Today I'm thinking of the little holy card of Our Lady of the Angels, which I've had with me since, as best as I can reconstruct the timing, since the morning of Friday, April 23, 1993.
|Saint Mary of the Angels/pray for us|
How I came to have it is a long story, or at least the beginning of a long story. (Long story here.) I've had the holy card in my wallet ever since. In the current wallet:
I can't think of any physical thing I have had with me continuously for so long. She's been through the wash a couple of times by accident, but has held up pretty well. The prayer on the back is mostly gone, though.
Thinking on this, I am reminded how Our Lady has always been with me. In the early days of my Catholic life I had reason to turn to her and her rosary, and that was a great grace. Indeed, over the course of my journey in Catholic Christianity, I have come to notice certain 'barometers' that reveal how I'm doing; if I'm in a healthy place or if I have gone off track. And one of these is how close I'm sticking with Our Lady and her rosary.
More recently, in my current Roman sojourn, I have found myself drawn and invited into devotion to Our Lady, Salus populi romani (salvation/health--in the sense of 'protectress'--of the Roman people).
|Salus Populi Romani|
Her icon is enthroned at Saint Mary Major, and was visited, as everyone will remember, by Pope Francis on the first morning after his election. The image above is without the crowns and jewels that you will see when you visit her at the Basilica.
Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula, pray for us.
Salus populi romani, protect and assist us in our journey toward health and salvation.
Virgin made Church, may we take refuge in your motherhood.