The Immaculate Heart of MaryAugust 22
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Our Lady at Fatima told us: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” There are three elements here to be analyzed: What is the Heart of Mary? How does the term immaculate apply to it? How will it triumph?
My Immaculate Heart will triumph
I believe that in this case to triumph is to reign. Thus, the triumph of Our Lady will be established when she will reign over the world. Let us look at the titles, then, that allow Our Lady to be Queen of all of Creation and how this reign will become effective through her Immaculate Heart.
The right of Our Lady to be Queen
We know that Our Lady by right is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. She has this right for two reasons: First, because she is the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the King of all creation. Her situation is somewhat similar to a queen mother in countries with a monarchical structure. Second, Our Lady is Queen because God granted her an actual rule over Heaven and earth. She has power over the Angels, Saints, souls in Purgatory, everyone on earth, and even over the devils and condemned souls in Hell.
A queen mother is not properly speaking a reigning queen. She receives royal honors, but she does not reign. For example, Queen Mary in England, the late mother of Queen Elizabeth II, was the Queen-Consort because she was married to George VI. When the King passed away, the royal power passed to her daughter, and she became the Queen-Mother. Her whole life she received royal honors, but she never exercised the royal power. On the other hand, Queen Elizabeth is a Queen who reigns; that is to say, she reigns with that small amount of power still remaining to the Sovereign of England.
Our Lady is not only a Queen-Mother because she is the Mother of Our Lord, but also she is a Queen who reigns because God granted her this royal power.
A power exercised from heart to heart
How does she exercise this power? She applies it by the action of her heart over the hearts of all rational creatures. The heart, as you know, is a physical organ that symbolizes the mentality of a person, the way a person sees and does all things.
Our Lady reigns over the Church Triumphant, Suffering and Militant
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is an expression of the most wise and pure mentality of Our Lady that, among other things, symbolizes her ineffable goodness, her incomparable sweetness and her endless mercy. For these reasons, the Angels and Saints of Heaven love her intensely, as much as it is proper to love someone other than God.
The result of this love is such that she reigns over them, her heart wields a power over their hearts, her mentality exerts an influence over their mentality so that her way of seeing and doing things become a norm of wisdom for them to follow. Her most pure will, immaculate and spotless, becomes the rule to guide their wills, so that even if God’s command to obey her should cease to exist, they would continue to love her with the same intensity.
By an action of her heart over other hearts, Our Lady dominates Heaven. She also dominates Purgatory. Indeed, the souls of Purgatory also can no longer sin. They have the guarantee of Heaven. There is no risk that a soul in Purgatory could revolt against the extreme sufferings it endures. Those souls are confirmed in grace and strive to model their lives on Our Lady, to think what she thinks and to wish what she wishes. They live for her, and when at times she appears in Purgatory, they have an indescribable joy and sing her glory amidst their sufferings. She always returns to Heaven with many of these souls in Purgatory, and leaves behind for the souls who remain a supernatural dew that diminishes their chastisements, increases their hope and softens their pains. It is also from heart to heart that Our Lady reigns over those souls, and not just by a decree of God.
The authority of the Immaculate Heart over the world
What about things on this earth? On earth we have the sad liberty, which in fact is slavery, to not do the will of God. Like tyrants, our passions drag us to do things we know we should not do. They generate that sad liberty we have to say ‘no’ to God.
Her Immaculate Heart overcomes the dominion of our passions over our wills
Notwithstanding, these passions exist and we have to fight against them. We can only be liberated from our slavery to these passions by a grace coming from Our Lady. Only with her help can we diminish and even extinguish the dominion of our passions over our wills. Without it, we are the slaves of our defects and vices.
On earth, then, there is the fight between those who obey and those who do not obey Our Lady. She has the right, however, to be obeyed by everyone. She is by right the Queen of the entire world. But because of free will, persons can choose to disobey her, and many actually do so.
How does the Immaculate Heart of Mary make its authority effective throughout the world? Our Lady touches the hearts of people, sending them abundant graces so that many will follow her. This is not an automatic process, of course. Many persons resist those graces; but countless others, because of those graces, stop sinning and move toward the service of Our Lady.
These graces invite our hearts to see the Heart of Mary, to know and love the wisdom and adamantine purity that emanate from her entire person. This is the way she makes herself obeyed by us.
Her Heart, therefore, is the scepter by which she governs all those who obey her on this earth..
