Monday, July 03, 2006
Islam and the Blessed Virgin Mary
Loreto and Islam.
The Translation of the Holy House of Loreto.
I happened upon an interesting note on the web of a Muslim man stating he believed that peace between Islam and Christianity could very well come about through Our Lady. He said Muslims and Christians have devotion to her. Here is the article:
ROME - 3 July 2006
Mary can bring religions together says Muslim writer. An Egyptian Muslim and deputy director of a prominent Italian newspaper has suggested that Mary could be the figure to bring Christians and Muslims together.
Mr Magdi Allam of Il Corriere della Sera has launched an appeal in the pages of the national daily newspaper to Muslims in Italy to visit Marian shrines. The journalist said that he is convinced that the Virgin Mary is a meeting point between Christians and Muslims. "Mary is a figure present in the Koran, which dedicates an entire chapter to her and mentions her some thirty times. In Muslim countries there are Marian shrines that are the object of veneration and pilgrimage by Christian and Muslim faithful," he said. "Therefore, I believe that if this happens in Muslim countries, why can't it happen in a Christian country, especially in this historical phase in which we need to define symbols, values and figures that unite religions, spiritualities and cultures?" he asked.
In Allam's opinion, "the Marian pilgrimage of Loreto - Italy's National Shrine - could represent a moment of meeting and spiritual gathering between Muslims and Catholics, around Mary, a religious figure that is venerated by both religions." -ICS
Interestingly enough, he may be correct. I have always considered Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima to have at least some inferrence to Islam, since the name Fatima was the name of Mohamed's favorite daughter. Bishop Sheen also had said some things in this regard.
Along with the miraculous image of Our Lady of Good Counsel, the Holy House was once in Croatia and miraculously transported by angels to Italy. Many saints and popes have made the pilgrimage to Loreto, Bl. John XXIII went as a pilgrim to ask the Blessed Virgin's intercession for the Second Vatican Council. John Paul II had been there many times as well. It is a scientific marvel - the house, now enclosed in an edicule within the basilica, rests without foundations on the bare ground. (For further reading on the image of OL Good Counsel, see an earlier post on my other blog, Rome-ing Catholics.)
Both The Holy House and the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel were transported by angels away from Muslim invaders. The Sacred Image was carried from their onslaught of the Balkans. The Holy House was transported, first from the Holy Land to Croatia, and what seems now providential, to Italy. Some people dispute these stories as mere legends. I do not. I spent nearly a week at Loreto and never left the Holy House except when they closed the Basilica at night. I had been enraptured by it, literally.
Photo of the Cairo apparition.
Finally, Our Lady appeared above a Coptic Church in Cairo, Egypt in the 1970's. Her apparitions were witnessed by thousands of people while the apparitions were even photographed. Our Lady said nothing however. Muslims and Christians both were witnesses to the Cairo apparitions that the Coptic Church later confirmed as being authentic. Our Lady promised at Fatima that in the end her Immaculate Heart would triumph, that Our Lord had entrusted the peace of the world to Her.
We need to pray our rosary I think.