This, we owe Our Lady!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Upon a hill overlooking the city of Beirut, Lebanon, Catholics have erected an enormous statue of their Mother and Queen.

Our Lady of Lebanon, she is called. And She is crowned with a golden crown.

In the Mid-East, where not professing the Islamic Faith can be daily the cause of your death, the Catholics of Lebanon have done a work of heroic faith. They profess their love for their Mother and Queen before all the world, without shame.

During the Civil War in Lebanon, years ago, Our Lady returned the favor. For at one point, a great miracle occurred. The Statue turned to the city of Beirut, by itself, and then returned to its normal position.

This gave the Christians of Lebanon great hope that She was with them and would watch over them in their time of trouble.

But now the city over which Our Lady has faithfully watched has been destroyed. And 10s of thousands of Catholics and Catholic children have lost their homes, their jobs, their churches, their city.

In the sight of men, neither I nor nearly every reader of this article, have any obligation to Beirut.

But in the sight of Our Lady, we have a debt of profound gratitude for all She has done for us, to come to the aide of our brother and sister Catholics in Beirut who are now suffering.

It is not as if Lebanon can repair itself. Half of its population makes less than $4 a day.

An extraordinary catastrophe needs an extraordinary response. I love our Blessed Mother and know how many times She has made an extraordinary intervention in my life to save me.  Now I know I am obliged to repay Her love for me, with love for Her children.

I would invite you to join with me in this holy work. As president of the US Security Company, Ordo Militaris Inc., which is dedicated to helping persecuted Catholics and Christians, I have taken the extraordinary step of establishing a Relief Fund and raising help for the victims of the Beirut Explosion.

Many of you have given. And some of you have given very generously. I thank the 5 persons who have met my challenge to join me in donating $1000 USD. And I thank the many others who have donated $100 or more, especially the Catholic priest among their number.

For those of you who have not yet given, and for fhose of you who have not yet given in proportion TO YOUR LOVE AND GRATITUDE TO OUR LADY for what She has done in your life, I ask you to click the banner here below and make a generous donation.

If we are the children of Our Lady in truth, then we have learned from Her how even our own charity needs to be at times extraordinary. We expect so many extraordinary things from Her. Now is the time we show that like Her we are willing also to do such works.

The first goal of this fund is to raise $25,000 USD. We are more than 51% on the way to reaching that goal.  The charity of those who have already given needs now to be met by the charity of those who have not yet given, IF WE ARE to succeed.

With that goal reached, I will go personally to Lebanon to assess the situation and distribute the Humanitarian AID. I will do so at my own personal expense.  But there is little or nothing I can do, without YOU at my back, since I am but a Franciscan brother with nothing.

______________

CREDITS: On my recent trip in July to Bagnoregio, as I produced a video for Ordo Militaris Radio TV about the Life of Saint Bonaventure, a friend and benefactor, here in Italy, took this photo of me.

2 thoughts on “This, we owe Our Lady!”

  1. Here is another excerpt of Pope Benedict’s address on his apostolic journey to Lebanon (September 14-16, 2012):
    …Dear friends, you are living today in this part of the world which witnessed the birth of Jesus and the growth of Christianity. It is a great honor! It is also a summons to fidelity, to love of this region and, above all, to your calling to be witnesses and messengers of the joy of Christ. The faith handed down from the Apostles leads to complete freedom and joy, as the many Saints and Blesseds of this country have shown. Their message lights up the universal Church. It can light up your lives as well. Many of the Apostles and saints lived in troubled times and their faith was the source of their courage and their witness. Find in their example and intercession the inspiration and support that you need!