Her power over the Devil and his cohorts
It is clear that Our Lady also exerts her power over the Devil. For example, Anne Catharine Emmerick reports this horrible fact. When Our Lord was crucified, the Devil wanted to impose a final humiliation on Him. After Our Lord had been nailed on the Cross and as it was being raised up to stand before the sight of all, for a moment the Cross vacillated and seemed as if it might fall forward. The Devil was planning to push the Cross down to the ground so that with the weight of His Person plus the heavy wood, Our Lord would fall on His Face and completely smash it.
The Immaculate Heart: wisdom and purity
When Our Lady realized the plan of the Devil, she simply gave the command: “No. This I do not permit.” That is, the case was finished. There was no more discussion. Satan was forbidden to make this affront, and so the horrible deed was not done. She permitted everything that was necessary for the Redemption of mankind, but that supreme humiliation was not necessary. So she gave the command that the Devil had no choice but to obey. She has power over the Devil and his cohorts.
By right Our Lady has power over all. At times she compels this empire by her will and none can resist. At other times her rule becomes effective not by an action of her will over the evil ones, but through the love she communicates to many good souls.
The devotion of the Counter-Revolution
This is how Our Lady reigns through her Immaculate Heart. When her reign over the good will spread throughout the world, we will have the triumph predicted in Fatima. This will be the victory of the Royal, Wise and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Being wise Our Lady is against all vain pride; being immaculate she is against sensuality. Therefore, devotion to the Heart of Mary from this perspective is par excellence the devotion of the Counter-Revolution, since the Revolution is moved forward by pride and sensuality. Those two points that the Revolution hates most, wisdom and purity, must be the points that are most strongly affirmed by the counter-revolutionaries.
Our prayer on this feast day should be: “Make our hearts like unto thy Heart.” This does not imply some vague similarity. It means to make our hearts as closely identified as possible to her Immaculate Heart, insofar as it is in the plans of God. “Make me wise, according to thy wisdom. Make me pure with a purity partaking of thy own purity.”
We may add: “My Mother, I am not strong enough to give myself to thee. Enter into my soul with graces that I am unable to resist, shatter this door that in my misery I do not want to open. I will be awaiting thee behind that door with all my appreciation and gratitude.”
Our Lady of Zapopan
October 12 is not only the day on which we honor the pious Christopher Columbus, but to the good citizens of Mexico, October 12 is also the day the "Traveling Lady of Zapopan" comes "home" to spend the Autumn and Winter months in her stately basilica.
South of the border, this crisp Autumn day is actually "The Dia de la Raza", an important national holiday, since it marks for these people the new flood of human blood which rose in New Spain as one of the major effects of Columbus' voyage. As a result of the conquest, Mexico became predominately populated by "mestizos", or Spanish-Indians. To foretell the physical characteristics of the mestizo came the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531, when the portrait of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Spanish-Indian woman appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego.
Guadalajara, capital and jewel of the state of Jalisco, celebrates "The Day of the Mestizo" by rendering ecstatic homage to "The Little Virgin" as Our Lady of Zapopan. She is Spanish in origin, but completely Mexican in the tradition of more than four hundred years that surround her cult. Brought to Zapopan by Father Antonio de Segovia in 1541, the "Little Virgin", less than fourteen inches high, found herself in the heart of a territory, then called New Galicia, still under the conquest of Nuñe de Guzman. The precious statue, which the warm heart of the Mexican personifies, was the instrument by which Heaven vouchsafed to turn the fears and animosities of the natives into a confidence and love which enabled the zealous Franciscan to gather them into the fold of the Good Shepherd. The story is told that, as he preached, the little statue of Our Lady that he always carried with him, emitted rays of light. The miraculous radiance seemed to penetrate the souls of the Indians and convert them into vessels ready for the waters of grace.
"The Little Virgin" was at once installed in a place of honor at the Zapopan Church of the Franciscans which was replaced by the present stately basilica. If the "Day of the Mestizo" is one of jubilation in Guadalajara, it is more than that in Zapopan, for on that day their cherished Lady comes home! For four months she has been in Jalisco, where she has traveled from parish to parish, amid memorable scenes of piety and rejoicing. Zapopan's history notes the fact that when its beloved Queen started on her first trip to the neighboring city in 1734, the townsfolk witnessed her departure with consternation, fearing that the proud "Sultana of the West", as the Jaliscan capital has been called, would hold her captive.
But the Franciscans who had a Friary at Zapopan since the sixteenth century, have kept faith with their parishioners, and each year the Great Lady has been brought home in triumph, an instrument of special graces for her faithful Mestizos.