AMSTERDAM, THE CONTINUATION OF RUE DU BAC
The path which Mary, the Immaculate Conception, began in Rue du Bac, she continues as The Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam. You could say that God used the “journey of the image of Amsterdam” to France (1) to show the close connection between Paris, the place of grace for the beginning of the Marian era, and Amsterdam, the place of grace for the high point and completion of the Marian era. In order to expound upon the striking similarities between the apparitions, we will mainly use a study from the Committee of the Lady of All Nations from 1973.
* First of all, note that the miraculous events took place in the capital city, both in France and in the Netherlands.
* In both cases, the visionaries who received the messages from Our Lady were simple and honest women who had lost their own mothers at an early age and who were prepared for their unique vocation through numerous supernatural experiences.
* Mary revealed to the visionaries a prayer associated with an image and asked that both be spread. Catherine Labouré heard from the mouth of Our Lady an invocation unknown at that time: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” In Amsterdam, the Lady of All Nations solemnly prayed a decisive PRAYER in which the unusual words “who once was Mary” initially caused great surprise.
* Likewise, both visionaries not only heard the prayer which was revealed to them but, at the same time, also saw it written. In her vision, Catherine Labouré saw the whole inscription of the prayer with the new TITLE THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION in a semicircle from Mary’s right hand, over her head, and down to her left hand. In Amsterdam, Ida related on February 11, 1951 that she saw the prayer before her, written in large letters. In a vision she saw the new TITLE THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS in a bright semicircle around the head of Mary.
* The importance that Our Lady attached to the exact portrayal of her image is demonstrated by the fact that she gave precise instructions three times in Rue du Bac and six times in Amsterdam. On both the Miraculous Medal and the image of the Lady of All Nations Mary stands on the globe as the LADY clothed with the sun, her arms outspread. Sister Catherine saw bright rays streaming forth from the rings on Mary’s hands and heard a voice explaining, “These rays symbolize the graces which Mary has attained for man.” In Amsterdam, the three rays which stream from the transfigured wounds in her hands signify Grace from the Father, Redemption from the Son and Peace from the Holy Spirit.
* The apparitions in Rue du Bac were given, on the one hand, for France and, on the other, for the whole world. Mary emphasized this when she said, among other things, “This globe that you see represents the whole world, especially France and every individual.” The same is true for Amsterdam where Our Lady stated time and again that she, starting in the Netherlands, wants to be brought to all nations of the whole world.
* Both France and Holland, without noticing it, stood before an abyss when Mary appeared. She came to help and to show the way out.
* Our Lady explained in both apparitions the seriousness of our time from both religious and political aspects.
In Paris she said, “The times are serious.” “Degeneration is overcoming France.” “The whole world is being brought into confusion by all sorts of degeneration.”
Similarly, Our Lady warned in Amsterdam, “Throughout the centuries the world has not yet experienced such an era, such a decline of faith” (March 28, 1951). “The whole world will destroy itself….” (Nov. 19, 1949).
* Contempt for the Cross is also noted in both messages. Sister Catherine heard: “My child, the Cross will be despised and people will throw it on the ground.” Also in the messages of Amsterdam it is written, “Now suddenly I see the Cross complete again, planted in the midst of the world. All sorts of people are standing around it, but with heads turned away” (March 29, 1946). “It is a heavy spiritual fight …That Cross they want to change into other crosses” (Jan. 3, 1946). “She points at the crucifix and says, ‘The whole world, however, will have to return to it––great and small, poor and rich––but it will take effort’” (Oct. 7 1945). “Let everyone come back to the Cross; only then can there be peace and tranquility” (Feb. 11, 1951).
* We know that Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Twenty-four years earlier however, the ‘Immaculate Conception’ appeared to the simple novice Catherine and gave this prayer for the faithful: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
In Amsterdam too, Our Lady invites the faithful to pray now to the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. Just as in Paris, her prayer and her image precede a dogma, the greatest and “final dogma of Marian history” (Nov. 15, 1951), which will one day be solemnly proclaimed as Mary promises in the messages. “This dogma will be much disputed, yet it will be carried through” (May 31, 1951).
