AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS
El Escorial Apparitions
from volume 10, nos. 28, 33, 38 and 43
Series on Purported Apparitions in El Escorial, Spain. Author: Juan Gonzalez provided to Michael Cain, editor of The DAILY CATHOLIC
The Heavenly call to Prayer, Penance and Sacrifice:
The El Escorial Apparitions
This is the second of two sections on the apparitions of El Escorial, Spain first presented in A CALL TO PEACE in the mid 90's and in the DAILY CATHOLIC in January and February 1999. For the 1st section, see SECTION ONE. Occuring during the same time frame as Betania and Medjugorje, it has received little publicity but is as important as the others for Our Lady comes as Nuestra Senora de los Dolores - "Our Lady of Sorrows" to call all her children back to her Divine Son Jesus through Prayer, Penance and Sacrifice in atonement for our own sins and those of the entire world. Her chosen messenger is a housewife and mother of seven Luz Amparo Cuevas and, like both Medjugorje and Betania, are still on-going.
Come to Jesus in humility and you will be rewarded
The visionary at El Escorial Amparo Cuevasherself suffers very much.
She suffers from calumnies, ridicule, false accusations, trials sent to her by God,
including the stigmata whichcauses her to bleed from forehead, hands, knees, back and side, as well as
from the drops which she drinks from the chalice of suffering.
Occasionally, the Blessed Mother will reward her for this suffering by asking her to
write from one to six names in the Book of Life.
Humility is a virtue, which Our Lady preaches in her messages to
Amparo. The visionary is told to seek situations in which she can be
humiliated because through humility one can attain heaven. Our Lady tells
her to kiss the ground "for consecrated souls.", "for the conversion of
sinners," for the sick." Jesus also tells Amparo to kiss the ground as a
sign of humility. Our Lady explains how her Son used to do it many times a
day in praying to His Heavenly Father. She reminds Amparo that those who
will humble themselves will be exalted. Amparo is to seek the last place
always. It is this humility that is tied in very closely with suffering.
With humility and suffering which are indispensable to enter Heaven
according to Our Lady comes the virtues of obedience and charity. She and
her Son are the models of all virtues and this is often stressed by Our
Blessed Mother, in order to enter Heaven, we must imitate Jesus, and the
example of His Blessed Mother.
Confession and Holy Communion are frequent themes in the messages. The
Blessed Mother advises her children to receive Holy Communion when they
attend Mass. However, she sates that they must go to confession first
because there are many sins being committed by persons who receive Holy
Communion without going to confession. Amparo explains to the multitude
that confession has to be made to a priest and not to God the Father and
that suffices. Our Lady stresses that is has to be done before a priest,
who has been given the power to absolve sins.
Devotions recommended by Our Lady to Amparo and her children are also
themes of the messages. First and foremost is attendance at Mass, daily if
possible. This is followed by confession and Holy Communion. Our Lady
emphasizes the many graces and blessings derived from these spiritual
exercises. She then encourages the recitation of at least five decades of
the rosary daily, and, if possible, the entire rosary. "My Son is sad and
lonely in the tabernacle" observes the Blessed Mother on several occasions.
Therefore, she requests that her children visit Jesus in the Blessed
Sacrament as often as they can so that they may console Him and make
reparation for sins. The stations of the cross are strongly recommended.
In her message of October 12, 1983, Our Lady said: "I also ask you, my
children, to observe with devotion all the first Saturdays of the month.
He who observes the first Saturdays of the month, confesses his sins and
receives the Holy Eucharist, and prays the Holy Rosary daily, my Immaculate
Heart promises to shed graces over all humanity, my children, over all
those who have fulfilled what I have asked them, my children. I also
promise to assist them at the hour of their death and to preserve them from
the fires of hell."
In her message of December 3, 1983, she affirmed:
"My children, I am going to promise something else. All those who will
observe all of these things will also pass through Purgatory, but only see
the pains from which they have been freed by complying with these things.
