Rejoice and be glad o virgin Mary! Alleluia!
For the Lord is truly risen! Alleluia!
With these words we conclude the Regina Caeli that we sing during the Easter Season. Mary had recently stood beneath the Cross of her Son where she experienced the stab wounds in her soul that Simeon had prophesied while at the same time receiving her new vocation as Mother of the Church. In embracing the beloved disciple, she embraces us all and, in that embrace, we experience with her not only the pain, but the glory of the Resurrection!
Day by day we witness this movement at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. Our sisters and brothers come from all over the world and many of them come burdened with sin, sorrow and various concerns. They come seeking a mother’s embrace and the Father’s love. They make their way to the Rosary Garden, the Confessional, where priests are available for 26 hours each week, Daystar Chapel, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and naturally to Holy Mass. And as one pilgrim said to me: Today I finally understood the Mass! Fifteen opportunities are offered to the pilgrims each week for such an experience so you can understand why this for me was a ‘Mission accomplished’ moment. This is cause for great rejoicing and when a mother sees an awakening or awareness in her child she rejoices. This is what the Resurrection is about. Mary rejoices and we too rejoice.
So, I ask you to become a partner with us to keep this rejoicing alive for hundreds of visitors to Orlando and to our Shrine. We ask for your prayerful and financial support. With that we can continue the good work started under the patronage of Mary Queen of the Universe. We know that Jesus is truly risen. And if anyone should ask how we know this, I would point to that young pilgrim and to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that we celebrate daily at this Shrine and for your special intentions this Easter. May our celebration of Easter this year lead you to great joy and gladness as you acknowledge that we are an Easter people and that Alleluia is our song.
Yours in Jesus and Mary,
Very Rev. Anthony Aarons, Missionary of Mercy