But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I started praying to Madonna della Strada – literally, “Our Lady of the Street” – on my novitiate pilgrimage. I was going through some spiritual doubt, uncertain whether God really was with us, as Matthew’s Gospel says. But boarding a bus in Kansas City, bound for Texas with only five dollars and a backpack of clothes, I needed help. I asked Our Lady of the Way to pray for me.
She did. Just when I needed shelter in El Paso, a man asked me if I needed a place to stay. Later, when I wasn’t sure how to spend some extra cash, a poor man asked me for dinner. It was so clear that Mary’s prayers were working – and that God was, in fact, with me! Now, when something seems impossible – like studying for final exams – I remember my pilgrimage. If Mary’s prayers could help me there, she can help me anywhere.
Father most holy, in your beloved Son you have revealed to us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Aided by the prayers and example of the Virgin Mary, his mother, may we walk securely on the Way of your Son and safely reach our journey’s end in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—From the Jesuit Sacramentary