I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? WHAT HAPPENED IN LOURDES?
Why did Mary come? What was so important at this time in history, in this country? It’s easy in retrospect to understand the need for divine intervention in 1858. The Church had gone through one of its worst periods possible in Europe. It had not quite recovered from the French Revolution. New governments, new revolutions attacked the Church and the people. In 1848, the Archbishop of Paris was murdered when yet another revolution took place in France. It then spread itself to Rome. The Pope’s Prime Minister was murdered. The Papal Palace was attacked. Many were wounded or killed. It became violent to the point of driving Pope Pius IX out of the Vatican State. Belief and trust in the promise of Jesus waned badly. It seemed as if the Church was tolling its death knell. Louis Napoleon brought his French troops to the aid of the Church temporarily, and the Pope was able to return to Rome. But the calm was short-lived. The war clouds loomed over the horizon again. Satan poised his troops in preparation for the final destruction of the Church.
In 1854, in the midst of this, and in the face of massive opposition, one of Mary’s staunchest supporters, Pope Pius IX proclaimed to the world what had been believed down through the centuries, but had never been made a Dogma of the Church. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION was declared fact, and all Catholics were required to believe this. There had been a popular heresy spreading throughout Europe at this time, Pantheism, which claimed that man was equal with God. By this proclamation, Our Lord Jesus through the Pope declared that with the exception of Jesus, only Mary was conceived without Original Sin. The rest of the human race are heirs of Adam and Eve, and all that goes with it.
This proclamation caused more problems than it meant to solve. Rumbling went on inside the Church, and outside in Protestant circles. It was outrageous, they said, to give this singular honor to a woman. Shades of Lucifer! He, the once favored angel of God, made this same statement when told that a woman would be Queen of Heaven and Earth, of all the Angels and the Saints. His pride couldn’t take this. He and his band of angels revolted against God and Heaven. The cry of Mica-el, (Who is Like God?) reverberated the Heavens. With Michael the Archangel at the helm, the loyal angels of God cast Lucifer and his pack down into the black hole of hell. Lucifer has hated the name of Mary since that time. Under the influence of Satan, the enemies of the Church claimed Mary was from Adam as we all are; that she came into the world with the same stain of sin that everyone else was born with. “It was one thing for the peasants, the uninformed, to believe in this superstition”, they ranted. “How could the Church make this farce into dogma?”
Our Lady of Patience, my Mary, who has never given up on us in 2,000 years, waited. One year went by. The situation was bad. Two years went by. Not much change took place in the attitudes of her children towards the new Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The third year passed. But still she waited. And then she did the predictable. She found a remote town of no great importance, and within that speck on the earth, she chose a simple child of the poorest family in the region, and led her to a garbage dump. From that vantage point she was to send out a message to the world for all time, loud and clear, confirmation of Pope Pius’ IX dogma, in the statement she made in the 16th Apparition on the Feast of the Annunciation,
QUE SOY ERA IMMACULADA COUNCEPCIOU
I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
She even spoke the words in a local patois, or dialect, rather than the language of the country, to a child who had no idea what the words meant.