It is wonderful to be back at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. After decades of living in the Washington, DC area, my wife and I packed up our two boys last year and moved to Florida for a change of scenery and life style. This basilica is one of the few things that we miss about DC. I want to thank “20th International Prayer & Fasting Campaign” and its able organizers Ted and Maureen Flynn for their kind invitation to speak with you this morning.
I would hazard a bet that not many of us here today are mystics who have supernatural visions from Heaven. Such things like visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus, are not common occurrences in ordinary life. For that reason, in part, a great many people dismiss them as delusion, fantasy, or trickery, as I once did before I converted to Catholicism. But when one strolls around this basilica and admires the beautiful art work here, one should come to the realization that visions or apparitions of the Mother of God, while rare in the course of one human life time, are abundant in the more than 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church. And this should not surprise us because God is very generous and he does not shy away from showering humanity with graces such dispatching Our Heavenly mother to guide, warn, and teach us in His name.
One of the striking characteristics of Marian apparitions in the history of the Church is that they happen everywhere. Mary is dispatched to all peoples and nations of the world. Just take a look around the basilica and see representations of Marian apparitions in Mexico, France, India, and Portugal, just to name a few. So it is especially fitting that on this day of prayer, we discuss the 20th Century, Church approved Marian apparitions called the “Lady of All Nations.” Parenthetically, the Amsterdam apparitions include a beautiful and symbolically rich painting of the Lady of All Nations. It would be an appropriate and beautiful tribute if the Lady of All Nations painting were one day to have a permanent place of honor and veneration in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The Lady of All Nations painting comes from Marian apparitions that happened over the course of years in the wake of World War II in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Bishop Jozef Marianus Punt, the Bishop of Haarlem and Amsterdam, courageously declared in 2002 that this series of Marian apparitions were worthy of belief by the faithful. (1) Still though, the promotion of the Lady of All Nations devotion and mission has been hampered a lack of education about the apparitions as well as by controversies, disputes, and misinformation. Such seems to be the case with many, if not, all Marian apparitions. They go through a terrible time of trial before they become widely accepted and venerated by the faithful, much like the histories of Lourdes and Fatima in which visionaries or seers were treated harshly by both civil and Church authorities.
What I would like to do this morning is to try to help fix some of these problems for the Lady of All Nations, especially because her warnings of the state of the world today are so timely and her offer of heavenly assistance is so urgently needed. First, I would like to share with you what the Lady of All Nations was asking of humanity in the Amsterdam apparitions. In my view, the Lady of All Nations is one of the most important Marian apparitions in the history of the Church. It is a capstone, if you will, for the long history of Marian apparitions. Second, I would like to review the history in which predictions and prophecies of the Lady of All Nations have come to fruition. If many Marian apparitions were authenticated by miraculous healings–the likes of which witnessed at Lourdes and Banneux, Belgium–Amsterdam is authenticated, in part, by predictions and prophecies about world politics. Amsterdam has even more to say about international politics than the prophecies about the ending of World War I and the start of World War II given at Fatima. And these features of Amsterdam are of particular interest to me as a professor of international relations. Third, I would like to point out the warnings the deterioration, degeneration, and war given at Amsterdam, some of which appear to be underway as we speak, and of others yet to come. Finally, I would like to discuss what we all can do to promote the Lady of All Nations devotion and to take the steps she urged for humanity to avoid looming calamity.
What the Lady of All Nations Asked for in Amsterdam
The Amsterdam apparition consisted of fifty-six messages given from 1945 to 1959 by the Lady of All Nations to single Dutch woman, Ida Peerdeman, who worked as a secretary in Amsterdam. This woman was a devout Catholic as well as a modest and humble person, but otherwise unremarkable in the eyes of the world. She was a worldly “nobody,” and she acted only as an “instrument” as the Lady of All Nations told her several times during her visitations. That Ida was by the standards of the worldly was insignificant was entirely in keeping with other famous Marian apparitions in which the lowest of the low of humanity are used for Heavenly purposes such as St. Bernadette of Lourdes who was an illiterate shepherd girl.
The Amsterdam messages had a wide variety of content and were given with a great deal of imagery and the Lady of All Nations conveyed to Ida an astounding acute depiction what was to come to the world. Keep in mind that these messages were given after the Second World War that ravaged Europe and Holland in which many people looked ahead with optimism after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Catholicism flourished on the continent. Instead, the Lady of All Nations warned of the fading away of vibrant Catholicism in Europe, disputes and conflict within the Church, the rise of secularism, the decay of tradition families, economic hardships, natural disasters, dramatic climate change, and more armed conflict—all of which has come to be in the decades since just as the Lady of All Nations had foretold and contrary to the conventional wisdom of man.
The Lady of All Nations pointed humanities failure to live by Christ’s teachings as the root cause of the world’s ever increasing degeneration, disaster, and war. She said that the world paid no heed to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and failed to live by the commandments and the grand commandments to love God and our neighbors.
