A Young Manager Who Works for the Lady of All Nations Testimony by the Chinese Soe Hin Woei Jet Kong from Utrecht, Nehterlands

“What I like so much about the Lady of All Nations: you can talk about everything with a mother

As you already hear from his name, Soe Hin Woei Jet Kong is of Chinese descent though he was born and raised here in the Netherlands. His short testimony should show us that also a young, successful manager who works for a bank, can be a missionary. Through his natural and lively personality he has access to many people, even those of other faiths. He understands listening to others, showing an interest in them, and above all, since he came to know her three years ago, to bring them closer to the Lady of All Nations.

For this he thanks his mother, Rita, who is among us today. Also she has great zeal in distributing and sending the prayer card in every possible language and each time prays, “So mother, now you do the rest!” She also gladly speaks to priests and religious that they can come to know the Lady of All Nations. She was even able to win over Bishop Sichem from Surinam to the Lady of All Nations. She grew up there and also gave out a great many prayer cards there. She brought him informational material and he for his part has already visited the shrine here in Amsterdam.

In the year 2000, I came to be a deeper believer and in October of that same year I accompanied my mother to Amsterdam for the first time to the chapel of the Lady of All Nations. My mother had already told me about it. She herself did not know the Lady of All Nations until she received an invitation to the 3rd International Day of Prayer. She immediately “caught fire.”

After I had read the messages, I understood that the words of the “Lady” must be true and so I wanted to fulfill her desire and spread out her image.

What immediately struck me about the Lady of All Nations was the certainty that she is acceptable for everyone. She is not standing there with the rosary which would be typically Catholic, and she also does not say, “I am Mary.” No, she says, “I am the Mother of all Nations” and because of that she is acceptable also to non-Catholics and non-Christians.
I have experienced that myself, for example, with my coworkers, of whom some are Muslim. Precisely with them I sometimes have such nice conversations about Mary, who they know as “Miriam”, the mother of the prophet Jesus and who, in my opinion, they often respect more than some Catholics. Yes, in the bank basically everyone knows that I am a believer. They accept it and step by step some of them have accepted the image and prayer of the Lady of All Nations, even my Muslim colleagues. At the same time, I have gotten accustomed to pray for whoever I want to give the prayer card so that they are open then in that moment.

Ramasé the Buddhist

That is how it was also with my Thai friend, Ramasé who is Buddhist. It was three years ago as she was cutting my hair that she told me that she had severe liver problems and was fatally ill. The doctors only gave her three more years to live if they could not perform a liver transplant.

Then I told Ramasé about the Lady of All Nations and gave her one of the images which she promised to put next to her statue of Buddha. She also read the prayer of Our Mother with certain joy and, from then on, prayed it every evening in her mother language, Thai. I also taught her the Our Father and Hail Mary so that she could start with the rosary. How she did all of this before her little altar of Buddha, I do not know, but one thing is certain: she got better day by day. Then, three months later, she had a liver transplant that went very well. Last year she went to Thailand and was happily willing to even take a few hundred Thai prayer cards with her. She brought them to a Catholic school. Her husband is Catholic but does not practice. And I thought to myself, “Ramasé, you are Buddhist but in your heart you already think and pray as a Christian.”

Mary solves problems in her own way

For almost ten years now, I have been going several times a year to Banneux, a Marian pilgrimage place in Belgium. There I help with the care of the ill. Obviously I give all of the patients in my group the prayer card which I always have with me in various languages. One time a patient was discontent, complaining that she suffered from great difficulty in sleeping whenever she would travel. Now she was supposed to share a room with a woman who even snored. What should I tell her? I gave her the prayer card saying, “You came here for Mary didn’t you? I can’t get you a single room, but I can give you a prayer from the Mother of All Nations. Pray it! Mary can help you. After all, you made this pilgrimage for Mary.” And truly during the five days the woman was with us in Banneux she slept exceptionally well and, as she put it, she did not forget “to thank the Lady for this miracle.”

