This is the true story of how this miracle photo of “Our Lady of the Tear of Joy” occurred. Our Blessed Mother is now giving messages that She wants this image of Her “known to all.” The name of the man whom Blessed Mary entrusted with this mission is Arrow Osborne. He and five others began receiving messages from Blessed Mary after the miraculous image appeared. Over the past 24 years he has traveled to numerous sites of reported apparitions of Our Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother. He had rose petals rain down upon himself and about 70,000 plus people on that apparition day in Conyers, Georgia in May of 1993. He has seen lights beam down on people during the midnight apparition of Our Lady of Lights in Kentucky in October of 1993. He has been overcome with the smell of roses “countless times” at other apparition sites – which historically indicates the presence of Our Blessed Mother. He belongs to a very large network of prayer warriors, mainly whom he met in Medjugorje. One of them is a man by the name of Mike Stanton. In April of 2017, he and Mike (from Connecticut) were planning another trip to Medjugorje with a group of fellow prayer warriors. Mike asked him, “Have you ever heard of a visionary from the Philippines?” Mike said he was going to be at the Holy Spirit Center in Cincinnati the following day. Arrow headed towards Cincinnati.
While at the Holy Spirit Center for this most Blessed event, Arrow met a man by the name of Neil — who was very close to this visionary from the Philippines. Neil and Arrow immediately struck up a very close friendship. Neil told me that this visionary from the Philippines would be coming back in late August or September. Meanwhile, Mike and Arrow went to Medjugorje with their prayer warriors and had a most inspirational time. Neil sent Arrow this visionary’s schedule from the Philippines, which indicated that he would be in the greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area from August 28th through September 6th at different Catholic churches, doing his healing ministry. Arrow went to all these events every day. On Saturday, September 2nd, while at St. Patrick church in northern Kentucky, Neil pulled him aside and said that there is a very holy woman who lives in the Cincinnati area who celebrates Our Blessed Mother’s birthday every year. This visionary from the Philippines also comes — as well as a very large group of people and priests from all over. Neil told Arrow to get there early. In the lady’s home were several statues of Our Lord and Blessed Mother that were covered in “Gold Dust” with one of them pulsating with “Gold Dust” when one would stand near it. Arrow has seen this miraculous detail before in Conyers, Georgia when Our Lord Jesus and the Blessed Mother were appearing to visionary Nancy Fowler in the early 1990’s. “Gold Dust” is reportedly the presence of Our Blessed Mother and also the Holy Spirit.
Looking up towards the ceiling in this woman’s home, Arrow saw several large blue and white balloons tied together in the formation of a Rosary. The blue balloons represented the Our Father prayer and white balloons for the Hail Mary prayer. On a table were small pieces of paper with a string attached to each one; you would write out your prayer petition to the Blessed Mother, then tie it to one of the strings on the balloons. Arrow walked to the back yard where they had large tents set up and chairs for everyone.
The visionary from the Philippines arrived with at least five priests. Some were from other countries; one of these most holy priests came from a parish just outside of Rome, Italy to be part of this most blessed event. There had to have been over two hundred people invited to this blessed event from all over the United States, Canada, and other countries. There was a Holy Mass, and then this visionary performed his healing ministry using rose petals.
Afterwards, everybody was asked to go to the front yard because they were going to release the rosary balloons into the air. When they released them, everybody started singing “Happy Birthday” to Our Blessed Mother. Arrow looked up and saw Neil in the upstairs bedroom window. The window was open wide because he was taking pictures of the balloons as they went up into the sky. When all of this was happening, the sun began spinning! People were saying, “Look at the Sun!” Arrow went into the house and upstairs to the bedroom where Neil was. Neil had just taken a polaroid picture using an instamatic camera while the balloons were still going up. Not realizing what was about to happen, Neil then turned to Arrow and said, “This one is yours.” Arrow watched with amazement as the image of “Our Lady of the Tear of Joy” slowly developed in the photo. There were NO images of Our Blessed Mother on any of the balloons, nor in the trees, on any signs, or anywhere!
Our Blessed Mother is now giving messages about this image of Her. In one of Her first messages She said,
“This image of My tear is a tear of Joy (hence Tear of Joy), for all those who were present at the birthday party in My honor. You were healing My heart with those present in honoring Me. Tell them this image of me is a healing image.”
Our Lady indicates in her messages that, when we seek Her, it gives Her joy (hence Tear of Joy), and it heals Her heart. She will then lead us to Her Son.
“When they look at My image, they are to recite the prayer, ‘Remember O most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known …’ (Memorare Prayer) When they say this prayer to Me, Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, they are fleeing to Me, causing me Joy. I will heal them by leading them to my Son. Tell them, Tell them. It brings Me Joy (healing Her heart) when you come to Me, and I will lead you to My Son.”
This message keeps getting repeated.
On October 11, Arrow was with a visionary who had been getting messages since the fall of 1993. This visionary chose to go to Medjugorje against doctor’s advice as she was gravely sick at the time and could die. This mystic went because her granddaughter was very sick and understood that suffering is a grace if we offer it up to God for our loved one or even for people that we don’t even know. In the end, the granddaughter was healed! Jesus told this mystic that it was because of her sacrificial suffering, making the journey to Medjugorje and having the faith of offering up her suffering. Afterwards, Arrow was with this mystic and a group of prayer warriors, saying the Rosary. Each person took turns holding the actual miraculous photo when it came for their turn to say their part of the Rosary. When the miracle photo of “Our Lady of the Tear of Joy” came to this mystic, and it was their turn to say the Rosary, the actual image of Our Blessed Mother in the photo “came alive.” Our Blessed Mother appeared to be saying the Rosary with them with Her lips moving and eyes actually moving also. Now, in one of Our Lady’s messages, She said, “Tell them this image of me (Picture), is a healing image.” This message from Our Lady means that this miraculous photo – after being blessed by a priest — can be placed upon somebody when praying with them.
February 13, 2019
“My little ones, just as when you were a young child, you would scrape your knee and your earthly mother would clean your hurt knee and then give your hurt a gentle kiss. I as your Heavenly Mother so very much want to heal and kiss all your scrapes, all your hurts and all your sufferings. I shed Tears of Joy on to you when you pray to Me. I love you My little ones and I bless you in My Son’s name”
February 27, 2018
“When they look into the eye’s of My image (photo), I am looking into theirs and wanting them to know, I LOVE YOU and I will lead you to My Son.”
January 28, 2019
“My child, on February 6th, I want My Joyful Mystery of My Holy Rosary said for all of those involved in abortion. Life is to be respected and life is to be chosen. I want to shed Tears of Joy to all of My precious little ones who call upon Me but, abortion cause’s Me to shed Tear’s of sadness for the unborn children My Son has created. Please tell My precious little ones of this request from their Blessed Mother. I Bless all of My little ones in My Son’s name”
January 16, 2019
“My little ones, I want My image (photo) in your homes and I will bless your homes. When you look upon My image, I am looking back at you, letting you know My little ones that I hold each and every one of you close to My heart. I always have My mantle of love and protection wrapped around each and every one of you, for I am your Heavenly Mother. I bless you My little ones in My Son’s name”
January 12, 2019
“My little ones, pray for those who are cold and who have nothing to eat. Pray to Me so I can shed My Tears of Joy upon them to console them. Many of My little ones are suffering. I bless all of My little ones in My Son’s name”
December 14, 2018
“My child, tell My little ones that when they pray to Me, My heart radiates Joy and Love and I pass that Joy and Love from My heart back to them. Tell My little ones of the Love as their Heavenly Mother I have for them. I bless all of My little ones in My Son’s name”
December 6, 2018
“My little ones, you must know, Joy not only comes to My heart, but to My Son’s heart each time you pray to Me, because My Son knows I will lead all of those who pray to Me, to Him. I Bless you My little ones in My Son’s name”
December 1, 2018
“My Son opened the gates of Heaven for graces to pour down upon My little ones saying the Holy Rosary to Me for My Son’s unborn children. My little ones, I Bless you in My Son’s name.”
November 29. 2018
“My little ones, Angels will be be descending down upon those praying. Graces will flow down upon those praying for My Son’s unborn precious babies whom he knitted with His hands. I Bless you My little ones in My Son’s name”
October 30, 2018
“My little ones, so many of you are distracted from things of this world. I am your Heavenly Mother, come to know My love I have for each of My little ones. All of you are precious to My heart. Look into My image and see the Tear of Joy I have for each of you. Pray to Me My little ones, flee to Me in prayer and I will lead you to My Son. Come to know My deep love I have for all of My little ones. When you hold a Holy Rosary in your hand, I am holding your hand. I Bless you My little ones in My Son’s name.”
October 10, 2018
“I love you My little ones. I patiently await for you to call upon Me in your sufferings and trials you are going through. I want to intercede for you and lead you to My Son. I Bless you My little ones in My Son’s name”
August 13, 2018
“My child, let My little one’s know I want to bring peace to their hearts when they pray to Me. Please My little one’s, sit in silence and feel My love I am surrounding you with. You are My little one’s and you bring Me Tears of Joy when you pray to Me. I so much want to lead My lost little one’s to My Son. Pray for those who do not know My Son. I love you My little one’s and I Bless you in My Son’s name”
August 5, 2018
“Tell My little one’s that I am holding them and My Motherly touch which is from Heaven, is so soft that they are not able to feel Me touching them. Tell My little one’s I will never leave them, nor take My Love and Protection from them. So many of My little one’s think I am not with them. I Bless all of My little one’s in My Son’s name”
July 25, 2018
“My child, so many of My little children are afraid. They are to know this comes from Satan. My little ones are not to be afraid, but tell My little ones that I have My mantle of Love & Protection wrapped around them and I will never take that away from them. Tell My little ones that the Tear they see in My image (photo), is a true Tear of Joy that I shed when they pray to Me. I Bless you in My Son’s name”
July 14, 2018
“All of us once had a mother holding us in her arms. Whether by our birth mother’s or an adopted mother, we were held with such extreme love with the caress of our mother’s hands. The caress of our mother’s love was felt with her hands holding us in her arms. The caress of our mother’s love was felt with a gentle kiss on our little cheeks. The caress of our mother’s love was felt when we woke up being scared of the dark and the caress of her hands holding us, taking the fear away. The caress of our mother’s love was felt when we fell down scraping our knee and her hands touching our hurts, making us feel better. The caress of our mother’s love is not just with her hands. The caress of our mother’s love was in her eyes, looking at us when we left for school in our elementary school years. The caress of our mother’s love was those tears in her eyes when we left home, starting our own journey in life.”
“The caress of Our Lady’s love holding us is so very gentle that we cannot actually feel it, it is that soft. The caress of Our Lady’s love is when She is waiting for us to call upon Her when we are scared so She can hold us even closer to Her, taking the fear away. The caress of Our Lady’s love is when we call upon Her when we have our own physical hurts and Our Lady will touch our physical wounds with a gentle kiss. The caress of Our Lady’s love is when we call upon Her in our emotional needs and She lets you fell the warmth and love of Her hands holding you, Her touch is that soft. The caress of Our Lady’s love can be felt knowing that She is looking into our eyes, letting us know that She loves us with unconditional love. The caress of Our Lady’s love is knowing that She wants to take our hurts, our tears, our prayers to Her Son. The caress of Our Lady’s love is knowing that although we cannot see Her, Her love is surrounding us. The caress of Our Lady’s love is knowing that She has Her mantle of Love & Protection wrapped around us and She will never take that away. The caress of Our Lady’s Love, wow!! There is nothing to compare it to.” — from the Holy Spirit
March 3, 2019
Note: Shortly after the Noon Mass – Two New Heavy Canvas Prints of The Image Of Our Lady Tear of Joy (Professionally Created, Framed& Mounted on a Tripod) were placed in the Sanctuary that were to be Blessed By Fr. Joe. These Elegant Canvas Prints will be traveling with Arrow when he has scheduled “Speaking Engagements”, so that the audience can gaze upon our Beautiful Heavenly Mother as the Miraculous Image of “Our Lady Tear of Joy”.
