Our Lady of Pellevoisin--- Pellevoisin, France 1876
On the night of February 14 Estelle Faguette, who was thirty three years old, lay in bed dying of pulmonary tuberculosis, an abdominal tumor, and acute peritonitis. She was expected to live only another few hours. It was this night that she experienced the first of fifteen visits from the Mother of God.
This night a devil appeared at the foot of Estelle's bed to harass her during her final hours. But almost immediately she saw the Blessed Virgin at her bedside. Our Lady rebuked the devil who disappeared instantly. The Virgin looked at Estelle and told her not to fear, that she would suffer five more days in honor of the five wounds of Christ, and then in a few days she would either be dead, or cured.
The next night came the second vision. Again the devil appeared first, but Our Lady encouraged Estelle and told her:
Be not afraid, for I am here. My Son is again showing His mercy. You will be healed on Saturday, but you will not be free from troubles or suffering. This is what life brings. My Son's heart was pleased by your self-denial and patience.
After a few moments the Lady smiled and said, 'Now let's look at your past.' When Estelle's faults were revealed she said her reaction was, ' I was completely stunned by the number of them and remained silent.' The Blessed Virgin gently reprimanded her then, giving her an expression of love, disappeared.
On the third night the devil again showed himself, but the Virgin appeared and he left. Estelle, who was ashamed of the faults that were revealed to her, hung her head. But the Virgin said to her, 'That is all in the past. By your self-denial you have put all things right.' She then explained:
The few good works and the intense prayer that you offered me have touched my Motherly heart. Do not lose the graces you have been given and make my glory known.
On the night of the fourth vision Our Lady cautioned, 'Do not be afraid of anything. Have courage, patience and resignation. You will suffer and be troubled. Try to be faithf ul and make my glory known.'
During the fifth vision the Blessed Mother recommended, 'If you want to serve me, be simple and let your deeds prove your words.' Then she added, 'It saddens me the most to see that people have no respect for my Son in the Holy Eucharist and the way people pray while their minds are distracted with other matters. I say this to those who pretend to be pious.'
July 2 was the seventh vision. Wile Estelle was praying the Rosary next to her bedside, the Blessed Virgin appeared in a bright light that was streaming from her hands. She crossed her hands over her chest and said, 'You have already proclaimed my glory.' Then she entrusted Estelle with a secret.
On September 9, the ninth vision, the Virgin was concerned about the conditions in France. She said, 'They want to know everything before learning, and understand everything before knowing.' During the eleventh appearance she said emphatically, 'France will suffer. I can stop my Son no longer. They will acknowledge the truth of my warning later on.'
During the twelfth visit Our Lady was wearing a scapular that she wanted Estelle to make and promote. On the front was a red heart encircled with thorns, with flaming tongues of fire on top and with blood spilling from a wound on it's side. The reverse side depicted the Lady of Pellevoison with graces flowing from her hands and framed in an oval of flowers. On November 11, the fourteenth vision, the Lady again wore the scapular and asked Estelle how many she had sewn. Our Lady said, 'You must make many more.'
The fifteenth and final vision happened on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Estelle said that when she apeared she was more beautiful than ever. She wore a long dress and a floor length veil, and the scapular. After a few moments Our Lady said:
I am totally merciful and the mistress of my Son. He will touch the most hardened hearts for me. I have come especially to save sinners. The treasures of my Son have been opened wide for along time, if only they would pray. Then, pointing to the scapular, she said, 'I love this devotion. I implore all to come to rest and peace. Also the church and France.'
Estelle asked if she might kiss the scapular Our Lady was wearing. The Blessed Mother held it forward to receive Estelle's sign of veneration. The Virgin then instructed Estelle to contact her pastor and bishop concerning the propagation of the scapular. The Virgin opened her hands and graces fell from them in the form of rain. On each drop a word appeared: health, trust, respect, love, holiness, and other words denoting graces. The Virgin then said, 'These graces are from my Son. I take them out of His heart. He can refuse me nothing.' Then she disappeared.
The apparitions were quickly recognized by Msgr. de La Tour d'Auvergne, the Archbishop of Bourges. He authorized the making and distribution of the scapular, and allowed public worship of Our Lady of Pellevoison. He ordered two canonical inquiries which resulted in a favorable verdict on December 5, 1878. In 1883, the parish priest of Pellevoison, Fr. Salmon, and the Vicar General, Fr. Auvrelle, went to Rome to present Pope Leo XIII with a bound record of the apparitions and a picture of Our Lady of Pellevoison. The Pope granted indulgences and approved the Archconfraternity of Our Mother All Merciful of Pellevoison.
