The statue of Our Lady of the Cape, seen on the picture, was given to the shrine of Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Que., in 1854. It is still venerated in the small stone church opened to the cult in 1720. It is the oldest church preserved in its integrity in Canada.
On March 16, 1879, after a mild winter during which the river didn't freeze over, an ice bridge appeared on the St. Lawrence River. Lasting a week, it allowed the parishioners to carry the stone needed to begin the building of a new parish church. This ice bridge, called the "Rosary Bridge", was the answer to the many rosaries recited by the parishioners with this aim in view. The parish priest had vowed not to demolish the small church and to dedicate it to Mary.
by Alain Pilote
As it has been shown countless times in the history of the Church, the Virgin Mary is very powerful to intercede with Her Son Jesus to deliver peoples and nations from evil and the enemies of God.
This is the wonderful maternal mediation of Mary, which was first manifested at the wedding feast of Cana, when, at Her request, Jesus worked His first miracle and changed the water into wine. Pope John Paul II wrote about this in his encyclical letter Redemptoris Mater (The Mother of the Redeemer):
"Thus there is a mediation: Mary places Herself between Her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts Herself 'in the middle', that is to say not as an outsider, but in Her position as mother. She knows that as such She can point out to Her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, She 'has the right' to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary 'intercedes' for mankind.
"Another essential element of Mary's maternal task is found in Her words to the servants: "Do whatever He tells you. 'The Mother of Christ presents Herself as the spokeswoman of Her Son's will, pointing out those things which must be done so that the salvific power of the Messiah may be manifested."
This maternal mediation of Mary will last until the end of the world. We can still see many examples of Mary's motherly love for us in Her frequent Apparitions of recent years on earth, where she keeps returning to beg us to repent and save ourselves from the effects of our sins.
St. Louis De Montfort, in his book "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin," thus explains the part of Mary in the latter times:
"The salvation of the world began through Mary and through Mary it must be accomplished. Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Jesus Christ (because of Her humility)... But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through Her... as She was the way by which Jesus first came to us, She will again be the way by which He will come to us the second time though not in the same manner."
It is the message of Fatima, as reported by the words of Jacinta to Lucy (two of the three young shepherds who saw Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917); "Tell everyone that Our Lord grants us all graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that all must make their petitions to Her; that the Sacred Heart of Jesus desires that the Immaculate Heart of Mary be venerated at the same time. Tell them that they should ask for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as God has placed it in Her hands."
Saint Louis De Montfort expresses the same idea when he writes:
"Our Blessed Lady is the means Our Lord made use of to come to us. She is also the means which we must make use of to go to Him... The strongest inclination of Mary is to unite us to Jesus Christ, Her Son; and the strongest inclination of the Son is that we should come to Him through His holy Mother... We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor His Mother, and we honor Her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to Her only as a way to the goal we seek — Jesus, Her Son... Mary is so powerful that none of Her petitions has ever been refused. She has but to show Herself before Her Son to pray to Him, and straightaway He grants Her desires, straightaway He receives Her prayers. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of His dearest Mother."
How can we obtain the graces of God through Mary's intercession? By the recitation of the Rosary: "Say the Rosary every day," Our Lady said to the three children of Fatima in each of Her six Apparitions.
It is precisely the program of the Pilgrims... of St. Michael to make Our Lady known and loved by the recitation of the Rosary, to build the Kingdom of the Immaculate. To go and see people and have a decade of the Rosary recited in their homes, besides casting out devils and bringing graces from heaven, is an excellent way to make reparation for the sins of the world, as Our lady requested at Fatima.
To conclude, let us reproduce a text sent by one of our subscribers, Mr. Mario Di Tata of Chicago, which shows that Mary is also praised in the Bible, in the Book of Proverbs:
Although considered to be one of the Bible's wisdom books, the Book of Proverbs is viewed by many as a book of prophecy as well. This is also the opinion of the Church, as reflected in its liturgical readings.
In Proverbs, as in other parts of the Old Testament, we find several references to events in the New Testament, especially those related to the lives of Jesus and Mary. Chapter Thirty-One in particular provides us with valuable insight into the life of our Blessed Mother. Let us examine it closely to learn more about Her great virtue and dignity.
The inspired writer speaks of a certain honorable woman of great value: "Who shall find a valiant woman? far and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her." (Proverbs 31:10) The term "valiant" is taken from the Latin Vulgate. Other translations refer to Her in terms such as "perfect" or "worthy", which convey a similar meaning. Although this verse can be applied to many women, we shall see that it applies in a special way to Mary, the most blessed of all women.
The writer goes on to tell of Mary's freedom from sin and the great favor She finds with God, who is referred to symbolically in terms of a spouse: "The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good, and not evil, all the days of her life." (Proverbs 31:11-12) These words can be applied literally only to Mary, who was conceived without sin and never sinned throughout Her life. Thus, She rendered to God "good, and not evil, all the days of her life."
Referring to Mary, the author continues: "She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her bread from afar." (Proverbs 31:14) This "bread from afar" is none other than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who said of Himself: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven." (St. John 6:51) As the Mother of Christ, Mary has brought us this heavenly food who continues to nourish us each day in the Holy Eucharist.
Mary is also portrayed as the mediatrix of grace: "She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor." (Proverbs 31:20) Mary's works of mercy did not end with Her life here on earth. Even now, She helps us from Her place in heaven, where She lives body and soul.
From heaven, Her mission continues, as the writer explains; "She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle." (Proverbs 31:27) Since Mary is the Mother of the Church, we are part of Her household. If we pray to Her in good faith, we can be confident that She will watch over us and care for our needs.
The proverbs also speak of Mary's sorrows: "She hath considered a field and bought it: with the fruit of her hands, she hath planted a vineyard." (Proverbs 31:16) The vineyard, containing grapes, symbolizes the precious blood of Jesus, who was crucified in the presence of His mother.
Her sorrows are referred to again: "She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen and purple is her clothing." (Proverbs 31:22) Purple, the color used by the Church during Lent, represents the suffering and death of Jesus. Mary was clothed in "purple" by compassion for her crucified Son.
Mary's sorrows would be followed by the honor She now receives both in heaven and on earth. This is foretold in the following passage: "Her children rose up and called her blessed; her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all." (Proverbs 31:28-29)
These words were echoed in the New Testament by St. Elizabeth who, being filled with the Holy Spirit, said to Mary: "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." (St. Luke 1:42)
They have been repeated throughout history by Mary's other children who, also filled with the Holy Spirit, have prayed the Hail Mary.
Merely human words cannot describe the glory of Mary, but the word of God, as found in Proverbs, offers Her fitting praise. The final words from this book sum it up best: "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:30-31)