Mother Mary in our lives

Here is a small snippet from my new DVD Feeding Your Family’s Soul which I am happy to share with you. It is from the lesson I give on the Blessed Mother. I think that it will give you a sense of my new DVD and a bit about the Blessed Mother in this month of May which is dedicated to Mother Mary. I hope that you enjoy it. Let me know in the comment box below. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

You can learn more about my DVD for parents, grandparents, and faith educators here.

Pondering Mary, Mothers, and Mother’s Day

I simply cannot observe or smell aromatic lilacs without thinking of Mother’s Day and recalling with vivid memory the precious time spent with my mother, my grandmother, and, later on, with my beloved children.

When I was growing up, I spent many a spring day with my mother and grandmother playing near the weeping willow trees and the hedge of lilac bushes that stretched all across our backyard. Luscious lilac scents were roused with every stirring spring breeze; tantalizing my senses and etching a long-lasting childhood memory upon my heart.

When I became a mother, my Mother’s Days were never complete until at least one of my children presented me with a bouquet of fresh lilacs, usually plucked right from a backyard bush. They would adorn our kitchen table and fill the house with amazing fragrance.

With Mother’s Day having just passed, our thoughts might be reminiscent of times enjoyed with our mothers, our spiritual mothers, or mother figures in our lives. The month of May can also…[read the fully story here].

My recent radio chat about Fatima with Drew Mariani

In case you missed it and would like to listen to my conversation with Drew Mariani, take a listen here. We had a lively and very REAL conversation. You can slide the little time marker over to the 30:00 mark. That’s where our segment begins.

Enjoy!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Buy BOTH Fatima books!

Pope Benedict XVI said we should “Learn the message of Fatima, LIVE the message of Fatima, and SPREAD the message of Fatima!

Special BUNDLE offer!

Get both books (autographed) and with a blessed Miraculous Medal for just $29.00 (plus shipping and handling)!

 

Sharing our faith on “Deep Adventure” Radio Show

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I recently had the blessing of chatting with Catholic author and radio host Bear Woznick as a guest on his “Deep Adventure” radio show. You can listen right here at your leisure. It’s a long one, so you might want to get yourself a beverage and get comfy. Or, just play the audio as you put the dishes or laundry away. 🙂

Bear and I discussed our prayer lives, deep scary struggles, God’s mercy, the Blessed Mother and the Rosary, forgiveness, and so much more. I hope that you enjoy our radio chat. As Bear mentioned on the show, if you would like to hear more, write to him and request that he have me on his show again.

Unveiling the new book cover for my upcoming book on Fatima!

As you might already know, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of the Angel of Peace to the Fatima visionaries. Next year in 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Fatima. I was asked by Servant Books to write the book: Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions.

Here is a brief description from the publisher:

On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary first revealed herself to a trio of shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She would appear to them five more times over the course of the year until the great miracle of the sun on October 13, 1917. She brought a message of love and peace that was heard around the world—a sorely-needed antidote to the ravages of World War I. To mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle provides a one-stop guide to the tradition, history and spirituality of Our Lady of Fatima, including the testimonies of those who have made the pilgrimage and prayers for those who share this devotion.

In Our Lady of Fatima, award-winning author, journalist, pilgrimage host and host of EWTN’s Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms and Catholic Mom’s Café Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle offers a mini-Fatima retreat—an “armchair pilgrimage,” if you will. This collection of prayers, testimonies and reflections will bring to life the events of Fatima and help you find ways to apply Mary’s Fatima message to the nitty-gritty details of your daily life.

Each chapter begins with a quote by or about the Blessed Mother before delving into a key aspect of the story of Mary’s appearances to nine-year-old Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. A prayer, a simple reflection and a doable call to action transform this book from a simple historical retelling into a practical devotional.
The Blessed Mother’s Fatima message is needed now more than ever. The uncertainty of global events can seep into our daily worries, creating fear and anxiety that’s difficult to overcome. Our Lady of Fatimais a welcome remedy for that worry. In it, you’ll find a chance to grow in faith and holiness, as well as a needed dose of inspiration, hope and peace in following its advice and suggestions, and in praying the prayers.

 

Today, on the Blessed Mother’s feast day, I am very excited to show you the cover of this book which will be released in March 2017!

Are you ready?

Here it is!

Print

Amazon is already taking pre-orders which you can see here.

You can pre-order an autographed copy at my website here.

So, what do you think?