Estelle was able to visit Pope Leo XIII twice, during which he promised to submit the scapular of the Sacred Heart to the Congregation of Rites. Two months later the scapular was approved by decree.
In 1983, after medical and theological investigations, the miraculous recovery of Estelle was given official and public recognition by Archbishop Paul Vignacour. At the age of eighty-six, Estelle Faguette died in Pellevoison on August 23, 1929.
The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception--- Gietrzwald, Poland 1877
In Gietrzwald, Poland our Blessed Mother appeared to two visionaries, Justyna Szafrynska, age thirteen, and Barbara Samulowska, age twelve, and told them she was The Immaculate Conception. This happened nineteen years after she had appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes and had identified herself as the Immaculate Conception.
Our Blessed Mother appeared twice. During the first apparition, on June 27, 1877, as Justyna was walking home with her mother, she saw the Blessed Mother in front of the church In Gietrzwald. The next day Barbara also saw her, the 'bright lady', sitting on a throne with the infant Jesus, and surrounded by angels. The vision happened near a maple tree in front of the parish church.
The girls asked, 'What do you require, Mother of God?"
She answered them, 'I would like you to recite the Rosary every day. The girls asked who she was, and her answer was, ' I am the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.' The girls asked other questions, including if sick people who came there would be healed. The Lady said many would be healed, but that they should pray the Rosary.
The second apparition happened on August 1, 1877. The area had been oppressed by the Russians, and because of this Barbara asked if the deserted parishes would reopen and receive priests. The Blessed Mother answered, 'If people pray zealously the Church will nor be persecuted and the parishes will receive their priests.
Seven days later at seven o'clock in the evening, the Lady blessed the nearby spring and said, 'Now the sick people can take this water for their healing.' Since then the water from this spring has been used as a sacramental. She appeared for the last time on September 16, 1877. The Blessed Mother's predictions came true. Many were healed by the spring water, the close parishes opened, and many priests were assigned.
The diocesan administrator, Bishop Filip Krementz, assembled a commission to examine the authenticity of the apparitions. After receiving the results, he promoted the publication entitled 'The Apparitions of Our Lady in Gietrzward to the Catholic People According to the Official Documents.'
As a revered image, there is a portrait of the Madonna holding the infant Jesus. For the ninetieth anniversary Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski visited the shrine and crowned the image. Shortly after, the Holy See granted the Giertszward Virgin to have a feast day on September 8, with special propers of the Mass and Breviary. Pope Paul VI elevated the church to the rank of Minor Basilica. In 1880, both of the visionaries took the habit of the Sisters of Charity.
Our Lady of Knock--- Knock, County Mayo, Ireland 1879
In Ireland, the mid-nineteenth century was a time of great hardship for the people. There were famines, deaths from malnutrition, forced emigration. There was a serious failure of the potato crop in 1877-78, as well as crushing rent from landlords and rulers, and oppressive taxes. There were those who tried to eliminate Catholic worship by bribing the hungry with food and money to attend protestant churches. I was during this time that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the faithful in a small hamlet named Knock, located in County Mayo.
The first vision happened on August 21, 1879. It was raining that day and there was a thick mist near the wall of the church. Mary McLoughlin and Mary Bierne, who lived in Knock, were walking home that evening. As they walked passed the back of the village church they noticed, just a few feet from the wall, a radiant light. They looked and at first thought they were looking at statues. But then Mary Bierne exclaimed, 'But they are not statues, they are moving. It's the Blessed Virgin!'
They went to tell others who came to see the apparition. To the right of the Blessed Virgin was St. Joseph, his head turned toward her. On her left was St. John the Evangelist, vested as a bishop, holding a book in his left hand and his right arm raised as if preaching. To the left of St. John was an altar where a cross and a lamb stood. The lamb seemed to be about eight weeks old. Around the scene angels were moving about. The villagers knelt and prayed before the apparition, which lasted about two hours.
