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December 8, 2015: A Declaration of War Against Satan to Save the Christian Family!

December 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Dr. Peter Howard, Mary, Solemnity

December 8, 2015:
A Declaration of War Against Satan to Save the Christian Family!

ZurbaranTheImmaculateConceptionBlessedVirginMaryHave you ever wondered the peculiar “coincidence” that the beginning and end of World War II began and ended on the two great Marian feasts that bookend Mary’s role in Salvation History? On the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 7 December 1941, the United States endured the “surprise” attack from the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. The next day, December 8, President Roosevelt proclaimed that day to be “a day that will live in infamy” and Congress gave its approval to go to war against Japan (and only days later that declaration included Germany and Italy). Fast forward to the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary (the consequence of Mary’s Immaculate Conception), 14 August 1945, and you have the announcement to US commanders of the surrender of the Japanese with V-J Day celebrated in the United States on August 15, when that surrender was announced to the world.

Add to this Marian and Immaculate Conception milieu the United States involvement in World War II, the unique and significant history that the Catholic Church in the U.S. has with the dogma and devotion to Mary as the Immaculate Conception. Many do not know that in 1847 the United States Catholic bishops, led by Archbishop John Carroll of Baltimore, received approval from Blessed Pius IX to consecrate the United States to Mary under her title The Immaculate Conception. This was seven years before Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1854.

There is clearly an intended connection that Jesus wants the United States to have His Mother that speaks to the very essence of who she is and what that means for us. If there is truly an “American exceptionalism,” it is only in terms of its call to live this truth of Mary and proclaim it as the icon for the true freedom that it not only represents, but that it brings about in those who model their lives after it.

MiguelCabreraTheVirginOfTheApocalypseGoogleArtProjectSo, what is the truth of the Immaculate that has so much significance for the United States — and the world — today? It is essentially two-fold. The first is much easier to explain as it refers to the truth that Mary was conceived without sin and that God put her (and her seed) at enmity with Satan. So, we see way back in Genesis 3:15 where this was first announced, that Mary is at the center of the spiritual confrontation between God and Satan and, ultimately, “she will crush [the serpent’s] head”. Hmmm…now we are beginning to see why Mary would be entangled in World War II, especially in the greater part of it which is unseen [as St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12]. After God, NOBODY possesses power to defeat evil like Our Lady. That’s why Satan hates her so much and those specially consecrated to her — like France and the United States (both with historical connections with the revelation of Mary as the Immaculate Conception). And when Mary appears on the world stage, either by the Church’s attention being directed to her by the Holy Spirit, or by her many apparitions, she means business when it comes to combatting evil, converting hearts and protecting her own.

But this part of the truth of Mary as the Immaculate Conception points more to what Mary is free from. The other and more important part to the truth of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is what she is free for and why. This is where the theological fun begins as we set out into the deep (duc in altum) to discover the secrets of Mary as the Holy Spirit permits.

Just four years after Blessed Pius IX proclaims the dogma of Mary being conceived without original sin, Mary appears in Lourdes (1858) and says (translating the story in modern language), “Well, there’s actually something more to that dogma which little Bernadette’s persistence is soliciting from me that the Holy Spirit is prompting me to reveal — I am not just immaculately conceived without sin, but “I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION”. Little Bernadette essentially just said thank you while the rest of the world said, “She called herself what!?!” Thanks be to God for St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, whose holiness and brilliance of mind was obsessed by this profession of Mary and shared his theological reflections with the Church, of which I summarized in a previous post (

To summarize that summary, Mary’s declaration at Lourdes is all about how intimately she is united to the Holy Spirit as His Spouse. It is a reality so true and profound that Mary takes the name of her “husband”, the Holy Spirit, Who is the uncreated, eternal Immaculate Conception. Since marital union is the greatest of all the unions that we can comprehend, it is fitting that this truth of Mary be expressed in terms of the name of her inseparable Spouse, the Holy Spirit. In marriage, two persons become one flesh in an unbreakable moral and covenantal bond. The same applies to Mary who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, but in a more perfect and fruitful way than any earthly marriage as the fruit of their mystical union is the eternal Son and Word of God! So, Mary as the Immaculate Conception is ordered to her greatest of privileges, her Divine Maternity. And, this feast is, therefore, about the call of the individual soul to immaculateness (commonly called the greatest possible holiness!) within the context of the family.

The Immaculate Conception, then, reveals that true freedom is one in which our hearts, minds and souls are pure and united with the Holy Spirit. This is freedom! Not doing whatever one wants, but what one ought . . . and that ought is ordered to union with the Holy Spirit which is only possible with purity of heart. And any country who claims to be the “land of the free” is free ONLY to the extent it believes and lives this truth.

Yes, something to ponder . . . for the rest of your life!

That’s why Satan attacks purity first because then we can’t see God (“Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God”). Lack of purity (moral impurity) results in loss of holiness and that lack of holiness leads to division in relationships, which results in lack of communion of life, which results in not transmitting life and love. That’s the oversimplified, but nonetheless true, breakdown how impurity leads from a culture of life and love to a culture of death and self-centered immorality.

And the world — and many in the Church — have rejected the call to purity, embraced immorality and abandoned God, calling this insanity “freedom”. The result? The most wounded world history has ever seen. Two generations are now deeply wounded by the “sexual revolution” — which was nothing more than a rejection of purity for “free love” and “free sex”. This woundedness was anticipated by God Who called the Church and the world back to His Divine Mercy, which is the remedy for any and all wounds — NO MATTER HOW GREAT THE SIN! Jesus proclaimed through St. Faustina:

Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.

I conclude (yes, finally!) . . . we contemplate this mystery today: The Immaculate Conception is our end, purity is the way to it and Divine Mercy is our starting point, our medicine and our hope all along the way. Therefore, the renaissance, transformation and galvanization of the Christian family begins with the healing, forgiveness and restoration given to those who seek Jesus’ Divine Mercy. Jesus’ mercy cleanses us from our sins, heals our wounds, strengthens our character and restores our purity that we may become immaculate and enjoy an unfathomable union with the Holy Spirit. It is indeed a counter-revolution — a “revolution of tenderness”, as Pope Francis calls it — to the false and merciless “gospel”of the world.

Families who are courageous enough to embrace the changes in lifestyle that will enable them to experience these fruits will be the ones who will be the lighthouses amidst the storm and lead the world through its present dark night as it waits for the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the dawn of the new springtime. In short, these will be the heroic families without which America and the rest of the world has no future.

If you want this message passionately brought to your parish, conference or event, reach out to me at Let’s be these courageous families and start awakening, inspiring and leading today’s heroic families who will ignite the world with the cleansing fire of God’s merciful love poured out to us through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and the Ark of our Salvation! Reach out to me at or by visiting and visit our ASCEND event page.

Mary, Mother and Mediatrix of Mercy, pray for us!


Art: La Inmaculada Concepción (The Immaculate Conception), Francisco de Zurbarán, 1661, PD-Worldwide; La Virgen del Apocalipsis (The Virgin of the Apocalypse), Miguel Cabrera, 1760, PD-US published in the United States before January 1, 1923; Immaculée Conception (Immaculate Conception) [Secondary Altar, St. Marguerite Church, Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Geispolsheim], François Antoine Ketterer, between 1771 and 1772, PD-US author’s term of life plus 70 years or less; all Wikimedia Commons.

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About Peter Howard

Dr. Peter Howard presently lives in Illinois with his wife, Chantal, and five children. Dr. Howard is a professor of Theology at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation ( In 2015, Peter and Chantal founded dedicated to the mission of “awakening Catholic families to their critical call to live their faith with courage, passion and purpose.” He is also a Catholic videographer (, author and national Catholic speaker who has spoken at the 2015 American Chesterton Society Conference, 2012 Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, Kansas; the United States Air Force Academy; parish retreats and on Catholic radio programs such as Radio Maria. Peter earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [Angelicum] in Rome, Italy. Dr. Howard's theological expertise lies predominantly in Mariology and the teachings of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. He is the author of the 2014 book: The Woman: The Mystery of Mary as Mediatrix in the Teaching of Fulton J. Sheen. Like his spiritual mentor, +Fulton Sheen, Dr. Howard is passionate about evangelizing families by communicating the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith as the answer to the challenges and errors of the world. If you would like to invite Dr. Howard to speak at your parish or event, contact him at

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  • Melinda

    O Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us. Look down upon us all, good and gentle Jesus…

  • LizEst

    Cathy, we had a little glitch with publishing this morning. Glad you found us!

    While I have your attention, please review our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) here, especially number 4 with all the do’s and don’ts contained under it: You’ll find that we ask people to type directly into the combox (communications box) and not cut and paste things in. Cut and pasting brings lots of hidden coding, etc, on to the site, as is evident in what you wrote. Thank you for your kind consideration.

