Feast of the Assumption of the Most
15 August 1979,
at Saint Mary's College, St. Marys, Kansas, during
the Angelus Pilgrimage.
I came to Saint Mary's College for the first time two years
ago, I was amazed and stupefied by the magnificence of the
chapel, of the chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.
And when those who were showing me around this magnificent
chapel told me that it was a shrine venerated throughout
America, and particularly in this area, I thought at once
that, if God permitted us to have this property, and especially
this chapel, we would make of it a center of pilgrimage,
a center of devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for
all America. People would come from the North, from the
South, from the East, from the West, to this center which
lies in the geographical center of America, so as to manifest
their devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, and to discover
at her feet the line of conduct to follow in this terrible
period that the Church is passing through today.
already I was promising Father Bolduc that I would come
for the feast of August 15, to meet all those who would
desire to come pray at the feet of the Most Blessed Virgin,
and to encourage them to preserve the Catholic faith in
union with the Virgin Mary. But by the decision of Providence,
the chapel caught fire. This was a great trial for us. It
was indeed a disaster. Our hearts were in anguish. But since
God had decided thus, we still thought that we should maintain
this date for the pilgrimage, and that, since it had become
necessary, we would reconstruct the chapel.
what we did just a little while ago—the blessing of the
cornerstone—is proof that you are determined to rebuild
the chapel for the glory of the Most Blessed Virgin. I am
convinced that all of you will help to make of this shrine
a shrine as beautiful, if not more beautiful, than that
which was there before. And I am happy to see that you have
come—despite the destruction, you have come from all parts
of America. I also thank the priests who are present, and
especially Msgr. Donahue, who has come from Los Angeles,
to celebrate with us this Feast of the Assumption of the
Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
few words I would like to show you how much the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary, in this painful crisis that the Church is going
through, should be our guide and our model. With her we
are certain not to go astray. We shall look to her, we shall
ask her what she did during the course of her life, what
she has to teach us, and we shall see that the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary teaches us just what the Church has taught us
ever since, in the course of twenty centuries.
first element that concerns the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
and that announces her, is found in the protogospel, in
Genesis, where already Mary is presented as a queen going
forth to battle, as the queen of hosts, queen of armies
who gathers about herself all the forces of God, all the
graces of God, and this to fight. To fight whom? To fight
what? To fight the devil!
God Himself who announces this to the devil: "I shall
place between thee—the devil, Satan— and the Virgin Mary
an enmity." So the Virgin has an enemy. And not only
an enmity between the Virgin Mary and Satan, but an enmity
between the progeny of Satan and the progeny of Mary; between
the world, between everything represented by those who are
the children of Satan, but those who struggle against God,
who detest God, and the Son of Mary, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
and all those who will be the children of the Virgin Mary.
are then, by the will of God, two armies in the world: an
army of the children of the Virgin Mary, and an army of
the children of Satan. And between them, God has placed
an enmity, an enmity that will last until the end of time,
until the end of the world. Consequently, the Virgin Mary,
already, before being born, promised by God, draws us into
a combat, into her combat, into the combat that will lead
her to victory. A combat, however, which, alas, will often
be waged in painful, in
difficult, and in trying periods. But if we follow the Virgin
Mary we are sure with her to achieve victory.
victory that the Virgin Mary desires is a victory against
Satan and, consequently, against sin. The Virgin Mary is
the symbol of those who do not want to sin, who do not want
to disobey God. This is the battle that the Virgin Mary
is going to wage through the ages. So it is a great lesson
that God gives us in announcing the birth of His Mother,
in announcing that we shall have a Mother, a heavenly Mother,
a Mother who will do battle. So we shall do battle with
her and we must do battle against the common enemy who is
Satan, and all those who with Satan are against God.
you have observed nowadays in modern ecclesiastical literature
that they no longer want to talk about the enemies of the
Church, they no longer want to talk about the enemies of
God, the enemies of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They would like
these enemies to become brothers. Instead of combatting
sin in them, the sin that removes them from God, by loving
them, by seeking to convert them, it now seems that those
who believe in the Virgin Mary, that the children of the
Virgin Mary and those who are not children of the Virgin
Mary, are all brothers.
this is not true. We must strive to bring them to become
children of Mary, but we cannot recognize them as children
of God if they are not children of Mary.
second lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives us,
when she was visited by the Angel Gabriel, is her faith.
