As the month of October begins and Autumn kicks into gear, it’s worth looking back on September to recognize that throughout last month, we saw some of the most heinous attacks against pro-life Americans to date. An 84-year old woman was shot in Michigan while having peaceful conversations to advocate for the preborn. A Catholic father-of-7 was arrested by the F.B.I. for the simple act of protecting his young son from an aggressive, threatening pro-abortion clinic escort. This, after law enforcement on the local and state level had not found him guilty of any crimes. And speaking of incidents that are completely senseless and seem all-too targeted at people of faith, President Biden recently lied at a campaign event, falsely saying that the Catholic Church teaches exceptions can be made in order to kill innocent unborn children. No wonder just 9% of Catholics believe that abortion should be banned.
When the stakes are this high, we have to pull out all the stops. We must pray fervently and endlessly for our American nation, that order might be restored. And who is the greatest warrior against abortion? The one who brings us endless peace? Mary, Our Blessed Mother. Despite a tumultuous month for our movement, we’ve also been fortunate to celebrate many Marian feast days throughout September. Each of these feasts highlight attributes of Mary that make her a particularly profound intercessor for her precious unborn children.
On September 8, we celebrated the Blessed Mother’s birthday, the perfect moment to remember that despite being an all-powerful, omnipotent God, the Father chose to bring his Son into the world through the womb of a young girl. The birth of Mary, the Mediatrix of grace and redemption, was the starting point of that redemptive journey here on earth.
On the 12th came the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary. While the most popular bearer of this name is the Blessed Mother, the origins of the name go as far back as the time of Moses, whose sister’s name was Miriam, or Mary. This Hebrew iteration of the name was likely derived from the Egyptian name Mry, meaning: “beloved.” Who better to intercede to than the “beloved” of Christ? On September 22nd, we commemorated the day that St. Anne gave her daughter the name, “Mary.” In an excerpt from the book The Mystical City of God, Franciscan nun Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda writes that Anne was commanded to give her daughter this name by choirs of “angelic spirits.” She continues that holy angels heard the voice of God the Father say of this name: “It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell.”
September 15th is dedicated to the remembrance of Our Lady of Sorrows. How much must the scourge of abortion pierce the heart of Our Lady? Each innocent death brought about by abortion causes her to relive the crucifixion and death of her Son, Jesus.
We also celebrated the feasts of well-known Marian Saints, such as Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta (September 5). She identified perhaps better than anyone how abortion twists the very nature of motherhood, how it completely opposes Mary’s self-sacrificing love for her children. She said:
“…millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child – what is left but for me to kill you and you kill me?”
“While still in the womb of Mary, Jesus brought peace…”
And we mustn’t forget St. Padre Pio (September 23) who once refused to give absolution to a woman who had a voluntary abortion until she could prove her contrition was sincere (this was not the only occasion on which he did this). When pressed on this, he said:
“The day that people lose their horror for abortion will be the most terrible day for humanity. Abortion is not only a homicide but also a suicide. Shouldn’t we have the courage to manifest our faith before those who commit two crimes within one act?”
Sadly, in America, that day Padre Pio spoke about has arrived. Many are desensitized to the brutality of abortion, and even our baptized Catholic president is legislating away the rights of the most innocent. When our hope in the broken people of our nation dwindles, we must turn to what is heavenly and everlasting for our strength. Our attentions now must be fully focused on the powers we know cannot fail, the victors of every spiritual battle, the battle over abortion being one of the greatest.
I was honored to spend some time this month with Lila Rose, the president of the leading pro-life group Live Action. You may have heard her say recently that despite hostile challenges coming at us from every side, we are in a time of “limitless opportunity” when it comes to changing the trajectory of our nation from pro-death to pro-life. We must pray and act as if this is true, now is not the time to cower in timidity and fear. God’s plan will prevail, and the words of His Mother can give us certainty of this:
“Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under the shadow of my protection?”
Image: Virgin with Angels by William Adolphe Bougerau (public domain)