DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     January 20, 1999     vol. 10, no. 13


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
          Southwest of Lourdes in El Escorial, Spain north of Madrid is another lesser-known apparition site which began at shortly after the Betania apparitions had commenced and just prior to the Medjugorje apparitions. The parallels of El Escorial to Lourdes and Betania are astounding. Today we continue a multi-part series on these visions brought to you by Juan Gonzalez, a linguist and confidant of the visionary Amparo Cuevas. Juan has dedicated his life to translating many works and messages in five languages into English. He has over 2000 pages on the messages to Amparo and has translated many of noted French Mariologist Father Rene Laurentin's books on Medjugojre, Marian Apparitions and San Nicholas. The focus on El Escorial is spreading the need for Prayer, Penance and Sacrifice as Our Lady repeats over and over to her children, not only in Spain but throughout the world as we await the dawn of a new, glorious spiritual age promised by Jesus and His Blessed Mother

          No matter the age, Our Lady has been imparting the same message: "Pray! Pray! Pray!" It is only through constant prayer, taken as a bouquet in loving, motherly intercession before the Throne of God, that the hearts of mankind will eventually be softened and all her little ones brought into accord with the Will of God. This continuing in-depth series on the grace-filled mystical phenomena of Our Lady's appearances through the ages and the meaning of her messages will open eyes and hearts because she is the mother of us all and her words of wisdom and warnings must be taken seriously...very seriously!

The Apparitions at El Escorial, Spain - Sacrifice leads to Salvation
part three

Mystical Gifts and the Chalice of Suffering

          At the same time she was developing spiritually, God began to endow her with certain gifts (charisms). Amparo began to suffer the stigmata, that are she suffered bleeding of the forehead, eyes, mouth a shoulder, back, hanks, knees and feet. This bleeding sometimes occurred with visible wounds; at other times, there was blood without wounds. Then there are instances when there is no blood, no wounds but she experiences a corresponding sharp pain. The nature and location of the pains are usually dependent on which Passion scene Amparo is meditating upon. Eye-witnesses relate that they've seen in the center of her breast a heart in relief, which is pierced by a sword.

          Amparo normally suffered the stigmata when Our Lady would appear to her at Prado Nuevo. At times, she would go into ecstasy with blood flowing from her hands, feet, forehead, and eyes. Other times, when in ecstasy, there would be no bleeding. Other accounts of the visible stigmata have been recorded in other places other than the apparition site including her home and in a Madrid store, but the most memorable was on her first visit to a Carmelite priest Fr. Alfonso Maria Lopez Sendin to whom she requested he be her confessor and spiritual director.

          Other charisms attributed to Amparo are an intense fragrance of roses emanating around her, her ability to converse with the Blessed Virgin in an unknown language, in some instances, during moments of ecstasy. Reference to this "unknown" and sometimes "heavenly" language appears in the messages. There are times when the word "unintelligible" is used to describe the language.

          Amparo also has been blessed with the gift of bilocation which enabled her to be in Madrid supervising the work on the painting of the Sorrowful Mother by Madrid artist donna Elvira Soriano which simultaneously being seen in El Escorial. Amparo has received many messages and prophecies and through visions, she has been able to witness some of the most memorable events in the lives of Jesus and His Blessed Mother, such as the Passion and Death of Christ as well as Mary's dormition and Assumption into Heaven.

          This Spanish visionary also experiences the phenomenon of levitation, which enables her to rise above the ground during moments of ecstasy. Many pilgrims present at the apparition site on first Saturdays have been healed physically and spiritually. While at Prado Nuevo countless people have observed the numerous solar phenomena including the spinning of the sun. During the seventeen year period of apparitions, there have been innumerable conversions in El Escorial.

    The Chalice of Suffering

          There have also been many healings of persons not present in El Escorial. These have taken place when Amparo has interceded to God to allow her to take these sufferings upon herself.

          Amparo's life is one of suffering and sometimes very intense suffering. Our Lady often asks if she will drink of the "chalice of suffering." Only Amparo can see and experience this chalice during the apparitions. She describes the chalice as a receptacle very similar to a cup or chalice with two handles and its contents as reddish in color and tasting bitter. Being only human, Amparo complains of the bitterness of the taste, which seems to be stronger at times. Our Lady tells her that it is the same chalice of suffering that her Divine Son drinks daily because of the pains that are caused by humanity. Our Lady always follows this with a request for prayers and for penance.

          Our Lady invites Amparo to help her to suffer. She shows Amparo her heart full of thorns, which are there because of consecrated souls who have committed serious sins. Amparo often attempts to remove these thorns from the Sorrowful Mother and place them on her own body. Often they last for days. Then they gradually disappear because of Amparo's willingness to suffer and pray as a victim soul that makes it possible for consecrated souls to be forgiven. Our Lady also would permit Amparo to include their names in the book of life as witnessed by others who have seen her reaching for something, making a gesture of writing from right to left in the air, then kiss it and return it to Our Lady. The Blessed Virgin then tells her that the name of the person, which Amparo has inscribed, will never be erased!

          The sufferings, which Amparo had to bear, were not limited to those shared with the Blessed Mother or with Jesus. On May 26, 1983, Amparo underwent an experience the likes of which she had never had and, more than likely, never will again. Amparo learned that the little chapel or niche at Prado Nuevo had been the target of gunshots, so she went there to pray at 11:00 in the morning. Attentive to her prayer and on her knees, she did not noticed that three hooded individuals (later identified by the Blessed Mother as two men and a woman) were walking toward her. They snatched her cardigan sweater, which was draped over her shoulders, and shoved it over her head, tying it to Amparo's neck. Then Amparo suffered the ultimate humility as they stripped her completely and threw her clothes into the drinking tank used by the wild cows, which grazed throughout the meadow. Shoving and dragging her, they led her to a more rocky and distant place where they demanded she state that the apparitions and messages were false. Amparo, like Saint Bernadette at Lourdes and Father Jozo Zovko, OFM in Medjugorje, refused to betray God and for her loyalty, she was tortured as the thugs slammed her face and body with vicious blows. They even threatened to hang her, sadistically describing how to do away with her either by hanging or strangling. Just as they were about to carry out their dastardly deed, they heard someone approaching nearby and fled the scene.

          Amparo was discovered near dead, covered with lacerations and blood. Placed on a stretcher, she was taken to the hospital where doctors treated blows on her head, her swollen face and wounds and marks from head to toe. Emerging from death's door, Amparo recovered enough to leave the hospital and return home at the request of her family. In her bed of suffering, Amparo reached out just as Pope John Paul II did to his attacker after he had been shot, she said of her attackers: "I forgive them and I would give my life for them if it were necessary. What is most important is that those souls be saved."

    Next installment: "By their fruits you shall known them" .

January 20, 1999       volume 10, no. 13


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