Yet Another Apparition where the Brilliance and the Beauty of Our Lady was Undescribable

 The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the MM

Recently, I have been writing about how both Our Lady of Lourdes and I believe, Our Lady of Fatima, initially appeared to the Seers looking quite different than the usual depictions of the Blessed Mother Mary. Especially in the case of Our Lady of Lourdes, where rather than sculpting the statue according to the description given by St. Bernadette, the artist portrayed her in the manner of similar long-standing iconic images of Our Lady. Now, I find that it was the same with Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, aka Our Lady of Grace.

A mysterious child was at the foot of her bed and asked her to get up. “The Blessed Virgin is waiting for you.” Catherine dressed and followed the child who was “bringing rays of brightness wherever he passed.”

Having arrived in the chapel, St. Catherine stopped near the chair used by the priest in the sanctuary (current location of the statue of Saint Joseph).  She then heard a sound “like the rustle of a silk dress.”  Her little guide said, “Here is the Blessed Virgin.” She hesitated. But the child repeated in a stronger tone of voice, “Here is the Blessed Virgin.” In a single bound, Catherine was at the feet of the Blessed Virgin, seated on a chair and rested her hands on the knees of the Mother of God. The Chapel in France

When St. Catherine Laboure was asked if it was the Virgin who had appeared to her, she replied that she wasn’t sure. She said it didn’t look like the Virgin. 

Later, She would say to her priest, “I am not able to say why, but it still seems to me that it was not she whom I saw. “The apparition so defied the young nun’s pious expectations of who Mary was, or ought to be, that she had to be told three times by the angelic figure who accompanied the apparition that this, indeed, was what the Virgin really looked like.” (1)  She described Our Lady as radiant as a sunrise in all Her perfect beauty. (Which reminds me of some of the visions of Holy Sophia.)

St. Catherine, to my knowledge, is the only seer who has ever touched Our Lady during a Visitation. During the first Visit, Our Lady was seated in a chapel. St. Catherine knelt next to her and rested her hands on the lap of Our Lady. It is said that they spoke for almost two hours.

 St. Catherine Laboure’

During the second visit, Our Lady was holding a golden globe which She said represented the world, but especially France. (This took place in 1830.) Catherine heard (Our Lady say), This globe represents the entire world, including France, and every person”. Chapel in France

In, I believe it was in Her third appearance, that She appeared to St. Catherine showing the medal that she wanted to be cast. On the medal, She holds Her Mantle out wide, as if encompassing all Her children beneath Her Mantle of Protection. The Mantle of the Blessed Mother has always symbolized the protection, love and mercy that Blessed Mary has shown for Her children through-out the ages.

When I was a young child in Catholic elementary school, we would often notice, during recess, the clouds above giving way to blue skies. We would point up and say, “there’s Our Lady’s Mantle!”

In the vision for the design of the medal, She stands on a globe because She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. The crescent moon is at Her feet. The rings on Her hands emit dazzling, colored rays of Light which signify the graces She sends to Her children.  At that same moment St. Catherine heard a voice saying, These rays are a symbol of the graces that I pour out on those who ask them of me.” When asked why some of the rings were dark, She responded those were the graces for which people forgot to ask. (2)

Circling the oval of the medal were the words, O, Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception would not be proclaimed until decades later.

Our Lady said to St. Catherine:

 When Mary spoke to St. Catherine, she said, “Have a medal made according to this model. For those who wear it with confidence, there will be abundant graces.” 

 Originally, it was the medal of the Immaculate Conception, but so many miracles began occurring that it began to be known as the Miraculous Medal, by which it is still known, today.

Prior to the heretical devastation of Vatican II, there was hardly a devout Catholic who did not wear the medal of Our Lady, the one She, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, gave to us. Wearing Her medal and carrying our rosaries with us, we always felt protected by Her. We were aware that She covered us with Her Presence every single moment of every single day. 

In the month of December 1830, during meditation, Catherine again heard the rustling sound, this time behind the altar. The same image of the medal appeared near the tabernacle, slightly behind it. “These rays are the symbol of the graces that the Blessed Virgin obtains for those who ask them of her…You will not see me anymore.” 

  Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in France

St. Catherine initially did not receive the needed cooperation to have the medal of Our Lady cast, but by the Fall of 1834, there were already 500,000 medals in existence. Within a year, a million. Within five years, ten million. By now….literally billions. 

St. Catherine wished to remain anonymous during her life. It was not till she was near death that she revealed that she was the visionary of the medal of miracles.

(A medal/religious pendant should always be blessed. They are not allowed to be sold already having been blessed. That is considered simony, the selling of blessings, blessed objects, sacramentals (and by extension, the sacraments).

