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‘Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun …’ These words from the Song of Songs are often applied to Our Lady, whom we commemorate today.

St Bernard said: ‘O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading on dry land, if you do not want to founder in the tempest, do not avert your eyes from the brightness of this star.  When the wind of temptation blows up within you, when you strike upon the rock of tribulation, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. Whether you are being tossed about by the waves of pride or ambition or slander or jealousy, call out to Mary.  When rage or greed or fleshly desires are battering the skiff of your soul, gaze up at Mary. When the immensity of your sins weighs you down and you are bewildered by the loathsomeness of your conscience, when the terrifying thought of judgement appals you and you begin to founder in the gulf of sadness and despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in hardships, in every doubt, think of Mary, call out to Mary’.

May she, who was and is closest to her Son, be with us and wrap her mantle around us for the protection that only she can give. May God bless you this day.