But that is why without suffering such pains, they will enter into the
The end times and the chastisement appear in a number of messages to
Amparo. Our Lady warns of their coming but tells her children to prepare
for them through prayer, penance, and sacrifice. She speaks of
overwhelming destruction to come about, the disappearance of certain
countries, the collision of Heavenly bodies, the millions of people who
will die. In one of the messages, she states the during the chastisement
those who are in the state of divine grace will be in ecstasy for a few moments
and will not suffer pain. But she emphasizes prayer and sacrifice as a form of
preparation for the event. In several messages, Our Lady has stated that she wants to save all of
humanity, but not everyone wants to be saved. By her role as Mother of
God, with Her Divine Son, she wants to save souls through the Infinite
Merits of her Divine Son.
Messages containing Visions and Insights into the Life of Christ
Amparo Cuevas, a visionary and victim soul chosen by Our Lord, was
permitted to have visions during a number of the apparitions. She saw what
Our Lady presented to her and Amparo would make some brief observations,
which oftentimes limited themselves to the use of descriptive words. She
had a vision of the Transfiguration of Christ and asked questions of Our
Lady concerning the names of the persons she was not sure about. Amparo
also enjoyed a vision of the Blessed Trinity which left her confused and
perplexed especially since she could not see clearly God the Father. The
visionary also viewed hundreds of angels carrying Our Blessed Mother into
the mansions of the Father. Also familiar to her were the activities and
function of some of the archangels, which she was able to observe.
She described the vision of Purgatory, which appeared to her as a dark
planet with very little light. She stated that she saw persons like us but
they lacked the light of God. Amparo indicated that "the punishment is in
proportion to the sin which has been committed. The greatest sinners will
suffer most, and the sufferings will also be felt with greater intensity in
the part of the body with which more sins have been committed. For
example, a very talkative person will suffer in the mouth." Once the
sinners are purified, they will pass on to the celestial mansion, which
will correspond to them according to their merits which they recorded on
earth during their life.
Amparo also had a partial vision of hell, which she described as
"horrible" and "terrible." She saw grotesque creatures that were
constantly cursing God. She saw flames coming out of it. Our Lady
explained that this was due to the false doctrines that were being preached
by some people. Amparo saw bodies burning like red hot iron, and Our Lady
explained that every member of the body, which commits sin, is tormented.
The souls were constantly saying: "Cursed mouth," "cursed arms," and "may
my whole body be cursed for it has served me only for damnation." Our Lady
indicated that there were many hells, each hell would be according to one's
sin. God the Father will give each one according t one's sin. Got the
Father will give each one according to the punishment which he deserves.
The Spanish visionary was also permitted to see Heaven. However, the
description here was more detailed because she spoke of mansions of
different colors and what each of these colors meant. She also saw, with
other persons who were in attendance, the image of Our Blessed Mother and
her Son in the sun. The sun was spinning with beautiful colors among which
the most prominent were blue, rose, yellow and green.
Amparo was also privileged with another vision in which she saw four
angels whose mission it was to destroy the earth. She was also given to
see how the apostles of the last times will be dressed. It was a very
graphic description, which dealt with the different items of clothing from
shoes to what they were going to wear on their head.
Amparo was also permitted to have a vision of the Assumption and how Our
Blessed Mother was carried to Heaven by angles. Our Lady stated during the
same apparition: "My body was not dead; it was asleep. They carried me to
Heaven after being on earth. I also suffered very much, my child." The
visionary continues to have visions.
Amparo also received Messages presenting episodes with insights into the life of Jesus and His
Blessed Mother. These messages are those which contain many details with respect to
different aspects of the life of Jesus and Mary. They are different from
the preceding classification in that they are longer, sometimes 9, 10, and
11 pages in length.
At the beginning of the apparition, the Blessed Mother states that she is
going to share a "mystery" of her life with Amparo. The she asks the
visionary to narrate or describe what she sees. Amparo provides us with
many details about a particular event or episode. Our Lady asks Amparo to
narrate what she sees. Amparo provides details on the birth of Christ: The
Child is on straw in a poor anger; it is very cold. Saint Michael goes to
Limbo to inform Joachim and Ann, the Holy Fathers and the prophets that the
King of Heaven is born. All in Limbo sing a song of praise to God: "Glory
to God who has been born incarnate in a virgin and became man as King of
Heaven and earth."
