Celebration of the Solemnity of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin and the profession of vows of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother in Alcalá de Henares (Spain), July 2, 2017.
On Saturday, July 2nd, the Home of the Mother had the great joy of celebrating for the fourth time in history, the Solemnity of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, along with the profession of vows of the Servant Sisters.
Many members of the Home of the Mother, lay members, Servant Brothers, Servant Sisters, youth, etc. got together in Alcalá de Henares on the evening of July 1st, to celebrate the vigil of the Solemnity in the church of the Augustinian Convent. Fr Felix led the vigil and after praying vespers, he gave some thoughts for prayer speaking about the gift of the perpetual virginity of Mary. The vigil included solemn songs by the SHM choir which helped elevate the ceremony. After the vigil, we had dinner in the monastery of Loeches, located on the outskirts of Alcalá where we stayed the night.
The next day, Sunday, July 2nd, we took advantage of the time we had before the Mass to pray the rosary in the cloister of the monastery of Loeches. The Celebration began at 17:30 PM in the Cathedral of Alcalá and was presided by the Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Plá. During the celebration 5 Servant Sisters professed their first vows and 14 sisters renewed vows for one or three years. Both the Mass and the vigil the night before were broadcasted on the internet so that the family members who weren’t able to attend the ceremony in person were able to follow along and accompany their loved ones on this important day. We pray that these sisters who have made their vows remain faithful to the call that they have received from Our Lord and Our Lady.
In the homily, the Bishop focused on the gift of virginity and what it means for the world. He said that virginity makes the Servant Sister God’s property, and that the magnificence of virginity lies in letting God act in our souls. Virginity is a sign and presence of heaven, and the habit of the Servant Sisters s a visible sign that testifies to our virginity. He also mentioned the importance of having consecrated virgins in the world today, in a world that is corrupt and only lets itself be led by sensuality and pleasure. Virginity overcomes this because it is a witness to true joy; living like this, the Servant Sisters is transformed into a small sacrament for the world that brings God to the world. Bishop mentioned that people leave the church, because they do not see the church as a livable place. But those of us who make up the church are in no way perfect, we recognize that we are sinners and that God is the one who acts in us. Lastly, the Bishop pointed out that the surrender of the Servant Sisters’ life is evidence that God continues to act and touch lives today.
After the celebration we went back to the monastery of Loeches for dinner and a night of songs and testimonies. It was a day to be very grateful. May we never forget that the vocation to religious life is a great gift for the Church. May we keep praying so that our young people may have the necessary strength to respond to the will of God for their lives. Pray for holy vocations to the priesthood and religious life!