* In Paris, there was a heavenly voice which remained even after the apparitions had come to an end. “My daughter, from now on you will not see me,” Mary explained to Sister Catherine, “but you will hear my voice in your prayers.”
The same is true for Amsterdam where the visionary Ida, after the final message of Mary, continued to hear a heavenly voice in the so-called ‘Eucharistic Experiences’.
* There is another noticeable concurrence between the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION and the LADY OF ALL NATIONS: the first message of Amsterdam was given on March 25, 1945. That is not only the Feast of the Annunciation but also the day on which ‘the nice Lady’ presented herself to the visionary in Lourdes, Bernadette Soubirous, in 1858, “Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou” (in Bernadette’s French-Pyrenee dialect, “I am the Immaculate Conception”).
KEYSTONE OF MARIAN THOUGHT
“That what began here, will be continued through the Lady of All Nations”, Our Lady said to Ida in Rue du Bac.
According to the aforementioned words of the ‘Vrouwe’ we can say that Rue du Bac was the radiant beginning of the Immaculate Conception but Amsterdam is the coronation, or as Our Lady herself says, “a keystone of Marian thought” (April 4, 1954).
At Rue du Bac, the Immaculate Conception lead us into a truly Marian epoch, just as the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and universal Advocate may also lead us as “the Lady come to her apostles and nations throughout the whole world, in order to bring them the Holy Spirit again and anew” (May 31, 1954).
THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL
The noticeable parallels between Rue du Bac and Amsterdam direct our attention once again more closely to the Miraculous Medal as Mary wanted it to be cast.
When you think about the deep sense of the depicted symbols, you see, as if in anticipation, a medal of the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all grace and Advocate.
Mediatrix of Grace – Advocate
On the front of the medal Mary is depicted as the one crushing the head of the serpent just as God promises in the first book of the Bible where the WOMAN will crush the head of the serpent together with her descendant Jesus (cf. Gen 3:15).
With arms wide open and rays going forth from her hands, the Immaculate Conception, Full of Grace, gives everything that she has. On each finger, Our Lady wears several rings, some of which radiate and others which do not. A nice detail from the intimate conversation that Catherine Labouré had with Our Lady teaches us that we also have to ask for grace. Sister Catherine asked, “Why do some of the rings not shine?” Our Lady answered her, “Those are the graces for which you forget to ask me!”
The front of the medal also depicts Mary as Advocate because above her figure is written the prayer of supplication, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
We see Mary on the front of the medal as the one crushing the head of the serpent, as Mediatrix of Grace and as Advocate. On the back of the medal Our Lady completely reveals herself as the Coredemptrix using the four strongest symbols from Holy Scripture in view of coredemption: the Cross, the M for Mary, two wounded hearts and the twelve stars of the apocalyptic WOMAN.
The CROSS expresses in an all inclusive way the entire mystery of redemption.
The M stands for Mary and her universal vocation. It is so profoundly united with the cross that it is impossible to separate the two. That means that Jesus and the Coredemptrix are most deeply united with each other by the same love, the same suffering and with the same goal of redemption.
The TWO WOUNDED HEARTS, wrapped in thorns and pierced by a sword, is the nicest symbol for redeeming love. The Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary are shown close together – two hearts in the same divine love, inseparably united.
When Sister Catherine asked if there should be some sort of text on the back of the medal Mary responded, “The M and the two hearts say enough.”
The TWELVE STARS on the medal show Mary’s universal vocation as mother of everyone. Indeed, the crown of twelve stars immediately calls to mind the WOMAN in the Apocalypse clothed with the sun and surrounded by stars, who calls out in pain. As Coredemptrix, she suffers the pangs of birth for the whole world and all of creation, so that Christ may be born in all people.