Prayerfully Hoping & Expecting

I am sharing some wonderful news. First of all, I have bundled my book Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers To Be with the very new Prayerfully Hoping & Expecting Novena Bracelets. You can see that in this link on my website. The two bundled together make a lovely gift for the expectant Mom or for one who hopes to be expecting someday. But, the novena bracelet is for any woman. Please read on to see why.

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Here’s a little about my book which, by the way,  dear Blessed Mother Teresa wrote the foreword to.

This beautifully crafted book is a reflection guide, keepsake, and prayer journal that offers inspiration for each month of pregnancy in the tradition of the popular nine-day prayer, the Novena.
     Your feet are swollen, your hormones are a mess, and you still crave too much ice cream. For every mother-to-be, the nine months of pregnancy can be demanding. Competing with the joy of anticipation is the frustration of bodily pain and limitation. In this intimate book, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle invites pregnant women everywhere to see their pregnancy not as a burden but as a living prayer to God. Connecting the nine months of pregnancy with the nine-part novena prayer tradition known to Catholics everywhere, Donna Marie shows how each month of pregnancy connects the mother to the great Catholic saints and teachers. Alongside the devotional and the catechetical helps are pointed references to the development of the child in the womb as the months of pregnancy progress. Includes a foreword by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and an Apostolic Blessing from Pope John Paul II.
Here is an endorsement:
A different kind of pregnancy journal. Imbued as it is with Scripture, exhortations from John Paul the Great, wisdom from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and both traditional and original prayers, it steeps expectant mothers in an atmosphere of holiness, reminding them that what they are experiencing is sacred.~Karen Edmisten
Here is a little background about writing this book:

I wrote this book Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers To Be during my own precarious pregnancy in which I was placed on complete bed rest. Very soon into my pregnancy I became deeply inspired to envision a pregnancy as a beautiful nine month novena of prayer as I awaited the birth of my unborn baby.

I wanted to share that inspiration and offer a kind of a prayer journal to other expectant mothers that could help them reflect upon their holy time of waiting, all the while as they pray and grow in holiness.

So, I put pen to paper (literally, since I did not own a typewriter or computer at the time) and I continued to write down all of the inspiration that was stirring in my heart. In God’s Divine plan, Blessed Mother Teresa would write the Foreword to this book. She had also encouraged me to continue to write for mothers and expectant mothers.

Women all around the world are using Prayerfully Expecting to create a living novena of prayer throughout their pregnancies.

 

Here is a little explanation about my inspiration this past Advent in which I created Prayerfully Hoping & Expecting Novena Prayer bracelets:

During the season of Advent 2015, I felt very inspired to create these novena bracelets to celebrate the sanctity of human life as well as to have a tangible means to pray for it.

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one of the styles

As I mentioned above, these novena prayer bracelets serve many purposes. I have made each bracelet with nine beads to symbolize nine months of pregnancy. The number nine is also very significant in praying a novena of prayer. The bracelet will be a visual reminder to pray a novena for your own pregnancy, for your daughter, granddaughter, godchild, daughter-in-law, or niece’s pregnancy, and so on. It can be used to pray to conceive a child, to pray to adopt a child, to pray for your own children and grandchildren, and to pray for every pregnancy to result in a live birth and for the end to abortion.

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Another style

I pray as I create each novena bracelet. Each bracelet will be constructed with an attached crucifix, Miraculous Medal, and most of them will also contain a pregnancy saint’s medal. It will be shipped to you in an attractive box with prayer cards inside. I encourage you to get your bracelet blessed so that it may serve as a blessed sacramental.

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Another style

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You can see much more about the book and the newly created and handmade (by Yours Truly!) novena bracelets (including more styles) here. Hopefully, the information on the page will answer all of your questions.

In addition, I have more great news! The EWTN Religious Catalogue is carrying my bracelets. I have designed a special one that is exclusive to EWTN. You can see the information for ordering right here at the EWTN Religious Catalogue.

Here is an image of the special EWTN bracelet:

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Special EWTN novena bracelet

 

First day of Miraculous Medal novena: Going out with the “holy” scarves for the homeless.

mar1Today begins the Miraculous Medal novena which is nine days of prayer to end up on the feast day of November 25th (though it is also celebrated on November 27th, the anniversary of an important apparition).

It seems so fitting to me that I should be going out today with the first batch of “holy” scarves for the homeless and needy. You might have seen my post about this new part of my ministry: “Warming the homeless with LOVE, scarves, and sacramentals.”

