Category Archives: Marian Apparitions

Our Lady of Betania, Venezuela, 1976-1990.

“Mary, Reconciler of People and Nations”
BETANIA, VENEZUELA (1976-1990)

It was a gorgeous spring day for a large church picnic on March 25, 1984 for the 108 people in attendance.  A grotto nearby with a spring-fed waterfall attracted the active children.  Around 3:00 pm one of the children ran excitedly back to the resting adults to proclaim that the Blessed Mother was appearing to them above the waterfall near the grotto.  Word spread quickly, and soon everybody was rushing to see what the child was talking about — and they ALL saw the incredible sight!  The glowing white figure of Our Lady stood out against the dark green trees.  Many saw a blue sash around her waist, and she was holding the baby Jesus.  Many were able to see the clear, beautiful features of her face.  She was silent like a statue, causing some to search for tricks or natural explanations.

 The visionary, Maria Esperanza, with life-long encounters.
The visionary, Maria Esperanza, with life-long encounters.

Fifteen minutes later, she evaporated or “was absorbed into the trees.”  But, she appeared six more times that day to the delight of the onlookers.  The seventh appearance, right before sunset, was very clear and detailed so that nobody could doubt that it was a strikingly beautiful woman — not a statue or foggy illusion.  All of the 108 people at this church picnic saw her clearly — not just children and poor people, but doctors, lawyers, a judge, priests, an army general, and even a few atheists!

Maria Esperanza (55) was not surprised at this event, because she had seen Mary on this same farm exactly 8 years earlier on March 25, 1976!  At that time Mary spoke to her and identified herself as “the Reconciler of People and Nations.”  She had asked Maria to help promote prayer, conversion, sacrifice, and to have a church built there.

Maria had an interesting life after her father died when she was only two.  When she was five, she had fears about her mother leaving to go on a trip — perhaps that she would die, also.  As her mother departed, she saw a smiling woman rise from the nearby river and toss a rose toward her to console her.

She would dress her dolls up to look like nuns and priests.  At age 12, she developed such a severe case of pneumonia that doctors only gave her a day or two to live.  The young Maria prayed to the Virgin Mary about dying, and Mary appeared to her, assuring her that she would survive in order to serve God, and then told her what medications she needed.  The doctors heeded the heavenly advice, got the medications, and Maria Esperanza recovered.  She had several other private apparitions of both Mary and Jesus in her youth.

The appearance near the grotto on the farm in 1976 was the most memorable — as she describes in her own words,

“I was staring at the grotto when, all of a sudden, I saw a white cloud which was     enormous and beautiful.  A friend thought a fire had broken out.  The cloud seemed to open, and out came the Virgin Mary.  And when she revealed her image, she went up to the top of a tree, and I saw she was beautiful with her dark brown hair, light brown eyes, very fine — very pretty eyebrows, tiny mouth, very straight nose, and beautiful complexion.  Her skin seemed like silk. It was bronzed. I saw her dressed all in white, wearing a white mantle over her shoulders and on her head.  She had some kind of veil which became tangled in the trees.  Very young — like 15 or 16, with hair down to her shoulders… Rosy cheeks.”

As Mary stretched out her hands, light poured forth, illuminating everything around her.  Maria was humbled and overwhelmed by the dazzling sight. Then Mary spoke,

“My little daughter, tell my children of all races, of all nations, of all religions, that I love them.  All of my children are the same.  There do not exist rich ones or poor ones, ugly ones or beautiful ones, black or white.  I come to gather all of them to help them to go up to the high mountain of Mount Zion to my fertile land of Betania in these times so that they can be saved.  I love all of them … to the youth I am directing myself so that they will really serve me and make me happy… to save the world.  Little daughter, you   are beholding me with my hands outstretched with graces and wrapped in the splendor of light to call all my children to conversion.”

Many more apparitions occurred in the following years.  On one occasion on this farm, March 25, 1978, many saw a radiant mist coming from the woods.  As the mist settled on top of a large tree, Maria — with 15 others — saw Our Lady materialize with hands on her chest.  Maria heard, “Little daughter, this is not a dream. My presence among you is real.”

“Then her hands opened up, and I saw what appeared to be rays coming from her hands.

They came directly toward us, bathing us with light — and one man cried out, ‘Everything is burning up!’ The whole area appeared to be on fire.  It was beautiful. The sun began to gyrate, and everyone was shouting with emotion.”

The site of the apparitions in Betania, Venezuela.
The site of the apparitions in Betania, Venezuela.

Maria was overwhelmed and fell to the ground.  But, in front of everybody’s eyes, her body was raised up into the air — causing her daughter Maria and goddaughter Jacqueline to cry inconsolably from fear.  During the levitation, the soft, tender voice of the Virgin Mary had asked her to accept the difficult task of bringing the message of peace and reconciliation to all nations.  Word spread of these amazing sights.  More apparitions continued, and more messages were given to Maria regarding Betania becoming “a new place of peace and harmony” — and the importance of salvation, prayer, and reconciliation.  Later on, Mary warned:

“Mankind is currently abusing the graces received and is moving toward perdition, and    if there is no change, he will succumb under fire, war, and death.  But I am being sent into the world by God to avert or mitigate such a cataclysm.”

Bishop Ricardo wanted to investigate the events of March 25, 1984 himself — and was most impressed by the reports actually from several atheists and agnostics.  “One of them was minding his own business, drinking water from the waterfall when he saw the apparition without any preconception or expectation — and he was not psychologically prepared for this!”

The day before Pope John Paul II was shot, she told others that she knew that it was going to happen, but had no idea how she could warn him.  Then, on 14 different occasions with witnesses watching, a fragrant and beautiful red rose would emerge from her chest above her breasts, causing great pain and embarrassment each time, which she endured graciously.  Mary wanted people to notice her and believe her words!

The Virgin told Maria that the presence of an unusual, evanescent, blue butterfly would be a symbol of Her presence.  Many pilgrims to Betania have had the joy and privilege of seeing this unique butterfly emerge from the waterfall grotto and fly around the church.

About twenty others had verbal contacts with Mary.  As many as 30,000 people gather on the 25th of each month.  On one occasion, Dr. Arrieta, stricken with prostate cancer which had metastasized to his spine, was in attendance.  In the morning, thousands saw the sun lose its light, turn green in its center.  Then, like at Fatima, the sun seemed to come down toward the screaming, fearful crowds.  Dr. Arrieta felt an infusion of heat throughout his body and believed he was being healed at that very moment.  Medical tests confirmed he was now completely free of cancer.  By 1987, five hundred cures had been documented at Betania.  The church deemed these events to be authentic.

Each year, Maria Esperanza receives the stigmata of Jesus from Good Friday through Easter Sunday and suffers the pains of His Passion.  Others have witnessed a gold glitter fall on them from the sky.  Perhaps the greatest miracle occurred on December 8, 1992, during a midnight Mass on the vigil of the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Several thousand people saw a bright light over the Host.  Father Otty Aristizabal, the chaplain of Betania, broke the Host in half, placing a small piece in the chalice.  But the remaining piece of the Host began to bleed.  Miraculously, the blood on this wafer-thin Host did not seep through to the other side.  Examination revealed it to be human blood of AB type.  This miracle has been preserved in the Convent of Los Teques by the Recollect Augustinian Sisters.

On another occasion, Father Rodriguez was holding this miraculous Host in its protective sealed container for pilgrims to kiss and adore when a young and most beautiful child mysteriously appeared out of thin air at his side.  The child was reported by those present as having a most holy demeanor and loving appearance.  When a visiting priest from Trinidad, Father Cuthbert Alexander, was presented this Host to kiss, the child placed her hand on the priest’s shoulder and then disappeared from view in front of everyone.

Everyone is able to see the Virgin Mary at the picnic in 1984.
Everyone is able to see the Virgin Mary at the picnic in 1984.

On March 25, 1993, author, scientific researcher, and physician, Professor Courtenay Bartholomew, M.D., heard thirty pilgrims shouting with joy near the grotto, and he turned in time to catch a glimpse of Mary – “wearing a beautiful chiffon-like long veil of light blue which floated majestically in the gentle breeze.”  Immediately afterwards, the sun appeared to shed smaller golden suns which moved swiftly across the sky in various directions, and then suddenly disappeared.  He was impressed that “all known laws of science had just been altered by the Creator.”

Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo published his letter of approval for these apparitions in 1987.  He declared after great study and examination that they are authentic and of supernatural character.  The site is declared sacred and approved for pilgrimages and worship.

First Apparition: March 25, 1976 – 8:30 a.m.

“Daughter, here you have Me with My Hands enriched with graces and covered with splendors of light, to call all My children to conversion; this is the seed of glory I offer as “MARY RECONCILER OF PEOPLE AND NATIONS”, for I come to reconcile all of you.  Reconciliation is the inheritance of divine brotherhood of My Divine Son! Daughter, hand on My message to all.  I will keep you here in My Heart from today on and forever!”

Second Apparition: August 22, 1976 – 1:30 p.m.

“Daughter, when all men on earth come to carry their cross with love, there will be no more pain nor weeping for they will live rising each day with My beloved Son.”

“My daughter, I wish for you to make them feel the worth of prayer and the importance of My new Apparition as Reconciler of People and Nations, for under this title they will find essential and determinant conditions to prepare their souls to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit… through the communication and the visits of Our Lord, through faith… for faith is the basis of Christianity… and increasing that same faith will make them seek with sincere love Our Father, and My Heart and the Heart of My Divine Son..!”

Sixth Apparition: November 27, 1978 – 9:00 a.m.

“My daughter, in 1983 you will be able to carry out, the land movement in a clear way… and then in 1984… the great event of My presence at the place..! And therefore, the great triumph of a march which unites, reestablishes, appraises multitudes that will start coming to My chosen place for these times..! And on the 13th of May… I will lull you in My Arms… all will turn into healthy, good and honest children..! Among those present there, some will feel Me… others will see Me… their hearts will be touched..! Daughter, that great day is coming..!”

Eighth Apparition: March 27, 1984 – 11:30 a.m.

“Children, today I make Myself present once more because the GREAT ANNOUNCED TIME has come… a CHURCH FOR ALL… THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH, which establishes the rules and points out, according to the law, a moral guide of how children should behave themselves, respecting the Commandments and Doctrine of My Divine Son… and devoting themselves to everyone’s well-being, especially to the most needy’s well-being, starting by improving their inner life, renewing their spirit with particular attention to meet with the Lord; thus, enter fully into the defense of human rights..!”

The apparition site draws crowds of pilgrims today.
The apparition site draws crowds of pilgrims today.

Ninth Apparition: January 25, 1985 – 3:00 p.m.

“Children, from this My Holy Mountain of this blessed place, among these trees, I gaze at you from My grotto of prayer, and in silence and seclusion I let you feel Me… so the grace of the Holy Spirit may enter fully in each one of you, and all may receive the divine vocation of service here in My Promised Land, and may be able to sweetly work for the love of My Beloved Son..! Blessed are those who offer their lives to the service of the Lord..!”

Eleventh Apparition: December 8, 1986 – 11:00 a.m.

“Daughter, children, here I am as I announced before; some will feel Me… others will see Me between the shrubs… others will perceive the perfumed roses of My garden from Heaven… and even more, some, who are sick, drinking from the water of My grotto of prayer, will be relieved; others, will be healed, attaining health and peace..! Daughter, wherever I place My Feet, it is as sowing the seed… and behold, the Doctrine and the Gospel are enacted through the faith that comes forth from the heart of those who seek Me..! And I tell you, all of you will be saved… for the Church renews and calls to a burning faith… when her children draw close to the flock of My Divine Son… to nourish themselves with His Mystical Body… and daughter, today many will be nourished..! Today there is a Feast of Angels in the whole world, and here in My Promised Land I come to call mankind to reconcile with their brothers..! I come to bestow peace upon the world and calmness to the people and nations..! I come to reign in the heart of the most humble… and I come to soften the proudest and the most arrogant… so they may mend their actions… all accompanying Me..!”

Thirteenth Apparition: July 6, 1987 – 11:30 a.m.

“My children, reaffirm your trust in the adorable Heart of My Jesus, who is in love with His Father’s delights..! Rest on the promises of the Lord who hears the prayers of His children… and whose mercy reaffirms all forever..! Do not worry, for Religious vocations will multiply. Apostles of My Heart..! fill yourselves with gratitude… for all will taste love and wisdom… since the Holy Spirit will enlighten each one of you in these apocalyptic times with His divine grace, sustaining all with bountiful fruits and divine rain..! Sons and daughters, do not stop wearing My miraculous medal to cover yourselves, in order to be protected… also distribute it generously so sinners may be converted, the sick may be healed and the moral values of today’s world may be reestablished..!”

Fifteenth Apparition: February 16, 1989 – 4:00 p.m.

“Daughter, children, here I am..! Living among you..! Children, My Heart beats with Heavenly delights as I gaze at each one of your faces which come to find the hope of better days, to solidify your steps on the road that leads to Mount Zion. For My fountain of the waters of Betania shall restore your souls to a new life… that will bring you to lead an apostleÕs life, that is to say, of service, devoted to a mission of love, which will reaffirm your trust in the light of the New Dawn of My Divine Jesus! He, My Beloved Son, wishes for all of you to live cradled in this motherly Heart, with the charismata and graces of the Holy Spirit. In this way, My children may hold hands, based on the Commandment, ‘Love one another..!’ It is the only truth that can save mankind from a war among brothers… that is to say, in these times, all should have recourse to the charitable harvest of good deeds, which is the identification of love and of truth of God’s people, who are longing for Social Justice… because as long as unity does not come forth, you will lead a life of anguish, grief, shadows and sorrow. Behold, children, the love of a Mother, who cherishes you… and comes as a starting point to lead you toward a law of justice, love, peace and reconciliation..!  Prayer… Meditation… Penance… Eucharist..!”

The shrine to Our Lady of Betania at the apparition site.
The shrine to Our Lady of Betania at the apparition site.

Sixteenth Apparition: February 22, 1989 – 12:00 pm.

“Children, you saw Me just some minutes ago in the arbors of this, My grotto of prayer, as Mary of the Solitude, with the weeping and the suffering of a Mother… O, My little ones! There is so much grief in My Heart! I do not want you to suffer, I do not want to worry you, let alone for you to go through days of tribulation… but there are things that are so hard for men to understand. The only truth which remains is faith… which will build in your families the firmness and the certainty that the Lord, and this Mother live among all Our children… showing you the way, that only through deeds of faith the shadows that surround your daily living can be lessened..! Children, that is why your prayer must be constant, morning, afternoon and night, for only prayer can save you..! Never forget, the more you suffer, the closer to you We will be, soothing, healing the wounds of your hearts, to continue to live with the responsibility of being redeemers of this time, and saviors in hope for the great eternity..! Observe, to understand My message today..! Children, be courageous, and be willing to give your harvest of peace and love..! I keep you..!”

Nineteenth Apparition: April 1, 1989 – 4:30 p.m.

“Daughter, children, I am trying to talk to all of you, to tell you I lead you by the hand, covering your shoulders with My motherly mantle… Sons and daughters, I call you to the site of My new Apparition as Mary Reconciler of People and Nations… so you may begin to work on the harvest that you will sow in the hearts of the innocent children… and others, who are young and long for truth, love and justice..! I call you, for the GREAT MOMENT OF RECONCILIATION has arrived… and you need to prepare yourselves as soon as possible… for example: in the sowing of doctrine, catechism, spiritual exercises, the Gospel, and mainly the Eucharist. Daily Communion, the soulÕs nourishment, accompanied with work, in a task in which you can be productive, sowing the furrows with the holy seed of nourishment…”

Twenty-second Apparition: May l3, l989 – 7:00 p.m.

“My daughter, your own experience has taught you many things, so Evangelization takes root in your soul with vigor and infinite love… think of your personal experience as a language of love… to execute in a particular way, your task for the sake of human solidarity, growing… taking clear positions in the media of social communications… Your position must be freed from human conditioning, your basic judgment of life, your personal activity as a testimony of faith, of hope and of charity, sublime love, kindness, fidelity to your duties, with the patience, and that innate happiness, which you offer to all in a community-like way..! Thus, with courage, strive to perform your deeds with skill, reforming as you progress, with each day’s experience, the truth of love that conveys respect toward life and toward family dignity..! Behold, My daughter, work and struggle, serving everyone..!  Daughter, you have seen Me covered with My white robes, with My Rosary in hand… children, you also were able so see Me and see the little shepherds who accompanied Me… O, sons and daughters! How great is My Lord’s kindness.. to give you this grace of infinite tenderness..!”

"Our Lady of Betania" in Venezuela.
“Our Lady of Betania” in Venezuela.

Twenty-third Apparition: May 25, 1989 (Corpus Christi) – 6:00 p.m.

“Children, you are here to learn from the classes of My Son Jesus, He uses His Priests to reaffirm His Words will never pass… that they are the ones who are in charge of giving all the proper teachings, with the orientation of appraising your faith and renewing your hearts to a new life… with the knowledge that the message of peace and human solidarity is to embrace one another in concord and brotherly unity..!”

“Children, glorify the Heavenly Father and My Divine Son Jesus, for allowing all to come and take shelter in Our Promised Land… seeking this motherly Heart..! My little ones, I contemplate each countenance of yours, looking deep inside… How I love you, sons and daughters! Continue to come, for you have the generosity of this, your Mother… who comes to live among you, and to assure all, nothing will halt the march of the truth of My presence in this place… I live among you… and among all My children, through a law of love. More will come… little by little, they shall enter… especially the Religious, these are, My beloved Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious and all God’s people..! O nation of Mine, seek this, your Mother, who will be waiting for you with opened arms to mitigate your pain, grief or sorrow… I am the Mother of Mercy who comes to reconcile all… so you may love one another, support one another, and live a model life..! I love you very much..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”

Twenty-fourth Apparition: June 21, 1989 – 9:30 p.m.

“Yes, children, I continue to come to meet with all, for I am the Mother Reconciler who comes to reconcile you with all your brothers; and this is why I have confided in you the fulfillment of your duties as children of My motherly Heart… and behold, each person who comes to My place, will be heard and aided, for I am the Mother of the hungry… I am the hope of the thirsty… and the afflicted need help and protection..!”

“Children, today you have truly come to discern My message and at the same time, you have heard at daybreak, the song of the birds… in order to see My Image at the foot of a tree at My grotto… you saw the water of My spring flow over the stones, singing to the Lord… O children! My mystical eye, has observed each one of your faces and has been able to see in the bottom of your hearts the desire of an inner renewal, to analyze and contemplate all the beautiful things this temple of nature holds, temple I have chosen to receive all of My children..! Thus, sons and daughters, henceforth you will be enabled to understand the wonderful and heavenly gamut that exists here… and with will power you will be able to take part in the banquet of love My Divine Son and this Mother offer you… so you may lead a life, singing to the Lord His psalm of love..!”

Visionary Maria Esperanza experiences stigmata.
Visionary Maria Esperanza experiences stigmata.

Twenty-fifth Apparition: July 16, 1989 – 6:30 p.m.

“Daughter, My children, here among you at dusk, when the birds lift their flight to take refuge in their nests in the foliage of these trees, which have seen Me descend over this serene region… Yes, children, appearing to each one of you so you may feel My Voice in your hearts, with divine rhythms of new life… Thus, being able to comfort your brothers, alleviating their burden and offering them the fruits of the Tree of Grace and the blessed water of My cascade… Yes, sons and daughters, behold My announcement to the world, there is a place on earth where all My children may take refuge, hidden in the blessed mountain, seeking God’s treasures… preparing themselves… to understand clearly that only in the seclusion of prayer, living with simplicity and humility they will defend themselves from the violence of men on earth, and have the strength to proclaim the Word of the Lord with serenity; the peace of the just, wisdom, and God’s reason..! Behold, living in community you will learn much,… forgive very much and even more, love all your brothers..!”

Twenty-sixth Apparition: August 15, 1989 – 5:00 p.m.

“My daughter, My Heart I gave to you… My Heart I give to you… and My Heart I will give to you forever..! Children, I speak to all of you who have seen Me seconds ago… ascending into Heaven with My Arms opened, with a rain of roses… and you have had the proof in those petals, red fire, which signify represent the Heart of My Divine Jesus… He, as Christ Redeemer and Savior… renewing and purifying all men on earth..! Sons and daughters, all this seems like a dream to you… but it is a lively truth, and unique in these times of great calamity for men..!”

“On this day when My Assumption into Heaven is recalled… I want to leave you My roses of love… so keeping them in your hearts, you will have Me present with My Beloved Son..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”

Eucharistic miracle: a bleeding Host in Betania
Eucharistic miracle: a bleeding Host in Betania

Twenty-seventh Apparition: September 8, 1989 – 6:30 p.m.

“Yes, children, I want you to take Me with you so nothing will separate us… you must know truth always shines… and you will walk next to Me. I will lead you to the backwaters, where the water is clearer, for it comes from the springs of My grotto of prayer… Yes, sons and daughters, I want to protect you from the temptations of the world; you, youngsters, so you may follow God’s will in your ways in order to be worthy of His mercy and His infinite love.”

“All the places where I have made Myself felt are filled with spirituality, understanding and much love for My children so all may be saved… and here also, in your fatherland, entering into the countryman’s structure, to find souls who are sensitive and worthy of the love of My Lord..!  This is why you should trust your Mother… and continue your path which leads to the Holy Mount..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”

Twenty-eighth Apparition: October 22, 1989 – 2:30 to 3:00 a.m.

“Daughter, children, I speak to all of you… listen to Me: In all the sites and places of the world there are many families that as days go by, time elapses, they have transformed themselves into great families… And behold, I come so all those families do not separate nor divide themselves ever… for I wish the bigger the family, the more and more they will love one another… in order to augment their own spiritual strength, and come to lead an evangelic life… And so, from now on, a call may be made for a program of human solidarity, of healthy families… with renewed spirituality… coming together and creating a nucleus of true children of God… and grow, turning into great communities, that will call on brothers of the whole world..! Start right now My little ones..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”

Twenty-ninth Apparition: November 8, 1989 – 6:00 p.m.

“Children, I am touching the hearts of My sons and daughters so they may increase their faith, and even more, for their renewal… so they may open their hearts to this Mother’s Heart… who comes to give them, through the love of Her Divine Son, the grace of the Holy Spirit, with the gift of understanding… so all may follow the current of the great truth they have in front of them..! Children, he who knows how to live according to the Doctrine of My Jesus has found his treasure… and in finding it, he will break the chains of the past that kept him mired… allowing the light to approach him… opening his eyes… to start to awaken… and fraternize with all his brothers..!”

“Children, I am offering you the great opportunity to unite, fulfilling a structural movement of consciences, with the burning flame of My Jesus… for this is the only way to go on… embellishing yourselves with spirituality..! Behold, reaffirm your steps… to meet with the pure source of a model life which is My Divine Son… which you have to live and feel inside..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”

Thirtieth Apparition: December 8, 1989 – 6:30 p.m.

