It is in the Eucharist, and especially in Holy Communion, that our union with Our Lady becomes a full and loving conformity with Her. With the Host which is Jesus, She, too, enters in us and becomes entirely one with each of us, her children, pouring out her motherly love upon our souls and bodies. The great St. Hilary, Father and Doctor of the Church, wrote beautifully: “The greatest joy that we can give Mary is that of bearing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament within our breast.” Her motherly union with Jesus becomes a union also with whoever is united to Jesus, especially in Holy Communion. And what can give as much joy to one who loves, as union with the person loved? And we—do we not happen to be beloved children of the heavenly Mother?
When we go before Jesus on the altar, we always find Him “with Mary His Mother,” as the Magi did at Bethlehem (Mt. 2:11). And Jesus in the Sacred Host, from the altar of our hearts, can repeat to each of us what He said to St. John the Evangelist from the altar of Calvary, “Behold thy Mother!” (Jn. 19:27).
With heavenly insight St. Augustine illustrates still better how Mary makes Herself our own and unites Herself to each one of us in Holy Communion. He says: “The Word is the Food of the angels. Men have not the strength to nourish themselves with this Heavenly Food; yet, they have need for it. What is needed is a mother who may eat this super-substantial Bread, transform it into her milk, and in this way feed her poor children. This mother is Mary. She nourishes herself with the Word and transforms Him into the Sacred Humanity. She transforms Him into Flesh and Blood, i.e., into this most sweet milk which is called the Eucharist.”
Thus it is quite natural that the great as well as the lesser Marian shrines always foster devotion to the Holy Eucharist, so much so that they can also be called eucharistic shrines. Lourdes, Fatima, Loreto, Pompei, come to mind. There crowds approach the altar almost endlessly to receive Mary’s blessed Fruit. It cannot be otherwise; for there is no bond with Our Lady so close and so sweet, as the one realized in receiving the Holy Eucharist. Indeed, Jesus and Mary “always go together,” as St. Bernadette said! (From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI