This article was written by Javier Gomez Tejeda, a seminarian studying in Spain and a fellow traditionalist contributor.
For the past few days, I have been traveling in France on the occasion of a series of conferences I was invited to participate in Paris. I know the capital of the so-called eldest daughter of the Church very well, having lived there myself between 2007 and 2009, so it´s always a joy to return. On this case, though, it has not been as sweet as I expected.
As a devout Catholic, I try to set a fire on the consciences of those men and women whom I meet during my frequent trips. In France, it is even easier, for the country is placed under the protection of Our Lady of Lourdes and such a great company of saints like Bernadette Soubirous, Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque. Or it was, up until recently.
Landing in Marseille, where I was due to spend a few days before continuing on to Paris, I took a two-day trip to Lourdes in the Pyrenees, where hundreds of pilgrims assemble every day so as to implore a miracle from Our Blessed Mother. On arriving at the spot, I happened to meet a group of French pilgrims, mainly youngsters, who, upon being asked which were their reasons to visit that southern point, automatically answered “It´s close to a great city and rumor has it that here the Devil appears, so we are here to gamble with him.”
I was astounded. Not only did the young men and women who were purported to be the hope of the Church in Gaul ignore who the Virgin Mary was but they also thought Lourdes was the site of a devilish apparition! At that point, I began to laugh hysterically, then paused, took a breath and patiently explained what had actually happened in that point of their geography they surely had ignored up until then.