Our Lady of Victory--- Wigratzbad, Germany 1919 and 1938
The First Apparition
In 1919, at twenty years old, Antonie Radler contracted the Spanish influenza and became desperately ill. Her mother prayed fervently for Antonie and was blessed with the appearance of the Blessed Mother at the patient's bedside. The apparition laid her hands on the young victim and Antonie was instantly healed.
After her recovery, Antonie was working one day in her father's butcher shop when the Gestapo came in and ordered her to replace the painting of the Blessed Virgin on the wall with one of the Fuhrer. She was ordered to salute him in the Nazi fashion, saying 'Heil Hitler' instead of using the usual Bavarian greeting of 'Gruss Gott.' Antonie refused and barely escaped several attempts on her life. She maintained that her guardian angel, in the form of a mysterious cyclist, protected her.
The parents were so thankful that she was not harmed that they erected a small Lourdes grotto in their garden. Their pastor, Father Basch, blessed it on October 11, 1936, the feast of the Maternity of Mary. A month later, while at prayer before the statue, Antonie saw Mary smile sweetly and heard the words, 'O beloved Lady of Victory, conceived without sin, pray for us.' And on December 15, 1936, also while praying at the grotto, Antonie heard an 'angelic chorus' singing, 'O Mary! Immaculate, conceived without sin. Beloved Lady of Victory, pray for us.' This happened while she was reciting the third sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, during the octave of the Immaculate Conception.
The Second Apparition
On February 22, 1938 at Wigratzbad, at about six thirty in the morning, a young girl named Cecilia Geyer heard a murmur, and then saw the Blessed Virgin appear in a bright cloud. As Cecilia explained:
Suddenly I found myself in the little grotto of Antonie and heard this message, 'Build a chapel here for me. I shall trample underfoot the serpent's head. People will come here in large numbers and I will pour upon them a flood of graces. St. Joseph, St. Anthony and the souls in Purgatory will help you.'
The Lady then directed her to 'Go now and worship my Son in the Blessed Sacrament.' Because it was late all the churches were closed, so Cecilia asked the vision where she should go? Then, 'before my astonished eyes there appeared a chapel in the place designated by the Lady. Inside, on the altar, surrounded by beautiful rays of light was Jesus in a monstrance.'
The Blessed Virgin Appears to Antonie in Prison
The building of the chapel that Our Lady had requested began on July 2, 1938, on land donated by her parents. It was going well until the night of November 21 when Antonie was arrested by the Nazis and incarcerated in teh local prison. After undergoing numerous interrogations, on the night of December 7 to 8, she saw a large cloud arising from her cell. The Virgin appeared to her and said she would be released soon and she would spend Christmas with her family. Antoine was released on December 18, the Feast of the Expectation of Our Lady.
Today, the chapel that was built at the site of the apparitions hosts an estimated five hundred thousands pilgrims each year.
Our Lady of Sorrows (Spain)--- La Codosera, Chandavila, Spain 1945
The First Vision
At three in the afternoon, on May 27, 1945, ten-year-old Marcelina Barroso Exposito, along with her cousin Augustina, was walking to the village on an errand for her mother. When walking through an area called Chandavila they noticed something odd in the distance. They had chosen to ignore it when a strange force somehow propelled them to a chestnut tree. There, a little above the ground, was a vision of Our Lady of Sorrows.She wore a black robe and mantle, and stars sparkled around her and embellished her gown. Her hands were joined and her beautiful face held the marks of deep pain and overwhelming sadness.
Only Marcelina saw the Lady. When the vision disappeared her and her cousin ran to the village to tell everyone. All who heard were very excited.
The Second Vision
On the morning of June 4, Marcelina returned to the place of the apparition, and the Virgin was there once again.This time the Lady spoke to her telling her to return in the afternoon. She would then ask the girl to perform a sacrifice in the presence of all who would be there.
A thousand people, both Spanish and Portuguese, saw Marcelina walk to the apparition site in an ecstatic condition that drew wide attention. Arriving at the chestnut tree, she stopped and beheld the vision in the distance. The Lady invited her to crawl on her knees to her, which was a distance of about one hundred feet. The Lady reassured her, 'Fear not. Nothing will harm you. I will be putting before you a reed mat and herbs so that you will not be hurt.'
