Tag Archives: Germany

Queen of the Universe, Heede, Germany, 1937-1945

“Queen of the Universe”
HEEDE, GERMANY  (1937-1945) 

Four girls, Anna Schulte, sisters Margaret Ganseforth (13) and Greta Ganseforth (11), and Susanna Bruns, began receiving visits from Our Lady in November of 1937.  The two sisters were going to church for All Saints Day on November 1 when they passed by the church cemetery.  Suddenly, they perceived a “floating light” about 100 feet away, hovering about a meter above the ground.  In the blazing light formed the image of a beautiful lady holding a child.  The two figures wore dazzling crowns on their heads.  The girls were spellbound by the incredible beauty of the lady, who smiled kindly at them.

Frightened, they entered the church and reported that they had seen the Virgin Mary with the Divine Child in her arms.  Anna Schulte, surprised and curious, left the church to go explore the designated area.  After the ceremony, the two sisters, along with Anna, Adele Bruns (15) and her sister, Susanna Bruns, all returned to the site of the apparition in the cemetery.

It’s there – between the two cypresses!” exclaimed Margaret.

The vision of Mary remained silent.  All the girls saw the Virgin Mary except Adele, who impatiently stated that she was going to leave because she did not believe these stories.  Margaret and Greta told their mother – who then alerted Father Staelberg, the priest of the parish.  But news of these events was received in the village with the predictable skepticism and laughter.  It was not until the villagers started noticing the dramatic change in the four girls’ behavior did they begin to consider the appearances more seriously.  The usual playful and giddy girls had changed their manner of living to a more serious demeanor with fervent and long prayers while impatiently anticipating Our Lady’s next appearance.

On November 2, at the same time of the day, Our Lady appeared again but without the baby Jesus.  Blessed Mary’s hands were clasped in prayer.

On the third apparition, on November 5, Our Lady began asking the girls questions.  Mary is standing on a white cloud with a luminous halo “about 30-40 cm surrounding her.”  Her age seems to be 18 or 19.

“She wore a golden crown, richly worked … a long white dress fitted at the waist by a cord … a non-transparent white veil falls on each side, doing some folds, and hides her hair … On her left hand, covered by the veil, sits the Christ Child.  She raises her arm.”

By the November 7th apparition more villagers were beginning to believe as 4,000 to 5,000 were in attendance, surrounding the four girls.  Several priests witnessed the apparition.

The "Queen of the Universe" in Heede, Germany
The “Queen of the Universe” in Heede, Germany

More than 7,000 returned to the site the next day on November 8.  But the civil authorities forbade Father Staelberg from accompanying the girls.  Another priest was present that day from Herkenhoff and reported these details:

“Suddenly, the (four) girls fell to their knees, all together, without one or another making a signal to her companions … They posed several questions to the apparition.  After a quarter of an hour – during which they continued to be constantly stiff, eyes fixed on a precise point – their questions seemed unanswered, even when they spoke.  When Greta was alongside me later, she told me that she had wondered how the Mother of God feels.  The response she received was a sad countenance. Greta said, ‘The Mother of God was very sad and very bright.’”

There were an estimated 100 visits by Our Lady to these four girls in Heede.  Here are some highlights:

April 5, 1939 – Margaret was alone for this apparition.  “I saw the Mother of God directly in front of me, standing two feet away, and asked her how she would like to be invoked.”  She replied, “as Queen of the Universe and Queen of the Poor Souls in Purgatory.” When asked what prayer she would like to honor her, she indicated the “Litany of Laurentanas.”

May 12, 1939 – The Virgin appeared 13 times in May, including twice in the initial location and for a full day on each of the 6th and 12th.  On May 12, Greta asked, “Will we have diseases?”  Mary replied, “Not yet.”  Then Greta asked, “Can we come here every day?” – to which Mary responded, “Yes.”

But then the number of occurrences decreased.  Many were fearful of visiting Heede because Hitler ruled Germany and forbade participation in this “superstitious nonsense.”  The Gestapo forcefully took the children to an insane asylum and strictly forbade the pilgrimages.  After one month, the children were released but disregarded the orders of the Gestapo and resumed their visits to the place of the apparitions.  The Queen of Heaven was not subject to the Hitler regime, of course, and continued her appearances in secret locations now.

