Mary is the model of perfect love and obedience to Christ. The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as an example for her discipleship and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.
Today we continue to look to her as an example and aid in discerning our response to the Gospel call to live our faith. As our mother, she is an example of a committed “Yes” to the will of God. Many people ask her for help in the most difficult times of their lives.
By adhering to the Father’s will, to His Son’s redemptive work and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. We pray that we can respond to God’s call to holiness for our lives in the way that Mary did.
Upon signing his recent document dedicated to young people, faith and discernment, Pope Francis said Mary is a source of inspiration and strength for everyone who seeks to understand their vocation and remain faithful to it.
The pope said Mary can help all believers dedicate themselves to “the path of peace and fraternity, founded on welcoming and forgiving, on respect for others and on love as a gift of oneself.”
“Mary is the model of every vocation and the inspiration of every vocational pastoral program: Young people who are seeking or questioning their future can find Mary to be the one who helps them discern God’s plan for them and find the strength to follow it.”
In a homily at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in May 2017, Pope Francis said that clinging to Mary “like children, we live in the hope that rests on Jesus.”
God intended people to be “a source of hope for others, a true and attainable hope, in accordance with each person’s state of life,” Pope Francis said. “In ‘asking’ and ‘demanding’ of each of us the fulfillment of the duties of our proper state, God effects a general mobilization against the indifference that chills the heart and worsens our myopia. We do not want to be a stillborn hope! Life can survive only because of the generosity of other lives. ‘Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’” (John 12:24).
With Mary’s example, we can be that generosity and hope. The Catholic Church provides opportunities to offer the compassion of Mary and her son in countless ways, including through health care institutions, schools and universities, charities and social service agencies and the work of individuals, parish communities and diocesan entities. All we need to do is answer “Yes” as Mary did in the work of salvation.