January 6 – THE EPIPHANY
1877- FOUNDATION OF THE INSTITUTE
FIRST BOOK – WAY OF LIFE
CHAPTER VI No 78
TAKEN (in part) FROM THE CARD-INDEX OF THE WRITINGS OF MARY OF THE PASSION
SOURCE 2 – CUSTOMS BOOK: WAY OF LIFE, (Cf. 74-75)
The feast of the Epiphany is the anniversary of the Foundation of our Institute. It was on that day in 1877 that Pius IX deigned to bless and authorize it.
Let us consider this as a grace from heaven. This feast is that of the conversion of the Gentiles, and none could be more suitable as a date for the foundation of a missionary Institute.
The Divine Master wished to mark the Epiphany by another grace for the Institute. It was on this day that our Very Reverend Father Bernardino of Portogruaro sent us his mantle, saying at the same time the words so dear to our hearts: “This is the symbol of the protection that our Father Saint Francis and his children accord always to the Missionaries of Mary. Behold the mantle beneath which the Missionaries of Mary may always find shelter.”
The Drawing of the countries
At midday recreation, in order to enter into the spirit of the feast, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary draw the names of the regions or countries prepared for this purpose. Each one must therefore associate herself all year long with the Angels in the care of the country or region that falls to her, making herself, through her prayers and sacrifices, the apostle and the good angel of the region that Providence has entrusted to her. As for the Protectors, the names must be written on cards, so that these may be posted in the cell.
The Drawing of the Queen
At the evening recreation, a cake with a bean may be served: the King will always be the Infant Jesus, and the one who will be Queen will receive and keep all year long in her cell an image or a statue of the sweet little King, who will have chosen her for his queen. Tea or sweet wine may also be served along with the cake.
Directory: On the feast of the Epiphany, let us render thanks to Our Blessed Lord for the Foundation of our Institute; let us thank Him also for having sheltered us beneath the mantle of our Father Saint Francis, and let us remember our Most reverend Father General’s words of advice “That as we increase in numbers, we should decrease in our estimation, so as to be small enough to find place beneath the Seraphic and blessed mantle.”
May each one strive during the year to obtain great graces for the country that has fallen to her and also for our Missions (…)
The religious who is the queen of the Infant Jesus should receive this grace with a great spirit of faith, and strive to show herself worthy of the Divine little King, Who has chosen her as His spouse, and make use of her privilege with simplicity and confidence, so as to obtain great graces for the Church, poor sinners, the should in Purgatory, the Order of Saint Francis, the Institute, and her own soul.