Our Beloved Bishop Speaks Diocese of Kumbakonam


Respected and dear brother - priests, religious and laity,

During this month of May let us Journey together to Judea along with our dear Virgin Mary.

When the Virgin Mary met Elizabeth, Mary is blessed by Elizabeth and Mary in turn responds with the song of the Magnificat (Lk 1: 46-55), in which we find the words: "The Mighty one has done great things for me" (v.49).

According to Pope Francis, "Mary’s is a revolutionary prayer, the song of a faith-filled young woman conscious of her limits, yet confident in God’s mercy" (L’Osservatore Romano 25, March 2017)6.

Mary was very young. But she was ready to do great things in the history of salvation. She says, "Surely, from now on all generation will call me blessed" (Lk 1:48). From where did she get the boldness to confess that she was capable of doing "great things?" Her boldness was born of her faith in God’s mercy, a mercy that is given generously by God to all those who fear him (Lk 1:50).

Here we notice faith is at the centre of Mary's revolutionary prayer. St. Paul says, "I can do all things through him (the Lord) who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13)

Secondly the past memory of her personal life was in Mary's mind. She was already told by angel Gabriel, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God... For nothing will be impossible with God" (Lk 1: 30, 38)

So the sources of Mary’s courage and hope were her faith in God and her past memory.

Thirdly the source of Mary's courage was born of the memory of God’s wonderful works in the history of Mary’s ancestors.

Mary sings: "He (God) has shown strength with his arms; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly..." (Lk 1: 51-55).

Here we note that three important elements stand behind the bold ventures of Mary: 1. Mary’s confidence in God’s mercy, 2. The memory of Mary's personal life and 3. The memory of the mirabilia Dei, wonderful works of God in the life of Mary’s ancestors.

When we try to recite the revolutionary prayer or when we try to think of doing something great in our life we may have the difficulty of facing our personal spiritual deficiencies.

If we are challenged by our personal defects we can bring before our mind the words of our Pope Francis: "History teaches us that, even when the Church has to sail on stormy seas, the hand of God guides her and helps her to overcome movements of difficulty... I would like to remind you that there is no saint without a past, nor a sinner without a future. The pearl is born of a wound in the oyster! Jesus, by his love, can heal our hearts and turn our lives, into genuine pearls. As saint Paul said, the Lord can show his power through our weaknesses (Cf. 2Cor 12:3)" (LR 25, March, 2017) 6, 7.

According to Pope Francis we must make use of our past events to draw some good lessons for the present and the future (LR 25, March, 2017)7

Wishing you a fruitful month of Mary,

Yours sincerely in our Lord,

+ F. Antonisamy.
Bishop of Kumbakonam.