Goose Island State Park-"Big Tree"

Goose Island State Park-"Big Tree"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review- "The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood"

I recently came across this book at the suggestion of an e-friend. This book was written by an anonymous woman (she calls herself "Mariamante") who, at the time, was young mother with three small children. She claimed to have had a series of several visions of the Blessed Mother and Christ in the mid-1980s. In these visions, the Blessed Mother and her Divine Son revealed several pieces of useful advice (practical, literal, and spiritual) for mothers-- specifically for mothers of young children-- to carry out their lives as wives and mothers in the way that God designed it to be fulfilled. The woman who had these visions was told to write down everything she received during her visions, and thus the book, "The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood," was born.

(You can purchase this HERE or on

A summary of the major points (taken directly from the introduction in the book) is as follows:
  1. An Apostolate of mothers consecrated to the Mother of God for the glory of God
  2. Pursuit of the Divine Will in their lives
  3. Contemplative prayer
  4. Eucharistic Adoration
  5. Practice of evangelical purity
  6. Devotion to the Christ Child (Esteem and Appreciation for children)
  7. Devotion to the Holy Family (Communication of the faith to their children
  8. Fifteen decade Rosary daily
  9. Wearing of the Scapular and the Sacred Heart Badge
  10. Intense sacramental life, frequent Confession and Communion
  11. Devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate hearts
  12. Practice of the Nine First Fridays and Five First Saturdays, reparation for sin
  13. Devotion to duty
  14. Fidelity to the Holy Father, the Magisterium, and all the teachings of the Church (both faith and morals)
  15. Upholding of all the moral teachings of the Church
  16. Prayers for purity in the world
To me, this book was both necessary and difficult to read. In an age when the task of raising children is often left to daycares and public schools; and when children are often shooed to the television or placed in front of computers or video games rather than engaged by their parents, the words given to "Mariamante" in these visions provide poignant and practical ways to salvage the souls and precious innocence of children and families. An equally present theme in this book is the idea that the role of wife and mother should not be diminished or regarded as less valuable when there is no outside income being brought into the home.  This is not to say that we should be held in regard above our husbands, but that the role and responsibility of the mother is incredibly important to our children, and by default, to the Church and to society as a whole.

The author of the foreward writes:

It is of great concern to all to save the Chrisian home at a time when Satan is using every nefarious and insidious propaganda to lure women away from their responsibilities and belittles the role of Motherhood, all of which is the devil's way of destroying woman, the home (a domestic church), and the family-- the basic unit of society.

One thing that makes this book really hit home is the fact that it was written in relatively modern times. Scores of child-rearing experts have said in numerous books that parents should strictly limit television, that we should respond to our children's misbehavior with compassion and prudence, and that we should be careful to spend time playing- and praying- with our young ones; but hearing those words from the Christ-child Himself, as well as from His Blessed Mother, will strike a chord in any reader that is intimate, personal, and magnificently practical.  This book is exceedingly "Catholic" in the sense that it gives the reader a direct path to melding prayer with daily life.

I was fortunate to get a few reviews from some other moms who have also read the book. Here is what they said:

Lynne writes: I first found the book when my oldest three were the ages of the visionary's children. I was looking frantically on the web for a novena to the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. The children were so active, and I was so tired; I truly needed those gifts!. As i read it, the book spoke volumes to my heart, which was heavy at the time balancing motherhood with my own life's ambitions and spirituality. While the tenets of the apostolate are easily things that a good Catholic mother probably does anyway ( or at least aspires to do!) the tasks are explained by Christ and His Blessed Mother in an entirely new and refreshing light. Burdens become joys and the everyday stresses of motherhood are turned into opportunities for immense spiritual growth and great graces to be earned not only for herself, but for her husband and children as well. We are led to realize the profound plan God has for the next generation of Catholics, and that He has called each of us, as mothers, to assist Him in fulfilling it! I've bought dozens of copies of the Apostolate of Holy Motherhood and have given them to practically every mother I know. I use it as a reference for myself now, reading passages over and over again when I need spiritual clarity and support. In short, it is wonderful and I recommend it highly.

Barbara writes: I think it's excellent, inspiring and beautiful. I strongly recommend it to young mothers. I don't question that this woman HAD her experiences, but I do not relate to God in the same way she does, so her spirituality is interesting to me. 
I really loved the core message-- to pray, to love God, to suffer well.

Andi writes: I just read most of the book this afternoon and WOW! That hit home. It did feel like a reiteration of what a lot of saints have said, but the Lord knows we need to keep hearing it over and over in every generation. What struck me most was how Mary said that because of materialism many children are being spiritually neglected and that is even worse than physical neglect because the child could end up losing the Kingdom of God. Lots to pray and reflect on.