The Gate of Heaven - Our Lady's Power
"How shall we overcome the Spirit of Satan except by the power of that woman to whom Almighty God has given the mandate to crush the head of the serpent."
Bishop Fulton Sheen
"Oh, how fearful is Mary to the Devils!"
When we speak of the power of Our Lady, we must remember the source of her power. In her own words, Our Heavenly Mother told us the source of her power: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name." (Lk.1:46-49)
These very words of Our Lady tell us that she acknowledges God as the source of her power. We must keep this thought in mind when referring to Our Lady's power. This where confusion sets in, especially with non-Catholics, who do not have a proper understanding of the Catholics devotion and love for the Mother of God. They wrongly assume that we are giving her the honor and recognition that God alone deserves. If they only understood the humility of Mary, they would realize that Mary keeps nothing for herself, but gives it all back to God. Our love is not pure and perfect. Whether we realize it or not it is contaminated with our own self-love and interests. Mary has none of these faults. Therefore when she gives to God what we give to her, she takes out our imperfections and self-love replacing it with a pure and holy love. She cleans it up, so to speak, making it perfect and pleasing in God's eyes.
Most people and this includes Catholics, are not aware of the types of honor we give to the saints, Our Lady and God. When we venerate a saint, we are acknowledging that the saint is worthy of devotion, because the saint was faithful to God. The virtues the saint practiced while alive, are worthy of our admiration and imitation. We do not adore the saints. The adoration and supreme worship that is due God is called Adoration or latria, while the veneration we give to the saints is called dulia. The special form of devotion we give to the Blessed Mother is called hyperdulia. There is no creature higher in Heaven and holier than Mary. The special honor and reverence we pay her is greater than that of the saints and angels. But we do not adore her or worship her, that alone is reserved for God. There is no surer, quicker way to Jesus than through Mary. She is not a stumbling block to God as misinformed people would have you believing today. Our Heavenly Mother is the stepping stone, the mystical ladder that leads directly to God.
Mary is the most gentle, most merciful, most loving of Mothers. The greater the sinner, the greater her concern and love! Only at the gates of Hell does she admit defeat! Her love and concern and Motherhood extends to everyone. She was given to us at the foot of the cross, when Our Lord said: "Woman behold thy son, Son behold they Mother." (John 19:26) These truly are some of the greatest words ever spoken.
In the Old Testament we read of a certain King giving half his kingdom to his Queen. This is symbolic of Our Lord, when He gave half His kingdom to His Mother. The half He gave her was mercy, the half He kept was justice.
A few years ago I was privileged to visit a church that had the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. This statue is the most famous and miraculous image of the Mother of God in existence today. This image of Our Lady has shed tears 22 times. A book has been written about this miraculous statue called "The Wonders She Performs", by Louis Kaczemark. I recommend reading this book.
While in the church I heard Louis Kaczemark speak on Our Lady, especially her power. He has traveled for the past 20 years, daily speaking on Our Lady and her message she gave us at Fatima. It is with his permission that I quote what he had to say on the power of Our Lady.
"Since Vatican II, many people feel that Our Lady does not command the Power she use to. That Mary does not command the Authority she use to. That Mary does not command the Respect she use to. That Mary does not command the Importance she use to. That Mary does not command the Attention she use to. Remember that where Mary goes her Son goes. Take Mary out of your life, and her Son goes with Her!
"With regards to the POWER that Mary, the Mother of God commands: In Genesis, the first sermon ever preached, God said; 'I will put enmity between you and the woman, between her seed and your seed, and She will crush your head!' Except for God have you ever heard of such power?
"With regards to her AUTHORITY, she was created to be the Mother of God. She would contain in her womb, that which the universe could not contain. Except for God have you ever heard of such authority?
"With regards to her RESPECT, this magnificent masterpiece, Mary, in Luke's Gospel said 'All generations shall call me Blessed! Because He who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name!' Except for God have you ever heard of such respect?
"With regards to her IMPORTANCE, bear in mind; the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity made her the first and most beautiful of all tabernacles; a living tabernacle! She contained in her womb for the first nine months the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Second Person, Jesus Christ made her the Mother of the Church. The First Person, God the Father, made her Queen of heaven. Except for God, have you ever heard of such Importance?
"With regards to her ATTENTION, Our Lord, her Son, spent 3 hours redeeming us, He spent 3 years establishing His Church, but He spent 33 years with his Mother! Who do you know has ever gotten this kind of undivided attention from Our Lord?"
