Tuesday, May 26, 2020

SERMON ON THE VIRGIN MARY. Words of Saint John Bosco addressed to young people.

Mary loves youth, and therefore she loves and blesses those who dedicate themselves to doing good for young people.

Because She is a Mother, and mothers care more about younger children than adults, because little ones are more innocent; because young people are in greater danger of being deceived and led into vice.

In addition, the youngsters represent more vividly to her Jesus who spent his childhood and youth under his maternal eyes.

Knowing then that the Mother of God loves you so much, listen carefully to what I am going to tell you: If we want graces and favors, let us turn to Mary, let us pray to Mary; but in order for her to intercede for us, it is necessary to demonstrate our true devotion in three things: First, avoid all sin and try to keep it away from you always. There is nothing that can harm us more and displease Our Lady and her Blessed Son more than sin. Once there was a young man who offered Our Lady his prayers, good deeds and alms, and one night he saw in a dream that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and presented him with a tray with the most beautiful and attractive fruits: apples, grapes, pears, etc.; but all covered with the dirty rag with which a sick person had cleaned his sores. Mary said: "receive these fruits and eat." But the young man replied: "My Lady, the fruits are very beautiful, but the cloth with which they are covered is so disgusting that I do not dare to receive these fruits because I would vomit." Then the Queen of Heaven replied: "This is what the offerings and prayers that you offer me are: very beautiful and attractive, but they all come covered with a horrible cloth: the sins that you continue to commit and that you refuse to stop committing." The next day the young man woke up very worried about this dream, and from that day he fleed from every occasion of sin and definitively stopped committing the sins that made his life so unpleasant before Our Lord.

The second condition for our devotion to Our Lady to be true is to imitate her in her virtues, especially in her great charity and in her great purity. A devotion to Mary that does not achieve an improvement in our life is not true devotion. If we pray to her and continue in our sins as before, it may be that our devotion is false. The true devotee of Our Lady imitates her in his love of neighbor. Mary, says the Bible, "ran to help Elizabeth". She ran because favors must be done soon and without waiting for people to ask us. Mary’s greatest devotees are always those who treat others with the most charity and generosity.

And there is a third condition for our devotion to the Heavenly Queen to be true: to show her with small, but frequent external actions, the great love we have for her. For example: always wear your medal and kiss the image of Our Lady when you get up or go to bed. Have her picture on the desk or work table to remember her and invoke her. Place a beautiful picture of the Mother of God in your room, decorate the images of Our Lady in the month of May. Offer for her some small mortification or some good deed or a little alms on Saturdays or Marian feasts. Tell others about the favors that Mary Help of Christians has obtained for her devotees. The genuine devotion to Our Lady is contagious. Those who love her pledge this devotion to others. Distribute images of Our Lady, etc. She tells us: "If you do something for me: I will do a lot for you."

Always remember: on every occasion, in all anguish, in every need we must turn to Mary. She can do the same as God can, although in a different way. When God wants something, He does it. And when Mary wants something, she asks her Son, who is God, and Jesus Christ, who is the best Son in the world, and who in Heaven still has the same qualities he had on earth, denies nothing to his Beloved Mother. So turning to Mary is a sure sign of obtaining (if it is really for our good) everything we need.

Be sure that all the graces that you ask of this Good Mother will be granted to you. But there are three graces that I recommend asking her every day, without ever getting tired of asking her because they are very important for your salvation: 1. To always avoid mortal sin and preserve the grace of God. 2. To always flee from all friendship harmful to the soul. 3. To always keep the beautiful virtue of chastity. To obtain these three graces, I have recommended a novena many times... Also show her your love by leading a holy life, an excellent conduct.

I will end with a tip that is a secret to success: Whenever you need any grace, say many times: "Mary Help of Christians, pray for us." Say it when you walk down the street, when you go up the stairs or when you are in the yard. Say it in class, in the bedroom, in the morning, at night, always. When they come to visit you, or when you write to your relatives, tell them: "Don Bosco assures you that if you need any grace, say many times: ‘Mary Help of Christians, pray for us’, and that you will be heard." And if someone says this prayer many times with faith and the Mighty Virgin does not help them, tell me, and I will immediately write to Saint Bernard in heaven to tell him that he made a huge mistake when he taught us that prayer that says: "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided”. Yes, I will write a letter to this Saint asking for explanations. But be assured that I will not need to write this letter. Jokes aside, fix in your memory this beautiful prayer: "Mary Help of Christians, pray for us." To repeat it in all temptations, in all dangers, in all need and always. Look, it’s been forty years since I started telling all people to invoke the Mother of God and that she will help them, and I always tell them that if anyone prays to her and she does not help them to come and tell me.

But so far not a single one has come to tell me that they wasted their time praying to Our Lady. The devil himself has had to withdraw, and has failed when people become devotees of our Heavenly Mother, becoming unable to make them commit mortal sin.

Just as the beating of the heart is a sign of life, so the frequent invocation of Our Most Holy Mother is a sure sign of salvation.