As Fr. Joe was standing in front of these “Images” he was giving a presentation to those in attendance at this celebration and I suddenly felt the presence of Our Lady, who then began to speak.
“My Sweetest Children, I am filled with jubilation on this wonderful Celebration of Blessings of My Miraculous Images by Fr. Joe. This is indeed a joyous occasion and all of my faithful children who have taken the time this afternoon to attend this event will receive an abundance of Blessings through the Graces of my love for each of you and these blessings will also be given to your family members that you have been praying for. I am so thrilled and delighted on this very special and euphoric day and I want to thank My Child, Arrow and all of my other children who gave of their time, energy and expense to this magnificent project.”
“I was also in attendance for the Celebration of The Holy Mass and was enraptured by My Priest Sons (Fr. Joe & Fr. Sam) Offering the Sacrifice of My Divine Son in the Celebration of the Mass. To witness both of My Priest Sons celebrating the Mass and now to have them both here at the Blessing of My Images is both blissful and I feel elated. I am ever so grateful for their presence here today. Oh, My Children, what Tears of Joy I am shedding on this splendid day as I watch my sweet children come up to the Sanctuary to unveil these elegant images.”
Note: As Fr. Joe began the blessing of each image, Arrow saw what he thought was “glitter” falling upon all of those present at this celebration. Our Lady then told Arrow that it was indeed the “Gold Glitter”, and it represented the Graces and Blessings that were being given to all those in attendance. Our Lady said that it was symbolic of both protection and virtue.
Our Lady continues to speak:
“Oh, My Children, what Tears of Joy I am shedding on this very special day as I watch all of my children come up to show their Heavenly Mother reverence of love and dedication of My Miraculous Image.
I want all my children to know that I hear and feel their tears of pain and sorrow for all the heartache and hardships that they are experiencing. These days that you are living are very difficult and trying times. You must all turn to My Divine Son in His Most Holy Eucharist. His Holy Eucharist will be your strength in these strenuous and burdensome times.
I am your Heavenly Mother and when you turn to me in your challenging times, I will present all your petitions to My Divine Son. He will never abandon you in your time of anguish, nor will He ever desert you in your time of loneliness.
My sweet children, I will bring your petitions before My Divine Son and I will implore Him through His Mercy. His Love and Mercy is Infinite and He so loves all of His Children.
Those of my children, who gaze upon my Image of Our Lady Tear of Joy, I ask that you bring me all your intentions of sorrow, pain, depression, dejection, desolation and offer up through me all the heaviness of your heart and I will place them in the Merciful Heart of My Divine Son.
I love each and every one of my children and I will help each of you and will plead with My Divine Son, if it is His Will, through the love of My Sorrowful Heart.
I bless you in My Son’s Name.”
On March 24th, Our Lady gave a message that She wanted the Holy Rosary said on March 27th for Her Son’s priests. The spiritual director of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy approved the message and — with it being the season of Lent, the “Sorrowful Mystery” of the Holy Rosary was to be said. The Rosary was at 7:00 p.m. in everybody’s respective time zone. Yesterday (March 27th, 2019), Our Lady gave a message to two visionaries and below is what they were told and shown during the time they were saying the Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary. This message has been approved to be posted by the spiritual director of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy.
“Today My little ones, you prayed for My Son’s priests. My Son’s priests are so special to Me for they are doing My Son’s Will. My little ones, I shed Tears of Joy down upon all those who were praying for My Son’s priests. I Bless you My little ones in My Son’s name”
Present at the Rosary was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The statue was immersed in light –which was streaming towards all those present and the priests all over the world. During the Sorrowful Mystery, a drop of Jesus’ blood fell upon all the priests.
March 20th, 2019
“Rays of My love……. My little ones, as you are able to see the rays of the sun come down upon you and you can feel the warmth of the sun touching you, so is My love for you. Although you can not actually see it, the love I have for you comes down upon you, touching you with My Motherly love I have for all of My precious little ones. I Bless you My little ones in My Son’s name”
April 3rd, 2019
“My sweet little ones, the Rosary prayer to Me is sweet music to Me. This sweet music resounds throughout Heaven and brings immense joy to My Son for all those who call upon Me. I Bless all of My little ones in My Son’s name”
These are the TRUE MIRACLES that demonstrate people are coming closer to Our Lady. Nothing but “Good Fruits” are coming from this mission of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy.
Renee, from Michigan, USA:
“When I was younger, age 11- through 14, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis . After my parents explored all options through the arthritis foundation they were then introduced to the charismatic healing masses by my dear relatives Living in Canada, so my whole family, once a month, would go to the healing Masses. Yes, I received healing from the Holy Spirit, and my doctors could not believe that I was no longer going into a wheelchair, and that my hands were not crippled any longer.”
Mike, from Ohio, USA:
“The doctors found cancer in my body. It was not a tiny area. It’s all over — my brain, my legs, my liver — its everywhere. It was stage four melanoma cancer and there were some treatments but the outlook was not good. We prayed the Memorare holding Our Lady’s image, and I was anointed with Our Lady’s Tears.” Armed with miraculous medals and rosaries (touched by Our Lady in Medjugoje) – Mike and his wife felt like they had a place to turn for help. In a few months as prayers continued, his test results were suddenly moving in the other direction. In fact, the doctors were a little surprised. Most of his numbers had improved substantially. The Dr was so happy and was hugging us and even called in his other Oncologist that shook Mike’s hand. His recovery was complete in a few more months. His brain scan and Pet scan results were truly unbelievable. The doctor said he is 90-95% cancer free and that she has never had a patient respond so well.
Phil, from Pennsylvania, USA:
The Blessed Mother appeared to Phil seven years ago, and he just saw the miracle image of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy on the Facebook site. Phil is adamant that this photo of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy is the Blessed Mother who had appeared to him. He had had a skiing accident in February 2011, breaking his neck, fracturing vertebrates 4, 5 & 6 and also trauma to his arm. He was in a neck brace – but, during the night of July 3rd, 2011, he saw a “very beautiful woman” standing in his bedroom. He said, “I knew it was the Blessed Mother. She simply stood there and said nothing. She is beautiful. She is so very beautiful. There was a slight breeze, and Her hair and Her mantle were blowing from the breeze. She is so beautiful. I felt like I was being healed. My whole body tingled. I have never felt that type of peace before. I knew I was healed. I kept rubbing my eyes to see if I was imagining it. Each time I would rub my eyes and would look up, She was still there. This lasted in what seemed like a very long time. Then, at day break, the sun came in through the window — and She simply disappeared.” And after this, Phil started to improve. “When I saw Our Lady’s picture, I said to myself, That’s Her!! That’s who I saw!!” Phil said that he is a construction worker and is fully back to work as well as skiing again with “no limitations.”
Elizabeth, from Warrington, England:
Elizabeth from Sacred Heart Church had cancer on her lung. She put the picture of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy on her lung every day. Her x-ray results indicated that the cancer had gone. The nurse said she has never seen anything like it before. Elizabeth said she doesn’t feel ill at all now.
Peter, from Missouri, USA:
Peter, age four, was born with severe kidney problems. His kidneys were constantly failing — even with a simple cold or flu. Peter had been hospitalized numerous times because of this health issue. About a month ago, Peter became ill, and his kidneys stopped functioning. He was hospitalized in the Children’s ward. An image of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy was given to the family to place on Peter. Peter made a remarkable recovery and has had no problems with his kidneys since then. The family is giving credit for the healing of Peter to the intercession of Our Blessed Mother and that miraculous picture.
Ray, from Newfoundland, Canada:
Ray’s family is Protestant but was receptive on getting Our Lady’s image of the Tear of Joy. His wife had applied for over 50 jobs over the last several months with no response, and they were now out of money. When they received Our Lady’s image, they began reciting the Memorare prayer. The wife then got a job offer. She went for the interview and was offered a position far above what she had applied for and started that week. But the story gets even better. They have a statue of Our Blessed Mother with a Rose bush next to her at the side of their house. Over the last five years, the rose bush has produced no roses. But now, five roses have appeared on the bush — but this is in October in Newfoundland! Newfoundland is one of the very northwest provinces in Canada – and it gets very cold early – not a time when roses would bloom!
Don, from Ohio, USA:
Don had many cancerous tumors in his abdomen. Don took the picture of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy and placed it on his belly where the largest tumor was located. The Memorare prayer was prayed two times. Follow-up tests were done on Don last week, and he got the results yesterday. There are so many cancer tumors that are totally gone now. It’s like they never existed! And the major tumor that they were mainly concerned about has significantly reduced in size. His blood work also looks so much better. The doctors, Don, and his wife were all amazed and so pleased with the results and the miraculous changes.
Beatrice, from Converse, Texas, USA:
“I’ve been wearing hearing aids for nine years due to bilateral decreased hearing loss. I also suffer from season asthma. From October through January, I struggled to make it through the day as I’m still a working woman. Every day after work, I would go straight home, eat some homemade chicken soup and go to bed. Throughout the night and during the day, I felt extremely tired, sleepy, my mind in a fog, and felt feverish and kept getting chills throughout the day and night no matter how many layers of woolens I was wearing — even though I did not have a fever. In January of 2018, I noticed that my right ear felt plugged and I could not hear even thought I had my hearing aid on. I was also experiencing laryngitis (or so I thought). Thinking that the hearing aid needed to be serviced, I took it to the hearing aid center to be fixed. After checking it out, the technician said it was not the hearing aid and performed a hearing test. The result showed that I had complete hearing loss of my right ear. I placed the photo Tear of Joy on my right ear, prayed the Memorare repeatedly and petitioned Mother Mary to intercede to Her Son, Jesus, if it was His Will to heal me. Next morning, I woke up to the alarm on my Cell phone and reached for it. It was not on the table next to my bed, so I got up and went looking for it. I have a 4-bedroom house, and when I got to the last bedroom, I found it on a shelf I had last left it. I suddenly realized that I had actually heard it ring and started crying and praising The Lord and thanking Him over and over for showing me His compassion and mercy by healing me. I could not stop praising Him and haven’t stopped thanking and praising Him for this miracle and forever more will praise His Holy name. I returned to the ENT doctor to check on the hole in my ear. After he examined me, he started talking about what our next step would be to restore my hearing loss and voice. At this point, I shared with him about the healing image of the Tear of Joy and that I had regained my hearing and my voice on Holy Wednesday. He told his technician to run another test on me, and the test came back that I had perfect hearing on both sides now. Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”
Rosary Group, southern Indiana, USA:
“Our rosary group met a couple of days later, and a message was given to one of the members of our group that Our Lady of the Tear of Joy wanted an enlarged photo made to be put in a place chosen by Her so that all could see Her. I texted the visionary, Arrow, about what Our Lady requested, and that we were going to have one made. Arrow told me he would have it done himself professionally because, if made too large, it would be distorted. He also would have it blessed.So, the following week, Arrow returned to southern Indiana with five, 8×10, blessed photos of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy. Our rosary group received two of these photos. There are two different places we meet for rosary. One of the places is visited by whomever wishes to come and pray. On Sunday July 1st, there was a group of Mexican workers who came to pray. They were all kneeling surrounding the photo/image of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy — and as they were praying, the image started weeping inside the glass. All present saw it, and a message was given that these were “Tears of Joy”. These Mexican workers literally only have the clothes on their backs and the cars they drive are very old, but these people are so humble and joyful to have what they have and they are so devoted to Our Lady. We need to learn by their example to approach Our Lady with sincere and humble hearts.”
