Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Miracle of The Sun..."It kept on spinning and shooting colors around the sky..."

These images were captured by visitors to Rome City on July 19, 2006 at approximately 12:30 in the afternoon while standing on Holy Family Hill. The couple reported that the sun was spinning brilliantly and rays of colorful light were cascading down upon them when they took these photos.

What are these images? Why are they so similar to so many others taken here and elsewhere? Why are they happening with greater frequency? Is this the same phenomena that was witnessed at Fatima by 70,000+ people? Is anyone able to dispel the overwhelming evidence being presented and say that this world is not in the midst of a great tribulation as it was in 1917? How will you respond to Our Lady of America's requests, made in 1956, no more than a few hundred yards from where these pictures were taken?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Newspaper Report of Fatima Miracle on October 13, 1917

The following newspaper account appeared in the newspaper O Século. In the prologue to this article, the author distances himself from the apparitions, which he presents as a consequence of “the great tribulations that society was going through. The times of great tribulations have always favored the rebirth of religious ideas and the war adds to their expansion creating a fertile environment.”

Are we in the midst of a similar, or worse, great tribulation?

...In the astonished eyes of these people, whose attitude takes us back to Biblical times, and who, white faced with shock, with their heads uncovered, face the blue sky: the sun has trembled, the sun has made sudden movements that were outside all cosmic laws—the sun has “danced”, according to the typical expression of the country people.

Covered with dust on the running board of the bus from Torres Novas, an old man recites the Creed, from beginning to end. I ask who it is and they tell me it is João Maria Amado de Melo Ramalho da Cunha Vasconcelo. I see him later talking to those around him, who still have their hats on, begging them, strongly, to take them off in the presence of such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God. Identical scenes are repeated in other places and a woman shouts, bathed in tears and almost suffocated:

--What a shame! There are still men who don’t take off their hats in the presence of such a miracle!

And next they ask each other if they have seen or not seen. Most confess that they have seen the dancing of the sun; others, however, declare they have seen the smiling face of the Virgin herself. They swear that the sun spun about itself like a ring of fireworks, that it came down almost to the point of burning the Earth with its rays.

Some say that they saw it change color.

It is about three in the afternoon.

The sky is covered with clouds and the sun follows its path with its normal brightness and no one dares to look at it directly. And what about the little shepherds? Lucia, "she who speaks with the Virgin," tells everyone, with theatrical gestures, being held by a man who carries her from group to group, the the war will end and that our soldiers will come back.

This news, however, does not increase the joy of those who are listening. The heavenly sign was everything. There is an intense curiosity to see the two little girls with their garlands of flowers. There are some who try to kiss the hands of the “little saints”, one of whom, Jacinta, looks more like she is going to faint than to dance. That which they were all looking for—the sign from Heaven—has been enough to satisfy them and make them convinced of their faith.

The people start to leave quickly. Without problems, without any disorder, without the need of any police. The pilgrims who leave more quickly are those who arrived earlier. They walk barefoot with their shoes on their heads or hanging on sticks. They are leaving with their soul satisfied to spread the good news to the villages they left. And what about the priests? Some came to this place, smiling, spending more time with the curious spectators than with the pilgrims who were anxious to see a miracle. Maybe one or another couldn’t hide the satisfaction which is so hard to hide on the faces of those who triumph.

Now it is up to those who are qualified to give their opinion on the strange dancing of the sun that today, in Fátima, caused hosannas to explode from the hearts of the faithful and caused astonishment —according to reliable sources—even in free thinkers and other people without religious beliefs who came to this now famous place.

Avelino de Almeida

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An Analysis of Church-Approved Marian Apparitions

The following is an excerpt taken from an article entitled "The Marian Era: An Analysis of Church-Approved Marian Apparitions" by David H. Stoeck. It has great relevance to our current confirmation status with the Our Lady of America messages given in 1956 and the current worldwide geo-political-religious struggles confronting us as faithful Christians. The continuity among the messages of La Sallette, Lourdes and Fatima runs directly through the messages of Our Lady of America. Christ wants the Church's victories to come through His Mother.

