Slide conference by
Fr. Paul Maria Sigl
Spiritual head of the community “Family of Mary”
The Importance of the MOTHER and LADY OF ALL NATIONS
for Church and World of Today
Your Excellency, esteemed Bishops,
dear Brothers and Sisters from far and near!
Exactly forty-two years ago on this day, Mary said here in Amsterdam: “Make sure that every year the nations will be assembled ... before this picture. This is the great favor that Mary, 'Miriam' or 'the Lady of all Nations' is allowed to bestow on the world.” (May 31, 1955)
If the coming of the Immaculata in the Rue du Bac and the revelation of the Miraculous Medal are called the beginning of the Marian Era, one can rightly speak of the coming of the Mother and Lady of all Nations as the climax and the crowning of the Marian Era.
Amsterdam—Climax and crowning of the Marian Era? Maybe that surprises you. But you will soon understand that this is no exaggeration.
THE VISIONARY IDA PEERDEMAN
Today, on the First International Day of Prayer in honor of the Mother and Lady of all Nations, to say a lot about the visionary, Ida Peerdeman, would not be right to her. As Bishop Bomers so rightly said in the homily at the funeral for Mother Ida: “She was through and through down-to-earth until the last day, and had a deep aversion to any glorification of her own person. There is no question about that.”
Yes, it is true, her only concern was Mary. Therefore, let us only briefly tell about her life:
Born in 1905 in the north Holland city of Alkmaar, already at the age of twelve, she had her first encounter with the beautiful, brightly shining Lady. This happened three times in 1917, during October, the month of the Holy Rosary, the month in which Mary appeared for the last time to the three shepherd children in Fatima. But it was only twenty-eight years later, on March 25, 1945, that Ida's actual vocation began.
Whoever considers the great importance of the messages of Amsterdam will not be surprised that for the beginning of her series of apparitions as COREDEMPTRIX, Mary chose precisely the day in which the Church remembers the greatest event in the history of creation: God becomes man in the womb of the Virgin Mary. It is the moment, in which, in a special way, Mary's co-redeeming vocation began, for it was on that day that through her “yes” she became most intimately united with the life of her Redeemer, the Redeemer of humanity.
In the course of her life, Mother Ida came to painfully know what it meant to be ridiculed and mocked in the mass media. Many said she was crazy, and even from the side of the Church she experienced lack of understanding and humiliations.
The visionary understood better and better that, as the bearer of the messages of the Coredemptrix, she herself would also have to go through spiritual and physical suffering. This suffering and her years of silence, waiting, and obeying are her contribution as the seed which falls to the earth and dies, in order that the fruit can come forth.
When Mother Ida died at the age of ninety, Msgr. Bomers, in his esteem for the human greatness of the visionary, wanted to personally preside at the funeral Mass. In his wisdom, he still always had shown himself to be a shepherd to the visionary.
THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE MESSAGES
Without wanting to anticipate the decision of the Church, I would like to say a few words as to the authenticity of the messages. In order to carry out with conviction what is desired in a message, one has to be certain that it comes from God and that the prophet is a prophet of God. The Lord does not expect fanciful credulity from us—rather, he warns us to beware of false prophets.
But when the authenticity is certain, we must thankfully open ourselves to the messages, obey like a child, and fulfill everything exactly like God gives us to understand through Mary.
In the year 1531, in Guadalupe, Mexico, as proof of authenticity, Mary provided Spanish roses in the middle of winter. And on top of that, she imprinted her picture, which was not painted by human hands, and whose paints are not even from this world, on the tilma of the visionary, Juan Diego.
In Lourdes, the Immaculata brought forth a spring with healing powers (February 25, 1858), and in Fatima, before 70,000 eye-witnesses, she worked the miracle of the sun (October 13, 1917).
The Mother of God goes a completely different way here in Amsterdam. She proves the authenticity of the messages anew, again and again, in that her numerous prophesies fulfill themselves in the course of time.
Only seldom in the history of Marian apparitions does one find such fascinating proofs of the authenticity of the messages like here in Amsterdam. Because of the short time, I will only mention a few examples:
In 1950, (December 12, 1950), Ida saw the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although only three weeks before President Honecker had assured: “The Wall will remain standing a hundred years still.”
On February 11, 1951, during a stay in Germany, Ida was led by the Lady in a vision to St. Peter's Cathedral. There she saw all the bishops of the world with white miters, and the Holy Father with a tiara and a thick book. No one in the world—least of all the visionary herself—could have suspected then, that she was viewing the second Vatican Council, which only took place eleven years later.