“My children, today we have lived a great day of light… with the hope that all My children who have come to celebrate by My side, My Feast of Angels, as the Immaculate Conception, may have received the supreme purity of the divine spirit… and as a result you may have felt in your hearts, not only My presence, but the presence of My Divine Son… discovering the reason why in these times of great calamity for mankind, we are calling all Our scattered children from different places of the world to receive Our message… so it may be useful and beneficial for all, thus, to cultivate love… to overcome through a healthy conviction a world that is losing its mystical way..! Behold, fill yourselves with the strength and the grace of the Holy Spirit, traveling the road and following the luminous figure of My Beloved Son, who as Master continues to teach in the classrooms of Our Mother Church, in whom He is represented on earth by the High Pontiff, who with great accuracy, works with sound judgment and understanding at his mission of serving mankind, making known to everyone, that is a Christian’s duty… behold his work: building and renewing men’s consciousness..!”

Visionary Maria Esperanza shares her messages with the crowds.
Visionary Maria Esperanza shares her messages with the crowds.

Thirty-first Apparition: January 5, 1990 – 6:00 p.m.

“Great events and painful riots are growing around the world; countries and nations are being shaken by bad times..! Men have lessened their potential, in regard to their spirituality… behold they are navigating against the divine current of peace, love and brotherly unity..!”

“That is why, I am letting you feel Me and My Divine Son… so My children feel in their hearts Our soft touch and so they may listen to the announcement that: “The time of their freedom has arrived… may they make themselves present through sanctifying love…and may they continue their way seeking the light… and thus, their thoughts may receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, so they may be worthy of that light and music of the universe..! Think that: It is sufficient to enter into the constitution of men’s structure, to find an immense forge… with the mission to fulfill an inevitable duty, that is to say, to build love in each deed which represents divinity..! Much willpower is needed..! That is why, humbly obey the teachings of the Commandments of My beloved Son, so men may ascend to the stage of the: “Great truth of God meeting with His children..!” for: He comes to give life again..! Anyone, regardless of his race, caste, religion for Him all are the same… the only existing truth should be to practice what is good… and to lead a generous life..! I keep you here in My Heart..!”

Our Lady of the Rosary, San Nicolas, Argentina

“Our Lady of the Rosary”
SAN NICOLAS, ARGENTINA (1983-1990)

On September 25, 1983, Gladys Quiroga de Motta (46) was thinking about the approaching spring weather when she noticed her rosary beads were “glowing like molten steel.”  Immediately, she ran to get her neighbors to come see — and they saw the glowing rosary, also!  Word spread, and many groups started praying the Rosary daily.  As Gladys knelt privately one day in her bedroom to pray, the Blessed Virgin was instantly in front of her.  Madonna’s face was radiant and beautiful — her whole figure was glowing with light.  She wore a blue gown and veil. In her arms was the baby Jesus and a large rosary.  Mary only smiled at her, never speaking.  And then, as suddenly as she had appeared, she vanished.  Gladys was stunned, thrilled, and making sure that she was really wide awake.

The visionary, Gladys Quiroga de Motta, in San Nicolas, Argentina
The visionary, Gladys Quiroga de Motta, in San Nicolas, Argentina

When Blessed Mary appeared to her on October 7, 1983, Gladys asked her what she wanted me to do.  Her image faded away and an image of a chapel appeared.  “I understood that she wanted to be among us.”

As the silent apparitions continued over several weeks, it was the sixth visit on October 13, 1983, when Mary finally spoke to Gladys.

“You have been faithful.  Do not be afraid.  Come to see me.  You will walk, hand in my hand, and you will travel a long road.”

By mid-November, apparitions of Mary were happening every day.  Gladys tried to write down every word that she heard from Mary.  On November 17, Gladys actually sprinkled Holy water on the apparition of Mary.  The Virgin responded,

            “Glorious days await you.  You will rejoice in me, my beloved children.”

Our Lady was requesting that a church be built.  On the evening of November 24, Gladys and a small group had walked to the location where Mary had stated that she wanted a church.  As they stood there, a powerful shaft of light pierced the darkness and struck the soil.  The only other witness to this in the group was a 9 year old girl.

On November 26, Gladys asked Her if she would like to be called “Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas?”

“It must be so.  My wish is to be among you, to cover you with blessings, with peace, with joy, and bring you close to the Lord Our God.  Read Colossians 3:15, 4:15, 2 Corinthians 4.”

On November 27, Our Mother Mary refers to Exodus 25:8 – which reads:

            “They shall make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst.”

The significance of this passage is that it contains the instructions given by God to the Israelites for building the Ark of the Covenant by means of which Yahweh would be present to them.  The New Testament and the early Church had consistently understood Mary to be the New Ark of the Covenant, who was the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and the Bearer of the Son.  The Virgin was restating this ancient teaching.

Message from December 12, 1983:

“Father, deliver us from all evil.  With Your holy wisdom, Lord, save us from all sin.  In the name of all those who love You, Lord, lead us on the right road.  Amen.  Read: Proverbs 2:1-11.  He who says this prayer during nine consecutive days, together with a Rosary, will receive a very special grace from me.”

Message from December 27, 1983:

“All humanity is contaminated.  It does not know what it wants, and it is the evil one’s chance, but he will not be the winner.  Christ Jesus will win the great battle, my daughter.  You must not let yourselves be surprised; you must be alert.  For this reason, daughter, I ask for so much prayer, so much obedience to God.  I say this for the whole world.”

Message from December 29, 1983:

“Speak of my messages, you cannot hide them!  It is your Father’s will!  He would not ask for something that cannot be done, nor say something that could not be spoken of.  Read Matthew 10:26-28, 32-33, Mark 7:14-16.”

How the Virgin Mary appeared to Gladys
How the Virgin Mary appeared to Gladys

Message from January 8, 1984:

“At these moments all humanity is hanging by a thread.  If the thread breaks, many will be those who do not reach salvation … Hurry, because time is running out.”

Message from January 15, 1984:

“My children, do not disobey Christ Jesus, for His pure Heart suffers if He sees you sin.  The Lord wants you to be as perfect as you can.  He does not want anyone to fall into worldly temptations.  My daughter, today open your heart to your neighbor.  Make this known, for it is my will and that of your Father. Amen.  Read 1 John 2:3-6, 17.”

Message from February 25, 1984:

“The Lord will answer those who repent for their bad behavior.  The Lord says, ‘Repent, and I will forgive you.’  The enemy will not advance; the hand of God Our Father will stop him.  When the time comes, He will uproot all evil, purify you, and you will become good Christians.  Glory be to Heaven.”

Message from April 12, 1984:

“In other places where I have appeared, the Lord has been present.  My children, without the hand of God, nothing is possible.  I make you listen to things that you had listened to before, but did not practice.  Now the Lord gives you a new chance.  The answer is in you.  Amen, Amen.  Read 1 Chronicles 22:19.”

Message from May 7, 1984:

“Blessed are those who love peace, because war brings total destruction.  It is horrifying to see that men cannot restrain their impulse of ambition and power.  They do not know how to see where the true sense of life is that can lead them to complete happiness.  Only God can achieve it, and only God has the power of making it possible.”

Message from June 18, 1984:

“Those who offend Christ Jesus are like those who scourged Him and crucified Him.  That is how He feels it.  He suffers offenses and injustices so intensely.  Remember that the God who gives life is the same One who will comfort your sorrow and will grant you the joy of life everlasting.  Amen, Amen.”

Our Lady of the Rosary in San Nicolas, Argentina
Our Lady of the Rosary in San Nicolas, Argentina

During 1984 Gladys suffered painful stigmata or bloody wounds in her wrists, symbolizing the Crucifixion, on certain days of the week.  In November of 1984, Gladys met the new bishop of San Nicolas, Domingo Salvador Castagna, who, in turn, then met with Pope John Paul II to discuss the phenomenon.  By December 2, Mary told her,

“I want people to know that I am coming into the world.  You must strike a medal with my image and my words, Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas, and on the reverse side, the Holy Trinity with seven stars that would represent the seven graces that Jesus would grant to those who wear the medal.”

Message from December 20, 1984:

“People are unaware of the poison that the evil one places in them, and they let themselves be tempted.  Today, they continue to crucify Christ with that behavior.  That is why the Lord is instructing His children.”

Message from January 11, 1985:

“Tears burn my eyes when I see such coldness in those that I try to save, because I know that if they do not convert themselves, they will go to death.”

Here is her message from June 13, 1985:

“What value prayer has for the Lord, you cannot imagine!  My children, that is why I ask for so much prayer!  Say the Holy Rosary meditating!  I assure you that your prayers will rise like a true song of love to the Lord.”

Message from February 28, 1986:

“You may ask yourselves, ‘Can the Lord forgive those who forget his existence?’  I tell you, yes, my children, the Lord can, because of His great mercy.  But do not take excessive advantage of God’s kindness.  Cling to my mantle strongly, for it will cleanse you and present you pure before the Lord.  Glory be to the Most Holy of Heaven and the earth.  Read Isaiah 29:18-19, 30:18, 21.”

A large celebration honoring the apparitions in Argentina
A large celebration honoring the apparitions in Argentina

Message from March 7, 1986:

“Daughter, the Prince of Evil pours out his venom today with all his might, because he sees that his sorry reign is ending; little is left to him.  His end is near.  Amen, Amen.”

By May 25, 1986, the medal that Mary had described had finally been created, produced, and was now being spread into circulation — just as the Virgin had requested.

Message from October 11, 1986:

“My daughter, the evil one is triumphant now, it is true, but it is a victory that will last briefly.  The Lord is only giving him time, the same time that He gives man for him to return to God.  That is why vices and worldly madness increase every day.  The weaknesses will have to become strengths and in this way will be able to get rid of evil.  As yet, man’s heart is not totally invaded.  Glory be to God.”

Message from February 6, 1987:

“My daughter, in this time, I am the Ark for all your brethren!  I am the Ark of peace, the Ark of salvation, the Ark where my children must enter, if they wish to live in the Kingdom of God.  There is no obstacle for this Mother, and there will be none for the children.”

On April 11, 1987, Bishop Castagna meets again with Pope John Paul II and promises that he will direct a study of the phenomenon happening in San Nicolas, Argentina.

Message from May 10, 1987:

“Do not expect everything from God if you do nothing for Him.  Awaken and return to the Lord.”

Message from September 21, 1987:

“My dear daughter, how sadly lost youth is!  Drug addiction and easy life is the picture the evil one has set for the young!  Sin, committed in very different ways, makes them stray further and further from God!  If only they turn their eyes toward the Mother of God, the Mother will make them find God again.  If only they penetrate the Mother’s Heart will they be able to hear the Lord’s voice.”

October 13, 1987 – The building of the church sanctuary (that Mary desired) begins.

On March 21, 1988, Gladys reports having a vision in which she sees the earth divided into two parts.  One part represents two-thirds and the other part equals one-third.  She sees the Blessed Virgin in the smaller part.  Our Lady then responds to Gladys,

“You are seeing the world half-destroyed.  These rays of light are sent from my heart, which wants to save as many hearts as it can.  My heart is all-powerful, but it can do nothing if hearts are unwilling.  The means to save souls are prayer and conversion.  Every soul must prepare so as not to be imprisoned eternally by darkness.”

Message from Good Friday, April 1, 1988:

“My daughter, it was the blows that started His suffering, then the thorns, the nails, the lance.  It was so painful for me to see Him suffer!  Today, it is the sins, the hurtful words, the atheism.  Yes, again they are crucifying Him; again my heart bleeds.”

"Our Lady of the Rosary"
“Our Lady of the Rosary”

Message from December 8, 1988:

“In these times of so much confusion and so little light in souls, my most pure light will be the one to guide you in the midst of so much darkness.  Many are the children who do not admit that the Mother is the Mediator before the Son; many resist going to the Son through the Mother.  I tell all mankind: I will help you to overcome every uncertainty; this Mother will make your encounter with the Son possible.  For this it is necessary to become little and abandon yourself in My heart.  I assure you, do not doubt.  Preach it, daughter.  Glory be to Heaven.”

Message from December 10, 1988:

“It is not mankind who is abandoned by God, but God who is abandoned by mankind!”

Message from February 17, 1989:

“Now the world must know that the Mother of Christ will overcome Satan, because by her side will be Her Son’s humble ones.”

Message from February 28, 1989:

“For these times, the Lord has marked a sign: The Woman Clothed with the Sun.  She is the hope that the children must grasp.  The Mother has set her eyes on you; set your eyes and your heart on God.”

Message from May 13, 1989:

“My daughter, as previously in Fatima, today my visits are renewed on earth.  They are more frequent and more prolonged because humanity is passing through very dramatic times.  Has mankind not understood that they must be uniquely at the service of God?  If they resist, their souls are going to perish.  Many hearts do not accept my invitation to prayer and conversion.  That is why the work of the devil is growing and expanding.  My dear children, it is only through prayer and conversion that you will return to God.  May He not find your hearts dry.”

Message from May 24, 1989:

“My children, I am the door of Heaven and the help on earth.”

Message from December 7, 1989:

“My children, My Son has charged me with a mission: to be the guide of the souls who truly want to reach Him.  Preach it.”

Gladys also received 68 messages from Jesus.  Here is one from December 30, 1989:

“Before, the world was saved by means of Noah’s Ark; today the Ark is My Mother.  Through Her, souls will be saved, because She will bring them toward Me.  He who rejects My Mother rejects Me!  Many are letting the grace of God pass by in these days.”

 

Getting ready for Mass with Our Lady of the Rosary
Getting ready for Mass with Our Lady of the Rosary

All in all, Gladys wrote down every one of 1,816 messages given to her by Our Blessed Mother Mary.  She could hardly read or write before the apparitions began, but she was able to document the many messages she received with great clarity and precision

“My children, I ask you for prayers for a soul who is not praying and decreases in love of God.  Let no one pretend to be agreeable to God if he is far from God.  I ask for prayers and the conversion of hearts.  Gladys, pray for my errant children.  Pray so that each heart will permit the love of my Son to enter, so that rebellion may cease.”

News of a miracle healing of a 7 year-old boy on his deathbed detailed how his pregnant mother’s desperate prayers were answered.  His paralysis ceased and an egg-shaped brain tumor began shrinking away to nothing over 3 weeks.  He had been given his first Communion moments before his healing began.

The messages and visits ended on February 11, 1990.  A commission of priests, psychologists, scholarly theologians, and psychiatrists declared that Gladys and her messages were authentic, the healings were both supernatural and real, and her mental state was balanced, healthy, and free of hallucinations.  Bishop Castagna approved the apparitions and began accompanying a monthly procession on the 25th of each month, often accompanied by as many as 100,000 people.

In 2008, a magnificent new church was completed on the 25th anniversary of the first apparition, and 200,000 people attended and passed through it within 24 hours to see it and its new wooden statue of Our Lady of the Rosary.

 

Luzon, Philippines, 1982

LUZON, PHILIPPINES  (1982)

On the island of Luzon in the Philippines, there is an elementary school by the name of Emilia Auginaldo.  Janet Holly, age 10, a fourth-grader, was sitting on the playground at 4:30 in the afternoon.  When she looked up in the sky, something caught her attention.  She saw three angels, Mother Mary with a baby in her arms, and an old man standing next to her (Joseph?).  They were coming out of a golden palace in a carriage pulled by winged horses.  Janet was an orphan and started to cry, because she thought the angels were coming to take her away.

She ran into the classroom and called her teacher – who came out but did not see anything.  But other children came running out of the buildings and did see the exact same apparition in the sky.  They described the vision to a reporter in great detail.  The Virgin Mary was wearing a long gown with a gold crown on her head.  The angels had golden hair and long flaming gowns.  One of them had a key in her hand.  When the children waved their hands, the Blessed Virgin Mary waved back at them.  Then the apparition disappeared altogether.

One teacher, who had seen the vision along with the children, said that she felt an awesome force making her kneel down on the ground.

A week later, the children still told the same story without changing or embellishing any of the details.  However, what is most amazing is that the number of children who witnessed this apparition along with the one teacher totaled five hundred in number!  It is significant when five hundred young witnesses do not change or add to their stories over time, but remain consistent and credible.  Perhaps Mary allowed the one adult to see her as further validation that the event was real – and not just “imagined by children.”

 

Our Lady of Kibeho, Rwanda, Africa, 1981-1989

“Our Lady of Kibeho”
KIBEHO, RWANDA  (1981-1989)

Kibeho is a small African village in the mountainous terrain of Rwanda.  This amazing and inspirational story would never have been known to any of us if it had not been for the miraculous survival during that country’s horrible genocide of author Immaculee Ilibagiza, who revealed the details of Blessed Mary’s visits in her book, “Our Lady of Kibeho.” The encounters began on Saturday, November 28, 1981with the first visionary, Alphonsine.

Alphonsine Mumureke (16) was away at a boarding school, helping out in the cafeteria, when she heard somebody in a strong but lovely voice — “soft as air and sweeter than music” — say, “My child …”  Going out into a hallway, she immediately saw a brilliant, luminous, white cloud, materializing in mid-air a few feet in front of her.  An incredibly beautiful Lady emerged from the cloud, floating between the floor and ceiling in a pool of shimmering light.  She wore a flowing, seamless white dress with a white veil that covered her hair.  Her hands were clasped in front of her in a gesture of prayer – her slender fingers pointing toward Heaven.  The girl said that her skin and complexion was of incomparable beauty.  She wore no shoes — just like all the villagers.  As the beautiful figure drifted toward the girl, her feet never touched the ground.  Waves of love emanated from Mary.  Alphonsine felt compelled to drop to her knees, sensing a divine presence.  “Who are you?” she asked.  “I am the Mother of the Word,” replied Mary.  And then Mary asked the amazed girl, “Of all the things in heaven, what makes you happy?”  Alphonsine replied immediately, “I love God and his Mother who have given us their Son who has saved us.”  Mary replied, smiling,

            “It is true.  I have come to assure you of this.  I have heard your prayers.  I would like it   if your companions had more faith, because some of them do not believe enough.  I   want people to trust and love me as a Mother, because I want to lead them to my son,   Jesus.  Now watch as I return to heaven to be with my Son.”

Then Mary smiled and rose gracefully upward, vanishing into the cloud’s dwindling light.  The girl collapsed on the floor in a stupor and could not be roused for 15 minutes.  Almost everyone in the dining room had heard her speaking to someone!  Now a group was in the hallway, trying to revive her.  She was totally exhausted and had much trouble getting to her feet.  When she told of her experience, nobody believed her.  As more experiences continued, so did the harsh ridicule, teasing, and hurtful comments.

Alphonsine falls into mysterious trances with Blessed Mary's arrival.
Alphonsine falls into mysterious trances with Blessed Mary’s arrival.

On one occasion she was walking along with a group of girls when she suddenly dropped to her knees as though she had been shot.  She landed heavily on her knees and stared at the ceiling exactly as she had the day before.  Her face lit up in ecstasy, smiling peacefully with tears of joy running down her cheeks. The transformation was so sudden and dramatic that some girls began to believe.  Others howled with laughter, waving their hands in front of her eyes and shouting in her ears.  But she did not blink, flinch, or react.  She didn’t see the girls any longer – only the beautiful lady hovering above her again in the same soft, glorious light.  Mary was the “most beautiful woman” she had ever seen – and said her skin was neither black nor white, but “shined like polished ivory.”  She did not tell the girls that Mary was giving her important messages to deliver to government officials – even the Hutu president – about their policies of discrimination against Tutsis, praying the Rosary every day, following the Ten Commandments, etc.

On another occasion her classmates would toss rosaries at her while in an ecstasy, trying to hook them on her head like a ring-toss game.  Some girls were respectful and laid their rosaries in front of her, hoping that Mary might bless them.  When Mary told Alphonsine to pick them up so that she could bless them, the girl reached blindly into the pile of all the rosaries, unaware of the girls around her, and managed to only select those from the respectful girls.  Those from the hecklers “stuck to the ground like anchors” and could not be lifted.

At the end of each apparition, Mary would tell Alphonsine exactly when she would next appear – and local villagers starting planning their schedules around them!  Word spread like fire to many other villages, and school officials were afraid that an attention-seeking teenager was going to turn their school and parish into a national embarrassment.  One of the priests gave permission for the harshest heckler, Marie-Claire, to go ahead and torment her even further!  So she organized a group of tormenters to pull her hair, twist her fingers, pinch her very hard, scream in her ears, and shine a powerful flashlight into her eyes.  But Alphonsine had no reaction whatsoever to any of this because she was in an ecstasy with the Virgin Mary.  One day Marie-Claire held a burning candle under her right arm, but still there was no reaction.  The priest, who was encouraging the harassment in order to expose her as a fake, now told Marie-Claire to stick a long needle several inches deep into her arm during the next ecstasy.  Alphonsine still showed no response as she continued to happily chat with Mary.  But she started begging Mary to let other students see her because Alphonsine was tired of the disbelief and ridicule.

"Our Lady of Kibeho" as seen by eight visionaries in Rwanda.
“Our Lady of Kibeho” as seen by eight visionaries in Rwanda.

Some of the faithful students also began praying for Mary to appear to others.  And the Virgin Mary could not have responded with a better choice.  Anathalie Mukamazimpaka, age 17, a pious, devout, no-nonsense, respected student also began to see Mary and receive messages on January 12, 1982.  Feeling strangely emotional, Anathalie sat on her bed in her dormitory room with some other concerned girls.  Her hands trembled violently and things went dark, and she could no longer see her friends.  A blush of light illuminated a strange landscape with oddly-colored flowers and crimson floating bubbles.  The confusing visions scared her, making her cry.  A white sphere descended from above with intense light.  Then a sad woman’s voice said,

“I am sad because I have sent a message, and no one will listen to the words as I desire.  It is my wish for you to cry as you do now.  Your tears are punishment – not because you have sinned against me, but to serve as a reminder that I can punish those who choose to ignore my messages.  My child, you must pray, for the world is in a horrible way.  People have turned from God and the love of my son, Jesus.  If you will work with me, I shall give you a mission to lead those lost souls back from the darkness.”

The messages stressed the need for prayer, deep reflection, humility, and self-sacrifice.  Then Mary told her something that she had told previously to Bernadette in Lourdes, “I cannot promise you happiness in this world, but I can promise you eternal happiness in the next world.”  Others were impressed, but there was still a strong group of doubters led by Marie-Claire, who was more outraged than ever, determined to expose fraud.  Even the priest who had encouraged her harassing, told her to back off now from being so mean.  It would take a miracle to change Marie-Claire – and then it happened!

On March 1, 1982, Marie-Claire fainted during a walk in the garden between classes.  She found herself in a dark area with an odor of human waste and decaying flesh – so disgusting that she felt like vomiting. She ran blindly in the darkness, hoping that she would find her school – and banged right into the front door.  The darkness disappeared.

As daylight returned, she found that two classmates were actually holding her up and her clothes were drenched. They told her that she had been found semi-conscious on the floor of the chapel – and a nun had doused her with holy water to revive her.  Apparently, hours had passed.  Shaken and confused, she tried to recover in her bedroom – only to be back in the darkness again within minutes.  This time menacing beings approached and hovered near her, threatening her with more visits from even more dark beings. Again, she awoke on the floor of the chapel with classmates surrounding her.  Alphonsine handed her a small statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and said,

“Keep her with you to protect you from the evil one.  Last night when the Blessed Mother appeared to me, she warned that the devil was planning to attack students at the school.  She says that we can protect ourselves from the enemy by wearing our rosaries.”

Anathalie is the second visionary to begin having apparitions.
Anathalie is the second visionary to begin having apparitions.

