Array Of Phenomena Claimed At Mount -- From Healing To Sighting Of Huge 'Angel'
By Michael H. Brown
Miracles of the sun, manifestations of light, healings, the scent of roses, mysterious strangers, angelic music, apparitions, extraordinary coincidences, and other phenomena are widely reported at the holy site of Mount St. Mary's in Maryland, a parcel of land less than a dozen miles from both Gettysburg and Camp David.
The numerous accounts hint that this strategically placed site -- within commuter's distance of the nation's capital -- may be designated to play a role in the nation's spiritual future. Will it take its place with the similarly timely rediscovery of what has become known as "Our Lady of America?" Should Mount St. Mary's stand as a center of pilgrimage as the U.S. finds itself hurled from one potential crisis to another?
If nothing else, it is one of America's foremost places of the mystical. As we have previously reported, it is a rise of land with a Lourdes grotto and other sanctuaries that have been the location for apparitions for the past 300 years (from an Indian chief and a Maryland colonist to more recent apparitions to a priest who said he saw the Blessed Mother at the grotto in the 1970s). For three centuries the mount has stood as a site of the supernatural, with many who visit claiming the extraordinary.
One example are the photos below of a nearby church, where the cross suddenly "turned to flames," according to one pilgrim -- Roberta Ann Marziani, a photo editor at TV Guide. "I was so shocked when I came out and saw it," says Roberta, who lives in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. "It took my breath away. I always carry my camera with me and I really quickly took out my 35 millimeter and snapped the photos. When I first saw it I stood in awe. It was right at 3 p.m. on the Blessed Mother's birthday."
Marziani, who experienced a conversion at Mount Saint Mary's, first visited there on February 11, 1999 -- feast day of Lourdes. "I went with my mother and a nurse, Diane, who told me about it, and a friend of hers who had a little girl. All five of us went to the grotto and were walking up the pathway to the grotto and all of a sudden Diane said, 'Look at the sun,' and all five of us saw the miracle of the sun. It started spinning, then pulsating, then pulsing in colors. It was rose, blue, and green. I couldn't believe I was seeing it. I read about it in Fatima and Medjugorje and here we saw it at the grotto. I also took four pictures of Mother [Elizabeth Ann] Seton's rock. Every Sunday she would sit on the rock and teach the children Catholic doctrine. I was taking pictures and trying to get the rock and a little statue and all the pictures came out the same but one. It had white rays, and it wasn't the sun because you can tell by the shadows that the sun was behind me. I know other people who have gotten miraculous pictures."
A couple weeks after her visit, Roberta says she discovered a lump on the calf of her left leg and two doctors said if it didn't go away within a month they would have to biopsy it. "I was really upset, and my second visit to the grotto was March 25," she says. "That was the day Maryland was founded by a Father White, who landed on St. Clement's Island in 1634, which happened to be the feast of the Annunciation, and named Maryland 'Mary's Land' in honor of Our Lady. Anyway, something told me to go up to a spring where water comes out like at Lourdes. It was cold, but something told me to pull up my pant leg and I splashed the water on the lump three times. The very next day the lump started shrinking and by the end of week it was gone. The two doctors couldn't believe it."
The phenomena date back at least to the Indian, known as Ottawanta, and the unnamed Maryland colonist, who supposedly saw the Blessed Mother at the mount in the 1700s, along with the shrine's founder, Father John DuBois, who allegedly spotted a strange light on the mountain in the 1800s [see previous stories]. Since then, many had claimed similar occurrences, including Rosemarie DeFrank of Harrisburg, who reports that three years ago, she dropped her rosary on the ground there and when she picked them up, saw that the links had turned golden. "I couldn't believe what I saw and brought them over to my husband," she told Spirit Daily. "The rosary was brand new and the links had been shiny and silver. He checked his rosary and his were the same. We just sat there speechless. Another time, as we were walking into the Grotto, I distinctly heard singing as if a Choir was there. It was very brief. I mentioned it to my husband but he didn't hear anything. I insisted I did and even walked down to the Grotto area to see if any of the seminarians were there. No one was except two or three people praying. It wasn't loud, just a very brief burst of music coming from somewhere."
The mountain appears to be what might be termed a spiritual power spot. We're told that in 1990, seer Ivan Dragicevic of Medjugorje visited the shrine. During his apparition (which lasted about seven minutes) a gentle warm rain fell. "Amazingly, after the apparition ended, no one was wet, nor was the ground wet," asserts one account. "Some who were standing or kneeling nearby did not experience the rain."
Weather effects are also noted by a correspondent named Jennifer D'Aquila of Waldorf, Maryland, who informs us that during Mass, the atmosphere seems rarefied. "The actual climate seemed to change with the air becoming very still and warm, like a soft blanket, and then there was the scent of roses," she asserts.
Perhaps most dramatic is the additional testimony from Roberta Marziani of what she claims was a huge angel praying over the area. "I was just getting ready to get in the car to go home and something in the sky caught my attention," reports the TV Guide editor. "I saw the swirling and I looked and there was this huge, huge angel praying. There was nothing else in the sky but stars and this angel. It was five a.m. This was also on the Blessed Mother's birthday. It was the bottom of the swirling that caught my eye. There were no clouds. It looked like the rays that were in my picture from the grotto, like a white-veil material, and I could see the stars through it. I could make out its head and the wings and his hands, which were in prayer. The head was bowed. This was September 8, 2000. It was two years to the day I got the picture of the steeple. I was just so shocked to see it. I got out of the car three times, because I couldn't believe I was seeing this. I got on Route 15 and could see it for about 15 miles. That's how big it was. It was coming from the grotto mountain.
"You know that saying that we're a speck of dust in the universe? When you saw this, that's how you felt. It was so huge. It just shot up in the sky."
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