The First Faith and Light Mystery
Mary watches over Faith and Light since its beginnings, and even more, she can be considered as the one who made that gift to Jean and Marie-Helene, in the words of Marie-Helene. I would like to take the opportunity of your pilgrimage to offer a gift back to Mary! We used to pray the rosary, with the joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and recently, with the luminous mysteries that the Blessed John Paul II has given us. I would like to suggest five other mysteries, those of Faith and Light … If we pray regularly, fervently, who knows? Perhaps one day the Church will formally propose them?
First mystery: the Immaculate Conception (December 8).
“Well, the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall be called Emmanuel, (that is to say: God with us)”. (Is 7: 14) “I understand how your soul’s, Humble and Sweet Valley,
Can contain Jesus, the Ocean of Love !… ” (Saint Therese of Lisieux)
Mary was prepared for a long time to be the mother of the Saviour … We can say that the history of the Jewish people has been a long gestation period for the birth of the Son of God among men to be the best possible! This is what the prophet Isaiah announces. God chose a host family, and he did not only prepare spiritually, by the Law and the Prophets, the chosen people, he also prepared physically the one in which He was to remain for nine months! The Immaculate Conception is the mystery, the miracle, which made possible the birth of Jesus. This miracle took place at the conception of Mary in her mother Anne’s womb, this concept we call Immaculate. Immaculate Conception is the name given by the beautiful lady of Massabielle to Bernadette for recognition (que soy era Immaculada Councepciou). This is the name of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Lourdes is the place where F & L was born! And as our God has chosen a birth in poverty, in the fragility, not a birth in the grandeur and magnificence, it is the smallest of all in Lourdes that Mary has chosen to make herself known. People with intellectual disabilities, who are at the heart of our Faith and Light communities, are also in the image of Jesus, small and fragile.
We pray that the welcome we reserve for those with intellectual disabilities help us discover that the fragility is the path that leads us to God Let’s them take our hands to guide us on this journey.
“Blessed are the poor in heart: the kingdom of heaven is theirs!” (Mt 5: 3)
The Second Faith and Light Mystery
“Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary your wife, the child who is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 1, 20)
“When good Saint Joseph did not know of the miracle
That you wanted to hide in your humility,
You let him cry close by the Tabernacle
Veiling the Savior’s divine beauty !… ” (Saint Therese of Lisieux)
After the annunciation by the angel, Mary leaves to visit her cousin Elizabeth. She certainly did not tell anyone, what happened to her was so amazing! “What can I say? How to tell? How to find the words?” she wondered. On her return, after the birth of John the Baptist, it was no longer possible to remain silent! But Elizabeth had released the prayer of the Magnificat and Mary could then find the words to speak up… But Joseph struggled to understand, he was certainly subject to a terrible spiritual battle: what an opportunity to destroy God’s plan to save humanity! But Joseph was a righteous man; he did not want to hurt Marie, only to divorce her quietly. And to encourage Joseph could not continue the road to abandonment he had started alone, then an angel comes to tell him these beautiful words: “fear not to take Mary your wife!”
We pray for all the fathers of children with intellectual disabilities. They are often deeply sad and unhappy, and they are often tempted not to accept the burden, and flee. But when they approach their wives to welcome their extra-ordinary child it’s so beautiful!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5, 6)
The Third Faith and Light Mystery
The prophecy of Simeon
“See, your son is there for the fall and rising of many in Israel. He will be a sign of division, and yourself, your heart will be pierced by a sword.” (Lk 2, 34-35)
“But soon his tone makes me shed tears.
Plunging a prophetic glance into the future,
Simeon presents you with a sword of sorrows. ” (Saint Therese of Lisieux)
The apocryphal gospels say that when Mary was born, her parents went to present her to the Temple: Mary was three and she climbed alone the 15 steep steps to reach the sacrificial altar, and then she stayed in the Temple service during 11 years, and during all these years, “all who knew her well judged her life and conduct worthy of admiration.” I imagine that Simeon, who is often called “old” (but nowhere in the Gospel, do we hear about his age!), was among those who, attending the temple often, admired her life and conduct. So … maybe the Holy Spirit whispered to him that he must return again to Mary and her Son, and tell them the words he had nurtured in his heart… The announcements made by Gabriel and Simeon to Mary are not similar! But God never tells us more than we can bear… The announcement of the sword was not planned to come too soon… It can happen that one seeks to know information that we are not intended to have, and this can often lead to despair! It is better to listen to doctors who make us understand what can be difficult to hear than to seek information for ourselves on the Internet!
We pray for all mothers of disabled children! They often show great courage for their children and are a reflection of thg Seven Sorrows qfMary (among which the prophecy of Simeon is the first one). The community meetings are for them a resting place, a place where they can be proud of their children.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:5)
The Fourth Faith and Light Mystery
“Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Lk 2, 19) “How I love you listening to the shepherds and wisemen
And keeping it all in your heart with care !… ” (Saint Therese of Lisieux)
Mary’s heart is huge! She can carry in her heart all the difficulties, the distress of those suffering from mental disabilities, their parents, their friends. And she hears those prayers, it is the cry of distress from Gerard and Camille that made her inspire in the hearts of Jean and Marie-Helene the preparation of the 1971 pilgrimage. Sometimes some situations can be so painful that we cannot see clearly what to say, and we just shut up. The friends who come to help in community meetings or for a bigger event are sometimes much embarrassed. Then it’s fit to confide all these things in the heart of Mary, so that she can tell the Holy Spirit to inspire us in such circumstances.
We pray for friends who come within the Faith and Light communities, they have done so with great generosity, that they may find in the vulnerabilities they meet, the strength and greatness of God’s love.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God!” (Mt 5: 8)
The Fifth Faith and Light Mystery
“When Jesus saw his mother, and beside her the disciple he loved, said to his mother:” Woman, behold thy son. “Then he said to the disciple:” Behold your mother. “And from that hour the disciple took her home.” (Jn 19, 26-27)
“Saint John’s home becomes your only refuge.
Zebedee’s son is to replace Jesus…” (Saint Therese of Lisieux)
This is the icon of Faith and Light! Jesus represents the person with a disability (he can also represent each of us, because we are all called to bear our cross); Mary, whose heart is pierced by a sword, as Simeon had foretold, represents the parents; John represents the friends. It was, asfather Joseph explained us, the first Faith and Light community!
We pray for all Faith and Light communities around the world, that they welcome the mystery entrusted to them, that everyone feels bearer of the message of joy that we have to let the world know.
“Rejoice, be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Mt 5, 12)
On behalf of all the Faith and Light communities, I invite us to meditate, during our recitation of the rosary, those five mysteries to entrust to Mary our movement … she is at the origin of Faith and Light, it is fair to give her thanks in this way!