Probably the strongest proof of authenticity was given by the Mother of God to the visionary on the night between the 18th and 19th of February, 1958. She announced that at the beginning of October—so in eight months—Pope Pius XII, who at that time was completely healthy, would die.
“This holy Father, Pope Pius XII, will at the beginning of October of this year be taken up to dwell with Us. The Lady of all Nations, the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate will lead him to everlasting bliss.”
The Mother of God held one finger to her lips and said: “...you must keep it as a secret from everybody, ...” But her spiritual director wanted Ida to seal the secret contents of the message in an envelope to be left with him, and to keep a copy of it herself at home. Ida did what her spiritual director had asked. And in fact, Pope Pius XII died on October 9th in Castelgandolfo. Mother Ida went immediately to her spiritual director and showed him the copy of that message, which had become reality.
This startling proof of authenticity was even more convincing for her spiritual director, because he knew: The day of someone's death is determined by God and known by Him alone.
One can easily see the great importance the Amsterdam messages have to have for the Church and the world, if God extends his proofs of authenticity to a Council and to the life and death of a holy pope.
THE PRAYER to supplicate the True Spirit
over the World
Already in the very first message, on March 25, 1945, the Mother of God speaks about her PRAYER, as if it was already known: “The prayer is to be made known everywhere.” But it was not until six years later that she revealed it to the visionary who was in Germany at the time.
Alone the fact that Mary dictated her prayer during the vision of the second Vatican Council is a clear proof to the significance of the prayer for the Church and the world.
Even before the Mother of God began to speak, Ida was lead before the cross and taken into a kind of painful co-suffering (“suffering with”).
“I was standing in front of the Cross with the LADY. She said, 'Repeat this after me.'...She raised her hands, which were normally turned downwards, and joined them. Her face became so heavenly, so sublime that one simply cannot express it in words. Her figure grew even more translucent and surpassingly beautiful. ...Then the LADY began to recite the prayer:
'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father...' But oh the way she said this! It just went through me! Never before did I hear anyone alive pray like it. 'Send NOW Your Spirit', with the stress on 'NOW', and 'Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of ALL nations', with the stress on 'ALL'. She also pronounced the word 'AMEN' so very beautifully and solemnly. ...But when she had said 'Amen' the whole text appeared in front of me in writing.”
Not only among the Church authorities, but even by the visionary herself and her spiritual director, the words "who once was Mary" at first caused surprise and misgivings. When the words in question were quite simply left out of the first printing of the prayer, Mary emphasized in the next message, that she was not pleased with the alterations of the text. "May the Lady of all Nations, 'who once was Mary', be our Advocate"—that must remain as it is." (April 6, 1952)
The Mother of God explained clearly, briefly, and simply (already on July 2, 1951): "'Who once was Mary' means: many people have known Mary just as Mary. Now however, in this new era, which is beginning now, I wish to be 'the Lady of all Nations'. Everybody will understand this."
Do you understand? Mary, the grace-filled girl was not from the beginning Mother of all people. But through her faithful co-operation with the grace and through suffering, united with her Son, she became Mother for all Nations.
She herself explained why she gave us this new prayer: “It has been given, so that the coming of the Spirit of Truth may be implored for the world.” (September 20, 1951) “You cannot estimate the great value this will have. You do not know what the future has in store.” (April 15, 1951) Her special request is directed to the the Holy Father, who should lead the nations in saying this prayer: “Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, teach your people this simple, but valuable prayer.” (May 10, 1953)
Mary even promised, “By means of this prayer the LADY may save the world.” (May 10, 1953) “You do not know what great value and power this prayer boasts before God! He will grant the requests of His Mother, when she comes to plead for you as Advocate.” (May 31, 1955)
“Let this prayer accompany whatever you do in your daily life.” (December 31, 1951) When possible, we should pray daily this simple prayer before the cross—slowly and with devotion, like Mary desired.
THE PICTURE - the Interpretation of the New Dogma
The Amsterdam messages are therefore unique in the history of Marian apparitions because the Mother of God herself describes her own image of grace in detail. “This picture is the interpretation and the illustration of the new dogma. This is why I have personally given this picture to the nations.” (December 8, 1952)
In fact, Mary reveals herself here as the COREDEMPTRIX in a three-fold way, for she is standing under the cross of her Son, from whom the light comes from and shines through her.
