2. To Be Protected against the Rajim (the Damned)
The centuries of the Hebrews ran up to the birth of Maryam. According to the Koran, after she had given birth, her mother said: “I have named her Maryam, and I place her, along wither posterity, under Your protection against the Rajim (the damned Devil)” (Sura “The Family of Imran” 3, 36b). The Church explains that Maryam was preserved from demonic influence even from her conception. The immaculate conception of Mary is “a grace and a special privilege of almighty Godin view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race” (1). In other words, the power that delivered Maryam from the hold of Rajim comes from ‘Issa Al Massih, and it is also Him Jesus (‘Issa) who frees each man from the damned Devil. Here is what he has said:
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8, 32).
“Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8, 34-36).
This freedom is that of the son, who has the knowledge to orient himself and who draws from the riches of the paternal house. And here is how Jesus (‘Issa) speaks of the one from whom he wants to free us, Satan (Shaytan):
“You are of your father, the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8, 44).
Shaytan is the father of lies, he kills man. By the union to Christ Al-Massih (in Baptism), Shaytan is expelled and the orientation toward evil is conquered. Salvation is a grace which touches our deepest self, but the grace calls for our cooperation and our perseverance (2) and we must still fight to adhere to this grace and to be faithful to it.
Before closing this chapter, here is a beautiful souvenir. In Egypt at Zeitoun (a suburb of Cairo) starting from the night of Tuesday 2 April 1968 and lasting afterwards for 14 months, numbers of Muslims (up to 250,000) saw Maryam appear on the dome of a church dedicated to the Holy Family. The apparitions were preceded by luminous phenomena and the fragrance of incense. She leaned toward the crowd, smiling and blessing them with an olive branch. Sometimes kneeling before the cross which is on the roof, she appeared with arms open or with hands joined, as at Rue du Bac in Paris in 1830 or at Lourdes in 1858. At Lourdes, Maryam gave her name: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Yes, Maryam the very pure, the Immaculate Conception participates in our rebirth in which we can be liberated from Rajim the Damned and thus become free sons.
(1) Pope Pius IX, Bull Ineffabilis Deus (1854).
(2) Cf. in particular chapter 10 of the decree on justification of the Council of Trent in the year 1547. This doctrine was already present at the Council of Orange at the time of the undivided Church.