Testimonies of the Worldwide Action
of the Lady of All Nations - 2015
Good morning dear pilgrims. Since our last day of prayer in October, only eight months have passed. Even so, there are many new things to tell about the worldwide action. Sr. Crescentia and Sr. Julian, from Slovakia, and I will happily tell you a few of the wonderful examples.
I happily bring greeting from Amsterdam where we have already prayed for you all in the chapel of the Lady of All Nations. There are also some Dutch pilgrims here today.
A short time ago, some Indians came to the shrine. With pride they told us that in Kerala, the southernmost state of India, there are thousands who venerate the Mother of All Nations. The image of the Lady of All Nations has been displayed now for twelve years in four of the churches of the diocese of Trivandrum, and the faithful there all pray the Lord Jesus Christ in their mother tongue, Malayalam.
On March 25, for the 70th anniversary of the first apparition of Amsterdam, there was a large feast. 500 faithful prayerfully took part in a procession at night with a large image of Our Lady. A profusion of new orders for prayer cards was the result.
We had quite a few pilgrim groups this spring with as many as three a day coming, be they a young Korean priest who celebrated mass at the shrine, or groups from Indonesia, the USA, Italy, Germany, or the Philippines.
Yes, there are ever more people from all the ends of the earth who find their way to the Mother of All Nations.
The pilgrim image in Fr. Vitor Espadilha's parish in Portugal
For many people, the visit to the shrine is almost like a homecoming. Fr. Vitor Espadilha, from Portugal, for example, came, together with friends for a pilgrimage to Amsterdam at the end of April.
Over three years ago, Fr. Vitor had two pilgrim images of the Lady of All Nations go throughout his two parishes in Moita and Vila Nova, on the Atlantic coast. In 2014, Our Lady was able to visit 103 families there, each time for a week. “There are many testimonies,” Fr. Vito animatedly explained. “The families feel the presence of Our Lady and little miracles silently happen. The Madrecita is often present exactly then when decisive events happen in the families.”
The couple, Jose Fernandes and Isabel Pertelade, have already had the pilgrim image several times in their home, also in May of 2014. During this week, Jose Fernandes went with his twin granddaughters before the image and asked the Mother of All Nations fervently for the grace that Laura and Mafalda could be baptized while still children. The parents of the two had, however, decided to let the girls decide for themselves when there were older.
“Just one day later,” Jose Fernandes joyfully informed us, “our daughter-in-law called us and surprisingly told us that the twins would be baptized on August 2, 2014.” You can see the whole family here on the day of the girl’s baptism in the parish of Santarem.
By the way, Fr. Joao Luis Silva, on the left in the picture, decided while in Amsterdam, to have the pilgrim image go from family to family in his parish, like that of his friend Fr. Vitor.
It can really be astounding how some people come to know about the Lady of All Nations! Marie-Jeanne, a Dutchwoman, came to the chapel for the first time two weeks ago to light a candle before the image of Our Lady for a sick person.
She told us then that, “I was on vacation on Capri and while at the harbor, I noticed a beautiful ceramic tile with Mary before the cross. What happened? Shortly thereafter I was in a restaurant and received this same picture, with the prayer in Dutch, with my bill.”
Yes, we have known the owner of the restaurant for a long time. Gianfranco Arbace gives every guest a prayer card in their native language.
In recent months, pilgrims have frequently come from the glorious Caribbean islands Curacao and Aruba.
One reason for that is certainly because Fr. Petrus Canisius and three lay persons from Amsterdam went there for the second time. They were there for several weeks on mission for the Lady of All Nations. After their first visit, the local bishop, Secco, said to them, “Come to the other five islands of my diocese too to bring the Lady of All Nations.”
So it was that over 20,000 prayer cards were passed out in schools and in various towns in additions to several churches.
Because he is so open, Bishop Secco also insisted on personally doing the introduction of a radio program about the Lady of All Nations. An original sized image of her now hangs in his cathedral in Willemstad.
