Vision is an amazing gift in a person. Mary Potter was gifted with special vision through deep faith, insight and relationship with God. That led Mary to deep compassion for others and her vision grew.
Through her own suffering, Mary understood the needs of the dying, the sick, the lonely. Her books, letters and notes, sharing her own pain, have guided her Sisters to understand the importance of service with empathy and compassion, not only in word but action. In her writing, Mary encouraged her Sisters, to constant prayer for the dying; to be alert to the needs of people all over the world. Perhaps, never knowing their story, still the Sisters place these people in the hand of God. Mary Potter promoted prayer day and night for the dying and the needs of the world. In simplicity, in compassion she encouraged all to be in touch with the needs of our world and pray, believing that God hears our prayer, even if we say only: Heart of Jesus once in agony, have pity on the dying.
Throughout her life, Mary wrote to all the Popes, asking that they proclaim the Blessed Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of the Church’. This did not happen until 21st November 1964 when Blessed Pope Paul VI did indeed declare Mary Mother of the Church. In 2018 Pope Francis decreed that the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church be recognised and celebrated the day after the Feast of Pentecost across the world.
Venerable Mary Potter had written in the 19th Century:
Pope Francis’ said he wanted to promote this devotion to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian Piety.” His decision seems almost a copy of Mary Potter’s writings in the 19th Century, a woman of vision beyond her own time.