Daily, Daily, Sing to Mary

by Fr Paul Haffner, Gracewing, 648pp, £27

This hefty book is designed to provide daily readings relating mainly to places associated with Marian apparitions, devotions and pilgrimages. Thus there is an entry for every day of the year and these are drawn from a variety of sources, with the general aim of encouraging devotion to the Blessed Virgin as part of everyday life.

In many cases, the readings chosen for a particular day will be well known to most readers, as either important Marian feast days or as a commemoration of major apparitions of Our Lady. But what makes this book interesting is the breadth of the entries, which indicate the truly universal nature of the Blessed Virgin’s influence over the past 2,000 years of Church history.

A number are devoted to statues of Our Lady which have appeared miraculously, and around which a devotional cult has arisen, or where an individual has put a statue in a particular location as a devotional offering, and then over time a cult has grown up.

Another recurring theme is the way Our Lady has appeared to poor shepherds or shepherdesses, such as the children of Fatima. But unlike Fatima, which has grown into one of the world’s most important Marian shrines, those that grew up around these other individuals have often remained obscure. There is a hierarchy for the various apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, and some are clearly more significant than others.

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