Through each of her past and continued struggles, Kochis would cling to "the idea of Mary standing at the foot of the cross," she said.
She would think of Mary "making that sacrifice and praying, and continuing to pray and trust him… while she watched her son die… that's an incredible feat. [Mary] had to put all of her faith and her trust in the Lord, and that's what I've come to understand, is that… I can do everything for my kids, but at the end of the day, I just have to stand at the foot of this cross and trust that it's all going to work out, and he has them in the palm of his hand."
For Catholics, Mary is a special figure – the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, but also a model of humility, gentleness and obedience.
In his 1995 Letter to Women, John Paul II says that the Catholic Church "sees in Mary the highest expression of the 'feminine genius' and she finds in her a source of constant inspiration."
The pope notes the importance of Mary's role as 'handmaid of the Lord.' He says, "Through obedience to the Word of God she accepted her lofty yet not easy vocation as wife and mother in the family of Nazareth."
It is in this role of wife and mother that many Catholic women find Mary relatable – a reminder that the call to holiness often materializes in the daily routine of family life, and that the path to sainthood is paved with the continued renewal of saying "yes" to God's plan.
Learning to incorporate that "yes" into daily life is one of the greatest lessons we can learn from Mary, said Michelle La Rosa, managing editor at CNA.
"How did she take that 'yes' from the Annunciation and carry that through in every moment of her life? She had to renew that 'yes' when she was being told, 'Your heart will be pierced with a sword.' She has to renew that 'yes' when she's trying to find Jesus and can't find him. She has to renew that 'yes' when she's 9 months pregnant and has to travel on a donkey…to somewhere where there's nowhere for her to stay."
Reflecting on these aspects of Mary's life can help us in our own lives, La Rosa said, because just as we sometimes face uncertainty and have to trust God, one step at a time, Mary also had to rely on God plan for her in many different ways.
For recent college graduate Veronica Miller, devotion to Mary is a reminder to be humble, combatting the self-glorifying impact of social media, which tells women, "You have to be perfect in these ways."
An aspiring doctor, Miller told CNA that she has always been drawn to Mary's "humility, her lowliness, the way that she lived."
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Miller particularly noted the fact that Mary would not have been seen as perfect woman in the society in which she lived.
"She was poor, and she was obviously pregnant without a husband… she could have been a reject of society but she didn't care… Even though her feet were on the world that rejected her, her mind was in heaven."
"With the loudness of the world, it's cool to see that she was just silent through that all and was able to keep her mind in heaven… continue to be humble, loving to Joseph and the baby she was going to have."
Lizzie Reezay, 23, found trust and peace in Mary during a particularly difficult time in her life.
Reezay had decided to convert to Catholicism, and although she was confident in her decision, she was terrified to tell her family.
"I realized how much this would hurt my parents," she told CNA. "I just knew they'd be so heartbroken and almost feel like they failed in the way they taught me growing up…It was just heartbreaking for me because I hate hurting people."