Beside the Tabernacle

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.

St. Peter Julian Eymard, that Saint so totally devoted to the Eucharist, declared that already in this world, after Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven, the Blessed Virgin “lived a life in and of the Blessed Sacrament”; and thus he liked to call Her “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.”  And St. Pio of Pietrelcina would sometimes say to his spiritual children, “Do you not see Our Lady always beside the tabernacle?”  And how could She fail to be there, She who “stood by the Cross of Jesus” on Calvary (Jn. 19:25)?  Therefore, St. Alphonsus Liguori, in his book of devotions, always used to add a visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary to each visit to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  St. John Bosco said, “I beg you to recommend to everyone, first, adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and then reverence for most holy Mary.”  And St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe recommended that when before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, one never fail to remember Mary’s presence, invoking Her and uniting ourselves with Her, at the very least by calling Her sweet name to mind.

In the life of the Dominican friar, St. Hyacinth, we read that once in order to avoid a profanation of the Blessed Sacrament, the Saint hastened to the tabernacle to remove the ciborium containing the sacred Particles, and take it to a safer place.  When, holding Eucharistic Jesus close to his breast, he was about to leave the altar, he heard a voice coming from the statue of the Blessed Virgin next to the altar, saying, “What? Would you take Jesus away without taking Me too…?”  The Saint halted in surprise.  He understood the message, but he did not know how he could manage to carry Mary’s statue too.  Puzzled, he drew near the statue to see if he could take it with his one free hand.  There was no need to strain himself, for the statue became as light as a feather.

There is a precious lesson to be learned from this miracle.  When we take Mary along with Jesus, She is no burden and entails no expense, for in a wonderful way they abide in one another (cf. John 6:57) in a manner divinely sublime.

St. Bernadette Soubirous replied very beautifully to someone who put this tricky question to her:  “What would please you more, to receive Holy Communion, or to see Our Lady in the grotto?”  The little Saint thought for a minute and then answered, “What a strange question!  The two cannot be separated.  Jesus and Mary always go together.”

From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI

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