Please pray along with me in this beautiful novena. I am requesting that in this novena all throughout the nine days which is to Jesus through Mary and Her blessed sacramental, the Miraculous Medal, that you ask for special help for the homeless and unfortunate and if you could, please keep my ministry in your prayers as well. Of course, we don’t want to forget to include France in this novena. The Blessed Mother Herself mentioned France to St. Catherine in one of Her apparitions to her when explaining the Miraculous medal.

Please add all of your own intentions in this powerful novena. Thank you in advance for praying for the homeless, for my encounters with them when I gift them with the “holy” scarves, that Our Lord would really speak to their hearts, and for whatever God’s holy Will might be in this regard.

Here is the novena prayer (but please continue to read the post below the prayers because there is more):

Novena of the Miraculous Medal

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

   Spirit. Amen.

   Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your

   faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send

   forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You

   shall renew the face of the earth.

   Let us pray.

   O God, who did instruct the hearts of the faithful by

   the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same

   Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His

   consolation, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have

   recourse to you. (3 times.)

   O Lord Jesus Christ, who have vouchsafed to glorify by

   numberless miracles the Blessed Virgin Mary, immaculate

   from the first moment of her conception, grant that all

   who devoutly implore her protection on earth, may

   eternally enjoy Your presence in heaven, who, with the

   Father and Holy Spirit, live and reign, God, for ever

   and ever. Amen.

   O Lord Jesus Christ, who for the accomplishment of Your

   greatest works, have chosen the weak things of the

   world, that no flesh may glory in Your sight; and who

   for a better and more widely diffused belief in the

   Immaculate Conception of Your Mother, have wished that

   the Miraculous Medal be manifested to Saint Catherine

   Laboure, grant, we beseech You, that filled with like

   humility, we may glorify this mystery by word and work.

   Amen.

Memorare

   Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never

   was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,

   implored your assistance, or sought your intercession

   was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly

   unto you, O Virgin of Virgins, our Mother; to you we

   come; before you we kneel sinful and sorrowful. O Mother

   of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in

   your clemency hear and answer them. Amen.

–   Novena Prayer

   O Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord Jesus and

   our Mother, penetrated with the most lively confidence

   in your all-powerful and never failing intercession,

   manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal, we

   your loving and trustful children implore you to obtain

   for us the graces and favors we ask during this Novena,

   if they be beneficial to our immortal souls, and the

   souls for whom we pray. (Here privately form your

   petitions.) You know, O Mary, how often our souls have

   been the sanctuaries of your Son who hates iniquity.

   Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial

   that we may recover by penance what we have lost by sin

   and at length attain to that blessed abode where you are

   the Queen of angels and of men. Amen.

   An Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous

   Medal

   O Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we dedicate and

   consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady

   of the Miraculous Medal. May this Medal be for each one

   of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a

   constant reminder of our duties toward you. Ever while

   wearing it, may be blessed by your loving protection and

   preserved in the grace of your Son. O most powerful

   Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to you every

   moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the

   grace of a happy death; so that, in union with you, we

   may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever. Amen.

   O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have

   recourse to you. (3 times.)

[from EWTN and appears in my book]

***

Novena of the Miraculous Medal (a shorter novena)

O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Our Lord Jesus and our Mother, 
penetrated with the most lively confidence in your all-powerful and never-failing intercession, manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal,
we your loving and trustful children implore you to obtain for us the graces and favors we ask during this novena,
if they be beneficial to our immortal souls,
and the souls for whom we pray.
(Here form your petition)

You know, O Mary, how often our souls have been the sanctuaries of your Son who hates iniquity.
Obtain for us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone so that our every thought, word and deed may tend to His greater glory.
Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at length attain to that blessed abode where you are the Queen of angels and of men.
Amen.

https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/novena/MiraculousMedal.htm

You can also check this out at one of the popular Miraculous Medal Shrines (in Philadelphia) to follow along with what they are doing for the novena if you’d like.

THANK YOU again from the bottom of my heart for praying along with me this beautiful Miraculous Medal novena. I pray that Mother Mary may grant you many graces. I do hope that you are (or will) wear a blessed Miraculous Medal.

O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (the prayer that the Blessed Mother asked to be printed on each Miraculous Medal).

You can read the whole history of the Miraculous Medal, the Blessed Mother, and St. Catherine Laboure in my book: The Miraculous Medal, Stories, Prayers, and Devotions.

