Congratulations to Sister Catherine Tansey DC whose life long devotion to Our Lady has at last culminated in the publication of this long awaited book. It is a timely publication as the opening lines read ‘To a world in turmoil, anguish and fear, the offer of help from the Mother of God must come as a welcome sign of hope’ (p.1). Is there any time in history that the world is in more need of hope?
This easy to read book is relevant for the twenty first century. There are many books, pamphlets and leaflets available which tell the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions to St Catherine Labouré and her request to her that a medal be made according to the model shown. This medal was made and became known as the miraculous medal. The story and explanation of this medal can be read in Sister Catherine’s book.
However, the special focus of this book is on the Virgin Mother with the globe in her hands. This beautiful picture of the Blessed Virgin forms the cover page of the book. This statue can be seen in the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in rue du Bac, Paris. It has a huge significance for the Daughters of Charity and the members of the Vincentian family as the intentions of the world wide community are frequently placed in a spirit of faith in the globe, which the Blessed Virgin holds in her hands. It is a rich symbol ‘for our time when the world has become a global village and where so many people everywhere are crying out for help?’ (p. 2).The author herself expresses a pertinent question, ‘Has the time come, in this twenty first century, for the image of the Virgin Mother holding the globe to shine forth as a beacon of hope to a beleaguered world?’
This book is beautifully illustrated and is written in a clear and concise manner. It is presented in short sections allowing time for reflection on ‘the image of Our Lady holding the globe.’ This image has a mission according to the author, Sister Catherine, one ‘like that of Mary herself, to bring a message of hope, healing and love to each person, and to the whole world.’ (p.21). Thank you Sister Catherine for waking us up during this the Year dedicated to Consecrated Life and revitalizing our devotion to Mary, Star of the New Evangelization.
This book ‘A Great Sign of Hope for the World’ is available from Sister Elma Hurley DC, Virgo Potens Office, Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.
An additional piece of information relates to a leaflet produced by Sister Catherine Tansey entitled, Queen of Peace-Virgin of the Globe. Sister Catherine wrote a prayer for peace in Northern Ireland, which was based on a plea for peace by Pope John Paul 11 in Drogheda on 29-09-1979.
The leaflet explains that in 1830 the Virgin Mary appeared to Catherine Labouré holding the world in her hands and offering it to God the Father.The words of Catherine Labouré are also quoted on the leaflet, ‘When Our Lady is honoured as Queen of the Universe then there will be peace.’
Dom Helder Camara asked people to think about the globe and he wrote;
‘Mother I rejoice at seeing this little globe in your hands! This globe is certainly small and I firmly believe that in it a great problem or agonies will greatly be diminished. I look again and I discern that this little globe has power to diminish the afflictions.’
This leaflet is on display on a side altar in Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Merrion Road, Co Dublin. Visitors to the Church are regularly seen reading the following prayer…
Especially for Northern Ireland
Prayer for Peace based on a plea for peace by Pope John Paul 11 in Drogheda on 29-09-1979
Father in heaven your loving plan is to draw all men (people) closer together in the peace and love of Christ your Son. We pray for all those to whom violence has brought sorrow and sadness. Comfort the many relatives and friends who carry the marks of the loss of a loved one throughout the remaining years of their lives. May the homeless and injured experience your compassion through the loving action of others. Help us to realise that whatever the cause violence breeds violence and delays the day of justice. Inspire all political leaders to strive unceasingly to find a just and powerful solution to our social and political problems. We pray that the fear and intolerance which prevent a political solution may give way to mutual understanding and trust.
We place in the hands of Our Lady an urgent and agonising problem which so far has defied a reasonable and just solution. Through her intercession may the words and ills that divide us be healed… We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee x 3