Betsy, from Kentucky, USA:
“I am now 64 years old but when I was 23, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Scleroderma. Along with this I have developed some other autoimmune diseases, which is pretty common. So as you can tell I have struggled with some health problems over the years although they did not keep me from working full time as a social worker for 17 years and as a teaching assistant and art teacher at a local elementary school for about 11 yrs. I have been retired for 12 years. In my 50’s I developed an autoimmune problem called Sjogren’s which causes me to have intense dry eyes. Late last November (2017) I went to see my eye doctor because the dryness of my left eye was causing me vision problems. This was due to Sjogrens. Normally, over the counter drops alleviate the dryness in my eyes but, at this time, that was not helping my left eye. My doctor examined my right eye and said she thought it looked pretty good but was very concerned when she saw the dryness in my left eye. She described little dots that she called stippling. At that point she prescribed steroid drops for my left eye only. She advised me to use the drops over the next few months and return for an appointment in April.
I had been on steroid drops a few times before but only for short periods and always they had quickly and successfully improved my vision and the problem caused by dryness or inflammation. I used these prescription drops in my left eye all the month of December 2017, January and February of 2018 with no improvement in my left eye at all. The vision was still blurry, and the dryness and redness seemed worse. So, at the end of February I made the decision to stop using those steroid drops. During this whole time, I continued to use another prescription medication called Restasis. My doctor has prescribed that medication for many, many year due to inflammation in the eyes.
So, at the end of February, I was pretty discouraged about the loss of clear vision in my left eye. On Saturday, March 3rd I read a story in Spirit Daily that mentioned the mass in Cincinnati and how the picture of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy came about. So, I went to the website of Our Lady of the Tear of Joy and read the whole story. The next week in March I went back to your website and using the photo on the website I prayed to Mary and Jesus about my vision problem in my left eye. When praying I did not ask to be healed of Scleroderma or Sjogrens but only to give me my eyesight back in my left eye. I had become so dependent on my right eye that I did not even realize at first, the next day, that the vision in my left eye had returned.
On April 3rd, 2018 I kept my appointment with my eye doctor and told her the story of how the steroid eye drops had not worked in December, January and February. I told her I quit using the drops at the end of February. Then I told her how I had prayed, and my eyesight had returned. She said she believes in the power of prayer. She also told me that she had no medical explanation on how the eyesight in my left eye returned. She said if the steroid drops were not working for three months they would not suddenly have started working in March when I stopped using the drops. She said the Restasis could not have fixed the dry eye problem since I had been on that drug for many years. She said if I had just started using that drug then maybe it would have been responsible for curing the problem, but I had not just started using that drug. She quizzed me about things, but, in the end, she said she had no medical answer for how my eyesight returned. On that day she said both eyes looked great and were clear of all dryness. She said my vision was good and my eye pressure was good in both eyes. Everything was good.”
This amazing picture has been reproduced and distributed widely. Copies need to be blessed first by a priest. Then, on the back side is the Memorare to be prayed. This story continues to develop and is being overseen and supported by a Catholic priest. I spoke with Arrow Osborn, myself, and he wished that his email and website be known to everyone as Our Lady wants this image made available to all her children in the world. Many countries are now venerating this image – and more miracles are being documented.
As the thirteen colonies fought fiercely to gain independence from corrupt British rule, General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the pitiful, struggling army. The soldiers were weary, starving, ragged, and without enough warm clothing for the bitter winter in Valley Forge. George Washington knelt in the snow in front of his troops and prayed to God for blessings upon his dedicated and suffering men.
General George Washington experienced an apparition of a “Beautiful Lady” clothed with the sun, who appeared to him during those dark days of starvation and defeat at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Mysterious and unidentified, this lady appeared to Washington to encourage, guide, and warn him about future events in this country that had been entrusted to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary one year earlier by the first bishop of the thirteen colonies, Jesuit John Carroll.
Anthony Sherman, a colleague of Washington and an eyewitness to the event, recounts the story – which was first published in the December 1880 issue of the National Tribune:
“George Washington would hardly have been the type of man one would expect to be seeking visionary manifestations or to be easily taken in by them. From the opening of the American Revolution we experienced all phases of fortune, now good, now ill, one time victorious and another time conquered. The darkest period we had, I think, was when Washington, after several reverses, retreated to Valley Forge, where he resolved to pass the winter of 1777. Ah! I have often seen the tears course down our dear commander’s careworn cheeks, as he would be conversing with confidential officers about the condition of his poor soldiers. You have doubtless heard the story of Washington going to the thicket to pray. It was not only true, but he often used to pray in secret for aid and comfort from God, the Interposition of whose Divine Providence brought us safely through the darkest days of tribulation.”
“One day – I remember it well – the chilly wind whistled through the leafless trees, though the sky was cloudless, and the sun shone brightly. He remained in his quarters nearly all afternoon alone. When he came out, I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance. Returning just after dark, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of another officer, who was presently in attendance. After a preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon us with that strange look of dignity, which he alone could command, said,
‘I do not know whether it is owing to the anxiety of my mind, but this afternoon, as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something disturbed me. Looking up, I saw, standing opposite me, a singularly beautiful female. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the purpose of her presence. A second, third, even a fourth time did I repeat my question but received no answer from my mysterious visitor – except a slight raising of her eyes. By this time, I felt strange sensations spreading through me. I would have risen, but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I essayed once more to address her, but my tongue had become useless. Even thought itself had become paralyzed. A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily at my unknown visitor. Gradually, the surrounding atmosphere filled with sensation and grew luminous. Everything about me seemed to rarefy, the mysterious visitor, herself, becoming more airy and yet more distinct to my sight than before. I now began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensation which I have sometimes imagined accompanies dissolution. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move. All, alike, were impossible. I was conscious only of gazing fixedly at my companion. Presently, I heard a voice say:
“Son of the Republic, look and learn!”
At the same time, my visitor extended her arm eastward. I looked and beheld a heavy white vapor rising at some distance, fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I watched before me lay spread out in one vast plain all the countries of the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, the billows of the Atlantic Ocean, and between America and Asia lay the Pacific.
“Son of the Republic, look and learn.”
At that moment I beheld a dark shadowy being, standing, or rather floating in mid-air between Europe and America. Dipping water out of the ocean with his right hand, he cast it upon America, while that in his left hand went upon the European countries. Immediately, a cloud arose from these countries and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then it moved slowly westward until it enveloped America in its folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans of the American people. A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it as before. The dark cloud was then drawn back to the ocean in whose heaving bellows it sank from view. A third time I heard the mysterious voice say:
“Son of the Republic, look and learn.”
I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages, towns, and cities springing up, one after another, until the whole land from the Atlantic to the Pacific was dotted with them. Again, I heard the voice say:
“Son of the Republic, the end of the century comes. Look and learn.”
And with this, the dark, shadowy angel turned its face southward, and from Africa an ill-omened specter approached our land. It flitted slowly over every town and city of the land. The inhabitants presently set themselves in battle array against each other. As I continued to look, I saw the bright angel – on whose brow rested a crown of light — on which was traced the word UNION, place an American flag between the divided nations and say,
“Remember, ye are brethren.”
Instantly, the inhabitants, casting from them weapons, became friends once more and united around the National Standard. Again, I heard the voice of my most beautiful and mysterious visitor say:
“Son of the Republic, look and learn.”
At this, the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth and blew three distinct blasts. Taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia, and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene. From each of these countries arose dark black clouds that were soon joined into one. Throughout this mass there gleamed a bright red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud marched by land and sailed by sea to America, which country was enveloped in the volume of cloud. And I saw these vast armies devastate the whole country and burn the villages, towns, and cities that I saw springing up. As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, the clashing of the swords, and the shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat, I again heard the mysterious voice say:
“Son of the Republic, look and learn.”
As the voice ceased, the bright angel, for the last time, dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly, the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious. Once more, I beheld villages, towns, and cities springing up where I had seen them before – while the bright angel, planting the azure standard he had brought in the middle of them, cried in a loud voice:
“While the stars remain and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.”
And taking from her angelic brow the crown on which was blazoned the word UNION, she placed it upon the National Standard while people, kneeling down, said, ‘Amen.’ The scene instantly began to fade away, and I saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I had first beheld. This also disappeared, and I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious beautiful visitor, who said:
“Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus: three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but the whole world united shall not prevail upon her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for God, His land, and the Union.”
With those words the beautiful visitor and the bright angel accompanying her disappeared from my sight.’
Such, my friend, were the very words I heard from Washington’s own lips. America will do well to profit by them.”
Thus, George Washington had an experience which sounds exactly like those of visionaries who encounter the Blessed Virgin Mary. They see the “beautiful lady” in the bright light and are mesmerized into a state of ecstasy – in which they, too, feel immobilized and held in a gaze with Blessed Mary while she imparts visions, predictions, messages, and even warnings. Angels often accompany Blessed Mary as well – as this happened for George Washington as well. Can you figure out what the three great perils were? Revolutionary War? Civil War? Others? This story just shows how much Heaven was involved from the start in America and how Our Heavenly Mother has always been with us here in America.
Birgitta Birgersdotter was born in 1303 in Uppland, Sweden. Her father, Birger Persson, was a knight and one of the richest landowners. Her mother, Ingeborg, was related to Swedish kings. At the age of eight years old, she had her first encounter with Blessed Mary. She awoke one night and saw a “beautiful lady” in shining white clothes, holding a gleaming crown in her hands. She was sitting on a beautiful altar. Then the Blessed Virgin spoke to her,
“Come, Birgitta … Do you want to have this crown?”
Recognizing the lovely lady as the Blessed Virgin, Birgitta sprang from her bed and knelt in front of her at her feet. She eagerly nodded YES to the Virgin’s question. Then she saw and distinctly felt Our Lady gently place it on her head. Many years later, as St. Bridget, she stated that she could never forget this decisive experience, for it made her understand that she was to live her life as a burning sacrifice of love for God in return for the crown of eternal life.
Around age ten, Bridget (Birgitta) was praying one evening before a crucifix. Suddenly, she saw the living Christ bleeding on the cross and heard Him say,
“See how I am wounded?”
Stricken with horror by the vividness of His suffering, the 10-year old Bridget exclaimed,
Oh, Lord, who did that to you?”
“Those who scorn Me and neglect My Love.”
After losing her own mother as a young girl, Bridget turned to the Blessed Mother for help. Once, when she was working on a particularly difficult piece of embroidery, she asked Blessed Mary for assistance. A short time later, one of her cousins came into the room and was astonished to see “a beautiful lady bending over her and directing her work.” Then, Our Lady suddenly vanished in front of them.
At the age of fourteen, Bridget was obliged by her family to marry – but God gave her an unusually devout young husband named Ulf (or Wulf), with whom she lived in deep spiritual harmony and pure Christian happiness for 28 years. Bridget and her husband prayed only for children who would serve Him well. Regarding Bridget’s prayers, Blessed Mary had this to say:
“Hear me, you who pray to God with all your heart that your children may please Him. Truly, such a prayer is pleasing to God. And there is no mother who loves My Son more than anything on earth – and who prays for this grace for her children whom I would not be ready to help at once to fulfill her prayer. Also, there is no widow who faithfully prays for help to remain a widow until death, in order to honor God, whose wish I would not be ready to fulfill at once, for I, too, was like a widow, as on earth I had a son who had no physical father. Also, there is no young woman who prays to God to keep her virginity until death whom I would not be ready to protect and to strengthen, because I am truly a Virgin myself.”
On one occasion when Bridget was suffering in childbirth, a mysterious lady was seen standing by her bed and relieving her pains. Later, Blessed Mary reminded Bridget of this help, saying,
“When you had trouble in childbirth, I, Mary, came to you. So, you would be ungrateful if you did not love me. Therefore, strive that your children may be mine, too. The daughter of Joachim, who is the Mother of God, wishes to be like a mother to the children of Ulf and Birgitta.”
