines gave the Oblate great freedom in their ministry. Many people would come to the shrines seeking mercy and reconciliation with God. The shrines also provided bases for the missionaries from which to go out and preach in neighbouring villages, spreading the Word of God to those who needed to hear it the most.
The Oblates continue to minister in many Marian shrines across the world, which are great places of pilgrimage, place of encounter with Christ through his mother, and places of deep conversion. Since the COVID pandemic prevents many of us from travelling the world to see these places, this month’s Moments of Grace will take you on a virtual tour to some of these shrines. In the video below, you will journey to France, Ireland, America, Poland and the Philippines. You will see a variety of Marian shrines and the Oblates who work there.
Perhaps you have been to a shrine at some time in your life. Perhaps you haven’t and you want to in the future. Either way, we hope this month’s reflection will help you to continue to reflect upon the place Mary has in your faith journey, the place she holds in our Oblate congregation and the De Mazenod Family. The video below invites you to reflect on Mary, who said yes to God and we ask you, what is God asking you to say yes to?