When her mother saw her daughter in an ecstatic state and crawling over rocks and hard, rough ground, she fainted. The child remained for about ten minutes kneeling by the tree. In addition to the vision of the Virgin, the child saw a beautiful church and on the altar appeared the Virgin Mary who invited the child to dip her fingers in holy water and bless herself. When the child drew near she was asked if she would like to join the Virgin in heaven. The child answered enthusiastically, 'Yes, ma'am, now.' The Blessed Mother smiled and kissed the child on the forehead. The mantle of the Mother of God softly touched Marcelina's face. The Virgin then asked for a chapel to be built at the place of the apparition.
The vision disappeared, Marcelina was no longer ecstatic and she began talking with her friends. They, along with the pastor of Cordosera, Father Juan Antonio Galan y Galan, checked her knees and found no scratches or injuries.
Marcelina had other encounters with the Blessed Virgin. More and more people were coming to the apparition site. Marcelina eventually enrolled in a Catholic school in Villafranca de Los Barros near Badajoz. On August 2, 1975 she entered into religious life in Seville with the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross, taking the name Sister Mary of Mercy of the Cross. This order was dedicated to the care of the sick, orphans, the poor, and elderly. After many years she joined a cloistered convent in Ciudad Real.
Another visionary at Codosera
During the time Marcelina was experiencing the visions, seventeen year old Afra Blanco Brigade went to Codosera with her friends. It was May 30, 1945. Like other pilgrims, she wanted to meet Marcelina, to witness the event, and take part in the prayers. When she got there she thought she saw something dark in the clouds. The next day when she went to the apparition site she again saw the dark object. The vision drew nearer and was recognized as Our Lady of Sorrows. This overwhelmed Afra who fell into a deep faint.
A few days later, while mourning her grandmother's death, Afra's friends asked that she join them for another visit to the apparition site. While kneeling next to Marcelina, both the Lady revealed herself to both girls. She told Afra a secret, predicted great suffering, then asked her to kiss Marcelina. She asked for the recitation of the rosary and that a chapel be built. Several days later Afra and Marcelina went to Villar de Rey, giving thanks to the Blessed Virgin for all the favored she had given them.
While making the way of the Cross there Afra became ecstatic at the eleventh station. She saw the sufferings of Our Lord and His Crucifixion. She suddenly felt a sharp pain on the palms of her hands.In the center of both hands was an incision dripping with blood and causing excruciating pain. Eventually the stigmata were seen on both feet, and then penetrated deeper into her hands. The pain continued and the blood flowed, mainly on Fridays in commemoration of Our Lord's Crucifixion. Afra underwent many medical examinations and treatments, but the wounds could not be healed. There was also a sweet fragrance at the stigmata wounds.
Afra worked for many years in a hospital in Madrid. After a long, painful illness, she died on August 23, 2008 at the age of eighty. A beautiful church was built around the chestnut tree where the apparitions happened. The Bishop of Badajoz gave the approval for the building of the church, as well as for the Expression of Faith.
Mediatrix of All Graces--- Marienfried, Germany 1946
This event took place On April 25, May 25, and June 25, 1946, in Marienfried, near Paffenhofen.
At the first apparition in April, an angel, calling himself 'the Angel of the Great Mediatrix of Graces,' appeared to twenty-two-year-old Barbara Reuss. He instructed Barbara to kneel as he addressed this prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary:
Act as the Mother of Grace; act as the thrice miraculous Mother; the thrice admirable Mother of Grace, Thou Great Mediatrix of Graces!
While the angel recited the prayer the Blessed Virgin appeared in a brilliant light. She was 'unspeakably beautiful, brilliant, a blinding vision of the most pure light and radiance. Above her head were brilliant rays forming a three-tiered crown.' The Immaculate Queen raised her hand in blessing and became transparent as crystal. She was so bright Barbara could not look at her.
Many people were present for the second apparition, and the pastor, Fr. Humf, and his sister were there for the third apparition. The messages were very similar to those given by Our Lady of Fatima; request for recitation of the holy Rosary, devotion to the Holy Trinity and consecration to her Immaculate Heart, and she also warned of future events. Here are some of her wishes:
I am the powerful Mediatrix of Graces. As the world can find mercy only through the sacrifice of the Sn with the Father, so can you find favor with the Son through my intercession. Christ is unknown because I am not known. It is true the the world was consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, but this consecration has become a fearful responsibility for many men. I demand that the world live the consecration
I am the sign of the Living God. I place my Sign on the foreheads of my children (those who consecrate themselves to my Immaculate Heart). Lucifer will persecute the sign, but my sign will conquer. Substitute my Immaculate Heart in place of your sinful hearts. Fulfill my request so that Christ may reign as the King of Peace.