In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 2, we read of Our Lady's power. This is the only time that Mary's name is mentioned before Our Lord's. St. John writes "the mother of Jesus was there." She is mentioned being there because she was instrumental in Christ performing His first public miracle. When she realized the wine was gone, her motherly love went out to the poor couple. Before they even knew about the problem she said to her Divine Son, "They have no wine." Our Lord responded by telling His Mother, "My time has not yet come." Imagine the scene! Our Lady looking into the eyes of Son and then turning to the servants saying: "Do whatever He tells you." This is the last time that Mary is quoted in Sacred Scripture. The 18th century poet, Crashaw, wrote of the miracle that was performed at the request of Our Lady, "the servants filled the 6 stone jugs with water and the unconscious waters looked at their God and blushed."
Our Heavenly Mother has not changed since the wedding of Cana. She is still telling us to do whatever He tells you. Yet how many of us do God's Will? The power of Mary is very great, yet it will not help us if we are not obedient to the Will of God. She will not go against God's Will!
We see this power even in her very name. Richard of St. Laurence states: "There is not such powerful help in any name, nor is there any other name given to men, after that of Jesus, from which so much salvation is poured forth upon men as from the name of Mary. The devout invocation of this sweet and holy name leads to the acquisition of superabundant graces in this life, and a very high degree of glory in the next." That is the power of her name!
Blessed Raymond Jordano says, "However hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pronounced that heart will be wonderfully softened." Richard of St. Laurence again "encourages sinners to have recourse to this great name. There is no disorder, however malignant, that does not immediately yield to the power of the name of Mary."
If you do not pray the Rosary everyday this is a good reason to start praying it everyday! How many times while praying the Holy Rosary is the name of Mary said. Think of it, "Hail Mary...holy Mary". St. Methodius writes, "thy name, O Mother of God, is filled with divine graces and blessings." St. Bonaventure declared, "that thy name, O Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly."
Thomas a Kempis, author of the Imitation of Christ, tells us "that the devils fear the Queen of Heaven to such a degree, that only on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from him who does so as from a burning fire." Our Lady herself confirmed this when she revealed to St. Bridget "that there is not on earth a sinner, however devoid he may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes her holy name with a determination to repent." On another occasion she again told St. Bridget, that all the devils venerate and fear her name to such a degree, that on hearing it they immediately loosen the claws with which they hold the soul captive. It is in the same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who invoke the name of Mary, so also do the good angels approach nearer to just souls who pronounce her name with devotion. Think of the joy you give the holy angels every time you say the holy name of Mary!
Just how much does Our Lord want us to have a devotion to the holy name of Mary? One day St. Bridget heard Jesus tell His Mother that He would grant three special graces to those who invoke the holy name of Mary with confidence. First, He would grant them perfect sorrow for their sins; secondly, that their crimes should be atoned for; and thirdly, that He would give them strength to attain perfection, and at length the glory of paradise. Our Divine Savior added: "For thy words, O My Mother, are so sweet and agreeable to Me, that I cannot deny what thou askest." This is Our Lord speaking about the power of His mother's name. With great joy and love we should often say her name, especially through the rosary. On the other hand how great will be the punishment of those who have used her name disrespectfully and irreverently!
The following are quotes from other saints. "The name of Mary is the key of the gates of heaven," St. Ephrem. St. Bonaventure, "Mary is the salvation of all who call upon her." "O most sweet name! O Mary, what must thou thyself be, since thy name alone is thus amiable and gracious!" Blessed Henry Suso.
St. Bernard gives us the following advice, "In dangers, in perplexities, in doubtful cases, think of Mary, call on Mary; let her not leave thy lips; let her not depart from thy heart."
If you invoke the name of Mary during your life, how sweet will her name be to you at the close of your earthly life. St. Bonaventure tells us, "Blessed is the man who loves thy name, O Mary. Yes, truly blessed is he who loves they sweet name, O Mother of God, for they name is glorious and admirable, that no one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of death!" The devil will have no power to assault you, if you invoke her sweet name!
The tender prayer of St. Bonaventure should be our prayer also. "I ask thee, O Mary, for the glory of thy name, to come and meet my soul when it is departing from this world and to take it in thine arms."
This is only scratching the surface concerning the power of the name of Mary! The power she herself possess is even greater! St. Alphonsus de Liguori said, "When Mary commands, everyone obeys even God!" St. Anselm, a Doctor of Mary, writes, "Whatever God commands, thou, Mary gains by prayer." St. Bernard, who wrote the memorare, has exclaimed, "Oh, Mary, who but who can withstand your power!"
