| By Ivonne J. Hernandez

Behold Your Mom

A local mother shares her journey of discovering more peace in her life after growing closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Social media is such a strange phenomenon. I’m intrigued when I see someone with universal appeal who seems to have found a way to fill a need. Looking closer at these needs can give us great insights into our shared humanity. For example, one grandmother on Instagram has 3.2 million followers. Her profile reads: “The internet mom/grandma you didn’t know you needed. Come for the family recipes, stay for the motherly advice.” She started out making a series of videos called “Did your mom ever tell you?” With her “next door mom” approachable style, she shares tips from “How to clean your dishwasher filter” to “How to begin each day with peace.” A retired preschool teacher, she is intelligent, funny, and loveable, the kind of mom millions seem to want to have around. I am sure even she has had her share of challenging parenting days. I know I have. I know my own mom has. Every one of us falls short sometimes. Yet, being mothered with love is a desire of the human heart. 

Thirteen years ago, I received an invitation to do a Marian Consecration with a group of friends. I didn’t understand what it meant to be consecrated, but I enjoyed praying with my friends, so I said, “Why not?” As I prepared for weeks with daily readings and prayers, Jesus kept pointing me to Mary, saying, “Ivonne, behold your mom.” Mary is the perfect mother. Jesus was inviting me to trust her as completely as He did. Would I allow myself to be mothered by that kind of love? Would I accept His invitation and take Mary into my home? 

At the end of the thirty-three days of preparation and discernment, my heart knew this was the way Jesus wanted me to learn to relate to Him, through His mom. I said yes. I made a promise: Total consecration, total surrender, gift of self. These words were planted in my heart as tiny seeds. As I renew my consecration year after year, my understanding of this great gift grows; wounds are healed, and peace flows. I’ve used different methods and books to prepare for my annual consecration renewal. Each one brings new insights and food for my thoughts and prayers. As a result, I have developed a beautiful adult relationship with my heavenly mom. Mary, especially as I meditate on her as Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, has led me closer to the Eucharistic Heart of her Son.

If you want to learn more about Marian Consecration and how Mary can help us grow closer to her Son, I invite you to attend the next Marian Congress for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. You can find details of the event below.

Attend the Diocesan Marian Congress May 11, 2024

Joining Our Hearts to Jesus, Mary and Joseph

You are invited to the Fifth Annual Marian Congress, a day of prayer, joy, and renewal for Catholics and anyone interested in growing closer to Jesus Christ with help from our Blessed Mother. “Mary, Joseph, and the Eucharist: Forming a Holy Family” is our theme for 2024. 

DATE: Saturday, May 11, 2024
LOCATION: Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Ave N., St. Petersburg
LEARN MORE/REGISTER: FloridaMarianCongress.org

Facts about the Marian Congress:

  • The Marian Congress takes place in May because that is when we celebrate the gift of mothers, and Catholics also thank God for the gift of the Blessed Mother.
  • The Catholic Church dedicates May to Mary in honor of her role as the mother of Jesus and of those in Heaven and on Earth. She mothers everyone like a true mother, and she is the model for those who want to be faithful followers of Christ.

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Once again, Mass and Renewal of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will take place at the conclusion of the Marian Congress, 4:00 p.m. on May 11. During the Mass, participants renew their consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary or recite the Consecration Prayer for the first time.

Learn about being consecrated to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary: https://www.dosp.org/heartofmary/consecration-to-the-immaculate-heart-of-mary/

Ivonne Hernandez is a Catholic wife, mother, Lay Associate of the Blessed Sacrament, President of Elisheba House, speaker, and writer. She lives in Trinity, FL with her husband and two of her young adult sons. Their home parish is St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church.