There’s nothing more joyful than to find refreshment in the arms of our heavenly mother, Mary. Anytime one is in doubt or feel abandoned by God, turning to Mary under specific titles dispenses particular graces to our wounded and weary hearts. She immediately rushes to our help, if only we speak the words of St. Teresa of Kolkata: “Mary, my mother, be a mother to me now.”
Here are five titles, of many, we can call Our Lady in times of help. She will never fail to protect and defend you, or those you love.
Mother of Divine Grace
In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the work of the Savior in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. (Lumen Gentium, Christ is the Light of Nations, 61).
Mary is known to have expedited the hour of Jesus’ public ministry during the wedding at Cana. When we turn to her in our own desperation, specifically when we have been waiting for an answer to urgent prayer, we come to her in confidence. This is because we recall how Jesus listened to her at Cana, despite the fact that he told her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4).
“Mother of Fair Love,” by Pasquale Sciancalepore, a gift of St. Josemaría Escrivá to the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. Photo: Pasquale Sciancalepore/Public Domain
Mother of Fair Love
I am the mother of fair love. (Sirach 24:24, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)
Under this title, we come to Our Lady without pretense, not withstanding the mistakes we’ve made. Our past does not keep us shackled in shame. Fleeing into her maternal arms leaves us with a surety that God’s goodness will win and that nothing is impossible with him. There is no soul too wretched or lost that cannot be sanctified.
We know this, because the Blessed Mother expresses no partiality to us, her adopted children. She is fair and always kind. Calling upon the Mother of Fair Love, we offer her our bruised and broken hearts — or rather those of our loved ones — knowing she will make haste to come to our assistance.
Mother of Mercy
Our Lady’s words to St. Brigid of Sweden: “I am the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of Mercy; I am the joy of the just, and the door through which sinners are brought to God.”
We also call her by this title in the Hail, Holy Queen prayer. She is meek and generous in this title, showing to us the graces of God’s vast mercy to us. It is by her prayer and because of her maternal heart that is overwhelmingly kind, gentle, sensitive, and open that we have access to God’s tenderness. Do we see her to be “the joy of the just” under this title? We know that God’s mercy and justice are inseparable, and therefore, the same must be true of the Mother of Mercy.
Each of us can get perfect refuge to Mary under this title. Her perfect meekness softens both our hearts and God’s, so that we can be reconciled to him.
Mother of Good Counsel
Pope Leo XIII added the title Mother of Good Counsel to the Litany of Loreto. …If Our Blessed Mother is willing to ask her Son to work miracles to let us know of her motherly concern, Our Lady of Good Counsel is certainly willing to speak words of advice and instruction to assist us over the issues of our daily lives. (The Story of Our Lady of Good Counsel, ClaverMissionarySisters.org)
There might be days you will wish you had great spiritual director to offer words of wisdom. Fortunately, we all have access to something even better: the Blessed Mother under this title as Mother of Good Counsel. Turn to her often. Ask her for assistance in discerning a tough decision or problem you are facing. Then pray the rosary and adhere to the inspirations you get.
Mary, Refuge of Sinners
Our Lady is the “Refuge of Sinners,” wanting to save us, pleading with Jesus to save us, ever ready to come to our help, ever ready to cover us with her mantle of love, a mother’s love at that, “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” That is what St. John Damascene meant when he said that Mary is not only the refuge of the innocent, but also of the wicked who implore her protection. (Titles of Our Lady from the Litany of Loreto, SalveMariaRegina.info)
We return to the Hail, Holy Queen prayer with Mary, Refuge of Sinners. As such, she protects us from evil and trouble. She is our heavenly protector who guides us away from sin and toward holiness. It is said that those who turn to the Blessed Mother with wholehearted sincerity unavoidably stop sinning. We, too, can and should turn to her with complete confidence that she will continually guide us toward our heavenly home.