They had four sons and four daughters. Her second daughter is now honored as St. Catherine of Sweden.
At the age of 45, Bridget’s devout husband entered a Cistercian monastery and died a year later. For many years, Bridget had been leading the life of a saintly member of the Third Order of St. Francis. Now she gave herself entirely to God and, beginning in 1346, a wonderful series of mystical experiences and divine conversations began. Her confessors carefully recorded them in the nine books of her Revelations.
When personally training Bridget in sanctity, the Blessed Virgin often instructed her on such varied subjects as modesty in dress, dancing and various ways of practicing true Christian wisdom and humility. For her future work in correcting and converting extraordinary sinners, Bridget was shown in case after case how great God’s mercy and how powerful Mary’s intercession for them are, if only they ask for it.
One day, the glorious Mother of God appeared to Bridget and said,
“I am Mary, the Queen of Heaven and the Queen of Angels. My Son loves you with His whole heart; therefore, love Him, too. When you have Him, you have all virtues.”
Later, Our Lord accepted Bridget as a mystical spouse. Blessed Mary said sweetly,
“As My Son has given you the name of His new spouse, so I now call you my Daughter-in-Law. For God and I want to show our will to our friends in the world through you.”
On another occasion the Blessed Mother told to Bridget,
“I am the Mother of Mercy, the joy of the just, and the gate to God for sinners.
In the fire of Purgatory there is no suffering that through my intercession would not be more easily bearable than otherwise. No one is so damned that, as long as he lives, he will lack my mercy. No one is so far from God, if he is not completely accursed, that he may not come back to God and obtain mercy when he appeals to me.”
The Blessed Virgin also explained to Bridget that her Immaculate Heart was so full of compassion for the sufferings of sinning humans because she had herself suffered so much from their sins. Blessed Mary told Bridget,
“From My Son’s birth until His death, I was filled with grief. Tears used to come into my eyes when I gazed at His hands and feet, which the nails were going to pierce … when I meditated on His future Passion … and when I saw the Prophets’ sayings concerning Him all being fulfilled … and now I look at all the human beings on earth to see whether maybe there are a few who feel compassion for me and who think of my sorrows, but I find very few who meditate on my suffering and sorrows. Therefore, my daughter, do not forget me, for I am forgotten and ignored by many. See my grief and imitate me as well as you can. Meditate on my sorrows and my tears — and mourn that the friends of God are so few … I am grieved over the enemies of My Son in the world who now crucify Him worse than the Jews formerly did. With their vices they crucify My Son in a spiritual way more cruelly and more fearfully than those who crucified Him physically.”
In the year 1350, Jesus sent Bridget to Italy to convert certain princes and rulers, monks and prelates, with forceful warnings that unless they changed their way of living, they would soon suffer grievous punishments – which did invariably overtake those who refused to reform. Jesus told Bridget:
“Know that I do not speak to you for your own sake only, but also for the salvation of all Christians … Know also that when it pleases Me, men shall come who will take up the words of the divine Revelations with joy and consolation … My words, which you often hear in spiritual visions, like a wholesome drink, satisfy those who thirst for true love, give warmth to the cold, cheer the sorrowful, and heal those whose souls are sick.”
Through her, Jesus also transmitted several messages to His Vicar in Avignon, France (where the Popes resided for 70 years), bidding him to return to Rome. Once Our Lord pointed out to Bridget a section of the city of Rome around St. Peter’s basilica and told her that one day:
“A Pope who loves the Church as much as did He, Himself, and His friends would possess that place in peace …”
This amazing prophecy came true more than 550 years later with the creation of Vatican City in 1929.
After 33 years of “miracle-working” and inspiring holiness in Rome, Bridget suffered a painful and prolonged illness. Blessed Mary appeared one last time just before she died and told her these words:
“Blessed Francis, too, was sick for a long time … You may ask why your illness has lasted so very long … I answer you – that My Son and I love you. When My Son told you as you entered the Church of His Holy Sepulcher, that all your sins were forgiven, He did not say that you would not suffer any more during the rest of your life on earth. For it is the will of God that the love of men should correspond to the love of God, and that earlier negligences should be expiated in patience and sickness … Truly, My Daughter, the doctors do not pay attention to what death means – for that man dies — who cuts himself off from God and becomes hardened in sin. And he who does not believe in God and who does not love his Creator is also dead. But, whoever fears God at all times and cleanses himself from his sins through frequent Confession – whoever yearns for union with his God has life and shall not die!”
Bridget’s God-given treasures of divine wisdom acquired from her contacts with Jesus and Mary were fully approved by several popes. Sadly, they were allowed to fall into neglect – apart from an 1888 out-of-print German book. The complete Revelations of St. Bridget remained in Swedish until the great Danish Catholic writer, Johannes Joergensen, developed a two-volume biography during World War II that was translated into English. Recently, St. Bridget’s Revelations has finally been published in English.
Bridget died on July 23, 1373. She became St. Bridget with her canonization on October 7, 1391 by Pope Boniface IX. The Council of Basel confirmed the orthodoxy of the messages and revelations in 1436.
The history of the image begins with the sculptor, Amilcare Santini, who modeled it in three days “under artistic inspiration.” It was made of plaster dissolved in water and poured into a mold and turned out to dry in the sun. It was then sprayed with a varnish to render it suitable for painting. After it was colored, varnished and polished, ordinary screws were used to attach the image to a panel of black opaline. The panel measures 39 by 33 centimeters, the figure 29 by 22 centimeters. The plaque was mass-produced in Tuscany, Italy and then shipped to Syracuse for retail.
The plaque was purchased a s a wedding gift for Antonina and Angelo Iannuso, who were married on March 21, 1953. They admitted that they were tepid and neglectful Christians, yet they hung the image with some devotion on the wall behind their bed. Angelo was a laborer who had taken his bride to live in the home of his brother on Via Degli Orti 11. When his wife discovered that she was pregnant, her condition was accompanied by toxemia that expressed itself in convulsions that at times brought on temporary blindness.
At three in the morning on Saturday, August 29, 1953, Antonina suffered a seizure that left her blind. At about 8:30 a.m. that morning, her sight was miraculously restored. When she was able to see, her eyes were on the Madonna, which, to Antonina’s amazement was weeping effusive tears. In her own words, Antonina reports:
“I opened my eyes and stared at the image of the Madonna above the bedhead. To my great amazement, I saw that the effigy was weeping. I called my sister-in-law Grazie and my aunt, Antonian Sgarlata, who came to my side, showing them the tears. At first they thought it was a hallucination due to my illness, but when I insisted, they went close up to the plaque and could well see that tears were really falling from the eyes of the Madonna, and that some tears ran down her cheeks onto the bedhead. Taken by fright they took it out the front door, calling the neighbors, and they too confirmed the phenomenon…”
The weeping was not continual, but happened about six or seven times that morning, and also again in the evening, when the husband had returned home. By now it was apparent that Antonina’s illness, which had puzzled her doctors, was cured, and all this led to the conversion of the couple, and many others. Over the next two days the weeping continued at intervals, and were witnessed by thousands of people, even when the plaque was moved from the bedroom to a little altar outside the house.
One of the many visitors who examined the plaque at close range was Mario Messina, who was highly regarded in the neighborhood. After observing the slow formation of the tears, he removed the image from the wall, looked at it thoroughly, and was satisfied that the tears were not the result of an internal reservoir. After the plaque was dried, two tears immediately reappeared.
News of the phenomenon spread rapidly throughout the city, bringing crowds that forced their way indoors and gathered in the streets around the house. The security inspector, with the couple’s permission, hung the plaque on the outside of the house to satisfy the curiosity of the people. Later, seeing that the crowds showed no sign of diminishing, the picture was taken to the constabulary (police) in an effort to reduce the confusion. The image wept while outside the building and during its transport, but, after 40 minutes at the police station where it did not weep, it was returned to the Iannuso home.
On Sunday, August 30 at 2:00 in the morning, the weeping image was placed on a cushion and displayed for the curious who had remained in the street throughout the night. The plaque was nailed above the main door on Monday, and its tears were collected by the people on pieces of cloth and wads of cotton. During this time skeptics became convinced, and many of the sick were healed. That same Monday, to protect the plaque from falling, it was brought to an improvised altar outside the home of the Lucca family who lived across the street. After the recitation of the Rosary, it was returned.
Three priests visited the home during this time, one of whom notified the chancery. It assembled a group of clergy, four of scientific background and three for reputable witnesses, to comprise an investigating commission. On the specific instructions of the chancellor, the group met at the Iannuso home on Tuesday, Sept. 1 to study the phenomenon, collecting a sample of tears for analysis. The plaque was examined while it wept and while the liquid collected in the cavity formed by the hand over the heart. The commission examined the smooth finish and found no pores or irregularities on the surface. The backing was removed and the unfinished gypsum was scrutinized and found to be dry, even though tears collected on the reverse. Six coats of nitrocellulose colors were counted on the image; these were covered with varnish. Using a sterilized pipette, a sample of tears was collected, placed in a sterile vial, and taken to the provincial laboratory to be examined by doctors and chemists.
Following this through investigation, the image continued weeping for another 51 minutes, but at 11:40 in the morning the tears stopped, never to begin again. The sample of tears was scientifically compared to tears from an adult and a child. Following a detailed analysis, the doctors reached this conclusion:
“The liquid examined is shown to be made up of a watery solution of sodium chloride in which traces of protein and nuclei of a silver composition of excretory substances of the quaternary type, the same as found in the human secretions used as a comparison during the analysis. The appearance, the alkalinity and the composition induce one to consider that the liquid examined is analogous to human tears.”
The report was dated September 9, 1953 and signed by the examining doctors, Drs. Michele Cassola, Francesco Cotzie, Leopoldo La Rosa and Mario Marietta. The facts of the case were sent to Rome on September 10, to Cardinal Pizzardo, secretary of the Holy Office.
Miraculous cures were claimed and crowds of faithful gathered in the town. The local archbishop arrived the next day to make inquiries and to speak to witnesses. As reports of miraculous healings began to spread, there was the formation of a medical commission. Archbishop Baranzini returned on September 8 with other ecclesiastics to say the rosary, and to explain to the crowd the meaning of these tears. He said that they were tears of sorrow and distress, a sign to a society and culture which had gone astray.
Archbishop Baranzini returned on September 19, to preach again to the growing crowds, telling them that these were the tears of a mother, weeping because of the persecutions her children were suffering in the East, and because of the loss of faith in the West. During September and October over a million pilgrims visited the plaster figure of Mary, which had been moved to a more prominent location.
Archbishop Baranzini went to Rome on September 24, and met Pope Pius XII on September 27. In December of 1953, the bishops of Sicily met to pass official judgement, and their leader, Cardinal Ruffini, explained their positive decision in the following statement:
“The bishops of Sicily, gathered together for their regular conference at Palermo, have heard the full report by His Excellency, Archbishop Ettore Baranzini of Syracuse, on the weeping of an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Having weighed carefully all the related evidence contained in the original documents, the bishops have unanimously judged that the reality of the weeping cannot be held in doubt. We express the desire that such a manifestation of the Heavenly Mother may inspire all to salutary penance and to a livelier devotion towards the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that there may be the prompt construction of a sanctuary to perpetuate the memory of the miracle.”
On October 17, 1954, Pope Pius XII stated the following during a radio broadcast:
“We acknowledge the unanimous declaration of the Episcopal Conference held in Sicily on the reality of that event. Will men understand the mysterious language of those tears?”
