First let me tell you about a little known miracle of an icon of Our Blessed Lady that occurred in Russia during the dark days of Communism.
“Every time we turned off the light, the icon appeared” (Mr Polsky)
“Just before WWII, St Seraphim Church, located on Gaïlovskala Street in Rostov-on-Don (Russia) was deconsecrated and turned into a cinema. There was a beautiful icon of Our Lady hanging on the wall to the right.
When the church became a cinema, this icon was covered with a thick layer of lime but … every time the light was turned off in the “room,” the icon appeared so brightly that the screen darkened.
A commission came to see what was happening. At each show, the committee saw the phenomenon. But despite many new layers of paint, the icon always lit up, attracting the audience’s attention. As word of the miracle taking place in the cinema began to spread, they closed it down.
During WWII, when the Germans occupied the city of Rostov, the church was opened again and it has remained open. Soviet authorities deemed it best that people visit a miraculous icon in a church rather than giving “dark minds” the opportunity to claim a miracle.”
Taken from The New Russian Martyrs (Les nouveaux martyrs russes, Le sourire de Marie) Collection of Marian Stories (Recueil marial 1978).
Mary is the Light that reflects the Light of Christ. The one True Light. The Light that shines in a world darkened by sin and evil forces.
I AM the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
Mary lightens the way as she points us towards the Light of her Divine Son. Without this light illuminating our route along our pilgrimage through life we could so easily lose our way. Does not a mother desire only good things for her beloved children? And Mary is surely the most loving of mothers. If we obey the words of our Heavenly Mother to: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5), though we may stumble, and sometimes even fall, over and again, the Light will be there to guide us back on the right path, the only path, for all other paths will not lead us home to our destination, Heaven.
We are witnessing some terrible things in our world today. The war against God and against His Holy Church on Earth is gathering momentum. Satan’s successes in obliterating the Light of Christ in the world are multiple and growing in intensity and viciousness as he spreads the darkness of evil into every crack and corner of life on Earth. He appears to have even infiltrated the Bride of Christ, as countless betrayals and scandals perpetrated by those who once swore to defend the Truth of Christ, we have been experiencing more acutely than ever in recent decades. And while we struggle in our fight against the enemies of Christ within the Church, our enemies without (those of false religions and those who deny the very existence of God) are stepping up their persecution of Christendom.
We could easily be led to despair, but that would be the ultimate victory for Satan. We must fight the temptation towards apathy and resignation. Instead, with joy in the certain knowledge that we are loved and accompanied by God, Our Lady and all the angels and saints of Heaven, and by living our lives in faithfulness to the teachings of our Faith (even when the darkness is oppressive, threatening and appears impenetrable) we too may become bearers of the Light of Christ. With the help of the shining light of Our Blessed Mother, we must lift our own small lights to help illuminate the way for others, out of the darkness of the lies of the world, and into the “Light of the world” (John 9:5).
Like many, I was deeply distressed by the news of the murder of a holy old priest yesterday in Normandy, France, who was beheaded by evil men, men who know only how to hate, as he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There, at the foot of the altar of God, as he through the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Most Sacred Body and Blood of Christ Our Lord and Saviour, Fr Jacques Hamel united his own life to that of the Sacrifice of the Beloved. May he forever be known as a holy martyr of the Church.
I saw a moving post from Fr Hugh on his blog Dominus mihi adjutor commenting in the wake of this tragedy. He exhorted us to:
“light a candle or three, hallowing each one with a brief prayer. Let’s fill our churches with light, that the world might know that the darkness might win a battle but it cannot win the war.
Let there be light: fiat lux — lumen Christi, lumen fidei, lumen veritatis, lumen caritatis, lumen spei.”