Friday, May 22nd
Good morning, Good morning,
It is the month of May. A month dedicated to the Blessed Mother. This letter is dedicated to our newly founded Legion of Mary that meets each Wednesday night in the parish library. The leader for the parish Legion is Mrs. Christine Peppiatt. If interested in becoming a member of the Legion of Mary you can reach her at: email@example.com I heartily encourage all in the parish to consider being a member of the Legion of Mary. The rosary is a wonderful devotion and the apostolic work of the Legion of Mary offers a fruitful expression of God mercy to all in the parish boundaries and beyond. Visit our website saintfrancisparish.org/the-legion-of-mary/
I leave you with comments on the history and apostolic work of the Legion of Mary. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legion_of_Mary
In my final year at Niagara University, before entering St. Charles Seminary, in Philadelphia, I enjoyed a very informative class on Marian Apparitions. In the final class one of the students asked the professor, Fr. Louis Trotta, if he thought there would be more apparitions. He responded in the positive. To which another student asked, “Where?” Again, he responded: “In a place that would affect the Communist world and the Free world; The Eastern world and the Western world; the Christian world and the Islamic world.” Five years later, almost to the week, the story of Our Lady of Medjugorje hit the newsstands.
Medjugorje, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a mystery wrapped in a controversy. The local bishop did not like the Franciscans promoting the idea of an apparition and did not approve it. It has been under investigation by the Church for almost forty years. In that same timespan hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from every continent have been showing up for prayers on the hill Mary was said to have appeared. In some cases the pilgrims passing through Rome received blessings from Pope John Paul II as they went off to Medjugorje.
The topic of this letter deals with the three unexpected visions and three unaccepted apparitions of the Blessed Mother.
The first unexpected vision took place in Cairo, Egypt on April 2, 1968. “Our Lady of Zeitoun.” Witnesses to the apparition include Catholics, Orthodox, and Islamics. Including the President of Egypt.
Initially the Islamic mechanic working in bus garage across the street from the Coptic Church thought a woman was attempting suicide. Others gathered with him. The police were summoned. Sisters of the Sacred Heart, passing by, saw the apparition. Mary suddenly disappeared but returned a week later. The Coptic Pope was informed and set up an investigation. The Vatican was informed by the sisters who witnessed the event. Pope Paul sent a legate to review the event. In the few years that followed Mary appeared many times, often as many as two or three times a week and was witnessed by the Vatican official and the Coptic officials. On May 5, 1968 the Coptic Pope confirmed it as valid apparition and noted the site of the Church was also thought to have been the site where Jesus, Joseph, and Mary lived two millennia ago. Long before the existence of a bus garage across the street.
Photo of Our Lady of Zeitoun
The second apparition of Mary that came as a surprise was in Rwanda. Our Lady of Kebeho. November 28, 1981. In the two years that followed between 250,000 and a million people showed up to see the site at Zeitoun.
Kibeho is a small village in Southwestern, Rwanda. Over the course of the 1980s, the Virgin Mary appeared to three young women, identifying herself as Nyina wa Jambo (Kinyarwanda for “Mother of the Word”), which was synonymous with Umubyeyi W’Imana (“Mother of God”). The teenaged seers reported that the Virgin asked everyone to pray to prevent a terrible war. In the vision of August 19, 1982, they all reported seeing violence, dismembered corpses, and destruction. That war Hutu’s and Tutsi’s would take place in July 1994. I leave you the report.
In the 100 days that followed the April 6, 1994 assassination of dictator and President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, 800,000 to over a million Rwandans were slaughtered by their countrymen and, in some cases, their next-door-neighbors. The Genocide was the culmination of intensifying animosity between the two ethnic groups – the Hutus and Tutsis – and the civil war that had preceded it. Kibeho itself was the site of two huge massacres: the first at the parish church in April 1994, and the second a year later where more than 5,000 refugees who had taken shelter there were shot by soldiers. Marie Claire Mukangango and her husband were among those killed in the April 1995 massacre.
“The visions may be regarded as an ominous foreshadowing of the Rwandan genocide, and particularly the second Kibeho Massacre in 1995. The school where the visions occurred became a place of slaughter during the Genocide as dozens of children were shot and hacked to death by Hutu terrorists.] The visionaries had either fled the violence or were among the casualties of the Genocide.”
“Augustin Misago, the Bishop of Gikongoro, approved public devotion linked to the apparitions on 15 August 1988 (the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary) and declared their authenticity on 29 June 2001. Please note Bishop Misago was accused in 1999 of involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, and acquitted on 24 June of the following year.
The feast day of Our Lady of Kibeho is November 28, the anniversary of the initial apparition to Alphonsine Mumureke in 1981”
The third unexpected apparition of Mary took place in the United States in Champion, Wisconsin. “Our Lady of Good Help.”
Adele Brise was born in Belgium in 1831. She immigrated to Wisconsin in 1855. In 1859 she claimed the vision taking place in Champion, Wisconsin. The Blessed Mother appeared between two trees, a hemlock and a maple.
“Adele described the woman as surrounded by a bright light, clothed in dazzling white with a yellow sash around her waist and a crown of stars above her flowing blond locks. She was frightened by the vision and prayed until it disappeared. When she told her parents what she had seen, they suggested that a poor soul might be in need of prayers.