So already in Rue du Bac, Mary points towards the three Marian titles that appear on both sides of one medal:
Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of Grace and Advocate.
In Amsterdam, she directly reveals her role as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate in one unique picture which she tells the nations is, “the interpretation and illustration of the new dogma” (Dec. 8, 1952).
THE EFFECTS OF THE MEDAL FROM PARIS AND THE IMAGE FROM AMSTERDAM
In 1832, the first 2000 medals were cast precisely in the months when France was suffering a Cholera epidemic. In Paris alone, more than 20,000 people died. The Sisters of Mercy gave out the Marian medals in their hospitals. Countless miraculous healings took place, so many, in fact, that the medal of the Immaculate Conception to this day has been called the ‘Miraculous Medal’. Three years later, one million medals had been cast and “by the date of Catherine Labouré’s death in 1876, the number exceeded one billion.”
That what God realized worldwide through the Miraculous Medal, he wants to realize in an even more powerful way worldwide through the spreading of the prayer and image of the Lady of All Nations from Amsterdam.
Here is promised the great miracle of the Holy Spirit which should come over the whole world.
The Lady of All Nations insists that those awaiting the visible miracle start a great work for the Son, the Cross and the Advocate: “Go with great ardor and zeal about this work of redemption and peace, and you will behold the MIRACLE” (April 1, 1951).
Source: Fr. Paul Maria Sigl,
Die Frau aller Völker 'Miterlöserin Mittlerin Fürsprecherin'
Amsterdam – Rome, March 25, 1998
1 THE IMAGE IN FRANCE
God allowed certain circumstances so that the image came to France for some time. Fr. Crijns, a Dutch priest who worked in France as a member of the ‘Militia Christi’, heard that the image of the Lady of All Nations was no longer open for public veneration at the St. Thomas Church. Therefore, he asked the visionary and her spiritual director for permission to take it to his French parish.
They agreed, and the image arrived in Ville d’Avray, near Paris, on May 25, 1966. That same day, the prayer was prayed for the first time in different languages before the image of the Lady of All Nations. Ida Peerdeman was also there and attended the evening Mass.
A few days later, on May 31, the visionary was going to Communion when she saw the light well known to her, and heard the voice inside her, “It is good this way!” With these words Mary gave her consent that the picture may go to France, to a church dedicated to St. Nicholas, who is also the patron saint of Amsterdam.
Already on June 19, 1966, the first Dutch pilgrim group visited “their” image in Paris. The visionary was again present and visited the Marian chapel in Rue du Bac on the following day. This is the chapel where the great epoch of Marian apparitions began in 1830, when Our Lady revealed the “Miraculous Medal” to Catherine Labouré.
Ida herself recounted, “As I entered the chapel in Rue du Bac, a strange emotion came over me that I had never felt before. I had an odd impression. We then attended Mass. After receiving communion and returning to my place, the Holy Eucharist became alive in my mouth. I heard very clearly an inner voice which said, ‘Do you see now the way I desired it? And for that reason I said, it is good this way!’”
Everybody was touched when the visionary shared her experience upon leaving the chapel. They returned to the church of St. Nicholas and gave thanks for this confirmation before the image of the Lady of All Nations with prayers and flowers.
Three years later, on May 31, 1969, Ida was once again in Paris. She described, “Upon receiving communion in the church of Rue du Bac, I saw the light once again and had the strong impression that the Lord was once again tangibly present within me. The following words were deeply impressed within me without them ever being spoken, ‘What began here has continued through the Lady of All Nations.’”
It was truly by Divine Providence that our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, visited the chapel of Rue du Bac precisely on May 31. This is indeed the day which the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate chose for her coronation.
PDF of this article
Source: Fr. Paul Maria Sigl,
Die Frau aller Völker 'Miterlöserin Mittlerin Fürsprecherin'
Amsterdam – Rome, March 25, 1998