I was in the first trimester of my eighth pregnancy. I was having dinner with two girlfriends one evening when suddenly I started bleeding and cramping. Terrified, I excused myself from dinner and drove home. I remember there were Christmas lights in the trees and the city looked beautiful. But my heart was racing. I prayed all the way home–starting with Our Father and then Hail Mary. Any previous reservations I had about asking Mary’s intercession were irrelevant in that moment. Mother Mary, pray for my baby. Please go to Jesus and pray for my baby.
When I got home, I laid down on the couch, sipped tea and kept praying. Hail Mary, full of grace….
She is a mother. It being Christmas time it was easy to think of Mary, pondering things in her heart and carrying Jesus inside her. Pray for me, Mother Mary…
I got the tablet and looked up who the patron saint of motherhood and fertility was. St. Gerard Majella. I read pages and pages of testimonies online of babies safely brought into the world through his help and intercession. St. Gerard, pray for me. The bleeding and cramping stopped. The first chance I got, I bought a St. Gerard medallion and wore it every day.
As I type this, I am holding a sleeping 14 month old on my lap. He is my joy. Born safely, joyfully and painlessly, as I labored asking Mother Mary and St. Gerard to pray for me.
I know that most Protestants aren’t asking the “Mother of God” to pray for them. But, I thought back to Jesus, hanging on the cross, and gifting Mary to his beloved disciple. Son, behold your mother. Mother, behold your son. I am Jesus’ beloved, too and I want Mary as my mother, too.
This is not just wishful thinking. It’s solid in Scripture as well.
“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne….The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him….When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child….They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death….Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” Revelation 12
Mary is the woman who gives birth to a male child (Jesus!) who will rule the world and is the target of the dragon. Not being able to get at the woman or the male child, the dragon makes war with the rest of her children. Her other children? She has other children? Who are they? Those who keep God’s commands and hold fast to their testimony about Jesus.
I am a daughter of Mary.
Mother Mary, pray for us, your children.