My coworkers

Whenever I give out a prayer card or encourage someone to pray the rosary, I like to speak about what fills me. I often say, “I am one hundred percent certain that praying to Mary helps. You, however, don’t know that yet. You have to try it out and experience it for yourself. You will recognize that I have told the truth. Our Lady helps one hundred percent.”
A very nice example of this is my coworker. Three years ago he was almost fired. Since he asked me for advice, I gave him the prayer of Amsterdam, a rosary for daily prayer, and a tip to work both disciplined and hard. It was amazing even for me to see how obviously Eric’s productivity improved to the degree that he faithfully prayed the rosary and went to Holy Mass.

To give witness as a witness

About a year ago I gave a prayer card to a lady in a church. She was very touched and began to tell me how she was extremely concerned about her son who had left the Church because of the scandal in the United States. Exactly as I gave her the image and prayer of the Mother of Amsterdam, she was asking Mary interiorly how she could bring her son back to the Catholic Church. Maybe there was a prayer that would be a help for her. In that moment she received the image of the Lady of All Nations with the prayer on the back. She saw this as the answer from Mary and accepted the prayer card with tears in her eyes.
She had never heard of an apparition in Amsterdam and wanted very much to know what message Mary had given there. I then explained to her about the fifth Marian dogma, Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. She naturally knew nothing about it and yet she asked me, “Have you seen the film ‘The Passion’? Can you remember the scene when Jesus falls and his mother runs to help him and supports him? And how he received the strength through that to keep going? She suffered with him there and supported him in the Redemption.” I realized then that I did not need to explain anything more about coredemption to this woman!

Contribution by Tony and Chona Montinola from Manila, Philippines

“The Lady of All Nations in the Philippines”

Good afternoon, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

The Philippines has a population of 82 million, about 80% of whom are Catholic. Our country has been known as “pueblo amante de Maria”, a people who love Mary. My husband Tony and I first heard about The Lady of All Nations in 1991. The messages of our Lady impressed us greatly and we started distributing the prayer cards.
Knowing that bishops could play a very important role in the spreading of the prayer we made an effort to write them regularly, sending them materials, encouraging them to hold Days of Prayer and Teaching.

And just as our Lady said, the devotion is spreading as of its own accord. Many people are inspired to help spread the prayer. The Confraternity of The Lady of All Nations was organized with the support of His Eminence Cardinal Vidal of Cebu. Through this group and other chapters of the Confraternity, the devotion spread to many other dioceses throughout the country.

The Bishop of La Union made the Lady of All Nations prayer the official prayer in schools of his diocese, and the children have been saying it at the start of each subject.

When the Bishop of Iba wanted his diocese to pray for peace, he chose the Lady of All Nations prayer and directed all his priests to pray it at every Mass, after Communion. These two bishops have recently been installed in bigger dioceses around Manila, and they have begun to spread the devotion in these new dioceses as well.

Our Blessed Mother asks us to use modern means to spread her prayer. Well, Bishop Villena has the prayer prayed over the radio in the local dialect—every hour, on the hour!

Sometime ago one bishop asked for 200 poster-sized pictures of The Lady of All Nations. He was giving the pictures to drivers of tricycles to display them on these public vehicles! Imagine all these motorcycles with little side-cars running around the city center with the picture of our Blessed Mother!

On his pastoral visits to the military camps the Military Bishop would let us speak to the people about the Lady of All Nations, and when he brought the relics of St. Therese all over the country drawing great crowds, the Lady of All Nations accompanied them.

Some bishops have very kindly invited us to speak to their priests during their meetings.

When the Holy Father proposed the new Mysteries of Light Archbishop Lagdameo instructed our group to make a Rosary Guide with the picture of The Lady of All Nations. This guide calls our Lady’s prayer “Prayer for Peace”, and puts it in at every decade. Over a million and a half of these rosary guides have been given away.
In July some 3,000 bishops and priests from all over the country will be in Manila for a National Congress of the Clergy. Each participant will receive a packet of Lady of All Nations materials, with the blessing of the new Archbishop of Manila. Therefore we ask you—please pray with us that these seeds may fall on fertile ground and bear much fruit.

Our country had national elections on May 10. Faced with great political turmoil in the months before, the people turned to prayer. In Manila a 9-day novena was organized to seek the intercession of The Lady of All Nations. By some miracle, on the last day, the eve of elections, the Novena Mass became a Prayer for Unity. The Archbishop officiated at the Mass, and in attendance, praying together, were the President of the Republic and the 4 other presidential candidates, and many of the highest officials of the land. Only through the action of The Lady of All Nations was this possible!

