“Dearest Brothers and Sisters, let us entrust this commitment to proclaim the Gospel and indeed the whole evangelizing activity of the Church to Most Holy Mary, Queen of Missions. May she accompany us on our journey of discovering, proclaiming, and witnessing to the love of God who forgives and gives peace to mankind.” – Pope John Paul II
Did you know that the Basilica features a prayer to Mary, Queen of Missions? Found in the Mary, Queen of Missions Chapel, this prayer is adapted from the writings of St. Eugene Mazenod, founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries, Oblates of Mary Immaculate. As we celebrate the 56th anniversary of the dedication of the Mary Queen of Missions Chapel on October 14 this year, we invite you to reflect upon this prayer and learn more about the chapel where it is featured at the Basilica.
Prayer to Mary, Queen of Missions
“Holy Mary, our Mother.
Today, each day and in our last hour we entrust ourselves entirely to your loving and singular care. We place in your hands: our entire hope and happiness, our every anxiety and difficulty, our whole lives. May our every endeavor be directed and guided according to the Will of Your Son, which is your will, by the aid of your prayers and special favor with God. Amen.”
About the Mary, Queen of Missions Chapel
In the Basilica’s Mary, Queen of Missions Chapel, the Blessed Mother is depicted in a Venetian glass mosaic. She is crowned with twelve stars, holding a globe surmounted by a cross, with the moon and the serpent beneath her feet (Revelation 12:1). On either side of Mary are men and women from the various continents and cultures evangelized by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, including the Asian-Pacific, South America, and the Arctic Circle. The chapel inscription, “They will always look upon her as their mother,” is taken from the writings of Saint Eugene de Mazenod.
The Church’s Call to Missions
Pope John Paul II, in his message for World Mission Sunday in 1999 explained the centrality of sharing the Gospel in the mission of the Church:
“The Church is missionary in order to proclaim untiringly that God is Father, filled with love for all mankind. Every individual and all nations search, at times even unconsciously, for the mysterious face of God which however is revealed to us solely by His only Son, who is one with the Father (John 1:18). God is ‘the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ and ‘he desires that all mankind [is] saved and come know the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4). Those who accept his grace discover with amazement that they are children of the one Father and therefore feel they owe it to all people to proclaim salvation.”
Rohling, Geraldine M., PhD, MAEd. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Guide and Tour Book. Washington, D.C.: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 2018.
Light a Candle at the Basilica
In honor of Mary, Queen of Missions, we invite you to light a candle today at the National Shrine. Vigil candles burn in the chapels throughout the Great Upper Church and lower crypt level of the National Shrine. Each candle represents the faith of the supplicants and their fervent prayers entrusted to the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother.