Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now turn to Mary, Mother of Hope. Our Lady’s experience of motherhood models that of so many mothers in our world. Hers is a witness of courage in accepting her vocation and welcoming the new life entrusted to her. It is also a witness of quiet yet trusting obedience to God’s will amid the trials of life. The Gospels speak of a certain “eclipse” of Mary during the public ministry of Jesus. She follows her Son in silence, yet in his passion, when most of the disciples flee, she remains with him to the very end. The image of Mary standing at the foot of the cross and grieving the death of her innocent Son has inspired artists of every age to present her as a model of persevering hope in God’s promises. That hope was the fruit of a life of prayer and daily effort to be conformed to God’s will, and was fulfilled in Jesus’ rising to new life. As Mother of Hope, may Our Lady remain at our side, sustain us by her prayers and guide our steps as we seek to follow her Son every day of our lives.