We could go on with many more stories of the wonderful things unfolding in our country through the Lady of All Nations and her little helpers, but it would take all afternoon! We thank the Lord for giving us a Mother who unites her children.

Thank you and God bless us all.

A Short Testimony by Vietnamese Refugees Sr. Hai and Kim Thuy and an Introduction to the Children’s Dance

“Mary, our Star of the Sea, was with us in every difficulty”

Today is Pentecost and we pray, together with Mary, the Lady of All Nations, for the descent of the Holy Spirit.

We are a group of Vietnamese refugees who fled by boat and have been living in the Netherlands for already quite some time. We come from a land in the Far East with a population of 85 million, less than 10% of whom are Catholic. Nevertheless, Mary, the Lady of All Nations, has a very important place in the Catholic Church in Vietnam. Also during the Vietnam War we directed all our prayers for peace to her because she is known by us as “Our Lady of Peace.” In every house there is a statue of Our Lady in a place of honor. In the past, throughout the entire Marian month of May there would be processions through the streets and villages in honor of Our Lady.

At this time such religious activities are very restricted by the communist government. And yet two years ago our people celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Marian apparition of La Vang. During that whole year hundreds of thousands of people made pilgrimages to that place of apparition to pray there for the Church throughout the world. Many poor people had to save money for a very long time to be able to even make the trip. There were so many pilgrims that many of them had to sleep outdoors.

As we fled from Vietnam 20 years ago there were 74 of us seated in a small fishing boat; our ages varied from 1 to 55 years old. On a dark and rainy night we fled without luggage or provisions. We didn’t know where we would end up. At sea we raised our eyes to heaven and sang a Marian song that we all knew: “Mary, brightly shining star of the heavens, give us light and guide us safely to our destiny.” The meaning of this song applied literally to us. Mary truly did protect us and guide us to freedom through three stormy days and nights in which we saw only high, threatening waves. We felt so small and lost in the immense ocean. We prayed the rosary and entrusted ourselves to Our Lady as children who turn to their mother in danger. We were completely exhausted and at that hopeless point in time a miracle happened: at the last moment we were saved by a Dutch freighter. And that even though a small fishing boat next to a freighter is like a hut next to a skyscraper, and that also in spite of the stormy seas. The rescue was difficult, but we all made it safely on board. That day remains unforgettable for us. We were witnesses of the miracle of God and are thankful that we were able to experience this in our lives.

You will now see a group of Vietnamese children whose parents were among those that fled by boat. These children were born in the Netherlands. As a sign of our thanksgiving they will dance in honor of Mary, the Lady of All Nations. This should be the contribution of our people to this special day. Yet before the children dance to a Marian song from our homeland, we would like to ask Our Lady for her intercession.

Intercession:

Mary, Lady of All Nations, you have protected and helped us. We pray for all people who are wavering in their faith. Give them courage and strength to continue on to the finish. Especially in this time give them inner peace in the midst of their daily worries and occupations. Let them experience the peace of God. Give them clarity to be able to hear and recognize the voice of God. Mary, Lady of All Nations, let us be one as children and protect us from all evil.

Testimony by the 16 year old Madzia Buczek from Poland

“No unused suffering –A worldwide apostolate of coredeeming suffering and prayer”

On Pentecost Sunday morning a small, blond girl from Poland was pushed in a stroller by her mother to the image of the Mother of All Nations. Madzia gave such a touching testimony that many people cried. Fr. Paul Maria Sigl, who led the program, introduced the severely handicapped girl:

Madzia is 16 years old and is one of those children who normally, after medical advice, is aborted. Madzia shows in a unique way that each child is a gift from God that has to be treasured and loved from the first moment of its existence. Yes, even way more! Her life proves that a handicapped child is a blessing for the family and the whole of mankind.
When Madzia was born, she was so severely handicapped and disfigured that the doctors permitted the mother of this newly born child to take her home only at her own risk. Since her first light of day, pain has been Madzia’s daily companion. She has no bones whatsoever below her knees. Already in the first years of her life, the little one’s spine and bones broke so often that she had to lie repeatedly for months on end with her arms stretched out in a plaster form.