The medical commission that was nominated on October 7, 1953 to seriously and scientifically examine the nature of extraordinary cures (worked through the intercession of the Weeping Madonna of Syracuse) considered 290 cases of which 105 were of “special interest.” These miracles were reported within a few years of the incident.
The first person to experience a miracle of healing was also the first to observe the weeping. From the time Antonina Iannuso first saw the tears, she recovered completely from severe toxemia and gave birth to a healthy son on December 25, 1953. Archbishop Baranzini officiated at the infant’s Baptism.
The same astonishment experienced by the people of Syracuse at the time of the miracle was felt by those around the world who read about the occurrence in local newspapers or heard about it on radio or television. It has been tabulated that reports even reached India, China, Japan and Vietnam. In Italy alone more than 2,000 articles appeared in 225 papers and magazines, while hundreds of articles appeared in 93 foreign newspapers in 21 different nations. Rarely is an event of religious interest given such worldwide attention.
The question of condensation is likewise rejected since it would have covered the whole statue and would not have originated only from the corners of the eyes. Condensation would have collected on nearby objects as well, which did not occur, and, if it had been present, it certainly would not have been salty. The physicians and scientists who studied the event could offer no natural explanation for the occurrence and deemed it extraordinary in several documents.
The reliquary presented to Archbishop Baranzini on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination is of special interest since it contains the tears collected by the medical commission for their chemical analysis. The reliquary is comprised of three layers. The bottom contains, in addition to cloths that had been saturated with tears, one of the vials that contained the tears collected by the commission and cotton wool that absorbed some of the tears on another occasion. The second layer has four panels depicting the events. The third and highest layer has a crystal urn which holds another of the vials used for the collection of the samples. The tears within it are now crystallized.
The little house on Via Degli Orti 11, where the Madonna first shed her tears, is now an oratory where Mass is often celebrated. The image itself is enshrined above the main altar of the Santuario Madonna Delle Lacrima, built specifically to accommodate the crowds that continually gather in prayer before the holy image.
Mantara was a small town in 1908 near Saida, Lebanon (called Sidon at the time of the apparitions). Sidon was a very ancient city and one of the great eastern Mediterranean seaports of the Phoenicians, having been established long before 1400 B.C. It is often mentioned in the Bible and was once famous for its beautiful groves of cedar trees, vigorous trade, lignite mines, oranges, purple dyes, and glassware. It is even thought that glass-blowing was invented there in pre-Roman times.
The most accurate version of the reported apparitions is probably the account of Archimandrite Nicola Halabi from Sidon. This version was taken down in German in 1911 by Baroness von Uexkull. Then a French translation eventually was prepared. The baroness’s account seems reliable with many details and the names of numerous witnesses.
Mantara was a hamlet “suburb” of Sidon on a western foothill of Mt. Lebanon. Groupings of poor huts comprised this small village. There was a Christian Coptic church with a large grotto nearby. It had long been claimed that several apparitions of St. Mary Magdalene had occurred there in the past – as well as some of the Holy Virgin. Interestingly, historical descriptions indicated that St. Mary Magdalene was not as beautiful or majestic as the Blessed Virgin. She was seen as smaller and “more blonde.”
It is said that St. Mary Magdalene requested that this grotto “be one of total silence with no one partaking of food.” This shallow cave was accepted as a place of silent prayer and was often silently visited by “expectant” pilgrims. It became known as “the Place of Deep Silent Expectancy for those of anxious heart awaiting the return of Jesus Christ.” Inside the grotto an altar and two small rooms made from stone walls became known as “the chapel.”
During the months of 1908, many began reporting that a “glow” had begun to appear at intervals in or near the Mantara grotto. Many felt that these were supernatural signs that something more was about to happen. Therefore, Archimandrite Nicola Halabi began celebrating Masses there. Despite the growing interest, nearly four years passed before anything further happened.
In the early morning of June 11, 1911, Archimandrite Halabi had conducted a morning Mass in the grotto for about 60 people. Afterwards, there was a celebration at the village church for the resident French vice-consul. Later, about 5:00 p.m., a group of about 50 church women returned to the grotto to eat supper. At about 7:00 p.m., as seven of the women approached the grotto, “they were suddenly blinded by a large burst of light that emanated from the altar (in the grotto) which stood inside the roughly constructed little stone chapel, approximately ten meters from the grotto entrance.”
At first the women thought that the burst of light might be a reflection from the setting sun in back of them. However, the intensity of the light increased and began radiating many wonderful colors. The silence was broken by the excited women’s exclamations. Soon, an estimated sixty more people crowded into the grotto. All of them were also “blinded by the light.” The light was sudden, intense, and very difficult to look at directly. In a short time, the intense light became “softer, luminous clouds” from which “radiated beautiful and glorious multicolored rays and other shining lights.” In the central portion of it all was “a woman holding the Christ Child.”
The apparition occurred in the small “altar room” in the grotto – which did not allow for very many people at one time. Soon cries were heard for others to have their turn at seeing the apparition in that small stone walled room inside the cave. They agreed to take turns until all sixty people present had witnessed the apparition. Everyone was able to see her!
Women ran down the hill from the grotto screaming out the news that an apparition of the Virgin Mary was taking place. The news was quickly broadcast to the other villages. Soon a “very large number” of people wanted to get into the grotto room to see. Among them was Archimandrite Halabi and quite likely the resident vice-consul. The apparition lasted for two to three hours. Everyone who managed to get to the grotto was able to see her. Many took a second, third and even fourth turn going back in again to see Blessed Mary holding Jesus in the glowing light.
The record given by Baroness von Uexkull gives the names of the first sixty principal witnesses. After the news reached Sidon, it is estimated that another 400 people arrived and saw the apparition also. The light emanating from the grotto extended about 500 feet out. The quality of the light was described as pink and blue, slightly undulating and “penetrated with a brilliant golden and pure-white central core.” This “central core” of white light “bathed” the forms of Blessed Mary and baby Jesus. Local newspapers carried the eyewitness accounts.
Neither figure spoke but remained silent. Yet, both clearly looked out over the assembled crowd and made eye contact. The Virgin “received all graciously” by nodding her head and “with movements of her eyes and motions of her hands reaching outward.” She had a “pleasant smile.” Only the upper half of the figures could be seen in the intense light.
For some years after 1911, large numbers of pilgrims visited the grotto annually. But the advance of the Great War and being less known due its being under the Coptic jurisdiction rather than the Roman Catholic, led to it disappearing into obscurity.
In May of 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv. Wars and atrocities soon followed in the Middle East. But something special happened a few years later in July of 1954. The Coptic Patriarchal Church and the Coptic School of St. Anthony of Egypt are barely a hundred yards away from the Holy Sepulchre or Church of the Resurrection where the tomb of Jesus and True Cross were allegedly discovered. It was in these surroundings that there occurred two apparitions of Blessed Mary during a two-week period that July. They become important because there were so many witnesses.
On the morning of July 18, 1954, Primary Class Five was receiving religious instruction at the School of St. Anthony. The young students included Coptic, Catholic, and Moslem children. At about 11:00 a.m., as the students were anticipating their lunch break, some of them were looking out the window. Suddenly, they exclaimed with excitement, “El Adra! El Adra!” (The Virgin!)
They shouted that the Virgin Mary was floating by a window across the courtyard. They recognized her as the Blessed Virgin because she was dressed in blue and was surrounded by a glowing white aura near her body. This white glow transformed into an iridescent blue as it radiated outward from her form.
All of the children rushed to the windows to see the sight. All of them saw Our Lady. The teacher, however, could not see her. She had trouble getting the children to settle down and come back to their seats. The children did not want to leave the windows and lose sight of this divine presence. The teacher summoned the school’s male secretary for help. He, also, could not make out any image of the Blessed Virgin, so he commanded the children to stop being so silly. After bringing the class back to order, he locked the door to prevent them from going into the courtyard.
Soon, the children were in an uproar again. This time Our Lady actually appeared within their classroom among the children! The Virgin’s form with its whitish-blue aura seemed to have been rather transparent since the young witnesses could see right through her. This event lasted for about five minutes – or at least long enough to attract several of the adults. The adults were bewildered because they still could not see anything while the children were ecstatic with excitement.
But then, Blessed Mary positioned herself in front of one of the classroom walls where she grew in intensity and brilliance. At that point, several of the adults admitted that they could make out the outline of her figure with a faint luminescence. Now they knew that the children were not imagining things and had good reason to be excited. The Blessed Mary vanished at this moment.
News of this supernatural event spread like fire. The school was permanently disrupted for that day with hundreds of the curious coming to view the classroom where the apparition had taken place. Eventually, this classroom was painted in blue to match the color of Our Lady’s dress. A magnificent icon of the Virgin Mary was placed on the wall in front of which she had appeared. A plaque outside the classroom window details the events of that appearance by Our Lady.
The Coptic Patriarchal church associated with this School of St. Anthony experienced a sudden increase of visitors and pilgrims. Scheduled services became standing-room only! And their devotion was richly rewarded one week later.
At Vespers, on July 25, 1954, there were close to four hundred people present, including Moslems as well as Christians. The parish priest was a “tough, strong, no-nonsense man” who was conducting the service when it became interrupted by startled shouts and cries. The entire congregation was definitely seeing something. When the priest looked up, he was so overcome with emotion at what he witnessed that he could not continue the service. The priest and the entire congregation clearly saw the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, moving either just above their heads — or among and between them.
This time the Lady was more visible than before. Rays of colored light streamed out from her and bathed the astonished faces of the congregation with many colors. People also saw the rays of light reflect off the church walls. This appearance of Our Holy Mother lasted for about fifteen minutes – which was enough time to alert others who came in and observed her as well.
Then the miraculous and divine image of Our Lady slowly faded until only her blue-white aura was present. Then, that also faded and disappeared altogether. An account of these two apparitions appeared in the Coptic Patriarchal Journal. Yet, the Copts did not feel favored; their bishop summarized their feelings well with his statement:
“She did not come for our sakes. She came because this place is holy, being within a few yards of Calvary and the Tomb.”
Despite this wonderful and inspiring pair of sightings, Israeli and Arab conflicts escalated and intensified, continuing to the present day.
Mary Ann Van Hoof was born on July 31, 1909, to Matthias Bieber and his wife, Elizabeth Gallman. Her father, Matthias, was mean and anti-religious. They were very poor; Mary Ann had to attend her herding and milking chores instead of school by the eighth grade. Then she worked as a cook in a restaurant seven days a week. She married, got pregnant, and then learned that her husband was already married! After getting away from this physically abusive and deceptive man, she finally married Fred Van Hoof in 1934. They had eight children, one of whom died as an infant.
While praying on the winter night of November 12, 1949, Mary Ann, now age forty, heard a disturbance in the hall. She saw a white light and a figure with a veil on its head. She assumed it must be one of her kids. She retreated to her bedroom and was surprised that this figure followed her. It stopped about four feet from the bed and watched her, silently. “It was sort of bluish and light-colored in the front.” Mary Ann became terribly frightened.
The next supernatural event occurred on April 7, 1950, when Mary Ann saw the body of Jesus on the crucifix become “all aglow and twice its size.” Then she heard a voice say,
“Yes, pray, my child. Pray, pray, pray hard. My child, your cross is heavy to bear, but the people all over the world are facing a heavier cross and sorrow with the enemy of God unless you pray. Pray hard with all your heart. I will return, outside, when the flowers bloom and the trees and grass are green.”
On Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 1950, Mary Ann reports:
“I saw a flash of light, sort of like when the sun reflects across the windshield. Thinking a car drove up outside, I looked and saw a blue mist behind the four little ash trees out there, and something told me that this was the approach of a saint. At that time I always called her a saint because I didn’t know who she really was. I went out. And as soon as I went out, this blue mist floated through the tips of the trees and then formed into Our Lady. She lowered herself, smiling, with her arms extended.”
