As mariners are guided into port by the shining of a star, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary.Saint Thomas Aquinas
Mary Our Blessed Mother
What I have to say to you does not have to be written down.
St. Bernadette came with paper and pencil, ready to take notes like a student. But Our Blessed Mother was not there to instruct Bernadette as much as to establish a relationship with her.
Would you do me the kindness of coming here for 15 days?
St. Bernadette was overwhelmed that Our Lady treated her with such respect, and that Our Lady gazed on her “as one person looks at another person. ” St. Bernadette was poor, young, and sickly and was unaccustomed to being treated with such dignity by someone as lovely as Our Blessed Mother.
I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other.
Our Blessed Mother knows that this world is not our final destination. She desires us to grow closer to her son Jesus so we can share in the joy of the resurrection.
Go to the spring, drink of it and wash yourself there.
The apparitions took place in what was basically a pigpen. This would not have been appealing, but St. Bernadette complies. She digs at the spring. At first some muddy water appears. Eventually it becomes crystal clear.
Penance, penance, penance, pray for sinners.
St. Bernadette reported that Our Lady of Lourdes requested multiple times that she pray for sinners. We are asked not to think of our own salvation, but the salvation of all. God desires that every one of us be saved.
I am the Immaculate Conception.
Our Blessed Mother is immaculate and pure. She is a model for humanity. We are called to holiness. Just as she was a dwelling place for Jesus during the pregnancy, we are called to be temples of the Holy Spirit. The love of God should dwell within us.
- Do I just try to know God intellectually or do I really want a relationship with Him, like Mary wanted a relationship with St. Bernadette? What do I do to develop that relationship?
- Mary treated St. Bernadette with dignity. Do I recognize the dignity of every person, including myself? How do my words and actions reflect that?
- Our Lady of Lourdes spoke to St. Bernadette about the next world. Do I prioritize the things of this world or the next? What is most important to me in my life.
- The spring was muddy at first. Am I willing to do the work necessary to grow closer to Jesus, even if it is unpleasant? What sort of healing might that bring to me?
- Our Blessed Mother asked St. Bernadette to pray for others and to do penance for them. Do I remember to pray for others, even people who aren’t my friends? Am I willing to make sacrifices for the salvation and good of others? What are some concrete things I can do?
- Mary is the model of holiness. What things need to be washed away from my life so I can be holy? What is holding me back?
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord commemorates when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem to be consecrated. There they met Simeon and Anna who blessed the child and prophesied about him.
Use this crossword puzzle to reinforce the main characters and ideas in the gospel for this day. The printable crossword can be used with youth ministry or children’s Liturgy of the Word or a Sunday School lesson.
There are two versions of the crossword puzzle. Both include the puzzle and the clues.
- One also includes a list of the words used. These can serve as hints, especially for younger children.
- The other version just has the crossword puzzle and clues.
- A key is also provided.
This Toy Story parody from ODB Films is an explanation of the Incarnation for youth. Show it at an Advent or Christmas themed youth ministry meeting. Covers the topic of the Immaculate Conception also.
In the video below, Sr. Therese Marie explains that the Immaculate Conception is an act of mercy. In the same way that God chose to perform this act of mercy before Mary was born, Jesus performed an act of mercy for us before we were even born by redeeming us on the cross.
Just as God loved Mary who was lowly, He also loves us in our humility when we bring our faults and failings to Him.
Truth be Told: Basics in Catholic Apologetics is a good book for learning to defend parts of the Catholic faith to those who challenge it. It will also help you learn more about your faith! The book is aimed at teenagers, but anyone with youth in their lives can benefit from reading it.
The book is written by Mark Hart and Joe Cady. It clarifies and explains some poorly understood aspects of the Catholic faith in simple, easy to understand language.