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Following Mary’s fiat

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). In those simple yet profound words of Mary, her fiat, the course of history was changed as Jesus became incarnate within her womb. Since I was a child, the solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25) has been a day marked with celebration and my own personal fiat to the will of God. There is no denying that Mary has been working in my life and in my discernment, guiding me into a deeper relationship with her son Jesus as I prepare for the priesthood.


Integral to this devotion has been my consecration to Jesus through Mary in the Legion of Mary, which I first made in high school. This year, several seminarians from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., who are involved with the Legion of Mary attended the annual Acies event in northeast Philadelphia. During this celebration, held on the weekend closest to the Annunciation, each person has the chance to step forward, place one hand on the Legion standard, and renew his or her promise of consecration.


As I made my own renewal, I was struck by the universality of the church, especially as I see it expressed through the Legion. There were Filipinos, Hispanics, African Americans, Chinese, and descendants of Irish and German immigrants, each stepping forward. The group of seminarians was diverse, with one seminarian from Colombia, one from Bangladesh, one from Sri Lanka and several from Mexico. My eyes then turned to the standard of the Legion, which includes Our Lady standing over a globe, and I felt this was no accident. Mary truly called each of us to be present in this place to give her honor, to follow her son and to work together with a common purpose: to make way for the coming of the Kingdom of God.


I felt humbled and honored at the same time to be here at this Acies, to be in seminary, to give thanks to Mary for so many graces received and look forward to all those yet to come.


Kevin Kelly, who is from All Saints Church  in Manassas, is in his first year of pre-theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019