Not many people are aware of this, but Martin Luther, the ex-Augustinian monk, wrote, "Next to God, the greatest title in the universe is to be called the Mother of God!"
In the 19th century, the great Cardinal Manning, a convert from the Oxford movement said, "One day a man approached him and said, 'Your Eminence, I think I have a problem.' The Cardinal answered him, 'You do?' The man continued, 'Yes, I think I love the Mother of God too much!' The Cardinal, after much thought, responded, 'Do you love her more than her Son, Jesus Christ?' Of course the man answered no. The Cardinal then said to him, 'When you do than come back and we will talk about it!'"
St. Alphonsus has written that the power of Mary is so great that it confounds the powers of darkness. He tells us, that when the devils attack those souls that are consecrated and devoted to this Most Holy Mother, that just a sigh from this most prudent and loving Mother's lips is enough to send them so far back into the depths of hell, that they would rather stay there and endure these everlasting torments, doubled and tripled, than dare approach her and be subjected to power again.
St. Bridget of Sweden once heard Our Blessed Lord say to His Mother, "Ask Me what thou pleasest for thou cannot ask in vain; because thou hast denied Me nothing on earth, I will deny thee nothing in Heaven."
Throughout the centuries Our Lady has been invoked under many titles. People at various times have had recourse to Our Heavenly Mother under these titles. Again her power shines forth brilliantly. Many of her more famous titles we are already familiar with. For example, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of LaSalette, to name a few. What I am going to do now is talk about a few of her unknown titles. I found the following information in an old book.
In 1638, Miguel Juan Palicer broke his right leg and had to have it amputated. He dearly loved Our Lady and prayed to her often in the Church of our Lady of the Pillar in Saragossa, Spain. He consecrated himself to her service and for two years would go into the church and anoint his stump with the oil from the lamp burning at the feet of her statue. In 1640, he returned to his own village of Colanda, Aragon. Totally consecrated to Our Lady in all he did.
On March 29, 1641 he fell asleep and dreamt he was back at the church praying to Our Lady and again anointing his amputated stump. His parents woke him from the dream to find that he once again had two whole legs. News of the miracle spread rapidly. He was examined by a Judicial commission in Saragossa. After a thorough investigation and the testimony of hundreds of witnesses, the Most Rev. Pedro Apaolara, Archbishop of Sargossa, pronounced the experience of Miguel a miracle. Even by today's standards, the replacement of an amputated limb is miraculous! Our Lady under her title of Our Lady of the Pillar should be a constant reminder for us to be firm in our faith and prayers!
The story behind the title, Our Lady of Good Counsel, has little historical evidence. But it illustrates the power of Mary and her love for us.
On April 25, 1467, the people of Genezzano, Italy, heard the most beautiful, heavenly music. The music appeared to descend from heaven. They then saw a snow white cloud, that shone forth rays of dazzling light. The cloud came nearer to the town, finally resting on the wall of a ruined chapel. The bells from this chapel pealed forth with every bell in the other churches answering.
As the cloud disappeared, there stood an image of Our Lady smiling on the Divine Child in her arms. The villagers believed the image came from heaven. In truth it came from Albania across the Adriatic Sea. The story continues in Scutari, Albania, where this very image was venerated as the "Madonna of Scutari". It came miraculously to the town two centuries earlier. General Scanderbeg credited his victories over the Moslems to the Madonna of Scutari. After his death the Moslems again threatened the country. Many people fled, but two pious youths, Georgio and Sclavios, who loved Our Lady very much, went to the image before fleeing the country. Kneeling there they saw the picture loosen itself from the wall and become enveloped in a shining cloud. It floated out of the church and to the sea. They followed and were taken up with the picture to the Italian shore. They followed the picture to Rome, where it disappeared. Later they found it in the Augustinian Church where it still hangs today. The coloring has not faded in the least.
In 1862, the picture was crowned "Our Lady of Good Counsel". Pope Leo XIII ordered the words, "Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us" to be added to the Litany of Loretto. Hundreds of cures and miraculous conversions have taken place at this shrine. There is also the solidarity of Our Lady of Good Counsel, with many indulgences attached to membership.