The girls told her that she had had some kind of strange seizure or trance.  Although confused, she remained adamant not to accept Alphonsine or her messages.  But the next day in class as they were singing a hymn, she felt strange and bolted toward the door to try to avoid a blackout.  This time she found herself in a beautiful landscape of manicured grass with dewy droplets reflecting a rainbow-colored sky.  A soft voice came out of nowhere, calling her name, “Mukangango.”  Fearing that this still all might be a trick of the devil, she spun around, fists clenched, looking to defend herself.  The soft sweet voice filled with motherly love called her name again.  Marie-Claire responded, “Okay, you’ve found me.  I am Mukangango.  I’m here, and “I’m ready to fight!”

“(With an affectionate laugh:) Why would you want to fight me, my child?  What is making you so afraid?  Never be afraid of your mother! … There is no need to be afraid of them.  I promise the things of the night that threatened you will not frighten you again.

Sing a song for me using these words:  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

Marie-Claire felt ashamed that Mary was describing her own recent and nasty behavior. She refused to sing, so an amused Mary brought Anathalie into the scene to hold her hand and help her sing.  Then she awakened on the chapel floor again, surrounded by thirty students who had witnessed her in a state of ecstasy, holding hands with Anathalie, and singing to the Blessed Virgin.  Word spread within minutes across the campus that the sworn enemy of the visionaries had confessed to being visited by Mary as well.  Marie-Claire’s rude, aggressive, and negative manner had essentially vanished overnight.

Antagonist Marie-Claire suddenly becomes the third visionary.
Antagonist Marie-Claire suddenly becomes the third visionary.

Later on, Mary showed her a black rosary, “The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows,” and taught her how to pray with it, making it her mission eventually to reintroduce it to the world.  Marie-Claire asked Mary if her sister, who had died a year ago, was in heaven, but Mary explained that she was still in purgatory, waiting.  The visionary complained that their family had prayed extensively for her, so why wasn’t that good enough?

“Praying for your departed loved ones is of great comfort to them and of great help for the souls in purgatory, but people still must work to earn a place in heaven.”

However, in a few days, Mary reported to Marie-Claire that “today your sister entered heaven and joined your father” – much to her delight.

A priest at the high school didn’t believe any of the girls, calling them “a pack of liars,” and wanting these three thrown out of the school.  Marie-Claire approached him with a message from Mary about his “unjustly tormenting her children” and needing to do penance.  “She wants you to kneel down tonight, hold your arms open to God, and pray your rosary three times.”  But the priest called her a liar and ordered her to stay in her dormitory room until morning when he would then deliver a “proper punishment.”

Anathalie, Marie-Claire, and Alphonsine -- the first three Mary came to.
Anathalie, Marie-Claire, and Alphonsine — the first three Mary came to.

That night, the priest decided to play it safe – just in case the visions were authentic – and locked himself in his room, drawing the curtains, and knelt on the floor.  He spread his arms wide and recited the rosary three times.  When he finished, he placed his rosary into his nightstand, placing some books and magazines on top of it before closing the drawer.  The next morning he summoned Marie-Claire for her punishment.  But she was smiling cheerfully when she arrived – and before he could speak, she exclaimed:

“Father – the Blessed Mother is very pleased that you prayed your rosary exactly as she asked you to, but she told me this morning that you shouldn’t have piled all those books and magazines on the rosary when you put it back in the drawer.  She says to keep it with you at all times and pray with it every day.”

The priest was stunned at this amazing validation, and his heart was immediately converted, becoming a huge supporter of the visionaries from then on!  Now, hundreds of curious villagers wanted to visit the campus or hang out near the college dormitory.

Valentine Nyiramukiza had her first apparition in church on May 12, 1982, when she heard a friendly woman’s voice calling softly to her, “You there … little child … Long life to you, child … I am the Mother of God.”  She thought she had imagined this conversation after she looked around her.  But Mary appeared to her in her own home days later and began a series of visits that would become the most frequent and ongoing – even to the present day.  Mary emphasized to Valentine to help others learn how to pray properly,

“You must begin your prayers by offering God all that you conceal in your soul.  God sees your every action and knows your every thought.  You can hide nothing from Him.  Hold back nothing.  Admit all your bad deeds and thoughts.  Then you must ask for God’s forgiveness from the bottom of your heart.  Then your sins will not distract you from praying sincerely. … Then pray to forgive all of those who have trespassed against you. … Pray for the spiritual and physical welfare of your relatives. … You must ask God for strength to do His will.  Pray for courage and wisdom to stay on the right path.”

Agnes had many public apparitions in Kibeho.
Agnes had many public apparitions in Kibeho.

Stephanie Mukamurenzi (age 14) saw Mary for the first time on May 25, 1982 while still in grade school – and was teased like the others by her classmates.  Her messages emphasized placing God above everything else, praying honestly, and resisting temptations “that Satan places in front of you” that will “bring people to his darkness.”

On August 4, 1982, Agnes Kamagaju (21) had her first visions.  Lying on her bed in her room, she began feeling an intense happiness that caused her to start giggling and laughing so loudly that it woke her parents.  Then the Virgin Mary emerged from a spectacular glowing light.  She was young and very beautiful, dressed in a white dress with a blue veil.  The light surrounding her glowed like a crown about her head.  She soon identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception.”  She told her to start praying the rosary, and when she did, they were both transported to a beautiful field of flowers with a “crystal ship floating in the stars above.”  Two nights later, her bedroom filled with light again, and Mary revealed to her that she was “the Mother from Heaven.”  This time she pointed down to the ground where a dark pool “like an enormous puddle of black ink” was spreading across the ground.  She was afraid of being sucked down into it.

“That is where people dwell who remain enveloped in the death of sin.  My Son has a mission for you.  You are to lead the young people away from the darkness of sin and back into His light.”

Then Agnes also had visions of Jesus with similar words regarding the need for conversion, prayer, renunciation of idolatry, fornication, and hypocrisy.  On August 18, 1982, at a time when AIDS was becoming an epidemic in Africa, Jesus told her,

“They should not use their bodies as an instrument of pleasure.  They are using all means to love and be loved, and they forget that the true love comes from God.  Instead         of being at the service of God, they are at the service of money.  They must make of their body an instrument destined to the glory of God and not an object of pleasure at the service of men.  Young men must seek to satisfy the hunger of their spirit, not feed the desires of their flesh.  They should pray to Mary to show them the right way to God.”

Thousands gathered for the apparitions and miraculous signs in the sky.
Thousands gathered for the apparitions and miraculous signs in the sky.

Many thousands attended the public apparitions of Agnes and were often amazed at celestial displays that accompanied her visits from the Virgin Mary.

“The sun danced across the sky right before my eyes!  It danced and changed into many colors, like a rainbow swirling in a glass circle, and then it became as gray and pale as the moon.  There was suddenly another sun behind the first one, illuminating it.  On the face of the moon was a giant Eucharist and chalice, and then the colors changed again – like a third sun had emerged that was red, green, and gold.  And the face of the Virgin Mary appeared in the center of the sun – just as clear as day!”

“Thousands started looking up – when I looked up, I’d thought I’d gone crazy.  I blinked and rubbed my eyes again … the sun really was dancing!  It moved back and forth as though God Himself were tossing it from one hand to the other.  And then another sun emerged from the dancing light.  There were two suns in the sky!  They spun in circles of opposite direction.  One spun clockwise and the other counterclockwise.  But then they spun into each other, reuniting as a single sun.”

The "Boy who met Jesus" -- Segatashya, the only male visionary.
The “Boy who met Jesus” — Segatashya, the only male visionary.

Agnes pointed to the sky as Jesus spoke to her and said to the crowds,

“Behold what you see.  Are there any among you who can deny now that they have a sign?  Watch closely and remember what you witness.  Believe your eyes or deny what you are seeing.”

“There, far above our heads, was an image of Jesus on the cross with the Blessed Mother standing below him with her head bowed in grief.  When I checked to see if others were witnessing the same scene, I saw 15,000 people dropping to their knees, many making the sign of the cross as they looked to the sky through tears of love.”

Investigators and doctors continued to monitor and test the visionaries, pinching the girls with pliers, sticking them with needles, twisting their arms behind their backs, and shoving them hard to the ground.  One very large man, a doctor, kneeled on top of one of the teenagers and bounced up and down on her chest!  None of the visionaries ever reacted or were ever injured.  In fact, they didn’t even seem to notice as their faces beamed with love and joy, chatting and singing to the Virgin.

Segatashya goes into an ecstasy with the Virgin Mary.
Segatashya goes into an ecstasy with the Virgin Mary.

Segatashya (15) was a poor, unschooled boy, with no religious training at all, picking beans in a field on July 2, 1982.  Yet, he was surprised by a man’s voice coming out of nowhere, and then the figure of a handsome, 30 year-old man was suddenly next to him.  The man calmed his fears and filled him somehow with an inexplicable joy.  He taught Emmanuel the Lord’s Prayer and then identified himself as Jesus, saying, “I am neither white nor black; I am simply Lord.”

Christians in Rwanda were in an uproar — how could a pagan boy with no schooling be chosen by Jesus to give the world a message?  But the boy addressed a crowd of 2,000, stating quite logically, “I am a boy with no schooling. If I had not been sent by Jesus, how could I present myself to you?”  Unable to read or write, he then delivered eloquent and articulate messages from Jesus about the need for prayer and reparation, returning to the sacraments, Eucharist, and confession — all words that the boy had not heard before or understood, himself.  Many members of the bishop’s Commission of Enquiry were amazed at the depth and breadth of the illiterate peasant boy’s knowledge of the Bible and theology, as well as his eloquence in conveying that knowledge.  When he finally became baptized, Jesus told him to take the name Emanuel – which means “God is with us.”

Vestine (24) was the eighth and final youth to be contacted on September 15, 1982.  Mary’s messages were global and did not ask the Muslims or Protestants to covert, either.

“When I show myself to someone and talk to them, I want to turn to the whole world.  If I am now turning to the parish of Kibeho, it does not mean that I am only concerned for Kibeho … I am concerned with and am turning to the whole world.”

Another visionary, Stephanie, begins having visitations.
Another visionary, Stephanie, begins having visitations.

The messages were accompanied by extraordinary signs seen in the sky.  Several times people saw a cross or crown of thorns in the sky near the sun.  When Agnes asked for a blessing for the people present, a light refreshing rain fell on them, actually healing cuts and wounds from the pilgrims’ long treks to get there.

Three of the visionaries took mystical journeys with Mary.  Before Alphonsine went on her journey, Mary instructed her to inform the school director “not to bury her – even if she appears dead.” The stunned director knew by now to take Alphonsine seriously.  She told them that she would be away for the whole weekend.  Failing to show for the Friday evening meal, a nun went to check on her on Saturday morning.  She was stunned to find her lying unresponsive on her bed – unable to be awakened or even budged an inch.  The director grabbed the school nurse and summoned Abbot Augustin Misago, a leading member of the Commission of Enquiry.  Soon, there were many concerned officials, priests, and others in attendance as Alphonsine truly appeared dead.  Medical experts concluded that she was still alive, but that her pulse rate was impossibly slow and her blood pressure too low with breathing almost nonexistent – a shallow breath once a minute.  As many as six men tried with all their might to roll her over, separate her clasped hands, or lift her from the bed, but without any success!  Eighteen hours later, Alphonsine awoke, livelier than ever — with sparkling eyes, relaxed muscles, and a glowing face.  Later, she described her journey:

“The first place Mary took me was dark and very frightening, filled with shadows and groans of sadness and pain.  She called it the Place of Despair, where the road leading away from God’s light ends.  Another place was filled with the golden light of happiness and laughter and songs sung by so many joyous voices.  Mary explained that I could not see them while I was still living below.  But one called out my name and said that she had been a visionary, too, and had been persecuted for her visions.  But she joyfully urged me to have faith and confidence in the Blessed Mother, for she would protect me.”

Anathalie also had a mystical journey which began on the podium in front of the crowds after a five-hour apparition.  She collapsed into the same “frozen-limbs” state of near-death with the same officials and doctors vigilant and testing her.  Seven hours later, she awoke and was carried to her bed where she did not speak for two days.

Valentine is another visionary who still receives messages
Valentine is another visionary who still receives messages

She finally described her journey with Mary.  The first landscape was comprised of varying shades of vivid color and light, and people there traveled by “sliding through the light.”  Another strange land was illuminated only by white light.  She saw seven handsome men (angels) wearing white cloaks, standing in a circle, and creating the most beautiful music without any instruments.  Mary called it ‘Isangano’ – a place of communion where angels praise God, watch over Earth, and aid humanity when they are needed or called upon.  The third place contained millions of people dressed in white, who seemed overwhelmingly happy, but not as blissful as the angels had been.  Mary called this place, ‘Isesengurwa’ – a place of purification.  The last place they visited was “a land of twilight” – illuminated only by an unpleasant shade of red, and stifling dry and hot.  She couldn’t look at the countless people there because of their misery and anguish.  She knew it must be Hell.  Mary said,

“Spend two days reflecting in silence on what you have seen.  Do not meditate on the angels you saw; they are not of this world.  The first place, the happy world of the cherished of God, was reserved for people whose hearts are good, who pray regularly, and who strive always to follow God’s will.  Our second visit was to the place of purification – for those who called on God only during times of trouble, turning away from Him when their troubles were over.  The last place of heat and no name was for those who never paid God any attention at all.”

Vestine’s trip was largely a test of faith – as Jesus asked her to die for Him on Good Friday, have her soul go to heaven, but be resurrected and returned on Sunday – like he had.  But she trusted that he would keep his promise, so she begged others to not bury her if she appeared dead.  Investigators, journalists, doctors, officials, and members of the Commission of Enquiry tensely awaited Easter weekend, wondering how she was going to die.

At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Vestine was seized with a sudden pain and fell back on her bed, closed her eyes and “died.”  Doctors were dumbfounded – her blood pressure had dropped to zero; no heartbeat or pulse could be detected.  For hours they pondered what to do, wanting to trust that what she had said would happen — but staring at cold science that indicated she was truly dead.  Vestine would take a deep breath every hour or two, so everybody sat tight and waited for the next 40 hours.  Just after dawn on Easter Sunday, Vestine woke up, rubbed her eyes, stretched her arms, yawned, and exclaimed cheerfully, “Good morning, everyone! Happy Easter!”  Doctors checked her and found her body to be back to complete and normal functioning again.  However, a cross had formed on the center of her forehead – which doctors said was some kind of mysterious change in the pigmentation of her skin — not caused by injury, bruising, or burning.  She said that heaven was difficult to describe:

“There are just no words for it.  There were colors I’d never seen before, and they sounded like music.  And there was music I’d never heard before that sounded like color.  I just don’t know how to explain the feeling of being there.  I begged Jesus from the bottom of my soul to let me stay there.  He said that it wasn’t my time, so I must leave.”

Doctors run tests while Alphonsine is in her ecstasy with Mary.
Doctors run tests while Alphonsine is in her ecstasy with Mary.

With Mary promising to appear on August 15, 1982 for the Feast of the Assumption, there was much festivity, anticipation, and excitement.  More than 20,000 people turned out – some hoping for cures for their sick relatives.  But when Mary appeared, the visionaries’ efforts to sing to her were cut short unexpectedly by Mary’s tears of pain and grief.  Mary indicated that her efforts were not appreciated, and then one horrifying vision after another came to Alphonsine, causing her to scream in terror.  There were images of destruction, trees exploding into flames, torture, human carnage, severed human heads gushing blood, and a vast valley piled high with the remains of a million rotting, headless corpses with not a single soul left alive to bury the dead.  Every visionary received the same horrific images from the weeping Virgin that day.  For hours their horrified cries echoed through the hills, all of them describing “rivers of blood, savage murders, and the rotting remains of hundreds of thousands of people.”

The visions lasted anywhere from several months to a year for the seven youth, ending in 1989.  Ten thousand were in attendance for that final contact with Alphonsine on November 28, 1989.  Although it was raining steadily, the girl remained strangely dry during her experience.  Here are some of the Virgin’s words on that final visit:

“My children, in truth, I am not staying as long as I used to do as I have told you all that was necessary.  I have just told you what more I needed from you.  As I said, I want to remind you that I am happy.  I am happy with the fruits that were born in Rwanda since I came here.  Don’t worry about the difficulties you have.  Nothing is better than having God.  My dear children, problems exist everywhere, but the most important thing is to have an accepting heart without complaining.”

“You all who are called crazy because you like to pray, all of you who are called thieves, those to whom they say that you are losing time by giving your life to God, I tell you that one day you will be happy.”

“All of you who are sick with incurable diseases, a good heart surpasses all; there are no riches that are beyond a clean heart.  All of you who have had difficulties of all kinds, there are difficulties everywhere, in all walks of life.  When they don’t go away, offer them to God.  Every good Christian is requested to offer a sacrifice.  All of you who have problems in your families, think of the Holy Family, who lived in poverty, and who lived among those who didn’t like them nor understood them, and with the problems you have, come close to them.  All of you who have dedicated your lives to God, a life like that is not easy.  The most important thing is to be faithful to your promises.”

As predicted vividly by the Virgin Mary, the deadly genocide happens in 1994.
As predicted vividly by the Virgin Mary, the deadly genocide happens in 1994.

“All of you young people, when you are young, you think that you can do anything; be careful not to fall and damage yourself for good.  All of you leaders, who have the capacity to represent many people, don’t kill, but save; don’t be greedy, but share with others, and don’t attempt to hurt those who are trying to expose your wrongdoings.  I tell you, anyone you want to hurt, because they love people and are defending human rights, because they are defending the cause of the poor and the simple, because they are defending anything good and trying to love God, I tell you, whatever you do will be in vain.”

“My children, saying goodbye to you doesn’t mean that I am forgetting Africa, not even the whole world.  It doesn’t mean that I am going to forget Rwandans.  I am asking you not to forget the love I have loved you with when I came to your country.”

Mother Mary also told the visionaries that suffering is “a part of our daily bread while still on earth.”  She taught them how to accept and suffer well – and that suffering leads to heaven.  Suffering teaches us many things that we would not otherwise learn.  “Each person carries a cross, but what is important is to offer our sufferings to God and live through them without complaining.”

Our Lady said that if her warning came to pass, not to cry for those who would die because the gates of heaven would be open for them as they will have died innocently.

“Cry for those who will remain alive because many will be tempted to violence and revenge.  Others will not be able to bear to live with the wrong they have done to others.  There will be some who will be left; they will be left to tell of the goodness of God, because there is nothing else that could console then after the pain they would have experienced.”

Genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza kept Kibeho's story from vanishing.
Genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza kept Kibeho’s story from vanishing.

Alphonsine echoes this lesson in her own learning and these words:

“With all I had to suffer, I now understand that it was necessary for me to go through it to know the truth and learn more about life.  You see, if one lives without problems, one will never learn the lessons that one learns through resolving those problems.  It would not be good to live without problems.”

Our Lady reminds us that the child of Mary always bears crosses graciously.  The child of Mary dies with many words still in the heart.  The child of Mary carries crosses with joy.  The child of Mary sees the world as NOTHING. (Things do not matter.)

The shrine in Rwanda for Our Lady of Kibeho.
The shrine in Rwanda for Our Lady of Kibeho.

Then, as horribly predicted by the Virgin Mary, a terrible genocide came to Rwanda in the spring of 1994, with more than a million innocent souls murdered and chopped to pieces by the ruling tribal government in an effort to exterminate all those who belonged to the Tutsi tribe.  Thousands upon thousands of decapitated bodies were dumped into rivers that then ran thick with human blood.  Three visionaries, Marie-Claire, Stephanie, and the boy, Segatashya, all died in the holocaust.  The author of “Our Lady of Kibeho,” Immaculee Ilibagiza, lost her whole family while she was secretly hidden in a tiny 3 by 4-foot bathroom of a preacher’s home with seven other women in silence for three months.  She describes her miraculous survival and escape in her book, “Left to Tell.”  Today, Immaculee Ilibagiza sometimes links up with either visionary Valentine or Anathalie on pilgrimages and hears some of the messages that Valentine still receives.

The amazing and detailed accuracy of Mary’s predictions convinced everybody of her authentic messages.  Finally, in 2001, after 20 long years of investigation and seven years after the genocide, with overwhelming evidence Bishop Augustin Misago declared the apparitions to be authentic.  Three days later, the Pope and the Vatican added Kibeho to the list of approved Marian apparition sites.  Today love and peace flow from Kibeho as a place of spiritual hope and renewal.

 

Queen of Peace, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1981-present.

“Queen of Peace”
MEDJUGORJE, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (1981 — present)

Nobody could have predicted what was about to transform the tiny village of Medjugorje in the mountains of Bosnia-Hercegovina, starting in 1981 … … or did they? Back in 1933, the parish priest, Father Bernardin Smoljan, enthusiastically inspired his followers to haul stones, steel, cement, and wood up the rocky, thorny Krizevac Hill to erect an impressive 30-foot tall concrete cross on the 1,500 foot-high summit. This was to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This achievement certainly did not go unnoticed by Our Blessed Mother. Did it perhaps draw her attention? (She later told the visionaries that this cross had been part of God’s plan.)

A poor, humble, illiterate man, Mate Sego, born in 1901, repeated his prophetic predictions over many years that little Medjugorje would become a very important place one day with people from all nations coming to pray in a new church that would be built. Yet the crowds would be so vast that no church would be able to accommodate them all. He said that the Virgin Mary would come there! Before he died in 1979, he stated,

“I’m telling you this now! I will not see any of this, but you children will! There will be lots of buildings – not like the houses we have nowadays – some of the buildings will be huge. Our folks will sell their land to foreigners who will build hotels. Medjugorje and the surrounding hills will be a holy place. There will be so many people on our Crnica that you won’t be able to sleep at night. They will come for my Gospa (Blessed Mary)! Be kind and hospitable to those who come here, and all will go well for you.”

The expensive, carved Rosary cross given by Blessed Mary to Vicka's family BEFORE the apparitions began.
The expensive, carved Rosary cross given by Blessed Mary to Vicka’s family BEFORE the apparitions began.

At the time, nobody took him very seriously, but just two years after his death, Our Blessed Mary began making her appearances in Medjugorje. True to his predictions, so many thousands of pilgrims prayed and sang songs through the night on Crnica, making it difficult to sleep. Hotels, large stores, and other big buildings developed over the next thirty years – accommodating the estimated 50 million pilgrims from many nations who have visited this holy place and experienced wondrous things.

Several other things happened prior to Mary’s first appearance. When the new St. James Church was completed in 1969, none of the local people could quite understand why it had been built so much larger than what this little village would ever need. Vlado Falak finished a painting in 1974 that hangs in the church choir loft – depicting the Virgin Mary appearing in the skies over Krizevac Hill. And Mary appeared there just 7 years later.

Just two months before the first apparition, Franjo, the youngest brother of Vicka Ivankovic (one of the visionaries) was preparing to take the family’s little tractor and trailer out to collect wood at 6:00 a.m. one morning. As he was gathering tools to place in the trailer, he discovered two sets of Rosary beads lying in the back of the trailer. One had a beautifully carved crucifix in ivory, depicting the scenes of all 14 Stations of the Cross. Franjo took them to his mother and grandmother, joking with them that this must be a sign from Mary, suggesting that “you need to pray more!” Nobody in the village claimed the beads or had ever seen them before.