All photos are from Sylvan Springs in Rome City, IN.

There has been a notable increase in reported Marian phenomena in our century. Since only a few of these reported apparitions are approved by the Church, it is useful to define what this approval means. Pope Pius X gave an explanation in his encyclical concerning Modernism:

In passing judgment on pious traditions the Church uses the greatest prudence . . . Even then she does not guarantee the truth of the fact narrated; she simply does not forbid belief. . . On this matter the Sacred Congregation of Rites, thirty years ago, decreed as follows: “These apparitions and revelations [of La Salette and Lourdes] have neither been approved nor condemned by the Holy See. It has simply allowed that they be devoutly believed by purely human faith, according to the tradition which they relate.

It must be stated, however, that John Paul II has visited many approved Marian apparition sites; this makes a clear statement as to their credibility. He also encourages the faithful to visit these sites. Still, there are many unapproved apparitions being reported. At times, the information available concerning these events can be very confusing. When confronted with this, the faithful should keep in mind the declaration of the Church at the Fifth Lateran Council in 1516:

In response to such ‘prophetic preaching’, the Council forbade any preacher to speak about “the predetermined time of future evils, or the coming of the antichrist, or a definite day of judgment”. . . However, the Council kept open the possibility that God might, “by some kind of inspiration . . . reveal . . . things that are to happen in the Church of God in the future.” But, “. . . such claimed inspirations, before being made public . . . should be understood as reserved from now on to the examination of the Apostolic See.”

Pope John Paul II, as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, spoke these words during a visit to the United States in 1976:

"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence . . . It is a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights and the rights of nations.

John Paul II is talking about Truth in Christ versus lies in Satan, the Father of Lies (Jn.8:44). He elaborates further in his encyclical letter The Splendor of Truth:

. . . there is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly . . . this individualism leads to a denial of the very idea of human nature.

The Pope spells out the consequences of this behavior in his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life:

. . . when the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of Man, of his dignity and his life; in turn, the systematic violation of the moral law, especially in the serious matter of respect for human life and its dignity, produces a kind of progressive darkening of the capacity to discern God’s living and saving presence.

In other words, the more mankind removes itself from Christ, the more difficult it becomes to recognize the Truth. This error is the philosophy of relativism (as taught by Hume, Kant and Comte). A point may be reached where only God’s direct intervention or mankind’s descent into widespread destruction will open people’s eyes.

The Church, through approved Marian apparitions, and John Paul II are urgently calling the faithful to Eucharistic devotion, prayers of reparation, and heroic sanctity. The Rosary is the most efficacious prayer, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament. In addition, a veneration of “Our Lady of All Nations” is very important. Sr. Lucia of Fatima has stated that “There is one more condition — ‘the wearing of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.’” A wonderful promise associated with the Brown Scapular was revealed to Pope John XXII (1322). This Sabbatine Privilege requires an individual to:
1. Be validly enrolled in the Brown Scapular by a duly authorized priest and wear it in the proper manner;
2. Keep chastity according to the individual’s state in life;
3. Recite the daily rosary. Mary promised that whoever fulfilled these requirements would be released from Purgatory, by her, on the Saturday after their death.

Healing water, so wonderfully present at many approved Marian apparition sites, is a symbol of purity and cleansing.

We by our sacrifices and prayers can become living water for the Church. By learning the truths of our faith and communicating this to others combined with active prayer, we can heal the suffering Church. These efforts will follow the example of Our Mother, Mary, who has healed so many suffering souls through the miraculous waters where she has appeared.

