THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AUGUST 15, 2020
R. (8) Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness. Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. Let us enter his dwelling, let us worship at his footstool. R. Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness. May your priests be clothed with justice; let your faithful ones shout merrily for joy. For the sake of David your servant, reject not the plea of your anointed. R. Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness. For the LORD has chosen Zion; he prefers her for his dwelling. “Zion is my resting place forever; in her will I dwell, for I prefer her.” R. Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
REFLECTION: “Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.”
Who is the ark of the Lord’s holiness? Mother Mary. She was the first dwelling place of Jesus, the place where God was nurtured, protected and loved. She brought him into the world according to God’s plan, and now He resides in all the tabernacles in the world. Therefore, many churches are named after Our Lady because of a devotion for the one who leads us to Christ.
The Chapel of the Madonna is such a church and it is called the smallest church in the world. It stands eight feet by eight feet square on the banks of the Mississippi River in a little settlement called Bayou Goula. Anthony Gullo, a poor Italian sugar cane farmer, built it in 1903 to fulfill a promise to Mother Mary. He promised he would build a chapel for her in thanksgiving for his son’s recovery from a grave illness.
This operating church celebrates mass once a year on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at sunrise. Many come each year for mass to show their love for Jesus and Mary. I can only imagine the renewed faith stirred by attending mass at a church built in thanksgiving to Our Lady’s healing.
If you plan to visit the chapel for the mass next year, bring your own lawn chair, because the priest and server are the only ones actually in the chapel during mass. If you can’t make the mass, you can still visit the peaceful chapel anytime. Just open the box next to the door marked with “key” and you can get inside. This confidence in the Lord protecting the chapel, named for the new ark, should say something about the devotion of the local people. They care for the chapel and grounds in service to Mother Mary and Jesus.
What a beautiful testimony to the faith in the Assumption of Mary.