Mary should be our model for a religion that fights for the truth even when it is unpopular, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said last week.

He illustrated the point by referring to a medieval image of the Blessed Virgin punching the Devil on the nose.

Speaking at the University of Notre Dame, Archbishop Chaput said: “If we want to reclaim who we are as a Church, if we want to renew the Catholic imagination, we need to begin, in ourselves and in our local parishes, by unplugging our hearts from the assumptions of a culture that still seems familiar but is no longer really ‘ours’.

“This is why Mary – the young Jewish virgin, the loving mother, and the woman who punches the Devil on the nose – was, is, and always will be the great defender of the Church,” Archbishop Chaput said.

“She doesn’t rebuke him. She doesn’t enter into a dialogue with him. She punches the Devil in the nose.”

Archbishop Chaput said that according to CS Lewis: “Christianity is a ‘fighting religion’ – not in the sense of hatred or violence directed at other persons, but rather in the spiritual struggle against the evil in ourselves and in the world around us, where our weapons are love, justice, courage and self-giving.”

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