Once again this year, on July 2nd, we were blessed to celebrate the Solemnity of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin as well as the first profession and renewal of vows for over 25 Servant Brothers and Sisters of the Home of the Mother.
On July 1st we gathered in Loeches, Madrid, after renewing the Consecration of Spain to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Cerro de los Ángeles (Hill of the Angels) in Madrid the day before. We prepared to celebrate the great Solemnity of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin at Loeches. This solemnity is a privilege the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments granted to the Home of the Mother in 2013 and which was celebrated for the first time in the Church’s history on July 2, 2014.
In preparation for this important event, on the evening of July 1st we celebrated the Vigil in honor of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin at the Bernardine convent at Alcalá de Henares. The vigil included exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, prayers from the rite of Mary Ever Virgin, a homily by Fr. Félix López, SHM, and hymns to Our Blessed Mother. Afterwards, we went back to Loeches to have dinner and a Marian evening. Our Blessed Mother was the most important part of these days together. We had great time lifting our voices and singing our hearts out to Her! It was a joy to see everyone’s talents and the songs they sang with so much love to Her.
The next day after breakfast, we prayed before the Blessed Sacrament after Fr. Rafael gave us a short reflection. Following, Fr. Félix gave a talk about the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our spirits were truly enriched during these days together. In the evening around 6 p.m., we all went to the Church of the Bernardines at Alcalá de Henares to celebrate the Mass of profession and renewal of the Servant Brothers’ and Servant Sisters’ vows. Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla presided and more than twenty priests concelebrated with him. Ten sisters made their first vows and fourteen renewed for one or three years. Two brothers renewed their vows.
In his homily, Bishop Juan Antonio told the brothers and sisters that taking vows is like telling Our Lord that they wish to be like Jesus Christ, a gift, not for some time, rather forever and with all of their being. The evangelical counsels demand of them perfect and perpetual chastity. They are God’s alone. “You all belong to God alone, you are totally and exclusively His.” With these words that make one’s heart soar, the solemn celebration continued filling us with joy at perceiving our brothers’ and sisters’ generosity and surrender.
When the ceremony ended, we went to Loeches to have dinner and to celebrate this feast with the brothers and sisters along with their families and friends.
Praise God Who continues to call many to a total and exclusive surrender to Him! Thanks be to God that there are still generous souls who desire to respond to His calling with complete generosity.