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Saint Maximilian was someone who had a beautiful devotion to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and would hand out blessed Miraculous Medals often also saw the medal as a means of expressing the Total Consecration of his followers to the Blessed Mother and was a means of safeguarding it. He added his own prayer to be said by those in the Militia Immaculatae (Knights of the Immaculate) group that he formed:

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us
who have recourse to thee, and for all who do
not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies
of the Church and those recommended to thee.

Saint Catherine Laboure would pray this way:

“When I go to the Chapel I place myself before the good God and I say to Him: ‘Lord, here I am, give me what you will.’ If he gives me something, I am very pleased and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him because I do not deserve anything. And then again, I tell Him all that passes through my mind; I recount my pains and my joys and…I listen. If you listen to Him, He will speak to you also, because with the good God it is necessary to speak and to listen. He will always speak to you if you go to Him simply and sincerely.”

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Click on image to see more about the medals.

My reflection on praying the Hail Mary

Sarah Reinhard has a new book out. It’s quite lovely–a perfect size to carry with us or set on our night table. Sarah has gathered some folks together to share reflections word by word on the Hail Mary prayer. From the publisher’s description on the back cover, we read:

Most Catholics can recite the Hail Mary from memory but haven’t actually reflected on the meaning of the prayer. Blogger and author Sarah Reinhard invited forty of the most popular Catholic voices–including Lisa M. Hendey, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Lisa Mladinich, and Brandon Vogt–to write a brief reflection on each word of the Hail Mary…

Over at “Catholic Mom,” Sarah Reinhard writes:

“The book inspired by the blog series, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, is now available and today, Donna-Marie graciously agreed to join me to talk about the Hail Mary, her word in the book, and her tips for us as we try to slooooooooow down in our prayer.”

And she asks me a few questions: 

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle Word by Word Contributor Interviews - CatholicMom.com

Donna-Marie, what’s your relationship with the Hail Mary as a prayer? How does it help you grow closer to Mary and, through her, Jesus?

I have always loved the Hail Mary prayer since I was a little girl. It was taught to me by my mother and often prayed in my presence by my mother and grandmother when they prayed the Rosary.

I believe that the Hail Mary prayer helps me to grow closer to Mary and, through her, to Jesus. It is a wonderful meditative prayer which reminds us of Mary’s role in our salvation and which asks Her to pray for us which will ultimately bring us closer to her Son Jesus.

Your reflection was on the word SINNERS. Tell us a bit about what this word means to you in the context of the Hail Mary.

We are all sinners. We are all in need of prayer to be able to reach Heaven one day. We must pray for our own souls and in the Hail Mary prayer, we also pray to Mother Mary asking Her to pray for us too. It really is an awesome privilege to receive and benefit from prayers from the Mother of God! It would be beneficial to pause and ponder that fact alone.

In the Hail Mary prayer, we ask the Blessed Mother to pray for us now for our daily needs within the nitty gritty details of our lives. As well, and equally as important, we pray to Mother Mary requesting that she pray for us at the hour of our death. We need Her to lead us to Heaven.

What’s your top tip for slowing down as you pray the Hail Mary…or any prayer, for that matter?

My top tip for slowing down to pray is to strive to put myself in the presence of God and offer Him my full heart in love and respect. I could easily race through my prayers, but where will that get me? Would I be truly praying? Is that being respectful to God?

I believe that we need to pause often to pray and also to carve out time for heartfelt prayers, no matter how busy we think we are so that we can be in continual conversation with our Creator. Some of our prayers might be very brief as we tend to the needs of those to whom we are responsible. But, we can certainly offer our hearts in those busy moments and strive to schedule other times to meet Our Lord in prayer.

***

Donna-Marie has a new book out herself, The Kiss of Jesus: How Mother Teresa and the Saints Helped Me to Discover the Beauty of the Cross, which is touring the blogosphere right now.

[BY THE WAY, MY REFLECTION WHICH APPEARS IN THIS BOOK IS DIFFERENT AND LONGER THAN WHAT APPEARS HERE IN THIS SHORT INTERVIEW]

[See more here at Catholic Mom]

You will want to see “THE 33”

From Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros., this upcoming movie (November 13th) THE 33 will stir your heart and make you weep. It is an exciting movie about the powerful true story of the 33 Chilean miners who spent 69 days and nights together trapped underground in a collapsed gold and copper mine. They rationed out the little food they had with them and turned to prayer for survival.