 

1) The Way of the Rose

2) miraculousmedal.org

About Lourdes

LOURDES

   The Lady of Lourdes had appeared to St. Bernadette as a young girl….meaning the Lady Who appeared to Bernadette was first described as a teenaged girl. I’m fairly certain that Bernadette initially described Her as wearing a skirt to her knees, ect.  When she saw the statue that was sculpted of her ‘Lady’, St. Bernadette expressed disapointment and indicated that the statue looked nothing like the Lady she saw. This is not the only time something like this has happened with young visionaries.

    Many of these seers (Bernadette, the children of Fatima, LaSallette, ect.), were mostly peasant children during the times when there was no radio, no tv, no internet and news did not always travel very quickly to the poorer (especially mountainous) regions of the countries where these apparitions took place.

     When Our Lady appeared before St. Bernadette in the Grotto at Lourdes, She said, I am the Immaculate Conception. Before the apparitions in the Grotto at Lourdes, Bernadette had never heard of the recently proclaimed dogma of the Immaculate Conception (a dogma not shared by Orthodox Christians, due to having different viewpoint on Original Sin.) This dogma of the Catholic Church is an often misunderstood dogma which means that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin on her soul. 

    The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was officially proclaimed by the Vatican on Dec. 8, 1954. The apparitions at Lourdes took place four years later. I always felt it was too much of a coincidence that Our Lady appeared just four years later and proclaimed Herself to be the Immaculate Conception. Either the Church was making up what Bernadette was saying, or the Lady was appearing to confirm the dogma. However, one author has a very different understanding of what She meant by declaring Herself to be the Immaculate Conception.

   One of the authors of The Way of the Rose, a Radical Path to the Divine Feminine, is a former Zen Buddhist Monk who is dedicated to the Earth and ‘to the Lady by whichever Name we wish to call Her.’  As he points out, St. Bernadette never referred to the Lady Who appeared to her as the Blessed Virgin Mary, she always referred to Her as ‘the Lady’. (And recall, she was very disappointed when she saw the unveiling of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes….she said it looked nothing like the Lady that She saw.)
    He also states, The problem was, Bernadette’s Lady did not say that She had been immaculately conceived…She claimed to BE the Immaculate Conception.  Had Bernadette reported the apparition’s words to a Tibetan lama instead of the French priest, she would have gotten a different response, He would have told Her that She was talking to the Womb of the Universe, complete, whole, and perfect-eternally uncreated within Herself.  He compares this to what God said to Moses in the Jewish scriptures, “I Am That I Am”. 
    It does make you wonder how often the Church has taken advantage of these children and twisted the messages to mean what the Church wants them to mean.

The Truth is Simple

1784 processional banner of the Lisbon Holy House of Mercy depicting the Virgin of Mercy protecting all social classes; the first verse of the hymn is quoted underneath.

Beneath Thy Protection is the oldest known Marian hymn dating back to the third or fourth century. Translated from the Greek: Beneath your compassion, we take refuge, O Theotokos, do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one. (O, Dea or O, Thea, may be substituted for Theotokos).

Those who have had Near Death Experiences have always shared with us that God does not care what religion we are, the only thing that matters….the one question we are asked when we die is…. how did you love? 

Love is the Essence of the All. Love is the driving force of the Universe. Love is the why of Creation. And Love is simple. It need not be explained by philosophers and theologians. It is inherent in every single one of us. We do not need to be taught how to love, why to love or how many different ways we can love. Love is simple such that even a child can understand it and Love is the greatest Truth that exists.

NDE’s have explained that when they reach the Light, it is brilliant beyond all comprehension, and yet, it is not too bright for the eyes. And the one thing they all say….every single one of them no matter their religious background….is that the Light is unfathomable, unconditional Love such as they never thought to experience. And when they return, they strive to live and share that Love in new ways.

From what little first hand knowledge I have of the Secret Madrians, they had left Lux Madriana and turned to the contemplative/mystical life. They taught and believed that the Truth is simple enough for a child to understand. They did not appear to have need of thealogical arguments or discussion. They concentrated on the one thing needful, love of Dea and love of Her children.

The greatest saints I know weren’t the Aquinas’s, the Augustines, the Gregorys, rather they were the Orthodox Fools for Christ, the St. Marys of Egypt, the Padre Pios; the French priest of the countryside who continued to serve and protect his people despite the threat of being executed during troubling times; the quiet nun who spends her day in prayer for the children of the Earth, the mother who lives her life in service of her family and of her Lady, the quiet gentleman who spends his mornings praying the rosary before Our Lady to begin his day. These people didn’t spend their day arguing philosophy and theology, they spent their day in prayer, contemplation, love and service. I really believe this is what our scriptures are teaching us. These are timeless teachings that have never failed humanity.

