From the homily of Cardinal Ivan Dias, legate of the Holy Father for the opening of the celebrations of the beginning of the Jubilee of the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions of Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes, delivered (December 8, 2007):
... After her apparitions at Lourdes, the Holy Virgin has not ceased to manifest her great maternal concerns for the fate of mankind in her several apparitions worldwide.
She has everywhere asked for prayers and penance for the conversion of sinners, for she predicted the spiritual ruin of certain nations, the sufferings that the Holy Father would face, the general weakening of the Christian faith, the difficulties of the Church, the rise of the Antichrist and of his attempts to replace God in the life of men, attempts which, despite their instant success, would nevertheless be destined to fail. Here, at Lourdes, as everywhere in the world, the Virgin Mary is weaving a enormous web of her spiritual sons and daughters in the whole world in order to launch a strong offensive against the forces of the Evil one, to lock him up and thus prepare the final victory of her divine Son, Jesus Christ. The Virgin Mary invites us once again today to be a part of her combat-legion against the forces of evil. As a sign of our participation at her offensive, she demands, among other things, the conversion of the heart, a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist, the daily recitation of the rosary, unceasing prayer without hypocrisy, the acceptance of sufferings for the salvation of the world.. ..
The struggle between God and his enemy still takes place, even more so today than at the time of Bernadette,.. because the world finds itself stuck in the swamp of a secularism that wishes to create a world without God; of a relativism that stifles the permanent and unchangeable values of the Gospel; and of a religious indifference that remains undisturbed regarding the higher good of the matters of God and the Church. This battle makes innumerable victims within our families and among our young people. Some months before becoming Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla said (November 9, 1976): "We are today before the greatest combat that mankind has ever seen. I do not believe that the Christian community has completely understood it. We are today before the final struggle between the Church and the Anti-Church, between the Gospel and the Anti-Gospel." One thing remains certain: the final victory belongs to God and that will happen thanks to Mary, the Woman of Genesis and of the Apocalypse, who will fight at the head of the army of her sons and daughters against the enemy forces of Satan and will crush the head of the serpent. (emphasis added)BACK TO LIST