Sometime later several witnesses depositions before the archbishop and various dignitaries of the Church. One individual in particular, Patrick Hill, had this to report in his deposition on October 8, 1879. He was going home around 8 o'clock when he heard about the apparition. He hurried to the church, and this is what he described:
I immediately beheld the lights; a clear white light covering most of the gable from the ground up to the window and higher. It was a bright light, going sometimes up high and again not so high. We saw the figures, the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John, and an altar with a lamb on the altar and a cross behind the lamb. People were praying, not all were looking at the vision. I then went up closer and saw everything distinctly. The figures were full and round as if they had a body and life. They said nothing, but as we approached they seemed to go back a little towards the gable.
I distinctly beheld the Blessed Virgin Mary, life size, standing about two feet or so above the ground, clothed in white robes which were fastened at the neck, her hands were raised to the height of the shoulders as if in prayer, with the palms facing one another and slanting slightly inwards towards the face. She appeared to be praying; her eyes were turned as I saw towards heaven; she wore a brilliant crown on her head and over her forehead where the crown fitted her brow, a beautiful rose; the crown appeared brilliant and of a golden brightness. The upper parts of the crown appeared to be a series of sparkles, or glittering crosses. I saw her eyes, the ball, the pupils and the iris of each. Her robes came only as far as the ankles; one foot, the right, was slightly in advance of the other. I saw them move, but she did not speak. I saw St. Joseph. His head was bent and he appeared to be paying his respects to the Blessed Virgin. I noticed his whiskers, they appeared slightly grey. His hands were joined like a person in prayer.
St. John the Evangelist stood erect at the Gospel side of the little altar and at an angle so that his back was not turned towards the altar, nor to the Mother of God. He was dressed like a bishop preaching; he wore a small mitre on his head; he held a Mass book in his left hand; his right hand was raised to the elevation of his head while he kept the index finger and the middle finger of his right hand raised, the other three fingers of the same hand were shut. He appeared as if he were preaching, but I heard no voice. I went near and looked into the book he held. I saw the lines and the letters. The altar on his left was plain without any ornaments. On it stood a lamb which was facing the west and looking in the direction of the figures. I saw angels hovering during the whole time, for the space of one hour and a half or longer; I saw their wings fluttering, but I did not perceive their heads or faces which were not turned to me. For the space of an hour and a half we were under pouring rain; at this time I was very wet; I noticed the rain did not wet the figures; I went away then.
The depositions of the fifteen witnesses all agreed in regards to the figures and what took place, but Mary McLoughlin, the housekeeper of the village priest, added:
Behind the lamb appeared the cross, it was away a bit from the lamb, while the latter stood in front of it. Around the lamb a number of gold-like stars appeared in the form of a halo. I parted from the gathering at eight and a half o'clock. I saw the sight for fully an hour.
Mary Beirne added that, 'the altar had no special ornamentation; it was only a plain altar. Above the altar and resting on it was a lamb. On the body of the lamb, and all around it, I saw golden stars, or small brilliant lights, glittering like jets or glass balls reflecting the light.'
Bridget Trench added that the figures were raised about two feet above the ground.
It was raining very heavily at the time, but no rain fell where the figures were. I felt the ground carefully with my hands and it as perfectly dry. They appeared to me to be so full and so lifelike and so life-sized that I could not understand why I could not feel them with my hands such as I beheld them with my eyes. I felt great delight and pleasure in looking at the Blessed Virgin. I could think of nothing else while there but giving thanks to God and repeating my prayers.
This vision was different from those before and those after. This apparition had several figures in it. In others the Blessed Virgin appeared by herself. The second difference is the lack of a verbal message or warning. Another difference was the number of people who saw the apparition, as well as the two hour length of it. And, this is the first and only vision where the Lamb of God appears.
Church officials investigated the apparition at Knock in 1879, and again in 1936. It was found that the witnesses were believable and there was nothing contrary to the faith. Since then, in 1945, Pope Pius XII blessed the banner of Knock at St. Peter's Basilica and placed a special medal on it. In 1960, Pope John XXIII presented a special candle to Knock on Candlemas Day. In 1974, Pope Paul VI blessed the foundation stone for the Basilica of Our Lady of Knock. And Pope John Paul II made a personal pilgrimage to the shrine on September 30, 1979, the centennial of the apparition. St. Teresa of Calcutta visited the shrine in 1993.
