by Gregory Gay CM
Fr. Gregory Gay CM, Superior General of the Association of the Miraculous Medal, writes a letter One hundred years journeying with Mary united with Jesus in the Poor by way of the Miraculous Medal. In it he announces Jubilee celebrations which will run from 8 July 2008 to 20 November 2009.
My spirit glorifies the Lord my God.
These are the words that the Virgin Mary proclaimed after her mysterious yet intimate meeting with her cousin Elizabeth. The prayer is known to us all as the Magnificat.
This expression of Mary shows the sentiments of the members of the Vincentian Family, in particular those of the Association of the Miraculous Medal in this Jubilee Year in which we celebrate 100 years of the Pontifical recognition of the Association.
On July 8, 1908, the Association that was born out of the appearances of the Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Laboure was formally recognized.
Over these 100 years the Association of the Miraculous Medal has evidenced a number of positive aspects to be highlighted in our walk together with the Virgin Mary. From the beginning, the Association has been a very active association. The principal apostolate has been o prayer to promote a greater devotion of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our mother. She is an example for all of us of how to live our life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, she being the first disciple of her Son.
The Association has developed this apostolate of prayer and evangelization by way of the home visits where, in a family environment, persons of faith and good will fall in love with the Lord Jesus through an intimate closeness to his mother Mary. This apostolate of prayer has been developed through different means of modern communication, principally the mail, where a network of persons who have a deep devotion to the Blessed Mary has been created at national and international levels.
Journeying with Mary over this long period of 100 years, these devotees have contributed small but very significant donations to the missions and the promotion of the poor in many parts of the world.
In the more recent history of the Association a service-apostolate has been developed in imitation of Mary who visited her cousin Elizabeth, giving the consolation that only the God of life can give to anyone in need. Together with this apostolate there has been a tremendous growth in the art of loving the poor and the Virgin Mary, the principal representative of the anawim of the Lord (see note below), through the formation of the members.
Another significant accomplishment in the most recent history has been a greater relationship with the rest of the Vincentian Family. The Miraculous Medal is the principal patron of the entire Family. Through her love and intercession for her sons and daughters, more and more young people are drawn to the Association sharing the Marian message and apostolate in favor of the poor by way of their life-witness.
The Association has responded to the new poverties by promotine evangelization and service projects for, with and from the reality of our lords and masters the poor. As an association and with other members of the Vincentian Family, it is our desire to continue journeying with Mary, united with her Son, Jesus, who we discover with even greater depth through our closeness to the poor.
Without a doubt, it has been Mary, through her intercession, who has blessed this journey. We pray that she continue to accompany us in the Jubilee Year that will extend from July 8, 2008 to November 20, 2009. We will bring to a close the Jubilee Year with our third international meeting which will take place in the rue du Bac in Paris from November 16- 20, 2009.
Throughout this festive year, we invite all the members of the Association of the Miraculous Medal and other members of the Vincentian Family to develop activities to promote a greater devotion to our mother, Mary, and a greater love for the poor, doing all that we do for the greater honor and glory of God.
God bless you and much joy in this Jubilee Year.
G. Gregory Gay, C.M.
Director General of The Association of the Miraculous Medal
Anawim is the plural form of an Old Testament Hebrew word which is variously translated as "poor", "afflicted", "humble", or "meek". It is the Anawim, "the lost and the forgotten ones", to whom Jesus refers in his beatitudes on The Sermon on the Mount. "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven", and "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". ( Mt. 5:3,5)