The world will have to drain the cup of wrath to the dregs because of the countless sins through which His Heart is offended. The devil of the infernal regions will rage more violently than ever before and will cause frightful destruction because he knows that his time is short, and because he sees that already many have gathered around my sign. Over these he has no spiritual power, although he will kill the bodies of many; but through these sacrifices my power to lead the remnant host to victory will increase.
Pray, make sacrifices for sinners. Pray the rosary. Pray not for external things---weightier things are at stake in these times. Expect no signs and wonders. I shall be active as the powerful Mediatrix in secret.
The devil will be possessed of such power that those who are not firmly established in me will be deceived. You should establish everything in confidence to my Immaculate Heart. The devil has power over all people who do not trust in my heart.
In secret I shall work marvels in souls until the required number of victim souls will be filled. Upon you it depends to shorten the days of darkness. Bishops and priests should consecrate themselves to me. Pray always. Pray the rosary. Keep the Saturdays which have been dedicated to me. If you consecrate yourselves without reserve, I shall take care of all the rest. The Father pronounces a dreadful woe upon all who refuse to obey His Will.
When the Blessed Mother was finished speaking she was suddenly surrounded by an immense number of angels wearing long, white garments. Kneeling on the earth they bowed deeply and recited a homage to the Holy Trinity. Then the angel who had been present at the first apparition asked Barbara to repeat the prayer.
Father Humf thought that a message or prayer might be given during the thir apparition so he was prepared to write it down. He didn't know what was taking place during the vision, but he wrote the following prayer as he heard Barbara repeat it and as requested by the angel. This is the prayer Barbara prayed, in a soft, rhythmic voice:
Praise to you, eternal Ruler, Living God, always Being, fearful and righteous Judge, always kind and merciful Father. Your radiant Daughter will always worship, praise, honor, and obey you.
After reviewing all aspects of the apparitions, the Bishop of Augsburg declared that the faithful are free to conduct pilgrimages and services at the Marian Shrine.
Our Lady of Prayer--- L’lle Bouchard, France 1947
The World War had recently ended, but the Soviet Union was intent on expanding their influence in France. Trans were being derailed, food shortages were becoming more severe, strikes threatened the economy which was already on the verge of collapse. The general chaos caused the French government to call up one hundred fifty thousand reservists to defend their country againstpossible civil war.
The village of L'll Bouchard was located in the northwestern part of France in the Archdiocese of Tours. St. Gilles was the only church in the area, which also had a small school of fifty pupils.
On December 8, 1947, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, while the children were at school, the nuns who were teaching encouraged them to pray for France. Three little girls, Jacqueline Aubry, aged twelve, her sister Jeanette, aged seven, and their cousin, aged ten, were returning to school after having eaten their lunch at home. On their way Jacqueline suggested they stop in the church to make a visit to the Blessed Mother. At the altar of the Virgin they began to recite a decade of the rosary. They were just about halfway through when they looked up and saw a beautiful Lady with her hands joined in prayer and a white rosary hanging from her right arm. To the left of the Lady was an angel, holding a lily while his eyes were fixed in contemplation of the Lady.
The beautiful Lady smiled at them. Jacqueline whispered that others should see her also, so she ran outside to notify others.She saw their school friends Laura Croizon, aged eight, and her sister Sergine, aged thirteen. Upon returning to the church, Laura could see the vision, but Sergine could not. She had to be told what was happening.
The children described the Lady as being very beautiful. She was wearing a brilliantly white dress with gold trim at the neck and wrists.A blue sash was around her waist and a veil covered her head. It's white color was different than the dress. The girls noticed that the veil was edged with 'Touraine' motifs, which were a popular motif in their region of France.The Lady's hands were joined in prayer and she radiated a strong, golden light. Her eyes were blue, and they estomated her to be about the age of sixteen or seventeen. What was unusaul in this apparition was that the Lady's long hair was blond and fell on either side almot to her knees. The Lady stood on a stone block decorated with a garland of five pink roses. Written in gold on the rock were the words, 'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.' These are the same words from the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The angel was kneeling on his right knee. His robe was a soft rose color. He had blue eyes and long, blond, curly hair. He held a lily stalk in his left hand and his right hand was placed over his heart. His white wings were trimmed in gold, his feathers moving slightly in a breeze that the children could not feel. He was in profound contemplation of the Lady during the entire vision.
