On September 25, 1956, The Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem
(Mildred Neuzil) as Our Lady of Lourdes in the Convent of the Precious Blood Sisters at Rome City, Indiana (Sylvan Springs
). Our Lady promised "that greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima would be granted here in America, the United States in particular, if we would do as she desires.”
The very next day, September 26, 1956, Our Lady again appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem and said, “I am Our Lady of America. I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives.”
She appeared several more times to Sr. Neuzil over the coming months and gave specific instruction as to what it was She wanted us to do. You can read all of Our Lady of America's messages here: http://www.ourladyofamerica.org/messages.php
Our Lady indicated to Sister Mildred that She had come in response to the United States having recognized Her privilege of The Immaculate Conception, especially through The Shrine of The Immaculate Conception at Washington, D.C., and Our Lady of America came with a message for the United States to focus on the virtue of purity.
Our Lady spoke about the recognition of The Indwelling Most Holy Trinity in the Christian Family, with The Holy Family (Jesus, Mary & Joseph) as a model. On October 5, 1956, Our Lady inspired Sister to write the prayer to "Our Lady of America," which prayer (and the design of a medal of Our Lady of America) subsequently received in 1963 the formal approval of Imprimatur by Monsignor Paul F. Leibold
, who was then serving as auxiliary bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The approval of Archbishop Leibold was reviewed and found to be canonically perfect.
Archbishop Raymond Burke, in his May 2007 letter to all bishops of the United States, says: "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." The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis May 31, 2007.
This opinion letter was further confirmed in an interview given by the now Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Archbishop Burke, in an interview given to Inside the Vatican correspondent Andrew Rabel published June 13, 2009. In this article, he states: "One of the things which struck me as a newly ordained priest and has continued to strike me throughout my entire life as a priest and a bishop is simply the radical decline of the devotional life in general. We know that our faith in the Sacraments needs to have ways to express itself in our everyday living, and at times when we are not, for instance, participating in the Holy Mass or praying before the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Devotions provide precisely very concrete ways to express our love of Christ, of the Blessed Mother and of the saints in our homes and places of work, throughout the day....
I think it is a very beautiful devotion and especially fitting for our time. Our Lady’s message on the living of the Holy Trinity within us, and its manifestation in the purity of the young is so much needed in our culture, today."
On October 13, 1956, The Blessed Virgin Mary requested that a statue of "Our Lady of America" be enshrined in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., as a special place of pilgrimage and a special safeguard for our Country. Our Lady promised miracles greater than those of Lourdes and Fatima if her children heeded her warnings and fulfilled her requests. She indicated that this would be accomplished through her loyal sons, the Bishops of the United States.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend
is dedicated to the Blessed Mother under the title of the Immaculate Conception
. The Cathedral in Fort Wayne is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
After the war, in 1953, American bishops under the leadership of John Noll, archbishop ad personam of Fort Wayne
raised the funds necessary to complete the upper church of the national shrine. He donated profits from the Sunday Visitor
, which he started, and some of his personal wealth as a part of his fund raising. Archbishop Noll spent many prayerful hours at Kneipp Springs
(now Sylvan Springs) from his early priesthood through his years as Archbishop. It was two months after his death that the apparitions started in his Diocese at Kneipp Springs. It is believed that Our Lady appeared at Rome City because of the effort put forth by the bishop for completion of the national shrine dedicated to Our Lady under so many titles and especially the Immaculate Conception.This devotion to the Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of America started in Rome City at this facility
. Her calling to purity, conversion and the Divine Indwelling is very important to the United States at a time now that it succumbs to rampant sexual immorality, abortion and to materialism.
These grounds in Rome City, IN are also the childhood home of Dr. John Willke
who founded The National Right to Life and International Right to Life. His father was the on-site physician and, as a boy, John Willke was the altar boy who served Mass nearly every day in the main chapel where the apparitions of Our Lady of America took place years after he had grown up and moved away to begin his own work.
Labels: Archbishop Burke, Archbishop Paul Leibold, Immaculate Conception, Kneipp Springs, Our lady of America, Our Lady of Lourdes, Rome City, Sylvan Springs