Yet what God was doing simultaneously in this suffering child amazed her parents. She never complained, and she bore painful operations silently, gazing at the image of the Jesus of Divine Mercy with the Rosary beads in her hands. Through inner enlightenment, Madzia understood deeply the infinite value of pain and how precious it is when offered up, united with Jesus’s suffering.

This young girl explained the coredemptive value of suffering to her mother Pelagia. She had not known this until then and understood more and more what a special gift God gave to her in her daughter. Once, Madzia lost so much blood that her mother thought, “Now she will die.” As if reading her mother’s thoughts, Madzia said convincingly, “Mama there is no need to worry, I am not going to die. I have a task to fulfill.” She was actually very much inspired at the age of ten when playing with her friends in the courtyard. Instead of joining the gang the children wanted to form, Madzia founded a so-called ‘Rosary Court’. Thousands of Rosary Courts have formed to this day.

Madzia will now speak from her heart in her typically spirited manner about what moves her and what she understands interiorly as being important for us.

I greet very warmly all of you who have come to this Day of Prayer to honor the Lady of All Nations. I am very happy to be able to be among you. Fr. Paul already introduced me and now I would like to say the following to you.

Since the age of three, I pray the Rosary and cannot imagine a day going by without this prayer because Our Lady gives me the strength to persevere in my suffering through praying the Rosary. I cannot walk and have had 29 fractures up to now. Since my birth, I suffer from a fragile bone syndrome. I want to offer up each suffering to God and Our Lady and to accept it with love and joy because this suffering is necessary for the conversion of sinners and for peace to reign in the world.

There are many who do not accept their cross, their suffering, and therefore rebel against God. However, through suffering we become similar to Christ, to Him who suffered so much for us in order to redeem us. Our ailments are small in comparison to the suffering that Jesus took upon himself out of love for each one of us.

Every single one of you here is suffering in some way or another, be it physically or spiritually, with problems or difficulties for which, perhaps, there is no solution from a purely human point of view. Yet, when we believe in God and entrust ourselves, our whole lives, all that we are to God, he will enable us to carry these difficulties better—yes, even with joy and love in our hearts.

I know that this is not easy. Yet when things are going wrong, when we are weak and have the feeling the whole world has let us down, exactly then we should begin to pray. Let us take the Rosary in our hands and unite our suffering with Jesus’ suffering and Our Lady’s suffering. We will then find it easier to bear our suffering because Jesus himself will help us to carry the cross on the way of the cross in our personal lives. God is waiting for us; resurrection and eternal happiness are awaiting us at the end of this way of the cross. Therefore, we should not want to get rid of our cross but rather carry it enduringly, following Jesus’ example. When we persevere, we will reach the true happiness which the world cannot give. God alone can give it if we go on the way of holiness, praying and persevering.

Our Lady has asked in various places in the world, “Pray the Rosary, pray it persistently every day!” Also today, the Mother of the Lord calls on us, irrespective of age, sex and background to, “Pray the Rosary, pray it persistently every day!” This prayer is a great gift and at the same time a big grace and calling that we have received from God through Mary for these difficult times.

We can unite our prayers with the one Our Lady gave in Amsterdam. She entrusted this prayer to us here and we are called upon to pray it every day. Therefore I am asking you to consecrate yourselves to Mary here in this holy place where she came. Let us offer up our hearts, our lives and our families, our nations and the whole world to Mary since we represent different nations from around the world. All are children of Our Lady who invites us to consecrate ourselves to her. She will lead us through prayer, the Rosary, in the simplest and shortest way to her Son, so that we will love and imitate him more and more, and recognize and become more similar to him.

May each one of us say to Our Lady, “I want to be your Apostle, an Apostle of the Rosary and the messages of Amsterdam.” Let us carry her to the remotest parts of the world, to all nations.

We all have to go to Our Lady so as to come closer to Christ. But we should not just go to Mary but rather lead others through the Rosary to her, those who are far from God, those who are lost on their path of life. By our example, by our love to God and Mary, we have to lead all the lost sheep back to her as we see in the image of the Mother of All Nations. When this has been achieved the world will change. Then peace, joy and love will reign.

