"Our Lady gives me great power and strength to go about my daily life so she means a great deal to me and I love her dearly."
"Speaking in very simple terms, I see Our Lady just as a mother and a great strength and guide, certainly somebody to go to when in any sort of anxiety or anguish or temptation. In those sorts of moments it's a great moment to go to Our Lady and she never lets me down. So, Ave Maria."
"The Father sends the Word and Mary is moved and conceives Christ through the Spirit; and it is the Spirit who dwells within her, within Christ, that moves her to become that handmaid of the Lord, that enables her to continunally hear the word. And as she stands under the cross, she is able to carry that suffering through the voice of the Spirit, and therefore at Pentecost she is there ready and open to receive the Spirit with the newborn Church."
Mother Damien is a Poor Clare Sister at Ty Mam Duw in North Wales.
"In my prayer about this, it occurred to me that the yes of Maximlian Kolbe, the yes of Cassie Burnall, weren't the first yes that they had uttered to God. In order to say yes on the big occasions, I believe you have to practice it, you have to practice saying yes to God and that means saying yes to God in small things. Saying yes in the every day means that when the time for the big yes comes, we'll be so practiced at saying yes to God that it'll just come out of our mouth naturally just like Mary, when she said yes to the angel. 'Be it done unto me according to thy word' - that comes from a life of saying yes to God and that's what strikes me about Maximilian Kolbe - his life of saying yes to God. It cost him his life but in doing that he followed the way of our Saviour Jesus. Jesus' yes to God in the Garden of Gethsemane and throughout his whole life led to the Cross, and it should also lead us to the Cross. And that's why Maxmilian Kolbe to me is an inspiration and, as I'm training to be a priest, a real person to look up to, to follow and to say 'He followed Christ with his yes to God every day and I'd like to be just like that.'"
Daniel Fitzpatrick is one of the Totus2us team and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle on 6 July 2013.
"I like the image of the rosary as being those reins of our Heavenly Mother holding us and us holding her so that we're free to enjoy this wonderful world, but that she's always there, guiding us, not just keeping us away from evil but leading us ever closer to the goal which is not just to understand our faith better but to know her Son better. I've come to realise now that it's not possible to love our Heavenly Mother too much because she only ever leads us to her Son."
Psalm 139 - Lord you examine me and you know me - "It tells me that whatever I'm feeling, whatever I'm thinking, even if I'm finding it difficult to pray, God knows what's going on inside me, He knows what my desires are deep down, and he knows what I'm seeking for and he knows what path I should follow and what's the right path for me even if I don't always know it."
"Our Lady is my greatest support. She’s my life and my backbone. Whenever I need something, I go to her. When I need something from Our Lord, I also go to her."
"I was an Anglican and I did not know Our Lady. I was invited to a pro-life protest a few years ago by a Catholic friend of mine and during that we prayed the rosary. This was the first time I'd ever prayed it and in doing so I remember being struck to my heart by having an awareness of Mary's humility, purity and love. In comparison to what I saw going on around me, her faith in holding onto the child, in her obedience in saying yes to God. That's what strikes me: her humility, her love, her purity and her faith."
World Youth Day Madrid 2011: "It was such a fantastic experience to see all these young people here for the Pope, here for the Church, here for Jesus, here for the universal Church. There were so many translation barriers but we all had in common: adoration, the Mass, the rosary, the set prayers, praise and worship songs. This was our language, this was the language of the Catholic Church and it was just fantastic to see."
"Mary, what does she mean to me? Primarily, she's safety, love, motherly love, she represents beauty, and just peace and protection mostly. And she gives me peace in my heart and comfort and tranquility as well."
"Our Lady is just the most amazing mother you could ask for… and she will never let you down."
"Our Lady means to me everything. She means eternal life, she means sacrifice, she means devotion, she means hope and she means life. Alleluia!"
"When I was a little child aged 3, the nursery maid taught me the Hail Mary and I never forgot it and always thought about it and that's how I became a Christian and a Catholic at the age of 14."
"The Blessed Virgin Mary is like another mother: you feel like that maternal bond of all the praying that she does and all the love that she has bestowed through all the generations. She's someone who is so great to turn to in your moments of need, just saying the Hail Mary and asking for her help."
"Mary is the Mother of God, she is our mother, she is the Queen of the universe. So she has a mother’s heart and a royal power. What an amazing gift that is for each one of us, her children."
"Christmas tells me so much about myself, about being a human being. It tells us that God wants to share his life with us completely. The fact that God became flesh and dwelt among us tells us that God identifies with us in every way except sin. This is an important message for us to take to heart because it tells me that I am infinitely loveable to God."
3 2us on St John Mary Vianney
"For St John Vianney, prayer - lifting up our mind and heart to God each day - enables us to find our true home, where we really belong, deep in the heart of Jesus. John Vianney writes 'In prayer, which is union with God, the soul and God are like two pieces of wax molded into one.' What a wonderful image for us to pray with. One of the most famous stories about the Curé d'Ars is about someone who came to him as he sat at the back of the Church before the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord fully present among us, and when this person asked "What are you doing all day with this?" he answered, "Nothing. I just look at Him and He looks at me." John Vianney knew the beauty of true friendship - just to be with the beloved was all he asked. This enabled him to see everything in a different light and so he writes for us 'In prayer well made, troubles vanish like snow in the rays of the sun.'"
