Here Is Your Mother

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“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will  of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Mat. 12:48-50).  The litmus test for becoming the  brother, sister and mother of Jesus Christ is  doing the  will of  his Father in heaven.  The Blessed Virgin passed this test with total submission to the will of  the Heavenly Father;  “Here  am I, the servant  of the Lord; let it be with me  according to your word” (Luke 1:38). No wonder, Mary  was selected by the Father to gift His son  to us.

In the gospels there are very few references to Mary, like  the  presentation of baby  Jesus at the temple, missing  Jesus  at  the age of twelve, miracle at Cana and  an instance where  she went to  meet her son while  he was busy preaching  the gospel. John the Evangelist records that  she was standing near the cross of  Jesus at Golgotha. It was here that Jesus entrusted his disciples to  the maternal care of his mother in  the days to come. After the ascension of  Jesus Christ,  we see Mary in the  Upper Room leading a  small group of disciples. ‘All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers’ (Acts 1:14). Finished! Jesus didn’t want to  make Mary more known nor did Mary herself wanted to be known.   God intentionally  kept Mary away  from fame  while she was in this world because He had reserved a much greater role for her in future. Mary was instrumental in  presenting the  Saviour to this  world. Similarly, in the second coming  also Jesus Christ will come through Mary, though in a different way. In the second coming, Mary’s role is to  form and  train her children as the  apostles of the end times. 

When we read about  Marian apparitions happening at different locations, please understand that  they are indicative of  the imminent second coming  of  Jesus Christ in glory.  Mary is aptly called the ‘Morning Star’ appearing just before the rise of the sun of  righteousness. We are expecting  her son Jesus Christ who is the true sun of  righteousness and who is coming on the  clouds of heaven to reward the righteous. Before the dawn of  his  eternal kingdom appears, its advent is heralded by the appearance of the ‘Morning  Star’ in the horizon. While discussing about  Marian apparitions, it is our  sincere hope that our beloved readers will   approach this  topic with the  basic understanding that  every Marian apparition  notifies us about  the great event of  the second coming of Jesus Christ. Unless we are  convinced about this  fact it will be a futile exercise  to  spend our  valuable time  on  this subject, which has by now become a ritual or  another form of  Marian devotion, giving scant attention to  what our Mother wants to  convey to us in these end  times.

There are people around us who doubt the veracity of  Marian apparitions. When we say something about Marian apparition or Marian devotion, the general  response is one of scepticism. They might accuse us of giving  more importance to  Mary than  Jesus! But we, at V-catholic are fully convinced that we are living in the end times and that the final battle will be between the dragon and  the rest of Mary’s children. For the information of  sceptics let us  read a verse from the book of Revelation. ‘Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the  rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the  testimony of Jesus'( Rev.12:17). Here the woman under reference is unmistakably  Mary, because she  is  the one who ‘gave birth to a male child, who is to rule  all the nations with a rod of iron’ ( Rev.12:5). We do not know any  person other than Jesus Christ who  fits perfectly with this narration. And we have no  doubt that he is the son of Mary.

We also know this, that our Mother has been in a hurry these days to  form an army of her own  to prepare  for the glorious second coming of her son. In the  devastating deluge of sin that is swallowing the nations,  our Mother is the only refuge. She keeps us in her  immaculate heart  which will triumph in the end, as prophesied in Fatima.

Like  St Louis de Montfort, we too believe that the reason why Jesus is not known as he should have been in these  end times is that Mary is not known as she should have been. It is our  humble wish that those who read this article will be attracted  more and more to  the Blessed Virgin so that  she will  enrol them  into  her army in the  fight against  that old dragon. Let the Blessed Virgin intercede on our  behalf for getting the  gift of  wisdom  to  understand Marian messages in their true perspective. With this prayer we are  posting a series of articles starting tomorrow, covering some of the  well known Marian apparitions .

