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 by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

 

A commentary on the miraculous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima 

 

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I do not know a countenance equal to this one. Moved by an inveterate habit of observing everything, I contemplate it so that I may later understand it. As I fix my eyes upon that countenance, I suddenly perceive that I am entering it.

Yes, its unique expression emanates from the face and especially the eyes. Enveloped in the ambience it creates, I feel invited to enter deep into her gaze.

What a gaze! None other is so calm, frank, pure, or welcoming. In none other can one penetrate with such ease. None other holds such unfathomable depth or grand horizons. The more one penetrates this gaze, the more one is attracted toward an indescribable interior and sublime summit.

What summit? A state of soul I would be tempted to describe as full of paradoxes if the word “paradox,” were not so misused today and thus appear disrespectful.

The Scholastics say every perfection results from the balance of harmonious opposites. Thus I am not speaking about a precarious balance between flagrant contradictions whereby our contemporary world seeks to maintain a poor stained and vacillating peace at the cost of so many shameful concessions. No, this is a supreme harmony of all forms of good.

In the depth of this gaze, I see arise precisely a peak where all perfections meet. It is a peak incomparably higher than the columns that support the firmament. It is a peak where a crystalline, categorical and irresistible rule excludes every form of evil, however slight or small.

One could spend a whole lifetime within that gaze, without ever reaching the summit of that peak. It is not however a useless effort. Within that gaze one does not walk, but flies. One is not a tourist but a pilgrim.

Although the pilgrim can never reach the height of that sacred mountain, the sum of all created perfection, he sees it with ever increasing clarity the more he flies toward her. 

 

On Pilgrimage Within a Gaze of Our Lady of Fatima

While on this pilgrimage of the soul, the pilgrim flies toward a gaze that does not merely envelope but penetrates him. Closing his eyes, he perceives a light in the depths of his being.

The gaze is the soul of the countenance. It is an impressive countenance! The fool might consider it inexpressive. To a skilled observer, it is greater than History because it touches eternity; greater than the universe because it reflects the infinite.

The forehead appears to contain thoughts that, beginning with a crib and ending with a Cross, take in all of human events.

The lines of the entire face and nose possess a charm “more beautiful than beauty.” As a poet once wrote, these are silent lips that nevertheless say everything at every moment. They appear to praise God in the uniqueness of every creature, beseeching God to have pity on every pain and misery as if she had suffered from each one of them. These lips have an eloquence which reduces the orations of Demosthenes or Cicero to utter babble. What can be said of the skin other that it is snowy-white? This description says both everything and nothing. To describe it, one would need to imagine a snowiness that profoundly reflects with infinite discretion, all the shades of the rainbow, which would in turn inspire the soul that contemplated it with all the wonders of purity.

Yes, I went on pilgrimage within this gaze so filled with surprises. Yet, I unexpectedly feel that her gaze also went on pilgrimage inside me. Hers was a poor and merciful pilgrimage, not from splendor to splendor, but from need to need, from misery to misery. If only I open myself to her, she will offer me a remedy for my shortcomings, help against every obstacle and hope for every affliction.

This statue is a wooden statue without any special artistic value like so many others. And yet, one only has to fix one’s eyes on this statue to see that, without moving or the least physical transformation, it becomes brilliant with all these splendors. I do not know how this happens. However, if the reader wishes, let him look and see…

I insist. If you believe in the description that I have made, I invite you in turn to make this magnificent pilgrimage within the gazes of the Virgin. If you do not believe, look and see. I could not offer a better invitation…

I pray to her for thee. I pray for the Holy Church troubled and tormented as never before.

 


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 19, 2021

He asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise....

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April 19

 

A dying man asked a dying man for eternal life. 
A man without possessions asked a poor man for a Kingdom. 
A thief at the door of death asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise. 
 
One would have thought a saint would have been the first soul 
purchased over the counter of Calvary by the red coins of Redemption. 
 

But in the Divine plan it was a thief 
who was the escort of the King of kings 
into Paradise.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

 
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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Alphege of Canterbury

Alphege hastened to the defense of his people, and pressing...

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St. Alphege of Canterbury

As a youth, Alphege became a monk in the monastery of Deerhurst in Gloucestershire, England, afterwards an anchorite and later an abbot in a monastery in Bath. At thirty, at the insistence of St. Dunstan and to his great consternation, he was elected Bishop of Winchester. As bishop, he maintained the same austerity of life as when a monk. During his episcopate he was so generous toward the poor that there were no beggars left in the diocese of Winchester.

Alphege served twenty-two years as bishop of this see and was then translated to the see of Canterbury at the death of Archbishop Aelfric.

During this period, England suffered from the ravages of the Danes who joined forces with the rebel Earl Edric, marched on Kent and laid siege to Canterbury. When the city was betrayed, there was a terrible massacre, men and women, old and young, dying by the sword.

The Archbishop hastened to the defense of his people, and pressing through the crowd begged the Danes to cease the carnage. He was immediately seized, roughly handled, and imprisoned.

A mysterious and deadly plague broke out among the Danes, and, despite the fact that the holy prelate had healed many of their own with his prayers and by giving them blessed bread, the Danes demanded an exorbitant ransom for his release. As the Archbishop protested that the country was too poor to pay such a price, he was brutally assassinated.

St. Alphege was the first Archbishop of Canterbury to die a violent death. In 1023, the martyr's body was translated with great ceremony to Canterbury accompanied by the Danish King Canute. Although he did not die directly in defense of the Faith, St. Alphege is considered a martyr of justice.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a...

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The Robber Who Stole Heaven

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a notorious robber who made his living by bringing misfortune on others. His occupation being what it was, he would only increase his property by decreasing that of his victims.

One day, he was admonished by a local religious to change his course of life and thereby insure his eternal salvation. The only answer the robber gave was that for him there was no remedy.

"Do not say so," said the religious, "do what I tell you. Fast on each Saturday in honor of the Virgin Mary, and on that day of the week do no harm to anyone. She will obtain for you the grace of not dying in God’s displeasure.”

The robber thought to himself, “This is a small price to pay to insure my salvation; I will do as this holy man has prescribed.” He then obediently followed the religious’ advice, and made a vow to continue to do so. That he might not break it, from that time on he traveled unarmed on Saturdays.

Many years later, our robber was apprehended on a given Saturday by the officers of justice, and that he might not break his oath, he allowed himself to be taken without resistance. The judge, seeing that he was now a gray-haired old man, wished to pardon him.

Then the truly miraculous occurred. Rather than jump for joy thanking the judge for his leniency, the old robber, said that he wished to die in punishment of his sins. He then made a public confession of all the sins of his life in that same judgment hall, weeping so bitterly that all present wept with him.

He was beheaded, a death reserved for the nobility, rather than hanged. Then his body was buried with little ceremony, in a grave dug nearby.
Very soon afterwards, the mother of God came down from Heaven with four holy virgins by her side. They took the robber’s dead body from that place, wrapped it in a rich cloth embroidered with gold, and bore it themselves to the gate of the city.

There the Blessed Virgin said to the guards: "Tell the bishop from me, to give an honorable burial, in such a church to this dead person, for he was my faithful servant." And thus it was done.

All the people in the village thronged to the spot where they found the corpse with the rich pall, and the bier on which it was placed. And from that moment on, says Caesarius of Heisterbach, all persons in that region began to fast on Saturdays in honor of she who was so kind to even a notorious robber.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a notorious robber who made his living by bringing misfortune on others. 

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