Sunday, August 16, 2015


Photo: R. Massaro-St. Peter Church Mansfield, Ohio

 If we wish to rediscover in all its richness the profound relationship between the Church and the Eucharist, we cannot neglect Mary, Mother and model of the Church. In my Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, I pointed to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our teacher in contemplating Christ's face, and among the mysteries of light I included the institution of the Eucharist.102 Mary can guide us towards this most holy sacrament, because she herself has a profound relationship with it.

St. Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia

While meditating on the great gift of the Eucharist, and reading the account of the Last Supper, I've often wondered about the bread that Jesus provided on that last night with his Apostles. I wonder and secretly hope that Our Lady herself provided the bread.

There is no definitive teaching on this subject, but to this devoted Catholic and lover of the Holy Eucharist, it makes perfect theological sense to me that Mary herself could have provided the bread for the Last Supper. It makes sense that She, who was chosen as the pure vessel in which our Lord was formed in her womb, would then, later, lovingly and with pure hands and heart, form the bread to be used by Our Lord to institute the Holy Eucharist, his very body and blood. 

Our Blessed Mother was the mediator in that first public miracle of her Son,when, at Cana, she stated, "they have no more wine."  And Jesus responded and turned the water into wine, and not just any wine, but the choicest wine.  And, again, it makes sense that Our Lady becomes mediator for the greatest of miracles, by providing the bread that will become the Lord's body and blood: The Most Holy Eucharist, the awesome miracle in our life in which he remains present with us in all the tabernacles throughout the world. He promised not to leave us orphans, and I like to believe that our Lady, Mother of the Church, provided that first bread of offering for her children.

Scripture is clear that Our Lord asked Peter and John to prepare the Passover supper. Details about the food and wine are a mystery. This leaves room for speculation in which we have to be most careful. Again, I am only offering here my thoughts and meditations on this subject.

Photo: R. Massaro-St. Albert the Great Church North Royalton, Ohio

Our Lady has a devotional title concerning the Eucharist, "Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament," I humbly propose a new title, Our Lady, "Mother of the Bread of Life!" Just as Our Lady has titles reflecting the Eucharist, the Church has various names for the Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives descriptions of these beautiful titles:


The Lord's Supper

The Breaking of the Bread

The Eucharistic Assembly

The Memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection

The Holy Sacrifice

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, 

Holy Communion

Holy Mass
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pg. 335, 1328-1332.)

The Church teaches us that Mary is the new Eve. In light of this, it makes sense that she provides the "manna" in which Our Lord will transform this earthly bread of the Old Covenant into his very self-the New Covenant: The Living Bread that comes down from heaven.  

Let us pray for each other, that we have a great love, devotion and reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist.  Let us be ever-grateful to Our Lady for her total Yes to God, for giving birth to Christ, our Savior, the Bread of Life.

May the most blessed Virgin Mary, from whom Christ the Lord took the flesh that "is contained, offered, received" (81) in this Sacrament under the appearances of bread and wine, and may all the saints of God and especially those who were more inflamed with ardent devotion toward the divine Eucharist, intercede with the Father of mercies so that this common belief in the Eucharist and devotion to it may give rise among all Christians to a perfect unity of communion that will continue to flourish
 Pope Paul VI Mysterium Fidei

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

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