But when the apparitions began just two months later – and his sister Vicka became one of the visionaries, the mother asked Vicka to ask Blessed Mary where the Rosary beads had come from. Mary replied,

“They were a special gift from me to your family…”

The final prophetic event occurred at the beginning of June, 1981 – just weeks before the first apparition. Father Tomislav Vlasic, a Franciscan priest from the Medjugorje region, had been feeling depressed and rather hopeless about the future of the church. He had recently resigned from his own Franciscan council, saying, “No one can do anything about the problems of the Church. All we can do is pray.” He decided to attend the International Leader’s Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Rome for inspiration. Attended by around 700 participants from around the world, he asked to be prayed over for the healing of the Church.

Two of the religious participants praying over him received impressive responses. Father Emiliano Tardif from the Dominican Republic, who was reputed to have special healing powers, relayed the following locution that he received:

“Do not be afraid. I am sending you My Mother.”

Sister Briege McKenna, a sister of Saint Clare from Tampa, Florida, was also known for her special charismatic gifts – and related the following prophetic vision to him:

“I see a church with two large steeples high in the mountains. You are at the altar sitting in the celebrant’s chair. A spring of water gushes forth from behind you and flows through the church. Thousands come forth to drink of this water.”

The "Queen of Peace" arrives on the mountainside above Medjugorje in 1981
The “Queen of Peace” arrives on the mountainside above Medjugorje in 1981

Several months later in August of 1981, Father Tomislav Vlasic was transferred to Medjugorje – and immediately recognized the twin steeples of the church in the mountains as those described in Sister McKenna’s vision! He remained there through 1984, helping out through those amazing first several years.

The apparitions began on Wednesday, June 24, 1981 – Feast Day of John the Baptist. The day began with a violent thunderstorm and driving rains. But by late morning, all traces of the storm were gone, and the stifling June heat had returned. As the quiet evening approached, two close friends, Ivanka Ivankovic (15) and Mirjana Dragicevic (16), were walking between villages along a country road toward the slopes of Crnica. Ivanka was still grieving the sudden death of her mother, Jagoda, from just over a month before. Mirjana was a blonde-headed, street-wise teen from Sarajevo, who was visiting her relatives in Medjugorje for the summer. Some report that they were smoking cigarettes and listening to rock music as they walked along.

When Ivanka glanced up the slope of Crnica Hill, she saw something white or gray standing in the distance. “Look – the Gospa (Croatian word for Virgin Mary).” Mirjana studied her friend’s face, assuming that her grief must be causing such a vision, and said, dismissively, “Why would the Gospa be likely to appear to us?” They continued walking along with Ivanka occasionally looking up, trying to catch another glimpse of the strange figure on the rugged hillside. Milka Pavlovic (13) ran into them and asked for their help to bring her sheep down from the slopes of Crnica. They agreed to help, but Ivanka could not contain herself and begged the other two to return to the spot in the road where she saw the vision on the hillside. They agreed and returned to the spot where they had an unrestricted view of the slopes of Crnica.

Ivanka pointed up the hill with excitement – “The Gospa!” Milka and Mirjana both saw the figure now, too. About a thousand feet up the slope they saw a beautiful young woman holding a baby. Despite the distance they saw everything in very precise detail: a beautiful, graceful, young girl of about 18, silver-gray long dress, white veil, dark brown hair, dark eyelashes, and a crown of twelve stars. She held a child in her arms which she covered and uncovered with her veil. The long dress covered her feet, and she stood on a small, vaporous cloud, which seemed to hover slightly above the ground.

Another friend, Vicka Ivankovic (16) came along the road at this point, thinking that they must be watching some animal or snake on the hillside. But when she saw the apparition, she became overwhelmed with awe and fled, leaving her sandals behind in her haste to leave. Further down the road she sat down to rest on a boulder and burst into tears.

Two neighboring young men, Ivan Dragicevic (16) and Ivan Ivankovic (20) came along the road at this time and offered Vicka an apple from their bag. She blurted out her tale of what she had seen and begged them to accompany her back to the other three girls. The boys agreed to check it out with her, but when 16 year-old Ivan saw the mysterious sight, he turned, dropped his bag of apples, and ran home! They sensed that Mary was beckoning them to come closer, but nobody was brave enough to do so — and so eventually they left when it started to rain.

The next day, June 25, 1981, four of the kids (Ivanka, Mirjana, Ivan(16), and Vicka) decided they must investigate more closely. Both Milka and Ivan(20) could not return as they had other obligations. But Milka’s older sister, Marija Pavlovic (16) and friend Jakov Colo (10) asked if they could be included if Mary should appear again. The first four kids returned to the foot of Crnica Hill at the same time of the evening – and after three flashes of light, they immediately saw the apparition again. Excitedly, Vicka ran back to get Marija and Jakov, and now all six of these kids became filled with joy – not fear — at seeing her.

The Vision summoned the children to come up to her. They were utterly amazed at the ease and speed with which they advanced up the steep and treacherous slope – full of sharp-edged stones and prickly, thorny briers. Vicka describes that moment:

“We ran quickly up the hill. It was not like walking on the ground. Nor did we look for the path. We simply ran toward her. In less than five minutes we were up the hill – as if something had pulled us through the air. I was afraid. I was also barefoot, but no thorns had scratched me.”

The other kids described it as if they were flying up the rugged hillside. Those who were watching from below were astonished at the speed of the children’s ascent and did not even try to follow them (usually takes 15-20 minutes to climb – not two minutes!).

“When we were about two meters (six feet) away from the Madonna, we felt as if we were thrown to our knees. Jakov was thrown kneeling into a thorny bush, and I thought he would be injured. But he came out of it without a scratch.”

Visionaries: Mirjana, Vicka, Ivanka, Jakov, Ivan, and Marija
Visionaries: Mirjana, Vicka, Ivanka, Jakov, Ivan, and Marija

Now the six children were kneeling in front of the beautiful, shining Madonna with her slightly curly black hair, light blue eyes, rosy cheeks, slender build, and coffee-colored gown with a veil covering her head and flowing down over her body as she stood on a little cloud. Very little was said. Ivanka was finally the first to speak.

Ivanka: “Where is my mother?”

Blessed Mary: “Do not worry, my child. She is happy. She is with me.”

Jakov: “Will you return tomorrow?”

Blessed Mary: (nods YES) “Do not worry. I’ll pray with you always.”

Mirjana: “Dear Gospa, they will not believe us when we go home. They will tell us that we are crazy. Please give us a sign.”

Blessed Mary: (smiles) “Good-bye, my angels. Go in God’s peace.”

News of the apparitions spread fast; several thousand people from near and far were gathered in anticipation of a third evening appearance on Friday, June 26. Others were able to see the three flashes of light that seemed to precede every appearance. Vicka shares her thoughts at this point in time:

“On the third day, we went up the hill again. My grandmother told me to bring holy water with me. When Our Lady comes, I should use holy water and make the Sign of the Cross. So when Our Lady came, I used the holy water and said, ‘If you are Our Lady, stay with us, and if you are not, you better go away.’ Our Lady just smiled. As I threw it toward her, I could see the drops of holy water vanishing in the air. That was a sign, a sure sign for us, that it really was Our Lady.”

The six visionaries try to find space on the crowded mountainside in 1981
The six visionaries try to find space on the crowded mountainside in 1981

 

The essential dialogue of the third apparition goes as follows:

Blessed Mary: “Praised be Jesus.”

Vicka: (sprinkles Mary with holy water) “If you are the Gospa, stay with us.  If not, go away.”

Blessed Mary: (smiles)

Ivanka: “Why have you come here?”

Blessed Mary: “I have come because there are enough true believers here. I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world.”

Ivanka: “Did my mother say anything?”

Blessed Mary: “Obey your grandmother and help her because she is old.”

Mirjana: “How is my grandfather? (recently died)”

Blessed Mary: “He is well.”

Others: “Give us a sign which will prove your presence.”

Blessed Mary: “Blessed are those who have not seen and who believe.”

Mirjana: “Who are you?”

Blessed Mary: “I am the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Others: “Why are you appearing to us? We are not better than others.”

Blessed Mary: “I do not necessarily choose the best.”

Others: “Will you come back?”

Blessed Mary: “Yes, to the same place as yesterday. Go in the peace of God.”

Supportive priest, Father Jozo, meets with the six children in 1981.
Supportive priest, Father Jozo, meets with the six children in 1981.

The next morning the government authorities from nearby Citluk had the police interrogate the children, but they stood firm in their claims. A police psychiatrist could not detect any mental issues.

When the children arrived at the hill that evening, a large crowd was already on the hill, awaiting them. The three flashes of light were often visible to many in the crowd. When Mary arrived, the children would suddenly stop the group prayer on the exact same word and drop to their knees in uncanny synchronization. It was very crowded, so when Mary appeared to them, the mass of praying, singing witnesses was a bit too close. When they saw the crowd accidentally step on the Virgin’s long veil, she would disappear. When some order was established, she would reappear. But then a boy stepped on her veil, and she disappeared again. With tears in their eyes the children cried out, “Be careful! You are standing on parts of her gown, and she keeps disappearing each time you do that!”

A few protective adults cordoned off an area to give the visionaries the space they needed for Mary to appear. The Virgin did not vanish after they did so. The children would focus on the same spot and each would be in conversation with her, separate from the others. Their mouths moved to form words but without audible sound to the onlookers.

Here is their summary of this fourth apparition on Saturday, June 27th.

Blessed Mary: “Praised be Jesus!”

Jakov: “What do you expect of our Franciscans?”

Blessed Mary: “Have them persevere in the faith and protect the faith of others.”

(Mirjana had been greatly concerned by the allegations of skeptics who attributed the visions simply to hallucinations induced by drug abuse:)

Mirjana: “Leave us a sign because the people treat us as liars.”

Blessed Mary: “My angels, do not be afraid of injustice. It has always existed.”

Others: “How must we pray?”

Blessed Mary: “Continue to recite seven Our Father’s and seven Hail Mary’s and Glory Be to the Father’s … but also add the Creed. Good-bye, my angels.  Go in the peace of God.”

The six visionaries are entranced by Blessed Mary's visits.
The six visionaries are entranced by Blessed Mary’s visits.

Ivan had not been present — either due to stomach cramps or his mother forbidding him to attend. Nevertheless, he was depressed about it and did take a short walk. (Mary had noted his absence and asked the others where he was.) The Blessed Virgin surprised him with a special appearance by the side of the road and said to him,

“Be in peace and take courage. Go in God’s peace.”

(Then she gave him a beautiful smile that he would never ever forget.)

On the fifth day of visitations, Sunday, June 28, some 15,000 people had gathered to watch. Blessed Mary appeared promptly at 6:30 p.m. again while the crowd was singing.

Blessed Mary: “Praised be Jesus!”

Visionaries: “Dear Gospa, what do you wish?”

Blessed Mary: “That people believe and persevere in the faith.”

Vicka: “What do you expect from the priests?”

Blessed Mary: “That they remain strong in the faith and that they help you.”

Visionaries: “Why don’t you appear to everyone in the church?”

Blessed Mary: “Blessed are they who believe without having seen.”

Visionaries: “Will you come back?”

Blessed Mary: “Yes, to the same place.”

Visionaries: “Do you prefer prayer or singing?”

Blessed Mary: “Both – pray and sing.

Vicka: “What do you wish from the crowd which has gathered here?

The visionaries' movements are constantly in precise unison.
The visionaries’ movements are constantly in precise unison.

(Mary gives her a loving look, a smile, and vanishes for a few minutes. The children prayed and sang a song, and she reappeared.

Visionaries: “There she is! Let us sing a song!” (Marija leads a song …)

Blessed Mary: “My angels, my dear angels!”

Vicka: “Gospa, what do you expect of these people?” (repeats twice more)

Blessed Mary: “That those who do not see believe as those who see.”

Vicka: “Will you leave us a sign so that people believe that we are not liars or charlatans?”

Blessed Mary: (simply smiles) “Go in the peace of God.”

Visionaries: “She has left! There’s a light behind her! She is gone!”

Attendance peaks at the St. James parish in Medjugorje.
Attendance peaks at the St. James parish in Medjugorje.

On Monday, June 29, the children were again summoned by the authorities and sent to the neuro-psychiatric department at the hospital in Mostar. They were subjected to harsh interrogations. Attempts were made to frighten them by exposing them to severely demented patients at the hospital. They were shown dead bodies in the mortuary. But they passed every test, confidently answering every question without hesitation. A Muslim psychiatrist, Dr. Mulija Dzudza, declared,

“I have not seen more normal children than these. It is those who brought them here who should be declared insane!”

That evening, the sixth apparition appeared on the hillside:

Visionaries: “Dear Gospa, are you happy to see so many people here today?”

Blessed Mary: (smiling radiantly) “More than happy!”

Visionaries: “How long will you stay with us?”

Blessed Mary: “As long as you want me to, my angels.”

Visionaries: “What do you expect of the people who have come in spite of brambles and the heat?”

Blessed Mary: “There is only one God, one faith. Let the people believe firmly and do not fear anything.”

Visionaries: “What do you expect of us?”

Blessed Mary: “That you have a solid faith and maintain confidence.

Visionaries: “Will we be able to endure persecutions which will come to us because of you?”

Blessed Mary: “You will be able to, my angels. Do not fear. You will be able to endure everything. You must believe and have confidence in me.”

Full-capacity crowds hope to see the visionaries in ecstasy.
Full-capacity crowds hope to see the visionaries in ecstasy.

A local doctor from Citluk, Dr. Darinka Glamuzina, was sent by the authorities to observe the children. She came forward and asked the children if she could touch “this heavenly person” that they claimed to be seeing.

Vicka: “May this lady touch you?”

Blessed Mary: “There have always been unbelieving Judases, but let her touch me. She may come closer.”

Vicka shows the lady where to stretch out her hand; the doctor moves her hand to touch the Blessed Virgin. Suddenly, Dr. Glamuzina became instantly fearful and jerked her hand away. The Virgin then disappeared. The doctor described her experience:

“I felt something metallic and shocking … It sent shivers throughout my body. It was at that moment that I knew something was really happening here!”

Then Blessed Mary reappeared and the dialogue continued:

Visionaries: “The light! The light! Here she is!”

(The parents of a three-year old boy, suffering from septicemia since his first week of life, step forward, asking the visionaries to petition Our Lady for the handicapped child.)

“Dear Gospa, is little Daniel going to speak some day? Cure him so that they all will believe us. These people love you very much, dear Gospa.
Perform a miracle … Dear Gospa, say something …”

Blessed Mary: “Have them believe strongly and pray for his cure.
Go in the peace of God.”

Visionaries: “She is gone. Look! The light!”

Little Daniel could neither hear nor speak, and he walked with a limp. Although the parents were disappointed that there was no instant cure given to their son, they did as the Virgin had asked and prayed fervently and continuously on their long trip home. Later that evening, the family stopped at a small restaurant for dinner. As they discussed the day’s events at Medjugorje, little Daniel grabbed a cup and banged it on the table, exclaiming in a loud voice, “Momma, I want milk!” Several months later, Daniel could hear and speak just fine. Soon, he was running and playing with other boys. Now in his late thirties, he is completely healthy.

Vicka, Jakov, Ivanka, Mirjana, Marija, and Ivan in ecstasy.
Vicka, Jakov, Ivanka, Mirjana, Marija, and Ivan in ecstasy.

On Tuesday, June 30, two social workers (from the government) took the children on a long day of treats and sightseeing, deliberately away from the site of the apparitions. As the rendezvous time of 6:30 p.m. approached, the children demanded to be let out of the car. They were on the opposite side of Crnica Hill while thousands of people awaited their arrival on the other hillside. A light began to illuminate the area where the crowds had gathered but then started moving toward the children who were several miles away. Ivanka asked the social workers if they saw the light – and they did. The children knelt and Mary appeared to them. They asked if she was upset that they were not at the regular location, and she indicated that it did not make a difference. Then they asked Mary if she had any objection to meeting in the church, instead, from this time on. After some thought, she said that she would not mind at all.

Father Jozo Zovko, the parish priest, had respectfully listened to the children’s encounters and asked them many questions, but he was cautious to jump to any conclusion. What convinced him that these apparitions were genuine was his own experience on Wednesday, July 1.

“Sometime in the middle of the day, the police came to find the children because the two social workers had failed to stop them (They actually resigned after their experience). The children were evading the authorities the best that they could that day. I was alone in the church, praying, when I heard a clear voice say, ‘Come out and protect the children.’ I left my Bible and hurried to the door of the church. With my foot still in the air, and the door handle in my hand, the children were running toward me from the left, trying to escape the police. They begged me to hide them as they gathered around me, crying. I embraced the children and took them to an unoccupied room of the rectory, locking them inside. Shortly afterwards, Our Lady came to them in that room.”

Father Jozo was able to end the police pursuits by invoking an existing law that prevented the interrogation of minors without parental consent. Father Jozo was privileged to share in a “silent apparition” with the children (in the choir loft) on one evening that summer at 6:30 p.m. in which “he saw her and was stupefied.” This solidified his belief beyond any doubt.

In mid-July, Our Lady asked the children to meet her on the hillside at 11:00 p.m.; the children also invited thirty of their closest followers. One of the adults saw the sky opening up and a great, intense light coming toward them. Everyone exclaimed that they could see this light. Then a globe of light came out of the old wooden cross at this site and burst into thousands of bright stars – causing some children to panic and scream. Marija cried out, “Be calm. Our Lady is with us.” Everyone knelt and prayed for 40 solemn minutes.

Then the visionaries declared, “Our Lady is looking at all of you and telling you that those who would like to touch her may do so.” The children led the others to her, but if they stepped on her veil, she would disappear momentarily. Those that touched her described a “numbing of the hands.” If a sinner touched her, her dress would turn darker, and if too many sinners touched her dress, it would turn black and she would disappear. Marija insisted that people needed to “come clean” and go to confession. The next day there were long lines for confessions at the church!

After August 12, the apparitions began appearing in the church parish, by the road, or in private homes on a daily basis. Mary spoke simple messages of reconciliation in a voice that “was like a bell that rings softly.” She said, “Prayer and fasting can prevent even war.” Impressively, almost everybody began attending the 3-hour long Masses at St. James church. Father Jozo preached passionate and inspired messages during those days.

But the government authorities ordered him to stop these church services. His refusal to cease and his loyalty to the children led to his arrest on August 17, 1981.

The Virgin reassured the children that she would watch over Father Jozo in prison. And there were indeed signs of her supernatural presence: Prisoners and guards claimed they could see a glowing aura around the priest. The guards would turn off all the lights in his prison cell – yet his cell was always strangely illuminated by a supernatural light! The guards would lock his cell door, but it would always open as they started to walk away. No matter how hard they tried, they could never keep his cell door locked. Frightened and shaken, the guards quit trying. When Vicka asked Blessed Mary about this, she told the children on August 30 that she had been responsible for those tricks! He was finally released 18 months later.

Vicka, Jakov, and Ivanka gaze at the Blessed Mother above.
Vicka, Jakov, and Ivanka gaze at the Blessed Mother above.

Bishop Pavao Zanic of the Mostar-Duvno Diocese (which includes Medjugorje) believed so strongly in the apparitions during the early weeks that he visited the parish five times and met several times with Father Jozo. The bishop was anxious to meet and talk with the visionaries; once arranged, he spoke at length with all of them. He especially liked Marija with whom he quickly developed a warm relationship. He believed that these were authentic appearances of the Virgin Mary, and that in no way could these children be lying in such a consistent manner for such a period of time. Bishop Zanic concluded – as told to Father Jozo,

“I am 100% sure that it is Gospa (Virgin Mary) who is appearing to these children. I am even more certain of it than of Fatima or Lourdes! Furthermore, I am convinced that the children are not lying. They are saying only what they profoundly believe.”

Heavy pressure from the government was placed on Bishop Zanic to put an end to these apparitions and the huge, disturbing chaos that it was creating. He urgently met with Father Jozo again and told him,

“Father, today I have been summoned to come to Sarajevo. They told me that if I protected Medjugorje, if I stood by Medjugorje, they would lock me up! I cannot go to prison for Medjugorje – I am a bishop!

A few days later, a hastily-assembled, anti-Medjugorje group of 12 priests came from Rome and threatened the bishop. If he continued his support for Medjugorje, they would “chase him out of the diocese.” Bishop Zanic cringed at such a prospect. Father Jozo was dumbfounded that he could go against what he knew was truth in his heart just to keep his position as bishop. Therefore, to save himself, the bishop immediately denounced the apparitions as false, claiming the visionaries were lying, and that the Franciscan priests were manipulating them and making up the messages—all as a grand scheme to make money and gain power for their order. He maintained this position for 12 years until his retirement in 1993!

Did the children feel betrayed, angry, or depressed about this? Apparently, they kept their emotions in check and maintained appropriate reverent respect for the bishop. Led by Marija, they went to visit him around 1985 and joyfully sang “Happy Birthday” to him when he answered the door. Marija reassured him that they were not “trying to soften him up” as he proposed but simply sharing their love and respect for him.

Father Ratko Peric became bishop upon Zanic’s retirement in 1993, and things only got worse. Bishop Peric immediately took a negative stance toward the apparitions – simply because Bishop Peric does not believe in ANY apparitions of the Virgin Mary, past or present, including Fatima, Lourdes, and Guadalupe! Bishop Peric never conducted a personal or official investigation, and he never has talked with any of the visionaries! Because the local bishop is the first important step in any approval process, Medjugorje seemed doomed for any legitimate approval. But we shall see, later on, how the Vatican cleverly removed that decision-making power away from this biased bishop in an unprecedented move in 2009 in order to finally allow a fair assessment of the miraculous happenings in Medjugorje.

None of the children had known about the earlier apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima, or anywhere else in the world when all of this began for them in Medjugorje – until one of the priests showed them a book much later on Lourdes.

Marija, Ivanka, Jakov, and Vicka watch the Virgin above.
Marija, Ivanka, Jakov, and Vicka watch the Virgin above.

In early October of 1981, Vicka received a surprise while visiting Jakov at his home. The Virgin Mary suddenly appeared and announced that she was going to take them to see Heaven. Jakov became frightened, thinking that they would not return and said, “Why don’t you just take Vicka? She has many brothers and sisters, but I am the only child of my mother.” The Virgin just smiled sweetly and took the two of them by their hands. Vicka describes the experience:

“I was wondering how many days we would be traveling (to get to heaven), and whether we would go through the sky or the ground. Our Lady took my right hand and Jakov’s left hand and took us with her. We saw the ceiling opening, giving us just enough space to go through, and within the wink of an eye, we found ourselves in heaven. Heaven is one huge endless space. There is a special kind of life that does not exist on the earth at all. We saw people dressed in pink, yellow, and gray gowns. Nobody was older than 33 years old. They were walking, praying, and singing, and there were small angels circling around. We saw people praying and singing, together in groups, but we could not understand what they were saying. It must have been some heavenly language. We experienced a special indescribable joy. Our Lady told us to have a good look at how overjoyed all those who were in heaven were. It was a special kind of joy that cannot be experienced on the earth. Everything is definitely so much more beautiful. When you are entering heaven, you experience an enormous feeling of separation from this life and enter a special new life.”