Many cures and divine favors have been granted at this shrine. The first happened only a few days after the apparition when a young girl who was born deaf instantly received her hearing. By the end of 1880 at least 300 cures had been recorded by the parish priest and deemed miraculous. About a half million pilgrims visit the shrine each year.
Our Lady of Sorrows (Italy)--- Castelpetroso, Italy 1888
On March 22, 1888, two women were searching for a lost sheep that had strayed to a neighboring hill of Castelpetroso. Thirty-five-year-old Fabiana Cecchino, who was unmarried, and Serafina Giovanna Valentino, who was younger and married. There they saw a terrifying vision.
They told their fellow villagers that they had seen a light coming through some fissures in a rocky cliff. When they went to look, they saw the image of Our Lady of Sorrows kneeling beside her deceased Son. She was a fair-skinned, lovely young woman. Her hair was disheveled and she was bleeding from seven swords that pierced her heart.
A few who heard the story were curious. They visited the place and witnessed the cure of a seriously ill child, and the conversion of an avowed heretic.
A priest of the diocese who at first did not believe the women, later saw the apparition and filed the following:
I had many times derided those who visited the mountain on which these wondrous apparitions took place. On May 16, 1888, however, more to pass the time than anything else, I felt a desire to visit the place. When I arrived I began to look into one of the fissures, and I saw with great clearness Our Lady, like a statuette, with a little Child in her arms. After a short interval I looked again at the same spot; and in place of teh Most Holy Virgin I saw, quite clearly, the dead Saviour bearing the crown of thorns and all covered with blood. From that time forward when I have heard a mention of the thrice-blessed mountain and of the apparition I have felt myself moved to tears, and have not been able to say a word. Signed: Don Luigi Ferrara, Priest.
As in other apparitions, this vision also featured changes in Our Blessed Mother's appearance. Some saw her as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, some saw her as Our Lady of Grace, and others saw her as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. But most saw her as Our Lady of Dolors. She was sometimes accompanied by St. Michael, sometimes by St. Anthony or St. Sebastian, and sometimes by flights of angels.
Word of the miracles reached Bishop Macarone-Palmieri of the diocese of Bojano. On his visit to Rome that September he told Pope Leo XIII of the apparitions. At the pope's suggestion an inquiry was conducted.The bishop, along with the archpriest of Bojano, saw the apparition three separate times. In May of 1888 a spring of water appeared at the site of the visions. The people of Castelpetroso began using the water of their new spring. There were reports of healings and favors that were received.
The bishop ordered an examination. Father Lais, a physicist, was appointed. After careful examination of all the visions and reported cures, the scientist made this statement:
The observations I made of the character of the people lead me to recognize that they are profoundly convinced of the event having taken place; and, on the other hand, their simple and ingenuous demeanor dose not suggest the suspicion that the fact should be, to some extent, fanciful or the effect of the imagination; whilst the natural formation of the rocks excludes the theory of trickery.
The Bishop of Bojano organized a committee to collect funds to build a church. Pope Leo XIII sent a message imparting the Apostolic Blessing to all who contributed to the fund. The cornerstone for the Gothic style church was laid in May of 1890. The Bishop of Bojano, himself, gave details of his experience of the apparition:
I myself can bear witness that I visited the sacred spot, and after some time spent in prayer, saw the apparition of the Blessed Virgin. At first the image of Our Lady appeared faint and indistinct. But at length she appeared in the attitude and proportions of the representation of Our Lady of Sorrows. Beside myself and the very large number of persons whose names are recorded in the official report, there are the Vicar General of the Diocese, the Archpriest of the Cathedral, and many ecclesiastics who also beheld the miraculous apparitions.
In March 1995, Pope John Paul II went to Castelpetroso as a pilgrim. After a special salutation to the sick, the Holy Father entered the sanctuary where he spent several minutes in prater before the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Our Lady of Fatima--- Fatima, Portugal 1917
One of the best known apparitions, Fatima has three visionaries. Lucia de Jesus dos Santos was the oldest at ten-years-old at the time of the appearance of Our Lady. Her cousin, Francisco was nine, and Jacinta was seven. Francisco never heard Our Lady's words, but he saw her and felt her presence. Jacinta loved to dance and collect flowers. She became very serious and reflective after the first appearance. It has been said that she was the most generous in complying with Our Lady's wishes to make sacrifices for sinners.