Imagine, since the beginning of the year, prayer cards have been sent to over 30 countries, even out to the Solomon Islands. They are located 15,000 km from us in the South Pacific to the east of Papua.
Jim Nolan, a missionary there, ordered prayer cards to be able to spread them among catechists and seminarians on over 1000 islands.
Bert Meijknecht from Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Among those who regularly order large numbers of prayer cards is the 74-year-old Dutchman Bert Meijknecht from Friesland. Twelve years ago something unique began: he started to go door to door in his home town of 100,000, Leeuwarden.
Afraid, Mr. Meijknecht began on his own street, then in his neighborhood, and in the mean in time, he has now systematically visited about ¾ of his city. At our request, he wrote in his modesty us such a genuine and touching testimony, from which we desire now to read an excerpt to you.
“On the way, I pray and after I ring the bell, I usually quickly pray, ‘Jesus, open the heart of this person for your love!’ If I am not sent away, I briefly speak with men, women, and children, whoever opens the door, in simple words about the image and the prayer of the Mother of All Nations. I tell them that this prayer is more powerful than all the demonstrations, conferences, and military actions because it possesses a divine power and helps that the Spirit of Love return, without which, there will never be peace. There are often very nice conversations about faith, even with Protestants, Jews or atheists. If they take the prayer card, then I tell them that God will be pleased with their prayers. If the chance presents itself, I often also give non-practicing Catholics a sheet with the times of Holy Mass in the city. Upon request, I come back with the book of the messages or and image of the ‘the Lady’.”
At the beginning, Bert Meijknecht gave out 10 cards a week. In the meantime it is 40. To do so, he has to knock about 100 times and goes out two afternoons a week for two hours. Only prayer gives Bert the strength to not be discouraged by rain, cold, physical complaint, unfriendly reactions or even curses. “It helps for me to say that I am not a Jehovah’s Witness, but rather come from the Catholic Church. That almost always provokes trust.
The most open are the youth, Muslims, Hindus, Africans and Asians. The most beautiful moment is always then when the person has listened silently and I feel that the spark is passed to them.
A week later when I am again on my bike for Our Lady, then my heart drops yet again and I secretly envy those who comfortably enjoy their afternoon outside. Only after my mission, when I am again at home, I am always filled with a great thankfulness and joy, like the fulfillment of my youthful desire to become a missionary. And I know that I am a small wheel in God’s plan.”
In the shrine, we had to smile about some phone calls from France. In a short period of time, several people ordered prayer cards with the same words: “I have received the call from heaven.” We were puzzled by this until we understood that the “Call from Heaven” is a French magazine in which an article about the importance of the Worldwide Action was published and which encouraged people to order prayer cards.
Olivier Alberici from Marseille, France
Let us remain briefly with France. Olivier Alberici, a Catholic publisher from Marseille, had a serious problem with another publisher.
In November 2014, he wrote us, “Because of the threats of this publisher to dispute my copyrights, I found myself obliged to obtain a lawyer. Yet in that time I received your letter from Amsterdam with the closing words ‘In Mary, our advocate.’ I was touched by this and understood, ‘That now means I am to take all refuge with the Lady of All Nations, the true advocate!’
So it was that I prayed on that same afternoon all nine days of the novena. At the end I made an act of faith and said to Our Lady, ‘Now I ask you that this publisher immediately writes me an email and inform me there that he will cease his illicit printing.’
At that point, I went to my computer and a few moments later, I really did receive an email from that publisher who wrote me that he would change his plans.”
In his joy and thankfulness, Olivier immediately prayed an entire Rosary only with the prayer of the Lady of All Nations.
Anna from Koblenz, Germany
Many of the answered prayers remain entirely hidden, but by chance our Br. Manfred recently discovered a particularly beautiful example from Germany in the Catholic magazine Liebt einander.
We therefore contacted Anna from Koblenz, who had written an article entitled “You will be richly blessed”. She greeted us warmly and was happy that we were going to tell what had happened to her with the Mother of All Nations.
