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This Thursday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, a day very near and dear to the heart of Women of Grace.
You know the scene well. In the sixth month of her cousin Elizabeth's miraculous pregnancy, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” He told her that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son, the Son of the Most High, and His name would be Jesus.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Women of Grace/Living His Life Abundantly. You truly are helping to transform the world by partnering in our mission and I am abundantly grateful.
Recently, we celebrated the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. This title of the Blessed Mother is particularly meaningful for me and holds much significance. As many of you know, Our Lady was my constant spiritual companion as I sojourned through the pilgrimage of pain I experienced when my son, Simon, was killed in a vehicular accident and then, when my late husband, Anthony, journeyed through the cross of terminal brain cancer.
May 8 “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society, or wide circles of the Christian community, realize this fully. We are now facing the ﬁnal confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church must take up.”
– Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II)
Why are so many blind to the spiritual battle that is being waged around us? How can we help the scales to be removed?
“Say the Rosary, to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”
– Our Lady of Fatima to the children at Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima asked us to pray the rosary for peace in the world. Why is her message more relevant today than ever before? How does this enliven your commitment to praying the Rosary every day?
“A priest without a Rosary is like a knight without a sword. With this heavenly weapon, a priest can defeat falsehood, conquer evil, and win innumerable souls for Jesus Christ!”
– Fr. Donald Calloway
Pray your Rosary today for the priesthood. Ask Our Lady to increase their fervor this powerful heavenly weapon.
May 4 “Mary took my weakness and gave me her strength; she took my fear and gave me her trust; she took my insecurity and gave me her conﬁdence. And it all came by way of the Rosary.”
– Johnnette Benkovic Williams
Ask the Holy Spirit to shed light upon the areas of your life where you are fearful, insecure, or lacking trust. During your Rosary today, ask Our Lady to give you her strength, her trust, and her confidence.
September 15 also happens to be my birthday. And for a long time, as long as I was old enough to realize who I shared the day with, I felt a little – cheated. I mean, it’s a bit of a downer to liturgically “celebrate” all the bitterness in Mary’s life on a day for celebrating your own. Not that I ever thought it should be all about me, but as a child, it just didn’t seem quite fair. To enter the world as Mary grieved at the Cross.
Friends, I have been privileged to be part of the team to preview the upcoming film "Mary of Nazareth." From beginning to end, this breathtakingly beautiful movie had me riveted. It has the power to do for the life and story of Our Blessed Mother what the "Passion of the Christ" did for the story of Jesus's passion. As the ending credits rolled across the screen, I was held in prayer and gratitude both for the life of Mary but also for the gifted artists and creators of this epic film. I am happy to give it my unabbreviated endorsement. As Catholic Christians, we need to show our support for well made movies that uphold our values and positively portray the realities which we hold dear. I strongly encourage you to support this movie. Go and take your family and friends with you!
Mary of Nazareth: An Epic Film on the Mother of Christ
MARY OF NAZARETH is an epic new motion picture on the life of Mary, mother of Christ, from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus.
This full-length feature film about the life of Our Lady, shot in English in High Definition, was filmed in Europe in very authentic locales with outstanding cinematography, a strong cast, and a majestic music score . Actress Alissa Jung gives a beautiful, compelling and inspired portrayal of Mary. Pope Benedict XVI had the opportunity to screen this film in the Apostolic Palace, and was touched by the portrayal of Mary so movingly revealed on film.
The film vividly captures the essence of Mary’s profound faith and trust in God amidst the great mysteries that she lived with as the Mother of the Messiah, her compassionate humanity and concern for others, and the deep love that she and Jesus shared for one another. This movie underscores her special role in God’s plan for our redemption, her unique relationship with Christ, and the tremendous suffering that she endured in union with his passion and death, as well as her serene joy at his Resurrection.
