Heartfelt devotion garners Marian Essay Contest award

Catholics know the Blessed Virgin Mary, not only as the mother of Jesus, but as the Ark of the New Covenant and the Mother of the Church. Learning about Mary and discovering a deeper relationship with her through the rosary led Alexandra, an eighth grade student at Lourdes Academy in Daytona Beach, to write an award-winning essay.

Alexandra shared the beautiful story of her conversion to Catholicism and how, the gift of a rosary after her Baptism blossomed into a relationship with Our Lady. “I hadn’t prayed the full rosary before, so I was excited to try it,” she said in her essay. “After I had prayed, I felt a stronger connection with Mary than before. I just knew that she was and always will be there for me, and that I could call on her anytime.”

Her essay went on to explain how Mary helped in her discernment over a difficult decision. Happening upon Lk 1:38, “I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary said. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled,” gave her the courage she sought. “When I read this verse, it really spoke to me,” Alexandra wrote. “This inspired me, and I was awed at how she could have said yes to such a powerful and important duty. I came to the conclusion that if Mary could say yes to the Lord and be the mother of God, then I could say yes to one small thing that He was asking of me.”

Alexandra concluded her essay stating, “In many ways, Mary is like a mother to all of us. We each have our own experience with her, but she shows us all that she can be a friend or someone to go to for guidance.”

Henry Fortier, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, presented Alexandra with her Marian Essay Contest award on May 17. She will also receive a $1,000 scholarship from an anonymous endowment fund managed by The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida. Alexandra plans to put that money toward her tuition for Father Lopez Catholic High School next year.

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic – May 23, 2018