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1st International Day of Prayer, Amsterdam 1997

Excerpts from the conference by
His Excellency Paul Maria Hnilica SJ
Titular bishop from Rome

Bishop Paul Maria Hnilica has been a bishop for 46 years, and consequently has held the office of bishop longer than any other in the Catholic Church at this time. While in the underground he ordained the current cardinal of Nitra, J. C. Korec, bishop before having to flee to Rome. Bishop Hnilica is invited to speak at Marian prayer conferences world-wide as a recognized authority on the message of Fatima.

Dear brothers and sisters,

It is a great joy for me to be here today, to­gether with all of you, to honor the Mother of God under the title Lady of All Nations. Before I begin speaking about the theme of this conference, I would like to thank the bishop of this diocese, His Excellency Mgr. Bomers and his auxiliary bishop, His Excellency Mgr. Punt, for approving in an official decree the veneration of Mary under the title Lady of All Nations. As far as the con­tents of the messages from Amsterdam and their supernatural origin are concerned, they have stated that everyone is free to form his own opinion.

I personally — along with others such as Cardinal Stickler — do not hesitate to confess openly that I am convinced of the authenticity of the messages. I have a deep esteem for the prophetic contents of the messages and their unique contribution to the understanding of the vocation of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. These three titles are uniquely united for the first time in the message of Amsterdam. They reveal, in a marvelous way, the fullness of the vocation of the Lady and Mother of All Nations for our time. ...
Mary revealed herself in Amsterdam to a very simple woman named Ida Peerdeman. I person­ally was acquainted with the visionary who died last year. What especially struck me about her was her simplicity and humility. Amid many suf­ferings, she lived an unbroken obedience to the Church. Ida Peerdeman, through her faithfulness, through the suffering of not being understood and the calumny which she endured for fifty years, con­tributed to our being able to be here today to honor the Lady of All Nations.
This Day of Prayer is an important step by which we are beginning together the way toward fulfilling all that the Lady of All Nations has re­quested. ...

John Paul II, who knows from personal ex­perience the value of suffering, has called on the Mother of God several times during his pontifi­cate as "Coredemptrix of the human race". In the light of the Gospel, we understand that we too can become coredeemers along with Mary, if we offer up our sufferings.

The Message of Fatima —
an Invitation to Coredemption

We are living in an age of the greatest Marian revelations. I would like to speak a little about Fatima. First, let us remember that we are celebrating the eightieth anniversary of the apparitions. On May 13th of last year, I was with some of you in Fatima. There, during the first apparition the Mother of God asked a favor of the children.
Sister Lucia told me about this fifty years after the apparition: "The first thing that Our Lady asked of us children was the willingness to accept every cross and every suffering that the Lord would send us for the salvation of sinners."
The message of Fatima reminds us that each of us is called to unite our sufferings with those of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. ...

Mary as Coredemptrix
in the Messages of Fatima and Amsterdam

As Fatima —  so I believe —  also Amsterdam must become counted among the great apparitions, which began with the coming of Mary to the Rue du Bac in Paris in the year 1830.
In the messages from Amsterdam, a great cri­sis of faith was prophesied. And that was at a time in which this was inconceivable for everyone, above all in Holland, for the largest number of missionaries in the third world in those years were sent from there. Who would have dared to assert that Holland was standing at the brink of disaster, as Mary warned in the messages?
Just as in Fatima, Mary also announced in Amsterdam those events which will occur if we do not listen to her motherly requests. It is so important for us to take genuine revelation seriously!

On May 13, 1967, Pope Paul VI, for the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, made a pilgrimage to the famous Portuguese shrine to pray for world peace. He had recognized what importance private revelations can have for the Church and the world. This pilgrimage was criticized in the media. But the critics fell silent instantly, when fourteen days later, in the near east, the Six-Day War broke out, but not, as feared, the third world war.

I believe that we have not yet striven enough to discover everything hidden within the messages from Amsterdam. But I think that beginning today we will understand ever more and better the importance of these messages. In my humble opinion, we must definitely consider the prophetic and theological dimension of the messages which refer to the discussion about the dogma of Mary the Coredemptrix. In the last few years it is being spoken of ever more frequently and with ever greater urgency.

In the message of Amsterdam, the Lady of All Nations revealed to a simple woman, who knew nothing of the theological discussion regarding the role of Mary as Coredemptrix, that: "she has not come to bring new things, but only to bring the old theological ideas, and that the theologians can find it all in their books." So, the Lady of All Nations came to bring to light the marvelous reality that already lives in the hearts of the faithful: the mystery of coredemption which precisely in our times is more relevant than ever. For there has never been so much suffering and so much pain as in this century.

I believe that the message of Fatima and that of Amsterdam meet and complement each other ex­actly in the mystery of coredemption. At Fatima, the Lord asked that the Church place the venera­tion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary beside the veneration of his own Sacred Heart. At Amsterdam the Mother of God asked for the sol­emn proclamation of the dogma of Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. The dogma is the highest affirmation of the union of these two hearts, the Heart of the Redeemer and the Im­maculate Heart of the Coredemptrix, which was already foreshadowed in Fatima.

At Fatima it was announced: if we do not lis­ten to the heavenly requests, Russia will spread its false teachings over the whole world. At Amsterdam the messages predict a terrible crisis of faith within the whole Church that will be caused by an undermining of the reality of the supernatural which will result in terrible consequences for peoples and nations. There are many who see in this apocalyptic part of the messages of Amsterdam a possible connecting point with the third secret of Fatima. Just as in Fatima, the messages of Amsterdam speak also of a marvelous spiritual re­birth. In Fatima it is promised that Russia will be converted in the end— even if after much suffer­ing—the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, and the world will be given a period of peace. In Amsterdam, the true peace is promised.

As in Fatima, the Mother of God also speaks in Amsterdam again and again about the Holy Fa­ther, who finds himself today in Gethsemane. He is betrayed and abandoned by many. Therefore we should be like an angel for him and comfort him. Today, as never before, we see the universal dimen­sion of the task of the pope, his mission, his great­ness and his importance in this great crisis in the world and the Church.

Therefore, dear friends, I would like to encour­age all of you to pray for the Holy Father and to make sacrifices for him, so that the Triumph of Mary may come during his pontificate.