“Mother of God”, Santa Maria, California, United States, 1990
In May of 1990, author Janice Connell was invited to visit Santa Maria, California, where a housewife, Sadie Jaramillo, was receiving messages from the Virgin Mary. The Blessed Mother desired that a huge cross be erected on a hill overlooking the town. Driving out to that hill, she was amazed to find as many as 20,000 people – mostly of Spanish descent – assembled on the hill. They were all dressed in their Sunday best clothing – the men in suits, the women in beautiful attire as if attending a wedding, and the children exquisitely dressed in white clothing, dresses, white shoes, and white veils. They were praying the Rosary and singing hymns. It was very hot with no room to sit as everyone was standing on the hill. There was an air of expectation and a spirit of joy in the air.
Suddenly, people began to exclaim, “Look at the sun!” It was spinning and pulsating. Great rays of light of every possible color streaked from the center of the sun across the sky like lightning. Some people wept; others tried to film the phenomenon; others just gazed in wonder. A little girl about seven years old, standing near Janice, suddenly fell to her knees and stretched her arms towards the sun, crying, “Madre de Dios!” (Mother of God). Two little boys, probably two and three years old, also fell to their knees. Great tears of joy fell to the ground from their little cheeks as they, too, cried out, “Madre de Dios!” Their little arms reached up to a figure only they could see.
Some people claiming to see her were trying to take Polaroid pictures. Walking up to one woman, Janice asked to see her developing Polaroid photograph. In about three minutes the photo was fully developed, and there was a clear white image of the traditional figure of the Blessed Virgin!
A bird appeared to fly out of the sun and swooped down before them, hovering near the kneeling children. Then it ascended to high in the sky in front of them and became surrounded with and encased in pure white light. Then it seemed to fly back into the sun and disappeared from sight. It was then that the author realized that this day was Pentecost Sunday.
The messages that this housewife received are not yet approved despite many of them sounding quite familiar in theme and language. Some experts have picked them apart and cast serious doubts on her authenticity. The church has not ruled on this one yet. Nevertheless, 20,000 pilgrims had some amazing experiences that day in May – as did author Janice Connell.