Mubarak Out; Another Historic Marian Feastday! UPDATED

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

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • David L

    “…recall that the Muslim people do honor Mary.”

    I can attest to that from personal experience.

    I lived in Cairo for a year as a student in the mid-1980s, and during that time there were at least two incidents involving claims of Marian apparitions in the Cairo area. Both originated with the Coptic Christian community, but in both cases the sites where these occurred were quickly flooded with many, many Muslim women who came to pray and make petitions.

    I also spent two years in Turkey, and on a trip to Ephesus had a chance to visit the House of the Virgin Mary, located in the hills above Ephesus. There is a wall above the table of votive candles on which pilgrims post written prayers, petitions or messages of thanksgiving, all quite public. I noticed that the majority of these had been left by Turkish Muslim women, and many were very moving and heartfelt expressions of devotion.

    These are really instances of the sort of popular religion that ordinary Muslims practice, and tend to be criticized by the legalistic, more narrowly orthodox Muslim religious leaders and scholars.

    I am very happy today, and am praying for the brave people of Egypt, who deserve so much better than the harsh autocracy that seems always to have been their lot. Stormy weather ahead, I don’t doubt, but they have the right to try to make their country a better and fairer place.

  • JL33

    Just a note…these protests started 18 days ago which was the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Food for thought.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If the Moslem Brotherhood, or a Khomeini type leader takes over in Egypt, there’s going to be little to rejoice over.

  • Peter Brown

    Typo alert–the Assumption fell on 15 August, not 5 August, in 1945. (That was also the day Japan announced her surrender.)

    Feel free to nuke this comment after inserting the missing “1″.


  • Peter Brown

    Typo alert–the Assumption fell on 15 August, not 5 August, in 1945. (That was also the day Japan announced her surrender.)

    Feel free to nuke this comment after inserting the missing “1″.


    [Dammit, I thought I fixed that! Thanks! -admin]

  • Anonymous

    May I correct? Respectfully, 5 August is the memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome…… 15 August is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both Marian feasts, just thought I’d set the record straight. All the key dates are a testament to Our Loving Mother and the power of the rosary!
    Thank you for an interesting article.

    [It was a typo - I'm well-aware of the date of the's also one of my brother's birthdays, and he never lets me forget! :-) admin]

  • Diger

    Did Shah of Iran leave the country on Feb 11th, too??

  • Nic Steenekamp

    Nelson Mandela is a vile communist and a killer.
    Like Rhinestone Suderman predicts: There’s little to rejoice over

  • Jwatson142

    It’s too early to celebrate. Who is going to end up ruling Egypt? The Shah of Iran was replaced with what we have today in Iran. Was this a good thing? Remember that the Middle East is not the same at America in 1776. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is the same. The fact that this happened on the feast of Our Lady calls us to more penance and prayer, not celebration.

    [I think it goes without saying that we have no idea what will happen next. I'm frankly praying that Egyptians who want a democracy will realize that Israel is their democratic neighbor and respect that -admin]

  • dry valleys

    I had thought the Muslim Brotherhood’s strength was deliberately hyped by the regime to justify itself (including to American conservatives). If they have a better organisation than other opposition groups, it’s because they were vaguely tolerated by the regime (which itself made more than a few gestures towards Islamism) as a sort of pressure valve. Those feelings were also let out by the government using Islamist language.

    This is certainly a far better outcome, with brighter prospects, than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein (which I don’t recall conservatives having any reservations about), given the circumstances. As for those who think Arabs exist in a permanent state of backwardness, I’ve got more than enough quotes from past eras saying that Ireland could never handle life as an independent country, or that German culture was such that democracy would never exist there. They shouldn’t be damned just yet!

  • Jay

    Please Understand folks, they may “honor” Mary, but that honor is not in the same fashion as Catholics. She was just a good lady in their way of thinking, not the Holy vessel that brought God’s Only Son into the world.

    Muslim’s do not believe in a Triune God (God, Son, and Holy Spirit).

    They do not believe that we are God’s children. They believe that Alah has no need for children…only slaves.

    Muslim fundamentalists believe that (per the Koran) that we are infidels who have only 2 choices: Convert to Islam or die. By Allah’s righteous authority, they are to kill the infidels who do not covert.

    So before you get all warm and squishy about what is happening over in Egypt, understand that the Muslim religion does not co-exist peacefully with others…Not Jews. Not Christians. It never has during its tumultuous history on earth.

    Should the “Muslim Brotherhood” take over Egypt (which is likely), there will be Jewish & Coptic Christian bloodshed in the Middle East the likes which has not been seen in centuries.

  • David Rundle

    Was apartheid better? And who did he kill?

  • Balthasarlewis

    The 33 Chilean miners were rescued on Oct 13th, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima.

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  • Jay

    Today on this Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, we should ask our Blessed Mother to pray for our Christian Brothers & Sisters and the Jews of Israel. Their lives are endangered more now than ever before.

    MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen

    Lord, Have Mercy! Christ, Have Mercy! Lord, Have Mercy!