We will do well to remember these words of Pope John Paul II: “. . . if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her . . . I COULD SEE . . . THAT THERE WAS A CERTAIN CONTINUITY AMONG LA SALETTE, LOURDES AND FATIMA . . . And thus we come to May 13, 1981, when I was wounded by gunshots fired in St. Peter’s Square. . . the assassination attempt had occurred on the exact anniversary of the day Mary appeared to the three children at Fatima in Portugal and spoke to them the words that now, at the end of this century, seem to be close to their fulfillment. . . Andre Malraux was certainly right when he said that the twenty-first century would be the century of religion or it would not be at all.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cardinal Ratzinger on The Increase in Marian Apparitions

In 1984 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), declared that, "one of the signs of our times is that the announcements of 'Marian Apparitions' are multiplying all over the world. For example, reports are arriving from Africa and from other continents at the section of the Congregation that is competent to deal with such reports." He made this observation as a comment on the many reports of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to individuals located in a wide variety of countries, cultures and political systems.

Apparitions, visions and prophetic messages are an integral part of Christianity. They are gifts of the Holy Spirit - charisms - which are provided by God to assist His faithful as they attempt to deal with an increasingly hostile cultural and political environment.

The reason that there have been so many reported Marian apparitions in the last twenty years would appear to be in preparation for the many Eucharistic Miracles which were being reported in the 1990's. Taken together, these two mystical occurrences should serve to strengthen the faith of all Christians during a time of great trial - a time in which there will be an all-out attack on the Church and on Christianity, potentially culminating with the murder of the Pope.

Thus, the many reports of Marian apparitions and the messages accompanying them to pray, convert and practice self-denial appears to be a necessary preparation for a time of difficulty followed by a time of joy and hope, since just as those past prophecies told of a time of great difficulty for the world, they also described a time of global peace and plenty. Just such a time was guaranteed by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 when she said,

"...in the end my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world."

So, despite the apparently pessimistic expectations about our near-term future, the events, phenomena and prophecies described are signs of great hope - our children and our children's children will live in a world at peace...with the loving God who created and redeemed us as well as with one another. This is a world worth sacrificing for, a world worth praying for...shouldn't we, each of us, start praying and pracing self-denial today?

Our Lady of America asked this very thing of all of us and our American priests and Bishops in 1956 when She asked us to "lead the world by the purity of our lives". Will we respond to Our Lady's request, and accept this plea, as a sign of great hope, and place Her image in The National Shrine To The Immaculate Conception?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Divine Providence Directs The Way, Part II

In this excerpt, we see that the Sisters, after careful consideration and authorization by Archbishop Elder, follow through on their plans to purchase the Kneipp Sanatorium from Dr. Geiermann and expand the facility as had been suggested by the young doctor and Father John Noll.

According to their own testimony 5 years previous to the first Our Lady of America apparition, the Sisters of The Precious Blood had claimed Divine Providence was at work from the very inception of this elegant facility.

A special commemoration is made to honor Father Dominic Duehmig for his role in bringing Dr. Geiermann to the Rome City area back in 1895 and, with the savvy business advice of the Seminarian from Fort Wayne named John Noll, initiated what would become the thriving Kneipp Sanatorium in Rome City, IN.

To harken back to an earlier series of articles (The Immaculate Connection) in which the connection between Rome City and the National Shrine to The Immaculate Conception were linked, another interesting link to the Immaculate Conception interjects itself at this moment in history. Fr. Duehmig, as the local parish priest, was instrumental in coaxing Dr. Geiermann to the Rome City area, an area served by his Kendallville parish church...The Church of The Immaculate Conception which had been founded in 1867. This was the same parish that Fr. John Noll would eventually be assigned when he was serving as spiritual advisor and chaplain at Kneipp Sanatorium beginning in 1901 when the Sisters purchase the property.

Encountering financial difficulties in 1901, Dr. Geiermann appealed to the Sisters of The Precious Blood for help and received a ready hearing. In spite of the fact that the old dilapidated buildings made no favorable impression on the Sisters, they, nevertheless, recognized in the location an ideal spot for a health resort for the sick and infirm members of the Congregation, and for an asylum for poor children and for a home for the aged. After consulting proper authorities and receiving Archbishop Elder's hearty approval in the words, "I thank God for opening to you this great opportunity of advancing His glory and benefiting your Congregation," Mother Emma purchased the Kneipp Sanatorium on December 11, 1901 for $25,000.

