As a mom, it is nice to have other women to look up to, especially those who have been through it all. I love to hear stories of other women; raising their kiddos, breastfeeding in odd places, the funny things you end up saying to your children that you never thought you'd ever say. Once you become pregnant, it's like you have joined an age-old club of women from centuries ago who have gone through the same things. Sure modern medicine has changed certain things and for most of them the better, but the concept of pregnancy and motherhood hasn't changed. We all want the best for our children.
One of my absolute favorite women whom I look up to each day is the Mother of Jesus, Mother Mary. I mean talk about a high-profile mom! She is an amazing example for all women; how she carries herself, how she serves others, how she loves others, how much she loved her husband, Joseph, her Son, Jesus, and most importantly how much she loves God. She is known for being the mother of the most perfect human being to ever walk the Earth, how in the world can I relate to her?
Our Lady of La Leche
A beautiful image of Mother Mary comes from Spain and was made popular in St. Augustine Florida beginning in the 1500s. Known as Our Lady of La Leche, or Nuestra Senora de La Leche y Buen Parto (our nursing mother of happy delivery), a great love for her began when many women came asking for her prayers and intercession to God Our Father for healing from infertility or for a safe and healthy delivery of their baby. The statue, that was brought to the new world from Spain, was a statue of Mother Mary nursing baby Jesus. A beautiful statue, depicting such a humanly task, feeding her child. He is the greatest human, the most perfect human, the king of the universe, and yet he fed on her breast, just as our babies have and will. What an amazing reminder of the noble task of being a mother and caring for our children with our entire body, from housing them in our womb to feeding them from our own milk that we have created! Incredible!
Why a Relationship with Mary?
You may be asking, why a relationship with Mary? Why not just pray straight to God and only to God? I mean, isn't that what we are asked to do as Christians, pray only to God? Why yes we are! God is the one and only, along with His Son Jesus. They are to whom we implore, thank, praise, worship, and love. Jesus is King, and a king has a queen who brings all those in the kingdom closer to the king by loving his people as he does. She listens with great care, smiles gently at them, and makes sure they are heard by the great king himself.
That is exactly what Mary does for Jesus. She is the Queen Mother. During the time of royalty, the queen was not the wife of the king, but instead his mother. She would listen to the subjects of the kingdom and take their requests, as simple and small as they may be, and with a tender heart and loving gaze would bring them back to her son in charge and ask on the subject's behalf, but in a much better manner than the subject could ever dream of. No one knows the king better than his mother, so she knows how best to ask him.
The same is Mother Mary with Jesus, Our King. She knows Jesus better than any of us, she is His own Mother! When we are asking something of her, we are not asking her to do it directly, we are asking her to take the manner and petition to her Son, and present it to Him in a much better manner than we ever could! That is why many women have and still do to this day ask for the intercession (the act of intervening on behalf of another) of Our Lady of La Leche for a healthy birth, a healthy pregnancy, and for many a baby they can call their own.
La Leche League
Believe it or not, there has been an international organization named after Our Lady of La Leche. The Le Leche League was founded by seven mothers after two of the mothers were breastfeeding at a church picnic and other women started a conversation about how they wished they were able to breastfeed but failed. The LLL is now an international organization with the goal of helping women to learn how to breastfeed, combat complications, overcome fears, and connect breastfeeding women together through groups. You can check out their website for a group near you to get connected and meet other women! They also have an awesome book as well which is incredibly helpful.
Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us!
More information on Our Lady of La Leche
Blog post by Mary Haseltine