Thursday, May 12. The weather was sunny and pleasant at the National March for Life in Ottawa. Six thousand pro-life supporters were in attendance.
At 1:15 p.m. pro-life speakers began their presentations from the top of Parliament Hill. Meanwhile, a crew of four men sought to bring the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima Statue to the top of the hill, but they encountered police officers who said that the statue could not be allowed inside the enclosure. It was only to be displayed as part of the procession outside, they insisted.
This was a puzzling rebuff, especially since many demonstrators were already posted on top of the hill, both pro-life and anti-life, with signs in hand. Some of the latter were even displaying diabolic flags with pentagrams, etc. It was reminiscent to us of when St. Joseph and the Mother of Our Lord were refused a place at the inn of Bethlehem.
The men placed the statue, which is mounted on a platform during processions, on the ground next to the Parliament lawn gate. Many people came to honor Our Lady there – praying, taking pictures, and reverently touching the statue.
Around 1:30 p.m. the procession started on Wellington Street in front of the Parliament building. Students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School carried the Pilgrim Statue while a group of priests led us in praying the Rosary in Latin and then singing Marian hymns.
As the statue was carried through downtown Ottawa, many people blessed themselves and waived to us as the procession passed by them. Office workers also took notice of us through their windows – some visibly puzzled, and others waving their encouragement to us from their posts.
At around 2:30 p.m., the schoolboys carrying the statue at the head of the procession were again approaching the gate to the Parliament lawn. A small but unhinged group of pro-death protesters were screaming and screeching like veritable demons: “My body, my choice!” We all responded with a full-voiced hymn honoring Our Lady, drowning out the hellish din.
The police formed a line dividing the anti-life mob from the pro-lifers. Yet this time, the police beckoned us to enter! As we processed across the lawn, a police officer indicated that we could proceed to the top of Parliament Hill toward the centennial flame.
Amazingly, the tables had turned. People with disrespectful signs were asked to leave the Hill while Our Lady’s image was carried into the area as if in triumph. Our Lady of Fatima’s pro-life warriors held the hill while the irreligious rabble were forcibly excluded. The scene was like a mini prefigurement of what Judgment Day might be like. “Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.” (Apocalypse 22:15)
A spiritual battle was won that day. The March for Life was an example of both worlds on Earth: Heaven and hell. There was the screeching angry voices of the anti-life protesters, similar to what many saints describe in hell. Sister Lucia (of Fatima) described the following about hell: “Shrieks and groans of pain and despair.” Opposing that were the heavenly voices of hope and love of the priests, schoolboys, and others in the March. Saint Philip Neri said: “If we only got to heaven, what a sweet and easy thing it will be there to be always singing with the angels and the saints, ‘Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.’”
But many more such battles lie ahead. These can only be won by prayer and fasting – by mortification, perhaps even only by enduring literal death for Our Lady’s cause. If such a time should come, God’s grace will not be lacking to us.
May Our Lord and His Immaculate Mother find our hearts ready and wholly in Their service!