A sash is tied around her waist. She explained: “Mark well what this means. This represents the LOIN-CLOTH of the Son. For I stand as the LADY in front of the CROSS of the Son.” (April 15, 1951) And her hands bear WOUNDS emitting rays. Through this, Mary illustrates the physical and spiritual suffering that she bore, in union with her divine Son, for the redemption of Humanity.
Again the LADY directed Ida's attention to her hands and revealed herself through this as the MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES. “Now look at my hands and relate what you see.” Now Ida saw in the palms of her hands what appears to be WOUNDS already healed and from these, rays of light streaming out, three from each hand, diffusing themselves upon the sheep. Smiling, the LADY adds, 'These three rays are Grace, Redemption, and Peace.'" (May 31, 1951) Grace from the Father, Redemption from the Son, and Peace from the Holy Spirit.
“My feet are firmly planted upon the globe, for it is the wish of the Father and the Son to send me into the world in these times as the 'Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate'.” (May 31, 1951) “This time is our time.” (July 2, 1951)
In a biblical image, Mary lets the visionary see sheep around the globe, which symbolize all the different peoples and races of the earth. And then she sais: “They will not find rest until they lie down and quietly look up to the Cross, the center of this world.” (May 31, 1951)
Again and again Mary directs our eyes to the Cross, the center of our world! Mary implores us to spread this picture throughout the entire world, for, “It is the interpretation and the illustration of the new dogma.” (December 8, 1952) For this reason Mary emphasizes several times that this picture must precede the dogma. “This picture will precede a dogma, a new dogma.” (April 15, 1951)
In 1966 the picture was brought for one year to France and the visionary also visited the chapel of the apparitions in the convent of the Vincentians in the Rue du Bac. There, the Mother of God explained to her, “What began here, had been continued by the Lady of all Nations.” (May 31, 1969) Did the Holy Father know that, as he named a provincial of the Vincentians, Hendrik Bomers, as bishop of Haarlem?
Yes, really: the Immaculata in the Rue du Bac is the outshining beginning of the Marian era, in which we are now living. But Amsterdam is the crowning, or as Mary herself said, the “keystone of Marian thought.” (April 4, 1954)
Dear brothers and sisters, in the Netherlands, do you realize what a treasure you have?
In a bright shining semi-circle, that reached from one end of the cross beam to the other, was written in dark letters the new title LADY OF ALL NATIONS. What is then the significance of this title?
THE TITLE - Summary of the New Dogma
The Mother of God uses more than one-hundred-fifty times this new name of grace, which expresses her most profound vocation. “You may say, the 'Lady of all Nations' or 'Mother of all Nations',...” (February 11, 1951)
When one attentively reads the messages, it becomes apparent that the new title is actually the summation of the three-fold dogma. In order to show this, one has only to open the Holy Scripture. For within them, Mary is spoken of in four passages as the WOMAN [The greatness of the vocation of Maria, as it has been revealed to us in the four passages of the Holy Scripture, can be translated optimum by the title „Lady“.], and in fact in those situations which concern her universal vocation of motherhood.
1. Already in the first pages of the Bible, in the book Genesis, Mary is described as the LADY (or WOMAN) who, united with her Son, crushes the head of the serpent. God said to Satan, who had led Adam and Eve into pride and disobedience: "I will put enmity between you and the WOMAN, between your offspring and hers." (Gn 3:15)
2. At the wedding in Cana, Jesus addresses His Mother for the first time as WOMAN, in order to remind her of her vocation to become the Lady of all Nations. As Mediatrix and Advocate she implores and obtains the miracle.
3. On Calvary, our dying Redeemer turns to His Mother with His last strength, in order to say to her—as a personal testament—only four decisive words: "WOMAN, behold, your son!" With these divine words, Mary as Coredemptrix was made the Lady of all Nations.
The message of April 6, 1952 confirms this: “At the Sacrifice of the Cross, ..., she became the 'LADY' ('WOMAN')—the Coredemptrix and Mediatrix. ... At the Sacrifice of the Cross the Son announced this title to the whole world.”
4. The last of the four Scripture passages is found in the Book of Revelation. There, at the climax of the history of salvation, the WOMAN again appears, clothed with the sun. She lays in pain, in the birthpangs for the new birth of humanity. (cf. Rv 12:1 ff.) There appears a dragon, huge and red, who pursues the WOMAN, who had borne a son.
The promised WOMAN in Genesis, who, united with her Son crushes the head of the serpent,
the WOMAN at Cana,
the WOMAN on Calvary,
and the WOMAN of the apocalypse
is the Lady of all Nations, because, united with the Redeemer, she suffered for all nations, mediates the life of grace to all nations, and intercedes for all nations.
