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Monthly message May 2024

May 2024

"Mary arose and went with haste" (Lk 1:39) 

WUCWO 2024 Day

Dear friends of WUCWO:

We have just entered a very beautiful month, the month of May, especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It also coincides with the celebration of WUCWO Day on the 13th, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Finally, in many countries around the world, Mother's Day, so important and endearing to everyone, is celebrated this month. So many things to celebrate and be thankful for in May!

WUCWO Day reminds us that we are not alone, for we are part of a great universal network of prayer, joint actions and solidary support in which Catholic women around the world come together for training, sharing good practices, helping each other and working to transform the world, bringing to all mankind God’s Word and love.  This network, which extends to all corners of the world where our more than 100 organisations representing more than 8 million women, undoubtedly counts with the Lord's loving hand and Mary's infinite embrace.

Since its foundation in 1910, WUCWO has gone through many different historical moments, not all of them easy or pleasant, as was, for example, the period during the First World War, between 1914 and 1918, when the then called "International Union of Catholic Women's Leagues", simply known as the "Union", ceased to function and could only resume its activities years later. However, despite all the obstacles, WUCWO is still active today, growing and reaching out to different corners of the globe; acting as a welcoming umbrella structure for all those organisations that wish to join and working hand in hand with the Holy Father and the whole Church. WUCWO Day is undoubtedly a good time to give thanks to the Lord for all the gifts received, the fruits obtained and the millions of women who have passed through its ranks, sowing Christian hope and joy in their families and communities. If we have been able to go forward, it is thanks to Him and to the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace, our Patroness.  

Since the month of May is dedicated to Our Lady, who has been and continues to be our great intercessor, we could devote countless pages to her as a role model. Today I would like to recall here the motto of last summer's World Youth Day (WYD): " Mary arose and went with haste " (Lk 1:39). Pope Francis dedicated these words to the young people in Lisbon: "After the Annunciation, Mary could have focused on herself and her own worries and fears about her new condition. Instead, she entrusted herself completely to God. Her thoughts turned to Elizabeth. She got up and went forth, into the world of life and movement." What a grand example we have in the Blessed Virgin, who, with her great and restless heart, immediately placed herself at the service of others, with total trust in God!

At WYD the Pope also recalled: " The haste of the young woman of Nazareth is the haste of those who have received extraordinary gifts from the Lord and feel compelled to share them, to let the immense grace that they have experienced be poured out upon others. It is the haste of those capable of putting other people’s needs above their own". In these times when so many people are suffering because of wars, misery, broken families, abandonment, violence, forced migration and the lack of God in their lives, may each one of us be recognised for our haste to help and to share with others what we are and what we have, and, why not, for the gifts and charisms that we already offer and for those which we will be able to bring to the service of the Church in the future, walking together with the other members of the People of God in a synodal way.

Yes, these weeks are undoubtedly a good opportunity to draw closer to Our Lady and to seek to become more and more like Her. There are some practices and traditions that help us to remain in Mary's presence and to open our arms and hearts to her maternal embrace, her wisdom, her consolation and her peace. We can begin by offering her our day in the morning, praying the rosary, visiting a Marian shrine, praying the daily Angelus or the Regina Cœli, which replaces it during the Easter season, reciting prayers dedicated to Her, and bringing her flowers. These are small details, small signs that keep us in contact with our heavenly mother and model of salvation.

Let us also not forget to foster in our children and grandchildren that same trusting love for the one who will always be at our side, as Jesus promised us on the cross by giving us Mary as our mother. To this end, I would like to recall here the words that the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, declared by Saint John Paul II Queen of Mexico and Empress of America, said to Saint Juan Diego, a humble peasant, a Chichimeca indigenous: " Listen and understand, my littlest son, let nothing frighten and afflict you or trouble your heart … Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow? Am I not your health? Are you not by chance held in my mantle?”  From a very young age I have been encouraged and comforted by these words which She addresses, in reality, to all her children in the world.

In closing, I share with you the following prayer to Mary, Queen of Peace, that she may protect WUCWO, shelter us with her immense love and help us to achieve peace on this journey of life:

O gracious God, your son Jesus came into this world to do your will and to leave us His peace. Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, grant us wisdom and humility to make this peace known in the world. Inspire our thoughts, words and actions to be witnesses of Your presence in our hearts. May the Holy Spirit fill us with all His graces and blessings, so that we may continue on the path that leads to peace for all mankind. Amen.

Happy WUCWO Day! May God bless you and may the Virgin Mary cover you under Her mantle.


Mónica Santamarina

WUCWO President General