Lourdes. Heaven reacts to anti-Christian revolution

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Lourdes. Heaven reacts to anti-Christian revolution
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After 160 years, the Lourdes apparitions mainly bring to mind miraculous healings that happen in France to this day. But the history of that Marian apparition deserves a more thorough reflection.


There exists a certain theology of history that escapes the attention of most secular researchers. Even though, for obvious reasons, they must take note of the birth of Christ and the impact his life had on the world thereafter, even pious historians rarely report the influence of the Mother of God on the present times. And that impact is far from minor.


It is enough to analyse the history of contemporary Marian apparitions to understand that this indeed is the case. After the French Revolution, shattering for the Church, she appeared a few times in France. First, with the agency of saint Catherine Labouré, she offered the world the Miraculous Medal, promising that she would not abandon her children who may have thought that the bloody civilisational revolution in their country meant that the world was about to end. Then, sixteen years later, the Mother of God appeared in La Salette to call for conversion and repentance, and prayer for sinners whose numbers were growing from day to day.


Another twelve years later, she chose to appear in Lourdes, again calling for conversion, and in an effort to convince the believers to do so, she left them a place, where numerous miracles would happen. Only later did Mary appear in Fatima, Portugal and subsequently (in 1932 and 1933!) in Beauraing and Banneux, Belgium, perhaps disappointed by what the French people had done with her messages? The next apparitions happened far away from Europe - in Japan...


But the Lourdes apparitions, although reduced only to their “curative” dimension, were much more weighty than it is often claimed. Indeed, all the above “French” apparitions were a powerful sign of the Heaven’s disagreement to all the ominous modern inventions carried on the Jacobin bayonets: rationalism, egalitarianism, humanism, evolutionism and, of course, atheism. They all gave birth to communism.


After all, Our Lady appears to Catherine Labouré in the year of the final triumph of the revolution, that is 1830. In La Salette, in 1846, Mary reminds of God’s majesty, and at the same time Ludwig Feuerbach (who later became a great idol of Carol Marx) publishes his essays entitled The Essence of Religion – an unprecedented aggressive atheist work. In 1858, when the Blessed Virgin appears in Lourdes, France is for the whole year lavishly celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of Maximilien Robespierre. A few months after Mary’s last apparition to Bernadette Soubirous, Charles Darwin publishes his most famous work...


One could think this is all a coincidence. A Catholic, however, should not.


Why there and why to her?

It is also worth asking the question why the Mother of God chose Lourdes for her apparition. The town is located in the former county of Bigorre, a part of which was, in the times of Charles the Great - that is in the 11th century! - given in fief to... the Blessed Virgin Mary! There, she was proclaimed the “Ruler and Mistress”. The case was discovered in the 20th century by the French researcher Emile Brejon, who described the events that happened in 1062, when Count Bernard, according to the feudal law, declared himself to be Mary’s vassal. For many years, Mary was worshiped there as the one who had received the Annunciation.


So was not the Mother of God at home in Lourdes? And is not her choice a sign for us of her attachment to tradition and ownership? These very values were discredited by the French revolutionists, and completely eradicated by their successors - the communists.


But why did the “Ruler and Mistress” choose to appear to a child from a destitute family rather than to crowds? Because she was obedient to the Divine plan. And God from the very beginning has desired to reveal himself to individuals or to small groups – this is how Abraham or Moses were called; Christ chose twelve Apostles, and when he was born, he was greeted by poor shepherds. As to us, who have not shared Bernadette’s special grace, we have the Divine gift of free choice: we believe or we reject.


Proof of innocence. And of calendar?

Four years before the Lourdes apparitions, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – heavily criticised by Protestants and ridiculed by representatives of the Enlightenment. When the Mother of God appeared to Bernadette, she also revealed her name: “I am the Immaculate Conception”, she said. This is like a sign confirming that the Church was right! After all, Bernadette did not even know what these words meant, she had never heard them before. Mary later repeated the same pattern of behaviour in Fatima, where children heard about “Russia’s mistake” and thought this was about some woman who had gone astray. Once again in the history of salvation was the truth revealed to the little ones who - even if they did not understand it - had to just simply communicate it to others. To save the world!


Mary revealed her unusual name - the Immaculate Conception - to Bernadette during one of the eighteen encounters, not on the 11th of February, when she simply... kept silent. The same was the case with the second meeting, on the 14th of February. The girl’s last two meetings with the Mother of God also passed in silence. Is it not another sign for us of how to form our relationship with God?


The other fourteen meetings may also serve as a confirmation of the teaching and practices of the Church – in particular the liturgical calendar. Rene Laurentin observes that “repentant” apparitions took place in Lent, while the messages of all the apparitions that happened in the first week following Easter were joyful, and all the most important proclamations were revealed by Mary on a Thursday, which, in the Church, is the day devoted to the Eucharist. The name - Immaculate Conception - was revealed on the 25th of March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation to Blessed Virgin Mary, and the farewell meeting, on the 16th of July, took place on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel! Another coincidence?


As if this was not enough, in the Tarbes diocese, where Lourdes is located, 1858 had been planned as a special year. On the 20th of January (20 days before the first apparition), the local bishop announced annual public prayers and plenary indulgence until the 31st of December of that unusual year. Vittorio Messori noted that, when the whole France was celebrating Robespierre’s 100th birth anniversary, only one diocese had the intuition that particular veneration was owed to somebody else...


Other signs

However, Lourdes is not only a call for repentance, extraordinary miracles and amazing confirmation of the Church practices. It is also the “non-verbal” signs that Mary made and that we so often disregard.


1.This is Bernadette’s account: “I was very frightened ad started shivering. I only managed to cross myself when she crossed herself so beautifully that I wanted to imitate her”. The sign of the cross made with care and piety! It must be ever so meaningful! And it is very helpful in overcoming sorrows!


2.The Mother of God addressed the girl in the second-person plural. This is the way to express utmost respect for the other person (some people still address the Holy Father in this way, and until recently, it was also customary in certain regions to address one’s parents in the same way). Is it not an argument against the egalitarianism theses, according to which we are all equal and we should all address each other using second-person singular?


3. In Lourdes, Mary appeared as a very young person, almost a little girl. She presented herself as the Immaculate Conception. Could we interpret it otherwise than as an approval of the chastity and innocence of the youngest children? The innocence that was to be inevitably lost by thousands of sinners who in Fatima were identified as those committing bodily sins.


4. The Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, ever so chaste and innocent, smiled when she talked to Bernadette. Chastity gives true happiness. Mary smiled when she talked to the girl or, as Bernadette said, she even laughed! In Fatima, however, the Mother of God did not smile, and in Akita she even cried!


Certainly, many more conclusions could be drawn from the history of Mary’s encounters with Bernadette. It is worth studying the circumstances of those apparitions, the same as any other contemporary apparitions. God - also through the agency of his saints and especially their Queen - continues to influence the course of history and give us guidelines and chances! Let us use them. Before it is too late.


Krystian Kratiuk

DATA: 2018-02-15 13:33
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