Although Sister Margaret's studying the Kneipp System in Europe and Dr. Geiermann's opening his Kneipp Sanatorium the same year may seem a far-fetched coincidence, it is, nevertheless an outstanding proof of the workings of Divine Providence, "Man proposes; God disposes," still remains true.

Gratitude prompts the Sisters, on this happy occasion to voice a special tribute of prayerful thanks to one of their greatest, but least known benefactors--the Reverend Dominic Duehmig--for it was he who started the Kneipp Water-Cure Sanatorium in 1894 under the auspices of Dr. Geiermann, and it was he who kept it under Catholic guidance until purchased by the Sisters. May his memory be blessed forever.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Divine Providence Directs The Way

The following item is taken from the 50th Jubilee Booklet that was published by The Sisters of The Precious Blood in celebration of their Golden Anniversary as owners of Kneipp Springs Sanitorium in Rome City, IN.

In this first excerpt, the Sisters proclaim that "Divine Providence was planning and preparing" this site for future activities as far back as 1895 (something previously expressed in articles on this site in regard to Archbishop Noll's influence) and that the "magnetic mineral springs" possessed well-known curative properties (something that has also been previously expressed by numerous others in their personal testimonials on this site).

What are we dealing with here? Certainly not a concoction of a group of people who are attempting to use the Our Lady of America apparitions in an attempt to lead faithful people astray. Through the historical testimony of this fine group of devoted Sisters we see the truth. That truth is that Divine Providence has been at work here since 1895 preparing the way for the future work this Holy Ground has been consecrated to carry out.

The Kneipp Springs Sanitorium, as such, is an ethical, non-sectarian institution for the scientific treatment of patients broken in health and suffering from excessive physical or mental activity, and for those who are in need of general medical care, and for the convalescent.

The method of treatment practiced is none other than that popularized by the Right Reverened Monsignor Sebastian Kneipp of Woerishofen, Bavaria. In 1895, two years before the death of the aging Monsignor, Sister Margaret Schlachter was sent to Woerishofen to take treatments and to study the Kneipp System. As might be expected, after her return to the Motherhouse at Maria Stein, Ohio, "kneipping" became the "cure-all-remedy" for all ailments of the Sisters.

It so happened that during Sister Margaret's stay in Europe, Divine Providence was planning and preparing the site of her future sphere of activities. It was during the same year, 1895, that Dr. W.G. Geiermann, who had studied the Kneipp Cure in Woerishofen, purchased eighty acres of Hillside Springs near Rome City, Indiana from Mr. Buker with the intention of building thereon a sanitorium and a Sister's home.

In 1897, he erected what is known as the hollow block building and began practicing hydrotherapy according to the principle and methods discovered and used by Msgr. Kneipp, utilizing the magnetic mineral springs, the curative properties of which were already known.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Early Facility History

In 1901, Fr. John F. Noll (later Archbishop Noll), was having a conversation with Dr. Geiermann at the fledgling Kneipp Sanitarium in Rome City, IN.
Dr. Geiermann had expressed frustrations with his situation to the young priest who had been his friend and confidant since 1895 when they met while planning this healing facility. Dr. Geiermann felt the healing center needed to be enlarged in order to be able to attract more patients and it needed more staff who were trained in the Kneipp method of healing.

Enter Mother Emma from the Sisters of The Precious Blood. The sisters had been looking for an opportunity such as the one presented in Rome City. Due to their heightened interest in all things Kneipp and their budding relationship with the young Fr. Noll, the stage seemed conveniently set for the sisters to expand the efforts of Dr. Geiermann. And, so they did.

At the end of 1901, Mother Emma, with the guidance of Fr. Noll and the support of her Mother House, purchased the property and facility from Dr. Geiermann and started out on a journey that would culminate in the construction of over 180,000 square feet of suitable living and working space along with the barns and farm development necessary to sustain a small army throughout the year.

