Mother who knew
what hardship shakes
a woman bundling clothes
and putting by her wheaten cakes:
Mother who urged the donkey
(making happy riot
on the straggling stones)
urged the beast to be more quiet.
Mother who heard the Child
whimper beneath the thin blue shawl,
our aching prayers cry out to thee,
Mother, pray for them all.
A thousand Bethlehems
mask dark tonight;
the eyes of little friendly homes
have lost their light;
pathetic heaps of poor, dear things
are laid aside; a small bird sang
where a latched door swings.
Mother, whose sad Egyptian flight
preceded all of these
guide them in faith beneath familiar stars,
Our Lady of the Refugees.
Sister Maura SSND
Marian Library Collection
Used with permission
Sr. Maura SSND wrote this poem which speaks of Mary of Nazareth as being a refugee, who fled to Egypt. The poet movingly expresses the experiences Mary underwent as a mother when she and her family were fleeing for their lives. An allusion is made to the tragedy that occurred in Bethlehem at the time of the flight. Details on which this beautiful poem are based may be found in the Gospels in the New Testament;
The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 2, verses 13 to 18. Allusion is made to the prophecy of the great Jewish prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament, the Torah; the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, Chapter 31, verse 15.
If you are a refugee, or have come to a new country, experiences may prove hard for you. It is comforting to know that we are not the first to be strangers in a new land, but that the earthly mother of God underwent just the same experience. Many people find it a comfort to reach out in prayer to Mary of Nazareth, believing in her strength as a holy woman of God, asking her for assistance with protection and with their difficulties in their new land. It is believed by many Christians that as the mother of God, she is often blessed by God with ability of assistance to humans in difficulty and need. Christians further believe that the assistance they receive through prayer is from God directly; it is gained for them by the tender maternal care of Mary of Nazareth. Many people who do not have their mother with them on earth find it a comfort to turn to Mary as a mother figure.
*Photograph of the lotus was taken in beautiful India by Rev. Catherine. Please feel free to use copyright free for any educational or spiritual purpose