New book explores Blessed Mother’s various titles

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INFINITELY worthier of adulation than the mother-of-dragons-turned-mad-queen Daenerys Targaryen, Mary, the Blessed Mother, has everyone dazzled by her titles.

In his book “A Sky Full of Stars,” Catholic writer Joby Provido explains the meaning behind the 52 titles attributed to the Virgin Mary in the Litany.

The book’s title came from the depiction of Mary’s cloak as the blue sky adorned with stars, signifying Christians under her mantle of protection and role as a refuge for sinners.

“It is intended for Catholics who pray the Litany who have been puzzled about some of her titles like Mystical Rose, Tower of David, Tower of Ivory, House of Gold and Ark of the Covenant,” Provido, who took theology courses at the University of Notre Dame, told the Varsitarian.

Heavily backed by the Sacred Scriptures and Church teaching, the book is easy to read even for those who are clueless in the field of theology.

After every reflection, the reader is aided by a short description of the titles, which emphasizes the Blessed Mother’s role in connection to God and the Church.

“When invoking this title, consider that: Mary is the beautiful neck of the Church where God’s grace flows to us,” Provido wrote, explaining the title “Tower of Ivory.”

Originally known as the Litany of Loreto, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a series of invocation that calls to mind the titles attributed to her from scripture or by the Church.

“We learn about Mary through her titles because they point to the qualities that we revere in her… as a result, we would like to know her more intimately through prayer and meditation of the mysteries of the rosary,” he explained in the book.

Provido pointed out that Mary plays an “integral part in the plan of God as our mother protector, model, intercessor, and channel of grace.”

“We acknowledge her blessedness when we say he is the ‘preeminent and wholly unique member of the Church. It is a declaration that she surpasses all creation and we can’t stop talking about it,” he added.

Dubbed as “a people in love with Mary,” Filipinos are known for their traditions of piety dedicated to the Blessed Mother, such as celebrating Flores de Mayo and Marian processions.

The Catechism for Filipino Catholics states that “the typical ‘Filipino’ approach to Christ… is with and through Mary. Devotion to Mary has always been intertwined with [devotion to] Christ.”

Catholics also mark May as the month of Mary and October as the month of the Holy Rosary.

Granted imprimatur by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, “A Sky Full of Stars” is a testament to the enduring devotion of Filipino Catholics to the Mother of God.

Provido gives a wonderful guide to all Christians who want to know more about the Blessed Virgin, who is the “perfect reflection” of her Son. The book invites its readers to grow in deeper love for the Blessed Mother, who continually draws her children closer to Jesus Christ.

“If Christ, our Lord, and God, loved his mother so much, how can we say we are another Christ if we don’t love Mary?” Provido wrote, explaining the title, “Mother Most Amiable.”

“A Sky full of Stars” was published by Central Books Inc. in November 2018 and is available at Amazon and Café Inggo at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. Eugene Dominic V. Aboy, O.P.

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