The Lady of All Nations asked humanity for several things in order to avert even far greater degeneration, disaster, and war unless humanity changed its ways. First, she offered a powerful prayer to call down the Holy Spirit to renew the earth and asked the faithful to pray it daily:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate. Amen.
The prayer has been approved by the Bishop Punt of Haarlem-Amsterdam and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The wording of the prayer were slightly changed in Rome, but the controversies surrounding that decision, in the interests of time and space, need not detain us here.
Second, the Lady asked that her image, which she has shared with Ida and which was, in turn, painted, be promoted through the world. She asked that her image along with her prayer be printed in all languages to call down the Holy Spirit anew. The beautiful image has the Lady standing before the cross–wearing the loin clothe Christ wore on the cross around her wait–over the world shining graces from her hands to humanity depicted around the world by white and black sheep.
Third, the Lady asked for the construction of a church in her honor in Amsterdam. She gave fairly detailed description for the location of the Church in what was then open land, and even showed Ida what the Church will look like. Again, the Lady’s words contradicted the common wisdom of man today. With Catholicism dying out in Europe and churches being closed in Holland and throughout the continent, one would think that the last thing the world and the Netherlands needs is to build a new church. But the Lady of All Nations wants a place of pilgrimage for all peoples of the world in the heart of one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world, a cultural cross roads of today’s globalized world.
Finally, and most controversially, the Lady asked for the declaration of the fifth and final Marian dogma.(2) Recall that the Church’s four Marian dogmas are Mother of God, Ever Virgin, Immaculate Conception, and the Assumption. She asked the faithful to petition our Holy Father to declare her “Advocate, Mediatrix, and Co-redemptrix.”
The dogma would recognize Mary as the advocate for humanity before the Holy Trinity, the mediatrix through which Heavenly graces are passed from Heaven to humanity, and the coredeemer with her Son of humanity. The idea of Mary as co-redeemer is probably one of the most controversial aspects of the Lady of All Nations apparitions. But it is critically important to note as do Bishop Punt and Franciscan University Catholic theologian Mark Miravalle that “co-“ means along with, not as a co-equal with Christ or divine. Instead, the dogma of Mary as co-redemptrix would officially acknowledge the unique role that Mary played in the salvation of humanity. She is the one who gave Christ the blood to shed at the crucifixion. And she is the only one in the Gospels who was present for the whole of Christ’s life of earth, from the beginning to the middle, and to the end.
Prophecies and Predictions as Authentication
The Amsterdam apparitions’ consistency with the Gospels is one mark of their authenticity. The apparitions also emphasized the teachings and importance of the Church’s sacraments, especially the Eucharist as the actual body and blood of Christ not just a symbol of them. Another mark of their authenticity is stunning number of prophecies and predictions about the course of world politics that have come to fruition over the years. Keep in mine a distinction between “prophecy” and “prediction.” A prophecy is a warning of what could come unless mankind changes its behavior, while a prediction is of an event that is bound to occur. Another feature of the prophecies and predictions given at Amsterdam is the symbolism and images in the messages obscure the meanings before events, but that they become almost crystal clear after the event or events take place.
Let me share with you some of the prophecies and predictions given by the Lady of All Nations about international politics.
- In March 1945, in the first of the 56 messages given at Amsterdam, the Lady of All Nations showed Ida a vision of troops returning from war and told her the date May 5th. The Lady held up the Rosary and said “It is thanks to this.” The Netherlands was then liberated from Nazi forces by Allied troops on 5 May.
- Ida, the seer, in 1945 saw a vision of the biblical Jewish exodus from Egypt and the Lady of All Nations said, “But Israel will rise again.” Jewish settlers in Palestine Israel three years later in 1948 two fought a bitter war against Arab forces to establish an independent state of Israel.
- Ida saw in 1945 an image of “China with a red flag.” Just four years later, the communists won the Chinese civil war and adopted a red flag as its symbol in 1949.
- The Lady of All Nations showed Ida in 1950 an image and let her experience some of the affects of a huge explosion that scorched a plain in Russia. The Soviet Union three years later detonated a hydrogen bomb, the power of which made the American atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II look like firecrackers.
- Ida was warned in 1949 of the conflict that broke out on the Korean Peninsula. The North Korean attack on South Korea in 1950 shocked the western world. Ida was shown “demarcations being made at intervals.” An armistice ended open warfare, but the border separating the two countries grew into the most heavily armed one in the world today just as Ida had seen in the Amsterdam vision.
- The Lady of All Nations in a 1950 vision showed Germany and Europe divided into two. She passed her hand over the dividing wall and it quietly disappeared. The wall that divided Europe in Berlin during the Cold War collapsed decades later in 1989. And contrary to the common wisdom that the Cold War could only go away with the clash of arms between the United States and the Soviet Union, it faded away peacefully as implied by the Lady of All Nations’ vision.
- The Lady of All Nations showed Ida in 1947 a vision of Cairo, Egypt and she warned, “The world is, so to speak, going to be torn in two.” Egypt had a major political convulsion in 2011 in which an authoritarian leader was ousted after decades in power. The uprising set led to a chain reaction of political upheaval throughout the Middle East and has given windows of opportunity for militant Islamic movements to rise in power. A Middle East emboldened with militant Islamic ideology in opposition with Western culture is certainly consistent with the Lady of All Nations’ warning decades earlier of a world “torn apart.”
