rosaryWe are in the month of May. A month dedicated to our very dear mother the Blessed Virgin Mary. We offer you here an interview with Sister Marie-Hélène ROBERT, Ola and Fr. Pierluigi MACCALLI, Sma.
In this interview, Sr. Marie-Hélène ROBERT, Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of Lyon and Ola Provincial Superior of France, gives us the position of the Church regarding the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A position that is embellished and strengthened by the testimony of Fr. Pierluigi MACCALLI.


Interview with Sr. Marie-Hélène ROBERT, OLA

Why do we seek the intercession of Mary? 

Seeking the intercession of Mary, I would say is a question of interpersonal relationships. In fact, there are events in life that are painful and where Mary manifests herself, intervenes in a very discreet way. It could be the occasion of the illness of a loved one. It happened to me, to my dad, who actually went a little far into the countryside. He was all alone for that time, a week; and Mary said to me: sit down and pray. It was a time when I went several weeks a year to Lourdes; and this intercession apparently healed my dad who was far away. And the nurse called me and said: your dad almost died, we don’t know what happened but we saved him in extremis; and for me it was a trigger. I was in my twenties, it was a trigger.
She is really attentive, she is present and at the same time it is not her who replaces the action of God of course; she is just near, like an attentive mother; this is what I will say, a mother who loves all her children.
I also had an experience in Egypt at Zeitoun, with our Lady of Zeitoun, who first appeared to Muslims in silence without saying anything, without a word; and then those Muslims went to call other people from the same neighborhood, Christians, Coptic Christians who said: this is Mary. So, Mary during those 70s was the one who really brought together Christians and Muslims who came together to pray, seeking her intercession. She has a universal maternal action.
What I always say to myself is that she did not refuse anything to Jesus and she is intimately united to him, especially since she is now with the assumption in the glory of heaven. And since she did not refuse anything to Him, what can He refuse to her; very often I say to Jesus: but Jesus, what are you going to refuse to your mother, she did not refuse anything to you; What are you going to refuse her. And it is a prayer I can feel that touches him and it is He who answers those prayers with Mary’s smile.

Why can't we go directly to Jesus, why passing through Mary; or why even pass through someone?

It is not obligatory to go through Mary or through a Saint or people we have known who are certainly in heaven. It is not an obligation but it is in fact a sign of communion. Jesus is not jealous of his power, of his glory, of his love. He likes it when it circulates, He likes to share it and therefore it is not obligatory of course to pass through others to get to Him. He is the only mediator and all the other mediations are in his own mediation. They are all subordinate to him. Actually, this makes a great sign towards the universal communion. We are connected to each other by the very edge of the soul, by our existences, by what makes our life concrete. We are close to each other. The way I live in fact has repercussions on others. What we experience very often, what we do whether as good or bad always has repercussions on others.

How can we understand the mediation of Mary in relation to that of Jesus?

What is very clear is that there is only one mediator: Jesus Christ. And Jesus is not jealous of his mediation; He shares it, in the sense that He allows us to have recourse to mediations called derivatives; derivatives of the only mediator. And those derivatives cannot take the place of the mediation of Jesus. That is, if in your prayer you deliberately, consciously put Jesus aside, it is no longer a Christian prayer, it is obvious. What will be important is to pray to Mary by telling her to pray for us. That is to say, we address Mary asking her to pray for us. We do not ask Mary to answer such and such prayer; we ask Mary to be with us, our helper, our protectress, to pray to Jesus. She is on our side, she is human. It is not a fourth person of the Trinity: we don’t have the choice between Jesus, the Spirit, the Father or Mary; that’s another order. But it’s true that it takes a little Christian education, to put things back; at the same time I think that seen from the sky, as long as there are no bad intentions, it is not bad; because they are very much united, Mary and Jesus. She carried Him, she brought Him up; and He lifted her up in the glory of heaven, she is in the glory of heaven. Between them the communication passes very well, it is we who have a problem. It is for us that this poses a problem.

Testimony of Fr. Pierluigi MACCALLI, SMA

When I was in the desert, I found some little shells; I took ten in my pocket. I was walking around with them; passing them from hand to another; from pocket to pocket, to pray my rosary. And lately, I made myself a rosary with a fabric; the same fabric that protected my head from the sun.

I was able to tie knots and made a decade that I have kept in my pocket for the last few months. And with that, I entrusted to Mary my daily prayers with the mysteries that I know, the mysteries of the rosary. I also invented new ones when I was in the desert, mysteries of the time of advent, the time of Christmas, the ordinary time. I added the mysteries of the apostles, witnesses, martyrs. So, we can say that I went ahead of the reform of Pope John Paul II, who had added the luminous mystery. I also put the Christmas mystery, the Easter mystery, the mystery of the Holy Spirit, of Pentecost, of the witnesses and with that I was praying and carrying everything in prayer.
And given that I had this string of knots, I entrusted my situation to Mary who unties the knots, the prayer advocated by Pope Francis.

With the knots, I was saying to Mary: I present to you this big knot; it is up to you to untie it. When I was released, whether a providence or a coincidence, it was on October 7: the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. It was on that day that they announced to me the release, that they told me: it’s over. And on the 8th, I was actually released. So, I think she listened to me. It must have given her a job because it lasted at least two years but, in the end, she managed to untie it. It was a big knot that was untied by this trust, this prayer and I believe that Mary interceded when we pray to her.