Mary: “All those who are faithful to God will have that. I did this so you could see the happiness which awaits those who love God.

Then Our Lady took them through Purgatory; they described it as “dark and gloomy” and filled with “a gray-brown mist” and “something like ashes.” They did not actually see anybody but “felt anguish,” a sense of suffering, and a “strong yearning for peace.”

Mary: “These people are waiting for your prayers and sacrifices.”

The vision of Hell was so upsetting that Jakov refuses to describe it – even today! Vicka is reluctant to do so, but she does give us the following account:

“Fire … demons … awful. We literally saw a teenage blonde girl going into the flames and coming out as a horrendously disfigured, animal-like creature. The more they are against the Will of God, the deeper they enter into the fire, and the deeper they go, the more they rage against Him. When they come out of the fire, they don’t have a human shape any more. They are more like grotesque animals, but unlike anything on earth. It is as if they were never human beings before. They were horrible, ugly, angry! And each was different – no two looked alike. When they came out (of the flames), they were raging and smashing everything around – hissing and gnashing and screeching.”

Mary: “Do not be afraid! I have shown you hell so that you may know the state of those who are there. Keep the faith, fast, and pray. The devil is trying to conquer us. Do not permit him. I will be with you at every step.

The children were not dreaming this, nor were they just given visions. They were physically absent from Jakov’s house for exactly twenty minutes. Jakov’s mother saw them in the home right before they departed. When she couldn’t find them a moment later, she frantically searched everywhere for them, inside and outside of the house for twenty minutes. She was becoming very fearful when they suddenly reappeared within the home, telling her where Blessed Mary had just taken them.

The 30-foot cement cross on Cross Mountain that spun and vanished.
The 30-foot cement cross on Cross Mountain that spun and vanished.

Vicka adds this bit of awareness, many years later:

“We all know that there are persons on this earth who simply don’t admit that God exists, even though He helps them. He tries to nudge them onto the path of holiness. But they say that they don’t believe, and they deny Him. They deny Him even when it is time to die. They continue to deny Him after they are dead. It is their choice. It is their will that they go to hell. They choose hell. When the illumination of the soul occurs in each individual (at death), they immediately have full knowledge of God and of all truths. Thus, they know where they are to go.” (also confirmed later in a message from Mary)

Speaking of Heaven, Ivanka was granted a special request by Our Lady on May 7, 1985.

“I never saw Mary so beautiful as on this evening. She wore the most beautiful gown I have ever seen in my life. Her gown, veil, and crown had gold and silver sequins of light. There were two angels with her – I don’t have words to describe this! Our Lady asked me if I had some wish. I told her I would like to see my earthly mother (deceased). She smiled, nodded her head, and my mother immediately appeared. She was smiling. Our Lady told me to stand up. I did, and my mother embraced and kissed me, and said, ‘My child, I am so proud of you.’ Then she kissed me and disappeared. After this, I asked Our Lady if I could kiss Her. She nodded her head, and I kissed Our Lady. She blessed me, smiled, and said, ‘Go in God’s peace.’”

Ivanka said later that her mother looked the same but much prettier with no evidence of the suffering that she had gone through in the last years. But her body was no longer like our earthly bodies. Ivanka added that touching Our Lady’s body was different than that – and that her dress had a “metallic” feel to it. Ivanka adds,

“Many people do not believe there is life after this life. But I am here as a living witness, and I can say there is life after life because I was able to see my Mom. This witnessing was not just for me, but for all mankind.”

In October of 1984, six thousand priests from all over the world attended a charismatic retreat in Rome – privileged to hear both Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II speak. After this retreat, 110 priests (most were American) from three countries felt compelled to visit Medjugorje. On October 13, (one of Mary’s favorite dates) they met in the late afternoon; four of the visionaries were in the hall beneath them. Our Lady appeared to the children and related a message for these priests:

“My dear sons, today the Lord has permitted me to gather you here to give you the message which is for all those who love me. My dear sons, pray and always ask God to continue to inspire you. In everything you do in the future, always seek the will of God. My dear sons, thank you for having answered my call to come here.”

In 1982, she told the six children that she would give each of them ten secrets, gradually released over time — and they would not see her as often. The credibility of the six visionaries has remained intact over the years. They have never contradicted themselves in relating messages of the Blessed Mary. They have been subjected periodically to every type of medical and scientific examination available. The following comments were the conclusions of seventeen renowned scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, and theologians from their long and detailed research on January 14, 1986 in Paina near Milan, Italy.

“The results proved that the apparitions, to which the visionaries testify, are a phenomenon that surpasses modern science – and that all points toward some other level of happening.”

The apparition of the Queen of Peace as described by the children.
The apparition of the Queen of Peace as described by the children.

Another team of specialists from the University of Montpellier, France ran many tests on five of the visionaries during their apparitions. Here are their findings:

  1. Within one-fifth of a second, they simultaneously knelt and looked precisely at the same spot in the air without any visible reference point when the Virgin Mary appeared to them.
  2. All eye movements ceased in a time period lasting from 3 minutes up to 45 minutes.
  3. Nobody blinked in response to any eye being touched.
  4. They did not react to any pain they were subjected to – including an algometer which causes lesions or skin burns.
  5. There was a complete absence of sensitivity.
  6. They showed no reaction to a hearing test – an input of 90 decibels (equal to a loud explosion) in their ears.
  7. They did not blink when a 1000-watt light bulb was placed in front of their eyes.
  8. Their regular voices stopped during the vision – yet all muscles of the mouth, jaw, and throat that are involved in speech continued, but the larynx (voice box) was shut off. This is physically impossible.

The French team concluded,

“Nothing in the physical realm interferes with their experience. This phenomenon seems to be a state of active, intense prayer, partially disconnected from the external world, in a state of contemplation with a separate person whom they can alone see, hear, and touch.”

 

Marija in ecstasy while onlookers watch very closely
Marija in ecstasy while onlookers watch very closely

 

During Bosnia’s bloody war, the conflict came to within five miles of Medjugorje. All the surrounding villages were destroyed by the enemy and most of their people massacred. But Medjugorje seemed protected – as if in a safe bubble from all evil, maintaining a tranquil, peaceful atmosphere. Even when bombs were directed at the village, they would explode safely high in the air or lie unexploded in nearby fields.

Finally, on a clear, blue-sky morning, two Russian-made MIG fighter jets approached Medjugorje to destroy it. On this cloudless morning, a dense fog suddenly appeared, mysteriously covering the entire town and obstructing their vision. They were unable to drop their bombs, and for some reason, one of the jets went down, killing the pilot. The other jet returned safely to base. Apparently, the surviving pilot was so unnerved by the bizarre incident that he defected from his military unit. The peacefulness of Medjugorje continues to only be disturbed by the church bells ringing and roosters crowing!

On August 2, 1981, (Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Angels) a series of celestial displays began and have continued to the present day. Just like at Fatima in 1917, the sun was seen to spin on its own axis just before sunset. Witnessed by 150 people that day, they could stare at the sun without hurting their eyes. It seemed to come toward those who were watching it and then recede back to its position in the sky. As it came closer, great darkness appeared behind it. The reaction of the 150 witnesses varied from praying to crying to panic and running away. After fifteen minutes, it ceased spinning as a white cloud was seen coming down over the mountain and toward the sun. A large number of people also saw numerous globes of different colors moving around the sun, while others claimed they saw Our Lady, the Sacred Heart, a great number of angels with trumpets coming out of the dimmer sun. Others also saw a large heart with six smaller hearts beneath it (the Virgin and the six children?).

Father Umberto Loncar, a Franciscan priest, describes the supernatural events of August 3rd and 4th.

“Many pilgrims observed that the sun had become pale, and that it had bright rings around it. These rings were casting reddish rays on the parish church of Medjugorje. A little later, they saw bright globes of different colors rotating around the sun. All of this was seen while Our Lady was appearing to the seers from 6:20 to 6:40 p.m. I, myself, had not bothered to look at the sky and so I didn’t really believe in them. The next day, I did gaze carefully toward the sun and did observe what the pilgrims had been reporting, but I assumed there must be natural explanations. But the next day was a different matter: At exactly 6:20 p.m. the sun paled, a breeze sprang up, and a most unusual, reddish-violet cloud traveled with considerable speed – much faster than clouds usually do – toward the huge cross on Mount Krizevac. It hovered over the huge cross for a minute or two, then started to move eastward and down toward the earth. I was awe-struck with what I saw next: a magnificent, reddish-violet figure of Our Lady, rising from Mount Crnica (Podbrdo). As it rose majestically in the sky, it slowly lost its delightful reddish-violet color and began slowly disappearing. But, I saw her unusually white veil, fluttering elegantly in the air under Our Lady’s feet for about a half-minute.”

On December 9, 1983, (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) a group of pilgrims reported their deeply-moving experience:

“We had a sun miracle at 1:00 p.m. We had just walked behind the church when a storm commenced … the church seemed to shake. Clouds as dark as night were driven across the sky by this brief storm. Suddenly, the sun broke through with spectacular rays. Then we saw the sun spin – seen most clearly by our most skeptical members! Everyone got on their knees because we all saw the darting and fiery rays breaking through the dark clouds in various directions. As the clouds disappeared, the sky became rose-red, and the sun paled. Seen in the sun was the Andrew cross. As it disappeared, a huge cross made of light began to be raised above the sun, peaked by a crown. Around it the darkness grew again – as though the judgment of God was at hand. All of this time, the huge cross on the mountain was invisible! The spectacular rose colors grew brighter and brighter, twirling around the cross of light above the sun.”

A number of times in the early years, the word “MIR” (“Peace”) was written in large bright letters in the evening sky above the cross on Mount Krizevac. The pastor and many others witnessed this phenomenon on many occasions. The most frequently observed phenomena have involved the cross on Mount Krizevac. People have seen the huge cross transform into a column of light. At other times the cross bar of the cross and its lower part have turned bright white, forming a “T” or a tau cross. At other times, the whole 30-foot tall cross has changed into the bright, luminous form of a young lady that matches the description of Mary given by the children – but with less clear detail. This occurred with most intensity for 30 minutes during the trial of Father Jozo on October 21-22, 1981. Father Luka Vlasic gives the following report:

“I noticed that the cross was gone from the mountain! In its place was now a large, white bright column. Soon this changed into a statue with the contour of a woman. She had her hands extended. She was looking towards the parish church. At times it appeared as if she was bowing to the left, then to the right. A strong thought came to my mind, ‘This is a reward from Our Lady for the long and exhausting four months of hearing confessions in Medjugorje.’ (He and three other priests had traveled to help with that!) Many pilgrims around the church and coming out of the church witnessed the appearance. Their faces were aglow with exultation. I am willing to confirm the truthfulness of this testimony by oath at any time.”

The beautiful face of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.
The beautiful face of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje.

 

Father Janko Bubalo described his moving experience as well.

“I looked out the rectory window a little after 5:00 p.m. and saw two of the nuns kneeling on the wet ground with their arms wide open. Near them were some seventy men and women, kneeling and quite oblivious of the falling rain. Some were crying, some praying, and others singing religious hymns. They were all looking toward the cross (on the mountain), but it had disappeared! In its place was a strange, pale, rose-colored light without equivalent in real life. Through binoculars, I saw the silhouette of a woman. Her arms were open, and her feet were hidden in a luminous cloud at the base of the pedestal of the cross. I was filled with joy! All the villagers who looked were able to see her. The people prevailed upon the seers to ask Our Lady about the significance of this happening, and she told the children that it had been Her appearing on the mountain.”

Father Stanko Vasilj added a few more details from his perspective through binoculars:

“I saw the silhouette of a woman with a very light and luminous grey cape. At a certain moment, a ray of sparkling light issued from her right cheek. Everyone was on their knees outside. Three Carmelite priests arrived by car at that moment, having witnessed her from their car for the last mile and a half. At the end, a cloud rose up from the site of the cross. It was clear and transparent and divided in two, in the form of a fan. It was followed by another cloud, dark and somber, that came down like a curtain on each side of the cross. The cross finally reappeared, resuming its usual appearance. I affirm all of this, fully aware of my great responsibility before God and the Church.”

The visionaries added that Blessed Mary told them that “all of these signs are meant to reawaken the people’s faith. Every day I pray to My Son in front of that cross, asking Him to forgive the world.

On December 11, the eve of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a “dance of the sun” took place shortly after 3:00 p.m. as described by an American woman:

“The sun started to quiver and shake as if it wanted to rip itself loose from the sky. It looked like it had a disc covering it – which also shook. The natives call this “the Host.” Then the sun started to rotate clockwise toward us. It was spectacular and awesome! It came toward us and then spun back, counterclockwise. It lasted until about 3:40 p.m.”

At 2:50 p.m. the next day, she and her friends were treated to another performance:

“The sun started to quiver and shake and then spin toward us. The more we prayed, the more spectacular the sight became. The sun started to spin faster and faster, and all of a sudden, we could see a beautiful red glow around it. This changed to yellow, orange, and a most beautiful violet. It started back again, and it came toward us, again changing colors around it. The lady next to me from England was bathed in the colors that the sun was throwing off. I also saw the ground bathed in red, yellow, orange, and violet. Suddenly, the sun jumped across the sky as if it were going down in the West behind the mountain. But just as fast as it jumped over, it jumped back. After that, it zigzagged up and down. My husband and all the others saw it, too! This spectacle lasted one full hour.”

The visionaries are carefully tested by scientists and medical experts.
The visionaries are carefully tested by scientists and medical experts.

At the end of May, 1984, Our Lady told Ivan that August 5th would be the 2,000th anniversary of her birthday (The Church actually celebrates it on Sept. 8th). That would make Our Lady about 15-16 years old when she gave birth to Jesus. Our Lady told Ivan that Jesus would present her with a special gift of many conversions throughout the world. In preparation for this day, Our Lady asked for three days of prayer and fasting just prior to August 5th, 1984. She also requested that her birthday be a special day of prayer,

“I have dedicated all my life to you through the centuries. Let it not be too much to give that day to me. There will be conversions, changes in the lives of people, in those who are psychologically ill, in sinners. Young people especially will accept me.”

The area responded with great enthusiasm; close to 40,000 followers came for Mary’s birthday. The children stated that Our Lady appeared “more brilliant than ever,” glowing, very happy, and very pleased with the widespread response to her request for prayer and fasting. “Pray, pray – never stop praying!” Around 7:00 a.m. that morning, a number of people reported seeing Blessed Mary on Mount Krizevac for 15 minutes. Her hands were uplifted, and she turned slowly, dressed in brilliant white. Somewhere around this time, the huge concrete cross was seen spinning for about one minute. Two American women reported that many pilgrims saw the “sun spinning furiously” and not hurting their eyes at all. Mary’s birthday was truly a spiritual celebration in many ways!

The most remarkable healing comes with the story of Colleen Willard from Chicago, Illinois in September of 2003. Besides having an inoperable brain tumor which threatened to end her life, Colleen had 15 other major ailments – like critical adrenal insufficiency and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. No airline wanted to accept the responsibility of flying her to Medjugorje. She was so weak from her infirmities that she could barely talk and hold her head upright. Medical clearance was somehow, miraculously obtained, and she accompanied the tour group to Vicka’s house upon arriving in Medjugorje.

It was so crowded there that the jostling, pushing, and tight quarters became a dangerous situation for this frail woman in her wheelchair. Just being touched could cause searing pain; a bang to her head could kill her. Her head dropped, and the tour leader was fearful that she had died. But her husband pushed his way to give her some medicine, and she revived. Vicka saw what was happening while she was talking. When she finished, Vicka pushed her way through the crowd and pulled Colleen from her wheelchair into a loving embrace. Placing her left hand on Colleen’s head, Vicka prayed over her.

Colleen felt a strong heat throughout her body. Many witnessed what looked like a “golden globe coming from Vicka’s hand.” Colleen felt like her head was burning. Vicka stopped the loving prayers and embrace after 10 minutes. Colleen was wheeled away to prepare for Mass and was positioned at the very front of the packed church. As the priest began to consecrate the host, Colleen heard Our Blessed Mother say,

“My daughter, will you surrender to God the Father? Will you surrender to my Spouse, the Holy Spirit? Will you surrender to My Son Jesus? Will you surrender now?”

Colleen agreed and began to feel her legs tingle. As she received the Eucharist, she could feel the heat and pain leaving her body. To the shock of everyone, Colleen stood up and left her wheelchair. After Mass, she was soon laughing and moving about freely. Everyone had tears of joy. That night Colleen danced with her husband in the joyous celebration that ensued. The next day, Colleen climbed Mount Krizevac without any trouble! Upon returning home to Chicago, she stunned the medical personnel of her doctor’s office with her healthy, vibrant presence.

The Vatican recognized that politics and personalities had tainted the formation of two biased investigating committees and had not given Medjugorje a fair assessment. Sending a clear message, the Vatican overruled the negative findings of those two commissions and made an unprecedented move to take the authority out of the hands of any local bishop there and place it, instead, with the Conference of Bishops of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, Cardinal Christoff Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna and close friend to Pope Benedict XVI, came to Medjugorje on September 15, 2009:

“Who could make these things up? Man? No, this is not a human act. When I see the fruits of Medjugorje back at home (in Austria), I can only say that the tree is surely good. You can see a superpower of Mercy … I would advise for patience. The Mother of God is so patient with us that for nearly 29 years here, in a very direct way, she is showing her closeness and care for the parish of Medjugorje and numerous pilgrims. We can peacefully wait and have patience!”

After his trip there, the Vatican approved a new three-year, 17-member commission on March 17, 2010 to study Medjugorje, supposedly wrapping up its findings in 2013. On September 23, 2010, Cardinal Schonborn hosted visionaries Ivan and Marija at his cathedral in Vienna. With thousands of people in attendance and getting to ask questions of the seers for an hour, this high-ranking Vatican official was certainly giving informal acceptance for these events. Blessed Mary came to them in the cathedral for the children’s daily apparition. Pope John Paul II had unwavering informal support and belief in the apparitions, making numerous positive statements on many occasions. He was even quoted as saying that if he were no longer a pope, he would be in Medjugorje hearing confessions!

Scientific testing reveals amazing and unique results not seen before.
Scientific testing reveals amazing and unique results not seen before.

Regarding the power of prayer, Our Blessed Mother shared:

“Today, I am calling you to prayer. You know, dear children, that God grants special graces in prayer … I call you, dear children, to prayer with the heart. Without unceasing prayer, you cannot experience the beauty and greatness of the grace which God is offering you. May prayer reign in the whole world. You know that I love you and am coming here out of love, so I could show you the path of peace and salvation for your souls. I want you to not permit Satan to seduce you. Dear children, Satan is strong enough! Therefore, I ask you to dedicate your prayers so that those under his (Satan’s) influence may be saved. Give witness by your life; sacrifice your lives for the salvation of the world … Therefore, do not be afraid. If you pray, Satan cannot injure you, not even a little, because you are God’s children, and He is watching over you. Pray, and let the Rosary always be in your hands.”

Regarding the effects of fasting, Our Lady tells us:

“Fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays. The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature … Works of charity cannot replace fasting … Everyone except the sick has to fast … There is only one path – prayer, strong faith, and fasting …”

Regarding confession, the Virgin Mary reminds us:

“Make your peace with God and among yourselves. If confession does not mean anything for you, really, you will be converted with great difficulty. Pray, pray! It is necessary to believe firmly, to go to confession regularly and likewise, to receive Holy Communion. It is the only salvation. One must invite people to go to confession each month, especially on the first Saturday. Monthly confession will be a remedy for the Church in the West. One must convey this message to the West. Do not go to confession through habit. Confession should give an impulse to your faith. It should stimulate you and bring you closer to Jesus.”

Regarding the Mass and the Eucharist, Mother Mary tells us the following:

“Jesus gives you His graces in the Mass. Let the Holy Mass be your life. Mass is the greatest prayer of God. You will never be able to understand its greatness. That is why you must be perfect and humble at Mass, and you should prepare yourselves for it … for an hour at least. May the Mass, the most exalted and most powerful act of your prayer, be the center of your spiritual life. Receive Holy Communion with an open and pure heart …”

Regarding Purgatory, Our Blessed Mother explains:

“There are many souls in Purgatory. Pray for their intentions – at least the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be: seven times each – and the Creed. I recommend it to you. There is a large number of souls who have been in Purgatory for a long time because no one prays for them. These persons wait for your prayers and your sacrifices.”

Bombs fail to harm Medjugorje -- often lying unexploded on the ground.
Bombs fail to harm Medjugorje — often lying unexploded on the ground.

Regarding going to Heaven, Our Lady tells us some details:

“You go to Heaven in full conscience – that which you have now. At the moment of death, you are conscious of the separation of the body and soul. It is false to teach people that you are reborn many times and that you pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death. It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body (in Heaven) …”

Regarding the sick, the Virgin suggests the following ideas:

“Have them believe and pray; I cannot help him who does not pray and does not sacrifice. The sick, just like those who are in good health, must pray and fast for the sick. The more you believe firmly, the more you pray and fast for the same intention, the greater is the grace and mercy of God.”

Regarding graces, Our Lady tells us the following details:

“I do not dispose all graces. I receive from God what I obtain through prayer. God has placed His complete trust in me. I particularly protect those who have been consecrated to me. The great sign has been granted. It will appear independently of the conversion of the people.”

Regarding the Virgin Mary’s role as an intercessor for prayers, she reveals:

“Jesus prefers that you address yourselves directly to Him rather than through an intermediary. In the meantime, if you wish to give yourselves completely to God, and if you wish that I be your protector, then confide to me all your intentions, your fasts, and your sacrifices so that I can dispose of them according to the will of God. I beseech you, Pray to Jesus! I am His Mother, and I intercede for you with Him. But all prayers go to Jesus. I will help, but everything does not depend solely on me, but also your strength, and the strength of those who pray.”

“The most beautiful thing is to believe. All prayers are good if they are said with faith.”

Mirjana inquired about and obtained more details from Mary about Hell and Purgatory:

“Men who go to Hell no longer want to receive any benefit from God. They do not repent nor do they cease to revolt and to blaspheme. They make up their mind to live in Hell and do not contemplate leaving it.”

“In Purgatory there are different levels; the lowest is close to Hell, and the highest gradually draws near to Heaven. It is not on All Souls Day, but at Christmas, that the greatest number of souls leave Purgatory. There are in Purgatory souls who pray ardently to God, but for whom no relative or friend prays on earth. God makes them benefit from the prayers of other people. It happens that God permits them to manifest themselves in different ways, close to their relatives on earth, in order to remind men of the existence of Purgatory and to solicit their prayers to come close to God, who is just, but good. The majority of people go to Purgatory. Many go to Hell. A small number go to Heaven.”

Many years later, Ivan and several visionaries continue to allow testing.
Many years later, Ivan and several visionaries continue to allow testing.

 

On June 24, 1983, Our Blessed Mother related the following urgent message:

“The sign will come; you must not worry about it. The only thing that I would want to tell you is to be converted. Make that known to all my children as quickly as possible. No pain, no suffering is too great for me in order to save you. I will pray to My Son not to punish the world; but I plead with you, be converted. You cannot imagine what is going to happen, or what the Eternal Father will send to earth. That is why you must be converted! Renounce everything. Do penance. Express my thanks to all my children who have prayed and fasted. I carry all this to My Divine Son in order to obtain an alleviation of His justice against the sins of mankind. I thank the people who have prayed and fasted. Persevere and help me to convert the world.”

