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Mary's apparition at Lourdes is one of a cluster of her interventions surrounding the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Father Angelo says these show her power and personal solicitude for individuals (including you and me). Following the Proclamation by a few years, Mary's self-identification as "I am the Immaculate Conception" was the inspiration for St. Maximilian Kolbe's insights into her union with the Holy Spirit and his "Personalist Mariology". After Vatican II, the two different approaches in Mariology were pitted against each other, one emphasizing her closeness to Jesus, the other emphasizing her membership in the Church. Saint John Paul II worked to correct this, and speaks of her as Mother of the Church, and her "active and exemplary presence to each and every one of us" by which she personally impresses on the faithful her own heart and mind, as a mother with her child. Pope Benedict XVI has also emphasized that the Church is not a what, but a who, and that the "form" of the Church is not a structure, but Mary. Mary never promised miracles at Lourdes, but the fact that they happen are visible signs of her presence there and in the Church, which is the condition for a personal encounter with Christ.

Ave Maria!

Mass: Our Lady of Lourdes - Opt Mem
1st: isa 66:10-14
Resp: jth 13:22-23 0
Gsp: joh 2:1-11