During the apparition that area of the church was lit by colors that the children had never seen before. Eventually the vision disappeared into a 'cloud of silvery dust.'
The children returned to school and with much excitement told Sister Marie de L'Enfant Jesus about their experience. She immediately believed them. Fr. Clovis Segelle, while he questioned the girls extensively, did not believe.
After school was over the children went back to the church and saw the Lady beckoning them. She seemed extremely sad as she said, 'Tell the little children to pray for France, for her need is great.'
Jacqueline asked if the Lady was the 'Mama du Ciel' ("Heavenly Mother). The Lady replied, 'But of course I am your Mama du Ciel.' On inquiring about the angel he turned towards the girls and said, 'I am the angel Gabriel.'
The next day, on December ninth, the four girls went to the church at one o'clock, as the Lady had requested the previous day. While praying a decade of the rosary the Lady appeared in a shining golden sphere. Her hair was now hidden by her veil. Across her breast was written the word 'Magnificat', in gold letters. The words on the rock now read, 'I am the Immaculate Conception.'
The apparition lifted the golden crucifix of her rosary high and asked the girls to kiss it. Jacqueline and Nicole stood up to do this, but the two shorter girls could not reach it. To the astonishment of all who were there, Jacqueline lifted each of them up as though they were weightless. The vision again asked the girls to 'Pray for France, which is in great danger.' She also asked that a grotto be built and that her image and that of the angel should be placed in it.
Fr. Segelle, who had questioned the girls a number of times, informed the archbishop of what had occurred. That same day, to the surprise of everyone in that region, the Communists decided to abandon plans of a general strike.
The next day, December tenth, about one hundred fifty people had come to see the vision. During the apparition, Jacqueline's mother called out to her daughter to ask a miracle so all would believe. Mary replied, ' I have not come here to perform miracles, but to tell you to pray for France.' Then, speaking to Jacqueline, who wore thick glasses and had to wipe her eyes frequently due to chronic conjunctivitis, the Lady said, 'Tomorrow you will see clearly and will no longer have need of glasses.' She then disappeared into a golden ball of light.
Jacqueline awoke the next morning, could open her eyes without difficulty, and found she had normal vision. Her father was overjoyed. He rushed to tell Fr. Segelle of the miracle. Fr. Segelle responded, 'So it is true that she has descended among us!'
The next day, at one o'clock, the church was full of people. The Kady asked the children if they had prayed for sinners, to which they replied yes. She then led them through ten Hail Mary's, saying only the first part of the prayer, the words with which the angel Gabriel had greeted her at the Annunciation.
On December twelfth three hundred people were present when Mary appeared wearing a crown composed of twelve sparkling rays each about twelve inches long, each interspersed with smaller ones of various colors. The Virgin listened to the singing of the Hail Mary, then led the children in ten Hail Mary's of the Rosary, again saying only the words of the angel Gabriel. The word 'Magnificat' was again visible in letters across her chest.
The next day there were about five hundred who attended the vision. This time the Virgin appeared without the crown. When Jacqueline requested a miracle, her response was, 'Later.' The Lady then said the last apparition would take place the following day.
The next day the church at Giles was crowded with people who began praying the rosary. The Blessed Mother and the angel appeared and remained for over a half hour. The Lady requested that the Magnificat be sung, which Fr. Segelle sang reverently with the people. After this the Virgin asked for more prayers for sinners and in response to the request for a miracle, she responded with a smile, 'Before I go I will send a bright ray of sunlight.' After blessing the people the Virgin vanished, but a mysterious bright ray of sunshine streamed through a window and settled on the very place of the apparition. It grew in strength and size so that all had to shield their eyes. The children were surrounded with sparkles of various colors.
It was later determined that this was a miraculous occurrence because the ray of light would normally have been interrupted by some of the pillars of the church, and it was also physically impossible for a normal ray of sunlight to have entered the church at that time of the year because of the position of the sun.
After each of the apparitions Fr. Segelle examined each of the girls separately. He found them to be truthful and to have agreed on all of the details of the visions. After carefully the facts of the apparitions, Archbishop Honore, archbishop of Tours at that time, authorized the construction of the grotto requested by the Lady and permitted pilgrimages to the church. He sanctioned the veneration of Our Lady under the title of 'Our Lady of Prayer.'
