“I will put enmity between you and the Woman, and between your seed and her seed” (Gn 3:15), the Creator decreed after the fall of our first parents. It is a war waged between two irreconcilable adversaries: the race of the children of the Virgin under the orders of their Sovereign, and that of the Serpent’s followers with their leader.
This antagonism is embodied in the statue of Our Lady of the Apocalypse, which portrays the Mother of Jesus as seen by St. John on the Island of Patmos, as a Lady clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars (cf. Rv 12:1). This sculpture, however, displays another salient aspect that does not appear in the Book of Revelation: Mary, commander of the troops of the Most High, crushes and punishes the infernal Dragon with only her heel and a chain. What a magnificent image!
Symbolic in all its details, this statue arouses a certain curiosity: what exactly does the chain signify?
A metal chain is made up of the concatenation of individual links. The chain placed in the hands of the Blessed Virgin may be taken to symbolize her elect souls, and the bond existing between these chosen ones. Their spiritual intermingling is based on the love of God, and it is for this reason that they strive together to fulfil one same purpose. In short, it is a union forged among the intellects and wills of the children of light, in full accord with their Queen.
In this sense, St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort in one of his works urged: “You must be joined together in a close union of mind and heart, which is stronger and far more formidable to the world and to hell than are the armed forces of a great nation to its enemies.”1And following this, the Marian Saint vehemently exclaims: “Evil spirits are united to destroy you; you must be united to crush them.”2
Commenting on these words, Dr. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira explains that it is a matter of “seeing the struggle as a confrontation between two unions, which do not mean strategic coalitions of forces, but of opposing loves, which define victory or defeat, above all by their differing intensity.”3
The Blessed Virgin resolves to overcome the devil not only by crushing him with her pure heel, but by making use of this chain, which are her chosen ones, to humiliate the vain pride of the Dragon. Here we are associated with Mary’s battles against evil!
However, to win the victory, we must remain united, partaking in the same ideal and never separating ourselves from our fellow combatants.
Great events are approaching; what awaits humanity only God knows. In this situation, cohesion among those who constitute the army of the Queen of the Universe is essential, for only together can we obtain from Her all the graces and means necessary for the accomplishment of our mission in the Church. We must be vigilant if we do not wish to suffer defeat – the fate inevitably reserved for those who decide to be separate links.
Let us be firmly united, then, with our hearts fixed on the Great General of the hosts of God, so that we may become effective instruments in the hands of Her who is “terrible as an army set in array.” (Ct 6: 9). ◊
1 ST. LOUIS-MARIE DE MONTFORT. Letter to the Friends of the Cross. In: God Alone. Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1987, p.124.
2 Idem, p.14.
3 CORRÊA DE OLIVEIRA, Plinio. A Carta circular aos amigos da Cruz -II [Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross – II]. União dos espíritos e dos corações [Union of Souls and Hearts]. In: Dr. Plinio. São Paulo. Year X. No.113 (Aug., 2007); p.15.