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The Importance of Being Mary

December 15, 2015 | posted by Veronica Montalvo

Topics: Catholic Schools

I knew my calling was to the theatre at a very young age. Everything that I did always had a theatrical element to it...even portraying the coveted role of Mary in the Christmas Vigil pageant- “la Misa de Gallo.” It was midnight mass and about twenty angels with slanted wings and halos filled the very small church vestibule at Our Lady of Refuge in Roma, Texas. I was in a flowy light blue gown with a silky white veil on my head. In my arms was baby Jesus. Standing next to me was my cousin, Roy, handsomely portraying the role of St. Joseph. The congregation was quiet but eagerly anticipating the extensive procession that was to eventually engulf the entire altar that was already adorned with hay stacks and potted plants. 

It was the night of our savior’s birth, and I was holding him in my arms. It would take many years to come to realize the essence of that moment. Mary was born to be the mother of the Savior of the world, the spiritual mother of all men, and the holiest of God's creatures. Because of her Son's infinite merits, she was conceived and born immaculate and full of grace. Through her, Queen of heaven and of earth, all grace is given to men. Through her, by the will of the Trinity, the unbelieving receive the gift of faith; the afflicted are tendered the works of mercy; and the members of Christ grow in likeness of their Head. In Mary, all human nature is exalted...and I, a naive seventeen year old, was clueless. 

For every role I had ever portrayed, I immerse myself in hours and hours of research. It was essential for me to know everything about the character – fictional or factual – to enact the role with truth - a truth that I lacked when I walked in Mary’s shoes. In retrospect, the opportunity to reprise the role may have long passed, but my research on this holy woman continues. To know her, is to know her son. I long to be like her, a woman of conviction, a woman who whole-heartily trusted God. I suppose my naïveté has been my cross to bear, but thank the Lord, I was blind and now I see...and it is glorious.

Veronica Montalvo, M.Ed. is the Director of Enrichment Programs for the Department of Catholic Schools. She is a follower of Jesus Christ, wife, mother, actress, director, musician, and a rookie gardener.