A simple prayer to the Virgin Mary ~ Mother of God was posted here in November of last year following a terrible and deadly attack in Paris, France. Since then there have been seemingly countess other attacks not only in France but around the world. In fact, those attacks have become so frequent that they can no longer be adequately mentioned here before another takes place.
I am now fully aware that in the time between the Thursday posting of the weekend intercessions and Sunday morning, yet another terrible shooting, massacre or bombing will have taken place. Death upon death.
But a number of folks have written lately expressing a deep hopelessness in all of it. In answering the inner prompt to do a little research, I discovered that the Virgin-Martyr, Saint Reparata is the patroness of Nice, France. Reparata died in the persecution of Decius. The cathedral at Nice retains her relics.
The Virgin Martyrs are a large group of saints, usually young Christian girls, who refused to marry pagan men or bear children to be raised up in dedication to the emperor who thought he was a god. Girls - brave beyond our imagining.
And there were little children and teens killed in Nice the other night. And mothers and fathers tumbled over themselves while trying to shield their little ones from the zig-zagging truck as it plowed through the crowd. I just read of a husband who was killed as he pushed his pregnant wife to safety and of a four year old boy still missing, having been separated from his mother in the chaos.
I can't think what to do, except to look at the beautiful and bright face of young Reparata, gazing out at us and our frenzied, frustrated, frightened world. Reparata would have understood the world, violent and fearsome. And perhaps out of that long-look to make a prayer attempt. You too.
We make your acquaintance
at the Nice cathedral
where your relics are enshrined
O holy Reparata.
And as we meet you in your icon
and greet you
with your decorated halo,
your eyes meet ours
who come to you in
sorrow and tears,
pain and fear.
Do what you can for us, won't you?
that the lost child would find his mother,
that the injured would heal,
that those in emotional agony would be comforted,
that the rescuers and helpers would be strong,
that the evil-planners would have a change of heart,
that those shaking with fear would be restored to calm,
that the dead would wake up
to the face of Jesus-Risen
and your own face too,
and all your heavenly companions.