On May 24 the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians is celebrated. Many of us are familiar with the battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571. This battle was the greatest naval battle ever fought. Against all odds and being greatly outnumbered, Don Juan of Austria defended Europe against the Turkish forces. Pope St. Pius V ordered all of Catholic Europe to pray the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in order that Don Juan's forces would be victorious over the Turks. As the men boarded the ships, they carried in one hand a sword, in the other a rosary. All over Europe, people prayed the rosary continuously. The battle waged furiously all day, the Christian forces being greatly outnumbered. All seemed lost, when suddenly the winds changed, giving Don Juan the tactical advantage that he needed. The Turkish forces were destroyed. History's greatest upset in naval warfare. The great Rosary Victory! Pope St. Pius V, many miles away in his chambers, suddenly announced to those present, that a great victory had been won, and they must now thank God and Our Lady for saving Catholic Europe. The news of the victory was confirmed by a messenger the following day. This saintly Pope added, "Help of Christians, pray for us" to the Litany of Loretto.
On September 7, 1683, again Europe was threatened by a Turkish invasion. This time by land. The inhabitants of Vienna placed themselves under the protection of the Merciful Queen of Heaven. King John Sobieski of Poland, with 65,000 soldiers, came to their aid. From Poland to Vienna they prayed the rosary. Upon their arrival he gave but one command, "I want every soldier to go into battle with two words on their lips - Jesus and Mary!" The battle waged all day and again the Turkish forces were soundly defeated. The date of the battle was September 12, 1683, the Feast of the Name of Our Lady! Of the battle King John said, "I came , I saw, but Jesus and Mary conquered."
Because of this great victory, Pope Innocent XI extended to the whole church, the feast of the Holy name of Mary. On December 16, 1815, Pope Pius VII instituted the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians. This was in thanksgiving for his triumphant return to Rome on May 24, 1814 after 6 years exile in France under Napoleon. Pope Pius VII had constantly implored Our Lady under this title for her help during his captivity.
These three instances really show the power of Our Lady! With tender love and filial devotion we should invoke Our Mother frequently under this title for help and protection against not only physical enemies, but especially against the enemy and destroyer of our souls, Satan!
On the Second Sunday of June, the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Wayside. Painted on the wall of an ancient house in the central part of Rome, is a picture of Our Lady holding her Son in her arms. This picture dates back to the 14th century if not earlier. The church was built in the 14th century around this painting and is called Santa Maria Della Stroda, or Holy Mary of the Wayside.
St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, spent many hours in prayer before this ancient painting. He petitioned Our Lady for help in establishing his order. This came about in 1541.
Thirty years later the crowds became too great for the small church. The picture was transferred to a larger, beautiful church in Rome called Our Lady of Gesu. The image was crowned 1638 and again 1885. Many miracles are attributed to this image.
In the cathedral of Autun, France, in 1648, the first public act honoring the Most Pure Heart of Our Lady by Rev. Father Eudes Mazerai was performed. He established the Society of Jesus and Mary, commonly known as the Eudists. Father Mazerai also promoted the veneration of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast was officially established February 7, 1868. The Friars Minor of France along with Father de Gallefet, S.J. worked very hard to bring about the official recognition of the Feast of the Heart of Mary.
One of the most famous churches, Our Lady of Victories in Paris, France is under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1836, it was a very poor church. But when Abbe Desgennettes became the pastor, he consecrated the church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The story of the miracle that occurred is told in the chapter on the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor is a miraculous picture that is venerated in Rome, Italy. The picture is very old, dating back to the 13th century, probably painted by a Greek artist. It was brought to Rome from Crete in the 15th century and placed in the Augustinian church of St. Matthew. For three hundred years, while the picture was there, many miracles occurred; so many (in fact) that it was called "The Miraculous Image". In 1812, the church was burned by Napoleon's troops; the picture was saved but was left abandoned in a ruined chapel. The Redemptorists, in the year 1854, built a church on the site of the old church of St. Matthew. It was not until 1863, that a Jesuit preacher spoke about the forgotten image, telling the people that Our Lady wished to see it venerated once more.
The Redemptorists acted immediately on this suggestion and petitioned Pope Pius IX. He granted their request and the image is in the church of St. Alphonsus. Many miracles have again occurred at this shrine. The feast day is June 24.
Our Lady of the Angels is a very old shrine near Assissi, Italy. The church was given to St. Francis of Assissi in the 13th century. Almost immediately the Saint passed an all night vigil in the chapel. His intentions were to place his newly founded order under the protection of Our Lady. During the night the chapel filled with a heavenly light and St. Francis was privileged to see Our Savior with His Holy Mother and an escort of Angels.
