August 21st  Sunday 21C.  Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. Patron Feast of SA.   The Catholics in the group were given a chance to explain their devotion to Mary to the others.  Different people shared how they saw her as a powerful queen, a mother, a sorrowing mother, at times possibly angry at events in her life and that of her son.  She had experienced exile, and losing a child is very painful as some had also experienced. Some liked the “gentle woman” that we see on Christmas cards, and other images too were shared.  All agreed with the words she herself used, “The Lord has done great things for me.” The sharing was enlightening for all and they agreed a patroness can be all those things.  After they considered their particular local reality they prayed together,   “Mary, Queen assumed into heaven, patroness of South Africa, pray for us.”    Our bishops have asked the local church to pray a special prayer for the country. See A pity that it does not include an invocation to our country’s patron.

Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.  For behold henceforth all generations will call me blessed: for he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.  Luke 1:46-49.  Pope Francis:  Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world.  Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus so now she grieves for the suffering of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. LS 241.