The destruction of statues and icons of Our Lady in Mosul and Qaraqosh is a reminder that, next to the Cross of her Son, images of Mary are powerful signs pointing beyond this world to the next, to the realisation of Christian hope and the perfection of heaven. She is already what we hope to be, so we call upon her prayers with joyful confidence. The words of the prayer we make are both a theological statement, expressing what we believe about Mary, and a mark of our love and trust in her concern for the Church. Let us pray them today with great simplicity and devotion, mindful of the Christians of Iraq and wherever there is persecution or need: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
For a short reflection on what Mary means to Catholics see here; for a summary of the Church’s teaching on the Assumption and other Marian doctrines, a quick search of this blog should reveal several entries.