Franciscan Perspective: Virgin Mary’s Virtues

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

December 31, 2022

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Marsaia Kaster reflects on Virgin Mary’s Virtues on this feast of Mary, Mother of God in the light of the Secular Franciscan Order Rule Article 9. She offers a realistic sharing with more questions than answers as we move into a new year. Sister serves as chaplain for the Wisconsin St. Joseph Fraternity of Secular Franciscans.

Note: (For those who have not read Pope Benedict XVI’s Infancy Narratives, this might be another place to begin on this feast of Mary, Mother of God. Click here.)

ARTICLE 9 of the RULE:

The Virgin Mary, humble servant of the Lord, was open to his every word and call. She was embraced by Francis with indescribable love and declared the protectress and advocate of his family. The Secular Franciscans should express their ardent love for her in imitating her complete self-giving and by praying earnestly and confidently.


Hail, O Lady, Holy Queen, Mary, holy Mother of God,

Who are the virgin made Church,

Chosen by the most Holy Father in heaven,

whom he consecrated with His most holy beloved Son

and with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,

in whom there was and is all fullness of grace and every good.

 Hail, His Palace!      Hail, His Tabernacle!

Hail His Dwelling!     Hail, His Robe!

Hail, His Servant!     Hail, His Mother!

 And hail all You holy virtues

Which are poured into the hearts of the faithful

Through the grace and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,

That from being unbelievers, You may make them faithful to God.                                                         

( Salutation of the Blessed Virgin)

 Do you see how Francis saw Mary as enclosing the Lord within herself. She was the tabernacle of the Lord…


  1. How would you describe Mary, what would you write?
  2. What virtues would you use to describe her?

 ICON of THE SIGN:    In Isaiah 7:14 the Lord promised: “The LORD himself will give you this SIGN: The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel – that is, “God with us.”

 The immense role of Mary in the history of salvation was prophesied in Genesis 3:15:  “I will put enmity between you (serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and hers…He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”

Already in Genesis the role of Mary in the Redemption of the world is forecast.  She brings us Jesus who redeems us. Mary becomes a sign of mercy and deep, motherly love for each of us. Photos: [[File:Madonna Enthroned with the Child St Francis St Domenico and two Angels, Cimabue.jpg|Madonna Enthroned with the Child St Francis St Domenico and two Angels, Cimabue]] and [[File:Pietro Lorenzetti – Madonna and Child with St Francis and St John the Baptist – WGA13526.jpg|Pietro Lorenzetti – Madonna and Child with St Francis and St John the Baptist – WGA13526]]

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­In  stillness

    LOVE came down

to lift us   


   This :

      Through a woman

gracious enough   to surrender…

gentle enough   to carry

Patient enough   to wait and to bear

Generous enough   to lose all  

   In nurturing

 Love – – God – with – us

 What are your favorite remembrances/examples  of Mary’s role in your life? 




People who showed you Mary?


Pictures of icons

Does the rosary and its mysteries mean a lot to you?


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