Do you see that craggy peak rising from the plains of Judea, from the foothills of Lebanon, bathed by the blue sea? It is the holy Mount Carmel, a perpetual monument celebrating the glories of Mary; the first shrine in the world designated for her worship and love. Yes, seemingly I can still hear there the sweet hymn with which Elijah implored the end of so many evils that were devastating the kingdom of Israel, confused in that place with the wild shouting of the priests of Baal, who also begged their gods to send at last the soft dew that would conclude the anguished drought. But the gods remained senseless and only the God of Elijah felt compassion for his people.
In the distant horizon there is a faint cloud that, rising in the celestial sphere, covered the firmament, and soon, compassionately, let its beneficial rain fall over the desolate fields and, upon receiving it, the earth was filled with joy, man burst into praise, nature awoke from its sad silence, the meadows were covered with flowers, the crops with golden harvest… But who was that blessed cloud? Who was it? Ah! it was the Queen of Carmel, who had heard the groaning of mortals and, extending her splendorous mantle like the sun, brilliant as the dawn, beautiful as the moon, let fall upon them the torrent of mercy with which her heart is filled. Many centuries have passed. Already the symbolic figure of Mary has given way to the happy reality; already the victorious cloud has rained the Just One upon the earth; already the angels saw her going up to the heights and wondered: quae est ista, que progréditur sicut aurora consurgens, pulchra ut luna, electa ut sol, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata? [“Who is this who ascends like the rising dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army drawn up in battle array?” (Song 6:9).]
But Mary still has children in exile, and her motherly heart continues to pour out in torrents upon them the dew of her incomparable tenderness. That is why the poor go to Her for consolation; the rich, looking for their treasure in Her Heart; the orphan and the innocent, to ask Her for her caresses; the old man, for her support; the virgin, for her purest lily; the priest, for souls; the soldier, for the victory for the flag he places at her feet. Ah! O’Higgins and San Martín understood well when they repeatedly gave their command staffs to Her, She who is terrible as an army drawn up in battle array.
In their hands they placed the power, the glory, and the flag. So, later, in the historical fields of Chacabuco and in the hills of Maipú, they knew, guided by Her, how to conquer with glory and die with honor. To the filial promises of her loving children of Chile, the Virgin Queen answered with this single word, “Independence” and with it she won their hearts forever. In her honor they raised temples everywhere, organized processions, instituted brotherhoods and, years later, one day an august pilgrim was seen climbing the Holy Mountain of Carmel whose forehead was crowned with the snow of premature old age and who was soon to be mourned…
Leaning on his episcopal staff, he carried in his noble hands the flag of his country and when he came to place it at the feet of Mary, he was moved and only knew how to say: “Mother, as a sign of gratitude, your Chilean children”. And there, in far away Judea, our banner remained forever waving in the wind and greeting the illustrious Generalissima who gave it so much glory. Yes; surrendered at her feet, our country gave Her its flag and also the hearts of her children. May she be for our nation the shining star that guides us by paths of religion and progress and, when enemies surround us, shows them that you are our Mother, and defend us so that we may be always “Independent” and free from the tyranny of evil.
Saint Teresa of the Andes
Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.