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Catholics are big on Mary. We place her statue in our front yards, hang her rosary from our rearview mirrors, and wear her medal around our necks. We know she is always there for us as our heavenly mother — the ultimate supermom — and that’s a great thing to tell kids. But there is more to her than that.
We know that Jesus loved his mom more than any other creature and wants us to know her and love her, too.
One way we can know more about Mary is to look at the Litany of Loreto. It’s basically a short list of her most well-known titles. Don’t be put off by the word titles. They’re actually very down-to-earth. They tell us something about what Mary meant to Jesus and what she means to us.
Here are some to get you started.
Mother of Good Counsel. What kids don’t need someone to go to for advice? Maybe on stuff they’re not comfortable telling Mom and Dad. They should know that they can pray to Mary for advice and she’ll never steer them wrong.
Mother of Our Savior. Think of all your mother means to you. Now imagine Jesus at home with Mary and Joseph. When I was a kid, my mother used to tuck me in with a poem called “Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue.” It gave me a window into the peaceful, joyful home at Nazareth. “Lovely Lady dressed in blue, teach me how to pray. God was once your little boy; tell me what to say.” Jesus had a happy childhood with the best mom in the world. He gave her to us as our mother. She helps us know how to love Jesus better.
Refuge of Sinners. Health of the Sick. Comforter of the Afflicted. These are all just different ways of saying that when we are weak, Mary is strong. If we are sick, who takes care of us? Healthy people! That’s what Mary does for us. She’s healthy. We’re sick. She’s full of grace. We’re sinful. Even though we are sinners, she will never turn us away. We can take refuge in her tender loving care.
Queen Conceived Without Original Sin. This is pretty cool. Jesus was Mary’s savior, just as he is ours. But he didn’t wait until he was born. He didn’t even wait until she was born. He gave her the merits of his death on the cross before he died. No, this is not impossible. He is God. He can do anything. He is not limited by time. He made time! For most of us, time travel is just a fantasy. For Jesus, it’s easy. The other cool thing about this is why he did it. It is because Jesus is God and he would take on a human nature. He is perfect so the womb that held him had to be perfect. He chose Mary to be the very first tabernacle. That’s what’s these odd-sounding titles for Mary are all about: House of Gold, Ark of the Covenant, Vessel of Honor.
To connect your kids with the lovely Lady dressed in blue, find the Litany of Loreto online at CATmag.us/2jA3Yl5. Print a copy and pray the Litany in your home ... in front of your Mary statue ... just after you finish the Rosary … while wearing her medal around your neck.
Queen of Families …
Pray for us.
Find Susie Lloyd’s books, articles, and speaking schedule at SusieLloyd.com.