Lightning Strikes the Vatican – Again!

I won’t post a thing from “Aleteia” because of its insufferable liberalism.

However, it did report that in Rome at 9:20 AM local time another lightning bolt struck the Vatican dome today on this, the Feast of the Holy Rosary.

There were local reports of unusually violent thunder, as well.

The last time such a strike occured was on another Marian Feast, Our Lady of Lourdes, when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.

Make of it what you will.


Update: Here is an article by a very accomplished traditional Catholic writer and friend, Marianna Bartold, written just today after the news of the lightning event in Rome.


Yes, it happened again. This morning in Rome, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, a lightning bolt hit the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
“The bolt hit the dome of St. Peter’s at approximately 9:20 am., as a strong rainstorm passed through Rome. Vatican police confirmed the strike. No damage was reported. 
“Those close to the Vatican, from Swiss guards to local shop owners, felt the shock. 
“I was in the shower and heard what sounded like a loud thunder clap which lasted a few seconds and seemed to shake everything. I knew it was storming but it sounded more like an earthquake than a thunderstorm,” said one resident.

Most of us will remember that lightning twice struck St. Peter’s dome when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation of the papal throne. The date of his announcement? February 11—the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

What Does It Mean?
To answer that question, we need to review a bit of history with a “Catholic conscience,” as Hilaire Bellloc coined the term.

First: Did you know that October 7 was originally the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mother of Victory?

To commemorate the date of October 7, 1571 of the Catholic Armada’s victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto, Pope Pius V introduced in 1572 the “festem BMV de victoria” (Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mother of Victory). This same Pope had earlier called all Christians to ardently pray the Rosary, for the Muslim threat had reached epic proportions. With constant supplications for the Virgin’s intercession, coupled with the great battle at Lepanto, the threat was turned back.

Two years later, the new pope, Gregory XIII, changed both the title and the date: The “Feast of the Holy Rosary” was to be celebrated on the first Sunday of October. At the time, the privilege of celebrating this feast was only granted to all churches with a Rosary altar.  Later, Pope Clemens XI extended the feast to the universal Church.

Pope St. Pius X returned the feast day to its original date, October 7. In the early papacy of Pope John XXIII, the name was changed to “Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary.” In 1969, the name was again changed to “Our Lady of the Rosary.” Today, the feast is celebrated as a mandatory memorial.

Second: As previously mentioned, Pope Benedict XVI announced his upcoming resignation on February 11, 2013, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  On that very day, lightning struck the dome of St. Peter’s basilica—not once, but twice.

Let’s consider: What was the main message of Lourdes? It was three-fold: The daily Rosary, “Penance, penance, penance!” (as Bernadette quietly repeated during one apparition), and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, where Our Lord is truly present.  This is known by Our Lady’s “request” for a “chapel” and “Let processions come hither.”

There is yet another message of Lourdes, often overlooked as intended only for St. Bernadette: “I do not promise you happiness in this world but only in the other.” We , too, must offer, as our penance to God, our faithful adherence to daily duty (which has a two-fold direction: our duty as a Catholic and in of one’s state), as was proven by the life of the humble Bernadette.  The same message about adherence to “daily duty” and accepting the sufferings that God allows or sends was repeated at the Fatima apparitions, first by the Angel Guardian of Portugal and, years later, by Our Lord to Lucia.

The Sign of Lourdes. After the parish priest of Lourdes directed Bernadette to ask for a specific sign (the blooming of the wild rose bush under the niche where the Lady stood), the Virgin directed the 14 year old Bernadette to a hidden spring, inside the Grotto’s confines and the River Gave. In following the Lady’s command, “Go to the spring, drink of it, and wash yourself there,” Bernadette was at first confused. She saw no spring, so she took a few steps toward the River Gave, when the Lady gently interrupted her, “No, the spring yonder” and indicated a particular spot. Bernadette went to it and felt impelled to dig into the ground. As a small amount of water came up, she rubbed her face with the mud, and also ate of the nearby wild plants, as Our Lady also told her. To the eyes of others, Bernadette’s actions appeared to be insane, and so she was called. In other words, for obeying a simple command of the Virgin which, to others, made no sense, the 14 year old saint was subjected to loud, public ridicule and humiliation. 

But the child’s obedience to the Lady’s command brought forth a miracle. While the uncovered spring’s source is natural, the supernatural graces imparted through it are not. Since the year 1858, the water of Lourdes has brought to many the graces of spiritual conversion or restored bodily health, granted by God through the intercession of the Lady, who eventually revealed, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” The miraculous spring of Lourdes is a “sensible sign” (that is, a sign that one can perceive through one or more of the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, or scent).

As I point out in my book (Fatima: The Signs and Secrets) when comparing Fatima, Lourdes, La Salette, and the Rue-de-bac: “Lourdes is the first of modern apparition sites which drew onlookers. St. Bernadette Soubirous stated that ‘the Lady’ who came to her simply appeared in the Grotto niche−but when pressed for details, she said that a ‘golden cloud’ within the niche quickly preceded the Lady’s appearance. The people who came to Lourdes during St. Bernadette’s apparitions would testify to the saint’s demeanor during her ecstasies, but none reported any sensible signs attesting to the Vision’s presence.”

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