  • Anonymous

    Are you not aware of Bishop Sheen’s essay “Mary and the Muslims,” which is part of his book The World’s First Love, Originally published in 1952? How did the town of Fatima get its name? No accident that Mary appeared there!

    Go to—

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Who’se damning them?

    However, remembering all the talk of peace, lurve, joy and prancing pink unicorns talk that was talked when the Shah was ousted from Iran—and the awful aftermath of the same, I think it’s wise to keep an eye on this Moslem Brotherhood, and not start doing happy dances just yet.

    And bigoted English quotes about the Irish proves nothing. Okay, the British were bigoted against the Irish; does this mean that no culture can even be criticized, for anything at all, at any time?

    If the past predicates the future at all, a fundamentalist Islamic regime will be cruelest to those members of its society it sees as “Sinners”, or “Apostates”, and to minorities such as the Copts, or the Iraqi Christians. It’s no act of friendship to either Moslems, or non-Moslem minorities, to support a radically Islamic government.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I belive this is more a cause for penance and prayer, considering some of the things that happened on other feast days of Our Lady (the erection of the Berlin Wall, for one).

    I do find Her appearance at the Coptic Church in Egypt interesting. . . but, of course, I don’t take it as an endorsement of Mubarak’s ousting, or whatever government will take his place.

  • Rouxfus

    On Friday, December 11, 2009, at 1:00 AM the Virgin Mary made an appearance on a Coptic Church in Warraq el-Hadar, in Cairo.

    The appearances were witnessed by 200,000 and recorded by several on cell phones.

  • Rosie

    Update II- Typo alert (sorry): “Our Lady of … Mr. Carmel”?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Nic, I’d like my prediction to be proved wrong.

    But I’m afraid it won’t be.

    (Just a reminder—remember the pictures of protestors waving insulting pictures of Muburak, with a Star of David on his forehead? Pray or our brothers and sisters in Israel.)

    (And, yes, Nelson Mandela is that.)

  • Jay

    Careful! This apparition has not been recognized by the Church.

  • dry valleys

    What I am saying is that there are valid reasons to criticise Islamic culture (you’ll recall that I’ve done it myself) but it isn’t right to, as some commentators have, dismiss all Muslims for that or say that Egypt is finished before it got started, just as it wasn’t right to say in 1945 that Germany could nevr ber a democracy, which people did say.

    I actually, for once, agree with David Camoron in his comments about the way western governments should behave towards Islamist movements. I have no time for them. But I actually agree with this woman’s analysis that Islamists as an organised force have missed the boat.

    Yesterday I pinned down the real cause of this unrest, the fact that there is a demographic bulge of young, un/underemployed men who can’t get married because of their financial state, and to be honest I do think sexual frustration is part of their general discontent as well as lack of opportunity to make a decent living, be represented, etc. There are people as angry as that in the west, but because of demographics they are fewer in number and there’s less of an obvious target for them.

    The main concern I have is that elements of the regime will get themselves in place, figure out some vaguely young, plausible-looking candidate, to keep this Omar Suleiman’s pals in place. They could defeat the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas liberals probably don’t have the strength in what there is of civil society to form a viable party.

    Actually I think the main parallel is with post-2003 Iraq, except that one was seen as just tops by conservatives whereas the other isn’t.

  • gtwreck

    There are so many feast days for the Virgin Mary in the Gregorian Calendar that the occurrence of an intersection is almost certain.

  • Nic Steenekamp

    No “apartheit” wasn’t better but communism is and was. As proof I submit this; The top of the pile as far as murders go.

    He killed by proxy and active participation the peeps at Fathers Moustache a pub in Durban and at many other places, Wimpy bars in Welkom etc.

    More than 1600 farmers in SA have been murdered by the ANC/Mandela in the last 6 years.

    If you multiply by ten whatever number of “apartheit” killings you have in your mind, you will fall short of what is happening now.

    And I must add david rundle sounds like a democrat and a bit dumb.

  • Avyanez

    Mandela condoned the practice of necklacing. A tire is placed around the victims neck, filled with kerosene and set afire.

  • Nic Steenekamp

    Yes Rhinestone, nothing will be better in Egypt, and Israel will need strong people and I pray for them



  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Analysts report that 20% to 40% of Egyptians support the Moslem Brotherhood. This is not good. It also seems that much of the popular anger against Muburak is that he’s perceived as being a tool of Israel. Again, not good.

    I do not dismiss all Moslems for this; in fact, as I said in my post, if a fundamentalist Islamic regime comes into power in Egypt, Moslems, and minorities such as the Copts, will be the ones to suffer first, and suffer most severely. Remember how happy everyone was when that “man of God” the Ayatollah Khomeini took over, after that bad ol’ Shah left? The “godly” Ayatollah got embroiled in a war with Iraq that killed millions of Moslems—not to mention all the ones who were slaughtered as enemies of the Islamic Republic.

    The Moslem Brotherhood has been around since the 1920′s, and appears to have great influence in the Middle East. That seems to indicate some degree of organization. I’m dubious that some “vaguely young” (why young?) “plausible” (to whom?) candidate is going to be able to keep order.

