3rd International Day of Prayer
honoring the Lady and Mother of All Nations
Pentecost, May 22 – 24, 1999
„Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Father,
send now Your Spirit over the Earth!“
"I am proud that I may be allowed to participate in spreading the Lady of All Nations worldwide," wrote His Excellency Bishop Maria Callistus Sooza Pakiam in the Chapel of the Lady and Mother of All Nations shortly before the return trip to his diocese of Trivandrum, India, after the Third International Day of Prayer. He joyfully followed the call of the Mother of All Nations this year, together with twelve other bishops from eight countries, two abbots, one Archimandrite, over one hundred priests, and twelve thousand pilgrims from eighty countries. They celebrated in Amsterdam, by her graceful image and at the altar of her Son, the last Pentecost solemnity of the passing millennium.
Already Saturday afternoon, His Excellency Msgr. Jozef Marianus Punt, Apostolic Administrator of the Haarlem-Amsterdam diocese, could extend a warm welcome to several thousand expectant participants from all over the world. That afternoon, bishops, priests, and lay people gave testimonies from their beneficent apostolate of the Lady of All Nations in India. At the Pentecost Vigil Mass, His Excellency Bishop Paul Maria Hnilica SJ, from Rome, administered the Sacrament of Holy Confirmation to youth from the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland. In the evening, several hundred young people happily gathered for an international youth meeting. They listened carefully to Fr. Paul Maria Sigl, the spiritual leader of the Family of Mary Coredemptrix, about spreading out the image from Amsterdam. Several youth testified about how they, through their work for Our Lady, had newly discovered their faith and found their way back to the Church and to God.
The large hall at the RAI convention center appeared to be a a large, glorious basilica. On Pentecost Sunday, pilgrims from all over the world heard testimonies about the work and the "Action" of the Lady of All Nations. After the introductory greeting from Dr. Arnold Leeman, the chairman of the Lady of All Nations Foundation, others spoke: a mother from Bratislava, Slovakia; the Greek Catholic Archimandrite and Apostolic Administrator Sergio Gajek from Belarus; Msgr. Raul Scarrone, chairman of the Uruguay Bishop’s Conference, and his South-American brother Msgr. Carlos Camus, Bishop of Linares, Chile; Archbishop Luigi Accogli from Rome; His Excellency Msgr. Angkur from the diocese of Bogor; Zenaida Belcina, president of "The Brotherhood of the Lady of All Nations", in the Philippines; the Philippinian military bishop Msgr. Ramon Arguelles; a well-known doctor, Professor Bartholomew from the island of Trinidad; His Excellency Fidelis Oga Orgah, Bishop of Otkupo, Nigeria; Regina Moriè from the Ivory Coast; Fr. Joseph Nilsson OFM, a very committed Swedish priest; and Karen Ruberto and Linda DePuydt from the USA. Karen cares for the Lady of All Nations Action Center in the USA which virtually exploded after a "Mother Angelica Live" program aired last autumn.
The high point of the Third International Day of Prayer was found in the ceremonial celebration of the Holy Mass for the solemn feast of Pentecost. The universality of the Church and the global importance of the Lady of All Nations made for an impressive experience with the procession of sixty-four flags by citizens in their national dress. The subsequent presentation of the gifts was especially nice: young children, dressed in clothes traditional to their land, presented gifts from eleven nations at the altar. Full of delight, the main celebrant, Bishop Punt, received the gifts.
The Lady of All Nations gave innumerable graces to the people on this day. A pilgrim from Hasselt, Belgium testified, "Although I have been in a renewal movement for twenty-two years, this celebration in honor of the Lady of All Nations has been, by far, the high point in my life!"