DAILY CATHOLIC - Wednesday, December 17, 1997   volume 8, no. 54

ON-GOING SERIES


AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

The Queen of Prophets presents a lasting blueprint for true conversion

Installment Fifty
      Immediately following the Mother of God's appearances to Blessed Juan Diego at Guadalupe in 1531, within a time span of fifty years or so, there were numerous accounts of other Marian apparitions in Mexico which helped Christianity spread throughout the Americas. Ironically, in Europe, thousands were falling away from the True Church as a result of the Reformation. With the exception of 600 reported apparitions to Benoite Rencurel in Laus, France around 1664, the Blessed Mother appeared only a few times to forty visionaries after her new world appearances until 1830 when Our Lady requested of Saint Catherine Laboure that the Miraculous Medal be struck and distributed to all - in the same manner of help as she had done with Saint Dominic with the Rosary, and Saint Simon Stock with the Scapular. Sixteen years later the Blessed Virgin appeared to two peasant children in the southern mountains of France in a remote place called LaSalette where she ushered dire warnings of what was to come. All she imparted there has, or is coming to pass...including the apocalyptic message that "Rome will be come the seat of the antichrist!" After five more brief appearances throughout Europe, she increased her appearances at Lourdes in 1858 to Saint Bernadette Soubirous to whom she confirmed the dogma of her Immaculate Conception, decreed by Pope Pius IX four years earlier. At Lourdes Our Lady also conveyed more messages of woe if the world did not return to God. Twenty five minor apparitions later she escalated her appearances in Knock, Ireland in 1879 where she imparted a very powerful message of the faith through silence and in the "hologram-like" visions which many saw. There were seventeen more apparitions between 1882 and 1917 before the Blessed Virgin appeared at what is now probably the most famous apparition site in the world - Fatima, Portugal to three children - Francisco, Jacinto, and Lucia with a dire message for the world to convert, pray the Rosary and consecrate Russia and the world to her Immaculate Heart. She appeared over twenty times and with this apparition began the augmentation of her many, many appearances in the 20th Century that are culminating with thousands of appearances at countless sites in these last days as we near the millennium.

      Again, seventeen apparitions later at various sites around the world, the Mother of God appeared 33 times as the Immaculate Virgin with a Heart of God in Beauraing, Belgium in 1932 and the next year in Banneaux, Belgium as Virgin of the Poor. Her messages foretold of World War II and more of what would come after that. Between 1933 and 1961 the Blessed Mother - Help of Christians - appeared at over seventy different reported sites on four continents. Of these various apparitions, many dealt with conversion before the Divine Justice came. She was truly the Queen of Prophets and in every message she presented a lasting blueprint for true conversion. Yet her children refused to listen.

     Beginning in 1961 Blessed Mary really escalated the number of times she would appear at one site, appearing over 2000 times to four girls at Garabandal, Spain. This was suppressed at the time by the local bishop, but once Pope Paul VI became the two hundred sixty-second pontiff, he ordered that never again could private revelation be stifled. Since that time the messages have taken on much more credence in light of the good fruits and the events taking place. At Garabandal Our Lady - Mirror of Justice and Queen of Mercy - gave the gravest warnings to date and told of the WARNING and the MIRACLE before the Three Days of Darkness. The latter has caused much controversy within the Church and the Marian movement as well as the faithful struggle over its meaning and time-frame as to whether it means just before the end of the world as prophesied in Sacred Scripture, or the end of an era - a cleansing that must take place before a new era can begin. We ascribe to the latter for every 2000 years God has effected a cleansing of some type. 4000 years ago He warned the people and only Noah responded before the great flood. 2000 years ago He sent His Only-begotten Son to transform the world and now, two millenniums later, it is time again for change - for a cleansing of the earth so that we might be worthy to live in the Era of the Holy Spirit - the new millennium - the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our Lady has foretold to world-renown locutionist Father Don Stefano Gobbi that her Heart will triumph before the millennium. From all that she has prophesied over the centuries, she hasn't been wrong yet. Why should we doubt her now as we draw so close in that time-frame? Since the end of the apparitions at Garabandal which coincided with the conclusion of Vatican II, there have been well over 100 known sites on every continent where Our Lady of the New Advent has appeared. Most everywhere she has increased the number of her visits. From 1964 to 1981 she appeared over 3,5000 times at San Damiano, Italy as Queen of the Universe imploring her children to pray the Rosary. Then in 1981 the famous apparitions in Medjugorje began which to date number nearly 14,000 when one multiplies the number of visits times the six visionaries who have seen her. In Betania, Venezuela, Our Lady has been calling for "Reconciliation" since 1976 when she first appeared to visionary Maria Esperanza de Bianchini on the feast of the Annunciation. The number of times Mary has appeared in this South American country is also in the thousands, matching Medjugorje for total number of times when one multiplies the number of visits times the hundreds who have seen the Blessed Mother in person.

     Truly, in these prophetic times we can look to the Queen of Prophets and know in our hearts that all she says is God's Will and if we do what she asks, we have no need to fear or worry about what is to come. Our Lady is not doom and gloom as some accuse, but rather hope and trust for, through every apparition and message imparted, she is drawing us ever closer to her Divine Son.

NEXT WEEK: Clearing up the static


To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.
December 17, 1997 volume 8, no. 54         DAILY CATHOLIC - Age of Marian Apparitions

December 1997