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(1) Wailing  from  La Salette

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The first major Marian apparition in modern times happened in  La Salette in France. It was in the  year 1846.  It was evening on 19th  September. Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud were minding their cows in the mountains of  La Salette. They had the strange vision of  a beautiful Lady sitting with her elbows supported by  Her knees. She was weeping. They identified the Lady as the Blessed Virgin. Our Lady gave the children certain messages. These include the necessity to honor the Sabbath and giving due respect  to the name of the Lord. She also  prophesied about an impending famine, specifically hinting at the  scarcity of potatoes. This prophecy about   famine  did happen soon in  France. Exactly five years after the apparition, the  local bishop approved the  apparition as genuine.

Apart  for  honoring  Sabbath and giving respect to  the name of the Lord, Blessed Virgin’s  messages contained  a call  to  the whole humanity to  convert to Christ. It is clear that the spirit of  La Salette messages is nothing but prayer, reconciliation and  conversion. They are the only options left to this generation for ensuring peace. 

Initially Melanie and  Maximin  did not disclose the whole message revealed to them by  the Blessed Virgin. It  was only in 1879  that  a small booklet containing Melanie’s  version of the apparition and the full text  of related messages and secrets was published with an imprimatur from the local bishop. Much of what we know about  La Salette apparitions  today are contained in this  booklet.  Looking back after  such a long period we  realise that the  messages of  La Salette are more relevant  today. Let us go through some of the major prophecies/messages attributed to  La Salette.

-Rome will lose faith and become the  seat of the Antichrist. 

-Church will be eclipsed and  the world will be in consternation

-Italy will be punished  for her ambition to shake off  the Lord’s Yoke

-Evil books will be  readily available everywhere

-Evil spirits will have great power over nature and seasons will be  altered

-Churches (places of worship) will be built to serve evil spirits

-Evil forces will transport  men from  one place to another

-A ‘gospel’ opposite  the  true gospel of  the Lord will be proclaimed by evil forces. They will deny the existence of  heaven.

-Princes of the Church will  be engaged in piling riches

-Attempts will be made on the life of the Pope.  Neither he nor his successor  can witness the  triumph of the  church.

-Civil governments will unite with a single goal. They will act against religion.

-Desecration of holy places  will happen

-Sinners will be  introduced to  religious  orders intentionally

-Disorder and love of carnal pleasure will rise  across the world

-Blood will flow in the streets  as a result of wars

-For a time, God will cease to  remember  France and Italy, because the  gospel of Jesus Christ  has been forgotten

-Paris will burn and Marseilles will be engulfed

-Several cities will be destroyed by earthquake

-Murder and blasphemy will be  commonplace

-There  will be a  short period  of peace  after  the prophesied destruction

-During this period of false peace people will think  of  entertainment and amusements only

-A forerunner of Antichrist   will appear. He will shed much blood and  will act against the Church.

-All kinds of sins will  increase. 

-Holy places will be corrupted.

-Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew woman who will falsely claim to be  a virgin.

Even a  cursory look at the prophecies  of La Salette will convince us that  we are now living  in those predicted days. Most of the  prophecies have  already come to fruition. Any person analysing   current events  in the Church as well as  in the world with an open  mind, will be able – without  the need of any explanation –  to understand the  relevance of  La Salette  messages in our days. 

But for a few lines about the Antichrist, Our Lady refrained from telling us  that her  messages are  directly related to the  the end times. Perhaps it might be due to the long period  granted to mankind in the infinite mercy of the Father, to repent and convert before the Great Day of the Lord comes. Yet, we cannot miss the striking similarities between the events prophesied at La Salette and the  incidents prophesied  to take place during the end times as recorded in  the Bible. If we approach  La Salette messages with an open heart,  we cannot but  come to the conclusion that we are in the final days  before the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.

History  records that  saints like   John Vianney and  Don Bosco believed in the La Salette apparitions and messages delivered there. Those messages  are more relevant   in  today’s world which is plunging fast into  the all-enveloping darkness of sin.  In this turbulent times, we can sail through with hope, and hope only. St Pope John Paul II  remarked during the 150th anniversary of La Salette apparitions that ‘La Salette is a message of hope; for our hope is nourished by the intercession  of her, who is the  mother of mankind’.