The first act noted for us in the Gospel on the occasion
of the Annunciation is the faith of Mary. And her cousin
Elizabeth congratulates her: "Beata quae credidisti:
blessed art thou who hast believed." Yes, the Most
Blessed Virgin Mary believed. She believed in whom, in what?
She believed that the Son who was to be born of her was
the Son of God; she believed in the Divinity of Our Lord
Jesus Christ; she believed in the Divinity of her divine
is the great lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives
us. Henceforth, she lives only for the Reign of her Son,
for the glory of her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the
greatest humility—she says herself that she was chosen because
of her humility.
Elizabeth did not hesitate to praise her precisely for this:
"Blessed art thou, O Mary, because thou hast believed."
This should also be our own first conviction: We must believe;
we must believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of
God. We must believe all our Credo, the whole faith that
the Most Blessed Virgin had transmitted, that the Most Blessed
Virgin manifested to the Apostles and that the Apostles
transmitted. We must keep this faith intact. Let us ask
the Virgin Mary to have faith like hers—to have faith as
deep, as firm, as courageous as that of the Most Blessed
third event in the life of the Virgin Mary that shows us
how we should behave is what took place at the wedding feast
of Cana. You remember that they ran out of wine during the
wedding feast of Cana. The servants came to tell Mary that
there was no more wine. And what did Mary tell the servants?
"Do all that He tells you; do all that my divine Son
tells you." This is the Gospel of Mary.
is summarized in this phrase: "Do what Jesus tells
addresses these words to us as well, not only to the servants
of Cana. At the very beginning of the period of evangelization
of Our Lord, the Most Blessed Virgin is already speaking
to us, is already speaking to those who will be the disciples
of Our Lord. And when we appeal to the Most Blessed Virgin
Mary to ask her what we should do in the difficult circumstances
of our lives, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary will answer us
just as she answered the servants at the wedding feast of
Cana: "Do all that He tells you. Do the will of Our
Lord. Observe the commandments of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you do the will of Our Lord, if you do the will of my
divine Son, then you will be saved. Then your soul, which
is perhaps like water, will be changed into wine, a generous
wine. Your soul will be filled with the grace of the Lord.
Your soul will be filled with all that is necessary for
you to fulfill the commandments of God. This is the third
lesson that our heavenly Mother gives us.
fourth lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives us
is her presence on Calvary. Her presence on Calvary, where
she is not the priest who offers the sacrifice—the priest
who offers the sacrifice is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself—
but the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is there, present. The
Apostles are absent; only Saint John is with her.
presence on Calvary, the Virgin Mary shows us the importance
of the Sacrifice of Calvary, and, consequently, the importance
of the Sacrifice of the Mass. She is the Mother of priests.
She is the Mother of all the faithful. And by this presence,
standing before her divine Son, who is covered with blood,
whose blood was poured forth for our sins, the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary shows Him to us, and says to us, "See the
love He has for you: my divine Son has given all His blood,
this blood that I myself gave Him in my womb, this blood
that is now all over His body. His heart is open. His head
is pierced with thorns. His hands are pierced; His feet
pierced—all that by love for you." And this will continue
until the end of time through the Holy Sacrifice of the
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us the great mystery
of the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, realized in the Sacrifice
of Calvary, in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Eucharist.
