Old Calendar: Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces; St. Medard (RM)
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. Pope Leo XIII declared in his Encyclical of September 22, 1891: "We may affirm that nothing, by the will of God, is given to us without Mary's mediation, in such way that just as no one can approach the almighty Father but through His Son, likewise no one, so to speak, can approach Christ but through His Mother."Mentioned in the Roman Martyrology from 1961, we observe the "birthday" of St. Médard, Bishop of Noyon, France. (When the Church uses the word "Birthday" in regard to saints, She refers to the commemoration of the day on which the saint died.) Legend says that a sudden shower once fell, soaking everyone except St Médard who remained perfectly dry, because an eagle had spread its wings over him. Ever since, Médard was known as maître de la pluie—master of rain. In religious art, an eagle shelters Médard from the rain.
Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
Traditionally, today is the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. All the graces which flow from the redemption of Jesus Christ are granted to the human family through the motherly intercession of Mary. Mary mediated Jesus Christ, the Author of all graces, to the world when she agreed to be the human mother of God made man (cf. Lk 1:38). And from the cross at Calvary (Jn 19:26) and as the final gift to humanity, Jesus gives Mary as a spiritual mother to us all: "Son, behold your mother" (cf. Jn 19:26). For this reason, Vatican II refers to Mary as a "mother to us in the order of grace " (Lumen Gentium, n. 62) and several twentieth century popes have officially taught the doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, quoting the words of St Bernard: "It is the will of God that we obtain all favours through Mary." The Mediatrix performs this task in intimate union with the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, with whom she began the drama of our Lord's Redemption at the Annunciation (cf. Lk. 1:35).
- Read this article by Fr. William G. Most.
- Pray the Litany of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mediatrix of All Grace
Bishop of Noyon, b. at Salency (Oise) about 456; d. in his episcopal city June 8, about 545. His father, Nectardus, was of Frankish origin, while his mother, named Protagia, was Gallo-Roman. It is believed that St. Gildardus, Bishop of Rouen, was his brother. His youth was entirely consecrated to the practise of Christian virtues and to the study of sacred and profane letters. He often accompanied his father on business to Vermand and to Tournai, and frequented the schools, carefully avoiding all worldly dissipation.
Often Portrayed as: being sheltered from rain by an eagle or other large bird; holding a citadel; laughing aloud with his mouth wide open; leaving footprints in stone; with two horses at his feetThings to Do:
- Fourteen centuries ago as bishop of Tournai in Picardy, France, Médard founded the annual Rose Festival (Fetes des Roses). It is still held there on this day, and the region's most beautiful and virtuous maiden is crowned.