It is time to heed to   the voice of the mother of  mankind. She said at La Salette that  if mankind does not  submit themselves to God, she will be forced to  let go off the  hand of her son implying that  if the world continues in abominable sins, God  will permit a chastisement   for  purifying it.  When strange  and horrible things happen in Italy and  France,  the  two counties named  by  the Blessed Virgin, or elsewhere, it is wise to  remember what our Mother warned 174 years ago. When apostasy has overtaken true religion, remember  La Salette. Rewind to the  attempt on the life of  Pope John Paul II and bring to mind the prophecy about  an attempt on the life of  a pope. If the  pope mentioned in the message was  indeed Pope John Paul II, then meditate on the   prophecy that neither he nor his successor can witness the triumph of the  Church. 

Standing on this earth  where  the blood of  a billion innocent babies were shed, remember the prophecies. They  were  victims of the most  gruesome type of murder – abortion.  When everybody  talks about  an everlasting peace, understand that it will be short lived. When civil governments bring anti-christian and  immoral legislations, recollect the words of  our Mother. When we begin to   hear the  most embarassing of news from  Rome, remember her words. When the  Church ceases to  be radiant, remember that  for a time, God permitted  an eclipse of the Church. When we see obscenity everywhere, be it in books, films,  games,  dresses or entertainments,  remember that they are  prophesied long ago. 

When the princes of  the Church make money their first priority,  false gospels are preached at  many places, unworthy men and women  are purposely inducted into  religious orders, holy places are desecrated  and temples are built to  worship the devil across the  globe remember  that Our Lady had warned us about everything  way back in 1846.

The gates of prophecies will be opened to those who  do not  doubt them. Heed to the  calls of  our Mother  and  she  will  help us   not only to relate current events with what she  foretold  at La Salette but also to  face the  future  with  hope.

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(2) From Lourde, With Love

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After La Salette, another  Marian apparition happened in the year 1958, this time too  in France.  During the period from 11th February to  16th July that year, Our Lady appeared to a peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous on eighteen occasions at the grotto at Massabielle on the outskirts of  Lourdes.  Initially everybody doubted the apparitions and termed it her  hallucination. Even the Church  authorities were sceptical. During the thirteenth apparition the Blessed Virgin told Bernadette; “Go, tell the  priests to  come here in procession and  tell them to  build a chapel here”. When Bernedette conveyed the message to the  priest, he didn’t believe it and admonished her. When  she insisted, the priest told her to go and ask the Lady’s name!

Bernadette’s family was very poor at the time  apparitions happened. Though she was 14 at that time, she was studying  basic catechism  with those who were 7- 8 years old. After the  first apparition on 11th February 1858 her mother  told her not to go again to the place.  But  Bernadette somehow managed to obtain her mother’s permission again. Next apparition was  on a Sunday. Bernadette sprinkled holy water on the  Lady when she appeared. It was an attempt to  confirm that  the  apparition was  not  of an evil one and  Bernadette  was  glad when the Lady smiled at her. On the third apparition some other reliable people from the village accompanied her and on  the fourth occasion, her mother and aunt along with another ten persons went with her.  

News of the apparition  spread like wild fire in  Lourdes  and surrounding areas and the  number of people  gathering there  increased  every day. By the time of the fifteenth apparition  the numbers   had swelled into   8000.  On 21st February, police officers   came there at the  orders of the Commissioner and  interrogated  Bernadette. Seeing all these, her  father was  afraid. He promised the police officers that his daughter will never go to the grotto again. 

But  Bernadette did go. On 23rd February, around 150 people had gathered  there. And some government officials  came again and interrogated  her. It was on this day that  a personal secret was revealed to her by  the Lady.