Another angel visits Elizabeth to inform her of the news. Elizabeth sends
clothing and money to Mary and Joseph. Another example of an episode in the life of Jesus and Mary is recorded in the message of January 5, 1985. The event is the adoration of the Child
Jesus by the Magi as narrated by Amparo. The Holy Family is ready to leave
the cave because it is very cold and humid: A voice tells them not to leave
because the Magi from the Orient are coming to adore the Child. Angels
wake up the Magi and tell them to go to Bethlehem to adore the King of
Heaven and earth. They arrive, enter the cave, and kneel with their heads
to the ground in adoration. The Magi purchase blankets, clothing, and toys
for the Christ Child. One of them offers a necklace and some diamond rings
to the Blessed Mother. She does not accept stating the she has never worn
jewelry. Jesus converses with His Mother expressing love and gratitude for
having brought Him into the world.
Finally, in the message of August 15, 1986, Our Lady asks Amparo to
narrate what she sees. She described the events leading to the Assumption
of Our Blessed Mother into Heaven. Informed by God the Father that she is
to leave this earth, Our Lady sends her angels to Rome to inform the
apostles about it. They come and gather around her. She asks each of the
apostles to give her their blessing. She shows a light in her breast that
looks like a tabernacle. She has carried this tabernacle throughout her
life. She names Good Friday as the day of her sleep. Jesus says that He
is taking her to the Valley of Josaphat. "She will rise on the third day
because she is the Mother of God." Jesus said that, "her soul will be
taken to Paradise, and her body will remain three days in this same place."
In Heaven, she is crowned and all the angels render homage to her.
Messages which explain a theme
These messages to El Escorial visionary Amparo Cuevas
are somewhat different from the messages of the two
previous classifications in that the Blessed Mother presents a topic and
discusses it in detail. Consequently, she will give an abundance of
information on a particular theme. Some of the themes which she has
expounded are: impurity, the justice of God, the mystery of the Immaculate
Conception, the mystery of the maternity of Mary, consecrated souls,
suffering, and others.
In the message of December 8, 1984, Feast of the Immaculate Conception,
Our Lady shared this mystery of the Immaculate Conception with Amparo. She
stated: "Defend my purity, my children. When the mystery of God the Father
became flesh in my womb, there was no stain. It was purer and lighter than
the lily...Remember that your mother was pure before and after, my child.
The ray of the sun entered my womb and there my Son was formed. It was the
mystery of His divine majesty, my children. My purity is a special gift
which God, my Creator, granted to me, my children... Only the angels know the
mystery of the Incarnation. of my purity, of my humility on earth, and of
my charity toward human beings."
By way of summary, it is appropriate to say that the messages, which the
visionary Amparo Cuevas has received from our Blessed Mother for the past
17 plus years, are unique in their simplicity and complexity. They discuss
or relate the major concerns, which the Queen of Heaven and earth has with
respect to the spiritual decadence, which afflicts our society and is
gradually gnawing at its moral fiber. The messages provide us with a
wealth of information Marian spirituality as well as episodes on the lives
of Jesus and Mary with numerous details not found in the Bible.
Finally, the messages present us with the challenges of conversion and a
spiritual rebirth which will enable us to establish the basis of a
spiritual life designed to prepare us to meet our Creator.
As with all the messages and apparitions, they are still on-going and
Amparo continues to offer her suffering as a victim soul as her small part
in fulfilling Our Lord and Our Lady's request for sacrifice, penance and
Therefore as we experience this Lenten season, first let us all
concentrate through a thorough examination of conscience how much do we
really want to be transformed through a total conversion of heart by the
grace of the Holy Spirit. Just how much are we willing to give back to God
who has given All to us?
After this examination of conscience, a good, holy Confession should
follow, which disposes the soul to follow Jesus and ask Him: "What do you
want me to do, Lord?" "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth" (1 Kings 3:9).
In the silence of our being, Jesus will fill us with that supernatural
knowledge of what He wishes of each one of us at that moment. Where and
how do each one of us make sacrifice for Him? In what spirit of sacrifice
do we commence? our journey home to God? We know now that it's a
life-long process, not just something we "have to do" during a mere 40 days
of Lent. Now, when we prepare properly, we understand in our soul that
"sacrifice" which incorporates prayer and penance, is absolutely necessary
every single day our lives.
The true spirit of sacrifice is to desire with our whole being to subdue
the human ego, passions, desires, intellect, and senses. Only then can we
permit the Holy Spirit to bring alive the intellect of the soul, which then
predominates and keeps under control all the human weaknesses of which we
are subject to due to Original Sin.
Over and over in Holy Scripture, in the messages of Our Lord and His
Blessed Mother to messengers and visionaries throughout the ages, the
repeated phrase from Heaven is: "Pray, Pray, Pray!" Prayer is the link to
God which keeps us focused, helps us to willingly submit to God's Perfect
Will, to dismiss our will as nothing.
For each on their journey to God, the manner and degree of sacrifice will
vary according to God' plan of life for that person. That is why one must,
through prayer, Confession and Holy Communion, seek to discern properly
that which God seeks of each one of us. Into each person's life, God sends
help through holy people, priests and lay, who, by God's grace, help to
point out the way we are to proceed. Who could be a better teacher than
our very own Holy Father Pope John Paul II? We don't really realize how
blessed we are in this day and age.
When his Holiness and others come into our life, do we listen, learn, and
go forward? Or do we dismiss them, seeking the easy way out, the
comfortable way of lukewarmness? Remember what God says in the Apocalypse/
Revelation 3:16: "But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am
about to vomit thee out of My mouth." Do we reject these holy persons
because they tweak our conscience and make us realize that change is
demanded of us by God if we are going to be with Him for all Eternity?
We've all failed at one time or another. We've misused God's graces,
ignored them, and rebuked the holy people He sent our way...and we've gone on
our merry way, oblivious of whom we've hurt especially ourselves. But at
every moment, Jesus knocks at the door of our heart, no matter how much we
may have hurt Him. That's Love! Do we answer the knock, or slam the door
even tighter, and slip a dead-bolt lock on it?
Lent is the perfect time to unlock the bolt and open the door. Even if we
just crack it enough for Jesus to get His toe in. If we give Him some
daylight, He'll shed His Light. Once we see His foot with the nail wound,
we'll want to see His hands and His side at Saint Thomas the Apostle sought,
and, hopefully from there to see His face - the loving, kind and merciful
eyes of Our Savior and feel the warmth of His Sacred Heart. Once we
experience this, we will have an "open door" policy. Guaranteed. We will
willingly seek out ways to make sacrifices every single day and we can do
so in so many ways that will please God and cause Him to shower down His
graces on us, our family, friends and all who are in need of His graces.
That basically covers everyone!
Over the past few months we have presented a beautiful, little known apparition outside of Madrid that parallels Medjugorje in time frame. We are grateful to Juan Gonzalez of Houston, Texas, a retired professor of Linguistics, for providing us the inside story of the extraordinary El Escorial visionary Amparo Cuevas and the messages imparted to her by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like us and so many others, Juan relates that his conversion experience came about in Medjugorje. For him it came on the feast of the great scholar of the Church Saint Thomas Aquinas on March 7, 1988 (the old commemoration of his feast; it is now celebrated on January 28th). Juan has since returned to Our Lady's special Oasis of Peace four times, but none had the impact of his first visit. With teeth chattering on a cold March evening, Juan was among thousands who trekked up Apparition Hill for the message from the Blessed Mother to visionary Ivan Dragicevic and his prayer group. Juan translated the message for the English-speaking pilgrims and, as he descended Podbrdo, he remembers having the moving experience: "Something beautiful came over me and I knew then and there what I was to do and I committed my life to consecrating the talents God had given me to the Blessed Mother."
