The Immaculate, the Sword and War

In days of global instability, the setting for two momentous wars, anger tends to flare and fear to spread. It is natural, in these times, for people to seek a safe harbour in the midst of the chessboard of events – but not always do they look in the right place. In fact, peace will never be found in collusion, injustice or wickedness.

Upon reading the title of this page, the more pusillanimous spirits may be infuriated – if such is possible for a pusillanimous person – with the unusual combination of words. Moreover, claiming to defend the religion of love – which is, indeed, our religion – they will probably take exception to seeing “violent” language used in a Catholic-inspired magazine…

The “moderates”, on the other hand, from the comfort of their armchairs can even tolerate seeing St. Michael brandishing a sword, as long as it is a kind of toy, never a weapon of war. But linking the Immaculate Conception to war smacks of “crusades” and “radicalism”… Unthinkable!

However, it is certain that “war arose in Heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon” (Rv 12:7). And the climax of this war occurred precisely when Lucifer learned of the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of an Immaculate Virgin.

The Mother of God was preserved from all original stain; however, while protecting the integrity and pulchritude of her body (cf. Sgs 4:7) and soul, Providence did not exclude struggle and sorrow from her existence, as Simeon prophesied: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35).

Furthermore, the Immaculate was not only at the root of the model and source of all wars, but also in all the great victories of the Church’s battles, such as Malta, Lepanto and the Insurrection of Pernambuco, Brazil, against the Flemish heretics in 1649. Our Lady of Fatima prophesied that there would be a world war even worse than the first – which indeed it was – and, later, that several nations would be annihilated.

However, such battles are nothing compared to the daily struggle that the Virgin’s children undertake against the demons and their henchmen. Moreover, the first fruits of all truly heroic actions are first and foremost the interior battles each person wages against their own whims, weaknesses and sins.

St. Joseph of Anchieta, singing of Mary’s childhood in a poem dedicated to Her, exclaims: “Weep voracious hell! In the Virgin now conceived, there is no stain.” Further on, addressing the prince of demons, he continues: “She, implacable, will wage against you and your race, a dreadful and cruel war.” Finally, “the Virgin will strike down horse and rider (cf. Ex 15:1): let the bleak infernal realms tremble.”

This co-patron saint of Brazil emphasizes the perpetual defeat of evil before Our Lady and her race, the very heel of the Virgin crushing Satan (cf. Gn 3:15), in the interpretation of St. Louis Grignion de Montfort. This “militia of the Immaculate” – St. Maximilian Kolbe’s expression – even if wounded, will serve as an instrument to vanquish the spirit of darkness.

In these less-than-rosy times, before speaking of a possible third world war, we must realize that a “universal war” was already established at the beginning of the world, that is, the constant war between the children of the Virgin and the race of the Serpent. The former have nothing to fear because, as the hymn of the Marian Congregations proclaims, “Those who fight in the shadow of the Immaculate do not fear the sword of a thousand soldiers!” 


Our Lady of Reconciliation – Shrine of La Salette (France)



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