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There Was No Doubt In Mary

In the seminary before the night ends we always pray the ‘Salve Regina’. ‘Salve Regina’ is Latin and means ‘Hail Holy Queen’. I still remember hearing this sacred hymn for the first time. I was on retreat at St. Alphonso in Long Branch before entering the seminary at Saint Andrews Hall. It was around 10 at night and I was about to go pray in the Chapel before bed. Suddenly, I heard this beautiful melody coming from the Chapel. Little did I know at the time, the seminarians were singing the ‘Salve Regina’, an ancient hymn to the Mother of God. Besides all their beautiful voices, the ‘Salve Regina’ had this attractiveness as it was chanted solemnly with great reverence. Hearing the ‘Salve Regina’ it was as if I felt the presence of the Blessed Mother within the walls of the Retreat house!

Currently I am in my second year as a seminarian at Saint Andrews Hall, the “College Seminary” at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. After some time in the seminary my religious fervor toward the Mother of the Redeemer has amplified. I am also taking a course in Marianology. In understanding more about the Church teaching on Mary one quickly learns that ‘Marian devotion’ is always Christocentric. This means that when we go to Mary she leads us to Christ. This reality reminds me of a story of my sister, whom before her conversion to the faith said she saw Mary in one of her lamps at home. Now a sign is always something which points to something other than itself, and this is what Mary does so beautifully; she points us to Christ, she leads us to Christ, she teaches us how to listen to Christ…

Hearing the Word of God Mary does not meditate upon it as a sceptic, whom often speculate to no end or sometimes go so far as to think we can know nothing at all. But in trust and fidelity she “Ponders all these things in her heart” in contemplation of the reality of God. Mary’s love for God is truly human like ours and something we can relate to in all the difficulties in life. Mary’s vocation is similar to all of ours as well, for God called her to a task, and she replied. In the visitation we see Mary questioning “How can this be”? For Mary, though she did not understand fully in the beginning, she carried on in faith, and finally understood at the cross… where “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”. Thus through all her suffering, there was this deep faith which was dead to sin and alive in God’s love… There was no doubt in Mary! Her faith in him was certain and grounded in truth. Hence Mary is the perfect model of faith, and we are all called to be like her as we respond to God’s call…

Paul Abbruscato

Paul Abbruscato

Pastoral Year
Paul Abbruscato is on Pastoral Year serving at Notre Dame de la Mer, Wildwood.
Paul Abbruscato

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