mary’s heart for refugees

as claretians, our official name is “sons of the immaculate heart of the blessed virgin mary.” st anthony had a great devotion to mary through her immaculate heart.

i am devoted to the immaculate heart and my vows as a claretian deeply concretize this spirituality. but we are not called to devotionalism. we are called to missionary action: the image of the immaculate heart, for me is wonderfully powerful. in luke 2: 35, simeon told mary that a sword would pierce her heart. this was to foresee mary at the foot of the cross watching her son die a cruel and painful death. the image of the pieta captures the pain of mothers who have had a child suffer and die. the immaculate heart helps all of us strive toward this kind of compassionate heart in unspeakable suffering and death.

i am not naturally a compassionate person. at times, i have to really remind myself of this in order to go against my personal weaknesses and defects. when i meditate on mary’s immaculate heart, it really does help me in this spiritual cross that i personally carry.

providentially, today june 20th, is the UN world refugee day ( ). according to the UN, very minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. how many mothers have cried over their sons and daughters in these desperate situations? in our world, mary’s immaculate heart is needed more today for all of our brothers and sisters whose hearts are pierced by the swords of migration.

the UN still highlights these refugee rights:

  • The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions;
  • The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State;
  • The right to work;
  • The right to housing;
  • The right to education;
  • The right to public relief and assistance;
  • The right to freedom of religion;
  • The right to access the courts;
  • The right to freedom of movement within the territory;
  • The right to be issued identity and travel documents.

these are ways of LOVING our sisters and brothers. our world falls short of bestowing these rights on people who are refugees.

let us ask mary’s intercession for all men, women and children refugees. may their well being be promoted in all places; may these rights move forward with the help and guidance of the Spirit. may we have mary’s compassionate heart and be agents of love where ever we are.

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