Our Lady’s Birthday and Perpetual Vows Ceremony of the Servant Brothers and Sisters of the Home of the Mother in Priego, Cuenca, Spain, on September 8th, 2015.
On September 8th, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Home of the Mother celebrated this day in honor of our Blessed Mother with great joy. 4 Servant Sisters and 3 Servant Brothers gave God their final “yes”, offering themselves as a gift to His Mother: Sr. Ana Maria of the Heart of God and the Virgin Queen, Sr. Kelly Jo Maria of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sr. Laura Maria of Jesus and Mary, Sr. Kelai Maria of the Holy Spirit, Br. Kevin Maria of the Eternal Father, Br. Carl Maria, Slave of Mary, Br. Joseph Maria of the Incarnation. The ceremony took place in Priego, Cuenca, at 6:30 pm, in the parish Church. His Excellency José Maria Yanguas, Bishop of the diocese of Cuenca, Spain, celebrated the Holy Mass and received the vows of these Servant Sisters and Brothers who made their perpetual profession.
The evening of the 7th, we prepared this feast day of Our Lady with a prayer vigil with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Rafael, founder of the Home of the Mother, helped us to place ourselves in the presence of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother, giving points of meditation to help us to later personally reflect during a time of silence. Afterwards, we sang songs and offered vocal prayers in honor of our Mother, the ever Virgin, and ended with Compline and the Salve Regina.
We spent the day of September 8th in the Monastery of St. Michael of the Victories in Priego. There was a large group of Servant Brothers, Sisters, relatives and friends.
In the afternoon, everything was ready for the celebration of Our Lady’s birthday. We headed down to the Parish Church of St. Nicholas of Bari. At 6:30 pm, the celebration of the Eucharist began, in which our Brothers and Sisters made their final surrender to the Lord, encouraged by the words Bishop Yanguas directed to them in the homily. He spoke of the joy that we receive in celebrating this Feast Day and how She, the Blessed Virgin, intercedes for us as the glory of the Christian People. To the Brothers and Sisters making their vows, he spoke these words:
“You give all that you are and have: your present and your future and also, in a certain sense, your past. You make the sacrifice of your own capacities as men and women. It is the sweet and joyful sacrifice. You give your spirit, your intellect, because you want to see with the eyes of God. You want to see with the light of God. You want the light of God to be the lamp that guides your steps, your life. You give your will in obedience, because you want to love and have only one will. This is love: communion of wills. And this is obedience: union of wills, union with God and loving submission to His will. You give everything that belongs to you, conscious that only God suffices. This is poverty.
“Only God is your richness. Everything else is nothing… To this you will commit the rest of your life. You place your future in God’s hands forever. “Forever” is an adverb that must necessarily accompany love. There is no true temporal, limited love. When a person loves, he loves forever. He gives himself forever. He surrenders himself forever, with the firm desire and the firm will to never turn back. Never. This is what we ask God, our Lord, this evening for you, while we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, in this Divine Liturgy. May you have a determined heart, moved by the love of God, in imitation of Our Lady. We ask her to grant you the gift of a full and joyful faithfulness.”
At the end of the Eucharist Celebration, we returned to the Monastery to continue the festivities with a wonderful dinner that the Sisters had prepared for us outside, together with Our Lady.
Once the sun had set, we watched several videos to congratulate the Brothers and Sisters who had just made their perpetual profession. Our last congratulation was directed toward our Lady, with the song of the Salve Regina, and this is how this long and beautiful day ended.