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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 May 25, 2020

“I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace...

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May 25

 

“I will take away
not the grace but the feeling of grace.
Though I will seem to leave you
I will be closer to you.”

Our Lord to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi


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

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cri...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

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

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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