With all the scandal regarding the Church today; we need to focus on the need for Reparation and the love God has for these souls -- both sinner and victim. Making the news does not mean that this is new -- These sins have been festering in the Church for A LONG TIME! They are finally surfacing and we pray that they will stop! When all of this first started to surface a few years back, I had to ask Mary for the grace to love these priests with Her Heart because it was not in mine. I could not find it in me to pray for them! But the reality is that love for these sinners, especially the clergy, and their salvation has always been in the Heart of Mary. This is a great great love in the Heart of Mary. Jesus came for sinners, therefore Mary loves them. Jesus is Saviour of sinners. Jesus shed His blood and died for each single sinner who would ever live upon this earth. Mary suffered and sorrowed for each one, she yearned after all, as Christ died for all. May we too love sinners (not the sin) since it is fulfilling our love of neighbor. Let us remember that it is by love that we will do this, by practical working love, by the kind word, by the good advice, by the good example, by patience, by compassion, by sacrifice, by the sacraments, by the many ways with which we can bring the Precious Blood to be applied to souls. Like Mary, we need to meditate upon the love that Jesus has for souls and especially those of His priests. He does not want souls in the meshes of Satan's net; including our own! To think of the loss of a priest to Hell is unthinkable. To be in Hell with the indelible mark of the priesthood has to be the worst. Like Our Mother Mary, let us have compassion and pray for these men.
Souls are precious to Jesus, therefore they are precious to Mary. If a soul has sinned, it is Jesus who is injured by that sin. We should meditate on the hunger Jesus has for each and every soul as Mary has and we will find strength. In order to imitate Our Lady's love for our neighbor, we must, like Her, surrender ourselves irrevocably to Christ; we must never shrink from suffering. The cross is the measure of God's love for us and the sum total of our love for God. Only when we have understood Mary's martyrdom will we comprehend the greatness of Christ's love for His Mother and the intensity of Her love for Her Son.
She prays for sinners. She sacrifices for sinners. She suffers for sinners. This is God's will for Her and it is God's will for us. This is the sharing of Christ's cross which we are all called to do. Mary's progress in virtue, her humility, her detachment from earth's unsatisfactory gifts, her willingness to suffer, her interior joy in bearing the cross --- this is Her imitation of Jesus Christ through the resignation to His will. Praying for someone that has caused horrific sin is a cross! It is very difficult! We can not do it on our own - we must pray for a spark of love from the Heart of Mary to find this love and strength to do this for God's Glory and their salvation!
Our sanctity must be built on the same foundation as Mary. The one, single, priority of our lives should be, even at the price of martyrdom, conformity to God's will. We advance in vice rather than virtue when we do our own will. May we, like Mary, choose to do the Will of God and suffer and pray for sinners - beginning with ourselves. May we make strong resolutions to try to be free from sin before we can offer ourselves to God in prayer and reparation for others. Do not be discouraged though. Do not let Satan keep you from this most sublime calling. If we spend our days praying and offering reparation; God will apply it to ourselves as well. It is in giving that we receive! Let us live in imitation of Mary and be obedient to Her requests at Fatima to pray and make sacrifices for sinners. Let God do the rest. Do not stop or halt this work because of your own sins. Keep focused on the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and pray, pray, pray so that souls will not be lost for all eternity!
For the Greater Glory of God and for the Salvation of Souls - Let us imitate Mary!
Holy Mother Mary - please pray for us and help us!
Many are unaware of a mystic who lived in America Sr. Mildred Mary Neuzil (1916-2000) with a call to bring a devotion to America from Our Lady. The link is below this article giving more information. Cardinal Burke in 2007 tried to make a plea to the American Bishops to put a shrine of Our Lady of America in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. May we pray for this. Below is his letter --
In a letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Burke, then the Ordinary of St. Louis, Missouri, now Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, revealed the results of his review of the history and canonical status of devotion to Our Lady of America.
May 31, 2007 — Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
To the Bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Dear brothers in Christ,
During the November meeting of our Conference of Bishops, you may have had occasion to view the statue of Our Lady of America, which was displayed in one of the meeting rooms; and to receive one of the Our Lady of America prayer cards or other information about Our Lady of America, which was available, thanks to the devout lay faithful who made the arrangements for the display of the statue. The faithful involved in the promotion of the devotion to Our Lady of America have asked me, some months ago, to review the history and present state of the devotion to Our Lady of America, in what pertains to its canonical status. Finally, I am able to give them a report of the results of my study, which I want also to communicate to you.
The devotion to Our Lady of America has its source in private revelations to Sister Mary Ephrem (baptized Mildred) Neuzil, who was born in 1916 and was professed, in 1933, in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, which has its generalate in Dayton, Ohio. She later became part of a contemplative branch of the same congregation. The contemplative branch was located at Our Lady of the Nativity Convent at New Riegel, Ohio. After the suppression of the contemplative branch in 1979, the Sisters who were members took up residence in Seneca County, Ohio. From the time of the suppression, Sister Mary Ephrem used her baptismal name, Sister Mary Mildred Neuzil. Sister Mary Ephrem (Mary Mildred) died in 2000. One of the Sisters survives and continues to live in Seneca County, Ohio.
Having reviewed the correspondence between Sister Mary Ephrem and her spiritual director of many years, Monsignor Paul F. Leibold, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who later became the Bishop of Evansville and, then, Archbishop of Cincinnati, it is clear that the devotion, as proposed by Sister Mary Ephrem, received his approbation. In addition to the correspondence by which Monsignor Leibold declared the approval of the devotion, he also carried out the first of Our Lady of America’s requests, made through Sister Mary Ephrem, namely, he had a medal struck with the image of Our Lady of America on one side and the coat of arms of the Christian family on the other.
