by Thomas A. Droleskey
Although we do not have a television and demand to sit away from any television screen located in a restaurant on the very, very rare occasions these days when we dine out (in the days when we did so more frequently when living in our motor home, whose kitchen facilities were not the most extensive), I did manage to follow (via the wireless connection that fits into my notebook computer) a good deal of the final eight hours of the rescue operation that lifted the thirty-three men who were trapped undergound at the San Jose Copiago Mine near Copiapo, Chile, after being trapped there following a collapse of rocks on August 5, 2010, the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Remarkable scenes unfolded as the culmination of nearly two months of careful logistical planning and engineering feats that required pinpiont accuracy resulted in the rescue of each of the thirty-three men and the recovery of the six rescue workers who had been sent down one-half mile below the surface of the earth to coordinate the rescue as they prepared the trapped mine for their ascent out of their involuntary sanctuary.
Many prayers were offered for the physical safety of the trapped miners, whose fate was unknown until seventeen days after the mine collapse. It was on Sunday, August 22, 2010, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that initial efforts to reach the miners through a "bore hole" confirmed that they were alive. Food and medical provisions were then shipped down via the bore hole as the sophiscated means of modern communication made it possible for the men to speak their family members. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera staked his presidency, to which he was elected on January 25, 2010, and sworn into office on March 11, 2010, eleven days just after the Chilean earthquake, on his belief that the miners could be rescued, something that many of his closest advisers believed was not prudent for him to do.
The prayers of millions of Chileans and others worldwide were answered, starting late on the very date that Christopher Columbus had landed on the Island of San Salvador in the year 1492, that is October 12, as the resuce capsule was sent down at 11:18 p.m. Chilean Daylight Saving Time, ermerging first miner to be rescued, Florencio Avalos, who emerged at 12:11 a.m. on October 13. The process continued throughout the day on the ninety-third anniversary of the Miarcle of the Sun in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, with the last miner, Lewis Urzua, the foreman of the crew, being extricated at 9:55 p.m., Chilean Daylight Saving Time. Although we are prone to use the word miracle very loosely these days (the conciliar Congregation for the Causes of the Saints uses that word very, very loosely in accepted bogus "miracles" for their bogus "beatifications" and "canonizations"), I believe that it is just and appropriate to refer to the events that transpired at the San Jose Copiago Mine to be miraculous, especially when one considers that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was urged by some of his Cabinet ministers and advisers not to attempt a rescue mission and that the trapped men were able to survive for seventeen days until they were discovered.
Here is a brief summary of the the remarkable turn of events that unfolded before our very eyes two days ago now:
Beginning at midnight Tuesday, and sometimes as quickly as every 30 minutes, the pod was lowered the nearly half-mile to where 700,000 tons of rock collapsed Aug. 5 and entombed the men. Then a miner would strap himself in, make the journey upward and emerge from a manhole into the blinding sun.
The rescue was planned with extreme care. The miners were monitored by video on the way up for any sign of panic. They had oxygen masks, dark glasses to protect their eyes from unfamiliar light and sweaters for the jarring transition from subterranean swelter to chilly desert air.
As they neared the surface, a camera attached to the top of the capsule showed a brilliant white piercing the darkness not unlike what accident survivors describe when they have near-death experiences.
The miners emerged looking healthier than many had expected and even clean-shaven, and at least one, Mario Sepulveda, the second to taste freedom, bounded out and thrust a fist upward like a prizefighter.
"We have prayed to San Lorenzo, the patron saint of miners, and to many other saints so that my brothers Florencio and Renan would come out of the mine all right. It is as if they had been born again," said Priscila Avalos. One of her brothers was the first miner rescued, and the other was due out later in the evening.
As it traveled down and up, down and up, the rescue capsule was not rotating as much inside the 2,041-foot escape shaft as officials expected, allowing for faster trips, and officials said the operation could be complete by sunrise Thursday, if not sooner.