Saint Francis received many graces from heaven in this holy chapel. The inspiration he needed to go on and the great work he did for the honor and glory of God was the direct result of his many prayers. It was in this very chapel he obtained from God, through Mary, the plenary indulgence - the Portiuncula.
The story behind this indulgence is very beautiful and touching. St. Francis spent many hours in prayer over poor sinners. He wept so much, he nearly lost his eye sight. One day, St. Francis was urged by an angel to go to the chapel. Upon arriving there, he beheld Our Lord over the tabernacle looking at him with infinite kindness. Beside Him, was His Most Holy Mother; they were both surrounded by angels. Francis fell on his knees before Our Lord. Jesus told him to ask any favor for His poor sinners. Francis said: "Merciful Lord, grant to all sinners coming into this chapel and praying with a contrite heart a full forgiveness of their sins and the punishment there of."
Jesus hesitating, said, "This is something very great, what thou asks." St. Francis turned to Our Lady, who is the refuge of sinners and all powerful, for her intercession. It was then that Jesus granted the extraordinary indulgence of Portiuncula.
At the present, any Franciscan church, or any church where the third order meets or any designated church meets fulfills the requirements of this indulgence. Holy Communion is to be received on August 2 or the day before along with confession. The indulgence may be granted once for yourself on that day. But it can be obtained many times for the souls in purgatory. All that is required is to go in a pray and then come out of the church. There is no set time or form of prayer.
Many pilgrimages are made to the chapel in Assissi, Italy. Miracles, conversions, and cures are continually taking place there.
On June 10, 1890, by decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the third orders of St. Francis are authorized to celebrate on August 2 the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels as their principle patroness. The faithful outside the Franciscan orders honor the Most Holy Mary under this title on August 15.
Some of you are familiar with this next title of Our Lady, Our Lady of Snows (feast day is August 5). There is a beautiful shrine dedicated to Our Lady under this title in Belville, Illinois.
The story tells of the miraculous foundation of the church of St. Mary Major in Rome. It is one of the principal and ancient churches raised in honor of Our Lady.
In the 4th century, during the reign of Emperor Constantius, a Roman patrician, Johannes and his wife desired to devote their fortune for the glory of Our Lady. Since they had no children and family, this was possible. The holy couple prayed to our Lady to direct them. This loving Mother appeared to them in separate dreams on the night of August 5. She told them her Son wanted a church built in her honor on Mt. Esquiline, a hill in Rome. They would find the plans for the church there covered with snow.
When they awoke, the holy couple told their dreams to each other and to a few priests. They went to Mt. Equiline and found the space covered with snow, even though it is very hot in August. The plans were found and the church was built.
In the village of Kevelaer in the Rhine country of Germany, is a miraculous image of Our Lady under the a title of Our Lady of Kevelaer. Since 1612, thousands of pilgrims have come to this spot on the 12th of every month. They come petitioning her mercy and leave with many cures of body and soul.
Our Lady of Martyrs shrine is in Auriesville, New York on the western bank of the Mohawk River. It is built on the spot where St. Issac Jogues, S.J., Brother Rene Gorepel, S.J. and Brother Lolande, S.J. died a martyrs death. Other Christians and missionaries were also tortured there for their faith. In 1684 the mission was destroyed. Fr. Joseph Layzanu S.J. purchased the land in 1844. The first pilgrims arrived there with him. Since then, thousands upon thousands have made pilgrimages to this Holy Shrine.
The shrine to Our Lady of Lujan is in the small town of Lujan, Argentina. The miraculous image is a clay statue of the Immaculate Conception. In the year 1630, an ox drawn wagon was pulling this statue along with another statue from Brazil to Cordoba. When the oxen reached Lujan, they stopped, refusing to go any further. The other statue was taken out of the cart, but still the oxen refused to move. When the statue of the Immaculate Conception was removed, the oxen moved at once. It was interpreted that Our Lady wished this statue to remain in Lujan. A small shrine was erected and later replaced by a church in 1677. By 1763 a larger church was built. Still the pilgrims came in greater numbers. By 1910, a Basilica was built to house the miraculous image. In 1887, amid 40,000 people, the statue was crowned with a golden and richly jeweled crown blessed by Pope Leo XIII. Lujan has been compared as the Lourdes of South America.
