One Hundred Names of Mary : Stories and Prayers

Anthony F. Chiffolo.
St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2002.

For each of One Hundred Names of Mary, Anthony Chiffolo provides an engaging, sometimes poignant "story," about how the name was part of the lives of believers, then a traditional prayer associated with the name, and, finally, in the words of one reviewer, his own "sparkling new prayer." The "names" of Mary range from the traditional doctrinal ones –Mother of God, Ever-Virgin, Mediatrix, Advocate, Morning Star – to many that are little known but have had great meaning for some people – Our Lady of Gyor (shared by Ireland and Hungary), of Sinj, of Tinde, of Marija Bistrica, or Neocaesarea and of Trast.

Every entry is well-crafted, concise, attractive, written with marvelous sensitivity. Just one example. After explaining the origin and meaning of the two images of the Madonna della Strada – one in the Jesuit church in Rome, and the other, a painting of a peasant girl by Roberto Feruzzi, in 1897, and citing a short prayer from Pope John XXIII, the contemporary prayer reads: "When I feel hungry or thirsty, remind me of those who are hungrier and thirstier . . . When I think I need a fancy new jacket or a pair of designer sneakers, remind me of those who have no coat or shoes . . .When I begin to drown in all my anxieties, lift me out of my funk and push me into the streets among those whose needs are life threatening...." 100names.jpg (1468371 bytes)

This history of Marian names and devotion contains "auras of beauty, superlative love and sustaining hope." (Ingo Swann) The author acknowledges that the book not only brought him to a "deeper and more honest relationship" to the Blessed Mother but also helped him "to recognize the magnificence of the redemption story." Take up this remarkable book; you will never again think that the "names" of Mary are evidence of excessive devotion.

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