Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Mary is the woman of the Eucharist
The title Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament was given to our Blessed Mother in May 1868 by Saint Peter Julian Eymard to honor her relationship to the Holy Eucharist and to place her before us as a model in our duties and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Our Lady gives witness to our life as Christians. In her conduct toward the Eucharist, we learn what ours should be. She believed in the reality of Christ's presence. The virtue of faith was as necessary for her as it is for us.
Great was her faith in her son, the Son of God, our Savior, and in all his teachings and deeds. This faith of hers found its particular exercise in regard to the sacrament, the mysterium fidei, the denial of which implies the destruction of the whole structure of our belief.
A second point in which Mary conformed to the general body of the faithful was her loving participation in the Eucharist. And still another point in which the Blessed Virgin is our model is in her reception of Communion during her life, and at the moment of her death. By her faith in and her love for our Lord in the Eucharist, Mary is an example for Christians and thereby brings us to fervent devotion to him. Truly, we can call Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, and follow her faith and love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament is the chosen and official patroness of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Her feast is celebrated on May 13, the date on which the new Congregation received Archdiocesan approbation in Paris in 1856.
Some may think that the invocation Our Lady of the Eucharist is preferable, but it does not penetrate as deeply into the matter, since the word Eucharist does not refer to the sacramental values which are the most essential part of the sacrament. As Dom Anscar Vonier, commenting on Saint Thomas Aquinas, carefully states: "The Eucharist is a sacrament; it is nothing but a sacrament. . . . Tantum ergo sacramentum veneremur cernui (Let us bow down in adoration before so great a sacrament). It is the most popular, as well as the most technically exact, expression of Catholic admiration for the great gift of the Eucharist. . . . It would be truly disastrous if at any time we came to look upon the Eucharist in its sacrificial aspect as something less sacramental or even not sacramental, leaving the sacramental denomination exclusively to the reception of Christ's body and blood."
Fr. Lionel Lavigne, S.S.S.
AT THE SCHOOL OF MARY, WOMAN OF THE EUCHARIST
"In addition to her sharing in the Eucharistic banquet [of the first generation of Christians], an indirect picture of Mary's relationship with the Eucharist can be had, beginning with her interior disposition. Mary is a 'woman of the Eucharist' in her whole life. The church, which looks to Mary as a model, is also called to imitate her in her relationship to this most holy mystery."
Pope John Paul II, On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church
THE EUCHARIST AND THE VIRGIN MARY
"From the relationship between the Eucharist and the individual sacraments, and from the eschatological significance of the sacred mysteries, the overall shape of the Christian life emerges, a life called at all times to be an act of spiritual worship, a self-offering pleasing to God. Although we are all still journeying toward the complete fulfillment of our hope, this does not mean that we cannot already gratefully acknowledge that God’s gifts to us have found their perfect fulfillment in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our mother. Mary’s assumption body and soul into heaven is for us a sign of sure hope, for it shows us, on our pilgrimage through time, the eschatological goal of which the sacrament of the Eucharist enables us even now to have a foretaste. . . .”
"In the words of the Second Vatican Council, 'the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faithfully persevered in her union with her son until she stood at the cross, in keeping with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), suffering deeply with her only begotten son, associating herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of the victim who was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus, dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son" (Lumen Gentium, 58). From the annunciation to the cross, Mary is the one who received the Word, made flesh within her and then silenced in death. It is she, lastly, who took into her arms the lifeless body of the one who truly loved his own 'to the end' (Jn 13:1)."
"Consequently, every time we approach the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharistic liturgy, we also turn to her who, by her complete fidelity, received Christ’s sacrifice for the whole church. The synod fathers rightly declared that 'Mary inaugurates the church’s participation in the sacrifice of the Redeemer.' She is the Immaculata, who receives God’s gift unconditionally and is thus associated with his work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent church, is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist."
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 33
RULE OF LIFE
CONGREGATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Mary, mother of Jesus,
voice of the poor and the lowly,
welcomed the Word of God into her heart
and put it into practice.
She shared her life and prayer with the disciples,
actively working with them
for the coming of the kingdom.
We will honor Mary as the poor one of Yahweh
and the servant of the Lord,
with a love like that of our Founder
who also invoked her under the title of
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.
We will love to meditate
the mysteries of the rosary.
Rule of Life, 14
OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT - PRAYERS
Blessed are you, Mary,
exalted Daughter of Sion!
You are highly favored and full of grace,
for the Spirit of God descended upon you.
We magnify the Lord
and rejoice with you
for the gift of the Word made flesh,
our bread of life and cup of joy.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,
our model of prayer in the Cenacle,
pray for us
that we may become what we receive,
the body of Christ your son. Amen.
O Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,
you are the glory of Christians,
the joy of the universal church,
the hope of the world,
pray for us.
Bring to life in all the faithful
a devotion to the most Holy Eucharist.
Hence, we will be worthy
to receive Holy Communion every day.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.