The following lines were penned by a religious sister from her cloister cell. This sister, Mildred Mary Neuzil, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 2, 1916. In 1929, she entered an active community, the Sisters of the Precious Blood, and on August 15, 1933, was professed as a religious, taking the name of Sister Mary Ephrem. In 1938, she began to have mystical experiences, spiritual locutions, until her death on January 10, 2000. As these visits took on the nature of a specific program of special devotion to Mary which this sister was commanded to propagate, she then turned to her Bishop, Paul F. Leibold, a holy and respected man, as Our Lady had directed.
Bishop Leibold, later the Archbishop of Cincinnati, Ohio, would be her spiritual director from 1940 to 1972, when he died an untimely death due to an aneurysm. Archbishop Leibold had become so convinced of the authenticity of these Messages that he authorized the first and second printing of these Messages, and had the Medal of Our Lady of America struck and a plaque made commemorating the Apparitions. He personally paid for the medals until his death, and gave his solemn promise to Sister Neuzil to help Our Lady of America's cause, even from Heaven. The prayer and medal bear the Imprimatur of Archbishop Paul F. Leibold V.G., of Cincinnati, Ohio, January 25, 1963.
The following Messages are excerpts from the book “Our Lady of America” © Copyright 1993 Contemplative Sisters of the Indwelling Trinity.
For more information, please write to: Our Lady of America Center, PO Box 445, Fostoria, OH 44830, USA. Devotionals and statues are available from Our Lady of America Center.
It was on September 24, 1956, that Our Lady appeared to Sister Mildred Mary. The Virgin Mary came first as Our Lady of Lourdes, that place in France where she had identified herself to St. Bernadette Soubiroux as "the Immaculate Conception." 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 do as she desires.
The next day, during a Holy Hour, Our Lady came to repeat the call to her children in America to dedicate their lives to her Purity:
"My child, I entrust you with this message that you must make known to my children in America. I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. The wonders I will work will be the wonders of the soul. They must have faith and believe firmly in my love for them. I desire that they be the children of my Pure Heart. I desire, through my children in America, to further the cause of faith and purity among peoples and nations. Let them come with confidence and simplicity, and I, their Mother, will teach them to become pure like to my Heart that their own hearts may be more pleasing to the Heart of my Son."
Sister Mildred declared that Our Lady called herself Our Lady of America in response to the love and desire that reached out for this special title in the hearts of her children in America.
On October 5, 1956, Sister Mildred wrote how she suddenly felt urged to write a prayer to Our Lady, Patroness of America. Although she did not hear any words, the thoughts came into her mind with such profundity that she could not stop until the magnificent Prayer to the Immaculate Conception was finished:
"O Immaculate Mother, Queen of our country, open our hearts, our homes, and our land to the coming of Jesus, your Divine Son. With Him, reign over us, O heavenly Lady, so pure and so bright with the radiance of God's light shining in and about you. Be our leader against the powers of evil set upon wresting the world of souls, redeemed at such a great cost by the sufferings of your Son and of yourself, in union with Him, from that same Savior, Who loves us with infinite charity.
"We gather about you, O chaste and holy Mother, Virgin Immaculate, Patroness of our beloved land, determined to fight under your banner of holy purity against the wickedness that would make all the world an abyss of evil, without God and without your loving maternal care.
"We consecrate our hearts, our homes, our land to your Most Pure Heart, O great Queen, that the kingdom of your Son, our Redeemer and our God, may be firmly established in us.
"We ask no special sign of you, sweet Mother, for we believe in your great love for us, and we place in you our entire confidence. We promise to honor you by faith, love, and the purity of our lives according to your desire.
"Reign over us, then, O Virgin Immaculate, with your Son Jesus Christ. May His Divine Heart and your most chaste Heart be ever enthroned and glorified among us. Use us, your children of America, as your instruments in bringing peace among men and nations. Work your miracles of grace in us, so that we may be a glory to the Blessed Trinity, Who created, redeemed, and sanctifies us.
"May your valiant Spouse, St. Joseph, with the holy Angels and Saints, assist you and us in 'renewing the face of the earth.' Then when our work is over, come, Holy Immaculate Mother, and as our Victorious Queen, lead us to the eternal kingdom, where your Son reigns forever as King. Amen." (200 days)
|A group of Pilgrims of Saint Michael in front of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the March for Life, January 22, 2004.|
A few days later, on October 13, 1956, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared again as Our Lady of America, but instead of a lily in her hand, she held, with both hands, a small replica of the finished Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
"This is my shrine, my daughter. I am very pleased with it. Tell my children I thank them. Let them finish it quickly and make it a place of pilgrimage. It will be a place of wonders. I promise this. I will bless all those who, either by prayers, labor, or material aid help to erect this shrine."
According to Sister Mildred, Our Lady often emphasized her desire that the Shrine in Washington, D.C., be made a place of special pilgrimage and that she be honored there under this image and this title: "Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin."
From January 1957 to 1958, Our Lady's warnings came to Sister Mildred again and again. These are her words spoken in January 1957:
“The hour grows late. My Son's patience will not last forever. Help me hold back His anger, which is about to descend on sinful and ungrateful men. Suffering and anguish, such as never before experienced, is about to overtake mankind. It is the darkest hour. But if men will come to me, my Immaculate Heart will make it bright again with the mercy which my Son will rain down through my hands. Help me save those who will not save themselves. Help me bring once again the sunshine of God's peace upon the world.”
To my spiritual director (Archbishop Leibold) I was asked to send this message:
“Hurry, my son, for the time is short but the punishment will be long, and for many, will last forever.