Throughout the course of this development, 3 different churches would be constructed to service the needs of the ever-growing population of visitors and local parishioners. The last church built was the 400+ seat Our Lady Mother of Mercy Chapel which was completed in 1915. This was the chapel where Our Lady of America first appeared to Sr. Neuzil in 1956.

Fr. John F. Noll served, along with Fr. J.C. Keller of Kendallville, as the first of the spiritual directors and chaplains of this facility. Fr. Noll served as the personal spiritual director of Mother Emma and continued in his advisory capacity with Mother Emma throughout the huge construction and development process.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Letter From Bishop Noll to Precious Blood Sisters Celebrating 50th Jubilee of Kneipp Springs

As has been clearly demonstrated in an earlier series of postings pertaining to the connection between the Rome City, IN Our Lady of America apparition site and this country's consecration to The Immaculate Conception ("The Immaculate Connection" January 10-12), Archbishop John Noll, who is credited with the saving of and the completion of the National Basilica to The Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., also had his hand in the original purchase of the property along with the construction of and the design of the business model that went with the healing center and convent where Our Blessed Mother chose to first appear as Our Lady of America.

Text as follows:

Sister Pancratia
Kneipp Springs
Rome City, Indiana

Dear Sister:

Since I cannot be with you and your fellow Religious and with Father Greb in person, I am writing to extend to all of the Sisters of the Precious Blood all of my heartiest congratulations on the Golden Jubilee of Kneipp Sanitarium.

I was present when Dr. Geiermann purchased the property on which the Kneipp Springs buildings are now situated, and was there also when he sold, to the Sisters, the original property which he had purchased.

My visits to the Sanitarium, once a week on weekdays and every Sunday during the summer until the chapel at the Sanitarium was built, have always been fond memories. I saw the doctor pioneer, the Sisters pioneer, and saw the Kneipp water Treatment win its way into the favor of a large portion of America.

Evidently I am happy today to see the institution, under a new name, thriving and accomplishing much good both for the physical and spiritual benefit of those who patronize it.

I am certain that the Catholic cottagers of Rome City are very grateful to the Sisters for having provided them with the opportunity of attending one of several Masses every Sunday.

With a blessing on the institution and on the Sisters who operate it, I am,

Yours Sincerely in Christ,

John F. Noll
Bishop of Fort Wayne

July 13, 1951

As one can see in his letter, he remained a frequent visitor and ardent supporter of this magnificent Catholic institution throughout his life.

It was here that Our Lady of America made the request that Her image be placed, after a solemn procession, in a place of honor in the yet-to-be-completed National Shrine. This request was made no less than 74 days after the passing of Archbishop Noll and 3 years before the Shrine's construction was actually completed. Will this be the year Our Lady's request is finally carried out by the American Bishops?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Gift of Adoration

Jesus gave to His Eternal Father all honor and glory.

Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to help us follow in His steps to also give all honor and glory to His Eternal Father.

When we come to Jesus in adoration, we bring much honor and glory to God, His Eternal Father, our Eternal Father, by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and transform us into becoming more and more like Jesus Himself.

Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, why is it that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered:

“Anyone who loves me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words. Yet the word you hear is not mine; it comes from the Father who sent me. This much have I told you while I was still with you; the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you. 'Peace' is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful. You have heard me say, 'I go away for a while, and I come back to you.' If you truly loved me you would rejoice to have me go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I tell you this now, before it takes place, so that when it takes place you may believe. I shall not go on speaking to you longer; the Prince of this world is at hand. He has no hold on me, but the world must know that I love the Father and do as the Father has commanded me.”

(John 14:1-31)

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger F.I. homily

Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger F.I. preaches the homily in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Missions at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on the morning of the Pro-Life March January 15.

He focused on the need to repent by expounding the message of Our Lady of America, which says if America decides to be a promoter of morality, we will be greatly blessed. A good first step is to set a good example by putting an end to abortion in our own country. During the march the friars and tertiaries handed out thousands of prayer cards and medals of Our Lady of America.