3 2us on Saint David
"Another David, living 500 years after Christ, is the patron saint of Wales. He too wanted to put his whole heart into loving God. As a young priest he defended Catholic teaching, especially about how Christ alone saves us from the power of sin which is destructive of our humanity and how our humanity grows only with the help of God's grace. David lived a very ascetic life, he founded monasteries where a very simple life was promoted, a life stripped of as many material things as possible. It was not that he saw material things as bad, but simply that our attachment to material things, an over-dependence on them blinds us to the love of God. He became known as the waterman because his monks drank only water, a way of wanting to rely totally on God."
Father David Barnes is the parish priest of the Church of SS Anselm & Cecilia n London (before that his parish for a long time was St Mary Moorfields in the City).
In Man for Others, Father David describes how working at a retreat centre with the Sacred Heart Fathers during his GAP year changed the direction of his life.
"I believe that God's plan will continue to unfold, a plan that He's had from the beginning of time and He is drawing me along a very exciting, life-giving adventure and I'm really looking forward to that with great hope. I thank God every day for my life and I seek now to help people to understand that God has a plan for each of them, it's not necessarily priesthood but it's a very clear plan, and so I hope and pray that they find that, anyone listening will find their plan, God's plan for them, and seek to respond with generosity and with joy."
"As Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, we see Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. So Mary really is one who points to the heart of Jesus."
"He was somebody who presented an experience of faith and showed us the face of God in a very down to earth, a very human way, a very friendly, warm and compassionate way and that really showed me that priesthood was a great way of serving people, of being close to people, of bringing God's love to people and people to God's love."
Father David Nixon is a Missionary of the Sacred Heart.
"I've felt Mary's personal love for me in so many personal situations and I know that she's there for me."
"Mary's presence has always been in my life and will always be there, and my love of her is growing through everyone else's love as well."
"I've been lucky enough to attend Our Lady's shrine in Lourdes over many years and I've always got a special comfort and joy in that, and should I say courage to battle on. Mary is our great friend in all this and I try to pray to her every day."
"Mary is a gracious woman who blessed us with Jesus, Lord our Saviour. I give thanks to her on a daily basis that Jesus came here to wash away my sins."
"Mary has set my on a journey of fulfillment and grace, and basically I feel more content, more secure, and also I feel more blessed that I’m here for a purpose, where I’m always, always surrounded by love, and for all this I thank Jesus."
"Saint John Paul II, his great change of heart when he read 'The True Devotion to Mary', ended up dedicating his entire pontificate to her - Totus Tuus - because of the power and presence of Mary when he was reading St Louis de Montfort's book. So I would ask all people to, if you have any problems, go to Mary. She's the quickest way to Jesus. Read the book, True Devotion to Mary, and read about St Maximilian Kolbe .. who is truly the inspiration of A Day with Mary."
"For me, Mary is that place of hospitality where she makes space for another person and in doing so of course she encounters Christ and then not only does she make space but she brings forth the Christ to those that she meets. For me that's a beautiful invitation to us to make space in our lives for those who are really on the edge, for those who no-one else wants, and in doing so we bring forth Christ not only to ourselves but we manifest him to the wider world."
Father Des is a Montfort Missionary.
World Youth Day Madrid 2011: "The experience of being around so many other young Catholics, it's just fantastic."
"So I really do feel close to Mary now and I feel her presence and I’m still learning all the time but to me I know now she’s my mother."
Fr Dominic gives TOP CHAT about his trip to Northern Iraq with Aid to the Church in Need, the genocide there and the hope of the people: "They cannot stay in the refugee camps in Erbil forever. They want to go back to Mosul, to Qaraqosh, to the little villages in the Nineveh plains where in August 2014 they were driven out. What we encountered there, with these people, with the clergy, with the government officials who we met as well in the Kurdistan regional government, was above all hope. And this always is a surprise .. When you actually meet people who in the most terrible situations in which they've been separated from their families, from their careers, children's education has been disrupted ... and you hear people say 'We want to stay here. This is our homeland. Christianity has been here since the time of St Thomas and it's our country and we want to go back to our homes and practice our Catholic faith or our Orthodox faith or the religious minorities in the coutnry, Yasidis, Turkey men, these other groups, 'We want to practice our faith in freedom', then it affects you. You realise that this is something that you've got to take back. That there is something deep within these people in the most tragic of circumstances which is driving them on. So that was what the trip was really about. .... The sooner that we can have the international community be clear that what has happened, especially since 2014 but which has been building up since Saddam Hussein fell in 2003, to be clear that this is a genocide, it is on religious grounds, then the sooner we can start rebuilding."
"Mary is my mother, she’s my inspiration, she’s my joy, she’s my consolation, she’s absolutely everything to me. I couldn't make it through the day without her her, without her love and her support, knowing that she's always interceding for me and she's always there for me. So, yeh, I love Mary."
"Mary is without sin, completely immaculate, she is the Immaculate Conception, and it's this sinless, her purity that makes her the closest person to us. She's so close to us, she experiences life with us and she loves us as a mother, as a heavenly mother, and she wants to lead us to her son, to her beloved son Jesus. So in times of loneliness or in despair, I know that she is with me, she is always there. She is very close to our hearts and we can share everything with her."