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Header-The Intervention of Our Lady in History

Just as in our daily lives we should always be cognizant of the presence of God, so in our analysis of historical events we should always keep in mind the power and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the sweep of history. In this series of studies titled Revolution and Counter-Revolution in History, we have recounted the decline in Western Civilization from the point where all human relations, institutions and even governments were permeated by the doctrines of the Church to our present situation that suffers under the influence of immorality, gross errors and atheism. Before we switch from the Western Hemisphere back to the European theater of operations, we should take the opportunity to illustrate Our Lady’s influence on historical events that is often sadly neglected.

 

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Postscript to Cortes

Cortes had performed a prodigious military feat in subduing millions of Indians with only a few hundred soldiers and bringing Western Civilization to the American shores, but that alone would not have converted the Indians. After the intrepid commander had demolished the blood-soaked temples, he led an expedition to Honduras. Upon his return to Mexico City, he found political difficulties that required him to sail to Spain in 1528 and seek an audience with King Charles of Spain.

Numerous missionaries arrived in Mexico to open churches, schools and hospitals, but few Indians converted as paganism had struck deep roots in their soul. Moreover, the harsh treatment handed out by the earlier Spanish officials had turned them into a hostile, suspicious group. In order to heal the wounds of oppression, King Charles sent Bishop Zumarraga, a Franciscan prior, to protect the Indians from the insensitive officials who were subsequently recalled. But the damage was done and Zumarraga realized that a general uprising was imminent that would wipe out the Spanish presence in Central America. To avert the violent uprising, the kindly bishop prayed earnestly to Our Lady and asked her to send some Castilian roses as a sign that his prayers had been heard.

Miraculous Image of Our Lady of GuadalupeIn one of the most momentous events in all history, the Mother of God came down from Heaven and appeared to a humble Aztec peasant, Juan Diego, on a barren hill a few miles outside Mexico City. She identified herself by a word in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, as “She who crushes the serpent,” indicating that as the Immaculate Conception she will triumph over both the devil (Gen. 3:15) and one of the most terrible of all the Indian gods. Further corroboration is assured when one considers that the first apparition occurred on December 9, then the feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

She asked Juan Diego to go to Bishop Zumarraga and request that a church be built at the location of the first three visitations. Although he responded courteously, he showed some skepticism. His failure at the bishop’s palace and the imminent death of his beloved uncle threw Juan Diego into a state of confusion. When Our Lady appeared on December 12 to the Aztec peasant, this time at the bottom of the hill, she gave him the same message that she has been giving to her grieving children since that day: that she is the Mother of Mercy, of Life and of Hope to all who follow the teachings of her Son and have confidence in her powerful intercession.

To give credence to this loving power, the Blessed Virgin performed one of the most illustrious miracles in her wondrous repertoire that resonates across the world to this day. Following Our Lady’s instruction, Juan Diego climbed the hill known as Tepeyac to the location of the original apparitions where he found a field of brilliant, fragrant flowers including Castilian roses growing in frozen, rocky soil. He carefully gathered a bundle of the flowers in his cloak, which he used as an apron by holding the bottom to his chest, and went off to the bishop.

After he had been brought into the presence of the bishop, Juan Diego showed him the magnificent flowers. The prelate immediately fell to his knees and looked upon him with astounding amazement, for he saw imprinted on Juan Diego’s cloak an image of Our Lady as she had appeared that day. Bishop Zumarraga built a chapel to house the image with an adjoining room for Juan Diego at the miraculous site that, significantly, had been previously occupied by a pagan temple destroyed by Cortes. The miraculous circumstances and the inexplicable, powerful attraction of Our Lady’s image drew thousands of Aztecs to the shrine. Already converted in their hearts when they left, the pilgrims sought out missionaries for baptism, which brought about an avalanche of conversions across Central America, estimated to be about nine million after a few years.

 

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Our Lady offered so many miraculous proofs of her loving guidance through the trials of this life that we only have space to recount a few. The cloak was woven from the hard fibers of the maguey cactus plant that normally has a life span of about twenty years before it decays. Over the years the fabric and image have been exposed to an exceptionally damp climate, incense and smoke from burning wax candles. Yet the fragile material and the delicate but rich coloration have withstood all the corrosive effects and millions of hands that have touched it. Also the lifelike expression of loving tenderness has remained undiminished.

Over the last few decades numerous scientists have examined the cloak or tilma and they have found that the image was produced by no known earthly substance, no paint, no printing materials, nothing. Its cause and existence is purely supernatural. One scientist using a powerful magnifying glass noticed that the face and shoulders of Juan Diego appeared in the pupil of the right eye. Further examination by two eye doctors with their ophthalmoscopes revealed the reflection of two other figures that were present in the bishop’s residence at the time of the miracle.

The ongoing combat between Our Lady and those who possess an unquenchable hatred for her and her influence reached a climax in 1921. A powerful time bomb placed by revolutionaries exploded just beneath the Sacred Image on the main altar of the Basilica of Guadalupe that ripped out huge chunks of marble and masonry. The heavy bronze altar cross was severely bent, yet the image of Our Blessed Mother was completely untouched. Moreover, the protective thin glass plate was not even scratched.

We are certainly implying a connection between Our Lady’s mediation in the conversion of the Aztecs from depraved human sacrificers and the necessity of her help in destroying today’s human sacrifice in abortion and immoral perversions and excesses.

