Lourdes- Revelation of Heaven
As we mark the 160th anniversary (1858-2018) of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions in Lourdes, we consider the significance of this series of great events for St. Maximilian Kolbe’s apostolate for the Immaculata.
For this saint of Mary, the month of February was the month commemorating Our Lady’s apparitions in the humble grotto of Massabielle. Hence St. Maximilian urged all Knights of the Immaculata to be particularly conscious of their noble mission in life, that is, to dedicate their lives entirely to the Immaculata and Her service in order to combat the world, the flesh and the devil.
Although Our Lady’s apparitions in Lourdes do not add anything new to Church dogma, Her humble declaration to St. Bernandette that She IS the Immaculate Conception (conceived without any stain of sin) reflects the unchangeable reality that Her Immaculate Conception provides us the essential means to overcome sin and temptation, especially in the latter times.
Our Lady’s apparitions in Lourdes in the 19th century provide a prelude to Her great apparitions in Fatima in the 20th, for Her message is fundamentally the same; that sinners repent and turn back to God before they fall into the bottomless pits of Hell.
In Lourdes, we experience Our Lady’s role as the Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix for sinners. Similarly, in Fatima, we are reminded that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart is THE MEANS that leads us sinners back to God.
Hence, the Most Holy Virgin Mary’s pleas for prayer and penance in both Lourdes and Fatima makes the Militia Immaculatae even more relevant as the latter’s very mission is to help snatch souls from the devil in order to win them for Mary Immaculate.
When the world bathes in instant gratification and flourishes at the misconception that heaven exists solely on earth, the threat of this ideology jeopardises so many souls and deviates people from the real goal at the end of their lives.
Here, God saves us from this ruination: He sends the Immaculata to the world to remind us of the purpose for which we were created. "Lourdes, Revelation of Heaven" unfolds to its readers how the dogma of heaven becomes visible in the Immaculata because heaven is immaculate, without stain. The Book starts with the all important timeline of the 18 apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes to 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous.
The crux of Our Lady's message to Bernadette, besides the revelation of Her name, is penance and prayer for sinners. Fr C.B. Daly explains that Mary's union with Her Son's sufferings for us began with Her Son's conception in her womb. Her mind, heart and will was completely united with Her Son, Who coming into the world said, "Behold I come to do Thy will, O God!" This should be the real goal of our lives.
"Lourdes, Revelation of Heaven" is not just a book about the history of the apparitions in Lourdes or the life of St Bernadette. It progresses further in its explanations about Mary's association with Holy Communion and how this relationship is made abundantly clear in Lourdes.