Several investigations were performed by noted ecclesiastics.Forty-one years later, in November 1988, the grotto was built and statues of Our Lady and the angel, in the attitude of the vision, were placed in the church of St. Giles. Monsieur Piquot, Secretary General of the Interior Ministry, went to meet the girls. In front of the entire community he declared, 'France was saved by the prayers of these four children and by the people who prayed at the feet of the Virgin Mary.'
Subsequent theological investigations all proved favorable, the latest being conducted by French theologian Father Vernet in 1992. In a Decree dated December 8, 2001, Bishop Andre Vingt-Trois of Tours declared, 'Having carefully studied the events, and taken council with appropriate persons, I authorize these pilgrimages, and all manner of public worship.'
Our Lady of Lichen--- Lichen, Poland 1813 and 1950
The First Vision
In 1813, during a time when the Polish were fighting the French under Napolean, a fierce battle was being fought in Leipiz, Germany. A Polish soldier was seriously injured. He wanted to die in his native land, rather than in the fields of Germany. As he prayer fervently to Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven appeared to him. She wore a gown with a golden mantle, a golden crown upon her head, and held a white dove. She comforted the soldier and told him he would recover and return to Poland. She asked him to find a portrait of her that resembled this vision.
As promised, the soldier recovered and returned to his home in Lichen. He wandered the countryside for years trying to find the image Our Lady requested. Finally, in 1936, in the village of Lgota, he found it. He placed the image in his home but, wanting others to see it and be inspired by the Blessed Mother, he hung it on a pine tree by a well-traveled path in the woods.
In 1852 an Episcopal committee examined the details of the apparition and decided to move the image to the parish church in Lichen. Church records show that in 1939 three thousand answers to prayers were recorded, including miraculous recoveries. During World War II both the church and rectory were seized and used by the Nazi Youth Organization. Fortunately, the portrait was hidden and preserved.
The Second Vision
In 1950, while a poor shepherd named Mikolaj Sikatka was pasturing his cattle. the Blessed Virgin appeared to him. In her message she exhorted people to convert from their sinfulness and greed. She requested that they pray the Rosary and that priests celebrate the liturgy reverently and worthily. She requested that her image be moved to a more fitting place. The Blessed Mother predicted that a church and monastery would be built in her honor, and she warned that if her message was not heeded that a terrible plague would punish the obstinacy of the people.
Mikiloj spread the message the best he could but was persecuted and imprisoned by the Russian invaders. The people scoffed at him. Two years later, as predicted by the Blessed Virgin, a cholera epidemic broke out. They remembered the Virgin's warning and flocked to the image to pray the Rosary for all those who were sick and dying.
A beautiful national shrine was built in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and entrusted to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (MIC). It was consecrated by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the Primate of Poland. He crowned the miraculous image in the presence of several bishops, hundreds of priests and religious, and approximately 150,000 lay people.
The shrine, built entirely by pilgrim contributions and claimed to be one of the largest and most beautiful in the world, was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on June 7, 1999.
Our Lady of Zeitoun--- Zeitoun, Cairo, Egypt 1968-1971
After the birth of Jesus, when Herod had ordered the massacre of all boys two years old and under, and angel appeared to Joseph in a dream with the command, 'Get up, take the child and His Mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise.' The Holy Family left that night for Egypt. During their journey they stopped at different locations along the way. Each stop, sanctified by their presence, later became a place of prayer. Small chapels were built at many of these locations. Some of these grew into beautiful structures dedicated to the Holy Family, others developed into monasteries, and some into beautiful churches such as St. Mary's Coptic Church in Zeitoun-Cairo. It was at this church that the Blessed Virgin made several nightly appearances that were seen by millions.
On Tuesday, April 2, 1968, about an hour and a half after sunset, the first apparition began. As workmen were leaving a nearby garage they heard a disturbance in the street. Joining the crowd, they saw a young lady dressed in white walking on the dome of the church. Some recognized her as the Blessed Virgin. The workmen were Muslim and were completely perplexed. One of these men had been undergoing operations for gangrene. The following day, the hospital staff that had been treating him declared him to be completely healed.
Traffic had stopped as many gathered to see the vision. The Lady appeared in a luminous body, walked around on the roof, and was seen to often bow or kneel before the Cross. Father Costantin, the priest of the church, also saw the figure, as did Abdul Nasser, president of Egypt who was a self-proclaimed Marxist.
