No, thanks
Feasts of Our Lady
donate Books CDs HOME updates search contact

Lourdes & Universal Mediation of Mary
- February 11

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Since we are in the days of the novena to Our Lady of Lourdes, it seems a good time to say a word regarding this devotion.

our lady of lourdes

The site where Our Lady appeared at Lourdes

It appears to me that there is one among the many aspects of the Lourdes devotion that has been insufficiently emphasized. You know that a fundamental truth of the Reign of Mary is the Universal Mediation of Our Lady. The supposition for Our Lady to truly be Queen is that she is able to do all that she wishes because she is in perfect union with God. This is how she governs the world.

Our Lady – due to her own human nature like ours – has no more power over the stars or men than we have. So, for her to have the reign of the entire universe, to be the Queen of all the Angels, Saints and men, the Queen of the entire material world as well as be the most terrible and complete dominion over the Devil, she needs the grace of God. It is precisely at the point of convergence of all of God’s graces that she is Queen.

Our Lady’s omnipotence has often and very appropriately been called a “supplicant’s omnipotence,” because it is through her supplication that she is able to do everything. Because she can gain everything she asks from Our Lord Who is omnipotent, she is Queen. Therefore, Our Lady’s reign is the reign of the supplications that she makes, of the valor of the prayers that she offers.

Our Lady’s royalty is intimately connected to the fact that she is the channel of all graces. She is Queen of everything because all the graces that are given to men are granted through her hands. All requests that men make are presented through her. If all the Saints and Angels in Heaven asked for something other and did not go through her, they would not obtain it. She alone asking, without any of them, obtains that favor! Thus, the focus of divine predilection is entirely concentrated on her. From her it departs to all of Creation. There is, therefore, a kind of intimate correlation between the two realities.

Why God wanted to work miracles at Lourdes

The Lourdes apparition in the mid 19th century is the most famous in a series of others, which culminate at Fátima in 1917 with the affirmation of the Reign of Mary. In the dense darkness of our days, the Lourdes apparition is like a target point announcing that the Kingdom of Mary will come, it constitutes a clarion call of the Kingdom of Mary.

st bernadette of lOUrdes

St. Bernadette of Lourdes, the seer

In Lourdes it would be very interesting to study the presence of the idea of the Universal Mediation of graces and the Reign of Mary. Our Lord could have given this stupendous fecundity of miracles to one of His sanctuaries, but He chose to do so at Lourdes with the apparition of Our Lady.

In France, for example, there is a magnificent sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial, where Our Lord made His revelations of His Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary Alacoque. He could easily have caused many cures and miracles to have taken place there, and also in other sanctuaries consecrated to Him.

However, He wanted the greatest source of miracles in History to occur at a place that would be dedicated to Our Lady. In other words, He desired that all those cures should be only obtained under the aegis of Our Lady, after an appearance of Our Lady, as a grace from Our Lady, and through a request made to Our Lady. In other words, He wanted all these stupendous cures to pass through her hands.

And why? Evidently, to document the truth of faith of her Universal Mediation, so that men would understand to what extent she can accomplish everything. The worst illnesses, the greatest evils, the most horrible sufferings, she heals. She takes the most inflexible laws of nature and waves them away. She conquers everything! Through her, a person without an optic nerve sees...

Baths of Lourdes

The baths of Lourdes where Our Lady works innumerable miracles

One cannot imagine so great a dominion of Our Lady over nature as this! All this is done through her. Why? To show that all graces come through her intercession. In turn, the presence of all graces in her hands to be distributed means that she is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Everything passes through her.

I remember a little religious song that was sung when I was young, when there was still a remnant of piety in society, which said: “Hail, O Mother! Hail, O Most Holy Virgin, of the portentous and exquisite universe. More splendid glory than Thine only God has, Lord of the universe.” The song is pious and the conclusion is simply stated: No one has a more splendid glory than the Holy Virgin except for God, the Lord of the Universe.

That is to say, Our Lady is infinitely below God. And everything below Our Lady is immeasurably below her. This is what the continuing cures at Lourdes say to us.

There is a certain religiosity turned toward asking for material favors and graces, and that somewhat disdains spiritual favors. These souls are very impressed by the material favors granted at Lourdes. Some persons do not understand that these material favors that God gives are, indeed, favors for which these persons sshould ask. But they are only authentic favors to the extent that they lead the soul to desire spiritual favors, graces for the soul. This is where God truly attracts souls to Him, because all favors given have this end.