Greta Ganseforth received a stigmata in 1939.  On October 19, 1940, Our Lady gave the four girls a “secret” intended for the Pope.  Blessed Mary warned them, “Do not say anything to anyone other than the Holy Pope of Rome.”  The message was placed in a sealed envelope that was carried by Bishop Berning to Pope Pius XII.

The Virgin also showed them visions of future catastrophes and warned them that a horrifying event called a “Minor Judgment” was in store for the future.  She urged them to pray constantly, especially the Rosary, which she said has “immeasurable power” for the conversion of sinners.  “The world is about to drink the dregs of the Chalice of Divine Wrath.”  Despite Our Lady’s incredible beauty, she was usually solemn-faced, stern, or even shedding tears.

The apparitions of the Blessed Mother came to an end at 8:30 p.m. on November 3, 1940.  Each girl received a “secret” from Mother Mary, who then spoke,

“Be good and faithful to the will of God.  Pray often – especially the Rosary.  Now farewell, my children, until we meet in Heaven.”

On July 23, 1942, Bishop Berning made the following remarks during his homily:

“From Heede came a rich blessing.  I could see that Marian devotion dramatically increased — that sacramental life, in particular, has flourished dramatically in this parish.”

Greta Ganseforth began receiving visits from Jesus starting in 1945.  Her spiritual director gave her orders to keep a diary of her mystical events.  She did not see the Blessed Virgin again but did hear her voice on numerous occasions, speaking to her from a brilliant light.

There was an occasion when a school dance was being prepared which apparently was going to exceed Catholic norms for modesty and decency.  At the request of Jesus, Greta sought to have the dance cancelled or at least modified so that it would not be a dangerous occasion of sin for the youth.  Greta even appealed to the parents of the students to not go against the warning from Jesus, who stated,

“If they proceed with that dance, all involved will have to answer to Me at their Judgment.”

The dance for October 21, 1945, was cancelled.  Along with this event and a number of miraculous healings, other parish priests and clergymen finally believed.  Here are more of the messages that Greta received from the visits with Jesus:

“Men did not listen to My Most Holy Mother when she appeared to them at Fatima and admonished them to do penance.  Now I, Myself, am coming at the last hour to warn and admonish mankind!  The times are very serious!  Men should at last do penance, turn away from their sins and pray, pray much in order that the wrath of God may be mitigated.  Particularly the Holy Rosary should be prayed very often.  The Rosary is very powerful with God.  Worldly pleasures and amusements should be resricted.

Men do not listen to My voice.  They harden their hearts; they resist My grace.  They do not wish to have anything to do with My Mercy, My Love, My merits.  Mankind is worse than before the deluge.  Mankind is suffocating in sin.  Hatred and greed rule their hearts.  This is the work of the devil.  They live in great darkness.  Through the wounds that bled, Mercy will again gain victory over justice.  My faithful souls should not be asleep now like the disciples on Mt. Olivet.  They should pray without ceasing and gain all they can for themselves and for others.

Tremendous things are in preparation; it will be terrible as never before since the foundation of the world.  All those, who in these grave times have suffered so much, are martyrs and form the seed for the renovation of the Church.  They were privileged to participate in My captivity, in My scourging, in My crown of thorns, and My Way of the Cross.

The Blessed Virgin Mary and all the choirs of angels will be active during these events.  Hell believes that it is sure of the harvest, but I will snatch it away from them.  I will come with My peace.  Many curse me now, but these sufferings will come over mankind that they may be saved through it … Many expiate all they can for those who curse Me now …

With a few faithful I will build up My kingdom.  As a flash of lightning this Kingdom will come … much faster than mankind will realize.  I will give them a special light.  For some this light will be a blessing; for others, darkness.  The light will come like the Star that showed the way to the wise men.  Mankind will experience My love and My power ,,, My beloved, the hour comes closer.  Pray without ceasing!

Those who are not in the State of Grace (when the Minor Judgment happens) – it will be frightful for them.”

On March 7, 1946, Bishop Berning authorized a statue of the “Mary, Queen of the Universe” to be made for placement in the church cemetery – as directed by the visionaries.  Finally, after years of investigation, the Bishop of Osnabruck declared on June 3, 1959, the following:

“The apparitions are undeniable proof of the seriousness and authenticity of these manifestations … In the apparitions and messages of Heede we find nothing contrary to the Faith.  Indeed, their similarity to the approved apparitions of Fatima, Lourdes, and La Salette give good indications of their authenticity.”


Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, Kevelaer

“Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted”
KEVELAER, GERMANY  (1641-1642) 

Around 1640 the small village of Kevelaer had suffered greatly from a tragic fire and the ravages of the Thirty Years war.  It was considered a vast moorland and a place where few ventured.

Hendrik Busman, a pious traveling salesman, was on his journey from Weeze to Geldern when he stopped at a cross on the heath of Kevelaer to pray for a few minutes.

“At Christmas in 1641, I was making my way when I came to the region around Kevelaer.  There was a cross by the roadside, and I heard a voice coming from that direction say to me,

‘Here thou shalt build me a chapel.’

I looked around me — but saw no one.  I resolved to press on and put all thoughts of the phenomenon out of my head.  About a week later, I passed the place again and there heard the same voice speaking the same words as before.  Then I heard it again a third time.  I was sad because I was poor, and I had no means by which I might build a shrine.  Nevertheless, I saved regularly from my petty cash in the distant hope that one day I should have a fund to fit the purpose.

Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, with baby Jesus
Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, with baby Jesus

Then, four weeks before Whitsunday, my wife, Mechel Schouse, received a vision by night.  She saw a great light, and in the midst of it a shrine.  And in that shrine was a picture of Our Lady of Luxembourg – like one she had been shown some time earlier by two soldiers passing through our village.  The soldiers had offered to sell Mechel the picture, but, upon asking the price, she realized that she could not afford it. (A night watchman, making his usual rounds, saw a strange light in the home of the Busmans, confirming their supernatural visitation that night.)

When Mechel told me of her vision, I connected it with my own experience near Kevelaer.  I urged her to find the soldiers and the picture.  She discovered that the picture was now in the possession of a lieutenant presently in prison in Kemen.  Mechel obtained the picture from him.”

Convinced that the vision experienced by his wife was a confirmation of his Heavenly assignment, Hendrick used the little money that he had saved and began to construct a shrine according to Mechel’s description.  This was supported by the parish priest of Kevelaer, Rev. Johannes Schink.

The portrait was a copper-printed picture measuring only twelve centimeters tall and eight centimeters wide. “Our Lady of Luxemburg” was known as the “Comforter of the Sad and Depressed” whom everyone had worshipped during the Pest Epidemic of 1623.  The text on the picture said, “A faithful portrayal of the Mother of Jesus, The Comforter of the Sad and Depressed renowned for miracles and worshipped by many people.”   At first, Carmelite nuns of Geldern offered to keep it safe during the construction.  After that, during a temporary period of caring for the image in his own home, Hendrick appealed to the Capuchin priests to house it safely in their chapel because so many pilgrims were already traveling to venerate the image.  The crowds became so great that monks soon asked for him to please take it back as soon as he could for placement in the shrine.

On June 1, 1642, Rev. Schink officially brought the image in great ceremony to the new shrine where large crowds awaited.  Miracles were soon reported.  On September 8th, feast day for the birth of Our Lady, Reinier and Margaretha van Volbroek traveled with their invalid son, Peter, who had been paralyzed for five years – unable to walk or stand.  Although his case had been declared hopeless by physicians, just two days after their visit to Our Lady of Luxembourg, Peter was totally cured and able to walk again without any difficulty.

A woman suffering open wounds on her legs that no treatments had helped for years was healed miraculously after just two visits. Her healing was so dramatic and profound that it was reported by the Mayor of Huissen, Holland for official documentation on August 13, 1643.  Many other miraculous cures were documented at the shrine.

Five years after Hendrick’s death, the old chapel was replaced by a new one in 1654.  A basilica was built between 1858 and 1864.  Today it is a huge and beautiful complex with multiple buildings, bubbling fountains, and an outdoor Stations of the Cross.  The little picture of Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, has been decorated through the years with golden angels, golden roses, golden medals, and jeweled ornaments – donated by grateful pilgrims.

In 1892, the 250th anniversary of the shrine’s inauguration was celebrated with a papal coronation – a crown studded with diamonds and jewels, placed above the picture.

On May 2, 1987, Pope John Paul II visited and worshipped the miraculous image.