Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mary Ward, Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1585-1645)

Mary WardMary Ward, Foundress of the Institute B.V.M. born in England 1585, forced to leave her beloved country because of her faith, repaired first to Flanders and then to Rome. She felt inspired to found a new type of religious life, without papal enclosure, governed by one Superior General, in which women consecrated to God by the three vows could pursue good works and promote the return of England to the faith. Mary founded houses in Flanders, England, Germany, Austria, Italy, Rome itself, under the eye of Pope Urban VIII. She laboured and suffered much for her congregation bearing all her sufferings with joy. She died in England in 1645.
His Eminence, Cardinal Bourne wrote in 1921: - "I feel it a duty of gratitude to recall continually to the Catholics of England, and indeed of the whole United Kingdom, as well as to all the teaching orders of Religious women throughout the world that the very existence of the modern educational and charitable congregations, such as we know them was made possible by the supernatural foresight, the heroic perseverance, and sufferings of Mary Ward. She waged the battle to the point of apparent defeat, of which they are reaping the victory. To no one after their own special founders do they owe greater gratitude than to Mary Ward."

Prayer for Beatification

O heavenly Father, Almighty God, I offer up to Thee this day all the holy Masses said throughout the whole Catholic world, to obtain the grace that the Servant of God, Mary Ward, may be publicly acknowledged worthy of Beatification. O Jesus, deign soon to glorify Thy humble servant. Amen.

We grant an indulgence of 200 days to be gained once a day by all who devoutly recite the above prayer. - Francis Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, May 22nd, 1928

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