“Tell the Bishops of the United States, my loyal sons, of my desires and how I wish them to be carried out. Through him who is head over you, make known the longings of my Immaculate Heart to establish the reign of my Divine Son in the hearts of men and thus save them from the scourge of hell, both now and hereafter.”
Our Lady, again addressing herself to me, spoke sadly yet hopefully:
“My daughter, will my children in America listen to my pleadings and console my Immaculate Heart? Will my loyal sons carry out my desires and thus help me bring the peace of Christ once again to mankind? Pray and do penance, my sweet child, that this may come to pass. Trust me and love me; I so desire it. Do not forget your poor Mother, who weeps over the loss of so many of her children.”
|Our Lady of America|
On February 3, 1957, Our Lady said:
"Reform of life is what I ask as the sign and proof of my children's love for me. God looks at the heart, and if it resembles the Heart of the Divine Son, it is with the greatest pleasure He regards it.
"But to make your hearts grow more and more like to the Heart of the Son, you must go to the Mother, whose heart is most like His. From this Pure and Immaculate Heart you will learn all that will make you more pleasing to the Divine Heart of the Son of God. The Holy Trinity looks down with infinite delight upon such souls and makes them its heaven upon earth.
"Come to me, my children, come to me and learn. There is much I would teach you. It is for your own happiness and eternal salvation. Do not disregard the voice of your Mother. It is the voice of love trying to save you from eternal ruin."
In April 1957, Our Lady's words contained this warning:
"My sweet child, unless my children reform their lives, they will suffer great persecution. If man himself will not take upon himself the penance necessary to atone for his sins and those of others, God in His justice will have to send upon him the punishment necessary to atone for his transgressions."
On August 22, 1957, Our Lady said:
"What am I to do, child of my heart, when my children turn from me? The false peace of this world lures them and in the end will destroy them. They think they have done enough in consecrating themselves to my Immaculate Heart. It is not enough. That which I ask and is most important many have not given me. What I ask, have asked, and will continue to ask is reformation of life. There must be sanctification from within. I will work my miracles of grace only in those who ask for them and empty their souls of the love and attachment to sin and all that is displeasing to my Son. Souls who cling to sin cannot have their hands free to receive the treasures of grace that I hold out to them."
“My beloved daughter, what I am about to tell you concerns in a particular way my children in America. Unless they do penance by mortifications and self-denial and thus reform their lives, God will visit them with punishments hitherto unknown to them.
“My child, there will be peace, as has been promised, but not until my children are purified and cleansed from defilement, and clothed thus with the white garment of grace, are made ready to receive this peace, so long held back because of the sins of men.
“My dear children, either you will do as I desire and reform your lives, or God Himself will need to cleanse you in the fires of untold punishment. You must be prepared to receive His great gift of peace. If you will not prepare yourselves, God will Himself be forced to do so in His justice and mercy.”
“Making the Rosary a family prayer is very pleasing to me. I ask that all families strive to do so. But be careful to say it with great devotion, meditating on each mystery and striving to imitate in your daily lives the virtues depicted therein. Live the mysteries of the Rosary as I lived them, and it will become a chain binding you to me forever. They who are found in the circle of my Rosary will never be lost. I myself will lead them at death to the throne of my Son, to be eternally united to Him.
“Write these words upon your hearts, my dear children, because of the compassion I have for you in my Immaculate Heart. Oh, if you knew the punishments I am holding back from you by my pleading and intercession on your behalf! Will you do as I wish at last, my children?”
On February 11, 1958, Sister Mildred wrote in her diary:
"Our Lady made known to me that she is particularly interested in the youth of our nation. It is they who are to be the leaders of this renewal on the face of the earth. Their ranks will be swelled by the youth of other nations whom Our Lady also calls to help in the accomplishment of this great renewal.
"But the youth must be prepared, and this must be done by instilling into them, not only the knowledge of Divine Indwelling, but a serious study of it, a living it in such way that the Divine Presence becomes, as it were, an intimate and necessary part of their life and daily living. From this will flow a great love, a conflagration that will envelop the world in the flames of Divine Charity. This is what Our Lady is working for, because this is the great desire of her Divine Son, and it is to the <M>youth of America that she is holding out this challenge. A medal which Our Lady asked to be made is to be their shield against evil; the picture or statue of Our Lady, the protection of the home; the statue of the Shrine in Washington, D.C., a special safeguard for our country. America, the United States in particular, is being given the tremendous, yet privileged, opportunity to lead all nations in a spiritual renewal never before so necessary, so important, so vital.
Sister Mildred then wrote: "St. Michael came to me one evening shortly after Our Lady's visit, holding an immense flaming torch. He held it towards me saying: 'My little sister, you must carry this torch through the world.' He came again the next night in the same manner.
"The next day I was interiorly enlightened during Mass. It was made known to me that those, particularly the youth, who are willing wholeheartedly to follow Our Lady in her great battle against evil, would bear the special title of 'Torchbearers of the Queen'. This torch, of course, is Divine Love, for it is love alone that will conquer hate and all that hate brings with it."
A 300-pound statue of Our Lady of America has been travelling the U.S.A. and many parts of the world, including the underground Church in China. In 1993, this statue was carried by the "Torchbearers of the Queen" Youth Group from Colfax, California, to the World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado. The statue has since traveled to World Youth Days in the Philippines, France, Rome, and more recently, Toronto, Canada, in July, 2002.
“Fatherhood is from God, and it must take once again its rightful place among men. My special protection of the Holy Father and the Church should be made known to him. God wishes to make this known to him that he may receive thereby renewed consolation and encouragement.
"Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way. Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them and the sorrow I suffered with them. Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms."
Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil