Friday, October 09, 2009

Lourdes Legend


Tea at the Trianon, always an interesting read, has an interesting post on a legend about Lourdes and its chateau:
The Gauls, Roman, Barbars and Moors successively took turns to strengthen the Lourdes rock on which the castle stands. This antique fortress is clothed in legend. In 778, Charlemagne and his army besieged the castle which was occupied at the time by Mirat, the Saracen, and his Moors. Despite attacks by the Francs and the onslaught of famine, Lourdes castle remained impenetrable.

Suddenly an eagle appeared in the sky. It flew around the fort and dropped an enormous trout from its beak, which landed at Mirat's feet. The clever Moor grabbed the fish and took it to Charlemagne to make him believe that he still had plenty of food reserves.

Charlemagne was just preparing to lift the siege when Turpin, his friend and Bishop of Puy-en-Velay, became inspired and was granted permission to go and talk to the besieged. He suggested that Mirat surrender, not to the sovereign but to the Queen of the skies
[Heaven].

This proposal pleased the Moor leader who promptly set down his weapons at the foot of the Black Virgin of Puy and was baptized. On the day of his baptism, Mirat was given the name "Lorus". This name was transferred to the village, which, in time, became Lourdes.

3 comments:

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for the link, Father, and that is an excellent photo of the chateau.

George said...

That's really interesting Fr Ray.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote a book entitled 'The Worlds First Love' (1952) and one chapter is titled 'Mary and the moslems'. This small section is very relevant to your post:

"The Koran, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First of all, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception, and also, in her Virgin Birth. It has verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying: "Oh, Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth." In the nineteenth chapter of the Koran there are 41 verses on Jesus and Mary.

Fatima:
Mary then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: "Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary." In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, "I surpass all the women, except Mary."

This brings us to our second point: namely, why the Blessed Mother, in the 20th century should have revealed herself in the significant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as "Our Lady of Fatima."

Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima.

A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima.

Thus, the very place where our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception, which the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, as mentioned earlier - pre 1952. Moslems attended the church services in honor of Our Lady, they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.

It now remains to use another approach, namely, that of taking the 41st chapter of the Koran and showing the Moslems that it was taken out of the Gospel of Luke, that Mary could not be, even in their own eyes, the most blessed of all the women of Heaven if she had not also borne One who was the Savior of the world.

If Judith and Esther of the Old Testament were pre-figures of Mary, then it may well be that Fatima herself was a post-figure of Mary! The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing".

Now as there is no such thing as 'coincidence' when it comes to God unveiling His Divine plans is it not amazing that the most Holy Shrines of the Blessed Virgin Mary, namely Lourdes and Fatima, owe their names directly to historical incidents of conversion of Moslems to the Catholic Faith!

Incredible!

Tom SVDP said...

I have a friend who I sent the "Lourdes webcam" page and the Grotto shot she said "It's just like being there." I don't know if that is an accurate description but I keep the Lourdes webcam page fired up all the time: http://www.lourdes-france.org/index.php?id=507&contexte=en

But the Grotto web cam shot, in the past year or so, they have changed, so that you may have to donate for a look and now, I'm having difficulty even finding it there. I guess it really was like being there.

I believe one can see the Chateau in some webcams from there. Once in a while, the Tour de France even goes by there, you may see Nuns coming out to see the racers.

Yes, George, your post is informative, though I should, I'm only vaguely aware of Esther's and Judith's roles in the Old Testament. Something to read up on.