Blessed Mary positioned herself in the air about two feet off the ground. She stood on a small cloud with bare feet and pink roses surrounding them. She had a blue veil on and a blue robe with a few gold stars near the bottom. She wore a cream-colored gown underneath with a golden cord around her neck. On one end of the cord was a small globe of the earth; on the other end was a large tassel. She had a large crucifix about four or five inches long and a large rosary in her hand. The rosary beads were white. On the crucifix Jesus lacks the crown of thorns and is nailed through his wrists not his hands.
Mary Ann describes more features of Our Lady: deep blue eyes, oval-shaped face, pointed chin, and golden-colored hair (from what she could see under the veil). She says,
“Oh, she was so radiant and beautiful. An artist couldn’t paint her to do her justice. The Lady’s arms seem always extended as if she was going to embrace me as I walked toward her. I’m pretty sure I hear her with the ears of my head. I just hear. It seems she blots out everything. Like the family asked me a couple of times if I noticed a train going by, which I didn’t.”
On the next day, May 29, 1950, Blessed Mary returned and urged America with this:
“Wake up, America! The enemy of God is creeping all over America! All religions must work together against the enemy of God! Pray! Pray! Pray for this. You must pray and convert Russia!”
In her appearances on May 30, June 4, June 16, August 15, and October 7, Blessed Mary vowed to return on these same dates and Trinity Sunday every year for as long as Mary Ann lived.
With 1,425 people gathered at the Van Hoof home on June 16, 1950, the Blessed Virgin delivers her first major message, which, in no uncertain terms, criticized the clergy.
“To the priests of America, archbishops and bishops: There are too many of you whose desires in earthly goods and pleasures go before your duties. Humble yourselves and be an example to your people. Remember: you are workers of Christ here on earth. You must put more effort to call your flock back into the fold.
For, if you will not hear me now, you, who are getting weak, will suffer terribly from violence and penance similar to the purged (Communist) countries. As you all know, the atomic bomb with its destruction is in the hands of the enemy.
Tell this to your priests and all other priests all over America and all over the world. There are too many priests who put luxuries and good times before their duties to God…
Priests and ministers must not war between themselves. Jealousies and hatred between religions is just what the enemy is looking for. Priests must be real shepherds, showing the way of Truth and the way of God’s law regardless of religion and color.”
Nine days later on June 25, 1950, the Korean War began. Because of the embarrassing, critical tone of this message toward the religious, bishops were not eager to approve these apparitions and tried to deflect public attention elsewhere. Efforts to discredit Mary Ann Van Hoof failed and thousands more took interest. In fact, the Blessed Virgin even predicted that at least 100,000 people would attend the next promised apparition on August 15, 1950.
More than 100,000 people attended the August 15 apparition event. Local trains even added an extra stop by Mary Ann’s house because so many people were getting on and off there. Visionary Mary Ann knelt at noon, and the Blessed Virgin appeared while thousands surrounded the place. Here are excerpts from the Virgin’s lengthy message:
“All religions must go together against the enemy of God, for he is very strong right now. Remember your Commandments, the Way of the Cross – for the Enemy of God is all over America. You would be surprised if the sheep’s clothing were taken off and how they would spring up, all around you – even some that act like Christians – they have Satan in their hearts.
The priests cannot carry on alone – nor can the Catholics carry on alone. That’s why all religions must work together, not in jealousy and hatred, but in love. Love thy neighbor. Profanity and blasphemy hurts Our Lord.
Bullets will only destroy and keep destroying … But all of you must remember my warnings of Fatima, Lipa, and La Salette. I warned you then – I’m warning you again. The beginning (of the destruction) is now in Korea; it will not end there unless we pray. It’s only beginning (in Korea) – half of America is involved with the Enemy of God.”
Although four years prior to any public fears developing about Communism, Blessed Mary predicted many things that would be taking place soon. After August 15, she told Mary Ann of how the devil was affecting every branch of government, the civil service, the news media, the armed services, the Pentagon, the priesthood, and even Protestant ministers. Blessed Mary exposed the fact that 30,000 Communists were trained as priests to infiltrate the Catholic Church. Our Lady also revealed how the drug culture would develop as well as abortions and “satanic” music and art (around 1968).
Asking for all the religions to work together was viewed as outrageous and became yet another reason for the lack of ecclesiastical support for these apparitions. However, the supernatural events continued and were well-observed.
On a Friday in Lent in 1951, in the presence of numerous people and cameras, Mary Ann Van Hoof received the stigmata of the Crown of Thorns – which was visible and photographed between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The same stigmata reoccurred on a Friday in Lent in 1952 under similar conditions. Examined by doctors, these “holy wounds” were “tangible surface and subcutaneous marks that caused considerable pain.”
Our Lady identified herself as Queen of the Holy Rosary, Mediatrix of Peace. She also foretold of racial difficulties and Masonic conspiracies. Miraculous cures conversions, and witnessed miracles occurred at or near the apparition site just outside the Van Hoof home all throughout these apparitions. An extensive accounting of these miracles between 1950 and 1966 was listed in the Testimonials of Pilgrims, published by “For My God and My Country, Inc.”
Yet, an ecclesiastical “silence” was imposed on Mary Ann in 1974 by Bishop Frederick Freking of La Crosse, Wisconsin. However, The Blessed Virgin reportedly told Mary Ann in 1975 to continue her work because “the term obedience was being used loosely by a church hierarchy that does not always follow the directives of the pope.” But Mary Ann remained in hiding.
Veneration of the apparition at Necedah has been a passionate grassroots effort. The shrines at Necedah consist of a complex of seven buildings donated by devoted workers’ money and labor. The Shrine of the Queen of the Holy Rosary, Mediatrix of Peace, produces extensive amounts of literature. Mary Ann Van Hoof died in 1984.
Tilly was a small town about fourteen miles south of the English Channel, lying between the bigger towns of Bayeux and Caen. There was a school of seventy students staffed by three nuns. In March, 1896, at about 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon, a young boy glanced out of one of the school’s windows opening onto a field to see a “beautiful lady” slowly descending from the sky. As the boy reported this, the other children and the teacher in the classroom rushed to the windows and all saw the same scene. In extreme wonderment, they watched the Lady move here and there – as if uncertain where to land. She finally positioned herself in the air near a big elm tree across the open field.
The seventy students and three nuns evacuated the school and raced across the field to see the “beautiful lady” up close. All of them clearly saw the apparition. The beautiful lady was within an oval-like aura of brilliant greens, reds, pinks, blues, and yellows which emitted “rays.” Inside of these rays was the “beautiful Lady.” Her dress appeared to have been “opulent and Turkish” in style, but it scintillated and changed colors. The Lady stood out in some resplendent and astonishing fashion and was life-size or slightly larger.
Not only had the school’s occupants all seen the descending apparition, but others in the area had also seen her arrival. Soon, there was “a great concourse of the devout and curious” filling up the field, all of whom witnessed the resplendent Lady, too. Most knelt in awe and began praying. They all assumed that this was the Blessed Virgin Mary. After a short time, the apparition vanished.
Blessed Mary did return at frequent intervals in the days thereafter, which made the usual conduct of school activities nearly impossible with these heavenly distractions! The appearances of the “beautiful lady” continued sporadically for about four years. These supernatural appearances submerged Tilly-sur-Seulles beneath an enormous and continuous crowd of pilgrims, reporters, devout and curious, and platoons of both religious and skeptical investigators.
Even on days when the Lady did not appear, crowds of 400 to 2,000 waited for her anyway. The field and nearby trees became a “forest of candles” and effigies of the Holy Mother. When Our Lady did appear, the crowds would swell into the thousands. Skeptics became convinced that these events “surpassed comprehension.” Investigators arriving to debunk the appearances would see her and then have to wrestle with their own disbelief. Witnessing her appearance with their own eyes undermined their initial convictions to doubt and disbelieve.
A large number of witnesses also described seeing other features – including saints, angels, demons, devils, and other assorted imagery which would revolve around the central apparition of the Virgin Mary. It was not realized at that time that these swirling figures corresponded to the apocalyptic visions reported by the two young visionaries at La Salette in 1846. The apparition and its accompanying phenomena usually occurred during broad daylight. But these horrible figures were soon thought of as “disquieting” and phantom-like. Some began gossiping about them as being diabolical.
Many observed some of the witnesses going into “ecstasies, trances, fits, and convulsions.” Their eyes would fix on the apparition and could not be distracted. They could not be jolted by pin pricks, burning candles touching their fingers, or slaps to their faces. Our Lady, asking for prayer, spoke through many of those in ecstasies. Some reported unintelligible languages from various angels, demons, and phantoms.
Two visionaries, Paul Guerard and Marie Martel, had much enthusiastic support by the faithful during their trances or ecstasies. Others witnessed “combat between angels and disgusting creatures.”
It is estimated that the original descent of the Blessed Virgin was witnessed by at least one hundred people. Up to one thousand had observed her prior to the addition of any other beings or imagery. Many miraculous cures were claimed. Yet, certain medical doctors and psychiatrists attempted to explain these supernatural events as either “communicable hysteria” or “mass insanity.” Neither term is viewed with any credibility in today’s field of psychiatry.
Although the Blessed Virgin did not directly warn of what was to come to this area of France in the future, it is commonly known that she frequently appears just before some upheaval, disaster, or deadly event. It is significant that just fourteen years later the broad area around Tilly-sur-Seulles was plunged into World War I. The area became an apocalyptic wasteland of fighting, trenches, mud, deadly gas weapons, insanity, slime, disease, and death – with thousands of rotting bodies and mass graves. This area around Tilly and north to the beaches of Normandy became another massive graveyard during World War II. Some of the most intense and bitter fighting occurred in this area.
No known official investigation by the Catholic Church has ever been conducted. No explanations could ever account for the supernatural visits. Skeptics and investigators were impressed by the events that they witnessed; no answers could ever be found.
At the far western end of the country of France, about one mile from the coast of the English Channel is the small area called Kerizinen which was too small to qualify as a hamlet. Kerizinen only contained a few ancient and poor homes built of rock. On September 15, 1938, a sad and lonely woman, Jeanne-Louise Ramonet, was patiently knitting on an embankment while watching over her milk cow grazing in the meadow. It was one of those pale, sunny days typical of Brittany.
Since the age of two, she had been afflicted with a paralysis of her right leg, causing a serious limp. Her family had either grown and moved away or died from typhoid, so she remained alone in this small bleak home about the size of an average kitchen. Her health issues caused her education to be “very scanty.” In 1936, the parish priest arranged for a free trip to Lourdes with a group of sick people. Although she was not instantly healed in the waters at Lourdes, she did find her health improved enough after her return to walk better and get more work done.
On this day in 1938, a ”ball of light” suddenly appeared before her a few feet above the ground. The light expanded and developed a radiant periphery. In the middle of this “globe” there appeared a “young lady of great beauty.” Jeanne-Louise fell to her knees and the Lady immediately spoke,
“Be without fear! I mean you no evil! You will see me at different times in the years to come. I shall tell you then who I am and what I want from you. A new war threatens Europe. I shall delay it for some months, because I cannot remain deaf to so many prayers for peace arising toward me at this moment at Lourdes.”
Having said only this much, the Lady “rose slowly, slanting toward the north, and disappeared very high in the sky. Jeanne-Louise was stunned. She told nobody and kept the secret in her heart.
She said that she knew that this was the Virgin Mary – described as a “beautiful young lady of seventeen years old.” Her dress was a “very sweet” shimmering deep blue, and her eyes were of the same shimmering color. The dress was undulating at the bottom and had a white border. The sleeves also ended in white borders. A double white ribbon girded the dress at the waist. She wore a shining white mantle, held at the neck by a golden rectangular hook. The mantle covered her shoulders and extended to below her knees. A very light, extremely white veil covered her hair. She stood motionless as she spoke; her head was slightly inclined to the left. The arms were positioned as if in prayer, her fingers crossed on her chest. Her left arm was holding a rosary.
