Virgin Mary Images Appear in Sixth Northern Saskatchewan Community
by Joshua Caswell in Saskatchewan
Similar Phenomena Continue in Previous Locations
A sample of the media coverage on the Virgin Mary images in Saskatchewan
Images of the Virgin Mary are now appearing in the northern Saskatchewan community of Wollaston Lake, while similar depictions of Mary and Jesus continue to draw multitudes of pilgrims to Beauval and Canoe Narrows.
Last Sunday (Feb. 15th), Margaret St. Pierre notified others in the community of Wollaston Lake about the frosty image on her window that residents say is a representation of Our Lady of Guadalupe. St. Pierre, whose second language is English, says the image was noticed three weeks earlier on January 20th but she wanted to be certain it was “real” before informing others.
The image has already attracted the whole community of about 2,000 as well as people from communities more a hundred miles away who have traveled by plane, skidoo or vehicle. Those who pray in the small residence say that the two-foot depiction of the Mother of Christ was accompanied by an unmistakable scent of roses. The image changes size from time to time and appears both day and night.
Joe Sha’olle, a resident of Wollaston Lake, has been to the house since the image was made known. “The image is really clear, it looks exactly like the picture,” he says. “I am just so amazed. Many of the young people are praying the rosary here. Lots of people are here, lots.”
Of course, this is not the first apparent image of the Virgin Mary in northern Saskatchewan, as five other communities have experienced related phenomena since the first in September of 2002, when images on a greenhouse drew thousands to Ile-a-la-Crosse. Since then images have attracted thousands to unpretentious homes across the north of the province.
On the small Indian reserve of Canoe Narrows, a six-foot, “rainbow” colored image depicting Mary and Jesus and other holy figures has remained on the deck window/door of a small home. Prayer services following the images at the Band office drew more than 200 instead of the usual twenty.
Billy Opekekiw, who owns the home as well as the neighboring confectionery/gas bar, closed the store for more than a week so he could more fully allow others to pray in his home. He says many people have come daily to pray the Rosary. “Some people pray as many as four times a day,” he says. “Prayer has become a part of my daily life as I live with these images -- night and day.”
Opekekiw has personally spoken with the Archbishop of the Keewatin-Le Pas Diocese about the images, which have so far remained within the archdiocesan boundaries. “I invited him to come and observe the image in my home,” he says. “I want him to come see for himself.”
Fr. John Zunti, the resident priest for Beauval, Canoe Narrows, and surrounding communities, has observed that the images, which he has seen, are a call to prayer. He has also blessed them and spent time in prayer with pilgrims.
In Beauval, two separate images, which at first appeared steadily for weeks, still appear periodically. A steady stream of pilgrims continues to pour in from all over the province seeking a spiritual blessing.
Lillian Aubichon, who owns one of the two homes where the images appear, says that an image of Mary and the Child Jesus was manifested in glowing color last week. “It is a lot to take in,” she says. “The effect on the community hasn’t worn off, and I don’t think it will."
Now Available on OurLadyweb.com, as well as articles, maps, and photos on the Virgin Mary Images in Saskatchewan
"Somehow or other an extraordinary idea has arisen that the disbelievers in miracles consider them coldly and fairly, while believers in miracles accept them only in connection with some dogma. The fact is quite the other way. The believers in miracles accept them because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them because they have a doctrine against them." —G.K. Chesterton
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