Devotion to the most holy Virgin under the title of Mother of Holy Hope has been practiced in the Congregation of the Passion from the beginning. It was promoted in a special way by the great missionary, Father Thomas Struzzieri, who later became a bishop. He carried a picture of our Mother of Holy Hope with him on missions. This picture was reproduced and placed in the rooms of our religious so that they might be reminded to ask our Lady's assistance in their spiritual needs. The Blessed Virgin thus became the special model and support of our hope, and she remains so.
One of the titles rightly attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary is that of Mother of Holy Hope. Hope is that virtue which anchors the ship of our soul in the stormy sea of this troubled world. It is a comfort left to us after the fall of Adam, a support in our weakness which encourages us to practice the Christian virtues. Hope is defined by theologians as a virtue planted in us by God which enables us confidently to expect from God eternal life and the aids that lead to it. Since Mary possessed this virtue in an heroic degree, she is appropriately called Mother of Holy Hope.
Instead of looking to worldly patrons, as people generally do, Mary trusted solely in God. She desired nothing and sought nothing but eternal life and the way to reach it. The world and all those things that the children of Adam are deceived into admiring and desiring were to her as though not existing. For her, earth seemed to be a desert, so that even the angels marveled, if one may speak in that way, that she could be so complete a stranger to created things. They seemed to say: "Who is this coming up from the desert, leaning upon her lover?"
Although endowed with extraordinary graces and unstained by original sin, Mary never counted on any resource of her own. Rather, she knew that God is the author of every good thing and the source of all perfection. She confided in him amid the dangers of persecution while she was a fugitive from her own country. She hoped in him even when she saw her divine Son die on the cross and the apostles dispersed, and she hoped in him when enemies turned on the infant Church, the loving bride of her divine Son. Supported by this confidence, she remained firm in the midst of what seemed like disaster, and strengthened those who, in their discouragement and need, turned to her as to a mother. She encouraged the weak, lifted up those who had fallen and urged the strong to ever greater trust.
We must not think that Mary has resigned from such maternal service in our day. Certainly not! Even now, from that exalted throne where she reigns in glory, Mary reaches out a mother's hand to those who have failed. She graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude, comforting them and giving them courage. She heartens the good, praying that they may be fearless and unconquerable in the adversities of life. She inspires pastors and inflames with love the flock they shepherd for Christ. In a word, she never ceases to exercise her role as Mother of Holy Hope.
From the Mariology of Blessed Dominic of the Mother of. God, C.P. Priest
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