GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
Friday, December 1 2023  - 1 User Online  

09.02.2023 16:40:58 1315x read.


Mary is the Patroness of our Congregation. We are happy to place our lives under her special protection. Mary’s life was completely consecrated to the service of her Son. (FIC Constitution Art. 12).

Mary was preserved immaculate, not only because the Lord cannot stand sin, but also because she was meant to be as a gift, a total self-giving to the God. This explains her answer, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38). 

This woman, Isaiah foretold, was to be a virgin-almah, namely a young unmarried maiden: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Is. 7:14).

Matthew quotes to confirm Joseph’s dream. "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel" (Mt. 1:23-25).  And in her conversation with the Angel, Mary asked how this could come about, since she was a virgin. She referred to herself as a virgin.

Mary’s perpetual virginity is an accepted doctrine in the profession of our faith when we say the creed; “I believe in God, the Father Almighty ….”. It is also contained in the profession of our faith before baptism: “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary…….?. This is the core of our faith manifested through the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

In St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, the sacredness of virginity is extolled and the apostle proposes virginity, synonymous with chastity and celibacy, as a way of total self-dedication to the Lord (1Cor.7:32-34).  When we take the vow of celibacy it is our desire to dedicate ourselves to God. God respects and accepts our pure, holy and total self-offering just as Mary did.  The almighty wants us to do ‘great’ things, out of the ordinary and Mary is a perfect example for us to imitate.

It seems Mary hesitated or even became confused when she asked, “But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?” (Lk. 1:34). Could she have been asking, “should I go ahead and marry Joseph to whom I am engaged and through him have this descendant of David?”  In our lives as religious, we are sometimes confused or not certain of some of our actions or inactions or even our choice of vocation.  Like Mary, the angel’s answer (Lk. 1:35) opens the eyes of our hearts to another dimension – a revelation we never thought of. This helps fulfill God’s plan in our lives.

Mary’s Immaculate Conception is contrary to the laws of nature, virginal conception and virgin-birth. When we go to faith in Scripture we accept that “nothing is impossible to God” (Lk. 1:38). We remember the cases of Sarah, wife of Abraham and Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist who conceived after being well advanced in age (Gen. 17:17; Lk. 1:18). How about the conception and birth of Samson? (Jg. 13:7). In all these cases, the offsprings were persons dedicated to particular services of God.  With God all things are possible indeed. In our lives as religious we are sometimes confronted with uncertainties and doubts and we can always remember that whatever God wills is possible. He did it with Mary.

(L-R: Bros. Basilide Dong, Theodorus, Joachim. Augustine, and Stephen in Damongo Community)

Mary accepted the great things of God in her life. She not only said yes, but also gave her total self in consent; totality which embraces purity in body, liberty in heart and will, and poverty of spirit. By her words, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me” (Lk. 1:38), we also should be ready to be used by God to accomplish His Will. Through the inspiration of Mary we also give ourselves completely to God with all the worldly temptations.

God loves purity of body, mind and spirit, and especially holiness as offered in virginity. He loved it in Mary. We try to make our bodies, minds and spirits pure after the example of Mary.

We learn from the Ever-Blessed Virginity of Mary not only a matter of physical integrity but most especially of spiritual transparency of will and of purity of soul. The Virginity of Mary points to a total self-offering to God and for us brothers we do this by faithfully keeping to our vows. This is what God loves of us: to offer the best of ourselves to Him as Brothers FIC. (Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mt. 5:8).

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