    …You have a special place in my heart and in the whole Church, because the Church is always young! The Church trusts you. She counts on you! Be young in the Church! Be young with the Church! The Church needs your enthusiasm and your creativity! Youth is the time when we aspire to great ideals, when we study and train for our future work. All this is important and it takes time. Seek beauty and strive for goodness! Bear witness to the grandeur and the dignity of your body which “is for the Lord” (1 Cor 6:13b). Be thoughtful, upright and pure of heart! In the words of Blessed John Paul II, I say to you: “Do not be afraid! Open the doors of your minds and hearts to Christ!” An encounter with Jesus “gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (Deus Caritas Est, 1). In Christ you will find the strength and courage to advance along the paths of life, and to overcome difficulties and suffering. In Him you will find the source of joy. Christ says to you: My peace I give to you! (Jn 14:27)…

    The frustrations of the present moment must not lead you to take refuge in parallel worlds like those, for example, of the various narcotics or the bleak world of pornography. As for social networks, they are interesting but they can quite easily lead to addiction and confusion between the real and the virtual. Look for relationships of genuine, uplifting friendship. Find ways to give meaning and depth to your lives; fight superficiality and mindless consumption! You face another temptation, too: that of money, the tyrannical idol which blinds to the point of stifling the person at the heart. The examples being held up all around you are not always the best. Many people have forgotten Christ’s warning that one cannot serve both God and mammon (cf. Lk 16:13). Seek out good teachers, spiritual masters, who will be able to guide you along the path to maturity, leaving behind all that is illusory, garish and deceptive.

    Bring the love of Christ to everyone! How? By turning unreservedly to God the Father, who is the measure of everything that is right, true and good. Meditate on God’s word! Discover how relevant and real the Gospel can be. Pray! Prayer and the sacraments are the sure and effective means to be a Christian and to live “rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith” (Col 2:7). The Year of Faith, which is about to begin, will be a time to rediscover the treasure of the faith which you received at Baptism. You can grow in knowledge and understanding of this treasure by studying the Catechism, so that your faith can be both living and lived. You will then become witnesses to others of the love of Christ. In Him, all men and women are our brothers and sisters. The universal brotherhood which he inaugurated on the cross lights up in a resplendent and challenging way the revolution of love. “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:35). This is the legacy of Jesus and the sign of the Christian.

    …Be heralds of the Gospel of life and life’s authentic values. Courageously resist everything opposed to life: abortion, violence, rejection of and contempt for others, injustice and war. In this way you will spread peace all around you. Are not “peacemakers” those whom in the end we admire the most? Is it not a world of peace that, deep down, we want for ourselves and for others? My peace I give to you! (Jn 14:27), Jesus says. He overcame evil not with more evil, but by taking evil upon himself and destroying it completely on the cross through a love lived to the very end. Truly discovering God’s forgiveness and mercy always enables us to begin a new life. It is not easy to forgive. But God’s forgiveness grants the power of conversion, and the joy of being able to forgive in turn. Forgiveness and reconciliation are the paths of peace; they open up a future…

    Yesterday I signed the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente. This letter is also addressed to you, dear young people, as it is to the entire People of God. Read it carefully and meditate upon it so as to put it into practice. To help you, I remind you of the words of Saint Paul to the Corinthians: “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written in your hearts, to be known and read by all men; and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor 3:2-3). DEAR FRIENDS, YOU TOO CAN BE A LIVING LETTER OF CHRIST. THIS LETTER WILL NOT BE WRITTEN WITH PEN AND PAPER, BUT WITH THE WITNESS OF YOUR LIVES AND YOUR FAITH.
    … In conclusion, let us turn to Mary, the Mother of the Lord, our Lady of Lebanon. From the heights of Mount Harissa she protects and accompanies you with a mother’s love. She watches over all the Lebanese people and over the many pilgrims who come from all directions to entrust to her their joys and their sorrows! This evening, let us once more entrust to the Virgin Mary and to Blessed John Paul II, who came here before me, your own lives and the lives of all the young people of Lebanon and the countries of the region, particularly those suffering from violence or from loneliness, those in need of strength and consolation. May God bless you all! And now together, let us lift up our prayer to Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

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