Some may object to the historical paradigm, not that it is inappropriate, but that it happened a long time ago. Yet, the Blessed Virgin made another historical visit to earth just ninety years ago, bringing roughly the same message to a larger distressed population. As Our Lady of the Rosary, she appeared six times at Fatima in Portugal to three related children, two of whom have been recently beatified. Our publications have probably given more space to this story than any other. Here we would like to stress the historical applications.

In essence, she warned that God was terribly offended by the sins of mankind and unless that sinfulness subsided the world as a consequence would face horrible chastisements. Immediately following, we had a bloody conclusion to World War I, then six years of the most depraved slaughter of World War II and continual wars, atrocities and mutilations ever since instigated by two of the enemies of Western Civilization: Communism (as Our Lady predicted) and Islam. Sinfulness has not abated, but only increased, especially in the areas of family life, immoral fashions and lewd entertainment.

Our Lady will intervene once again in history, either to help her suffering children who have recourse to her or to bring down the wrath of God on those who refuse to pray, make sacrifices and stop offending Him.  During the third apparition she announced the ultimate result:

"Finally my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”


 

Related Article:  Our Lady of Guadalupe: She Who Smashes the Serpent

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 6, 2020

True charity consists in putting up with all one’s neighbo...

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April 6

 

True charity consists in
putting up with all one’s neighbor’s faults,
never being surprised by his weakness, and
being inspired by the least of his virtues.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. William of Eskilsoë

The prospect of hardships and challenges in the service of O...

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St. William of Eskilsoë

William was born into an illustrious French family and raised in the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés under the tutelage of his uncle, Abbot Hugh.  The regularity of his conduct and virtuous life earned him the admiration of the community.

After being ordained a sub-deacon, he was appointed a canon of the Church of Sainte-Geneviève-du-Mont in Paris where the sanctity of his life greatly annoyed his worldly and lax fellow-canons. They mocked him for his more disciplined life and so persecuted him that William was forced to resign his canonry. However, in 1148, during a visit to Paris by Blessed Pope Eugene III, the latter observed the canonical laxity that reigned at Sainte-Geneviève-du-Mont and replaced the canons with more observant men thus vindicating William’s reputation. Under the direction of the famous Abbot Suger a new canonry with a stricter set of rules was established. William rejoined the community and, in a short time, became sub-prior.

William tempered his zeal for regular discipline with so much sweetness and humility that he led all to practice the rule with joy. The fame of his wisdom and sanctity even reached the ears of Absalon, the Bishop of Roskilde in Denmark, who sent his provost, the historian Saxo the Grammarian, to ask William to come to Denmark to help with the much-needed reforms there.

The prospect of hardships and challenges in the service of Our Lord inspired William to accept the invitation, and he cheerfully traveled to Denmark. There, he was appointed Abbot of Eskilsoë and, although he faced many difficulties both from powerful people and from within himself, he triumphed through prayer and patience. His apostolic zeal and perseverance bore much fruit for the Catholic Faith in Denmark during the thirty years he lived among the Danes. He also founded the Abbey of St. Thomas in Aebelhold (Ebelholt) in Zeeland and traveled to Rome to intercede with the Pope on behalf of the king’s sister, Ingelburga, who had been repudiated by her royal husband, King Philip Augustus of France.

William died in Denmark on April 6, 1203 and was canonized in 1224 by Pope Honorius III.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort...

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And He Stole Heaven

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.
 
On his left hung another man, covered in the matted blood of his wounds. Yet, with the exception of a few intermittent words, there was no sound from him.

As time passed, the thief became more and more engrossed in the silent crucified beside him, and less and less in his own plight.St Dismas Picture

Indeed life is ironic, mused Dismas, this man who had lived in the open, and was acclaimed as a healer and even as a king, now hung beside him who had spent his life lurking and hiding.

And now they were lifted up, both on a high parallel. He could see the roof tops of the city, he could see the highways he had stalked, and he could see the way they had walked. Now he looked down on those gathered around this place of execution, the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the curious, the friends of the man beside him…and a young man supporting a lady directly beneath them...

And then he knew her; that upturned face, that maidenly majesty now wracked by sorrow, her tear-filled eyes fastened on the man on his left–Yes, he knew that face.

As the wheels of time rolled back in his mind,  his heart gave a jolt as he remembered that blessed day in the desert, decades ago, when a young family making its way to Egypt, sought refuge for the night in his family’s hovel. The man was strong and kind, the woman was the fairest his child’s eyes had seen, and she carried a golden haired babe, as if nothing in the universe was more precious.

He remembered the lady’s gaze on him, her beautiful eyes full of concern for the leprous sores on his young body. Then she and his mother talked. And next, he was being bathed in the same water the lady had just washed her infant son.

And then the sores were gone.  His mother wept for joy, and kissed the lady’s hands, and the baby’s feet. And even his robber-father was moved, and offered the strong man and his family the best in the house.

Now, in one revealing flash, he knew the identity of the wounded man on his left.  He looked again at the lady, and her eyes, those same sweet eyes of old, were on him once more.  
He felt his heart quiver, as the power of gratitude filled his being and softened his criminal soul.  And then came tears, rivers of tears.  When he could speak, he turned to the left,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And the Lord turned his face to him, His divine eyes on him, and he heard the most beautiful voice he had ever heard, a voice at once full of pain and full of strength, full of sweetness and full of majesty, a judge’s voice, and a father’s voice,

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

By Andrea F. Phillips
Based on: A Legend of St. Dismas and Other Poems,
Copyright by P. J. Kenedy and Sons. 1927, p. 18.

 

Free Meditation Booklet - Be Still and Know That I AM GOD

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.

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