“I know that many will not believe you, and that many who have an impassioned faith will cool off. You remain firm, and motivate people to instant prayer, penance, and conversion. At the end, you will be happier. When you suffer difficulties and need something, come to me.”

“Dear children, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry without ceasing!”

Other assorted messages over the years:

“Dear children! You are not aware of the importance of the messages which God is sending you through me. He is giving you great graces and you don’t realize it. Pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. If you only knew how many graces God is giving you, you would pray without ceasing.” (November 8, 1984)

“Dear children! I wish to call you to grow in love. A flower cannot grow without water. Neither can you grow without God’s blessing. You should pray for His blessing from day to day so that you can grow normally and carry out your activities with God.” (April 10, 1986)

“Dear children! You are now preoccupied with material things, and in the material things you lose everything that God wants to give you. I invite you, dear children, to pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit that you need now, in order that you may give witness to my presence here and to everything I am giving you. Dear children abandon yourselves to me so that I can lead you totally. Do not be preoccupied with the material things of this world. Thank you for your response to my call.” (April 17, 1986)

“Dear children! I am calling you to begin to pray the rosary with a living faith. Only in that way will I be able to help you. You wish to receive many graces but you do not pray. I cannot help you if you do not undertake the task of prayer seriously. Dear children, I am calling you to pray the rosary. This prayer is a must, and you should pray it with joy. Only then will you begin to understand why I am with you for such a long time. I wish to teach you how to pray.” (June 12, 1986)

“Dear children! Today I would like to invite you to pray every day for the souls in Purgatory. Every soul needs prayer and grace in order to reach God and His love. By praying for these souls you will gain intercessors for yourselves who will be able to help you recognize in this life that earthly things hold no importance; that heaven is the only goal worth aspiring to. For this reason, dear children, pray without interruption so that you may help yourselves and those to whom your prayers bring joy.” (Nov. 6, 1986)

“Dear children! Today, also, I invite you to dedicate your life to me with love, so that I may be able to guide you with love. It is a very special love that I bear for you, dear children, and it is my desire to lead all of you to God in heaven. I want you to realize that this life is very short compared with that in heaven. Therefore, dear children, commit yourselves to God today. Only in that way can I show you how dear you are to me and how much I want all of you to be saved and to be with me in heaven.” (Nov. 27, 1986)

Five visionaries return for a 25th anniversary event.
Five visionaries return for a 25th anniversary event.

Mirjana had an apparition in 1982 that did not greet her in the usual fashion; Satan had come to her, disguised as the Blessed Virgin. He wanted her to renounce the Madonna and follow him toward true happiness – not the “suffering” that Mary was promoting. Wisely, Mirjana rejected him, Mary immediately appeared, and Satan vanished. Mary:

“Excuse me for this, but you must know that Satan exists. One day, he presented himself before the throne of God and asked permission to try the Church for a period of time. God permitted him to try it during one century. This century is under the power of the devil, but when the secrets which have been confided to you have been fulfilled, his power will be destroyed. Already now, he is beginning to lose his power, and he has become aggressive. He destroys marriages, stirs up division between priests, brings about obsessions and murders. You must protect yourself by fasting and prayer, especially community prayer. Carry blessed objects with you. Place them in your houses. Return to the use of holy water.” (February 14, 1982)

On January 28, 1987, Our Blessed Mother gave a message for the world through Mirjana while she was in Sarajevo:

“In the beginning, you had fear and distrust of the children I have chosen. Later, the majority accepted me in their hearts and started to carry out my motherly requests, but, unfortunately, that didn’t last long. Wherever I appear, My Son is with me – but Satan also follows. You have unwittingly allowed him to take charge of you and rule over you. Sometimes you understand that some of your deeds are not allowed by God but you soon suppress those thoughts. Do not give in, dear children. Wipe away from my face the tears which I shed as I watch what you do. Look around you. Take the time to come to God in the church. Come into your Father’s house. Take the time to meet for family prayer and ask for God’s grace. Remember your deceased; make them happy by offering Mass. Do not look down your nose at the poor man who is begging for a crust of bread. Do not send him away from your rich table. Help him and God will help you. … Do not fool yourself into thinking, ‘I am good – but my brother who lives next to me is not good.’ You will be mistaken. It is because I am your mother that I love you and that I warn you. There are secrets, my children. This is what is not known – and when it will be known, it will be too late.”

Meanwhile, the miracles, healings, and blessings continue for many of the 50 million visitors who travel to Medjugorje. Some see the sun dance in the sky; many see statues that weep, and a number have had their rosary beads turn to gold. So what happened to those six children as they grew up? What about the ten secrets that they were to receive?

Vicka was asked by the Virgin to accept special sufferings so that she could accomplish special intentions for others. Vicka experienced a deep coma for 40 days, several periods of total blindness for also 40 days each, and strict fasting. Vicka gladly helped Mary with these amazing requests, never losing her happy smile. Between January of 1983 and April of 1985, Our Lady recounted her life story to Vicka in great detail (filling three notebooks) – to be published at a later date when Mary says that it is time to do so. Today, Vicka assists many pilgrims in Medjugorje every day with “healing prayers.” She married in 2002 and has two children.

Ivanka receives an annual apparition on every June 25. Her mission is to “pray for families.” She married in 1986, has three children, and still lives in Medjugorje.

Jakov experienced daily apparitions until he received his tenth secret in 1998; now he just has an annual apparition on Christmas every year. His mission is to “promote prayer and fasting.” He married in 1993, has three children, and remains in Medjugorje.

Ivan has had daily apparitions since the beginning. His mission is to promote “praying with your heart.” He married in 1994 and has three children. They reside in both the United States and Medjugorje where he still leads a regular prayer group on the mountainside. Our Lady gave him a message about finding time to pray in a busy world:

“If you want to pray better, you always need to pray more. Time is not a problem. The problem is love. Because, if you love something and care about something, you will always find the time for it.”

Mirjana’s regular apparitions ceased early on with her obtaining the tenth secret on December 25, 1982. She was to only have an annual visual apparition every March 18, but a monthly locution that began on the 2nd of every month, starting in August of 1987, became a full visual apparition after ten years – and continues, regularly, to the present day. Her mission is to “pray for the unbelievers.” She married in 1989, has two daughters, and remains in Medjugorje.

Marija initially received a weekly apparition in the parish church every Thursday from March 1, 1984 until January 8, 1987. After that, she routinely receives an apparition on the 25th of every month – and still does today. Her mission is to “pray for the souls in Purgatory.” She married an Italian in 1993, has four children, and lives both in Italy and in Medjugorje. Her humble and sincere attitude still impresses everyone that she meets.

Mirjana today, one of several still receiving regular messages.
Mirjana today, one of several still receiving regular messages.

 

So what are these ten secrets? In the early months of the apparitions, Blessed Mary presented a strange parchment to Mirjana that contained all ten secrets written in an unknown language. The parchment was neither cloth nor paper, but of a material “unknown” on earth. It could be balled and wrinkled but not torn. As of this date, only Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov have been given all ten secrets, including the day and date of each. Mirjana was to select a priest, Father Petar Ljubicic, who is to be given the parchment ten days before the first secret is to be revealed. He will only be able to read the first one. After seven days of fasting and prayer and three days before the event, he must announce it to the world in whatever means he chooses.

According to 26-plus years of research and interviews, Wayne Weible, respected author of nine books on Medjugorje, gives us his best clues and details about these secrets:

Secret #1: There will be a “major upheaval” somewhere in the world that “will for last for a little while.” Mirjana says that it is necessary to “shake up the world a little” – and cause everyone to “pause and think.”

Secret #2: There will be an interior “illumination” of the soul, experienced by every living human being at a specific designated time. Through the Holy Spirit, it will suddenly permit every person to see his or her soul exactly as God sees it. Every sin and every good deed will be visible to each of us — as the world will literally stand still for a matter of time. Those who believe in God will experience great benefit. Those without belief will suffer the pain of the undeniable truth that God is real. Some will die from the shock of seeing themselves as God sees them. In fact, Mother Mary commented on this,

“Tongues of fire (Holy Spirit) will come down upon you all, my poor children, so ensnared and seduced by all the evil spirits who, during these years, have attained their greatest triumph, and thus, you will be illuminated by this divine light, and you will see your own selves in the mirror of the truth and the holiness of God. It will be like a judgment in miniature, which will open the door of your heart to receive the great gift of Divine Mercy.” (Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 1995)

Secret #3: A permanent sign will be visible at the site of the first apparition (and perhaps at the sites of all apparitions worldwide). It can be seen and photographed but not touched. It is mostly a sign for atheists and others to convert, and that God is indeed real. Mirjana says, “When the permanent sign appears, unbelievers will run to the hill and pray for forgiveness …”

Secrets #4-6: Virtually nothing is known about these three secrets.

Secret #7: This was to be the first of three chastisements to begin changing the world. However, Blessed Mary tells us now that the efforts of prayer, fasting, and penance by so many who are trying to follow her messages, have greatly reduced or eliminated this chastisement!

Secret #8: This is another chastisement for mankind – one that frightened Mirjana when she learned of it on November 6, 1982. She begged Mother Mary to lessen its intensity.

(Mary) “I have prayed; the punishment has been softened. Repeated prayers and fasting reduce punishments from God, but it is not possible to avoid entirely the chastisement. Go on the streets of the city – count those who glorify God and those who offend Him. God can no longer endure that.”

Secret #9: Another severe chastisement; prayer and fasting could lessen it.

Secret #10: This will be an unavoidable “purification” of the world through “three days of darkness.” (Sounds a bit like Passover…)

“It will begin on a bitterly cold winter night in the Northern hemisphere. The wind will howl and roar with lightning and thunderbolts of an unprecedented magnitude will strike the earth. The whole earth will shake. The moon and the stars will be disturbed and not be seen in a normal way. Then, every demon, every spirit will be released from hell and allowed to roam the earth. Terrifying apparitions will take place. Many will die from sheer fright. Fire will rain forth from the sky; all large cities will be destroyed and poisonous gases will fill the air. Cries and lamentations will be heard everywhere. The unbelievers will burn in the open like withered grass. The entire earth will be afflicted; it will look like a huge graveyard.

We are to go indoors, lock all doors and windows, pull down the blinds, and stick adhesive paper on vents and around windows and doors. We are not to answer calls and pleas from outside – which sound like our relatives, our children, and our friends – even though the temptation will be overwhelming to respond. In order to protect ourselves, we are to light blessed wax candles, which can be obtained by asking a priest to bless any wax candle. Nothing else will burn, but the candles will not be extinguished once lit. Nothing will put them out in the houses of the faithful, but they will not burn in the houses of the godless. Second, we should sprinkle holy water about the house and especially near doors and windows. The devils fear holy water. We are to bless ourselves with it and anoint our five senses with it – eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet, and forehead.

We should kneel and pray incessantly with outstretched arms – or prostrate on the floor. Pray the rosary and meditate on the Sorrowful mysteries. Mercifully, some people, especially children, will be taken up to Heaven beforehand to spare them the horror of these days. People caught outdoors will die instantly. Three-quarters of the human race will be exterminated, more men than women. When all seems lost and hopeless, in the blink of an eye, the ordeal will be over. The sun will rise and shine as in springtime over a purified earth.”

Although the terrifying and gloomy nature of this “secret” sounds so scary and depressing, think about what it is really saying: All evil abolished, the end of the devil’s influence, only sincere believers in God remaining, no crime, no deceit, no abuse – truly like a new Garden of Eden – an age of peace and love and harmony …truly a “world without end.” The Virgin Mary said to not waste energy worrying about the secrets. Believe in God and practice her messages from Jesus through how we live our lives. In conclusion, Our Blessed Mother tells us:

Resist everything that wants to distance you from My Son …”

Dear children! Give thanks with me to the Most High for my presence with you. My heart is joyful watching the love and joy in the living of my messages. Many of you have responded, but I wait for, and seek, all the hearts that have fallen asleep to awaken from the sleep of unbelief. Little children, draw even closer to my Immaculate Heart so that I can lead all of you toward eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (June 25, 2011—the 30th anniversary)

Our Lady of Sorrows, El Escorial, Spain, 1980-1992

“Our Lady of Sorrows”
EL ESCORIAL, SPAIN  (1980-1992)

Luz Amparo Cuevas was the mother of seven children and wife of a doorman.  She was a simple woman, working as a maid, who could neither read nor write.  It was Holy Trinity Celebration Day, November 13, 1980, when she had her first apparition of the Virgin Mary.  She lived in the valley of Prado Nuevo where the town of San Lorenzo del Escorial and the famous Escorial Monastery are located.  Born to a very poor family, her mother had died when she was only six months old.  A harsh stepmother sent her out on the streets to sell things with orders not to return until all her wares were sold.  So there were nights that she slept outside, under a tree, or even with snow.  When she was nine years old, she was arrested for begging for food on the streets.  In jail she survived on flour and water.  Despite these hardships, Amparo maintained her great love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, often asking to go see her mother in heaven.

Luz Amparo Cuevas, wife, mother of seven, and visionary
Luz Amparo Cuevas, wife, mother of seven, and visionary

Her marriage was not easy as her husband struggled with alcoholism and constant unemployment.  She was miraculously healed in Lourdes from a heart disease in 1977. She did not really know how to pray but always invoked Our Lady with childlike mildness, innocence, and a great compassion for others.  Overseen and witnessed by several priests, the multitude of witnesses, along with her simple, generous, devoted nature exclude the possibility of a fraud or pathological illusion.  She experienced 30 apparitions between November 13 of 1980 and April 4, 1992.  She has received over 500 messages during this period of thirteen years.

The Virgin Mary begins making appearances in Spain again
The Virgin Mary begins making appearances in Spain again

“Many souls err, are lost, waiting for somebody to save them.  The sin of impurity greatly offends Our Lord.  A big part of the clergy – that is priests, bishops, and cardinals – are stepping on paths of perdition, and it is because of them that many souls are condemned.”

“The Holy Rosary is my favorite prayer.  We could save the whole mankind with it.  We could end a war with it if we wanted.  You must meditate every mystery a little while praying it.  It is important that you say the fifteen mysteries.  I promise to assist anybody who prays the Rosary when that person dies.”

“They must have reconciliation with God every day.  They must confess and consume the Sacred Host every first Saturday.  It is very important to consume the Host with utmost devotion every month’s first Friday in my Son’s honor.  We must be constant in receiving the Holy Eucharist.”

"Beautiful Lady" -- the Virgin Mary in Spain
“Beautiful Lady” — the Virgin Mary in Spain

“Say prayers for the Pope, the priests, for peace in Spain and the world, and particularly for full conversion in Russia.”

“Pride leads to every other sin in the world.  You must be humble and answer with humbleness every possible offense.  With humbleness you can achieve anything and be less likely to fall into temptation.”

“There will come a Great Chastisement for all mankind – a chastisement the likes of which have never been seen.  If you do not hear me, there will be thousands of deaths, and the church will suffer a great decay.  There will be no work, and a new Great War will come.  The Pope will be martyrized.  You are very near the Last Times.  The judgment over nations is very near.  The Creator’s Day is coming.”

“God the Father will send two very big punishments.  One will include wars, revolutions.  The other one comes from Heaven.  There will be great earthquakes in several nations.  All Earth will be in darkness for three days.  Nothing will be visible.  The air will be unbreathable, and during those dark days, the only light will be provided by holy candles.  The believers must stay at their homes, saying the Holy Rosary and asking God for Mercy.  The punishment will end two-thirds of Mankind.  Nothing will happen to those who are with God and the Virgin.”

The book that details the investigation into these appearances and messages.
The book that details the investigation into these appearances and messages.

“Before the punishment, there will be a warning from Heaven.  Everybody will see it.  It will seem as if the whole world is in flames.  It will last 20 minutes, and many will die because of the shock.  Those who believe in God and the Virgin will fall into a sort of ecstasy.  After the warning and before the punishment, there will be a miracle.”

“My Son will destroy any bad herb, and He will prepare a glorious rebirth in His Mercy’s Time.  Then will come Peace and reconciliation between men, mankind, and God.  He will be served, adored, and glorified.  Charity will shine everywhere.  The new kings will be the right hand of the church.  Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will live in awe of God.  The Holy Church will be mild, pious, strong, poor, and meticulous in imitating Jesus Christ’s Virtues.”

“Give your Merciful Mother’s messages to all in the world.  You must realize that there are many who still do not know them.”

"Our Lady of Sorrows" -- the Virgin Mary in Spain.
“Our Lady of Sorrows” — the Virgin Mary in Spain.

 

Dates of Visual Apparitions:

1980:  November 13

1981:  January 15,  May 23,  July 6,  September 25,  October 2, 14, 23,  November 22, December 11, 18.

1982:   January 15,  March 19,  April 2,  July 3,  November 19, 20, 26,

December 4, 22, 25.

1983:  January 14, 22,  February 5,  March 27,  July 20,  November 5.

1989:   February 4,  July 1.

1992:  April 4.

Luz Amparo Cuevas experiencing the stigmata in her bed.
Luz Amparo Cuevas experiencing the stigmata in her bed.

She still receives messages ever first Saturday of each month according to some sources.

The church has not dismissed her experiences and may be waiting to see if the prophecies come to pass before validating her experiences.

New South Wales, Australia

NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA (1976-2001)

Geraldine is the wife and mother of a young family.  She is a kind, generous, charitable person who wants to omit her last name from publicity to protect her private life and that of her family.  Father Richard Masin, Father Michael Love, and Father Eugene Szondi have served as her spiritual directors over the years – and approve of her messages and experiences with Blessed Mary and Jesus.  She also received approval and blessings from Bishop G. F. Mayne in her diocese.

At the age of 13 in 1976, she had just lost her sister Karen (12) after a long suffering.  She had asked God to take her instead as she felt her sister was much more talented and worthy of life than herself.  She used to punish herself and cry endlessly because she hated herself and could not bear the pain of the separation from her beloved sister.  One day, as she was crying intensely while lying on her grandmother’s bed, she heard a “beautiful woman’s voice.”  It was soft, loving, gentle – yet very clear and distinct:

            “Stop punishing yourself.  It is not your fault.”

She jumped up in fright because she thought she had been alone in the room.  To her surprise, nobody was there.  Despite the shock and puzzlement, she felt strangely calmed and at peace due to the soothing tone of the voice.  She had blamed God for the death and turned away from Him, so she was not going to pray.  But then the beautiful lady came to her in a strange dream:

“I had a dream that I was with a group of people going to Lourdes, when suddenly I am lost and on my own in what appeared to be a misty moorland at nighttime – yet I can see a grotto at the top of the hill in the distance, so I make my way there.  Inside a cave I see a statue of Our Lady and a kneeler in front of it.  I kneel down to ask Our Lady to help me pray.  As I was trying to pray, something is pulling at my left arm to distract me.  Then I felt a sharp pain in my arm as if something had bitten me.

I turned around to see a huge, black dog.  I cried out to Our Lady, ‘Help me, please, I can’t pray.’  As I look up at the statue, it is gone!  Then, I look to my right and see this beautiful lady standing beside me.  The statue had come to life!  She looked about 18, and she radiated calmness, serenity, and peacefulness; she was so beautiful.  Then she held out her arms very gracefully and looked at the dog, saying, full of love,”

“Come dance with Me, Satan!”

The huge dog spun around backwards so fast that it drilled a huge hole in the concrete ground, and down he went underground in a puff of smoke.  I could see that this dog was terrified of this woman and hated Her.  Then she took me by the hand and walked outside with me.  Then she said,”

“Geraldine, never be afraid to pray.  Good always overcomes evil.”

“When I told my grandmother about the dream the next morning, she became overjoyed, very excited, and dropped to her knees, praising God, and thrilled that the Blessed Mother had appeared to me.  But, I did not really believe this yet and was more worried about grandmother’s health.  Although I had never been to Lourdes or seen any pictures, years later I did see a photo and recognized the Lourde’s grotto as the very same one that I had seen in my dream!”

Geraldine had another dream in which she saw her deceased sister dressed in black.  As she ran to hug her she noted that her sister was upset with her over having had a recent and unresolved disagreement with their grandfather.  Her sister urged her to “go quickly and make up with him.”  Her sister was upset because Geraldine had been selfish and unkind.  The next morning Geraldine told her mother and agreed to go visit grandfather on the next morning.  But grandfather died from a heart attack that very night – and now Geraldine understood her sister’s urgency and why she was dressed in black.  Grandfather then came to her in a few visions, upset and warning her about terrible times ahead for humanity – and angry if she did not believe him.

In 1986 Geraldine was expecting her fourth child and experienced a very difficult and painful pregnancy.  At five months she had an accident and fractured her spine and could not walk for two months, spending weeks in the hospital.  As the difficult birth approached, more pain and troubles occurred.  But nothing was as horrific as the insensitive worker who was rough with her and yelled at her despite her being in excruciating pain.  In desperation Geraldine offered up her pain to Jesus.

Australian visionary who goes by "Geraldine"
Australian visionary who goes by “Geraldine”

“Then all of a sudden, one moment I am lying there (in the hospital) in agony, and the next — I am in a completely different place, standing up free from all pain.  I did not know where I was; I looked all around me and everything was brilliant light.  In front of me to my left I saw a figure of a man, and it was as though the sun was shining from his face, but yet it did not hurt my eyes to look at him.  He was brighter than the sun.  At that moment I felt his great compassion for me, as if he felt sorry for me, and then he said, ‘Do not worry, this person belongs to the Wicked One.’  I knew he meant the nurse who had caused me to suffer much.  Up until this moment in my life, I sometimes wondered if God or Heaven really existed.  Now, in Jesus’ presence I was in awe and remembered thinking, ‘Oh, God, there really is a Supreme Being who watches over the whole earth and sees everything.’  Now I know for sure that there is a God!  Then he said, ‘They are persecuting My people,’ and He raised His right hand as He wanted to punish the wicked people here on earth.  I then felt tremendous anger coming from him and also felt His Almighty Power.  Just as He was about to strike, something from my right stopped Him.  I looked across to see what it was, and I saw a Lady sitting down.  Coming from this woman were oceans and oceans of love.  So much love – a love I have never known.  All the love I have for my family, children, husband, mother, grandparents, relatives, everyone – all this put together is only a tear-drop compared to the love coming from this Lady – and a serenity, peacefulness, and gentleness on the same scale.  Her love was stopping this Man from punishing the world, and I knew I must go through this Lady to get to this Man.  She had a tremendous hold over Him, which was Love.  In this love that I felt coming from Her I experienced the greatest ecstasy and happiness I had ever known.  Then I realized He could refuse Her nothing.  At this moment She said to me, ‘You are going to have a baby girl.  Go back, they need you.’  And I was back in the hospital.”   

In November of 1989 Geraldine received another heavenly gift:

“Many things had been going wrong … I needed my grandmother who had partly raised me and was missing her very much.  I needed advice, and I was still grieving for her (she had died in 1982).  With tears streaming down my face, I was thinking of how we used to talk – and of her loving ways – my heart breaking as I wished she was still here.”