The coat of arms symbolically represents the substance of the private revelation received by Sister Mary Ephrem, namely, the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the Christian home, which is the source of life and unity in the family. The coat of arms points to the purity and selflessness of love in the family, because of the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity, the model of which is the Mother of God, under her title of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of our nation. In a particular way, Our Lady of America expressed her desire that the United States of America, through her intercession, be devoted to the purity of love. She identified herself to Sister Mary Ephrem as “Our Lady of America, The Immaculate Virgin.” In the consecration of our nation to our Blessed Mother, made in 1959 at the National Shrine and renewed, in our name, by Bishop David Ricken on November 11, 2006, the Saturday before the November meeting of our Conference of Bishops, our Blessed Mother is addressed as “Immaculate Virgin.”
The contents of the private revelation received by Sister Mary Ephrem were published in a booklet, first in 1960, and, again, in 1971. Both of these editions were published with the Imprimatur of Archbishop Leibold. A final edition, with some new contents, was published in 1989. The new contents were added at the direction of Father Edmund Morman, S.V.D., the last chaplain of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent at New Riegel. Father Morman was sadly killed in an automobile accident on February 17, 1986.
As Archbishop of Cincinnati, Archbishop Leibold commissioned a wooden plaque with the image of Our Lady of America, which he gave to the cloister at New Riegel, at which it was displayed for many years in a public area. He had the wooden plaque created for the specific purpose of its use in processions at the New Riegel convent.
Archbishop Leibold also authorized the Weberding Woodcarving Shop at Batesville, Indiana, to carve a statue of Our Lady of America. The statue was carved for Our Lady of the Nativity Convent at New Riegel, Ohio, at which public devotions to Our Lady of America were regularly celebrated.
Other bishops have permitted the public display of a statue of Our Lady of America for devotion. For instance, the late Bishop William G. Connare of Greensburg permitted a statue to be displayed at the Carmel of the Assumption at Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Also, a statue of Our Lady of America was carried in procession in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on several occasions by the Apostolatus Uniti and other groups. On May 31, 2006, a statue of Our Lady of America was enthroned at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama, by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The statue which was enthroned at Hanceville is the very same statue which Bishop Connare authorized for public devotion at Latrobe.
A specific request of Our Lady of America was that her statue be placed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There is a providential connection between Sister Mary Ephrem and the late Archbishop Bishop John Francis Noll of the Diocese of Fort Wayne, who is celebrated as the Apostle of the National Shrine. The principal apparitions of Our Lady of America to Sister Mary Ephrem took place in the chapel of the Precious Blood Sisters Convent in Kneipp Springs Sanitorium, near Rome City, Indiana. Archbishop Bishop Noll, who died in 1956, maintained a summer residence at the Sanitorium, within a few hundred feet of the place of the apparitions. While the National Shrine is the largest shrine in the world at which there was not a previous apparition, the private revelation to Sister Mary Ephrem very much confirms the mission of the National Shrine.
The prayer attached to the devotion also received the imprimatur of the then Monsignor Leibold, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Archbishop Leibold was Sister Mary Ephrem’s spiritual director from the time that he was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati until he died in 1972. Archbishop Leibold was always clear that the approved devotion had its origin in private revelation received by Sister Mary Ephrem over many years.
What can be concluded canonically is that the devotion was both approved by Archbishop Leibold and, what is more, was actively promoted by him. In addition, over the years, other Bishops have approved the devotion and have participated in public devotion to the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of America.
Although the devotion to Our Lady of America has remained constant over the years, in recent years the devotion has spread very much and has been embraced by many with special fervor. Seemingly, as has been suggested by Father Peter Damian Mary Fehlner, F.I., in his homily of August 5, 2006, at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, the moral crisis of our time, which demands a new teaching and living of the virtue of purity, has found an especially fitting response of loving care from the Mother of God in her message to Sister Mary Ephrem.
Some have raised with me the canonical question regarding the status of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Seneca County, Ohio, which has been the residence of any remaining member of the suppressed contemplative branch of the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. In response, I observe that the canonical question has no bearing on the devotion or its approbation.
As one deeply devoted to fostering the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe in our nation, I have wondered about the relationship of the devotion to Our Lady of America to the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Archbishop Leibold, in fact, raised the question with Sister Mary Ephrem. Sister Mary Ephrem responded that Our Lady of Guadalupe is Empress of all the Americas, whereas “Our Lady of America, The Immaculate Virgin,” is the patroness of our nation, the United States of America. The two devotions are, in fact, completely harmonious.
I hope that the above may be of some help to you in responding to questions regarding the devotion to Our Lady of America.
May the Immaculate Virgin intercede for the intentions of our dioceses and our nation. With fraternal gratitude and esteem, I remain
Yours devotedly in Christ,
(Most Rev.) Raymond L. Burke Archbishop of Saint Louis
Many believe it is “high time” for our bishops to heed the call of Our Lady of America, and process her image into the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Our Lady of America, pray for us!
I am posting a link to a great idea of praying and fasting for our nation (and the world). Who more to turn to than Our Blessed Mother for help and boy do we need it! I hope this will be a success and please consider to host a Rosary Rally on the last day - October 7 - which is a Sunday. Like Poland - we are hoping to have the nation surrounded with people praying the Rosary to Our Lady. Let us make this a success and gather in the troops for Spiritual Combat against the enemy!
Please read the following link and please help participate - It starts today. God bless you and God bless America through the prayers and intercession of Our Patron - The Immaculate Conception.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!