In the spring of 1916 the three children were playing games as they tended the family's flock of sheep. Suddenly, surrounded by a great light, an angel, who called himself the Angel of Peace, appeared to them. He knelt down to show them the manner in which they were to pray to God. He told them:
Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication, for the conversion of sinners.
The angel gave them a prayer which they devotely recited over and over:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges and indifferences by which He is mortally offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.
During the angel's third and final visit he gave the children Holy Communion. Lucy received the Sacred Host. Francisco and Jacinta received the Sacred Blood of Jesus.
The next year on May 13, 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared to them and encouraged them to pray the rosary every day, and to practice devotion to her Immaculate Heart 'which is so terribly outraged and offended by the sins of men.' The children realized that God is terribly offended by sin and desires all mankind to make reparation for their sins through prayer and sacrifice. Our Lady said to them.
You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
Our Lady warned that if the people did not cease in offending God, then there would be persecutions of the Church, famine, and chastisements.
During a subsequent appearance, she asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. and the Communions of Reparation on the First Saturday of five consecutive months. She also asked for the frequent recitation of the Holy Rosary. She said this would obtain for us the graces we need to overcome sin. She told them:
My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.
The Blessed Mother had promised a miracle. Now called the Miracle of the Sun, this event took place on October 13, 1917. I t was a miracle that would make all people believe in her appearances. On this day, on the Cova de Iria, thousand of people came. It had rained steadily through the night, so the multitude of people were wet by the predicted time of the expected miracle. Suddenly the ground, as well as all their clothes, were dry. The sun began to twirl and emit various lights. It appeared to fall towards the earth. Then the sun rose to it's proper place in the sky. The people began to pray with great emotion and fear.
Two years after the apparitions, Jacinta and Francisco died, as Our Lady had predicted. They were taken by influenza. Lucia was the remaining visionary. At fourteen she entered the school conducted by the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar. In 1925 she entered the order as a postulant.
In 1930, the bishop of Leiria-Fatima declared the apparitions 'worthy of credibility.' In 1982, Pope St. John Paul II visited the site and gave thanks for his life being saved during an assassination attempt.
Sister Lucia died on February 13, 2005 at the age of ninety-seven. She is entombed beside the two other visionaries in the basilica at Fatima.
The Virgin of the Poor---Banneux, Belgium 1933
Visions were reported by a twelve year old girl just twelve
days after the apparition of Our Blessed Mother in Beauraing, Belgium.
The Blessed Mother appeared to the girl, Mariette Beco, eight times.
There was spring which our Lady said would be for all people and
would heal the sick. She asked that a small chapel be built. It was built
in 1933, the same year as the apparitions. Many miraculous cures were
declared. There were two chapels built, one near the Beco house, the
other over the spring where our Lady appeared. Thousands of people visit the shrines every year.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary--- Pontevedra, Spain 1925
Sr. Lucia, one of the visionaries of Fatima, entered the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in 1925. In 1934 she pronounced her perpetual vows. During her years of religious life she continued to receive messages from the Blessed Mother. As a postulant, Lucia saw the Blessed Mother standing over a cloud of light with the Child Jesus at her side. She put one hand on Lucia's shoulder while the other hand held her Immaculate Heart which was surrounded by thorns. The Child Jesus spoke:
Have compassion on the Heart of your Blessed Mother. It is surrounded with thorns that ungrateful men pierce each moment and there is no one that is willing to offer an act of reparation to take the thorns away.
Then the Blessed Virgin spoke:
Look my daughter. My heart is surrounded by thorns that ungrateful men pierce unceasingly with their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me. You should announce that I promise for all those who on five consecutive first Saturdays, confess, receive Holy Communion, pray the Holy Rosary with the intention to do reparation, I will assist at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation.
These are the offenses and blasphemies that Our Lord revealed to Lucia, which wound the Immaculate Heart of Mary; those who deny or question the Immaculate Conception, her virginity, her divine maternity and those who instill in their children their prejudices against the Immaculate Heart, and those who insult or offend her sacred images.
Our Lord appeared again to Lucia in February 1926, asking her about the promotion of the requests of His Mother. Lucia explained the difficulties she was encountering. Jesus told her that His grace was sufficient.