One of these predictions or prophecies coming into being could be readily dismissed by a skeptical observer as a “fluke” or as a “lucky guess.” Two of them could be disregard as mere coincidence. Three or more of them would have even the most jaded of observers—if he or she were open-minded and objective—wondering what is going on here? By and large, international relations scholars do a very poor job of predicting future events and none saw all the events predicted and prophesied by the Lady of All Nations.
Dangers Lying Ahead
With such an impressive record of prediction and prophecy, we should take heed of the Lady of All Nations’ warnings for the future.
- The Lady warned of climate change that was to occur to the planet. The warnings came at a when no one spoke of “global warming” or the “new normal” in the face of ever increasing and disastrous storms the likes of hurricane Sandy which recently crashed into the United States’ east coast.
- She warned of coming economic and currency crisis. Today, when the European Union’s currency, the euro, appears to be coming undone with the economic crises in numerous member states such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Italy these warnings seem to be coming to fruition.
- The Lady of All Nations also warned of problems inside the Catholic Church. Certainly, the pedophilia crisis which erupted in the church in the United States and throughout the world in the past decade dovetail with the Lady’s warnings.
- She warned in 1951 of internal conflict in China, but foretold of the subsequent rise of Catholicism in China, “After much fighting, China will return to Mother Church. After much fighting.”
- She showed Ida images and let her experience some of the horrible chemical and biological warfare. Chemical warfare already been used many times in combat, but biological warfare has not been used to the extent of which the Lady of All Nations implied in her visitation.
- She warned in a 1955 vision, “A time of great inventions is to come. There will be alarming inventions, such that even your shepherds will be astonished and say: ‘we are at a loss.’” She reiterated, “I just said: alarming inventions will be made. God allows this; but you peoples, you can see to it that it does not result in disaster. You peoples, I beg you…So that you do not arrive at alarming things, nations, the Lady begs you now, today: ask the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to protect His people, to bring His people to unity once again. People have to attain unity, to be one, and over them: the Lady of All Nations.”
We Should Listen and Act
Taken collectively, these predictions and prophecies of dangers looming in humanity’s cut against the grain of the common mind of western world. The western elite collectively is infused with philosophy from the Enlightenment that mankind is on a steady march of progress and becoming ever better and humanity and has no need for God in the process. The cosmopolitan western elite believes that technology and democracy promotion is the means for mankind’s path toward perfection.
In its arrogance, the cosmopolitan elite ignores the fact that their counterparts in rising powers from the Middle East to Asia do not share their philosophic idealism. Instead, they are motivated by militant religious ideology, the pursuit for raw power, or some combination of the two. The cosmopolitan western elite clings to its atheistic worldview even in the face of stubborn realities with the world degenerating, experiencing more natural- and man-made disasters and wars, just as the Lady of All Nations warned.
The Lady of All Nations’ prophecies and predictions are warnings of what is to come unless humanity changes course. We have it in our power to avoid the calamities of which she warned. That indeed the motherly advice given at Amsterdam; the Lady of All Nations offers all nations and peoples of the world hope by turning to her Son and the life according to the Gospels. She warned in 1950, “You will see that only after much misery and many disasters will the Cross again be raised up. Everyone shall do one’s part, according to one’s ability. And I again point out the first and greatest commandment: Love, Love of Neighbor.”
The Lady gave us the weapons need to avert degeneration, disaster, and war. But we have to do our part. We have to ask for Heavenly help. We should say daily the prayer the Lady of All Nations gave us, spread her image in all languages around the world, and help establish a Lady of All Nations church in Amsterdam.
All the while, we are charged by the Lady of All Nations to petition the Holy Father for his declaration of the Fifth and Final Marian dogma, Mary as Advocate, Mediatrix, and Co-Redemptrix. The Lady of All Nations said clearly and directly to Ida, “Child, pass it on well that those who fight and work for this cause, which the Son wants to be realized, are to do so with great ardor and zeal.” She offered no caveats or qualifications such as when it is convenient, politically expedient, or easy—she simply said “with great ardor and zeal.” Our task is to petition or encourage, support, protect, follow, and love the Holy Father, not to try to impose anything on Christ’s vicar on earth.(3)
In closing, I hope that you enjoy your day of prayer and fasting at this magnificent tribute to Our Blessed Mother, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. And during the course of your day, please say a prayer—ideally the Rosary—for the intentions of the Lady of All Nations.
1. Bishop Punt’s official declaration letter, as well as all the messages given by the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam, conveniently may be found at the official English language website for the Lady of All Nations apparitions at http://www.amsterdamapparitions.com.
2. Dogmas are the highest levels of truth in the Catholic faith. “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths have a necessary connection with these…Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 1997), 28.
3. Petitions to the Holy Father may be conveniently done on the official English language website for the Lady of All Nations apparitions at http://www.amsterdamapparitions.com.