“I was 26-years-old, happy, newly married, and never sick. On top of that, I was a very strong believer. In April of 2012, I was diagnosed with skin cancer, which was quickly removed. After that, I had continual doctors’ appointments for months. I repeatedly had to go to the university clinic to be operated on as they removed my lymph nodes on one side just to be safe. It was then found that they contained metastases. The doctors did not know what to do with me next, and relied on their statistics. I thought to myself at the time, that I am not just a guinea pig. I was supposed to be operated on one last time to remove all my lymph nodes, but I did not at all agree.
In that time I was often in the Sacred Heart Church in Koblenz. One Sunday, a sheet fell out of a song book, which I laid in it again. Yet it fell out again. Something told me that I should keep it. It was a holy card with the picture of Mary, the Mother of All Nations, and someone had glued a page to it on which was written that those who pray this prayer daily will be richly blessed. And so I did it. A few days before the operation I found out that I was pregnant. I was very surprised because my husband and I had been very careful to avoid a pregnancy. The doctors advised me to abort, since I could not be operated on while pregnant and as a result would not have a long life expectation. There was no question of me getting an abortion, though.
It was clear to me that God was giving me a chance, a gift. I remembered the sentence on that prayer card, ‘You will be richly blessed.’ I saw that blessing in the child I was to have … I had no problems with my pregnancy and in July 2013 I gave birth to a healthy daughter. After that I immediately underwent all the tests. Everything was alright. There was no indication of cancer anymore. God and my daughter have given me a new life. I would have been ready to give my life for that of my daughter, Anna.”
Yes, here we can truly only give thanks for the help of the Mother of All Nations!
Roberto Casani from Pisa, Italy
Let us now look to Italy. In December 2014, Roberto Casani visited us from Pisa, famous for its leaning tower. Mr. Casani came to the chapel of the Lady of All Nations for the first time and told us of a decisive experience he had had.
Once, he was on the road early in the morning for a business trip as a manager for a clothing company. Interiorly, he was doing so poorly that a gas station attendant tried to talk him out of continuing on driving. Since he was unable to convince Roberto, the attendant took out his own, well-worn picture of the Lady of All Nations from his wallet and gave it to him. He affixed it to the inside of his windshield and drove on. Shortly after that he came upon a bad accident which had just happened. “If the gas station attendant had not held me up and given me that prayer card, I would now be a part of this accident!” is what ran through his mind.
As a sort of confirmation thereof, Roberto came across the Lady of All Nations yet a second time that day. When he stopped at a later rest stop on the highway and gave the woman who was responsible for the restrooms a few cents, he made a nice comment about her many holy cards. She then proudly showed him her favorite one, the Mother of All Nations!
In the end, Roberto said to us in Amsterdam, “This experience and also an illness were the reason that I turned back more to the Church and faith. I have to admit there were also lapses! And I ask the Lady of All Nations that she may help me to no longer go along false paths. For I am a lost sheep, like the sheep in the picture, but one who looks up to the Mother of All Nations.”
Before he left, Roberto stocked up on prayer cards to spread them in his homeland and he promised to faithfully pray the prayer of Amsterdam.
In February, 3,000 faithful came to a Day of Prayer in Nitra, Slovakia. It was there in December that a Street Action took place with the prayer cards while a Night Fever evening was being held in the Cathedral with exposition of the blessed Sacrament. Not everyone accepted the invitation to go in the church, but almost everyone accepted the prayer card.
Dominika Tomanova, who graduated last week in Nitra, will tell us about it.
Dominika Tomanova from Nitra, Slovakia
Some of the youth remained before the Blessed Sacrament to pray for the Street Action. Another part went out with the blessing of Bishop William Judak upon the streets to the Christmas Market. People had time and therefore were easy to speak to. After a time, we even developed a certain strategy to offer them the prayer cards. To one family, for example, we said, “This is a prayer for peace in the family.” Or to a couple in love, “We have here a beautiful prayer for unity in a relationship.”
One man asked a fellow student of mine, Lubo, “What is it good for?” Lubo explained, “It is a prayer for peace in the world, but also for our lives.” “Oh”, came the joking reply, “in that case I need a hundred of them!” “Take this one instead and pray it one hundred times!”, Lubo quickly advised him.