Lucia described another apparition that happened in June of 1929:
Suddenly the entire convent chapel was illuminated in a supernatural light, and a cross of light appeared over the altar and reached the ceiling.On the superior part the face of a man was seen and his body down to the waist. A dove of light was over his chest, and nailed to the Cross was another man. Suspended in air over his waist I was able to see a chalice with a large Host. Drops of Blood from the face of Jesus Crucified and blood from His pierced side fell into the chalice, dripping from the Host.
Beneath the right arm of the Cross Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Fatima. She held in her left hand her Immaculate Heart encircled by a crown of thorns and flames. Underneath the left arm of the cross big letters, looking like crystal water, flowed down to the altar saying: 'Graces and Mercy.'
Lucia understood it to be the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and she perceived inner light about this mystery which she was unable to reveal. The Blessed Virgin told her:
The time has some in which God asks the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to my heart in union with all the bishops of the world. I promise salvation through this means.
In response to Our Lady's requests, Pope Pius XII made several consecrations, and Pope St. John Paul II made two, the second one considered by Lucia to be in keeping with the Blessed Mother's request. Pope St. John Paul II dedicated the third millennium to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Lucia entered the Discalced convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra where she made her profession in May of 1949. She received the name Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart. In response to many questions asked of her about Fatima, she wrote two books; Memoirs, and Calls From the Message of Fatima.
She made several visits to Fatima, her last one being for the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco. After eighty years as a religious, Lucia died of infirmities due to old age at the age of ninety-seven. Her body has been entombed at the basilica in Fatima, next to the other visionaries, Jacinta and Francisco.
Our Lady of Beauraing--Beauraing, Belgium 1932
'The Virgin with the Golden Heart' visited Beauraing thirty-three times.
At the time of the apparitions about two thousand people lived in this little town about sixty miles southeast of Brussels, Belgium. Most were farmers, some worked in quarries and forests, and many had supplemental gardens to help with their food supply. The people had been very devout Catholics, but by 1932 many had drifted away from their faith, and some were even hostile towards it. It was a time of unrest because the Communists were in power in Russia and were trying to extend their godless power throughout the world.
The visionaries of Beauraing were four girls and one boy. Thirteen-year-old Gilberte, fifteen-year-old Fernande, and eleven-year-old Albert were from the Voisin family. Andree, fourteen, and Gilberte, nine, were from the Degeimbre family.Four of the children walked each evening to the Academy, operated by the Sisters of Christian Doctrine, where Gilberte Voisin went to school, and after school they all walked back home. When they entered through the gate their favorite place to wait was a garden where there was a small Lourdes grotto.Beyond the garden there was a street and above the street was a small bridge that crossed over it.
While at this garden, on November 29, 1932, Albert was the first to notice a luminous lady walking on the bridge. He exclaimed, "It is the Virgin Mary walking atop the bridge." The figure then moved in mid-air toward the treetops within the garden. The others saw the Lady, and when Gilberte came out from class he also saw her. The children alerted the teacher, Sister Valeria, but she saw nothing and dismissed it as child's play.
The children excitedly told their parents, who were skeptical, but they listened t their description. The beautiful Lady was wearing a long white gown with a silk veil that flowed down to where a small cloud covered her feet. As the Lady drew near to them she seemed to emanate a bright light. Her hands were folded in prayer and she smiled at them, but said nothing.
The next evening the children again saw the Lady walking along the bridge. They reported this to their parents who thought someone was trying to scare them. So the next evening Mrs. Degeimbre took a stick to inspect the bushes for a prankster. The children saw the Lady, this time near the Lourdes grotto. Her hands were joined in prayer, her eyes raised to heaven. She looked at the children, smiled, and while rising from the ground, she disappeared.
The third time she came the Lady appeared under the arch of a hawthorn tree in the convent garden. This is where she appeared for all the rest of her visitations. During the early visions the Lady did not carry a rosary, but later there was always one on her right arm. For each of the visions, as soon as the children saw the Lady, they dropped to their knees and prayed the Hail Mary.
Several visions occurred where the children described the Lady as looking young, about eighteen or twenty, her eyes were a beautiful deep blue, and rays of light formed around her head like a crown. She wore a long, white, heavily pleated gown without a belt. The children said that the gown reflected a kind of blue light and the Virgin's hands were pressed together as if in prayer. She parted her hands as she vanished from sight.