Juan has since dedicated his life to translating many works and messages in five different languages into English. And that brought him to El Escorial and the massive project he undertook out of zeal and love on the apparitions in El Escorial, Spain which we have detailed in these pages over the last two months. He has over 2000 pages on the messages to Amparo and is praying for a publisher in God's time. If any one knows of a publisher who is willing to take on this inspiring work, please contact us at the DAILY CATHOLIC and we will put you in touch with Juan. He is a very private person and, in respect for that, we do not give out his address and phone number except on a need-to-know basis. He retired in the summer of 1995 from his teaching position at Texas Southern University to spend more time with his loving wife Juanita and enjoy being a grandfather for his four children Juan Jr., 34, Rosa, 32; Carlos, 29; and Jose, 22. He also has been using this time to work on an extensive project regarding the Divine Will. Juan, you will remember, translated many of noted French Mariologist Father Rene Laurentin's books about Medjugorje and one on San Nicolas.
Once Juan heard of El Escorial, he was hooked and made several journeys to learn more about the visions and the messages and their meaning in today's world. It prompted him to begin taking notes and have the opportunity to discover who Amparo was and her life. Amparo is now a 68 year-old housewife and loving mother who has been receiving messages from Our Lord and His Blessed Mother since 1981. What started as a curiosity became a crusade to get the word out that Our Lady is asking all for self-sacrifice through prayer, penance and sacrifice. Our Lady calls herself Nuestra Senora de los Dolores - Our Lady of Sorrows and has appeared to Amparo as more beautiful than words can describe. In the mid-eighties she described to the best of her ability how Mary looked and master Madrid artist Professor dona Elvira Soriano transfered that to canvas, depicting how the Blessed Virgin appeared while his Holiness Pope John Paul II was in Spain for his pastoral trip. Our Lady, dressed in papal robes, held a fifteen-decade Rosary in her right hand and displayed a large pix of the Blessed Sacrament around her neck cupped in her right hand. (See
top of this page for the painting.) It was a unique portrait of the Mother of God which has never been seen but represented so much for she is the Mother of the Church and her words in the message to Amparo said volumes when she said, "My child, ask everyone to pray very much for my beloved son Pope John Paul II." She emphasized the need to come to her Divine Son Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in her words, "I ask you to approach the Sacrament of Convession and of the Holy Eucharist. It is very important to receive the Body of Christ to give you strength to fight against the enemy."
Like Lourdes, Medjugorje and Betania, the elderly, handicapped and infirm flock to the site in Prado Nuevo, a section northwest of Madrid, Spain and partake of the healing water where countless souls have been healed spiritually. Pilgrims from all over the world gather for the First Saturday visions at the Ash Tree where the Mother of God often appeared to Amparo and to pray at the Shrine to Our Lady of Sorrows. The messages over the past eighteen years have been permeated with the theme of our need to do penance, pray and sacrifice.
It is the same message she has been bringing to visionary Maria Esperanza de Bianchini in Betania where Our Lady first appeared before her coming to El Escorial, and to the visionaries of Medjugorje where she appeared shortly after her first appearance to Amparo. So you see, El Escorial is sandwiched, so to speak, between Betania and Medjugorje and all three are still on-going. Our Lady has said at all three places and to countless other chosen messengers that her messages will end soon. Why has she been so insistent on repeating the message of prayer, penance and sacrifice? Because our world today has forgotten what sacrifice means; forgotten how to pray and why; forgotten the necessity of penance. We are, in a word, spoiled. Our Lady, like a loving, caring mother, comes to straighten us out and like any human matriarch, repeats over and over her words until hopefully it will sink in and we "get with the program."
If we don't, well then we can consider ourselves in big trouble with the Big Guy upstairs - more affectionately known to all of us as God the Father - Abba or Daddy. He can be stern, but He is also loving and Merciful. He sent His Only-begotten Son to redeem us and He sends His pure daughter to remind us. That is why the messages of El Escorial are so important; that is why we have devoted nine installments to this lesser-known but equally important apparition; that is why we appropriately ended this in Lent for her messages embody the meaning of Lent - the meaning of life!
From volume 10, nos. 28, 33, 38, and 43
EL ESCORIAL APPARITIONS