Let us now hear, dear friends, one of the most beautiful promises that Mary gives us in Amsterdam: “I will save the world under this title.” (March 20, 1953) “...by means of this prayer and this title, I may save the world from a universal calamity.” (May 10, 1953)
This title of Mother and Lady of all Nations expresses then in a unique way the world-encompassing vocation of Mary for all nations, for all continents, for all races and religious faiths—yes, also for all religious faiths—for she is truly the Mother of all people.
She loves all her children, whether they want her to or not.
She loves all her children, whether they know it or not.
Therefore, the Shrine of the Lady of all Nations will become more and more a place of deep international understanding, true ecumenism, and unity in the Holy Spirit.
THE SAVING POWER OF THE DOGMA
Here in Amsterdam, Mary expressly asks for a dogma. That is unique, for in no other place of apparitions in the world has she ever desired such a thing. It will be the last and greatest dogma in Marian history: Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.
I think that no theologian would have ever had the idea to unite these three titles into one single dogma. Only Mary, as heavenly theologian and as Mother of wisdom could do that.
What is then, a dogma? When the Pope solemnly proclaims a dogma, it means: this truth is not thought up by humans, but is revealed by God. Therefore, a new dogma, in which one fervently believes, is also an indescribably powerful weapon in the battle against Satan, the father of lies.
Satan knows that he will be defeated through Mary and her children. Therefore, he began in this century a merciless battle against Mary and her children like never before.
When John Paul II speaks about our century as the “century of death”, we have to admit that unfortunately, he is right: never in the history of humanity were there so many wars, afflictions, and so much suffering and death.
This picture shows us a church in Ruanda full of corpses—Thousands of martyrs for the Faith—One million dead in one month alone. Mary had called for conversion in the apparitions in Kibeho, Ruanda. But we didn't want to listen.
Here, we see Bosnia-Herzegovina: Didn't the Queen of Peace warn everyone for ten years, when no one even suspected a war? A Vietnam veteran and officer in the UN peacekeeping force said “The Vietnam War was child's play in comparison to the satanic atrocities that happened in the former Yugoslavia.”
“It is a time such as the world has not experienced in centuries—such falling away from the Faith!” (March 28, 1951) “The whole world is degenerating...” (March 4, 1951) “The enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ has worked slowly but effectively. His posts are manned. His work is almost finished.” (December 8, 1952)
“The whole world is degenerating and for this reason the Son sends the Lady of all Nations, ...” (March 4, 1951)
This Mother and Lady of all Nations solemnly promised us: “I will save the world under this title.” (March 20, 1953), and “...by means of this prayer and this title, I may save the world from a world catastrophy.” (May 10, 1954)
But how will she do it? “When the dogma, the last dogma in Marian history, will be proclaimed, the Lady of all Nations will give peace, true peace to the world. The Nations, however, must say my prayer in union with the Church!” (May 31, 1954)
So you see, only through the Amsterdam messages can one show what a grace-filled and powerful effect the crowning of Mary will have, and that time presses. Mary promises that the Holy Spirit will be poured out in a new way over the Church and the world.
But how can a Marian dogma bring about a 'new Pentecost'?
Through the solemn proclamation of the greatest Marian dogma, the Church takes Mary into its center, into its heart—as it did in the upper room of the Last Supper in Jerusalem. And what happened when the apostles took the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate into their midst? The Holy Spirit descended upon the early Church in tongues of fire.
“The LADY remained with her apostles until the Spirit came. In the same way the LADY will come to her apostles and all the nations, in order to bring them the Holy Spirit anew.” (May 31, 1954)
THE KEY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF MARY
This Marian dogma is the key for the gate through which we will enter into a new time, into a new era, into the era of the Holy Spirit.
When this crowning of Mary has taken place, Satan will have lost once and for all. Ida saw this defeat of Satan in dramatic images: “I saw the dragon writhing, collapsing exhausted and being dumped into the depth. And 'the Voice' said: “Your power is broken and your strength is has diminuished. Your pride and boastfulness are trampled down.”” (February 11, 1975) “All this will happen.” (March 25, 1975)
Doesn't this bring to mind the vision of St. Don Bosco? He saw how after the terrible battle the Pope as helmsman secured the ship of the Church to two columns: the column of the Mother of God and the column of the Holy Eucharist. After all that we have just heard, doesn't it seem reasonable that this becoming secured to the Marian column will happen through the dogma?