“Then, to my surprise, I heard a woman’s voice speaking inside of me clearly.  She said, ‘I am your Blessed Mother.  I am speaking to you from within.  Your earthly mother is not here with you right now so I have come to comfort you during your trials.  However, your other mother (grandmother) is here with Me.  Would you like to speak to her?’  At that moment I thought I was losing my mind … but yet … I felt peaceful and calm and very comforted and loved by this voice.  So, I said, ‘Yes, I would.”

“The next thing I knew, somehow, I was flying in spirit through the sky.  By my left side was an Angel guiding me, and I felt it was my Guardian Angel – and it was nighttime.  I saw in the distance a city.  As we approached this city, it was like a warm and peaceful Sunday afternoon because there was a holiness about it.  I saw white stone houses with flat roofs and park bench seats outside.  There were people sitting on the seats.  As we got closer, I recognized some of the people.  My grandmother was sitting on the right side and my sister, Karen, opposite her.  My grandmother looked younger, and there was a beautiful glow about her.  I could see she was looking forward to my being with her.”

“Then I found myself looking towards my sister.  It was like looking through a camera as the focus moved from place to place.  My sister looked about thirty years old now; she was twelve years old when she had died.  Yet, her features were the same.  She was beaming and so happy and smiling.  She said, ‘I have someone very, very special here who is really looking forward to meeting you.  Don’t worry, I am looking after her for you.’  At that moment my view shifted down to see that she was holding the hand of a little girl about nine years old.  She had long hair tied back in a ponytail, and she wore a plain gray dress.  I didn’t know who she was.”

“Then my sister said, ‘This is Geraldine Margaret.’  At that moment I nearly fainted with shock.  I felt the hair stand up on the back of my head, and I felt hot, then cold, as I realized it was the little baby I had miscarried nine years earlier, and it was a girl.  I was going to call her Margaret Geraldine after my grandmother, but instead, they called her after me.  Then this experience ended.  As I came out of the room, my husband said, ‘What’s the matter?’ as he could see by the look on my face that something had happened.”

“I cried continuously at the thought of having a daughter and not knowing her.  Again, I was so upset – not knowing what to make of all this.  Again, I heard this beautiful, soft, loving woman’s voice:  ‘Do not be sad at what you have seen.  Rejoice, rejoice, for your Father in Heaven has given you a wonderful gift.’  I stopped crying and was comforted, feeling a great peace.”

 

November 2, 1991

“My child, Jesus will guide you in all things.  Do not be worried or concerned about anything.  Trust in My Son because He wants only what is best for you.  Dear child, Satan roams around like a roaring lion, waiting to devour you.  Protect yourself, wear holy blessed objects.  Pray, use holy water more, invoke the protection of My Son’s precious blood.  Pray to St. Michael for protection.  Rejoice in the blessings God has given you, as this is pleasing to Him.  Tell all Our sons and daughters of My great love for them.  I only wish to save them – the light of God will shine upon them if they repent.”

February 14, 1992

“Dear children, your Holy Mother speaks to you.  Children so dear to My heart, help Me, please, I beg you, quickly.  I tell you I suffer so much.  Go to everyone you meet and tell them the Lord is coming.  Oh, My children, My sorrow is immense – I see so much catastrophe ahead of you.  Come quickly to Me, all of you, for protection.  Pray, pray as never before.  Help and console one another.  I love you all and want you close to Me to save you from the Evil One who hates you and wants to destroy you and your families.  Receive the Sacraments daily – time is of the essence.  My Son’s wrath is about to come upon the whole world.  Pray, pray, and offer all in reparation.  Pray more, love more, suffer more.  Walk with your Mother the road to Calvary along with My Divine Son, Jesus.  My children, God has sent Me to warn you.  Listen to the voice of the prophets, as you cannot imagine what the Father has prepared for those who offend Him continuously.  Pray, I beg you, for My lost children.  My beloved children who are faithful to Me, console your sorrowful Mother in constant prayer, penance, reparation, and fasting.  I bless you …”

April 4, 1992 (from Jesus)

“Dear daughter, My beloved Mother and I are present; be not afraid, I hold you in the palm of My hand.  We are so very much offended, My child, by the sins of the world.  Oh, how My heart grieves.  Many souls are doomed to perdition.  How it grieves Me to see this.  Console Me, My child, as the pain is unbearable.  Why are they so blind? Why do they not listen to Me and My Blessed Mother, who loves them with a love beyond their imagination?  The greatest joy awaits them in Paradise if only they would repent and turn away from sin.  Oh, the sorrow in My poor Mother’s Heart!  Console Her, My child, as She suffers greatly.  Give some consolation to your Blessed Mother.  My children, why do you deceive yourselves?  Don’t you know that the Kingdom of God is upon you?  Repent now while there is still time.  Weep, My children, for your families, as the earth and Heavens above will shake to their very foundations with a terror the world has never known.  Woe to the wicked as their fate is terrible.  Pray, pray, pray continuously to lessen the punishment as you cannot imagine what God will send.  But, fear not, My blessed beloved ones, who suffer for My sake.  Be not afraid – I will be with you in all things.  Come close to My Sacred Heart, and I will comfort you.  Do all in My name, and I will bless you for this, and the greatest joy shall await you.  You will glorify My Father in Heaven by your sacrifices.  Do much penance, pray, fast, tell My priests I love them, and I suffer for them greatly.  Arm yourselves urgently with My Holy Mother’s Rosary, as the Prince of Darkness is unchained from the abyss.  In the Rosary you will find protection and consolation.  The time is at hand.  My loved ones, comfort one another, pray with and for each other.  Suffer for souls, My chosen one, and the greatest joy in Heaven will be yours for all eternity.” 

The medal requested by the Virgin Mary to be struck in Australia.
The medal requested by the Virgin Mary to be struck in Australia.

  

April 24, 1992

“My child, I, your Blessed Mother, am present.  Do not be afraid.  Satan cannot harm you as you have My motherly protection.  But you must still arm yourself with prayer, especially My Holy Rosary.  My daughter, please be guided by Me.  Do not be deceived by the world.  My daughter, prostrate yourself before Me and console Me as My heart aches for My children.  My Holy Angels are present in veneration.  I wish to make known through you the sufferings of My Immaculate Heart.  Tell My beautiful children how much I love them and long to teach them.  Oh, My child, the pain in My heart is unbearable.  Help Me, I suffer greatly.  Pray, pray, pray.”

June 11, 1992 (Jesus)

“Oh, My daughter, be silent and know that I am God.  Have I ever abandoned you?  Am I not at this present moment standing by you?  Be not afraid for I am within you.  Have courage, My child, and abide in Me who am all love.  I have not forsaken you.  The torment your soul has suffered is also a purification.  Offer all to My Heavenly Father for all needy humanity.  Beloved daughter, I see you suffer greatly, but do not distress yourself.  I will be your shining light.  You still doubt.  But I understand this and you will grow.  Your Spiritual Director will guide and help you greatly.  What you will suffer now will not last long.  Pray much and offer all, and this trial will pass quickly.  I wish to use you to spread My messages.  Do not worry – I will show you the way.  Just write all that I say for now.  I will sustain you in everything as you are Mine.  You belong to Me and I love you.  I will not let you suffer beyond your capacity.  I must now let My Holy Mother speak as I feel that you need Her more now.”

(Mary:) “My child, do not be afraid.  Satan cannot harm you.  Angels surround you always and especially now.  Turn off your television.  Pray more.  Do not be afraid. I have come to comfort you.  Fear not, little one, and be at peace.  My Son loves you.”

October 7, 1993

“My dear child, tell My Priest sons I am calling them together to prepare to do battle.  The Church and the world are about to be thrown into great turmoil.  Pray very much for the Holy Father (John Paul II), as He suffers greatly for the sins of humanity and is very distressed.  He needs your constant support in prayer.  Tell My sons I have chosen you to give these messages, which is the holy will of My Son.  Prepare humanity now for the greatest battle since time began, which is about to begin.  If you do not heed My warnings, you will not survive the terrible and evil time ahead: torrents of rain, hail, thunder, earthquakes, catastrophes, natural disasters, murders, corruption, incest, immorality, abortions, Priests and Religious losing faith and committing sacrileges against the Holy Name of My Son – these are taking place.  How much more can He take?  He is daily crucified.  Help Me, please.  I cannot hold back the justice of My Son any more.  Please, My sons, prepare now as never before.  I am gathering you now from the four corners of the earth to do battle.  Put on the armor of God daily, and take up your cross and carry it with joy.  Go in peace.”

February 15, 1991

“My children, listen to me – the Lord your God speaks.  Let not your sins be numerous because there will soon be a great chastisement.  Turn back to Me, My children, quickly as Satan is very strong.  This is his kingdom.  He now rules over much of the world, but My Kingdom is coming.  There really is another life.  You are just passing through here.  Do not let the world deceive you – it does not have anything to offer that is lasting.  Store up in Heaven your treasures and soon you will be with Me in Paradise.  Believe, My children, justice will come.  Take refuge in Me.  Do no harm and you will receive a peace this world cannot give you.  Come to Me, My children, and I will give you rest.  The people of this world will hate you as they hated Me before you, but do not fear, My child, I have overcome the world.  Satan is very powerful, My children.  Pray the Rosary often.  This is a very powerful weapon.  Do not concern yourselves with material things.  Live simply and go to church as this is the only time when you are in My Real Presence.  Go to Confession at least once a month with the intention of changing afterwards.”         

February 6, 1995 (Jesus)

“Beloved, I wish to tell you of the great things I have planned for this generation.  Woe to the wicked for their time is over.  They will lie in the streets covered in their blood for the sufferings My children have cried out to Me in vengeance.  I have a great punishment for mankind – the like of which has never been seen before, or will be again.  This will be the very worst of My Judgment.  Terror will sweep the earth.  The love of many will grow cold and cease to exist.  Many will be plunged into Hell.  My Angels are in readiness for this day; they await My word.  The Heavens, My child, will be pierced with the cries of many, but in vain.  I have said, ‘No more!’  This day will come very suddenly.  I wish you to prepare with much prayer and sacrifice, because much will be asked of My chosen children.  The Evil One is poisoning people’s minds, perverting them and causing them to pervert others, inciting them to murder and destroying many before this terrible day.  There will be many innocent victims at this time.  Pray for them and their families.  My beloved, do everything Father tells you on My behalf.  My beloved, the grace of God is upon you and this work.  I am allowing all these things to prepare you for My Kingdom.  Beloved, accept all with love for Me.  The Evil One is trying to destroy your peace.  Offer everything for love of God … Go in peace.”

There are hundreds of more messages given to Geraldine from Jesus and Blessed Mary that cannot be all listed here.  At one point, a medal was requested to be created that would display the Divine Mercy image of Jesus on the front with these words: “He who believes in me will never die / Jesus / The Light of the World.”  The backside of the medal displays the Sacred Heart of Jesus next to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with these words: “Unite the World / The Immaculate Conception and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

February 10, 1995 (Blessed Mary)

“My child, this Medal will be for the conversion of many.  Many graces and blessings, healings and spiritual healings will come from the faith people have in this devotion.  The name of this Medal, My child, is ‘The Medal of Divine Mercy.’  I have come to ask for devotion to Our Two Hearts and to My Beloved Son’s Divine Mercy.  Those who ask Us under these titles will receive abundant blessings, and the grace of My Son will be given them.  This devotion will be spread world-wide and will amaze you.  But it is the will and work of My Divine Son, so it will bear much fruit.  Go, My children, and spread this devotion everywhere as it is so necessary for the salvation of the world.  My Son blesses you as do I.  Go in peace.”

 

Our Lady of Cuapa, Nicaragua, 1980

CUAPA, NICARAGUA  (1980)

On April 15, 1980, the sacristan, Bernardo Martinez (age 50), witnessed the statue of Mary in the chapel light up on its own.  Recently, the sacristy lights had mysteriously illuminated on two other occasions.   Thinking that Mary might be mad at him for arguing with others, he set out to seek forgiveness from those people.  But they laughed at his story and ridiculed him.  He begged Mary to not request anything more of him because it was causing him troubles.  He even avoided going near the statue.

Visionary Bernardo Martinez of Cuapa, Nicaragua
Visionary Bernardo Martinez of Cuapa, Nicaragua

Bernardo was close to his breaking point both physically and emotionally due to illness, being out of work, and not being able to care for his family well. To cheer himself up, he went to the river to fish.  When it began to rain around 1:00 p.m., he decided to sit under a tree and wait.  He dozed for a short time but woke with a start and an unexplained fear.  He decided to pray the Rosary.  By 3:00 p.m., he decided to gather his fish and head home.  Returning from this fishing trip on May 8, 1980, Bernardo saw two lightning flashes.  On the second flash the Virgin Mary appeared to him.  He felt immobilized and could not run or yell.  But he was surprised that he felt no fear.  He thought that he might just be envisioning the same statue in his mind – and perhaps was dreaming, but when he passed his hand over his eyes and looked again, he saw that she had human skin and eyes that moved and blinked.  “She is alive!” he thought to himself – because his tongue would not move to speak.  He felt numb – his lower jaw and tongue were stiff as if asleep.  His whole body was immobilized – only his thoughts in his mind could be active.

She was so beautiful – wearing a long white dress with bare feet resting upon an extremely white cloud.  She had a celestial cord around her waist, long sleeves, and a veil of a pale cream color with gold embroidery covering her.  She extended her arms and rays of light, “stronger than the sun,” emanated from her hands.  The rays touched his chest – and he was able to speak again, so he asked her name.

Bernardo is humbled by the Virgin Mary's presence.
Bernardo is humbled by the Virgin Mary’s presence.

“She answered me with the sweetest voice I have ever heard from any woman – sweeter than the softest voice.”  He saw her move her lips and say that her name was Mary.  He knew she was alive and real because she actually responded to him!

B:         “Where do you come from?”

M:        “I come from Heaven.  I am the Mother of Jesus.”

B:         “What is it that you want?”

M:        “I want the Rosary to be prayed every day.”

B:         “Yes, we are praying it – The priest brought us the intentions of the San Francisco parish so that we would unite ourselves with them.”

M:        “I don’t want it (Rosary) prayed only in the month of May.  I want it to be prayed permanently, within the family, including the children old enough to understand – to be prayed at a set hour when there are no problems with the work in the home.

Love each other.  Fulfill your obligations.  Make peace.  Don’t ask our Lord for peace, because if you do not make it, there will be no peace.  Renew the Five First Saturdays.  You received many graces when all of you did this.”

Mary added that prayers should not be rushed or said in a mechanical fashion.  She told him to read the Bible passages that go along with the mysteries of the Rosary.

M:        “Nicaragua has suffered much since the earthquake.  She is threatened with even more suffering.  She will continue to suffer if you don’t change.  Pray! Pray, my son, the Rosary for all the world.  Tell believers and non-believers that the world is threatened by grave dangers.  I ask the Lord to appease His Justice, but if you don’t change, you will hasten the arrival of a Third World War.”

B:         “Lady, I don’t want problems.  I have many in the church.  Tell this to another person.”

M:        “No, because Our Lord has selected you to give this message.”

Our Lady of Cuapa, Nicaragua
Our Lady of Cuapa, Nicaragua

Bernardo was frightened to spread Mary’s message because of the persecution he had endured earlier.  He kept the vision to himself for eight days until Mary appeared again.

M:        “Why have you not told what I sent you to tell?”

B:         “Lady, it is that I am afraid.  I am afraid of being the ridicule of the people, afraid that they will laugh at me, that they will not believe me.  Those who will not believe this will laugh at me.  They will say that I am crazy.”

M:        “Do not be afraid.  I am going to help you. And tell the priest.”

Bernardo described Mary looking upward toward Heaven, and the cloud that held her slowly elevated her.  She was in a ray of light, and when she reached a certain height, she disappeared.

The chapel in Cuapa.
The chapel in Cuapa.

So Bernardo began telling people and his priest – who encouraged him to keep sharing with others what he had witnessed.  On June 8, 1980, Mary appeared again, giving him four visions – “which were like movies in the sky.” The first vision was of the first Christians, singing and marching towards Heaven.  They were dressed in white – their bodies glowing with light.  The second vision was of another group of people also dressed in white.  They held illuminated rosaries in their hands.  The leader read from a book, and after meditating on the reading, they prayed an Our Father and ten Hail Marys.  Mary explained that they were the first ones to whom she had given the Rosary.  She wanted everyone to pray the Rosary like they were doing it.  In the third vision, Bernardo saw a group of men dressed in brown robes.  Mary explained that these were the Franciscans.  “They received the Rosary from the hands of the first ones.”  In the fourth vision,  he saw a large group, as big as an army, of people in normal dress, all holding rosaries.  Light radiated from their bodies, and they were beautiful.  He wanted to join them and go with them even though he was not illuminated, himself.

M:        “No!  You are still lacking.  You have to tell the people what you have seen and heard.  I have shown you the glory of Our Lord, and you people will acquire this if you are obedient to Our Lord, to the Lord’s Word – if you persevere in praying the Holy Rosary and put into practice the Lord’s Word.”

Bernardo only shared these visions with the priest, knowing that the church must approve them first.  The priest gave Bernardo approval and permission to spread the visions.

On July 8, 1980, an angel presented him with a vision of a prophecy.  The angel told Bernardo to tell a certain woman how and when her brother would get released from jail because he was innocent.  He had a message for another woman regarding her alcoholic father and brother and her own problems teaching in a communist school.  Finally, the angel foretold that his own cousin would be assaulted and later killed.  All of these prophecies came to pass exactly as the angel had described.

On October 13, 1980, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, a large glowing circle appeared above the ground in front of fifty people that had gathered to say the Holy Rosary.  Everyone saw the light that came from the sky – a single ray – like a powerful spotlight that illuminated the circle in front of them.  Then the people noticed that a circle had also formed in the sky.  “It was like a ring around the sun – but it’s not the sun!”  The circle began to radiate all the colors of the rainbow (at exactly 3:00 p.m.) – which danced about the sky.

“It was 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon.  One could feel a small breeze that moved softly.  Pleasant – like a fresh shower – but which did not wet us.  While we observed this, we were silent and continued seeing that circle of light which gave off colored lights from the exact center, where the sun is at twelve noon.  All of a sudden, a lightning flash – the same as the other times – then, a second flash.  I lowered my eyes, and I saw the Lady.”

She appeared on her little cloud which rested above a pile of flowers that the group had brought.  She extended her hands, and rays of light reached out to everyone, causing some to cry with joy.  Bernardo begged her to appear to all of those present as they did not all believe in his vision.  Mary’s face became pale and her clothes turned gray, appearing as Our Lady of Sorrows.

“It saddens me to see the hardness of those persons’ hearts.  But you will have to pray for them so that they will change.  Pray the Rosary.  Meditate on the mysteries.  Listen to the Word of God spoken in them.  Love one another.  Love each other.  Forgive each other.  Make peace.  Don’t ask for peace without making peace, because if you don’t make it, it does no good to ask for it.  Fulfill your obligations.  Put into practice the Word of God.  Seek ways to please God.  Serve your neighbor — as that way you will please Him.  They ask of me things that are unimportant.  Ask for Faith in order to have strength so that each can carry his own cross.  The suffering of this world cannot be removed.  That is the way life is.  There are problems with the husband, with the wife, with the children, with the brothers.  Talk, converse, so that the problems will be resolved in peace.  Do not turn to violence.  Never turn to violence.  Pray for faith in order that you will have patience.  You will no longer see me in this place.”

B:         “Don’t leave us, my Mother!  Don’t leave us, my Mother!  Don’t leave us, my Mother!”

M:        “Do not be grieved.  I am with all of you even though you do not see me.  I am the Mother of All you sinners.  Love one another.  Forgive each other.  Make peace … Pray, pray, my son, for all the world.  Grave dangers threaten the world.  The Mother never forgets Her children, and I have not forgotten what you suffer.  Invoke me with these words, Holy Virgin, You are my Mother, the Mother to all of us sinners.

Lady of Cuapa, Nicaragua
Lady of Cuapa, Nicaragua

As she departed, the little cloud seemed to be pushing her back up to Heaven. At this, the messages from Mary were completed.  These six apparitions were officially approved by the church in 1982, and, shortly after that, Bernardo Martinez was ordained a priest.  The local bishop, Monsignor Vega published his approval of these apparitions on November 13, 1983.

Most of the 202,000 Nicaraguans who reside in the United States fled to this country in the 1980’s when the brutal war in Nicaragua broke out between the Sandinistas and the Contras.

 

Our Lady of Light, Zeitoun, Egypt, 1968-1971

“Our Lady of Light”
ZEITOUN, EGYPT (1968-1971)

The visions occurred at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mary in Zeitoun, a busy Cairo suburb which lies close to the road taken by the Holy Family during their flight into Egypt. It is interesting to note that the land in which the church stands originally belonged to a family of devout Copts named Khalil. In 1920, one of the family was about to build on it, when the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in a dream and told him to build a Coptic Church in her honor on the site – and that in 50 years she would bless it in a special way. And, 50 years later, Mary was appearing to thousands over this church!

The site of the apparitions: St. Mary's Church, Zeitoun, Egypt, 1968-1971
The site of the apparitions: St. Mary’s Church, Zeitoun, Egypt, 1968-1971

Relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church and Rome, already close in 1968, were further enhanced by the return of the major part of Saint Mark’s relics by Pope Paul VI from Venice to Egypt early in that year. This act of fraternal charity seems to have set the stage for the extraordinary visions of Mary in the following month.

The Virgin Mary first appeared privately to the priest of St. Mary’s church, Father Constantine Moussa. On one evening she appeared in the church on the steps by the altar. When she spoke to him, he fainted and fell to the floor. Being a humble man who did not wish to draw any attention to himself, he did not reveal this visitation until just before he died in 1984. He revealed to the Chairman of the Papal Committee that the Virgin Mary had described the nature of her impending visit with him and had told him, “Be ready!” Little did he know that millions would be coming to this church to see her.

Strange lights begin appearing over the church in this suburb of Cairo.
Strange lights begin appearing over the church in this suburb of Cairo.

On Tuesday, April 2, 1968, at 8:30 p.m. two Moslem workmen, standing at the gate to their work garage across from the church, were startled by the appearance of a “lady in white,” kneeling beside the cross at the top of the church’s dome. One of the workmen, Farouk Mohammed Atwa, pointed his bandaged finger toward the lady, fearing that it might be a nun about to commit suicide, and said, “Lady, don’t jump! Don’t jump.” Feeling a sense of desperation, he dashed off to call the fire brigade and the rescue squad while others ran across the street to summon the priest, Father Constantine. At that moment, the lady rose to her feet, revealing herself as a luminous being, dressed in shimmering robes of light. One woman cried out, “Our Lady Mary!” At that moment, a flight of glowing white doves appeared from nowhere and hovered around the apparition. Then everything faded away into the dark sky, leaving spectators below speechless. Farouk Atwa’s bandaged finger was full of gangrene and due to be amputated the next day. But when he arrived at the hospital the next morning, the surgeon was astonished to find his finger completely healed – the first recorded miraculous healing in Zeitoun.

