Testimonies of the Worldwide Action
of the Lady of All Nations - 2014
Good morning dear pilgrims from near and far. My sisters, Sr. Crescentia and Sr. Julian from Slovakia, and I have the pleasure to again tell you of some truly beautiful examples from the Worldwide Action.
It is with pleasure that I bring you greetings from the shrine of the Mother of All Nations in Amsterdam. There, people of truly every nation and race come and go even though the chapel is so small!
In September, for example, groups came from Australia, America, Peru, the Philippines, from Germany, and also pilgrims from Lebanon who told us that in St. Joseph’s Cathedral the prayer of the Lady of All Nations is prayed after each decade of the Rosary.
Also a Muslim family from Kuwait came to pray before Our Lady, and just recently fifty Mexicans came with a film crew. They want to spread the devotion to the Lady of All Nations via Catholic TV in Mexico.
Again this year, tens of thousands of prayer cards found their way around the world.
In January of 2014, Fr. Peter Canisius left together with five Dutch friends from Amsterdam for a two week mission for the Lady of All Nations in the Caribbean. Off the coast of South America lies the wonderful island of Aruba, one of the former Dutch colonies which today is a vacation paradise for people from around the world.
With the help of local priests, the Mother of All Nations was able to go in just a few days to twelve schools and 2500 students. They also visited numerous youth and adults in parishes, prayer groups, and forty heads of the Legio Mariens who stocked up on materials. All told, they passed out 12,000 prayer cards!
The local bishop, Secco, was also pleased and by way of an invitation said, “Actually, you could bring the Lady of All Nations to the other 5 islands of my diocese as well.”
As such, the Worldwide Action in Aruba will not remain just a one-time deal: in the beginning of 2015 the Dutchmen are again heading out to the Caribbean to strengthen the love of the Lady of All Nations in parishes and schools and, with the bishop’s permission, also to bring her to the other islands.
Now let us go the equally beautiful Costa Rica, in Central America. In spring we were able to go on mission in that colorful and fruitful land for the first time. Among others, the faithful gathered here in the Basilica of Cartago which is the national shrine of Costa Rica. They received the message of the Lady of All Nations joyfully. Most of the kids even learned the prayer in Spanish surprisingly quickly.
Ida Joron, of the community “Tierra Prometida” wrote us some testimonies of the students. The 9-year-old Anderson said for example, “My dad has stopped drinking since I began to pray the prayer of the Lady of All Nations every day.”
And Jestin, also 9, said, “Ever since I have known the Mother of All Nations, I have asked her every evening that my mom won’t go out and then come home so late and curse. And now she has stayed home for a month.”
Bryian, 13, prayed the prayer of Amsterdam with success that his brother would get a job and he confirmed that which also other students experienced: “Since I started praying this prayer, there is much more peace at home.”
Continuing with South America, let us now look to northern Colombia. As Ruth Sarmiento in Barranquilla, the fourth largest city of this country, broke her ribs in a fall, she offered her suffering up to the Mother of All Nations. In doing so, she asked herself, “How could I make myself useful to the Mother of All Nations in this city of millions?” Her pastor, who is also the vicar general of the diocese, passed this question on to the archbishop.
He attentively listened to Ruth’s intention and then said, “Everything that truly comes from Our Lady is welcome by me. You have my blessing for this mission! Above all, however, you have a LOT of work!”
Thus, Ruth and her husband Pedro received written permission, as you see here, in March of 2014 to bring the Mother of Amsterdam to all 150 parishes of the diocese. It could not have gone better!
Since then, the couple have brought over 12,000 prayer cards to the most diverse of parishes, as you see here: to prayer groups, supermarkets, and prisons. As was already the case in other schools, also the 3,000 students of the St. Charles Borromeo school accepted the prayer card.
The military chaplain responsible for all the marines of Barranquilla also personally placed the image of the Lady of All Nations in the Marine chapel. He decorated it and passed out the prayer cards to the marines, among whom many now pray standing quietly before the “Madre de todos los Puebles” after services.
Before the last day of prayer, we were able to pick up the new novena to the Mother of All Nations just in time from the printers. The 2,000 copies were immediately sold out. It will certainly be of interest to you that the German novena has since then been reprinted several times and is now available in 9 additional languages: Dutch, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, and even Japanese.
In France, the novena found an especially enthusiastic reception. Through the motivation of Jean Luc Bourgois, seen here in the middle, 250 people decided to pray the novena together in preparation for the 31st of May. During a catechism in the French basilica in Blois, they especially brought all their family problems to the Lady of All Nations. In the following days, even more convents decided to join them in the novena. Towards the end of May, around 170 letters arrived from France with prayer intentions – and a short time later also those telling of answered prayers!