“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”, as Mary said it in Fatima. I am convinced that this Triumph of Mary will only be realized through the proclamation of the most important and greatest Marian dogma.
And the column of the Eucharist? What does the Holy Eucharist have to do with Amsterdam? A lot! Mary said on March 20, 1953, that she had chosen Amsterdam because it is the city of the miracle, the Eucharistic Miracle, which happened six-hundred-years-ago.
Dear Dutch people, do you know what that is? On July 23, 1946, 50,000 Dutch people celebrated the 600th anniversary of the Amsterdam Eucharistic Miracle. With the help of the Lady of all Nations and your commitment, we could organize such a day of prayer next year for the glory of God on May 31st, Pentecost Sunday.
Furthermore, the Holy Eucharist is so completely in the center of the messages of the Lady of all Nations, that from the year 1958 and after her messages pass over to the so-called "Eucharistic Experiences". But more about that next year!
Once again, thank you very much to everyone who, in the movements "Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici" and “Vox Populi Dei”, have asked the Holy Father for this dogma through their signed petition. Among you there are already four million of the Faithful, 470 bishops from all the continents of the world, and already more than forty cardinals.
But there are also many who are against the dogma. Dear friends, there is something you should know: there are influential cardinals, many bishops, priests, theologians, many brothers and sisters in the Faith, who—humanly speaking—out of good and reasonable reasons are not for a new Marian dogma. We must respect their convictions with love.
The professors will continue to study and discuss if it is theologically correct to call Mary Coredemptrix. But in order to be able to show what a grace-filled and powerful effect this Marian dogma will have for the world, one needs the Amsterdam messages.
Just as well, one can substantiate only through the words of the Lady of all Nations that time presses and God wants this dogma now. Let's all do what lies within our ability in order that the Holy Father can solemnly proclaim this saving truth as soon as possible.
But you yourselves sense more and more that your signature for the dogma is not enough. The actual power rests in your courageous and enthusiastic co-operation in the battle plan of the Lady of all Nations. Mary calls this battle plan of love a "work of redemption and peace" (April 1, 1951) or also "the world Action".
THE WORLD ACTION THROUGH THE PRAYER AND
THE PICTURE OF THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS
What is it? It is very simple and feasible for everyone: simply bring the prayer-pictures or a poster with the prayer to your families, friends and acquaintances; to your co-workers and to your prayer groups; to prisons, nursing homes, and hospitals, for the people suffering there are the ones whose prayers will have the most power going out from them.
The Mother of God encouraged the visionary: “Mary takes the full responsibility.” (April 4, 1954) “You are afraid? But I am helping you. You will find that it will spread as of its own accord.” (April 15, 1951)
Ida was allowed to see many years ago in a vision the effect of the Action: “Just as the snowflakes whirl over the earth and fall upon the ground in a thick layer, so the prayer and the picture will spread all over the world and penetrate into the hearts of all nations.” (April 1, 1951)
Mother Ida was busy for decades sending the prayer-pictures and messages, which had been published with ecclesiastical permission, all over the world, to all those who asked.
A nice example of the remarkably quick spread of the prayer-pictures was related by Dr. J Sanders, a Dutch priest. Thirty years ago, in the course of his linguistic studies he was staying in Islamic Iraq. One day a picture of the Lady of all Nations with her prayer was slid under his door. “I was speechless,” the learned Dutchman said.
To those who want to see a miracle before they begin to work for Mary, she says, “Well now, ... Go and with great ardour and zeal set about this work of redemption and peace and you will see the miracle.” (April 1, 1951)
Like the apostles at the multiplication of loaves, we also need only to distribute the gifts of God. Then HE works the miracle. And Mary knows how to touch the hearts of her children.
Now do you understand in what grace-filled ways the Mother of all Nations herself is preparing her last and greatest dogma? This God-desired Action is in this present difficult, spiritual battle the peaceful precursor preparing the way and leading directly to the dogma. It is inconceivable what an explosion of grace would take place if all four million people who signed the petition would also venerate the picture of grace of the Lady of all Nations and would pray her prayer with a lot of love—the religious in their convents and monasteries, the priests in their parishes, the bishops in their dioceses. Let's work for this now. Then next year, in the year of the Holy Spirit, in which May 31st falls on Pentecost Sunday, we will experience a glorious Pentecost.
I am convinced, that a time will come when Christians will celebrate with joy Pentecost in Amsterdam, as well as one has today great joy to make a pilgrinage to Rome at Eastertime.
I thank you, dear friends, for your attentiveness.