In order to achieve this Mary needs every single one of us. We may not say, “We do not need to pray!” or “Someone else is praying for us.” No, not so! Mary calls on each one of us! Without our help through prayer the world cannot change! Therefore Our Lady continually asks us to pray. Yet since we are still deaf, we are not corresponding and are lacking courage and perseverance. But do not be afraid of the Rosary! Try praying one decade to start with. It only takes five minutes. That is so little! Yet how much it can do for an individual, families and nations! We must become Knights of Our Lady who fight against evil, against Satan, with two weapons: the Rosary and love.

Let us, therefore, win all people for the Rosary! May children win their parents, brothers and sisters their grandparents, and boyfriends their girlfriends. And the other way around too, parents should also lead their children to prayer. There should not be a person on earth who does not know God and Our Lady and who does not pray the Rosary. This is our task, our mission to fulfill. We have to hurry since we do not have much time! We have to get to work right away! When you are at home with your families again, start praying the Rosary! Our Lady says when the Rosary is prayed in the family, there will be peace, joy and unity.

Take the Rosary beads in your hand and pray it in the evening when everyone is at home so that the fruit of peace may come! This is very important nowadays in order to save families. The world has become estranged from God. It only depends on itself and not on God. Yet we cannot do anything without God. He gives us life, freedom, everything! Let us open ourselves for his great love!

I really hope that after this meeting with the Lady of All Nations, you will spread the nicest, most wonderful and at the same time simplest prayer, the Rosary. In your countries you may be “Apostles of Our Lady in your surroundings”, so that the Rosary Court will emerge all over your countries. They already exist in 27 countries on all the continents with 116,000 members. This is a great number. Yet more people who pray are needed for the world to be redeemed.

As Fr. Paul mentioned that Padre Pio spoke about five million children who could redeem the world by praying the Rosary. Gather all your strength! Mobilize, it is possible to reach five million children who pray the Rosary. We have to spread the prayer in our families, among friends, at home, at school, at work, in the Court and on playgrounds-everywhere where you are. Look, I would not be here without the Rosary! My mother consecrated me to Our Lady. That is why I am alive. I am here with you today by the Lady of All Nations to thank her for being her child and for daily experiencing her care and love and for being able to serve her and spread her cause throughout the whole world.

Now I have just one request of you dear parents who are gathered here: If you have not already consecrated your children to Our Lady, please do it here and now. Entrust your children’s lives to your mother, at the feet of the Lady of All Nations, so that she will lead your children. The children and youth are the future of our countries. If from their childhood onwards they grow up in prayer and in an atmosphere of love for Jesus and Our Lady, they will be different. They will become apostles of Mary and Jesus in today’s world, and the world will change. We pray for this through the intercession of the Lady of All Nations.

To finish up I would like to ask you a question that you really have to answer: Do you want to help Our Lady and take responsibility for the world in a coredemptive way by praying at least one decade of the Rosary every day? I hope that this applause is an expression of your consent.

Our Lady takes you at your word now! You must not let her down! Pray with joy and love every day, pray recollected and in silence! It is so important to pray with your heart because every prayer is a conversation with God, our best friend and with Mary, our best mother. We can entrust to them everything that weighs us down, hurts us and also what makes us happy. Our Lady takes care of our difficulties and brings them before God’s throne.

Believe me, Our Lady works great miracles through praying the Rosary. The Rosary’s power is great and each of you who begins to pray will experience this. You will become better, more full of joy and changed somehow or other. Mary will lead you and give you the graces that you need for your daily routine. I will also think of you in my prayers so that you will learn to love Mary and the Rosary.

May the Lady of All Nations gather us people from so many nations around her so that we may come to know God’s great love for each individual. May we all find a place under her mantel in spite of our different backgrounds and languages.

I am much obliged for being invited to this wonderful Day of Prayer in honor of the Mother and Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam and for being able to be present. May the applause be for Jesus and his mother.

Excerpts from the Testimony of Thuy Tien, Sister of Francis Xavier Nguyen Cardinal Van Thuân († 2002) from Vietnam / Australia

“Prayer formed the life of my family in the time of the Vietnamese persecution.”

Tien Thuy comes from Vietnam, but had to flee during the war to Australia. It was from there that she came to the Day of Prayer to thank Our Lady for all of her help and grace which she was able to experience in her life.