Nearly fourteen months later, on October 7, 1939, the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary – and Jeanne-Louise’s 29th birthday, the Blessed Virgin made her second appearance and said,
“The world does not stop offending God with very grievous sins, especially sins of impurity, whence this war as a punishment for so many faults.”
“But heaven is not insensible to so much misery and comes to give you a means of salvation: peace, you will have it before long, if you know how to acquire it – but for that it is necessary that the people lead a life of prayers, of sacrifices, of penance. It is necessary that very often the children, particularly, be grouped to pray, to recite the rosary, followed by the “Parce Domine” for sinners. Tell your Director (the priest) that he should make public this message. I will give these words a supernatural force that will touch hearts.”
Jeanne-Louise immediately told the priest about the first two apparitions – as the Holy Mother had requested. But the priest forbid her to say a word about them. For the next eleven apparitions over the next nine years (until October 4, 1947), only Jeanne-Louise and her priest knew about them. Because Blessed Mary sternly admonished the priest in certain messages, the last two sentences of the second message and all of the thirteenth message are usually omitted. Apparitions that chastise the clergy are not easily heard or accepted.
The first and second messages accurately predicted a war – which began almost immediately; subsequent messages continued to predict the course of France’s sufferings. In the third message of December 1, 1939, we find Our Lady advising:
“Be sure to arm yourselves with prayer and sacrifice while your soldiers are using physical weapons.”
In the fifth message on April 2, 1940, Blessed Mary gives this warning,
“The prayers said are less in number than were said in the first months of the war. For this negligence, you (in France) will all go through sufferings, but mainly to your soldiers. Many will be made prisoners and many will die of privations and misery.”
In the sixth message of December 1, 1939, Our Lady advises:
“My children of France, serious hours will soon toll for you! The invasion of your country by the enemy is the danger that threatens you.”
It is highly unlikely that this poor, simple-minded woman in this isolated out-of-the-way locale could have any intelligent knowledge of the warfront or current advances. Her priests would similarly be isolated and unlikely to know anything either.
In the eighth message given to Jeanne-Louise on May 8, 1941, Blessed Mary tells us:
“Soon, Russia will bring help to the war – help which will be a hard blow to your enemies. But, beginning at this time, pray, pray a lot, O Christian souls, for this great enemy of the church – otherwise, after the war, the Communists will be seated nearly everywhere, and the church will receive harassments from them.”
As the Soviet threat would not even be realized until after 1946 – only by closeted government circles, it is inconceivable that simple Jeanne-Louise would have such insight or even educated guesses five years earlier. In fact, the public awareness that Communists would “be seated nearly everywhere” was not apparent until the mid-1950’s, seven years after the messages “went public.”
Immediately after the thirteenth apparition on October 4, 1947, Jeanne-Louise limped the two miles to the village priest at Plounevez-Lochrist to again tell what she had seen and heard from Blessed Mary. This time, though, the conversation between her and the priest “was overheard by a young girl who listened attentively” and then eagerly rushed to the village school with the details of the apparitions – which then spread to the village. But, most did not believe any of it. A few began praying in the meadow near Jeanne-Louise’s house – and asked her many questions as well.
Jeanne-Louise repeated all of the messages to those who inquired, word for word as retained clearly in her memory. This included the stern admonishments given to the clergy during the thirteenth apparition for their failure to publicly broadcast the messages, including the warnings and calls for prayer.
Soon, a small shrine was set up in the meadow. Flowers were deposited and candles were lit. Small groups began attending, especially when Jeanne-Louise narrated the new messages, #14 through #21.
In late May of 1949, a woman from Plounevez-Lochrist had become seriously ill. When brought to the hospital, she was declared a “desperate case with death imminent.” Visionary Jeanne-Louise joined others at the meadow shrine and began a novena to Our Lady of the Rosary of Kerizinen for that lady’s health. The 22nd apparition happened on May 24 during the novena. The others saw a “globe of light” descending over Jeanne’s house. Taking the flowers at the apparition site and weaving them into a wreath, the visionary asked several others to take them to the sick woman in the hospital.
Although the good people were denied access to the dying patient’s room, the religious sisters agreed to deliver the flowers to her bed. As soon as the flowers touched her bed, the dying woman began to speak. All present were astonished and watched as her pulse and temperature became normal again. She was miraculously healed. Word of this miracle spread fast and attendance at the meadow shrine increased rapidly.
During the 23rd apparition on August 6, 1949, Jeanne-Louise asked the Blessed Virgin about the absence of good drinking water within a mile of the apparition site. Blessed Mary promised that she would “bring forth a source to gush water.” Three years later, on July 15, 1952, water started flowing from rocks and increased in its flow as more people desired it. The water is still flowing today, and many have claimed miraculous healings from using it.
On December 8, 1953, about a thousand people were reciting the rosary under gray clouds and a thin rain. Our Lady did not appear, but, at 3:00 p.m., as the prayers and Hail Mary’s came to a close, a “strange light attracted the eyes of all to the sky.” The clouds suddenly disappeared and a “very red sun detached itself from a part of the blue sky.” Witnessed by everyone present, the sun seemed to “fall down” and then split into two parts.
“The two halves began to turn in contrary directions, one from another, each one throwing out brilliant rays intensely colored and painting the same colors on everything in the neighborhood.”
The same phenomena were witnessed by larger numbers of people again during May, August, and October of 1954. During the October display, the “sun seemed to fall and emitted the same rays – but without splitting into two halves again.” And then another beautiful, supernatural display happened:
“It was as if a snow of light was flying around all of those in the meadow. The sky was serene, the air clean. The ‘snowflakes’ – which looked like flower petals – were formed at some height and were disappearing before touching the ground. The witnesses ran here and there to catch them, but their hands closed on air. Later, this prodigy occurred again. At times, there are perfumes that come by.”
News of these remarkable phenomena, attested to by over a thousand witnesses, now began to radiate through Brittany and the rest of France.
During the 24th apparition on December 9, 1949, Our Lady told Jeanne-Louise:
“Go to your bishop. I want him to organize prayers and pilgrimages on this site, and that a chapel be built here. The miracles performed by My Son in former times here upon this very land, I want them to happen again, especially in favor of sinners.”
Tradition indicated that a monastery had been built long ago in the meadow of the apparitions, and that Jesus had often appeared there!
Nonetheless, the bishop did nothing! Some of the townspeople compensated by constructing a small, forlorn, shed-like structure on the site. A life-size statue of the Virgin Mary was placed inside. Despite the small size, crowds as big as 6,000 people would gather around this “chapel” – especially on feast days, which must have embarrassed the local clergy.
During the lengthy 31st message of May 12, 1955, Or Lady asked,
“Ask your bishop to establish in the parish an Association of the Children of Mary, which I have spoken of in earlier years.” (This referred to a sanctuary for poor children as well as a school and hospital.)
But the bishop ignored the visionary’s words and request – and began increasing his public declarations against the apparitions at Kerizinen. No official inquiry was ever held for investigating these apparitions – despite the many supernatural occurrences witnessed by thousands.
Eventually, Jeanne-Louise would experience at least seventy-one apparitions of Our Lady. Some included secret messages not revealed; in others, the Virgin did not even speak even though she appeared to her. The Holy Mother was effectively stalemated at Kerizinen – as ultimately acknowledged by Our Lady, herself. During the 31st apparition on May 12, 1955, Blessed Mary concluded:
“The devil has unchained all his malice so that my apparitions not be accepted in Brittany, but, in spite of him I will triumph.”
It was later revealed that Jeanne-Louise had been given “an animated tableau” during the eleventh apparition on May 1, 1944. She was shown images of men hoisting a red flag, and priests trying to stop them. The priests were threatened, abused, and stones thrown at them. In a corner of the “tableau” the devil appeared very happy, encouraging the abuse of the priests. In another corner was a weeping Blessed Virgin. The inscription on the tableau read, “The Image of Communism.” What is significant is that the worldwide threat of Communism was not fully realized until after 1953. At the time of this “tableau,” the Soviet Communists were the much-appreciated allies of the West.
During 1961, Jeanne-Louise became increasing disabled and stayed home more frequently. After 1978, obscurity descended over these apparitions. Devout groups in Canada, France, and Belgium have worked to perpetuate the memory of holy events at Kerizinen.
Maggie Holguin was a humble housewife and factory worker, living in a small house in Lewis, Kansas, with her husband, Tomas, and her two young children, Anna Lee, and Thomas Jr. in 1996. Lewis is about 47 miles east of Dodge City. The diocese had been placed under the patroness of Our Lady of Guadalupe due to the majority of people in Dodge City being Hispanic. Therefore, it was perfect when Maggie’s sister in Mexico gave Maggie a six-inch plaster plaque of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1995 which she had possessed since 1989.
On December 12, 1996 – the 465th anniversary of Our Lady’s miraculous image materializing on Juan Diego’s tilma in Mexico City, Maggie’s plaster plaque began to weep. Just four days earlier, the Diocese of Dodge City had announced that, due to a shortage of priests, it planned to close six parishes by July 1, 1997 and perhaps ten more by 2005. Was this why it started weeping?
Maggie had come home from her job at the manufacturing plant at 12:45 a.m. that night. As usual, she switched on a light in the corner of her living room to pray before the plaque of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As she was praying she noticed that tears were flowing from the eyes of Our Lady. She woke her husband and children; they, too, witnessed the plaque weeping off and on until 6:00 a.m. During that next day, a videotape was made that documented two more episodes of weeping at 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The first time lasted ten minutes; the second recorded occurrence lasted just five minutes.
On December 13, several friends, neighbors, family members, and Maggie’s parish priest, Father William Vogel, were present in the home for an interview with a local newspaper reporter. At 11:00 a.m., while they were all there, the plaque began to weep clear tears. With a video recorder documenting the event, the tears soon turned to a substance that appeared to be thick blood.
On December 15, Father Vogel of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Kinsley said that there was “no way to explain the events in a human way.” The Edwards County Sentinel even quoted the United Methodist Church’s minister as saying that these events were real and “messages from God.” The plaque wept again on Christmas morning – and has continued to do so, periodically, at least until 2001.
Another surprise happened on December 30, 1996, when Maggie suddenly began receiving messages from Our Lady. After a group in Maggie’s home had just finished praying the Rosary, the group heard Maggie speaking in a different voice that was “very sweet” and using words not normally used by Maggie. Maggie fainted at the end of the messages and did not remember the incident when she woke up. Eyewitness, Matilda Munoz, said that the voice directed those in attendance to help Her save the world with their prayers – to say the Rosary every day, which would help stop abortions and wars.
On January 10, 1997, Maggie came home from work early that day because she had had a strong pain in her chest for about five minutes. That night, while saying her prayers in front of the plaque of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a voice called to her. The house filled with the scent of roses. Maggie saw the full body of Our Lady. The Blessed Virgin told Maggie that the pain she had experienced earlier had also been shared by Her as well – because four abortions were taking place at that time. Our Lady shared other messages about stopping the wars and injustices in the world.
On January 25, 1997, Maggie awoke to find blood under her eyes. With her sister-in-law driving her to the emergency room, Dr. Robert Wray examined Maggie and could find no explanation or medical reason for blood to be coming from her eyes. In fact, Dr. Wray added that in his 35 years of optometry, he had never seen blood in the tears without a resulting laceration or injury.