    • Cathy

      Hi Liz, I wish I knew about cut and paste,for some reason I was presented with
      A page with a box for comments,not like the regular as this…Sorry for the Inconvience.Have a Blessed Season!

      • LizEst

        No trouble! Blessed Season to you, too, Cathy!

  • DrPeterHoward

    Thank you, Cathy. It’s interesting how no matter how diligent we are — and believe me, Liz is extremely on top of things — these “glitches” often coincide with important messages on Our Lady and the like. So many times before very important content material for classes on Our Lady do these “glitches” happen that almost prevent the entire class and which that take my Irish patience to its limit (which is a very high threshold, of course 🙂 But I remind myself that this is to be expected, Our Lady will crush the serpent’s head (or cut off its tail that got put in the machine) and things will work out. And they did, thanks be to God and Our Lady 🙂

    Keep up the good work, Liz!

    • LizEst

      You are most kind, Dr Howard. God bless you and keep you. All glory to God.

    • Cathy


  • Pingback: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Big Pulpit()

  • Judy Silhan

    Another one of your insightful reflections, Dr. Howard. I had expected to see something this morning, after I did the final preparation for the Consecration to Mary. I know that you probably covered, in our previous class, the spousal relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit; but just now, when I read that Mary took the name of her “husband,” the Holy Spirit, for the first time, the concept of Mary saying: I am the Immaculate Conception, suddenly became clearly understandable for me. I have to admit that even since your class, I have struggled with getting closer to our Lady; but on Sunday of this week, after listening to Fr. Donald Calloway, and after finishing the 33 days to Morning Glory retreat with Fr. Michael Gaitely and watching his video on the Rosary, for the first time, I was able to pray the Rosary, with Mary, in its entirety. For some reason, somehow, I was able to connect with our Lady and see that the Rosary has a prominent place in my prayer life, just as the Liturgy of the Hours does.
    Thank you for your continued Marian posts as well as your passion for Mary, as I witnessed as a student in your class, and which I look forward to again, in January.
    When I started at Avila, it was to get closer to Christ. At the time, I was not aware that Mary played a role in that relationship. Thank you Dr. Howard, and everyone at Avila, for leading me to fully understanding the meaning of this Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which I did today.

  • marybernadette

    ‘The Year Of Mercy’ seems to really fit here, thank you Dr. Howard, very beautiful and ‘hope-filled’ insights.’ I pray that everyone comes to know the ‘Divine Mercy of the Lord’ it proves is ‘Great Love and Mercy’ for all who accept it.’

    • Fr William Barrocas

      It seems to me that the Jubilee of Mercy given by God through our Beloved Pope Francis almost as s surprise has been timed by God to take us through the impasse humanity is facing specially in Christian Countries thanks to the ISIS and such Terrorist Fraternities.Thank you God for ever.Amen

  • Philip

    There were countless other events in the Second World War on Feasts of Our Lady,
    The Reykjavik summit which led to the fall of Communism was on Dec 8th,
    Apartheid ended on Feb 2nd, and Nelson Mandela was released from prison on Feb 11th
    I we want peace we must place it all into her hands, and live the message of Lourdes and Fatima

  • MariaGo

    The Philippines is also consecrated to Mama Mary the Immaculate Conception. 🙂 I am pretty she was the one who saved from the Marcos dictatorship 30 years ago. There were tanks soldiers against a throng of people praying the rosary. She appeared to some soldiers telling them not hurt her children. Nobody got hurt in that revolution. Mama Mary is awesome! 🙂

  • Fr William Barrocas

    Mama Mary of Nazareth who gave us Jesus the LAMB of GOD did so because God provided for her to do so making her Immaculately Conceived and so Blessed among all men and women. We remain most grateful to her for her timely intervention when we sob & cry
    We hope she intercedes and intervenes now when Christians and almost face to face in the Satanic Battle before them.Amen.

  • MariaGo

    Just wanted to mention another good coincidence! 🙂 The Paris Climate Change Summit was supposed to end yesterday on December 11. But it got postponed to today, December 12, the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe! 😀 I am sure Mama Mary prays for all those badly affected by Climate Change, like Typhoon Haiyan here and the severe droughts across South Asia earlier this year.

    • ranger01

      The typhoon was cause specifically by climate change? Explain, pls be specific.

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