Today Tien is a social worker and helps refugees and immigrants from around the world who are seeking to find a new home in Australia. Tien said to us, “I have been through everything that they have to go through: loss of identity and dear ones, being without a home, with a new way of life, and with a foreign language.” Yes, when you think that she herself experienced the lot of a refugee, then it is easy to imagine that how empathetic she is with people from Argentina, China, Chile, from Iran and Iraq, from Bosnia, Bangladesh, or Africa. She often takes them with her in her car and puts in the cassette of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Through this, she is sometimes able to develop a nice conversations and frequently Tien’s advice is accepted when she suggests, “when in need, repeat again and again, ‘Jesus I trust in YOU.’”

Even non-believers and those of other faiths ask her, “Tien, pray to your God for me!” Then later they come back and tell her, “Tien, your god helped me. Tell HIM thanks for me!”
Tien will tell us today about her family and also about her brother, Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (†2002, former Prefect for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace), who was in prison in Vietnam because of his faith for 13 years, 9 of which were in solitary confinement. The Holy Father described him as a “heroic herald of Christ’s Gospel” and therefore personally presided at his funeral in St. Peter’s Basilica in September of 2002 as a sign of his great esteem and personal love for Cardinal Van Thuan, about whom he said,

“His secret was indomitable trust in God, nourished by prayer and suffering, accepted with love. … During the last days, when he could no longer speak, he fixed his gaze on the Crucifix before him. He prayed in silence while he consummated his last sacrifice, crowning a life marked by heroic configuration with Christ on the Cross. His Spiritual Testament ends with the three-fold exhortation: ‘Love the Holy Virgin and trust in St. Joseph, remain faithful to the Church, be united and charitable to all.’ His whole being is summarized by this.”

I think that we should all work hard for the canonization of this great prince of the church in our days, because I am convinced he earned it! He testified to the scarlet worn by a bishop through his whole life which was a martyrdom.

My name is Thuy Tien and I was born in Hue, in central Vietnam. We were ten children at home, five girls and five boys. My parents were deeply faithful and both came from families that for many, many decades had personally experienced the persecution of Christians in Vietnam. When we were children and heard about the courage of our relatives who were ready to give their lives for the Faith, it was my brother Van Thuan, who later became a Cardinal, that even as a boy always wanted to die one day as a martyr. We were accustomed to pray with our parents from a very young age. That was a very natural and given part of our lives. I can remember so well how every evening our whole family would gather in the chapel of our beautiful house for prayers to thank God and say good night to Him. My mother told me later how she would often nudge me because when I was six or seven I would often fall asleep during prayer. Yes, as a little girl I found it to be quite a lot to pray the entire Rosary, litanies, the Memorare, and then the prayer to our guardian angels every evening before we were allowed to go to bed. But, my parents simply responded, “God gives us 24 hours a day. If we barely give Him an hour, then it is really not too much!”

My brother Van Thuan, baptized Francois Xavier (†2002, former Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace), became a priest in spite of the persecution and from 1967 on worked fruitfully for eight years as the bishop of the diocese Hna Trang. In 1975, he was named bishop of the capitol Saigon where, soon after his arrival, he was imprisoned.
He was in prison because of his Faith for almost 14 years, 9 of which were in solitary confinement. For five years we did not even know if he was alive or not. But at home we prayed every day for him, especially my mother. She always reassured dad saying, “Didn’t we give him to God? Then He will look after him!” The Holy Father described him as a “heroic herald of Christ’s Gospel.”

Van Thuan told us about his experiences in those years of suffering. He was always known for the same calmness and a great trust in God. I never saw him panicked or afraid. During the time of war and persecution, we kids all had that as a gift from our mother at home and so we could remain so calm even as we lost everything. Because our mother and also father always said, “God sees all and God knows all. He loves us and therefore whatever he allows is always the best for us. If He sends us suffering, that doesn’t mean he has abandoned us. No! Through suffering He helps us to become stronger.”

In difficult situations, my brother would say, “We are all refugees on this earth. Our eternal home is only with our loving Father in heaven.”

When I fled with my daughter in 1975, we experienced tangibly the help of Our Lady. When I arrived in Singapore, I did not know what we should do. Above all we prayed the Memorare that we had learned as kids. In difficult times, my mother would repeat this prayer constantly, while cooking and during everything else she did. She often said, “Our Lady has to hear us, because we pray, ‘never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.’”

