Tomorrow is the feast the Apparition of the BVM at Lourdes:- http://americaneedsfatima.blogspot.co.uk states:-
"It began in 1854 when the great Pope Pius IX defined the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady as a dogma with his Bull Ineffabilis.
Later, Our Lady appeared in Lourdes 18 times between February 11 and July 16 in 1858 to a simple peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, where the Blessed Mother declared she was the Immaculate Conception.
Thus began a succession of miracles, which make Lourdes that great marvel that has shone in the eyes of the whole world ever since. The two events are very connected: a miracle confirmed a dogma.
While the public may be aware of these two events, many are not aware of how they are related to the problems of the nineteenth century, which were so different yet so similar to our own.
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Pope Pius IX’s definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had varied but profound repercussions from all over the civilized world.
It caused great enthusiasm in the faithful at large. They delighted in seeing a Vicar of Jesus Christ proclaim this dogma using the fullness and majesty of his power. It was an admirably gallant and bold challenge to the triumphant skepticism already gnawing at the entrails of Western civilization.
Pope Pius IX. They delighted yet more by the fact that it was a Marian dogma. This attacked liberalism which by its very nature gave rise to yet another nineteenth century scourge – interconfessionalism. This scourge highlights everything religions have in common (usually a vague deism) and underrates, if not outright rejects, everything that separates them.
Thus, the open or secret interconfessionalists of 1854 saw this proclamation of a new Marian dogma (like the definition of the Assumption much later) as a serious and unexpected barrier towards achieving their goals.
The new dogma also deeply shocked the essentially egalitarian mentality of the French Revolution, which since 1789 had despotically held sway in the West. To see a mere creature elevated so far above all others, enjoying an inestimable privilege from the very first instance of her conception is something that could not and cannot fail to hurt the children of a Revolution which proclaimed absolute equality among men as the basis of all order, justice and goodness. It was painful for both non-Catholics and Catholics, more or less infected with this spirit, to accept the fact that God established in creation and highlighted such outstanding inequality.
Finally, liberals dislike the nature of that privilege as such. Indeed, anyone who admits the existence of Original Sin, with all the spiritual disorders and miseries of the body that it entails, must accept that man needs an authority that he must obey. The definition of the Immaculate Conception was an implicit reaffirmation of Church teaching in this matter.
However important all these points may be, there is yet another that we would dare call the very “salt” of the dogma’s glorious definition. It is impossible to think about the Immaculate Virgin Mary without recalling how she triumphantly and definitively crushed the serpent’s head under her heel. The Revolutionary mentality is the mentality of the devil himself. A person of faith cannot fail to recognize the role the devil has played in the rise and propagation of the errors of the Revolution, from the religious disasters of the sixteenth century to the political debacle of the eighteenth century and all that followed.
For the devil to see such a triumphal affirmation of his longstanding and inflexible enemy was his most horrible humiliation. Hence, the proclamation must have given rise to an uproar of human voices and satanic howls like an immense and thunderous storm all over the world.
For true Catholics, watching the intrepid and majestic figure of the Vicar of Christ standing alone against that tempest of unruly passions, threatening hatreds and furious despair, armed only with heavenly assistance, caused a jubilation like the one the Apostles felt during the storm on the Sea of Genesareth when the Savior commanded the winds and the sea to be calm: “venti et mare oboediunt ei” (Mt. 8:27)."
Taken from:- http://americaneedsfatima.blogspot.co.uk.