The following Sunday, which was October 9, 1859, she saw the apparition a second time while walking to Mass in the community of Bay Settlement. Her sister and another woman were with her at the time but neither of them saw anything. She asked the parish priest for advice, and he told her that if she saw the apparition again, she should ask it, “In the Name of God, who are you and what do you wish of me?”
Returning from Mass that same day, she saw the apparition a third time, and this time asked the question she was given. The lady replied, “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same.” Adele Brise was also given a mission to “gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation.”
At the time of the apparition Adele was 28 years old, and she devoted the rest of her life to teaching children. At first she traveled by foot from house to house, and later she began a small school. Some other women joined her in this work and they formed a community of sisters according to the rule of the Third Order Franciscans, although Adele Brise never took public vows as a nun. She died on July 5, 1896”
After much review the apparition was formally approved by Bishop David Ricken on December 8, 2010. Several years ago I visited the Shrine in Champion, Wisconsin. There is a story to that, but will have to wait until another time.
Apparitions, promoted but not approved.
Apparition number one. Bayside en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Lueken
Bayside, New York and Veronica Lueken. The proposed visions started on April 7, 1970. They continued until her death in 1995. The visions were dismissed by Bishop Mogavero, Brooklyn Diocese. On the date of her first vision, Lueken began to type up and circulate her messages against the Second Vatican Council, the revival of the permanent diaconate, the post-Vatican II Mass and the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Many of her messages had apocalyptic content with prophecies not yet fulfilled.
Apparition number two. Blessed Mother appears in Fairmont Park… once.
“On Sept. 18, 1953, three girls were on their way home from St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic parochial school. On the perimeter of Fairmount Park, all 14 years old, saw a vision of Mary in a blue veil and white gown, City Paper reports.
Their claim sent 70,000 believers and gawkers to the site by October of that year. Many visitors said they felt a breeze and the scent of roses coming from the bush, while others said the bush had healing powers. Meanwhile, some church officials claimed the whole thing was a “mass hallucination,” the paper reported.
Rumor had it that her visage would appear again on Oct. 25 in 1953, but she didn’t show up. By that time, the bush was adorned with rosaries, prayer cards and more than $53,000 in cash (adjusted for inflation). The crowds began to dwindle shortly after the botched event, but the bush — and a wooden cross — still stand at the site today.”
Apparition number three. Our Lady of Emmetsburg, Maryland.
This is one of the most interesting apparition stories. It was incredibly popular in the early millennium and was promoted and defended by some very credible Marian theologians. But it did not receive the support of the hierarchy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The apocalyptic nature of the message was questioned and the image of the Child Jesus coming back to earth offered a theological question. I leave you with a very simple review from a Canadian website addressing the apparition in Emmitsburg.
CATHOLIC DOORS MINISTRY presents “GIANNA TALONE-SULLIVAN.”
On October 8, 2008, the Archbishop of Baltimore banned all activities in his Diocese.
KNOWN AS: “Dr. Gianna Talone-Sullivan”; “Unbridled Mercy, The Return of Jesus as a Child”; “the Mission of Mercy founded by Dr. Talone-Sullivan.”
ALLEGED SEER: Dr. Gianna Talone-Sullivan
LOCATION: Emmitsburg, near Baltimore, USA.
YEARS: September, 1987 to Present (2008)
STATUS: On September 8, 2000, the Archdiocese of Baltimore issued a statement with the approval of Cardinal William H. Keeler, indicating that it “finds no basis” for the alleged apparitions and messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary which Gianna Talone-Sullivan claimed to receive during the Thursday evening prayer services at St. Joseph in Emmitsburg.
As such, the sale of the video produced by The Mercy Foundation of Mun-delein, Illinois is to be discontinued. And the 7:00 P.M. services which draw hundreds of people each Thursday are also to be discontinued.
ALLEGED REVELATIONS: The claims of Gianna Talone- Sullivan consisted of the following:
1) Since September, 1987, while residing in Scottsdale, she received private revelations from the Virgin Mary.
2) “The prediction of trials and tribulations and future events involving the fire of purification.”
3) “That Jesus would return as a child.”
4) “That the time was coming when at one single moment everyone on earth will see simultaneusly the state of their souls and know with certainty that God exists.”
5) “The prediction of a sign of apparently miraculous proportions that would occur in Emmitsburg in October.”
In consideration of the Church developments that have recently taken place, it is sufficient to say:
1) That although the archdiocese “does not intend to detail a point-by-point theological analysis” of the alleged messages from Heaven, “it finds material in them that cannot be reconciled with the teaching of the church.”
2) One such teaching consist of the content of the Video that promotes the return of Jesus on earth as a child.
3) Dr. Michael Sullivan informed the Church, “we will be obedient.”
THE END RESULT IF BELIEVED
By embracing these alleged messages, the faithful would be heading towards a false hope that will never come to pass. As such, Catholics, including those travelling from out-of-state, are asked to discontinue their attendance to St. Joseph Church in Emmitsburg.
“The archdiocese calls on the faithful to strengthen their resolve to follow Jesus through reception of the sacraments, personal prayer, study of our Catholic faith, devotion to the Blessed Mother, and participation in the life of their parishes.”