Our Lady of Montserrat is one of the ancient glories of Spain. It is in the Mountains of Catalonia and presently under the custody of the monks of St. Benedict. The shrine dates back to the 10th century and the present church was consecrated in 1562. The miraculous image was supposed to have been placed in a cave to save it from destruction by the Mohammedan Moors who overran Spain at that time.
St. Igantius Loyola, in 1522 spent an all night vigil before this image. He placed his sword at the feet of Our Lady, becoming a soldier in the army of Jesus and Mary. Many miracles have been attributed to this image.
Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland is on a hill called "The Mountain of Light". This sacred image is said to have been painted by St. Luke. Five hundred years ago, this picture was brought to Poland from Hungary. It is painted on Cypress wood and its age has turned it black.
Our Lady, under this title, has protected Poland throughout the centuries. When the Swedes came to plunder and besiege the country, they retreated in disorder because of the prayers of the Polish people to the Mother of God. Today, especially with Poland liberated from the chains of Atheistic Communism, we see the power of Our Heavenly Mother.
Our Lady of Marsazell or Mary's Chamber is a beautiful shrine in the mountainous part of German-Austria called Steuesmark. For the past 900 years an average of 100,000 pilgrims visit this shrine yearly. The present church, which houses the 10th century statue was built in the 14th century. Many miracles have occurred there. The annual pilgrimage is held from the end of June to the first half of July.
The feast of Our Lady Mater Admirabilis (Mother Most Admirable) was granted in 1849 by Pope Pius IX. It is in the chapel of the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Monte-Pencro in Rome that the miraculous image can be seen. Our Lady is represented as a maid of 12 or 13 spinning and at the same time meditating on the Glory of God. To her left is a lily bending towards her, the Queen of purity.
This beautiful picture is not very old and many graces, favors, and miracles have been granted to those who have knelt in prayer before this image.
Pope Pius IX visited this chapel in 1846. After praying before it, he solemnly blessed it. He said, "It was a pious thought to represent the Most Holy Virgin at an age when she seems to be forgotten."
Our Lady of Yougal dates back to the Old town of Yougal at the mouth of the Blackwater in Ireland. The miraculous image of Our Lady arrived there under miraculous circumstances.
In the early 15th century, fishermen standing on the shore, saw a huge beam of timber carried in with the tide. They tried to carry it away but could not budge it. Next ten powerful horses were yoked to the beam, which still did not move even an inch. With the next tide, the beam was taken toward the Dominican Monastery. Two fathers from the abbey lifted the beam and carried it unaided to their abbey.
A few days later, it was revealed to the prior of the abbey, through a vision, that the beam contained an image of the Virgin Most Powerful. The beam was opened and a three inch ivory statue of Our Lady was removed. Our Lady is seated with the Infant Jesus standing on her knee. She is holding Him with her right hand. The Infant is extending His right hand, giving His blessing. In Our Lady's other hand is a white dove and on her head is a crown.
The wonders and miracles obtained at the chapel were numerous. Many came from all over, including Europe to this famous shrine. But after a century and a half, the English began their long persecution against the Catholics and burned the Abbey.
The image was saved and is in the possession of the Dominican Fathers of St. Mary's Church in Popes Quay, in the City of Cork. A copy of the Statue is in the parish church of Yougal.
I hope I have shown how great is the power of Our Heavenly Mother. I speak of her in this way because in Eccles. it is stated: "Those that work for me shall not sin. Those that talk about me shall gain eternal life." Such beautiful and consoling words!
When you are in trouble, doubt, despair and in need of help, turn to Mary, who is all powerful. She will never abandon you!
Cause of Our Joy by Sister Mary Francis LeBlanc, O. Carm. St. Paul Editions.
The Love of Mary by D. Roberto (Hermit of Monte Corona) Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Illinois.
The Wonders She Performs, by Louis Kaczmarek. Trinity Communications, Manassas, Virginia
Mary and the Power of God's Love by Louis Kaczmarek. Trinity Communications, Manassas, Virginia.
1 D. Roberto, (Rockford, Illinois: Tan_Books and Publishers, 1984), p.52-53
The following was the source for the various titles of Our Lady.
Rev. C. F. Donovan, MA, (Chicago, Illinois:
Patrick L. Baine, 1925)
Abbe Orsini, (New York: Gay Brothers_and Co., Publishers, 1881)
John Gilmary Shea, (New York: John Duffy Publisher, 1889)
Rev. Henry Rutter, Rev. Alban Butler, Rev. J. OLeary, D.D., and John Gilmery Shea, (New York: Thomas Kelly Publishers, 1880)