Our Lady Visits Her Future Priests at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary was opened in 1806, and is the second oldest Catholic theologate in the United States.  It was founded by Fr. John Dubois who was a refugee of the French Revolution. In 1809, he welcomed the future saint – Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton and her newly founded Sisters of Charity to Emmitsburg.  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native born American to be canonized.

Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, the Rector, announced to the seminarians and faculty how honored they should all be that the pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa was with them on September 12th – the Memorial of the Holy Name of Mary. It was on this day, in 1683, that the forces of the Holy League led by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland won a great victory defeating Muslim Ottoman Turk invaders who were besieging the city of Vienna.  The Turks saw Vienna as the key to their conquest of Europe. The term “golden apple” was used by Muslims as a target for conquest. One the golden apple had been Constantinople. In the 17th century it was the city of Vienna

Sobieski and his forces set out from the Shrine of Our Lady Czestochowa on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Thirty days later, though vastly outnumbered, Sobieski led the Polish winged hussars in the largest cavalry charge in history, sending the Ottoman army into retreat and breaking the threat of Muslim domination of Europe for over three centuries.  After the victory, Sobieski wrote in a letter to Bl. Pope Innocent XI “Veni, vidi, Deus vincit.” – “I came, I saw, God conquered”, paraphrasing Julius Caesar’s famous quote “Veni, vidi, vici.”

In thanksgiving for the victory Bl. Pope Innocent XI extended the Feast in honor of the Holy Name of Mary to the Universal Church, and added the Polish eagle to his own coat of arms - the symbol of his pontificate.

The pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa arrived at the seminary late on Tuesday evening of September 11th and stayed until Friday morning when she was taken to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes for public veneration, Mass and nighttime procession.

Many seminarians came to the chapel to venerate the icon during the day.  Pro-life literature was made available for the seminarians outside the chapel. Mount St. Mary’s has an active branch of Seminarians for Life.  Msgr. Rohlfs, Fr. Frederick Miller and about 30 seminarians and staff participated in a pro-life rosary on Wednesday evening.  On Saturday, some of the seminarians came to pray with the icon in front of an abortion mill in Frederick, MD.  Many of them also participated in the Mass and procession at the Grotto on Friday.

Our Lady came to Mount St. Mary’s to encourage her future priests to defend life and give them confidence that she can win the victory over the culture of death!  Fr. Frederick Miller, who helped arrange the visit, was very grateful for Our Lady’s visit and said there were many graces.

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