Antonio Banderas and Lou Diamond Phillips star in this film. In theaters Nov. 13th.

Here is the movie trailer.

Here is a fantastic article titled “The Chilean miners’ miracles: How faith helped them survive.”

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Talking about Mother Mary, Mother Teresa, and Moms

Rosary

I recently spoke with radio host Matt Swaim on the Son Rise Morning Show. Since we are in the month of May which is dedicated to Mary, and with Mother’s Day fast approaching, we talked about Mother Teresa, Mother Mary, and Motherhood. You can listen to the short ten minute segment here.

Enjoy and God bless!

Donna-Marie

Christmas Blessings!

A couple of months ago I felt inspired to give a blessed Miraculous Medal to a woman I met who was working at a department store. I’ll call her Louise. She seemed very touched to receive the medal. After accepting it, she began to tell me that she had been going through some really rough times lately and felt she truly “needed” the medal. As Louise was telling me she began to cry. Her tears seemed to come from profound thankfulness and even relief. It was as if Mother Mary had come to Louise at that very moment in the blessed medal and Louise could now feel that everything would be okay. Louise’s whole demeanor changed when she accepted the medal into her hand. She continued to wipe her eyes with a tissue as tears continued to appear. Thankfully, for her sake, no one else noticed. I silently prayed that Mother Mary would profoundly touch this woman now holding the blessed medal. I had no doubt that she would.

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About a month later I saw Louise again at the same store. She proudly showed me her beautiful medal which was now on a chain around her neck and hanging alongside two tiny opals. Louise said the opals represented hope. When she had come across the opals in her jewelry box she thought that she should wear them together with the medal, for the medal brought her great hope. My heart secretly soared. I was thrilled that she was wearing the blessed medal I had given her and that it brought her a renewed hope.

Louise also shared that her sister Mary was going through some very hard times. I don’t know what it entailed and I didn’t venture to ask. I didn’t need to know. But, I did ask Louise if I could give her a blessed medal for her sister and she gladly accepted my offer. I reached into my pocket and retrieved a blessed medal that I had placed in there that morning before heading out to do my errands. I kissed it, touched it to the one I wear, and handed it to Louise who teared up instantly. She sincerely thanked me.

Just recently, as the Advent season was winding down to the tail end, only a couple of days before Christmas, I went into the same department store to finish up my Christmas shopping. Earlier in the day, I had just completed a huge book manuscript and was happily relieved that I could finally finish up preparations for Christmas at the eleventh hour. I spotted Louise behind the jewelry counter and went over to say “hello” and to wish her a very happy Christmas. She was very eager to share a little story with me. Thankfully, there were no customers around the counter and she could freely speak to me. Louise said that she visited her sister recently and Mary told her that she was feeling very sad because she was sorely missing their mother who had passed away the previous Christmas time. Mary couldn’t stop thinking of her mother. When she heard the song “Ave Maria” playing, she broke down and cried. It was their mother’s favorite song.

So, at the visit with her sister, Louise pulled out the Miraculous Medal I had given to her for her sister and proceeded to tell Mary about meeting me and the gift of the medal. She also told her sister that I had touched it to the blessed medal that I wear that Mother Teresa had given me (a relic). Her sister began to cry and said she felt very blessed and thankful to receive the special gift. After that, Mary’s husband bought her a chain and she is now wearing the medal. Mary is now feeling comforted with a sacramental of the Blessed Mother who is with her at all times to bring her graces, hope, and encouragement.

As Louise recounted the story of her sister and their mother, she shed quiet tears once again. I was very touched too, upon hearing it, and I felt extremely blessed to have played a part in this beautiful exchange. We expressed to one another that we were so very thankful that God had clearly arranged all of this to happen. It was especially joyful and poignant to happen right at Christmas time.

I believe that God is so very good and takes care of our every need. He desires that we open our hearts to His whispers to our souls and that we be cooperative to His many graces so that we can help others around us who are struggling with hurt, loneliness, sadness, and pain. So many people are deeply wounded and need a loving touch. Mother Mary is always ready to assist us in getting closer to her Son Jesus.

“O Mary, conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee.” [words from the Blessed Mother that appear on the Miraculous Medal]

Will you reach out in love soon to someone you don’t even know? It could be a perfect stranger. Mother Teresa, whom I was blessed to know, considered that person to be “Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor.”

Venture to reach out with Christ’s love. It will undoubtably change someone’s heart forever.

[You can see a similar article here at ICL]