and Heavenly Promises by
Joan Carroll Cruz
A unique little prayer book of powerful prayers and devotions, including wonderful promises attached that were made by Our Lord or Our Lady, most of which were revealed to various famous saints. Includes devotions to Our Lady, the Infant Jesus, Precious Blood, Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy, St. Michael, etc. Shows that God wants to grant us favors--if we will just pray! click here
MOVE AFOOT FOR RECOGNITION OF AMERICAN APPARITION THAT CALLS FOR U.S. TO LEAD WORLD SPIRITUALLY AT 'URGENT' HOUR
A major move is afoot for official Church recognition of a revelation that occurred in the United States -- and that if successful would be the first such approval in U.S. history.
Already the case, which occurred in Ohio to a cloistered nun, is the closest the U.S. has come to an apparition with official sanction.
The revelations included locutions from Jesus, St. Joseph, and apparitions of the Virgin Mary as "Our Lady of America" to a cloistered nun, Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil, of the Contemplative Sisters of the Indwelling Trinity in Fostoria, Ohio. Sister Neuzil, now deceased, said she was asked to have a statue of the Virgin Mary constructed and placed after a solemn procession in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. -- and that if this happened the U.S. would turn back toward morality and the shrine would become a place of "wonders."
A request to do this is being sent to all cardinals and bishops in the U.S., along with a letter that has been sent to the Pope's personal secretary, Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, requesting not only construction of the statue but a solemn consecration of the U.S. in order to avoid "catastrophe."
The letter asks the official Church "to honor her as Our Lady of America and to unite all the bishops of the United States in consecrating America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the protection of our nation and for the sanctification of so many souls."
It's not clear what route the process will take. Because Sister Mildred experienced apparitions of the Virgin not just in the Cincinnati area but also in two other dioceses through her life (in Indiana and Toledo), those proposing the cause are seeking Vatican aid and the naming of a national theologian to investigate. Attention will also be directed on the cardinal who oversees the National Shrine.
While miraculous statues are recognized in the U.S. -- most notably Our Lady of Prompt Succor in New Orleans and La Conquistadora in Santa Fe -- never has an American apparition gained full approval -- which involves a bishop's declaration and in many cases the commissioning of art depicting the apparition, along with a medal and often erection of a chapel, basilica, or church dedicated to Mary under the title.
A late archbishop, Paul F. Leibold of Cincinnati, had already taken the extraordinary step of ordering a medal fashioned after the apparition -- in itself a form of sanction that hearkens to the famous "miraculous medal" apparitions in Paris. In addition, it has been revealed that before dying Archbishop Leibold had two large plaques depicting Our Lady of America made, hanging one in the chancery -- and edging all the closer to full ecclesiastical approval. The archbishop also approved release of Sister Mildred's messages, granted them an official imprimatur, and in an extraordinary show of unity served as the seer's spiritual director from 1940 to 1972.
No apparitions have been fully sanctioned in the U.S. since its foundation but the Ohio case appears to have that chance. According to Sister Joseph Therese, a spokesman for the Contemplative Sisters, the archbishop was "about ready to do a great big statue of Our Lady of America, but then he passed away."
Already there have been at least three other statues constructed, and one of them, weighing 300 pounds, was carried by young Californians during Youth Day in Denver in 1993 -- in line with the Virgin's request to Sister Mildred that particular interest be focused on the nation's youth, who the nun said "are to be the leaders of this movement of renewal on the face of the earth."
Another statue has circulated to various parts of the world, including China.
Sister Mildred died on January 10, 2000 at the age of 83 -- but not before leaving a small booklet of messages and detailed correspondences with the archbishop. Born in Brooklyn, she professed as a religious in 1933 and began to encounter mystical experiences in 1938.
Only ten years later, in 1948, did she bring them to the attention of her confessor as they grew increasingly pressing and vivid -- with special warnings for the United States. In May of 1958 Sister Mildred entered a cloister. By that time she had been receiving messages about a special devotion to Our Lady of America -- a devotion that the Contemplative Sisters, as well as private groups in California and New Jersey, are now earnestly seeking to establish.
It was through this devotion -- and placement of the statue in Washington -- that Sister Mildred said she was told the U.S. would assume a place of special spiritual as opposed to just political leadership and avoid what Sister Mildred repeatedly warned were coming events. Interestingly, the apparitions of Mary began in 1956 on eve of the Feast of the North American Martyrs -- the first martyrs canonized in connection with America.
"The main thing was sanctification of the family, the youth, and that the Blessed Mother wants to be honored in the National Shrine," says Sister Joseph. "And right now letters have gone out to the cardinals, archbishops, and the Holy Father's secretary."
According to Sister Joseph the letter to Monsignor Dziwisz was sent May 1 and will be followed up by a visit to Rome by a New Jersey couple supporting the cause. The letter mentions the Pope's reported desire to visit America at least one more time and suggests this be done in connection with Our Lady of America and a special consecration of the U.S. -- an act the letter writers argue might be of even more importance than the consecration of Russia requested during the famous apparitions at Fatima, Portugal.
The letter also makes the request that American bishops read the messages, construct the statue of Our Lady of America, and place it at the shrine following the "solemn procession" -- after which the messages say the shrine will become a place of major pilgrimage.
In the revelations, Mary reportedly said if this was done the shrine would become "a place of wonders." Such miracles would be more at the level of spiritual conversion, the Virgin indicated.
"Tell the bishops of the United States, my loyal sons, of my desires and how I wish them to be carried out," Mary told Sister Mildred, who saw Mary with a white veil reaching almost to her waist and a mantle and robe of pure white with no decoration. An oblong brooch or clasp held the ends of the mantle together at the top. It was all gold, as was the high and brilliant crown she wore. Her hair and eyes seemed medium brown, said Sister Mildred. Her feet were bare, but not always visible -- sometimes covered by the moving clouds on which she stood. Often she smiled and revealed a heart encircled by roses that sent forth flames of fire. "I am Our Lady of America," said the Virgin. "I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives."
At times light twinkled from Mary's hair, wrote the nun, and seemed to radiate from within her.
It was in this aspect that the medal was struck by the archbishop. On the back is the Coat of Arms of the Christian Family with a symbol of the divine indwelling. "I was told that as long as it bore the form of a shield, the medal itself could be of any shape desired," Sister Mildred had noted. "Around the image of Our Lady, as she appeared September 26, 1956, these words are to be engraved: 'By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil.' Those who wear the medal with great faith and fervent devotion to Our Lady will receive the grace of intense purity of heart and the particular love of the Holy Virgin and her Divine Son. Sinners will receive in life, so in death, this blessed medal will be as a shield to protect them against the evil spirits, and St. Michael himself will be at their side to allay their fears at the final hour."
According to Sister Mildred, "America, the United States in particular, is being given the tremendous, yet privileged, opportunity to lead all nations in a spiritual renewal never before so necessary, so important."
From the youth must come a flow of great love, said Sister Mildred.
And if it doesn't -- as we'll explore on Monday, when we look at the rest of her messages -- there would be what the Virgin allegedly called a "purification."
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