It occurs to me that the ouster of Hosni Mubarak and the potentially world-changing events that are occurring today in Egypt have happened on a Marian feastday: today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Recalling that Nelson Mandela was freed on this very day, in 1990, I started looking up other dates and events. My friend Paul helped me out, and here is a partial list of recent historical events that have occurred on days set aside to honor the Theotokos, the God-bearer, who delivered unto the world, a savior:
02 February 1943 – Feast of the Presentation – Battle of Stalingrad ends
15 August 1945 – VJ Day – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
13 May 1981 – Pope John Paul II shot – Our Lady of Fatima
08 December 1987 – Reagan signs treaty with Gorbachev – Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
11 Feb 1990 – Nelson Mandela Freed – Our Lady of Lourdes
22 August 1991 – Failure of Russian Coup – Queenship of Mary
21 November 1995 – Initialing of the Dayton Peace Accord in Bosnia – Presentation of Mary
12 December 2000 – Supreme Court finally ends election recounts in America – Our Lady of Guadalupe
11 February 2011 – Egyptians drive out Mubarak – Our Lady of Lourdes
For those who argue that an event in the Arab world cannot have a Marian component, recall that the Muslim people do honor Mary.
Recall too that on October 8, 2000 there was what was regarded as a “holy light” and apparition of Mary at St. Mark’s (Coptic Orthodox) Church in Assiut, Egypt — seen by huge crowds — that occurred simultaneously with Pope John Paul II’s imploring Mary to pray for the entire world in the third millennium:
History, he said, “in its deepest reality, is the scene of a terrible struggle against the powers of darkness, a struggle that began at the origin of the world, and that will last, as the Lord says, until the last day. Man, every man, is involved in this all-out confrontation, he must combat without respite to be able to remain united to the good, at the price of great efforts, with the help of God’s grace.”
And remember that Jesus was delivered to us “for all the people.” His mother, it follows, is for all of us as well. It cannot be otherwise.
And there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies…and as my friend Paul points out, it was to Egypt that the Holy Family fled, to safety (Deacon Greg has thoughts on that).
As I discover more of these historic feastdays, I’ll add them. Check back!
Via Instapundit – it turns out the Shah of Iran was also ousted on this day!
UPDATE II: A few more interesting (and some are less recent) intersections:
16 July 1918 – Our Lady of Mr. Carmel – Czar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks
05 August1858 – Dedication of Basilica of Maria Maggiore – First telegraph line across Atlantic is completed
15 August 1961 – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – East German authorities begin building Berlin Wall