21: In thy work praise Her and in thy resting, in thy speech and in they silence. 22: For thou wert made one with Her and this is thy true estate. It is good for a maid to till the soil, but it is better to live with her Lady.  The Pillar of Truth.

This very much reminds me of Marian teachings, especially what we learned through the Total Consecration to Mary. Everything we did during the day, each word we spoke, each service of Her children, were to be performed through Her, with Her and for Her. (The motto was to Jesus through Mary.) When we live each day in union with Her, that is when our beliefs ring true, not through arguing about human-made theology or philosophy, human words, human opinions. This is something that I once knew, had clearly forgotten, and am remembering once again.

I have learned, over time, that each one of us is so different, each of our Soul Paths to Deity are so unique, that one size definitely does not fit all, even if we are members of the same religion. This is why there are so many schools and denominations of all the religions which have withstood the test of time. We cannot expect others to believe in the exact same way that we do. Like each snowflake, we have been created to be singular in this world. But we do have a shared experience in Her Love.

In the Near Death Experience of Mellen Thomas Benedict, he was shown a mandala of souls encircling the world. Each of us has a vital place and purpose here. And that purpose isn’t to strive to be like everyone else, it is to be ourselves, the way we were created, to follow our own Path wherever that may lead.

The person, no matter their beliefs, no matter their religion, who spends his or her day in quiet prayer, contemplation, love and service is worth more, in my mind, than the greatest theologian who ever lived. 

Love of Dea flows through our service to others. Service to others can take place in many ways such as service to our families; praying for our world and for others; being kind in the work place; offering donations to places like Exodus Cry or helping animals, volunteering at soup kitchens, offering the Sacraments, there are all kinds of ways to serve no matter our station in life, but the ultimate way to serve is in the simplicity of Love.

Yes, philosophers and theologians have their place, but we must always remember, words are human and fallible, it is Dea Who is Divine and infallible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Glorified Mary is Universal

Our Lady of Zeitun, approved by the Coptic Church. Witnessed by millions from many Faiths for many weeks. She has appeared in different ways, she moved, doves flew around Her. This was in the 1960’s, there was not the holographic technology in place for something like this. Here is the full story.

The above mentioned article brought to mind my own recent ‘coming home’ to Our Heavenly Mother, Mary. She was truly Our Mother Who was always with us and Who never failed us. The (Feminine) Holy
Spirit entered Her during the Conception. We never heard that the Holy Spirit left Mary. 

This does not mean that we believed the human Mary was divine, but Our Holy Mother Spirit was with Mary in a very special way. The way Mary was presented to us after Her Assumption, it was clearly goddess imagery and I believe that subconsciously, that was how She was perceived by many of us within our hearts.

It is now well understood that the Holy Spirit of Christianity is Female. She is Mother Spirit or Mother God. Jesus, himself claimed this to be so in the Lost Gospel of the Hebrews and in the Gnostic Scriptures. Certain early Christian groups, including the ancient Syrian Church, understood the Holy Spirit to be female and this belief was included in the prayers of the ancient Syrian liturgy.

There are hundreds of well written articles on this subject and many good books for those who might be interested. One of my favorites was a simple, yet poignant book, My Mother, the Holy Spirit by Marian Widmalm. I find it to be beyond coincidental that this is the prophesied Age of the Holy Spirit and this is the time it is being revealed that She is Our Mother Spirit.

My contention is that had the RCC not hidden the truth of the Holy Spirit from us, they would never have had to turn the human Mary into a goddess, which they clearly did. But, the question in many hearts is, was Mary divine? Was She the incarnation of Our Holy Mother Spirit? Lady Wisdom? Divine Sophia? There are many who believe so. Certainly it has been a longstanding belief within certain Russian circles that Mary was the incarnation of Holy Sophia/Khohmah/Lady Wisdom.

Our Lady of Grace                                                    Our Lady of 

(notice the crescent moon)                                       Guadalupe                                         

The Church was blatantly schizophrenic about Mary. On the one hand, She was presented to us as the Queen of Heaven (a references from Classical Paganism).  And she replaced the goddess Maia as Queen of the May. She often wore a crown of stars with the Moon beneath Her feet. As Our Lady of Guadalupe,  the miraculous image She, Herself gave us, Mary was clothed with the Stars and was more powerful than the sun.

Through the centuries the Glorified (post Assumption) Mary has wrought miracle after miracle after miracle. Huge miracles, including where entire peoples were saved from invasion through the power of the rosary and small miracles too numerous to count. 