When the Lady appeared on December 2, Albert asked, " are you the Immaculate Virgin?" The Lady smiled and nodded her head. Albert asked, "What do you want?" The Lady's first words were, "Always be good." She appeared to more times that day and during the last time she asked; "Is it true you will always be good?" "Yes"' Andree cried. Then the Lady disappeared.
Crowds began to form, but no one but the children saw the Lady. The children were asked to return on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Approximately fifteen thousand people came, expecting to see a miracle. The children recited the Rosary while they waited for the Lady, who asked for a chapel to be built. During this apparition several doctors pinched, slapped, shined a flashlight in their eyes, and even tried burning their fingers in an attempt to distract the children. But none of that distracted them from their ecstasy. Four days later the Lady announced, "I am the Immaculate Virgin."
On December 23, Fernande asked the Lady, "Why do you come here?" She answered, "That people might come here on pilgrimage." On December 29, the Virgin opened her arms in the usual gesture of farewell. It was then that Fernande saw on the Virgin a heart of gold surrounded by glittering rays. Our Lady then said, "Pray. Pray very much."
During the next vision all the children saw the golden heart. In the following apparitions the Lady said, "I will convert sinners... I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always." Another time she gave a secret to each child and asked, "Do you love my Son? Do you love me? Then sacrifice yourself for me." During the last vision she showed her heart of gold, said, "Good-bye" and disappeared. Some of the children wept with great disappointment.
After the visions ended the children visited the hawthorn tree each day to recite the rosary. Their families never benefited financially but were visited by the curious. In 1933 it was estimated that over two million pilgrims visited the hawthorn, which was now protected by a bronze railing. There were many cures that were investigated and regarded as miraculous. As according to the Lady, many visited were converted, including some Communists. In 1935 the bishop initiated an investigation. In 1936 Bishop Heylen consulted with Pope Pius XI who praised the heroic faithfulness of the children in going to pray the rosary every night at the hawthorn tree. Many documents, studies and letters were circulated between the Holy Office, various cardinals and diocesan officials. By February 2, 1943, Bishop Charue accepted the validity of the visions of our Lady of Beauraing and celebrated the recognition by official ceremonies. in 1947 the Holy Father blessed the sanctuary and the pilgrims.
The chapel the Lady requested was built and consecrated on August 21, 1954. Many confessionals were added for the converted sinners. The Academy convent was converted into a home for ill pilgrims. None of the children were called to religious life. They all married and raised their children in good graces of the Catholic faith. The visionaries never wanted to be in the limelight, humbly saying they were merely the instruments through whom Our Lady gave her message to the world.
Our Lady of Heede--- Heede, Germany 1937
Also called Queen of the Universe and Queen of the Poor Souls.
Our Blessed Mother appeared several times to four young girls, Anna Schulte, Greta and Maia Gauseforth, and Susanna Bruns. The first appearance happened on November 1, 1937. On their way to church, as the girls passed a cemetery they saw the Blessed Virgin with the Divine Child in her arms. They told their story to those around them but no one believed them until all four girls changed their manner of living and became much more serious and fervent in prayer.
News of the apparitions spread quickly to surrounding towns and villages but many were fearful of visiting the site because Hitler rule Germany. In an effort to put a stop to the activities at Heede, the Gestapo took the children to a mental hospital by force, and strictly forbade pilgrimages. Soon the children were released and they resumed their visits to the apparition site, going against the orders of the Gestapo.
Our Lady continued her appearances in secret locations. She particularly emphasized devotion to the poor souls in Purgatory, and warned the children of the impending chastisement of God's justice. The children asked how she would like to be addressed. She answered, 'As Queen of the universe and Queen of the Poor Souls.'She also expressed her love of the Litany of Loreto.
After many cures were reported and verified the parish priests and other clergymen supported the visionaries. Our Lady spoke little, but her messages were similar to the message of Fatima where she asked for prayer, repentance and conversion.
On November 30, 1940 Our Lady appeared for the last time. It was in the church cemetery where she had appeared to the children the first time. It was here that our Lady said to them, 'Be good and resigned to the will of God. Pray often, especially the Rosary. Now, farewell my children until we meet in Heaven.'
In 1945 Our Lord began to appear to Greta Gansforth. This is the warning He gave to the world:
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 restricted.
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!
The bishop appointed a new parish priest to examine the details of the apparitions, along with a committee. The Bishop of Osnabruck declared the apparitions to be 'undeniable proofs 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.'