A Trail of Stars
Think about that phrase as you gaze upon the featured image above!
Haven’t we found ourselves pointing at the sky as these children are doing or announcing the first star of the night or watching a shooting star in complete awe? This image is sure to bring back memories of childhood days or beautiful summer nights searching for that one special star that seems to look for you first!
The definition of a star is: “A fixed luminous point in the night sky which is a large, remote incandescent body like the sun.”
What I am about to write is not about a trail of stars as you see above illuminating the sky, but more a trail of “human stars,” that hopefully will illuminate the earth and help to bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. You see, 48 of us set out on a journey together on May 13, 2019, following the “handbook” of Mary’s Mantle Consecration written by Christine Watkins.
What is Mary’s Mantle Consecration?
Below are some excerpts from Christine’s book to explain what this consecration is:
Mary’s Mantle Consecration is based upon an ancient tradition in Mexico called “El Manto de Maria” which began in small barrios where no one was unknown and everyone had faith.
Faithful people, poor, humble, and in love with Our Lady, would invite 46 individuals and families to participate in praying the Rosary in each other’s homes. They chose 46 because that is the number of stars on the cloak or mantle, of the supernatural image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A woman of the barrio would sew Mary’s mantle from a piece of green cloth and cut out 46 stars from gold fabric.
Starting on October 28th, those who accepted the invitation would gather at the first home, carrying the cloth mantle, the stars, and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. All present prayed the rosary and the resident family or individual attached the first gold star to Mary’s mantle. The mantle was then draped over the members of the household. This continued for the next 45 days until December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Gradually, this tradition was adopted by pastors throughout Mexico who announced “El Manto de Maria” at Mass encouraging people to to participate in this devotion. On the closing Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe all the 46 families and individuals gathered in the Church kneeling before the image of Our Lady as words of devotion and consecration were pronounced by the priest.
Connected through the Internet
After reading the above, you might be wondering how could we do this today with work schedules, family activities and priorities, and the busyness of everyday life? There is no way we could be visiting 46 homes consecutively each night!
This is where the internet is used in such a positive and powerful way. It is quite easy to reach and visit 46 people each morning and set forth the path of the day to follow. Christine Watkins becomes our “pilgrimage guide” and each day she sets forth a “star” to follow for meditation on the Virtues and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit through her guidebook. She also provides, along with Laura Dayton, a helpful journal with Daily Scriptures and quotes for reflection.
The Invitation is Extended to 46
On June 28, 2018, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited my home for over 6 weeks. During that time, through inspiration from Our Lady, there were 95 visitors (some returns) that came to pray with her but also to wear her mantle. The mantle would be draped over the visitor and we would pray the Rosary and meditate upon Scripture and passages from the book, He and I by Gabrielle Bossis. It was a tremendous time of grace, healing, and peace for those who visited here.
Since that summer in my home there have been many visits here with “Pilgrim Statues of Our Lady of Fatima” giving many the opportunity to pray night vigils, to participate in Masses, and to come to pray for First Saturdays.
It was right after we finished the first group of five “First Saturdays” from November to March that Christine’s book fell into my hands. I will never forget that moment! It was a Sunday, the day after the First Saturday of March and I was sitting in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in my living room. Christine’s books arrived that day via Amazon! There I sat thumbing through the pages and as I looked up, I knew Our Lady was smiling and encouraging me to make the move and invite 46 to make this journey with her, so I listened to her!
Most of the 46 people were invited back to my home to hear of this invitation. If that couldn’t be arranged, then there were phone calls, a letter, or emails. Some people I visited and some I was directed to. For example, sitting with the receptionist at St. Brigid’s Church, I just felt called to “blurt out” the invitation to her. I actually had Christine’s books in my bag to give her. Sylvia looked at me and said, “of course I will do this for the Blessed Mother! I will do anything for her.” What a response! It was a go and we were on our way!
We are a diverse group of 46 plus two “auxiliary stars” that are journeying with us. There are married couples, single people, and a family of four with a son who is entering the Capuchins at the end of July. There are also within this group. . . two pairs of sisters, Msgr. Michael, Deacon Jacques and the elder “Star Marie” who is near 90 and is a Legion of Mary member, prays the rosary faithfully every day and loves Our Lady tremendously.
We even have an “out-of-state” star on our journey from Yuma, Arizona! Now how did that happen? You might be asking yourself. Very simply! When the Blessed Mother invites a soul to enter into a special mission, the Holy Spirit is the messenger that is sent out and certainly “knows no bounds!” You can read Irene’s (our Arizona star) comments concerning “Attentiveness” below.
As mentioned above, we began on Monday, May 13th, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and we conclude with consecration on Thursday, June 27th, the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Since it is a Thursday, we decided to have our Mass celebrated the next day, Friday June 28th. Note the date! It’s actually one year after Our Lady’s visit here last summer when we wore “her mantle.” June 28th just turns out to be the Feast of the Sacred Heart with the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the next day.
The journey thus far has been one of “connectedness” for sure. Every morning an email is sent out to the group with one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit or the virtue we are praying for specifically. The “Star” of the day is noted so that we can lift them up in a special way in our rosary and pray for their strength to fast in the way that they best choose for themselves. The “Star” of the next day is also noted. Our general intention has been for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The daily email includes updates and announcements but pictures are included each morning to give inspiration as well. We have already come to our midway point on our journey and the days seem to be flying by. It is almost inevitable that June 28th will just arrive way too quickly!
Within the Consecration
We never know what the next day will bring and so even in our Consecration journey, we were all surprised by the fact that two of our “pilgrim stars” will be going for major surgeries on the same day.
Because of this fact, we were able to unite together through the internet and pray a 9 day novena within the consecration for both women, their families, and their surgeons and medical teams. They are being covered with a “blanket of stars of prayers,” and this gives them great hope and strength. This was an added gift within the folds of our Mantle consecration.
We also had beautiful Feast Days such as Ascension Thursday, Pentecost and the Consecration Mass being celebrated on June 28th, that all fell within it.
The Stars Comments
Below is a sampling of two stars’ comments on the Consecration and what it means to them as we proceed on our journey:
“Hi Anita. I have to share this picture with you. This has been my bookmark in my consecration journal. As we have been praying also for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit I felt called to share this with you. As I finished praying today I was looking at this picture and saw that WE are all in the Upper Room with Mary and my eyes were drawn to the words on the cover of the journal Write the Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit on your Soul.
I feel the strength and joy of this prayer community daily. It is a blessing Mary has called us all together in this consecration.” Terry
“Today’s “Star of Attentiveness” and the reflection was timely for me. The last three weeks I have been volunteering with Refugees from Central America, mostly Guatemala. They come seeking political asylum due to drugs and violence in their country. These are humble people, mostly family groups who have entered this country legally and have been processed through the border patrol. I’m bilingual, so often, I am blessed to speak to them face to face. I try to greet them with a smile and treat them with respect and leave them feeling hopeful. Today’s meditation affirmed that I am doing the Lord’s work. This requires that I change the way I marginalize, categorize and socialize with the human family.” Irene
My next posting will be actually set for Friday, June 28th –
The Feast of The Sacred Heart.
It will be the day we make our consecration. I can only think that the image above shows what will be happening that night!
We will not only be “cupped hands” but “praying hands” illuminating the earth with
“human stars” of love, peace and joy!
©2019 Anita Guariglia
Photo Credits/Trail of Stars and Connecting Stars/Pixabay
Quotes from Mary’s Mantle Consecration book written by Christine Watkins