For the Sacrifice of the Mass also gives us the Eucharist;
this Flesh and Blood of the Victim that we must
and drink to obtain eternal life. It is Our Lord Jesus Christ
Himself who said so; "If you do not eat my flesh and
drink my blood, you will not have eternal life." So
Our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished this unimaginable, the
incredible miracle of really giving us His body and His
blood to eat and drink. This is what the great love of Our
Lord Jesus Christ accomplished, and this is the lesson that
the Virgin Mary gives us by her presence at the feet of
her divine Son on Calvary.
the last lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives
us is that of her presence in the midst of the Apostles
the day of Pentecost. It is through her that the graces
will be given to the Apostles and that the Holy Ghost will
descend upon the Apostles. The Church teaches us so. The
Apostles were sanctified on that day by the Holy Ghost through
the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, through
the mediation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
no longer needed to receive the Holy Ghost. She was filled
with the Holy Ghost. The Angel Gabriel had told her so:
"Thou art filled with the Holy Ghost." She no
longer needed to receive Him. But if she was present, it
is because she wanted to communicate the Holy Ghost to the
Apostles, and because Our Lord wanted Him to be communicated
to them through her—to them and, consequently, to the Church.
There she truly became the Mother of the Church, because
it was she who by her mediation gave the Holy Ghost to the
Most Blessed Virgin teaches us to love the Church, to love
the Holy Ghost—the Holy Ghost, who is given to us by all
the Sacraments instituted by Our Lord, and especially by
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and by the Eucharist. This
is what the Most Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us.
we must be attached to the Church, and it is because we
are attached to the Church that we defend our holy Mother
the Church. The Roman Catholic Church is our mother. And
it is because we are the devoted sons of the Church, because
we love the Church, because we love Rome, because we love
all those who truly represent the Holy Catholic Church,
that we defend our faith, that we defend what the Virgin
Mary has given us.
not want them to change our Church. We want no other Church.
We want the Roman Catholic Church, that which the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary communicated to the Apostles in the Holy Ghost.
This is the Church that we want. This is the Church that
we love—the Church of the Mother of Jesus, the Church of
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church of the Immaculate
Conception, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. This
is the Church that we want. This is the Church that we venerate,
the Church to which we wish forever to remain subject. So
we beg those who have posts of authority in the Church not
to change our Church, to remain faithful to the Church of
Mary, to remain faithful to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
to all the lessons that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary has
I beg you, my dear brethren, to be the leaven—the leaven
of the Catholic Church, of this love for the Catholic Church,
in all your regions, in all your families, in all your homes.
Remain children of Mary, Pray to the Most Blessed Virgin
Mary. Meditate on the lessons that the Most Blessed Virgin
Mary gives you. Then you will be true Catholics. You cannot
be children of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, in a full and
holy manner, without being the best children of the Catholic
Church. This is what reassures us that we are indeed true
sons of the Catholic Church.
am convinced that when you return home you will be true
representatives of the Catholic Church, and that you will
co all you can so that she continues, despite the difficulties,
despite the trials, despite the contradictions. We must
all pray together today for you to be witnesses. Just as
the Apostles received the Holy Ghost through the Virgin
Mary, and went forth to give witness to the Gospel throughout
the world, so you also must be the witnesses of the Virgin
Mary, of the Holy Ghost that you have received through her,
and give witness to your faith in God, of your faith in
Our Lord Jesus Christ, of your love for the Church, wherever
you may be. This is what God desires.
are the Church! You are the Church! You are the Catholic
Church! So let us remain in this Church of the Virgin Mary.
Let us confide in her. Let us confide to her our families,
especially our children, who so need the help of the Virgin
Mary to remain in the true Catholic faith.
you with all my heart for preserving this faith. I also
congratulate you with all my heart to see that you have
so many children. We observe that half of the assembly here
is composed of persons less than twenty years old. This
is a sign, a sign of your fidelity to the Catholic Church,
a sign of your fidelity to the commandments of God. I congratulate
you, and I am sure that God's blessings are upon you.
that next year, or perhaps in two years, I do not know,
if, of course, God gives me life, that I shall be able again,
with you to say Mass, no longer here, but to say it in our
beautiful basilica, which will be rebuilt, by the grace
of God. And we shall be able to sing the praises of the
Virgin Mary, as we are doing today, but perhaps with still
greater beauty and a still greater number of pilgrims.
God bless you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.