Article: Mary – Mother of Mercy 

Newry Cathedral News

In the Gospel of St. John 2:1-11, the story of the wedding in Cana of Galilee is told. Mary was there with her son Jesus and several disciples. When the wine ran out, Mary pointed this out to her son and Jesus turned the water into wine. It is probably one of the best-known miracles and is a popular Gospel reading at weddings. 

In this piece of scripture, Mary has a major role. She points the that the wine has run out and she knew how embarrassing this would be for the young couple and their families. Knowing her son could do something about it she brought her concern to him. Mary didn’t need to explain it any further or even ask Jesus to do anything. She just trusted him to sort it and believed in him.

This highlights the unique role Mary has. She will point out our problems and she trusts that God will do what is in our best interest. Sometimes the answer will be ‘yes’, sometimes it will be, ‘not now’ and sometimes it is ‘no’.  Mary was open to her son’s discernment at Cana and so we must be when we come to her today and when we ask her to intercede for us.

Mercy is the language of Mary. You and I are called to be fluent speakers in Mercy too.
Be mercy, be mercy amid a world that longs to hear and know the wondrous transforming power of mercy. Mercy can change the world, a world which now feels it must teach kindness in some formal way. The pandemic made us stop in our tracks and realise that these qualities were fading in a world that lacked forgiveness and thought for others. Kindness and mercy are human qualities which were modelled by Mary to those she encountered and that were in need – from her cousin Elizabeth, to the bride and groom at Cana, to those that mourned her son at the foot of the cross.

In this month dedicated to Our Lady, take strength from this extract from the Irish prayer to her. 

‘Mary, you are the joy of my soul.
You are the dew of heaven to relieve my parching thirst.
You are the stream of God’s grace,
flowing out from his heart into mine. 

You are the light of my darkened soul.
You are the healing of my wounds.
You are the strength of my weakness.
You are the consolation of my hardship.
You are the easing of my trouble.
You are the loosing of my chains.
You are the help of my salvation. 

Hear me, poor sinner that I am,
and grant me the grace I ask from you,
O Mary my Mother’.

Visit the beautiful shrine to Our Lady in Newry Cathedral and light a candle for your intentions there or at the entrance to the church where Mary holds Jesus in the beautiful picture of Mother of Perpetual Help. 

 Newry Cathedral Parish invites young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 to help form and assist in leading a Youth Forum which aims to ask the questions and provide answers for what young adults want and need in their spiritual lives today For more, or to get involved, contact us at and join in the discussion on Friday 22nd October at 7.30pm in Newry Parish Centre, The Mall.