The sick still come in great numbers praying for cures

Do not think that a healing at Lourdes happens only because Our Lady has pity on, for example, the man who is lame. Of course she has pity on that poor man and wants to ease his suffering. But much more than this, Our Lady wants to do good for his soul, giving a physical miracle for this end. A miracle that is beneficial also to those who see or hear about that prodigy. In this case, what is important is to have great faith in the truth that she is the Mediatrix of All Graces.

I say this because just recently we had the St. Blaise candle blessing. I saw that mass of persons who go to the church to receive the blessing to protect themselves from sore throats. It is clear that Our Lady desires to free us from having a sore throat in cases where this ailment does not lead us to salvation. Because sometimes a sore throat, or an illness even worse, is very good for a man. If there were no disease on earth, Hell would be much fuller than it is – not just a little fuller, but much fuller than it is! Therefore, Our Lady does not cure every disease.

But when she does cure, she does it with pleasure and maternal love. And why does she do it? To make people feel her goodness. And to stimulate their desire to cure themselves of evil, of illnesses of the soul, and to acquire above all else spiritual goods.

What to ask on the feast day of Lourdes

So then, what should we ask Our Lady of Lourdes on her feast day that is approaching?

Since Our Lady of Lourdes desired to be known there, I suggest – and it is only a suggestion – that on the eve of her feast, we can think about a great grace to ask Our Lady.

be bold in our prayers

We should go to Our Lady &
ask for spiritual & temporal favors

We must be bold in our prayers. We must ask for bold things, but not foolish ones. We should ask for difficult graces. And, at the same time, we should ask with insistence. Perhaps each of us could try to discern both a spiritual grace and a temporal grace for which, on her feast day, we could ask. One grace that concerns sanctification and then something temporal that we desire for the good of our souls.

This leads us to a reflection on our lives. It leads us to raise the panorama of our spiritual life a little and, in this way, to have a more precise vision of ourselves, our activities, our paths in life, and to say a prayer of gratitude to Our Lady.

In the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the city of São Paulo there is a cave with an image of Our Lady of Lourdes which is unusual because, if I am not mistaken, it was the image that was venerated in the Lourdes grotto before the current image was placed there. It has, therefore, a more direct link between Lourdes and ourselves.

Because of this, in the late hours of the afternoon, there is a blessing of the sick given there, and many persons have claimed they were cured there. No investigations have been carried out, but it is said that these cures have happened.

In view of this, we must never forget that illnesses of the body are treated in the Gospels as symbols of illnesses of the soul. And just as some suffer from paralysis of the body, others suffer from paralysis of the soul; some suffer from blindness of the body, others of the soul; the same with deafness, muteness, and so on.

If we have defects of the soul that we would like to correct, this would be the right time for us to take them to the feet of Our Lady and ask her to heal us. It is a request that is very reasonable, because if Our Lady has such a great desire to heal our perishable mortal bodies, how much more will she want to heal our imperishable and immortal souls!

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to earth to save bodies; He came to earth to save souls, and for this reason He cannot but be pleased to receive our requests. We ask for ourselves or for someone about whom we care, someone with whom we doing apostolate, for a soul whose trials frighten us, for a friend whose afflictions or temptations and dangers are a source of concern to us.

So we should go before Our Lady of Lourdes and make this request; this is the suggestion I would like to make to you during this novena that precedes the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady Queen, Patio of the Sanctuary of Lourdes

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes

Our Lady of Lourdes - February 11

St. Bernadette Soubirous - April 16


Blason de Charlemagne
Follow us

Tradition in Action

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The Saint of the Day features highlights from the lives of saints based on comments made by the late Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Following the example of St. John Bosco who used to make similar talks for the boys of his College, each evening it was Prof. Plinio’s custom to make a short commentary on the lives of the next day’s saint in a meeting for youth in order to encourage them in the practice of virtue and love for the Catholic Church. TIA thought that its readers could profit from these valuable commentaries.

The texts of both the biographical data and the comments come from personal notes taken by Atila S. Guimarães from 1964 to 1995. Given the fact that the source is a personal notebook, it is possible that at times the biographic notes transcribed here will not rigorously follow the original text read by Prof. Plinio. The commentaries have also been adapted and translated for TIA’s site.