Feast of Our Lady of the Angels
We know in simple, childlike faith that the Blessed Virgin Mary is, in flesh and blood, holier, more beautiful, more powerful and closer to God in divine union than all the choirs and hierarchies of angels put together. Mary is the Queen of Angels. The angels obey her slightest command with royal, angelic love. A little ruined church, belonging to the Benedictines of Subasio, about a mile from Assisi and called the Portiuncula, which Saint Francis of Assisi repaired in 1207 and which had been named for Our Lady of the Angels, gave us the first feast of Our Lady under this title. It was on the feast of Our Lady, Queen of Angels, August 2, 1492, that Christopher Columbus knowing there was a plenary indulgence granted to all who received Holy Communion on that day, went with all his crew to Mass, received Holy Communion, finished packing his boat — called the Santa Maria, the Holy Mary — and set sail for the New World. It took Columbus seventy-two days to cross the ocean. The day of his landing in America was a special feast of Our Lady, October 12, and we will speak of that day when it comes. There is a church called Our Lady of the Angels in Rome, dedicated to the Mother of God by Pope Pius IV in the year 1561. This was to secure her protection for Catholics against the horrors of the heretics that were beginning in that century.