The first man out was Florencio Avalos, who emerged from the missile-like chamber and hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son, his wife and the Chilean president.
No one in recorded history has survived as long trapped underground. For the first 17 days, no one even knew whether they were alive. In the weeks that followed, the world was captivated by their endurance and unity. (All 33 Chilean Miners Safe, Ending Two-Month Saga.)
Leaving aside all of the remarkable feats of engineering and skill that made possible the physical rescue of the miners, there are some other aspects to this amazing episode that should gave us pause for a bit of reflection.
First, there were thirty-three men trapped in the mine. How old was Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when He was crucified?
Second, the mine was named after Our Lord's foster-father, Saint Joseph.
Third, some secular media reports included quotes, such as the one given by Priscilla Avalos, that mention the name of a saint or two. Saint Lawrence, of course, was mentioned at the patron saint of miners. At least a few people now know that Saint Lawrence is indeed the patron saint of miners.
Fourth, the Empress of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe, showed herself to be in charge of the whole rescue operation:
Esteban Rojas, the eighteenth miner to be rescued, prays as his wife holds an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.
The most moving scene, however, was one that moistened up my eyes a bit as Esteban Rojas is shown kissing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was presented to him by his wife, who had, it appears, been praying fervently to the Empress of the Americas for her husband's safe rescue:
Our Lady of Guadalupe was indeed showing herself to be in charge of the entire mission to rescue the miners.
Although much could be written on the fact that those of the rescued miners who have not been concerned up until the accident about their eternal salvation will now understand that they have been given a chance by God to get themselves straight with Him, at least by being dedicated to His Most Blessed Mother by means of her Most Holy Rosary (given the fact that there are not a lot of locations where Catholics in Chile can receive the true Sacraments in our current state of apostasy and betrayal), what I want to focus on in this very short article (this website's traffic is going down even with the shorter articles that some readers have been clamoring for over the years!) is the fact that Our Lady is just as much in charge of the rescue of the Church Militant on earth as she was in charge of the mission to rescue the thirty-three men who were trapped in the mine named for her Most Chaste Spouse, Saint Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful.
Our Lady will lead us out of the caves of the catacombs where we are entombed at this time.
Our Lady will lead us out of the caves of intense sufferings that so many people who understand the true state of the Church Militant at this time are enduring from their very own family members and friends and former associates as they are mocked and reviled and yelled at because they have embraced the truth without compromise and even though that they have nothing earthly to gain by doing so.
Our Lady will lead those Catholics who do not realize that they are entombed in caves of apostasy and betrayal and sacrilege into the light of the truth as her Fatima Message is fulfilled by a true pope and the errors of Russia, which we see on full display around the world, including right here in the United States of America even though so many people are blinded by their refusal over the decades to admit that this is so.
Our Lady will confound the wise and those who count themselves as something in this passing, mortal vale of tears just as the physical resuce of the once trapped Chilean miners astounded even some of the top experts in the world on such rescues.
The City of Mary Immaculate will flower as the Social Reign of Christ the King is restored.
Why do we fret so much?
Why do we live in so much fear and trepidation as a result of the plans of civil and pseudo-ecclesiastical potentates who will be but minor footnotes when the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is made manifest?
Why do so many Catholics, of all people, think that praying the Rosary is "doing nothing" to convert souls and nations to the true Faith, without which neither men or their nations can know true social order?
Why do we complain so much about our crosses and our sufferings?
Why are we slow to recognize that there is nothing we suffer that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer as the Swords of Sorrow were plunged deeper and deeper into her Immaculate Heart.
Why do we not take these words of the Virgin of Guadalupe seriously as did Mrs. Esteban Rojas?
"Juanito, dearest Juan Diego."
"Listen, Juan, my dearest and youngest son, where are you going?"
"Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the God of truth through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near us, the Lord of heaven and earth. I want very much to have a little house built here for me, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him and make Him manifest. I will give Him to the people in all my personal love, in my compassion, in my help, in my protection: because I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings. And to bring about what my compassionate and merciful concern is trying to achieve, you must go to the residence of the Bishop of Mexico and tell him that I sent you here to show him how strongly I wish him to build me a temple here on the plain; you will report to him exactly all you have seen, admired and what you have heard. Know for sure I will appreciate it very much, be grateful and will reward you. And you? You will deserve very much the reward I will give you for your fatigue, the work and trouble that my mission will cause you. Now my dearest son, you have heard my breath, my word; go now and put forth your best effort."
"Listen to me, my youngest and dearest son, know for sure that I do not lack servants and messengers to whom I can give the task of carrying out my words, who will carry out my will. But it is very necessary that you plead my cause and, with your help and through your mediation, that my will be fulfilled. My youngest and dearest son, I urge and firmly order you to go to the bishop again tomorrow. Tell him in my name and make him fully understand my intention that he start work on the chapel I'm requesting. Tell him again that I am the ever Virgin, Holy Mary, the Mother of God, who is sending you."
"That is fine, my youngest and dearest son; you will return here tomorrow so that you may take the sign he asked for. Then, he will believe and no longer doubt or be suspicious of you; and know, my dear son, I shall reward your care, work and fatigue in my behalf. Go now; tomorrow I shall be here waiting for you."
"What is happening, dearest and youngest of my sons? Where are you going? Where are you headed?"
"Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that disturbs you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing. Do not let your countenance, your heart be disturbed. Do not fear this sickness of your uncle or any other sickness, nor anything that is sharp or hurtful. Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you. Do not let your uncle's illness worry you, because he will not die now. You may be certain that he is already well."
"Go up, my dearest son, to the top of the hill, to where you saw me and received my directions and you will find different kinds of flowers. Cut them, gather them, put them all together, then come down here and bring them before me."
"My youngest and dearest son, these different kinds of flowers are the proof, the sign that you will take to the Bishop. You will tell him from me that he is to see in them my desire, and therefore he is to carry out my wish, my will. And you, who are my messenger, in you I place my absolute trust. I strictly order you not to unfold your tilma or reveal its contents until you are in his presence. You will relate to him everything very carefully: how I sent you to the top of the hill to cut and gather flowers, all you saw and marveled at in order to convince the Governing Priest so that he will then do what lies within his responsibility so that my house of God which I requested will be made, will be built." (Mary's words at Guadalupe.)
And what is your reason for worry or complaint? You have none. None of us do, do we?
We have nothing to fear from being entombed in the caves of the present moment by the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism or the lords of Modernity.
Our Lady is with us. She is protecting us. She is standing with us now in our own individual crosses as she stood by the foot of her Divine Son's Most Holy Cross on Calvary, a Cross at which she stands mystically in every true and legitimate and valid offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. She will indeed make the words that she spoke to Juan Diego applicable to us if we continue to work hard for her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through her Immaculate Heart of Mary as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit:
"You will deserve very much the reward I will give you for your fatigue, the work and trouble that my mission will cause you. Now my dearest son, you have heard my breath, my word; go now and put forth your best effort."
Aren't we willing to put forth our own best effort now, today, the Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila, Friday, October 15, 2010?
Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary is more powerful than the dark forces that seem so powerful right now.
We need to fear only one thing: dying in state of final impenitence, and for this, too, of course, we have recourse to Our Lady, the very Mother of God who was conceived without any stain of Original or Actual Sin, the Mediatrix of All Graces through whose loving hands flow the supernatural helps that come to us by virtue of the shedding of every single drop of her Divine Son's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
We know that Our Lady's Fatima Message, replete with its request that we pray her Most Holy Rosary in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world, will see to their forcible exit from that stage. All we have to do is to surrender ourselves as the consecrated slaves of Our Lord through her own Immaculate Heart.
Another October 13 miracle awaits us, does it not? Our Lady has told us so. Why do we doubt her word?
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us now and the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!