On January 26, 1997, Maggie, her sister, Juana, and their collective four children, were returning from a grocery trip to Kinsley when they witnessed a bright light on the horizon. They lost sight of it until they were about three miles west of Lewis near the farm of Aaron and Denise Wheaton. When they saw the light again, they debated whether to stop or keep going. Although Maggie wanted to stop, Juana didn’t feel comfortable, so she accelerated the car in an attempt to pass through the light. Because Maggie had wanted to stop, she had started to open the car door. The next thing she knew was that she was outside of the car – and without any injuries! Juana had heard a tornadic-type wind and then noticed that Maggie was no longer in the car.
Maggie found herself kneeling in front of a row of cedar trees near the highway. Juana turned the car around, and then she and the children joined Maggie near the trees. They all saw the Virgin Mary appear as she stood and held Maggie’s hands while Maggie prayed. Maggie’s daughter, Anna Lee, said that she saw “sparkles” in the hair of Our Lady. The others could not hear the Blessed Virgin, but clearly understood that a conversation was taking place between Our Lady and Maggie.
Blessed Mary: “Why don’t you believe the message?”
Maggie: “I believe.”
Blessed Mary: “What do I have to do to make people believe? Do I have to give you stronger proof to have the children believe? Go home, and I’ll be waiting for you.”
Upon arriving home, they saw a little old man with a walker approaching Maggie’s home. Maggie hurried to help him up her stairs. As she walked in front of him and turned around to assist him, she saw the Blessed Virgin behind him with outstretched arms. The old man suddenly put aside his walker and walked up the stairs unaided. Inside, he did not wish to see the weeping plaque. Instead, he delivered a plastic bag with several copies of a Christian periodical about preparing for Christ’s Second Coming. When asked again about seeing the plaque, he said, “No, I came with Our Lady of Guadalupe!”
On February 12, 1997, Ash Wednesday, the plaque wept blood profusely again – having not done so for the past 16 days. The next day, February 13, Maggie awoke with blood coming from her forehead. On February 16, friends Phil and Mary Jo Thornberry from Overland Park and three others came to see the plaque. They witnessed dried tears of blood on the image while the house had the strong fragrance of roses. After praying the Rosary in Spanish with about 25 other people, blood appeared on Maggie’s forehead, left and right temple and back left side of her head. Photographed by Mary Jo, these “wounds” corresponded to the wounds resulting from Christ’s “crown of thorns.”
On March 8, 1997, about 50 people – including personnel from two Wichita television stations – were present when Maggie began to spontaneously bleed at 4:50 p.m. from her brow, palms, and backs of her hands. The strong scent of roses filled the air. Maggie carried this strong fragrance in her hair, on her skin, and with the bleeding brow. Two babies present were found to have the scent of roses in their hair as well.
On March 17, 1997, a man and woman traveled from Texas to see this miraculous plaque. But the man asked Maggie if he could cut off Mary’s head on the plaque to see inside and determine if any trickery was involved. Maggie was greatly upset by this request and asked him to leave. As the couple was leaving, the man made a fist and struck Maggie in the mouth, cutting her lower lip and causing it to bleed. When this man, Jose Louis Colocios, arrived back in Texas, his car caught on fire. His face was disfigured from burns when he could not get out of the car in time. He then heard a strange voice that said,
“You didn’t hit her; you hit Me – and you are going to receive your punishment. Whatever you did to her will go away, but you will always have the punishment. You will always remember Maggie.”
The man returned to Maggie’s home on March 31 with a hand-written apology to Maggie. He told her about being trapped in the burning car and suffering the burns on his face. He asked for her forgiveness. He wrote this following statement:
“I plead with everybody who sees this note. Never spread bad rumors about this lady. She is a saint. Do the same to Our Mother (Virgin Mary). Please forgive me, and tell the Virgin Mary to forgive me, too. I plead.”
On March 28, 1997, the morning of Good Friday, Maggie felt her heart pounding hard while she was doing the dishes. When she pulled her sweatshirt away at the neckline to see her chest, she could see that she was bleeding right over the sternum. Several visitors witnessed this three-inch in diameter area of blood that appeared to form both the face of Jesus and a skull. When Maggie’s husband, Tomas, came home for lunch, he stated that the scent of roses was so strong that it overwhelmed him as he entered the house. She filled Tomas in on what had happened and the messages she had received from Blessed Mary. The stigmata continued throughout the remainder of Holy Week and through Easter Sunday.
On June 7, 1997, Maggie noticed that her feet were severely swollen and hurting. At 3:00 a.m. she found blood on the tops of her feet. Maggie had now received the wounds of Christ in her feet – having previously had the crown of thorns, wound in her chest, and stigmata in her hands.
On June 11, 1997, Maggie received a long message from Our Lady about future events – including how we should prepare for the 72 hours (three days) of darkness.
“Go, my little girl. Go tell the world what kinds of things are going to happen. Man does not listen to the commandments that God has given. The devil controls the world and is making people hate each other. They are making weapons that can destroy the world in minutes. Very difficult times will come for the Church. The people will lose faith.
God will permit the natural elements (cold, smoke, fire, hail, earthquakes) to slowly destroy the life on earth. The ones who do not believe will die. The ones who believe in Our Father but base their lives on material things will lose millions and their lives in seconds. The ones who survive will wish they were with the dead. God will punish the ones who do not want to believe in Him. The ones who believe and are faithful will survive and believe even more. I am calling on everyone to get closer to My Son. God helps the world, and the ones who do not listen – it will be worse for them.
As the mother of Jesus, I tell you to start praying and repenting today. Pray for the conversion of the world because there is not much time left.
My little children, believe me, the time is here for everyone to start praying and to repent. Pass the message to your family, friends, and the whole world. We are getting closer to the last days before the catastrophe. The catastrophe will be in the center of the Catholic Church. It will be dead everywhere because of the errors made by the demented and followers of Satan. These men, then – only then, will control the world. In the end, the ones who survive will proclaim God’s name every moment. In His glory they will serve Him like they did before the world became so perverted. Everywhere will be peace, and confidence in ourselves will be back, but the punishment is coming anyway. The 72 hours of darkness will be coming, and it will give life to a new generation of good people. On one cold night, ten minutes before midnight, a large earthquake will shake the whole earth for eight hours.
This will be the third signal that God is the Commander of the earth. The ones who proclaim the prophecy need not be afraid. Kneel down and ask God for His mercy. Do not go out and do not let anyone into your house. Only the faithful will not be in the hands of Satan and will survive the catastrophe.
Prepare. Your Holy Mother has given these signals. The night will be very cold. The wind will be blowing very hard, and the earth will be shaking. Do not look outside or be curious because that is the hour of God. Light the holy candle because that will be the only light for three days. Kneel down under the cross and pray the Rosary. After every ten Hail Mary’s say, “Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of Hell, Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your mercy. Mary, protect us. Jesus and Mary, we love you. Save our world.” Say five times the Hail, Holy Queen. Say five times the Apostles Creed. The Rosary is the secret of My Immaculate Heart. My little children, do not ignore this message. Meditate on it.”
On September 21, 1997, A CAT scan was performed on the plaque of Our Lady of Guadalupe to rule out any possibility of fraud. Bishop Stanley Schlarman had recommended this examination. Certified radiologist, Dr. James Nixon, of the Western Plains Regional Hospital in Dodge City, declared:
“The plaque is a plaster structure with no unusual fluid reservoir or tubes near the eyes or elsewhere in or about the object.”
On December 8, 1997, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the plaque again wept.
On December 12, 1997, the one year anniversary of these visitations, more than one hundred people celebrated in prayer and meditation. The plaque was brought in to a Spanish Mass that evening; hundreds came to view the plaque that weekend.
On Saturday morning, December 13, Maggie’s home filled with the fragrance of roses while several families were praying with Maggie. The containers that held holy water in the room also smelled and tasted of roses. Maggie began to perspire a mixture of oil and blood from her face. And the plaque wept again the next day while the visiting religious observed.
Another Spanish Mass was held on January 6, 1998 with Maggie bringing the plaque with her. Our Lady began to cry tears of blood – which led Father Vogel to state,
“I am a firm believer in this religious miracle that has happened with Maggie. Many people want to exploit her, and many people have caused her emotional pain, but they must realize that she is not the source of this. This is happening to her through no doing of her own.”
On February 25, 1998, Ash Wednesday, Maggie returned home to find her home filled with the fragrance of roses. When she entered the room where her plaque and shrine were placed, she found drops of blood-tinged stains under the glass of a framed picture that was hanging on the wall next to the plaque. The picture, taken by a woman from Colorado, shows a crucifix on an altar. But a round white Host had appeared mysteriously in front of the body of Christ. On this day, the Host had changed to a rosy color. Spots of blood were clearly seen on it and on the palms of the hands of Jesus. While Maggie was exploring this, the plaque began weeping bloody tears again. Father Vogel was alerted, and when he came to Maggie’s house, he opened the holy water container and discovered the strong fragrance of roses.
A family from Oklahoma came to see the plaque and prayed the rosary for a family member in St. Louis who had been bedridden with a heart condition. The next time they talked with him, he described how he had suddenly felt better, could get out of bed, and had been feeling great ever since then. With further questions, they learned that it had been the same exact day and hour as their prayers in front of Our Lady’s plaque.
A local girl, who had been severely injured in a car wreck at age two, had suffered a gash in her leg that had required 857 stitches. Four years later, she re-injured the leg, leaving a quarter-size hole that skin grafts failed to close. It remained open for three more years until December 13, 1996, when the girl visited Maggie’s home. The hole in her leg miraculously closed up while they were there. Everyone hailed it as a miracle.
Peggy Teddy, a woman from Overland Park, Kansas, was in the final stage of cancer with doctors only giving her one more month to live. Accompanied by her sister and some of her friends, they visited Maggie’s home on Good Friday, April 10, 1998. Peggy recalls smelling roses as she entered the shrine room to pray the rosary with everyone. When Peggy returned home, she started regaining her strength somehow. The tumors in her brain had stopped growing. Her life was spared and their prayers were answered!
Samples of blood coming from the plaque and from blood appearing on Maggie were collected and submitted for testing at the Analytic Genetic Testing Center in Denver, Colorado. The DNA matched from the separate samples, immediately suggesting that Maggie’s own blood had been placed on the plaque somehow. But, the opposite is actually more true: The plaque’s supernatural weeping tears were matching the unexplained supernatural appearance of blood on Maggie. Remember that doctors could not find a wound or source for the bleeding on Maggie. And they never drew a blood sample that was clearly taken from Maggie’s body. The DNA results only prove that the two locations of unexplained tears and supernatural bleeding matched – and that none of this blood was seen coming from Maggie nor taken from within her body for analysis.
Besides, the plaque has wept in other people’s homes when Maggie was not even present. Most other times there have been groups of witnesses observing copious tears, etc.
Bishop Schlarman stated in March of 1997 that the Church did not have enough evidence yet to make any final ruling. He added that this does not mean that supernatural or miraculous events are not occurring, but that the Church is not ready to rule on it. He does not want to discourage or encourage the faithful from visiting Maggie’s home. He states,
“Maggie is a humble, uncomplicated woman of simple faith. Her only plea had been for prayer to stop violence like war, abortion, and drugs.”
So, why Lewis, Kansas? Why did the Mother of God choose this location for these appearances and miraculous events? Was it because so many parishes were closing soon due to a lack of available priests? Or was it because Kansas was known at that time as the “abortion capital of the world” – largely due to Dr. George Tiller’s abortion practice in Wichita that accommodated women from all over the world for late-term abortions? Our Lady of Guadalupe is the icon for the Pro-Life movement to stop abortions. Any connection?
The plaque of Our Lady of Guadalupe still weeps, periodically. On the infamous day of 9-11 (September 11, 2001), the plaque wept tears. Maggie had a heart attack in December of 2001. During Lent of 2002, she again suffered from stigmata in her hands and feet and shoulder. Many still report prayers answered as well as miraculous healings.