Something unusual happened this past July 30 near the Spanish capital city of Madrid, at a military base named El Goloso. A fire broke out inside one of the buildings on the base and spread to an adjoining field. All the grass was scorched by the flames—but an outdoor statue of Our Lady, and the flowers surrounding it, were completely untouched. Many of the soldiers stationed at the base, officers included, have always had a special devotion to this statue of the Virgin Mary, and were delighted (and amazed) that it was left intact by the fire.
Similar events have occurred in other areas of the world. For instance, in 2012 Hurricane Sandy devastated much of New York, including the traditionally Catholic neighborhood of Queens. Many buildings were destroyed, including a church—but a statue of Our Lady out in front was untouched. The following year, two similar events took place in the Catholic nation of the Philippines during an earthquake and a typhoon. Carvings of the Virgin Mary were undamaged, despite widespread destruction. I recall reading of another such event in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which caused great devastation in New Orleans and elsewhere almost exactly ten years ago. A statue of Our Lady, sheltering two children and facing the Gulf Coast, remained intact, even as everything around it was destroyed.
Many alleged contemporary private revelations speak of how Mary wishes to cover her children with her mantle of protection, especially in dangerous and unsettling times. However, we must live in a way demonstrating our desire for our Heavenly Mother’s intercession and assistance. The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that Mary “is a mother to us in the order of grace” (n. 968), and that “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic [an inherent part] to Christian worship” (n. 971). While we never adore Our Lady (for adoration belongs to God alone), she is deserving of the highest possible honor and praise—and when we render her these things, we invite her to care for us in very loving and practical ways.
Our Lord commands us to read the “signs of the times” (cf. Lk. 12:54-56)— and stories such as those above, along with similar verified reports about other statues of Mary (such as those apparently weeping human tears or even tears of blood) suggest that Our Lady is both distressed over the sinful state of the world, and eager to assist those who call out to her. Let us therefore please Jesus our Savior by loving and honoring His Mother and seeking her assistance.