We actually received a visa to enter Australia, but we had to leave my husband in the chaos of Saigon. Through incredible providence, he was able to escape by ship to Korea. She then helped us to begin a new life.

It was in Australia that I first heard about the Lady of All Nations. I understood immediately that if we want peace, then we have to go to her.

I often hear people complain about war. They are afraid and are full of distrust for each other. Therefore, in such cases, I always give the image and prayer of the Lady of All Nations and say, “Pray this prayer and you will have peace in your life. In this way you may contribute to spreading peace throughout the world.”

Testimony by Fouad and Laetitia Hassoun from Beirut, Lebanon

“Prayer – the source of the forgiveness, inner peace, and love that fills us”

Laetitia: Hello, my name is Laetitia.

Fouad: Hello, I’m Fouad. I was born in Lebanon on May 1st. Understandably, my parents consecrated me to Mary, Our Lady of Lebanon, and they promised her that later in the month of May they would make a pilgrimage in her honor.

I would like to give a testimony of all the graces which I have received in my life through her faithful, motherly presence every day.

At the age of seventeen, I remember crying out to Our Lady when a car-full of explosives blew up in front of my house. I was so seriously injured that I lost my eyesight. I begged, ‘O holy Mother, O holy Mother, pray for me! Help me, I don’t want to die!’ I felt her protection very deeply at that time.

The very fact that I survived the force of the 300 kg dynamite detonation was a miracle. As I lay in my bed and surrounded by those dear to me, deep within I was happy to be alive and to have understood that life is stronger than death and that God is the one who continuously gives us life.

When I came to Europe for medical treatment and to continue my studies, Mary was with me. In the moments of great loneliness, fear, and doubt I took the Rosary from my pocket and through it regained trust and peace.

In every pilgrimage which I consecrate to her she fulfills my wishes: Ask and you shall receive.

She takes care of me as her beloved child in the very concrete things of my life: In the pilgrimage place “Our Lady of Chartres” she obtained for me the grace of being accepted at a renowned business school. At Our Lady of the Snows she answered my request for a job which I needed. In Lourdes, Mary brought me together with my future wife.
From one stage of our life to the next, we let the beads of the rosary pass through our fingers and God hears our prayers.

Laetitia: In Lebanon, one May 1st in the evening, I overcame my fears and reservations and dared to open myself to the love which I carried in my heart for Fouad. I was ready to give my final ‘yes’ and prayed with the words of Mary, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word. I was moved by Fouad’s story and his personality, and my little life in Paris seemed dull compared to his. More than anything, his vitality and charity touched me and corresponded to my inner desire to share my life with a man who loved God and his neighbor.

We got married in Beirut or, more accurately said, we were crowned according to the oriental Maronite Catholic Rite. Since the grace of our wedding we keep our love alive every day by giving our ‘yes’ together on the way to work with the prayer of the Angelus and the Rosary.

We help each other carry the unhealed wounds of the past. Nearly every day we take a walk in the beautiful nature of the Lebanon Mountains not far from the village where Fouad grew up and where he played in peace and harmony with children of all religions.

Fouad would have liked to have taken me around the places of his childhood, but some years ago there was a massacre in his hometown church during a service. His grandfather was killed in the massacre and the peaceful life of many Christians was destroyed forever. In a painful exodus they left the village and have never returned to this day.

We share the present with each other and thank God for the beauty of each day that we can spend together. Our Lady is a model for my life as a wife, of how to be attentive and loving with Fouad. She helps me give up my level-headed plans and to allow myself to be led by Foaud’s bravery and his trust in life.

Fouad: This year, May 1st was somehow special. I was praying to Mary, Our Lady of Lebanon, entrusting our home and establishment in Lebanon to her.
After our 17-year-long exodus, we actually decided to settle down in Lebanon. Our decision was also based on the apostolic request to the Christians in Lebanon, “To you Christians of Lebanon is entrusted the destruction of the wall of hate and to build a bridge. Your country is more than just a homeland, it is a message.”

In addition, I have a deep unity to this land and am firmly rooted in it. It was there where I left a part of myself—my eyes—and I am especially connected to Lebanon also through the marriage which we began in this land of promise.