Like Isis, She is known by hundreds of Names, all with a miraculous story behind them. Our Lady of Victory, Our Lady of Good Hope, Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Ransom, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of LaSallette, Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal…the list goes on and on and on. 

  She (along with Holy Sophia) is known as the Queen of Angels. 

She is known as the Mystical Rose, the Morning Star, the Star of the Sea, the Hope of Sinners, Our Lady of Prompt Succor. She was all Mercy where Her son was also Just Judge. We crowned Her in May and carried Her in procession around the world. We offered Her roses and Mary gardens. We lit candles before Her lay roses at her feet. We prayed our novenas and our rosaries. Her rosary was ever in our hands, our purse or in our pockets. Devout Catholics never left home without them.

While many might wear a crucifix, it was the Miraculous Medal that everyone wore. And it was called miraculous for a reason.

Her many hymns sang of Her glories:

Daily, daily, sing to Mary
Sing, sing, my soul, her prayers due
All her feasts, her actions worship
With the heart’s devotion true
She is mighty to deliver
Call her, trust her lovingly
When the tempest rages round thee
She will calm the troubled sea.

And the first two stanzas of one my my favorites, Hail, Holy Queen (Salve Regina means Hail, Queen):

Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, O Maria.
Hail, Queen of mercy and of love, O Maria.
Triumph, all ye Cherubim;
Sing with us, ye Seraphim.
Heav’n and earth resound the hymn:
Salve, Salve, Salve Regina.

2 The cause of joy to all below, O Maria.
The spring through which all graces flow, O Maria.
Angels, all your praises bring;
Earth and heaven, with us sing;
All creation echoing: 
Salve, Salve, Salve Regina.

Only in the last verse is Her son finally mentioned.

Interior Church Shrine

Pre-Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, every Church had a beautiful shrine to her, usually inlaid next to the main altar below which rows of devotional candles would flicker silently through the night. Living prayers of the people.

There was usually an outdoor shrine and no Catholic home would be complete without a statue or a small shrine in Her honor. 

  A Home Shrine to the Blessed Mother, Mary. 

Catholics have always been accused of worshiping Mary. And Catholics would always respond that there is a difference between the worship of God and the ‘dulia’ or veneration of saints, of which Mary is one of them. And yet, countless books have been written on Her Glories through-out the centuries.

 She is loved around the world.

Psalms (online)litanies and  Akathists have been written in Her honor. Her worship spans nearly two millennia. There is a 2,000 year old goddess Tradition hidden within RCC and Orthodox Christianity. Traditions that have become powerful over time. Generation, after generation, after generation of Marian worshipers precede us. 

She has been widely worshiped on all six continents for centuries upon centuries. She truly has been the UNIVERSAL Mother for the last 2,000 years. Where Jesus is our Brother, Mary is our Mother.

Stellar Maris, Rosa Mystica, Regina Caeli, Stella Matutina, Sanctissima, Panagia,    Sapientia, O, Thee of a Thousand Names, have mercy on us.

 

 

 

 

The High Feast of Rosa Mundi

 

Fire Rose

Today is the High Feast of Rosa Mundi (Rose of the
World) aka Rosa Caeli (Rose of Heaven) in honor of Our Divine Mother God. The Fire Rose is one of our sacred symbols indicating that Our Lady is the Fiery Rose Flame within the temple of our hearts. 

Today is a joyful celebration of the Fiery Love of Our Divine Mother and our ultimate assumption unto Her at the end of our incarnational cycles. It is a day that we may shower Her with roses, the queen of flowers, chant lovely hymns and celebrate with feasting and bonfires. 

There is no closer bond than that between Our Divine Mother and ourselves. She is always with us, we are never alone. She exists within and without. Above and below. She envelops us within the Protection of Her Mighty Mantle and showers Her Grace (Divine Energies) upon us. She is always there to guide and to help us. She is both Transcendent and through Her Holy Daughter, Immanent. There is no place in the world, in the cosmos, where She is not.

It is the Living Stream Goddess, Holy Sophia, Who is known as the Rose of the World, made famous by the Russian Mystic Daniel Andreev who taught that the Golden Age would return through Sophia. That it would be Her Age, the Age of the Rose of the World. 

While the Holy Daughter (Daughter Sophia or Zoe) may rightly be considered to be the (Rosa Mundi) Rose of the World through Her Role as the World Soul, Our Divine Mother is Rosa Caeli (Coeli), the Rose of Heaven. So, today, we look forward to the Golden Age of the Rose of the World while we celebrate the Love, Grace and Beauty of our Heavenly Mother through the heart-flame of Her love.

As my Christian bishop once said, we ascend unto the Father through Jesus and we are assumed unto the Mother through Her mercy.