To our surprise, even young guys, trying to act cool, happily took it.
All together on that evening, we gave out 1,000 prayer cards.
Our Missionaries in Kazakhstan
We extend to you also the greeting from our Sr. Martha and Sr. Madeleine in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Together with many other viewers, they too are united with us via the live-stream. They are above all very zealous missionaries for the Mother of All Nations. They wrote to us about their experience from a doctors’ appointment last week:
“We spent almost the whole day in different hospital buildings, and so we had plenty of encounters with people. Everyone, truly everyone accepted the prayer card, Russians, Kazakhs, doctors, patients, and employees. Not one person refused. Of course it is easier to offer the prayer card to someone who is nice than, for example, the long-haired student in the waiting room, who was dressed like a hippie and listened to such loud rock music through his large headphones, that we were forced to listen with him. His empty, soulless look told us that we had no chance there!”
Yet Sr. Martha wrote, “I didn’t stop praying for that young man and sent him the special mother blessing of Mary. After a while, I noticed how he lowered the volume of his music, finally shut it off, and took off his headphones. He then turned to me and we began to talk. He is a student from northern Kazakhstan and goes to the Orthodox church there. He was very interested in our mission. I was just able to give him the prayer card when his turn came. That same day, we met that student three more times, and each time, he was the one who came up to us and thanked us for the prayer card. Finally, we parted as old friends.”
Sr. Madeleine wrote, “The Worldwide Action for the Lady of All Nations tangibly opened the hearts of the doctors. There would be so much to tell. After receiving the prayer card, several of the doctors even entrusted their own sufferings and crosses to us, with the request that we pray for them. One even said, ‘We too need healing.’”
That morning, both sisters were there for the same exam.
Sr. Martha was the first to go. “There was a severe unfriendly young doctor before me with a stone face. During her not particularly gentle examination, I thought to myself that also she has a right to experience the love of Our Lady. As I finally offered her the prayer card, the Lady of All Nations must have touched her deeply, for in that same moment her severity collapsed like a wall. Her face became radiant, and as I explained the image and prayer to her, she had tears in her eyes. Smiling, she said to me, ‘Could you please give me some more? I need one each for my son and daughter. Please give one to my assistant in the anteroom, because she and her family really need it!’
As Sr. Madeleine came in after me, the doctor was very kind and gentle. She had seen Sr. Madeleine’s baptismal name, Ella, in the records and so addressed her with the tender diminutive ‘Ellichka’ and called her during the exam ‘my dear’ and ‘my love’. What a change in behavior! And so, we patients went home happy!”
“You are the tool, the Lady will take care of everything”, said the Mother of All Nations. Our missionary, Sr. Martha experienced just how true these words are in an impressive way. The following took place in the airport in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan as Sr. Martha’s flight had a long delay forcing her to wait.
“This unexpected delay turned into a conversation with a Muslim woman who came and sat by me. After a short time, she asked me, ‘You celebrated Easter recently, didn’t you?’So I told her a little about suffering out of love, the death and resurrection of Jesus and about Jesus’ mother. That was then the opportune moment to give her the prayer card. Doing so, I explained to the Muslim woman in a few words about the importance of that prayer, which Mary, Myriam, herself revealed for the difficulties of man and for the reconciliation of nations.
The woman then said to me that she prays and goes to the mosque. She added, ‘Please, would you happen to have more of these prayer cards? You know, I am now flying for business to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I will meet with many acquaintances from various countries: Muslims, Orthodox, Lutherans, but also total non-believers. It makes no difference, does it, that they are non-believers? Don’t worry, I won’t throw the prayer cards in the trash. I know that prayer really helps!’
On that day, I unfortunately only had thirty prayer cards with me and I considered if I should really give them all to her. When the woman saw them, she rejoiced and asked me again: ‘Oh, may I please have all of the pictures! I assure you that I will give them about before the conference. To my particularly close friends, I would like to give them to them as a personal gift at dinner.’