So it was that some families got back together again after decades of feuding and no longer speaking with each other. One of them, Marine, who lives near the town of Limoges in the heart of France, wrote, “My younger sister had such a falling out with our mother, that a half a year ago she did not even come to our father’s funeral. Shortly after I prayed the novena to the Mother of all Nations with total trust, to our great surprise, my sister came for a visit for the first time in eight years. She reconciled with our mother and the grandchildren were able to see their grandmother again after all those years.”
In another case, a married man met a woman via the internet and left his family for her. In her great pain, the betrayed wife took refuge with the Mother of All Nations and prayed the novena. Truly a miracle occurred! The girlfriend showed her true nature such that the man came to his senses and returned to his family.
It was particularly beautiful how Caroline and Jean François’ prayers were answered. They have been married since 2009 and have greatly desired to have children. Medical test showed in the beginning of 2014 that they would not be able to have any children of their own. Even though they are not particularly ardent about attending church, they nevertheless prayed the novena full of trust and wrote their prayer intention on this postcard to Amsterdam. “We come to you, Mother of All Nations, to entrust to you our most fervent desire: namely to start a family. Give us the joy of becoming parents.” And now, in the beginning of October, Caroline is happily in the fifth month of her pregnancy!
This summer there was also a seven-week-long mission under the patronage of the Lady of All Nations between July and August in the United States. The time in Rock Island, Illinois, became a very fruitful apostolate among the young families with so many children trying hard to live the faith. During Mass in the various parishes and schools, it was well understood, in the context of the frightening situation in the world, just how important the Mother of All Nations is in these times.
This Japanese woman in a nursing home initially refused the prayer card. She said, “At 84, I am not going to leave my Buddhist faith!” We explained to her, “But Mary is the mother of ALL people, also non-Christians and even non-believers!” Only then did she accept it smiling and looked at it for a long time.
The 93-year-old Trudi, seen here, was dying and yet was so consoled as she saw Our Lady standing before the cross. Since she is bed-ridden, we attached the picture upon the ceiling for her, so that she can look at it any time. Trudi promised to offer up all of her sufferings, united with Our Lady, for priests.
Another time, at a county fair, we met with the farm boy seen here. He especially liked that Mary was surrounded by so many sheep, which the animal loving boy likes so much.
During a street mission for the Lady of All Nations with the youth, we had another encounter that was quite touching. On a street corner, a roughly 40-year-old man with tattoos was seated surrounded by plastic bags. He accepted the prayer card with the words, “I live according to the Buddhust philosophy, but I am open to new ideas.”
When met Tony again a half an hour later, he quietly asked, “Could you pray for me? I am going through a rough time right now and am living on the street. You can’t imagine what it meant to me when you gave me the picture of Mary before. I actually wanted to take my life today. I visited my mom and I thought to myself, ‘This is the last time that I will see you.’ But now I know God is watching over me. I just had to tell you that. Thanks!”
Perhaps you have already had the experience that someone took the prayer card with the words, “That is exactly what I needed today!, or someone else who answered, “If you only knew what you gave me with this!” Also Stefan Lepping from Werl, who is a piano teacher, organist and choir director, repeatedly had similar experiences. We took notice of him because of his regular large orders. In 2014 there have been 8 shipments with a total of 10,000 prayer cards. So let us ask Mr. Lepping to tell us how he “moves his merchandise” in the German cities of Dortmund, Bochum, Hagen, Münster, Soest, Osnabrück, Gelsenkirchen, Paderborn, Unna, Aachen, Köln or also here in Düsseldorf.
Testimony of Stefan Lepping:
My dear fellow Christians, through this witness I would like to invite you to go about the spreading of the image and prayer of the Lady of All Nations with courage and zeal. Our Lady has given us this simple means of evangelization, and even prophesied about the success of her Worldwide Action: “I give you the certainty that the world will change!”
When I was at my first Day of Prayer of the Lady of All Nations in 1998, I understood so deeply that our working together towards good can set off a chain reaction of good, just as our lethargy can resign the world to the natural rule of degeneration, disaster and war, which is to say the delay of God’s victory.
“Go with great ardor and zeal… and you will behold the miracle!” This appeal by the lady of all nations touch me, and so I wanted to take part in the spreading out of her image and prayer. In my personal environment, I found that difficult. I did not want my religious ways to irritate others. I was initially also very afraid that someone to whom I gave the image would not appreciate it or even would laugh about it, or that it would be embarrassing for them.
So how should I spread the prayer and image of the Lady of All Nations beyond my circle of friends? “In the pedestrian zones!” is what occurred to me. And to do that, I need nothing more than 50 to 100 prayer cards and about an hour to give to Our Lady as her helper. So, I frequently go to different cities and find a busy place where people pass by about a meter or two away. Then I offer those who pass a card and in a friendly yet determined way say, “Please!” That is uncomplicated for people. I don’t force them, but rather offer them something for free and they have the freedom to reject it, „No thank you!“ or accept it “Thank you!” I then answer with “I’ll give it to you”, or with “happily”. When they ask, which happens rarely, “What is this?”, I briefly say, “A prayer for peace”, or, “A prayer which is approved by the Catholic Church, but is for all peoples and confessions.”
