As we prepare to celebrate one of the most important dates for the Congregation each year, 15th August, we are reminded that Mary Aikenhead had a great devotion to Our Lady and for this reason she chose the feast of the Assumption to be the Patronal feast of the Congregation.
Mary Aikenhead always turned to Our Lady for guidance and comfort. She would often sit with her rosary and ponder all the titles of Mary. She found in her a woman of strength, compassion, gentleness and comfort. She also recognised her as a woman who knew great suffering, sorrow, disappointment, but who never doubted her role in the life of Christ. So it is with this certainty she trusted the Congregation and all its works to the care of Mary.
The Assumption has been celebrated since the fourth century CE, and is an ideal time to express our dedication and commitment, primarily through our work, but also how we live together as part of a community. The Sisters today celebrate this feast with great confidence in our Patron. These last eighteen months have certainly taught us how important our faithfulness and trust in Mary really is. She has gone before us and showed the way. As Sisters of Charity, we are committed to serve God through our Fourth Vow of Service of the Poor. Mary Aikenhead had been deeply affected by the poverty she saw all around her and was moved to take the courageous step of founding our Congregation on the invitation of Archbishop Daniel Murray.
Today Sisters of Charity still live out their commitment to those who are made poor in many Continents and engage in work to benefit their communities and devote themselves to the vulnerable and those who are most in need. Since the outbreak of Covid 19, we are all aware of someone who has lost their lives through this pandemic. Sisters still reached out to those in need in whatever way was possible. We can turn with confidence to Our Lady knowing she has also had to stand and watch her Son be crucified. We as Sisters of Charity feel proud of all our Sisters who have gone before us and all who continue to follow Christ as women of Hope committed to the service of the poor.
So together we unite in prayer as we say:
Almighty, ever-living God,
You have taken the mother of your Son,
The immaculate Virgin Mary,
Body and soul into the glory where you dwell,
Keep our hearts set on heaven
So that, with her, we may share in your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever
(Concluding prayer Divine Office Vespers.)