St. José Maria Escrivá once said, when we were little, we kept close to our mother in the dark alleys or if dogs barked at us. Now, when we feel temptations of the flesh, we should run to the side of our mother in heaven, by realizing how she is to us, and by means of aspiration. She will defend us and lead us to the light. This quote reminds me of my growing up when I always ran to my mother for rescue especially when my dad wanted to beat me. She did not only protect me but she also helped me get things from my father easily. This childhood experience of approaching the Father through the mother, is what Escrivá is inviting us to apply when approaching God. Just like at wedding at Cana in John, 2:1ff, where Mary interceded for the family, she indeed will intercede for us when we run to her motherly care. As many have said one of Mary’s roles is to gather and assemble us to listen to Jesus with the command to obey whatever Jesus tells us. This assembling role of Mother Mary is exactly what she did at St. Francois De Paule parish, Mose/DRC.
A memorable date was 18th October 2023, at Mose Mother Mary gathered a population of around 100 children, who came to seek and listen to Christ through praying the Rosary. Having just stayed in Mose for one month, and although the language used in reciting the rosary was not familiar with me, but the experience which I encountered on this specific day magnificent. There was a sense of joy expressed by the children as they recited the rosary. To me I saw it as a sign of the motherly loved which they were experiencing with Mother Mary, even amidst the challenging environmental conditions which the prayer was conducted. In deed these children run to Christ through Mary just like what St. Francis de Sales would say, “Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with perfect confidence.”
Among the many reasons why these children gathered to pray the Holy Rosary on this specific day, was to thank God for who He is and for who they were. They were also grateful to God for their parents for whom they thought to thank through Mary the model for families. They also joined the entire children in the world to pray for peace, as our Lady of Fatima requested every on the 18th of October. Additionally, the children were thanking God for His presence amidst them through the church ministers, especially their parish priest who always welcomes them. Besides these, they were grateful to God and praying for the different organizations who have supported them in one way or another, especially Church In-need Organization International. While listening to one who was speaking to parish priest, he said these different people for whom they are thanking God for and praying for make them feel supported, loved, encouraged and accompanied in their growing up as children. The words of the young boy echoed to me the words Mother Mary, You are not alone my child, and you must not be sad. I will be with you always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your comfort and the way which will lead you to God. Our Lady of Fatima, June 13 1917.
As part of the family of Mose and especially part of the children community, we jointly encouraged the Christian community especially the children to pray the Holy Rosary. For through, and leaning on the sides of Mother Mary, she will teach us how to love God, neighbours and ourselves just like the way she taught the baby Jesus. We continue to pray and welcome development and moral support from anyone, organization and authorities from all over the world. With the motherly love of Mary, we borrow the words of St. Louis de Monfort to express our gratitude to God, and as a way of encouraging other children to pray their Rosaries. He says, if you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love in the heart of Mary for her children ST. Louis de Montfort. As we will struggle with challenges of childhood, we will hold onto Mother Mary.
Mama Maria, Mama wa biso, tolingi yo, tolingi yo, tolingi yo Mingi!!!!
Fr. Joseph Emeru, a Mill Hill Priest at St. François de Poule-Mose Parish; Archidiocese of Kinshasa-DRC