Be Not Afraid

By now, you may have heard about the Marian apparition in Wisconsin being the first in the United States to receive official approval by the local Bishop. The apparition of Our Lady of Good Help was approved as "worthy of belief" by Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay Wisconsin. Click on the headline below for more detail on this apparition.

Wisconsin chapel approved as first US Marian apparition site

When I first read about this, I was really drawn to the simple message that Our Lady gave to Adele Brise in Wisconsin in 1859:
The Virgin Mary also gave her a mission of evangelism and catechesis: “Gather the children in this wild country, and teach them what they should know for salvation … Go and fear nothing. I will help you.”
We have heard a similar message associated with Mary in the past. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary at the Annunciation, he told her to "Fear not!". The first words Pope John Paul II spoke to the crowd outside the Vatican shortly after he was selected to be the next Pope were "Be Not Afraid." It is a well documented fact that John Paul II had a very strong devotion to our Lady. Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke similar words to Blessed Juan Diego:
Do not fear this nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I, your Mother, not here? Are you not under my protection?
We are living in times of increasing darkness in our world. Secularism and relativism are growing and with them, immorality and an open hostility towards Christianity. Our nation appears to be crumbling economically causing many to fear for the future. This message from Our Lady of Good help could not have come at a more appropriate time. Rather than put our faith in men who promise "hope" and "change", let us focus on our Lady's words : "Go and fear nothing. I will help you.” 

With Mary beside us, offering us Her protection as She leads us to Christ, we truly have nothing to fear. This is the real hope our world so desperately needs. During this Christmas season and into the new year, focus on our Lady's message and make an effort to develop a devotion to Her. I have personally seen the difference it can make in a person's life when we place ourselves under the protection of our Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we turn to you, O Virgins of virgins, our Mother. To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, do not despise our petitions, but in your mercy hear us and answer us. Amen.

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