We read in the Gospel (St. Matthew, XIII, 31): “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
The light of the Gospel began to expand through the Apostles; starting from Galilee, it must extend to the last confines of the earth. About two thousand years have passed and the doctrine of Jesus Christ has not yet penetrated the whole world.
The unbelievers, that is, the unbaptized, are today five sixths of all humanity; about half a billion souls enjoy the fruit of the Redemption; two and a half billion still lie in the darkness of paganism.
God wills everyone to be saved; but it is the design of the Divine Wisdom that man cooperates in the salvation of man. We must therefore work for the conversion of the infidels.
Our Lady is also Mother of these miserable unbelievers, who were redeemed at a high price on Calvary. How can we come to their aid? Pray and entreat the Divine Son so that missionary vocations may arise. Every missionary is a gift of Mary to the Church of Jesus Christ. If you ask those who work in the missions: What is the story of your vocation? All would respond: It originated from Mary … or in a day sacred to Her … or for an inspiration received while praying at Her altar … or for a prodigious grace obtained, as proof of her missionary vocation. . .
If we ask the priests, sisters and lay people who are in the missions: Who is it that gives you strength, who assists you in the dangers, to whom do you entrust your apostolic endeavors? All will point to the Blessed Virgin.
The gospel of our Lord is spread! Where before Satan reigned, now Jesus reigns! Many pagan converts have also become apostles; the indigenous seminaries already exist, where every year many receives the priestly ordination; there is also a good number of indigenous bishops now.
Those who love Our Lady must love the conversion of the infidels and hasten to do something for the kingdom of God to come into the world through Mary.
In our prayers, let us not neglect to think of the Missions, indeed it would be laudable to allocate one day of the week for this purpose, for example, on Saturdays.
Take the excellent habit of making the Holy Hour of adoration for the unbelievers, to hasten their conversion and to render to God the acts of adoration and thanksgiving that is not being offered by this great mass of unbelievers. Oh, how much glory is given to God with a Holy Hour of adoration directed to this intention!
Let us offer sacrifices to the Lord, through the hands of Our Lady, for the benefit of the missionaries. Let us imitate the example of St Therese of the Child Jesus, which with the generous and constant offer of small sacrifices, deserved to be declared Patroness of the Missions. Adveniat regnum tuum! Adveniat per Mariam! (May your Kingdom come! May it come through Mary!)
Don Colbacchini, Salesian Missionary, when he went to Mato Grosso (Brazil), to evangelize an almost savage tribe, he did everything to win over the friendship of the chief, the great Cacico. He was the terror of the area; he kept the skulls of those he had killed exposed in the house and had a team of armed savages at his command.
The missionary, with prudence and charity, obtained after some time that the great Cacico eventually sent his two little children to the catechetical instructions, which were held under a tent secured to the trees. Even their father later listened to the catechisms.
Don Colbacchini wanted to strengthen his friendship with the chief, that one day, he asked Cacico to allow him to bring his two sons to the city of São Paulo, on the occasion of a big feast there. At first there was a stern refusal, but after the insistence and the reassurances, the chief said: I entrust you my children! But remember that if someone will be hurt, you will pay with your life!
Misfortune had its way, that in São Paulo there was an epidemic at that time, the children of Cacico were affected by the epidemic and both died. When the missionary returned home after two months, he said to himself: My life is done! As soon as I tell the head of the tribe the news of the death of the children, I will be killed!
Don Colbacchini recommended himself to Our Lady, imploring Her assistance. The chief Cacico, having heard of the news, had infuriated himself so much, that he bit himself in the hand, with a piece of scrap metal, he wounded himself in his chest and he went away shouting: You’ll see me tomorrow!
While the missionary was celebrating the Holy Mass the following day, the chief entered the chapel, placed himself face down on the floor and said nothing. When the holy sacrifice of the mass was finished, he approached the Missionary and embraced him, saying: You taught that Jesus forgave his crucifiers, I forgive you too! … We will always be friends! The missionary claimed that the Madonna was one who saved him from certain death.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Before going to bed kiss the Crucifix and say to Mary, if I die this night, let it be in the grace of God and I offer my life for the missions!
Prayer to Mary:
– Queen of Heaven, bless the Missions!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI