Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today was easily one of the best days of my life.  Yesterday I finished my 33-day preparation for my second annual renewal of my consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I also took some time to myself to pray the 33 meditations (short prayers to the Immaculate Heart of Mary) all over again, though I had prayed them one at a time for the 33-day period.

Today I attended the five-o’clock Mass at our parish.  I arrived well in advance, and renewed my consecration in the small chapel (which I have mentioned in a few posts over at Contemplative Haven), in front of the Blessed Sacrament and the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and beside the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Then this evening, for the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we attended the eight-o’clock Mass and candlelight procession at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Grotto in Vanier (Ottawa).  I have been going to pray at this Grotto since I was a little girl, and the evening celebrations on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are very beautiful.

The Grotto was filled to overflowing, and my heart was so full of gratitude that so many people had come to celebrate the Assumption and to give honour to Mary.  It is not a day of obligation in Canada.  Everyone was there out of love for Mary, pure and simple.  Pure.  And simple.  After Mass, we lit our candles and processed from our seats up the hill to the Cross, with quiet song interspersed with decades of the Rosary.  (all in French, by the way.)  At the end we sang the Magnificat, and were asked to wave our candles high in the air at each verse.  I held back from going up the hill this year, so I could try to get you some photos.  I’m not very good at night photography (at least, I haven’t figured it out yet…) but there were hundreds of people holding candles, singing and praying.

My heart had been full during the whole Mass and procession, but at the end, as I stood before the statue of Our Lady, my tears really came pouring out.  It was like the veil was lifted for a few moments, out of Mary’s graciousness to me.  I felt her telling me that I was only in one little corner of one little part of the world, and that this had been going on in pockets all over the world today, and that this is what had been taking place all day today in heaven.  As some of us stood in front of Mary, still singing alleluias, holding our candles, gazing up at her with love (some with outstretched arms), I could imagine the love that will be poured out to her when she comes in the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, to bring in the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I could imagine all of us all over the world with outstretched arms and faces raised to the heavens.  Yes.  I believe today was really one of the best days of my life.

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 1

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 2

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 3

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 11

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 13

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 16


13 Responses

  1. God bless you.

  2. How beautiful!

  3. Sounds so beautifully fulfilling – yet as you say pure and simple. True Marian moments.

  4. Beautiful! You do have a real gift for describing the indescribable…

  5. What a blessing Gabrielle…and for me also as I read of your experience. Coming from a Protestant world, much of Catholic worship and tradition is foreign to me…(though I’ve learned lots from my Jesuit brothers and sisters here)…but, my heart aches as I read this. There is a maternal void in the Protestant church…an emptiness where Mary stands for you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day…Her “graciousness” came through your words to me here, so far away…


  6. Beautiful, Gab. And..welcome back!

  7. Thank you, my friends – you were in my thoughts and prayers more than once that evening.

    Sam, Mary longs to fill that maternal void – her heart aches to be with you too. I’m going to be posting two videos you may find intriguing – how a former Protestant pastor was led to the Catholic Church by Mary (through the Ignatian Exercises which I know you’re personally familiar with) and then because of the Eucharist. He is very soft-spoken and the videos are very moving.

  8. Beautiful post!

  9. Thanks, ukok!

  10. simple, humble, beautiful, jewel, precious – rare
    truly blessed
    Hold on to her love

  11. I will, Carol. Welcome here, and thank you for your sweet comment.

  12. how i wish someday i can visit these place with my husband children and grandchildren.

  13. I hope you can too, Josephine. May God bless you and your family abundantly.

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