Accompanied by beautiful lights and clouds of incense, the Lady appeared sometimes clearly and sometimes opaquely. She was seen to walk about, to bow or kneel before the Cross, to smile, bow and wave an olive branch. Some saw the vision clearly, some saw nothing at all. Many were transfixed, while many prayed the Rosary and sang Christian hymns. At times the Lady was accompanied by small white figures resembling doves that would fly in the figure of a cross. They would fly about her and suddenly vanish. None of the birds appeared to be flapping their wings.
The apparitions were photographed, televised, witnessed by millions, written about in the international secular and religious press, and seen by people of all nationalities and religions.His Holiness, Pope Kyrillos VI, organized a committee of priests and bishops to investigate the events. On May 4, 1968 the Coptic Orthodox Church officially confirmed the apparitions. Also confirming the Appearances of the Blessed Mother were Dr. Henry Ayrout of the local Catholic college of the Jesuit Order and Rev. Dr. Ibrahim Said, the head of all Protestant Evangelical Ministries in Egypt. The Catholic nuns of the Sacre-Cour Order witnessed the apparitions and sent a detailed report to the Vatican. An envoy from the Vatican soon arrived, saw the apparition on Sunday April 28, 1968, and sent his report to His Holiness Pope Paul VI in Rome. Following is the entire report, dated May 4, 1968:
'Since the evening of Tuesday, April 2, 1968, The apparitions of the Holy Virgin Saint Mary, Mother of Light, have continued on the Coptic Orthodox Church named after her in Zeitoun, Cairo.
The apparitions occurred on many different nights and were continuing in different forms. The Holy Virgin Saint Mary appeared sometimes in full form and sometimes in a bust, surrounded in a halo of shining light. She was seen at times on the openings of the on the roof of the church, and at other times outside the domes, moving and walking on the roof of the church and over the domes. When she knelt in reverence in front of the Cross, the Cross shone with a bright light. Waving her Blessed hands and nodding her holy head, she blessed the people who had gathered to see the miracle. She appeared sometimes in the form of a body with a very bright cloud, and sometimes as a figure of light preceded with heavenly bodies shaped like doves moving at high speeds. The apparitions continued for long periods of time, up to two hours and fifteen minutes as in the dawn of Tuesday April 30, 1968 when she appeared continuously from 2:45 am until 5:00 am.
Thousands of people from different denominations and religions, Egyptians and foreign visitors, clergy and scientists, from different classes and professions, all observed the apparitions. The description of each apparition as of the time, location and configuration was identically witnessed by all people, which makes this apparition unique and sublime.
Two important aspects accompanied these apparitions: The first is an incredible revival of the faith in God, the other world and the saints, leading to repentance and conversion of many who strayed away from the faith. The second are the numerous miracles of healing which were verified by many physicians to be miraculous in nature.
The Papal Residence has thoroughly investigated the apparitions and gathered information by way of committees of clergy who have also witnessed the apparitions themselves and recorded everything in reports presented to His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI.
By issuing this statement the Papal Residence declares, with full faith and great joy and humility of a thankful heart, that the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of Light, appeared in clear forms on many different nights, for periods of variable length, lasting on one occasion more than two continuous hours...It is historically proven that the location of this church in Tumanbay Street in Zeitoun quarter, on the way to El-Mayarya, Cairo, is on the path taken by the Holy Family when visiting Egypt.
Mat God make this miracle a symbol of peace for the world, and a blessing for our nation as it has been prophesied: 'Blessed be Egypt My people.'
The church was renovated and restored both inside and out. Roman Catholic Cardinal Stephanos investigated the events thoroughly, incuding miraculous cures and many conversions, and submitted the report to Pope Paul VI in May 1968. The apparitions were quickly approved as a visitation from the Mother of God.
Our Lady of Akita--- Akita-Shi, Japan 1973
At the age of forty-two, Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa, a convert from Buddhism and totally deaf, joined a small group of women called the institute of the Handmaids of the Holy Eucharist, who lived quiet, hidden lives in Yuzawadai on the outskirts of Akita.
One month after her acceptance into the devout group, and extraordinary event took place. While in the little convent church, something like fog began to gather around the altar. Then a multitude of angels surrounded the altar in adoration before the Sacred Host. When this first apparition happened, Bishop Ito was staying at the convent to conduct a week of devotions. Sister Agnes confided this phenomenon to the bishop as well as to the convent's spiritual director, Rev. Teiji Yasuda, both of who would witness later events.
Sister's Guardian Angel frequently visited her, but the most extraordinary event took place on the evening of June 28, 1973. Sr. Agnes discovered a cross-shaped wound on the palm of her left hand that caused excruciating pain. A small opening appeared in the center from which blood began to flow.