Directed by acclaimed European film director Giacomo Campiotti (BAKHITA, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, ST. GIUSEPPE MOSCATI) and written by Francesco Arlanch (RESTLESS HEART, PIUS XII, POPE JOHN PAUL II), in addition to the luminous performance by Jung, the film provides inspiring portrayals of all the main roles, including Andreas Pietschmann as Jesus, Luca Marinelli as Joseph, Paz Vega as Mary Magdalene and Antonia Liskova as Herodias. The original music score was written by Guy Farley.
Originally a 200-minute film, it has been edited down to 153 minutes for the theatrical release.
MARY OF NAZARETH will become available for sponsored screenings in theaters through Ignatius Press and Carmel Communications beginning October 1, 2013. Don’t miss your chance to bring the life of the Mother of Christ to a theater in your town during this limited engagement!
“In light of the reality that the Virgin Mary is God’s created masterpiece and the pinnacle of the feminine mystery, there is no harder person to portray in a movie than her and, yet, Mary of Nazareth offers the best presentation of Our Lady I have ever seen. Mary of Nazareth is an absolute theological and Mariological masterpiece! It will make you want to love her more than ever. Mary’s beauty is pure and ageless, her feminine mystery filled with wonder and virtue, and her divine motherhood is both tender and captivating. Without a doubt, this is the most stunning portrayal of the Virgin Mary on film!” Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC | Author, NO TURNING BACK: A Witness to Mercy
“With careful attention to detail and a remarkable cast, Mary of Nazareth is an impressively beautiful portrait of the life of the Blessed Mother. Starting with her unique childhood and following her life through the resurrection of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ, this film will bond families ever more closely to the life of a woman who forever changed our world. Come to know Mary for the first time, or renew your friendship with the mother of us all with a cinematic work of art that brings Mary’s amazing ‘yes’ to life.” Lisa Hendey | Founder of CatholicMom.com
“I was captivated from the first scene of Mary of Nazareth to the last! My appreciation of and entry into the mysteries of faith were deepened through the beautiful cinematic depictions of the annunciation, visitation, birth of Jesus, and His passion and death. I sat in quiet meditation as the credits rolled and thanked God for the gift of His Son, the Woman whose fiat brought Him to us, and St. Joseph’s loving fatherhood which fostered Him through time.” Johnnette Benkovic | Founder of Women of Grace, EWTN Radio and Television Host
“One’s love for Jesus and Mary should certainly be increased by this beautiful film of Mary of Nazareth which profoundly shows Our Lady’s role in the Redemption. St. Joseph, too, will win your heart. Perhaps the greatest beauty of the film lies in the fact that the members of the Holy Family are portrayed as real flesh-and-blood people. We loved this film!” Mother Assumpta Long, OP |Prioress General Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
“Mary of Nazareth helps us see Our Lord through the eyes of his Mother. This sensitive and delightful movie provides new insights into the daily life of Our Lady and her relationship with her Son. Her combination of joy and sorrow, faith and questions sheds light for us on the path of faith following the example of Mary. Gripping story, authentic background, faithfully orthodox with beautiful cinematography.” Steve Ray | Host/Producer, The Footprints of God
"Mary of Nazareth the movie? Really? But who can play Mary? To my surprise and delight, the actress in this film is remarkably beautiful, believable, and lovable. She opens up a window for all of us to peer into the often elusive mystery of our Blessed Mother, Mary. This film touched my heart.” Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC | Author, 33 Days to Morning Glory
“Powerful, captivating, and mesmerizing—Mary of Nazareth will transport you to another place and time and you’ll grow immensely closer to the Mother of God. Highly recommended!" Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle | EWTN TV Host, Author, Rooted in Love
“A terrific film that presents Mary as the woman of deep faith, revealing especially how she responded in her humanity to the mysterious call of God to be the mother of the Messiah, and shared so fully in his work of Redemption. This film can really help those who have questions or doubts about Mary, to see how she so generously cooperated with God’s plan to bring his Son into the world, and the great love and suffering that cost her.” Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR | Author, FATIMA FOR TODAY
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