On January 14-16, Prince Bertrand visited the city of St. Louis, Mo., named after his ancestor, to deliver the keynote speech at the Twelfth Annual Marian Conference at the Millennium Hotel near the Gateway Arch. The Saturday afternoon talk was warmly received by the nearly 900 who gathered in the main ballroom.
The theme of the whole Marian conference was “Trust in Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church.” St. Louis’ Archbishop Robert Carlson officially opened the Marian event. The well-organized conference also featured notable Catholic speakers like Father Bill Casey, Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Dr. Robert Moynihan, and Mr. Carl Malburg.
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was present throughout the whole weekend adding to the atmosphere of graces and blessings. The statue which shed tears in New Orleans in 1972 coincided with the topic of the Prince’s talk.
Prince Bertrand raised the question as to why Our Lady as a mother would weep over her children. He spoke at length about the great accomplishments of Christendom, which were fruits of the Redemption. The fall of Christendom was obviously a cause for the sorrow of Our Lady.
In this respect, he outlined this fall by citing the central thesis of the book, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. He showed how Christendom fell through a series of Revolutions that attacked Christian civilization. He emphasized modern examples of this process especially those secular trends that aim to persecute the Church for holding true to Her teachings and morality. This rejection of the fruits of the Redemption, he said, was one major reason why Our Lady weeps.
The Prince also cited the crisis inside the Church. The process of self-destruction of the Church mentioned by Paul VI and subsequent Popes have caused enormous confusion, abuses and chaos among the faithful. This process is another great cause of the tears and sorrow of Our Lady.
However, while the Prince showed the gravity of the present hour, he stressed reasons for hope. He spoke of the prophecies of many saints like Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Blessed Mary of Agreda who foresaw not only the tribulations of the present times but also the restoration of Christian civilization. Several apparitions of Our Lady especially those of LaSalette and Fatima mention this restoration.
“While it is clear why Our Lady weeps,” Prince Bertrand concluded, “it is even clearer that we cannot be indifferent in face of so copiously shed tears.”
Our Lady asks of her children that they ammend their lives, do penance and offer up prayers and sacrifices. She asks that they live up to the privilege and glory of being soldiers of Christ conferred upon them in the sacrament of Confirmation. Thus, the Prince called on all to make of these maternal requests a program of life especially in light of the Fatima Message.
The Prince is the brother and heir to Prince Louis, the present Head of the Imperial House of Brazil. In his own country, he actively pursues his many activities in defense of Christian tradition, the family and every man’s right to private property and free enterprise. Faithful to the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church, he is outspoken in defense of the innocent unborn and is active in the pro-family and pro-life movement around the world.
While in St. Louis, Prince Bertrand was warmly welcomed at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory by Canon Michael Wiener where he attended Holy Mass on Sunday in a place of honor in the sanctuary, a privilege traditionally granted to royalty. He also visited the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion, an historic home that reflects the city’s rich French and early American culture.