In the beginning I was a bit offended when someone said something dumb or didn’t accept the prayer card. But with time, I have learned to not take it so seriously and to not judge negatively. Above all in the first ten minutes you should never let yourself get discouraged! Sometimes, even with those who do not want the picture, there are very nice conversations! That is also a fruit of the Worldwide Action. The only we have to do which Our Lady can’t do by herself, is to politely offer the prayer card to people. In that hour, I consecrate myself and the town and street in which I want to pass out prayer cards very consciously to the Lady of All Nations.
“Go with great ardor and zeal… and you will behold the miracle!” Let us take Our Lady at her word! Naturally we cannot allow ourselves to imagine that we alone can achieve a favorable influence on global politics, but I believe that when our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, sends His Spirit over the Earth and lets Him dwell in the hearts of all nations, through the intercession of Our Lady, the positive powers of the Church and world are focused. The Lady of All Nations said, “You do not know the power of this simple prayer.” It is a secret tip, a key given to us by heaven in this time!
From the Days of Prayer, I know that also in Germany there are many who take part in the Worldwide Action. But there could be so many more! Youth, students, retirees, middle-aged, the unemployed: all could work for this important and beautiful task! I invite all of you who would like to be involved in this way to meet for 15 minutes today at 1PM in front of the sacristy.
Maybe you are ashamed in your own town where many people know you; then drive to another town when you have the chance! Local celebrations and local fairs on Sundays are a great opportunity. Let us take up this simple yet beautiful method which heaven itself has invented for us in these times, and, for example, bring those of the former East Germany closer to the faith! Get a hold of a sufficient amount of prayer cards already today and try it out once – but in this attitude of prayer: “Mother, I am standing here for you. So now it is up to you to do as you have promised!”
Lydia von Haelst, a Dutch nurse, has been doing something similar to Stefan Lepping for years for the Mother of All Nations. This summer she went several times with a backpack full of prayer cards and offered them to people on the streets in various cities of the Netherlands and Belgium. She said:
“Recently I had a conversation with a young man after Holy Mass in Utrecht. He told me that he had begun again to attend Mass regularly after he received a prayer card on the street from someone. He added, ‘In addition, since that time it has been going better with my job as well.’
Another time, in Chevremont, the center of the “Little Souls” in Belgium, I still had a pack of French prayer cards before I was to head home. I prayed to Our Lady, ‘Show me who I should give them to!’ And, because at that moment an African priest was passing me, I offered them to him. To my surprise he said to me, ‘I received a prayer card like this when I was a small boy in Africa. Since then I have had a great fondness for this prayer and I am certain that it played a part in my becoming a priest.’ He happily took the pack and it turned out that it was exactly enough for the pilgrim bus that he was accompanying.”
It is truly exemplary how zealously they work for the Worldwide Action in Slovakia, the geographical center of Europe. On March 15, 2014, a day of prayer similar to that of today here in Düsseldorf took place in Nitra for the second time. 3,500 pilgrims came from all across the country to celebrate this Marian Day of Prayer together with the diocesan bishop of Nitra, Viliam Judak and Bishop Toth.
Two days later, Fr. Ivan Barus from Pezinok wrote to us. Here you see him at his ordination in 2012. “Our parish came by bus to the Day of Prayer. I was fairly exhausted from my pastoral work, yet in the evening I went home as if transformed. The next day I took the poster of the Lady of All Nations to my Sunday Masses and spoke in the homily about the image and the power of the prayer which the Lady of All Nations gives us as a ‘way of peace’.
I rarely experience such and interest and such joyful faces among my faithful, who later took hundreds of prayer cards. I am deeply convinced that the success of us priests in the evangelization comes not through speaking well, but rather from grace and through the Marian way which God Himself shows us through the Mother of All Nations. I, at any rate, do not want to go my priestly path without her.”
One last example which nicely shows the effect of a single prayer card:
Recently a woman spoke to our Sr. Ludmila from Slovakia as she was on the way to the doctor in Nitra. She said, “Do you have a bit of time?” She immediately continued with tears in her eyes, “You know, a few months ago I received Our Lady with the sheep from another ‘white’ sister, and I have repeatedly prayed it since then, as the sister suggested to me. I was in a real crisis at the time, and had great problems. Since then, everything has gotten better step by step. I think it was not by chance that in that difficult time I received the picture I began to pray that beautiful prayer. Sister, as I saw you today, I just had to tell you about it and say thanks for all the graces from ‘Our Lady with the Sheep’.”
By the way, the Slovaks invite you already now for the 3rd Day of Prayer there. It will take place on February 14! And allow us to invite you once again to take part in the Worldwide Action. Thank you for your attention!