    The case of sexually frustrated Moslem men is sad; Uh, what exactly is the West supposed to do about this? This frustration is directly due to the influence of Islam, which are not supposed to criticize, or judge, lest we be seen as “damning all Moslems”, and which isn’t ours to reform, anyway. If the Moslem Brotherhood does grab power, this problem is only going to get worse. Both Iran, and Iraq, should teach us the folly of rejoicing too soon, or hailing some “moderate” Islamic government prematurely.

  • dry valleys

    Also, as I say, it is very questionable whether the Muslim Brotherhood actually is a force to be reckoned with. Not only has it, as an organisation, played little role in unrest that happened spontaneously without it being even aware, but also it seems to have been exaggerated by Mubarak in order to shore up foreign support for his regime.

    As he, fairly or unfairly, blamed Islamists for any opposition, then he gained support for himself as our sonofabitch. That doesn’t actually mean that Islamists are strong in Egypt.

  • Nic Steenekamp


    And they sang and danced while the peeps were burning

  • LogicalCalculus

    Too many connections are being made. Some are coincidental. Some might have significance as a way of God communicating to believers. But if it is not clear what is supposedly being communicated, then there is no point to it. Perhaps this will have significance in the lead up to the upcoming nuclear ‘annihilation of nations’ mentioned at Fatima, which, as the Pope said on 13 May, 2010, is in the future. The Pope hinted at 7 years. However, I do not see any immediate connection so this connection game is a total waste of time. Do you see anything?

  • LogicalCalculus

    Too many connections are being made. Some are coincidental. Some might have significance as a way of God communicating to believers. But if it is not clear what is supposedly being communicated, then there is no point to it. Perhaps this will have significance in the lead up to the upcoming nuclear ‘annihilation of nations’ mentioned at Fatima, which, as the Pope said on 13 May, 2010, is in the future. The Pope hinted at 7 years. However, I do not see any immediate connection so this connection game is a total waste of time. Do you see anything?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    The Moslem Brotherhood has been pretty influential in other countries, as well as terrorist groups; there is also concern that these “spontaneous demonstrations” have not been all that spontaneous.

    The predominance of men in the demonstrations (the few women who appear are veiled, or wearing the hijab), and the many signs denouncing Muburak as a tool of the wicked Zionists, bode no good for some handsome, charismatic, moderate young matinee idol taking charge, or being able to maintain control if he does.

  • Kevin Orlin Johnson

    While it’s true that Muslims honor Mary, it’s also true that they deny the divinity of Christ and accept a deeply inappropriate story of her life and career. Christians really need to read the Koran! You’ll be amazed at what’s in there–and at what is not.

    More to the point, their heresy requires them to despise us as beasts, and does not hold killing us, or even lying to us, as a sin. If Our Lady helped with cessation of chaos in Egypt she is protecting Egyptian Christians, who have been the special targets of looting and violence these past few weeks–as always in these Muslim events–or working on a key event to hold the chaos back from the entire world.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Remember the Iranian uprising, a while back? Anybody at all remember that?

    I find it interesting that many of those ballyhooing the regime change in Egypt have completely forgotten, or were never that interested in, the Iranians rebelling against the Mullahs.

    Hmmm. . .

  • quidkat

    Mary is always a great help during a time of persecution and suffering…Lourdes reminds us of this. That this happened on such a feast may be a reminder she is there in the future if it brings great trials and persecution. Prayer and conversion is the only answer to the world’s trouble.
    Islam does not honor Mary if it subscribes to the widespread mistreatment of women through Sharia law.

  • Iris Celeste

    I want to start smacking heads!!!! Don’t you people see that destruction can always be avoided with penance, fasting and prayer? What do you think the book of Jonah was all about? Your worst fears don’t have to come true! You just have to pray, ask for forgiveness, do penance, and change for the better. God will take care of the rest.

  • Anonymous

    You are 100% right.

  • Anonymous

    Something tells me this will lead to another war with Israel. War of Gog and Magog perhaps.

  • TerryeC51

    We don’t know what is going to happen, but I think the people of Egypt have a right to decide their own future.

  • TerryeC51

    No, it is not the same thing as America in 1776, it is not Iran in 1979 either. These young people have brought down a dictator without firing a shot. I am not sure they want to go from Mubarak telling them what to the Muslim Brotherhood telling them what to do. It might just be that they want a decent future. One thing is for sure, things are never going to be the same.

  • Guest

    muslim women unfortunately do not exert the same influence as muslim men.

  • Robert C

    In all likelihood, the Egyptian military will not relinquish power to anyone at this point, if they even agree to have elections.

  • Avyanez

    The Muslim Brotherhood is a functionary of British Intel. They were created by the Brits in the 20′s.

  • Anonymous

    My prayers for the Christians living in Egypt.

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  • Mary

    Let’s hope that the Coptic Christians fare well under the, as yet unknown, government. I too prayed and continue to pray to Our Lady of Fatima for the outcome

  • Manny

    To the coincidence of falling on this day, as Freud once said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…LOL.

  • Salonsandspas

    @Jay: While you DO have a point there, let’s keep in mind that Our Lady receives far more adulation from MUSLIMS, than she does from the average Protestant.