The next morning, July 6, 1973, Sister and her Guardian Angel prayed together in the chapel before the image of the Blessed Mother. In 1965 this three foot tall statue had been carved from Judea wood by Buddhist sculptor M. Saburo Wakasa. Shebefroe stands before a large cross, her arms at her side and the palms of her hands facing forward. She stands on a globe which represents the world.
Sister recounted , as she approached the statue, 'I suddenly felt that the wooden statue came to life and was about to speak to me....She was bathed in a brilliant light...and at the same moment a voice of indescribable beauty struck my totally deaf ears.' The Lady promised, 'Your deafness will be healed.' The vision recited a community prayer with Sr. Agnes. At the words 'Jesus present in the Eucharist' the vision instructed 'From now on you will add TRULY.' The Lady then said, 'Pray very much for the pope, bishops and priests....'
When the sisters assembled the following morning to pray the recitation of the Office, they discovered blood on the right hand of the statue and a wound which perfectly resembled the one on the hand of Sr. Agnes. While the blood ran down the statue's hand, which was open and pointing downward, the drops never fell from it.
The wound on Sr. Agnes's hand appeared on Thursday, June 28, and disappeared without leaving a trace on Friday, June 29, just as the Guardian Angel had predicted. On August 3, 1973 Our Lady gave the following message to Sister:
Many men in this world afflict the Lord...In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind....I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of His Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood and beloved souls who console Him from forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father's anger...know that you must be fastened to the Cross with three nails. These three nails are poverty, chastity and obedience. Of the three, obedience is the foundation.
The wound on Sr. Agnes's hand disappeared on July 29, but the wound on the hand of the statue remained three more months before it disappeared in a bright light on September 29.
The whole community was at prayer on September 29 when they saw a resplendent light coming from the statue. The entire body of the statue became covered with moisture. Sister's Guardian Angel said, 'Mary is even sadder than when she shed blood. Dry the perspiration.'
The moisture was collected a clumps of cotton, some of which were sent to the University of Akita for analysis. They found the liquid to be of human origin, and had a pleasant, heavenly fragrance.
The last of the three messages from Our Lady came on October 13, 1973, the anniversary of the miracle at Fatima. While reciting the rosary, Sister heard Our Lady give this warning to the world:
As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will have never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priest nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms that will remain for you will be the Rosary and the sign left by my Son. Each day recite the rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the pope, the Bishops and the priests.
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...Churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardons for them...Pray very much the prayer of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.
Two more phenomenon occurred. Toward the end of May 1974, the face, hands and feet of the statue became a dark reddish-brown tint, while the garment and hair did not change. And on January 4, 1975, the statue began to weep and did so three times a day. The nuns and Bishop Ito all witnessed what had happened.
In examining his work in 1979, the sculptor replied:
'The statue was my first work connected with Christianity. Of my various statues, it is only with the statue of Mary that mysterious events occurred.... I sculpted the whole statue of Mary, globe, and the Cross from the same piece of wood, so there are no joints....The wood from which I carved the statue was very dry and rather hard.
When asked if he regarded the events as a miracle, he replied, 'It is a mystery.'
The weeping of the statue occurred one hundred and one times from January 4, 1975 until September 15, 1981. Most of the weepings were witnessed by people of all ranks and ages, non-Christian and some prominent Buddhists, including the mayor of the city. And some were recorded and shown by television throughout the country.
As predicted by Our Lady, Sister Agnes's deafness was cured on May 30, 1982. In a pastoral letter by Bishop John Shojiro dated April 22, 184, the Bishop wrote:
I authorize throughout the entire diocese of which I am in charge, the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita.... I have known Sr. Agnes for ten years. She is a woman sound in spirit, frank and without problems; she has always impressed me as a balanced person. Consequently, the messages she says that she has received did not appear to me to be in any way the result of imagination or hallucination.
On June 20, 1988, during Bishop Ito's visit to Rome, the Sacred congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith approved the contents of his pastoral letter. In August 1990, Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, was quoted as saying, 'there are no objections to the conclusion of the pastoral letter.' Cardinal Ratzinger invited Bishop Ito to continue to inform him about the pilgrimages and conversions.