By the time of the next apparition,  the crowd grew into a  few hundreds. Our Lady told  Bernadette to say the prayers for penitence. She was asked  to  pray to  God for sinners. She was asked to  kiss the earth  and also to eat the grass  growing  below the grotto as a sign of penitence.

The ninth apparition happened on  25th February.  In  the presence of around three hundred onlookers, Bernadetta got the message from Our Lady to go and  drink water  at the  grotto and  wash herself from there. She obeyed and went to the grotto. But to her surprise,  there was no water at all  in  or near the grotto. A perplexed Bernadette looked at the Blessed Virgin and she  told Bernadette   to dig at a  place  below the grotto. Without raising any  questions, she started digging the soil with her hands  and  at times ate the grass  and herbs that grew  there. Finally she  uncovered  a puddle of muddy water. By next day the muddy pool  began to  flow as a  spring, a perennial source of  clean water. To this day the  spring flows  and   the quantity of water  flowing out of it  was once estimated at  an unbelievable 27000 gallons per day!

Interrogation by police and government officials was  a regular feature as they were  uncomfortable with a Marian apparition  drawing  hundreds of people to Lourdes. On the date of the eleventh apparition she was  questioned again, this time by  a  judge and  she was prohibited from  going to the grotto in future.  But she managed to go there again. On the  12th apparition, the first miracle happened at Lourdes. It was the miraculous healing of the paralysed arm of a child who was brought there.

Meanwhile,  at the instance of the  priest, Bernadette asked  the  Lady her  name. She  didn’t give any answer, but smiled.  On the fifteenth apparition also she repeated the question, but received only a smile in reply. However on the sixteenth day she  got the answer. Our Lady  declared: “I am the  Immaculate Conception’.

However, there were still  many people who   thought  Bernadette’s  story was simply illusions of a peasant girl. They wanted to verify it. On the seventeenth day  the town physician,who was sceptical about the veracity of the apparitions visited the  apparition site. He knew that Bernadette was  not insane. But he thought illusions or hallucinations can happen to sane people also! His intellect didn’t permit him to believe in the supernatural. But a miracle happened on that day and it  opened the eyes of the doctor and  those assembled there. During the apparition it was Bernadette’s practice to  hold the rosary in the left  hand and  a lighted candle in the right hand.  Midway through the  rosary, Bernadetta joined both hands with the  lighted  candle touching her arms for minutes together. When the  rosary was over,  to the astonishment of those around her,  there was no burn marks on her  hand nor did she experience  any pain.

But the town physician’s doubts didn’t subside. He wanted to repeat the experiment again. He  lighted the same candle  and touched   her hands. Bernadette  felt the burning pain and drew her hand away immediately. This happened  in the presence of hundreds of eyewitnesses. All of them including the  doctor had to admit that there was something supernatural in what this peasant girl has been saying.

Today Lourdes is one of the most frequented Marian apparition sites in the world.  Thousands and thousands of miraculous healings are reported  from there. Ask anybody  who had been to  Lourdes and he/she will say about  the numerous healings happening there. But what is the real message that Our Lady  wanted to tell us at Lourdes? It is  nothing but penitence and prayer for sinners.  Lourdes is an invitation to return to the  path of gospel which was  gradually  going into oblivion in those days,  in spite of the  spacious cathedrals  and imposing institutions that  have by then become  the  face of  the Church to the  world.

A century  and half has passed since Our Lady  appealed  to the mankind to  return to her son. Where do we stand now? Closer to  Jesus or farther away from him?

Let us take  a firm decision to live a life of prayer and penitence. Where sin has increased, grace has to increase manifold. How can the world  experience  God’s grace unless we, the  chosen people, live a life of grace? Prayer for sinners and  penitence for the sins committed against God  are the need of the  hour.  Everybody is called to it, especially those who  call themselves the apostles of the end times.

May Our Lady of Lourdes intercede for us so that  we  are back  in the track of  a life according to gospel, of which  prayer and penitence are essential parts.

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