Exactly a week later, there was another apparition, then another and another in rapid succession. They always took place at night and were generally preceded by mysterious lights, flashing silently over the church like a canopy of shooting stars or “a shower of diamonds made of light.” Minutes later, formations of luminous doves would appear and fly around the floodlit church. Eyewitnesses described them as “strange bird-like creatures made of light” which flew with “astonishing swiftness without moving their wings.” They always maintained a definite formation and then disappeared “like melting snowflakes.” Shortly after, a blinding explosion of light would engulf the church roof. As it diminished it would shape itself into the brilliant form of Our Lady. She would be seen in a long white robe and veil of bluish-white light. The stunned spectators below could see her garments blowing in the warm night breeze. A dazzling halo shone around her head. Her radiance was so intense – “like the sun in human form” – that it was almost impossible to discern her features. The vision would glide with effortless ease across the domes, bowing and greeting the amazed crowds below. Occasionally, she would appear above or between the palm trees in the church courtyard, or emerge in a globe of light from either one of the four corner domes or other structures.

A supernatural light takes the form of the Virgin Mary.
A supernatural light takes the form of the Virgin Mary.

Sometimes she would be seen with the infant Jesus cradled in her arms – or with St. Joseph and the Christ child at about age 12. A dazzling crown of light sometimes shone above her head, giving an impression of unearthly and sublime majesty. News of the apparitions spread like fire across Egypt, attracting multitudes of Christians, Jews, Moslems, other religions, and even disbelievers and atheists. Within a few weeks, the crowds reached an estimated 250,000 people every night! These differing religions had all come together, praying together, singing together – in praise to Blessed Mary. She would acknowledge the massive crowds below, waving at them, holding out an olive branch – which would generate an ecstatic cheer from the masses.

Occasionally, people could see billowing red clouds of incense-smelling smoke rising around the vision. The clouds sometimes poured from sealed stain glass windows in the domes – “it would take a million censers to produce it.”

A clearly recognizable Virgin Mary materializes above the church
A clearly recognizable Virgin Mary materializes above the church

In the early hours of April 13, Wagih Rizk Matta, a photographer, succeeded in photographing the vision for the first time – overcoming an inexplicable sensation of immobility which prevented the vast majority of people from operating their cameras. Having taken the pictures, he then became aware of being completely healed from an old injury to his arm! (Doctors confirmed his miraculous healing.)

Apparitions might last a few minutes or as long as nine hours (8 p.m. till 5 a.m., May 4 & 5, June 8 & 9, 1968) – long enough for people to run home and bring their families and neighbors back. The Coptic Pope personally sent Bishop Athanasius to make a detailed investigation – and then the Bishop had his own experience:

Two boys gaze at the Virgin Mary walking on the roof of the church!
Two boys gaze at the Virgin Mary walking on the roof of the church!

“Suddenly, there she was – standing in full figure. The crowd was tremendous. It was too difficult to move among the people. But I worked my way to in front of the figure. There she was, five or six meters above the dome, high in the sky, full figure – like a phosphorescent statue, but not stiff like a statue. There was movement of the body and clothing … Our Lady looked to the north – she waved her hand. She blessed the people, sometimes in the direction where we stood. Her garments swayed in the wind. She was quiet, full of glory. It was something really supernatural … very, very heavenly … Some people were reciting verses from the Koran. Some were praying in Greek. Others were singing Coptic hymns … I tried to distinguish the face and features … there was something about the eyes and mouth I could see … the apparition slowly faded away …”

On another night, Bishop Athanasius attempted to approach the apparition of Mary from inside the church. He locked all the doors, turned off all the lights, and headed toward the roof. He had just seen her full figure on the roof when he had been outside just minutes before. As he approached the ladder to the roof from the second floor, he had an inexplicable experience. He started shaking uncontrollably – in fact, the ladder that he was on was also shaking hard. He felt frozen in his tracks, unable to move, and sensing that something unusual was very close by. The people outside were cheering that they could see her. He retreated back down and back outside to see that she was standing just 3 feet from where he had been!

Diverse crowds of as many as 250,000 gather to see the apparitions.
Diverse crowds of as many as 250,000 gather to see the apparitions.

Pope Paul VI also sent two investigators to Zeitoun who saw the apparition with their own eyes as well. However, Rome does not have “jurisdiction” in Egypt as they have their own Pope and system, so no Roman Pope has to render any decision, judgment, or proclamation on an event in a Coptic Orthodox environment. Similarly, the Copts felt it unnecessary to rule on Fatima in 1917. Nevertheless, the Vatican was intrigued and very interested in what was happening in Zeitoun!

Pearl Zaki is an American from Minneapolis who traveled to Cairo to see the apparitions for herself – and was not disappointed on August 12, 1968:

Making the church roof glow with an eerie light, the Virgin stops and prays.
Making the church roof glow with an eerie light, the Virgin stops and prays.

“I walked slowly around behind the crowd of about four thousand people gathered in front of the church. Suddenly, I heard a cry come up from somewhere in the crowd and saw many of them rising from their chairs and the ground to surge forward en masse. I had seen what looked like a flash of flame cover the front of the church. Again I saw a flash of yellowish orange light shaped like a big flame covering the whole front of the church and lasting about five seconds. It repeated twice more. I felt myself drawn to her and praying aloud … The large dome became engulfed in a brilliant blue white light, as if it were melting, and the edges of light on top of the lighted dome appeared to roll inward so that one’s eyes were directed to the very center in front of the cross. The whole light suddenly vanished, then reappeared. I could see in faint outline the erect, white, statue-like figure. Her arms were at Her side. Then they moved slowly upward into the position of hands folded in prayer. Two flashes of light like meteors or shooting stars came from behind the dome to form a cross over her head, and then all became dark.”

(August 18, 1968) “At 4:00 a.m. without warning, the whole front of the church suddenly lit up in the purest of white light. We saw the Virgin Mary as a white statue, standing as if ten feet tall in the garden in front of the church. I had a side view of her as one sees a white statue in profile with hands held in prayer. After a few seconds, the figure appeared to bend and move spirit-like through the wall. As we waited with anticipation, a thick fog-like cloud rolled in over the church and covered it completely. The sky above the domes of the church became a reddish-purple hue, and a fragrance like incense filled the air. One could reach out as if to touch it or move his hand through what seemed like a thick film of heavy air. (99% of the time there are no clouds in Egypt.) My son saw her silhouette in a kneeling position at the front of the dome.”

"Our Lady of Light" would often wave and bless the large crowds below.
“Our Lady of Light” would often wave and bless the large crowds below.

Often in a burst of light, she would appear out of what seemed to be nothing. A cloud that would form and become brighter and brighter – and eventually she would appear in this great illumination. Then, within this illumination, the outline of her figure would appear brighter and brighter. She bowed her head, moved her hands as to bless the multitudes, turned from side to side, and moved as if gliding on the church roof and domes. When she turned to move to the other side of the church, the back of her head could be seen. On some occasions she appeared to be ascending above the large dome into the sky. There were times when it appeared as if a door – a crack of light in the sky—would open, and she would “step out of heaven” or a “sanctuary door” – and then leave by the same means. Other times she would fade into a silhouette, then a cloud, and then disappear. Those who saw her features the clearest report a youthful, healthy-looking, beautiful lady with beautiful eyes, hair, and hands. At the time of her visits, most people became transfixed in wonder, amazement, or a state of ecstasy to the degree that all actions became impossible. Arms and fingers could not move to adjust cameras or take pictures.

Sonia Demetrious saw her four times in May of 1968:

“I saw different pictures of the Holy Family on six occasions. Sometimes she stood for 2-3 hours. I saw her appearing on top of the dome, one time in between the two palm trees, and another time at the side of the church. On one occasion I saw five little angels under the Virgin Mary – as if carrying her up from the Church.”

In a cloud of incense, Blessed Mary sits on a dome of the church.
In a cloud of incense, Blessed Mary sits on a dome of the church.

Siham Shenouda saw the Virgin Mary from 2:30 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. on April 29, 1968:

“She was fluorescent and colored – and at times with beings as two to four angels hovering around her. She was holding the Baby Jesus and appeared as if smiling. … She was very, very tall – all in blue, and she held her hands out and up as if praying. I was astonished, trembling, and crying.”

Bishop Gregorious saw the Virgin Mary on numerous occasions:

“Nine out of ten times the Virgin Mary would appear, move to the edge of the church roof and, by way of greeting, bow to the multitudes and bless them with her hand holding the cross or an olive branch. Then, she almost always turned back to the cross on the roof in an attitude of prayer – bowing before it, kneeling before it, and then found prostrate before the cross.”

 Blessed Mary cradles Jesus in her arms on top of the church dome.
Blessed Mary cradles Jesus in her arms on top of the church dome.

Numerous miraculous healings have been documented. Two girls, blind since birth, studying at a school for the blind, fully regained their sight. A 34-year old mute, Adel Abdel Malek, unable to speak since birth, was cured and able to speak. A Muslim girl with a malignant tumor on the side of her head visited an apparition of Mary at the church the night before her surgery and showed up the next day completely free of her tumor. Miss Madiha Mohammed Said, age 20, had lost her sight and speech, and had failed all medical efforts to improve her condition. On June 4, 1968, her two brothers took her to the church, asking the priest to pray for her. Suddenly, she cried out in a loud voice, “I see the apparition of the Blessed Virgin!” In that instant she regained both her eyesight and her power of speech. Cases of paralysis were cured – one woman arrived in her wheelchair at the church, felt burning electrical sensations, and then walked away.

Authorities wanted to rule out any pranks, hoaxes, or clever light shows. Police searched an area up to 15 miles out from the church, extensively, for any kind of device that might create such an effect. At one point they initiated a power blackout in the area so that nothing electrical could be possibly utilized to create these images. And the radiant Virgin Mary, her flying luminous doves, and the eerie heavenly lights continued to materialize just as brilliantly as ever during the power outage – much to the delight of thousands in the dark. Laser light shows were not in existence yet – and certainly could not have produced moving, three-dimensional images. Holography was in its infancy and could only produce a one-foot by one-foot, stationary, two-tone image at the distance of a half mile at the cost of $500,000 dollars. Mary was life-size and even larger, moving from one side of the church to the other, and in many different colors – reddish, yellowish, golden, blue, and white. Even careful scrutiny and computer enhancement of the photos taken indicate no trick photography whatsoever. This was before digital cameras, digital manipulations, and Photoshop were invented. In fact, color print film had just come out about four years earlier.

Diverse crowds gathered for four years to see the Blessed Virgin.
Diverse crowds gathered for four years to see the Blessed Virgin.

Therefore, the visits of the Virgin Mary were authenticated by the Church on May 5, 1968 – just one month after she began appearing. This unprecedented quick and vast approval was due to her dramatic and frequent appearances which most investigators or skeptics were able to witness, themselves, first-hand. The official statement by the Coptic Pope, Anba Kyrillos VI, states:

“The appearances have been witnessed by many thousands of citizens and foreigners belonging to different religions and sects, together with groups of religious organizations and scientific and professional personages and all other categories of people, who have proclaimed and announced their witnesses, confirming the certainty of the Virgin’s appearances – all giving the same particulars as to description and form and time and place, thus proving a whole agreement in witnessing that has elevated the matter of appearance above any doubt or any lack of proof or evidence.

The Papal Residence has collected the evidences that have been looked after by authorized personalities and committees of clergymen who have been pursuing and investigating and who even had the chance to observe the blessed apparition for themselves and recording their research and witness in official reports which they submitted. The Papal Residence, by issuing this statement, declares with complete faith, great rejoicing, and with gratitude submitted through self-humiliation to Almighty God that the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared numerous times in clear and steady forms during many different nights for varying periods, that reached in some of them to more than two hours continually, since the second of April 1968 up to now in the Coptic Orthodox Church in Zeitoun, Cairo, that is in Matariya Road through which the Holy Family had passed during their settlement in Egypt as well-known, historically.”

The strange glowing birds fly in the formation of a cross in the sky.
The strange glowing birds fly in the formation of a cross in the sky.

There were several other encounters with Mary during these times worthy of reporting.

Several high-ranking officials obtained a private story while visiting the home of one of the district’s leading Moslems. He admitted that he had been antagonistic toward visitors in the beginning because his house was near the church, and he would throw stones at them as they had to pass close by his house. He tried to call the police and have them arrested. But then, he said that Our Lady appeared to him and asked him why he behaved in this manner. She begged him not to continue in this fashion and commanded him to paint the sign of the cross on his house. Although remaining a practicing Muslim, he is now convinced of the authenticity of the visions and painted forty huge white crosses!

A priest confirmed the validity of the following encounter with two doctors. These two Muslim doctors were traveling from Alexandria through the desert area of the Wadi-al-Natrun Valley into Cairo. There are monasteries located along this road. While driving along, they encountered a young lady walking along the road in the hot desert sun. They felt obliged to offer her a ride. As they drew near, they saw she was dressed as a nun. With the monasteries in the area they didn’t think of this as unusual. She accepted their generous offer, and as they were riding along, she questioned them about Zeitoun. Did they know that the Virgin Mary was appearing there? Had they been to Zeitoun, etc.? They said, “No, we are busy men and Muslim. We would not go there.” As they came to the pyramid area, she asked to be let out – but not before convincing the doctors that they should visit Zeitoun. Upon questioning her, they learned that she was traveling to Zeitoun. They realized that they couldn’t leave her out in this area as it was a great distance to Zeitoun. They offered to take her there. When they arrived at Zeitoun, they turned to open the door for her to get out. People standing around the car by them then saw a dove fly out of the car’s back seat. The doctors became “mad men,” searching under the car and all around it for the young lady. All the people laughed at them and told them that there was no lady. Didn’t they see the dove flying out of the car?

The Coptic Pope, Anba Kyrillos VI, approves the apparitions after 30 days.
The Coptic Pope, Anba Kyrillos VI, approves the apparitions after 30 days.

On Friday, April 14, 1972, forty people were traveling on a bus from Alexandria to the Coventry of St. Bishoi to baptize a baby named Mary. Written testimonies from three of the passengers, Mrs. Flora Abdel Malek (a doctor’s wife), Father Boctor Zaki (a pastor), and Mr. Aziz Soadalla (member of church committee) were sent to the national newspaper. The mother of the baby, Kathy Kapel Khalil, an architect, had died 5 months earlier and could not see her dream of this baptism become a reality. Grandfather Khalil took his daughter’s baby for this baptism to fulfill her dream. At a distance of 10 miles away from the Coventry, the bus broke down, and they had to find another form of transportation. The driver of a big truck agreed to give everybody a ride. After a while, they saw a nun in her uniform walking along the road, carrying her Bible. They were surprised to see her alone in such a deserted area where there were no other people or transports. Father Boctor asked the truck driver to stop and then invited the nun to join them. She came and raised her hand, saying, “Peace.” Father Boctor seated her next to the grandmother of the child and offered her water to drink, but she did not. Then he gave her an orange. She peeled it, but did not eat it. She gave it to the child who ate it all. When they arrived at the Coventry and got out of the truck, she stood in front of the whole group and raised her hand, saying, “Peace.” Then a bright light appeared, and suddenly she vanished – right before all of their eyes! Then they knew who she was!

Pope Paul VI reviews the photographic evidence but cannot comment officially.
Pope Paul VI reviews the photographic evidence but cannot comment officially.

By early 1970 the frequency of the apparitions had diminished to an average of one per month. The last glorious and final public sighting was on May 29, 1971. Crowds thinned out over those years, but it is estimated that 3 out of every 4 Egyptians had seen her by now – many had numerous sightings. It is estimated that 40 million people encountered her heavenly presence – including President Nasser of Egypt! It is theorized that she never spoke or relayed any verbal messages due to the diversity of the crowds and varying beliefs. In this case, her image alone was truly worth a thousand words! Conversions and miracles continue to this day. And she would return to other parts of Egypt several more times in the next 30 years.

The Coptic pope welcomes Pope John Paul II in Zeitoun, Egypt.
The Coptic pope welcomes Pope John Paul II in Zeitoun, Egypt.

Our Lady of Akita, Japan, 1973-1981

“Our Lady of Akita”
AKITA, JAPAN (1973-1981)

Born in 1931, Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa was always a frail child.  She had her appendix removed at age 19, but due to a hospital error with the anesthesia, she became paralyzed.  After ten years of immobility while being cared for by a Catholic nun, she made a spontaneous and miraculous recovery.  In May of 1973, she entered the convent of the Handmaids of the Eucharist in Yuzawadai, a suburb of Akita.  One month earlier she had been suddenly afflicted with total deafness.

Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa -- visionary in Japan
Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa — visionary in Japan

On June 12, 1973, Sister Agnes Sasagawa (age 42) entered the convent chapel, focused on preparing for the Eucharist.  She was still adjusting to her recent loss of all hearing.  Suddenly, as she approached the altar to open the tabernacle door, a brilliant light broke forth — brighter and whiter than the sun.  Overwhelmed, she dropped to her knees and prayed for the next hour — feeling as if she was being held there by some heavy force.  She was able to leave after that.  The next day, as she opened the tabernacle door again, the brilliant light poured forth once more.  On the third day, June 14, a red flame encompassed the white light inside the tabernacle, but no other nuns had seen this “tabernacle fire.”  The fourth sighting occurred on eve of the feast of the Sacred Heart and had the addition of “an adoring crowd of spiritual beings” or angels, who were clearly worshiping the Host on the altar.

On June 28, she experienced a sharp pain in the palm of her left hand.  A small, rose-colored cross was etched across her palm and remained, painfully, for 3 days.  But, on July 5, the pain returned in her left hand, and it bled more than she could conceal from others.  Tears flowed from her eyes as she let another nun help bandage her hand. This was no illusion!  That night, she rose to pray at 3:00 a.m., and a voice came to her despite her deafness and said,

“Be not afraid.  Pray with fervor, not only because of your sins, but in reparation for those of all people.  The world today wounds the most Sacred Heart of Our Lord by its ingratitude and injuries.  The wounds of Mary are much deeper and more sorrowful than    yours.  Let us go to pray in the chapel together.”

The wooden statue in the prayer area that bled and cried
The wooden statue in the prayer area that bled and cried

A beautiful figure suddenly stood next to her right shoulder.  “I am the one who is with you and watches over you.” (her guardian angel) The angel led her to the chapel and then disappeared.  Sister Agnes approached a tall statue of Mary and knelt before her.  Suddenly, the statue became instantly ablaze and bathed in a brilliant light — as if the statue was coming to life!  Though deaf, she heard the statue speak to her:

“My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow me.  Do you suffer much because of the handicap which deafness causes you?  You will be assuredly healed.  Be patient, it is the last trial.  Does the wound in your hand give you pain?  Pray in reparation for the sins of humanity.  Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter.  Pray very much for the pope, bishops, and priests.  Since your baptism, you have always prayed faithfully for them.  Continue to pray very much …”

The next morning, Sister Agnes asked Sister Kotake to inspect the statue.  She found a cross-shaped wound, bleeding, in the right hand of the wooden statue of Mary.  Sometimes it gushed blood, profusely.  Sister Agnes’ hand continued to have bouts of intense pain as well.  Sister Agnes’s wound appeared on Thursday evenings, grew worse on Fridays, and disappeared each Sunday – as if commemorating the passion and death of Jesus.

Sister Agnes prays before the statue of Mary
Sister Agnes prays before the statue of Mary

On July 26, the Feast of St. Anne, the Mother of the Virgin Mary, her wound became more painful than ever.  At the same time, the statue in the chapel began to bleed more profusely.  She went to Bishop Ito to reveal her pain and suffering; he advised going to a doctor.  But she went to the chapel, first, to pray for strength.  There, she suddenly heard the voice of the angel again:

“Our pain will come to an end today.  Pray to the Sacred Heart and the Precious Blood.  Pray for the sins of the whole world.  Tell the Bishop that the blood is shed today for the last time.”

At once the pain left, and the wound in her hand was healed.  The statue also ceased its bleeding at the same time – though the imprint of the wound remained in the wood.

The wooden statue of Mary cried real human tears on 101 occasions
The wooden statue of Mary cried real human tears on 101 occasions

On August 3, she heard the statue of Mary state to her,

            “Many men in this world grieve the Lord.  I seek souls to console Him.  In order to  appease the anger of the Heavenly Father, I wish, with my Son to search for souls who will make reparations for sinners and for the ungrateful by offering up their sufferings and poverty to God on their behalf.  In order that the world might know the wrath of the Heavenly Father toward today’s world, He is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on    all mankind.  With my Son, many times I have tried to appease the wrath of the Heavenly Father.  I have prevented the coming of the chastisement by offering the sufferings of   His Son on the cross, His precious Blood, and the compassionate souls who console the Heavenly Father, a cohort of victim souls overflowing with love.  Prayer, penance, honest poverty, and courageous acts of sacrifices can soften His anger.  Obedience is the foundation of all things…”

On September 29, with another nun at her side, Sister Agnes saw the statue of Mary ablaze with light again.  For the first time, the companion with her was able to see the unearthly light and gasped with excitement.  The statue’s hands glowed brightly and the wound was healed finally.  But, later that night, when the statue glowed again, tears began flowing from the statue’s eyes.  The tears had a wonderful fragrance of flowers that persisted for 17 days!

The other religious personnel with the miraculous statue in Akita
The other religious personnel with the miraculous statue in Akita

“I am weeping because humanity is not accepting my motherly invitation to conversion.  The (public) signs of my immense sorrow … are not believed in.  Man is becoming ever more corrupt, godless, wicked, and cruel.  A chastisement worse than the flood is about to come upon this poor and perverted humanity.  Fire will descend from heaven.  This will be the sign that God in His justice has — as of now — fixed the hour of His great manifestation. … I am weeping because the Church is continuing along the road of division, of loss of the true faith … I am weeping because, in great numbers, the souls of my children are being lost and going to hell. … Prepare yourselves to receive Christ in the splendor of His glory, because the great day of the Lord has even now arrived.”

On October 13, the 57th anniversary of the last apparition at Fatima, Sister Agnes was healed from deafness during the benediction of that church service and was delighted at hearing the church bells ring!  She telephoned Bishop Ito to report that Mary’s promise of restoring her hearing had come true.

On January 4, 1975, one of the nuns ran to the office of their chaplain, Father Yasuda, to tell him that the statue had begun to shed tears again.  The weeping was extraordinarily lifelike.  The church documented a total of 101 incidents of the statue shedding tears over the next six years, finally ending on September 15, 1981, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Professor Eiji Okuhara, a doctor and biochemist, analyzed three fluids coming from the statue: blood, tears, and perspiration.  A colleague, Dr. Kaoru Sagisaka, was given the samples without any history and blindly made his conclusions:

“The matter adhering to the gauze is human blood.  The sweat and tears absorbed in the pieces of cotton are also of human origin.”

Repeated independent analyses revealed human blood of Type B, tears and perspiration both of Type AB.  The statue continued to shed tears — 12 times in 1978 and, finally, three times in 1981.  Some miracles were connected as well (healing of a brain tumor).

The statue of the Virgin Mary also bled from a "pierced heart."
The statue of the Virgin Mary also bled from a “pierced heart.”

Sister Agnes lost her hearing again on March 6, 1975.  Two doctors who examined her declared that she would never hear again.  But on May 1, 1982, the guardian angel told her that her hearing would be returned again – this time permanently!  And it did happen on May 30, the Feast of Pentecost.  The two doctors could offer no explanation that would account for this miracle healing.

After three commissions studied the events at Akita, Bishop Ito finally declared at Easter in 1984 that these events were supernatural and worthy of belief.  Cardinal Ratzinger of the Sacred Congregation in Rome declared in 1988 that the apparitions had been authentic revelations of the Divine.