Our Lady of Cuapa--- Cuapa, Nicaragua 1980
As sacristan of the church in Cuapa, Bernardo Martinez had arrived to ring the bell to announce the recitation of the Rosary. He saw a brilliant light coming from the shrine of Our Lady. His thought was of the expense of this unnecessary light being on in the church. Then on April 15, 1980, he once again saw the bright light coming from the shrine. He went over to investigate and saw the statue of the Virgin illuminated. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the light was definitely coming from the statue.
'This was a great mystery for me, with the light that came from her one could walk without tripping. As it was nighttime, almost eight o'clock at night....I then understood that it was a strange thing.'
When the parish proest found out about what had happened he asked for a description of the vision and wanted to know what were the usual prayers that Bernardo recited. The sacristan said, 'I told him I recite the Rosary and three Hail Mary's to the Holy Virgin ever since I was little. I was also taught to say when I had tribulations: 'Don't leave me, my Mother.' The priest advised Bernardo not to tell anyone of the vision, nor of any future events. This first apparition was a silent one.
On May 8, 1980, the second apparition was different. Bernardo says that one night financial, employment and spiritual problems had made him feel sad. He had been ridiculed because of the menial work he did at the church; sweeping, dusting and washing altar linens. He had a restless night, but in the morning decided to go fishing to get some peace and tranquility in his time by himself.
As he walked home with the fish he had caught there was suddenly a flash of lightening, and then another.He was amazed to see a brilliant Lady standing above a group of rocks. She was being supported by a cloud. Here is his description of the vision:
I was wondering if it was the same statue as in the chapel, but I saw that she blinked...that she was beautiful. On the cloud were the feet of a very beautiful Lady. Her feet were bare. The dress was long and white. She had a brilliant cord around the waist. Long sleeves. Covering her was a veil of a cream color with gold embroidery around the edge. Her hands were held together over her heart. It looked like the statue of the Virgin of Fatima.
I saw that she had human skin and that her eyes moved and blinked...she extended her arms like the Miraculous Medal that I had never seen before, but which later was shown to me. She extended her arms and from her hands came rays of light stronger than the sun...the rays that came from her hands touched my heart. I asked her, 'What is your name?' And she said, 'My name is Mary... I come from heaven. I am the Mother of Jesus. She requested that the Rosary be said in a family group, including children and it was to be prayed at a set hour when there were no problems with the work in the home.
She told me that the Lord does not like prayers we make in a rush or mechanically....She recommended praying the Rosary with the reading of biblical citations (the scriptural Rosary). She later recommended the propagation of the devotion of the shoulder wounds of Christ.
The Lady also wanted the renewal of the first five Saturday and warned, 'If people do not change there will be grave dangers and they will hasten the arrival of the Third World War.' When the cloud began to rise she raised her arms to Heaven as in the statue of the Assumption and gradually vanished from sight.
In order to avoid being ridiculed for another vision he had seen Bernardo walked through a pasture in search of a missing cow, rather than along the river where she had first appeared. While he was walking, there were flashes of lightening, then the Lady appeared again. She promised to help him in relating the vision. This promise filled his soul with peace and he was able to tell of his vision.
During the night of June 8, the Lady favored him with a dream in which he saw Dominican and Franciscan monks and groups of people processing and praying the Rosary. He was also granted a vision of an angel who foretold several events which eventually occurred. The Blessed Mother appeared again in September, this time as a child. During the apparition, when Bernardo asked her whether the people of his parish should build the new church they had been planning, she said, 'The Lord does not necessarily want a material Church. He wants living temples which are yourselves.'
During the last apparition, which took place on October 13, the people experienced a strange phenomenon. After reciting the Rosary and while singing the hymn My Queen of Heaven, the following happened:
...a luminous circle formed on the ground. The light came from above and marked the area....I looked up and saw that a circle had also formed in the sky. Everyone present, without exception, saw it. During this apparition the Blessed Virgin's garments changed to a grey color, her face became sad and she cried. She said through tears: 'Ir saddens me to see the hardness of those persons' hearts. But you will have to pray for them so they will change.'
Bernardo became a priest and served the people of Nicaragua. The apparitions have found favor with a number of bishops. In 1987 Archbishop Pio Bella Ricardo wrote, 'I approve of the site for pilgrimages as a place of prayer, meditation and worhip....' On May 26, 2009, Bishop Freddy J Fuenmayor of Los Teques wrote:
In the exercise of my faculties as Bishop of Finca Betania, and the tenor Canon 1230 of the Canonical Code....I declare the place a Marian diocesan sanctuary of Mary Reconciler of All Peoples and Nations.