Since we arrived last summer, we suffer with this nation afflicted by war. This country is in the midst of an identity crisis and an economic crisis. We live with this people who courageously go ahead with Christ on the path of reconstruction and reconciliation. Through our professional and pastoral activities, we fight for life. We help the injured people we encounter rediscover their dignity and develop their talents.

Laetitia is the head of personnel for a Lebanese organization which works towards integrating marginalized groups back into society. As for me, I began an enterprise which offers services and articles for people with visual handicaps, and we are responsible together for the lay movement ‘Fondacio – Christians for the World’.

My years in Europe prepared me for this mission. It was truly a gift that I was able to accept my handicap and love myself as I am. The gift was even given to me that I am able to forgive the one who set off the bomb in front of my house in Beirut, and with God’s help I am able to live the words of Christ, ‘Love your enemies!’ Yes, in the folly of God, I am even able to love this man. Living this daily forgiveness and love has even had an effect on my surroundings. Living this forgiveness and love has changed my life. From an injured, wounded man, I have become a man of peace.

St. Paul made himself present to me again and again as a brother: in the same way as this man fell to the ground, blind, on the way to Damascus, so that bomb-laden car [through which I became blind] was also placed on Damascus Street #46.

Laetitia: It was also St. Paul who gave me the confirmation on that famous May 1st of our meeting and my decision for Fouad, when I opened to the words, ‘Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings and Israelites.’
It seems as if God reveals his plan of love for each of us more and more, and we ask the Holy Spirit to lead us so that his will may be done. Yet there are numerous times when I hold things in my heart which I do not understand. I hold them in patience and continue to trust in my life with God.

Fouad: Today we come to the Lady of All Nations, to give her our life, to renew our consecration to her Son and to say that we love her. We ask her to intercede for us before the Father that we may experience the joy of accepting many children into our home and that Lebanon can live in the grace of forgiveness and that all nations can live in peace.

Nina Weiss and Her Family’s Salvation

“We needed this experience”

My name is Nina Weiss. I am a gipsy and I live in Hamburg, Germany. My whole family is very religious. Both my husband and I are 33 years old, and we have three children.

Shortly before Ash Wednesday we all underwent a difficult trial. Already some time ago, I lost all joy in our Catholic faith. Somehow I lost an appreciation of it. My little sister and several of my relatives even joined a sect which fights against Marian devotion. On top of that, my husband had been complaining already for a week about intense pain. I went to our parish church and begged Jesus to show me the way in this darkness.

A short time later, my husband was admitted to the hospital. The diagnosis was intestinal cancer. The doctors were very worried about his condition and wanted to operate on him immediately. In that moment it once again became very clear to me what my life consists of—my husband and my children! Not money, career or fame.

I must say that I have always had a special devotion to Merciful Jesus. He always helped me. This time however, it would be a little different! In my despair I visited my mother and she gave me an image of Mary, the Lady of All Nations. She encouraged me to pray to her. Seeing this unknown picture of the Lady with the cross behind her, I thought to myself, “Those people in the sect are right when it comes to devotion to Mary! She tries to get rid of Jesus, she wants to be Jesus. No, I don’t need her.”

Nevertheless, I stuck the image in my pocket. Afterwards, I went to my father and asked him to give me one of the pictures of the Jesus of Divine Mercy. Usually he kept some in his car. Yet of all days, it was exactly on that day the car had been towed. I met my brother Donny on the street and even though he always had this picture with him, he did not that day. I then understood that, this time, Jesus wants me to go to his mother, the Lady of All Nations.

So I went into the church and threw myself on the floor before a picture of Our Lady and prayed, “O Mother, I am not worthy to pray to your Son. I entrust my husband’s life to you.” Then I began to sing.

The day of my husband’s operation arrived. My children and I prayed in the hospital chapel and after a nearly four-hour operation the doctor came and told us, “Your husband is alive. Everything went well”. He was transferred to the intensive care unit.

Full of gratitude I immediately wanted to give Our Lady a gift. At this point, I have to say that I was very fond of my long hair, my beautiful black braid. I decide then to give it to Our Lady. Having just made my decision I went to the hospital hair salon. Full of conviction, I explained to the hairdresser that I wanted to give my braid to Our Lady, the Mother of All Nations. So, with tears in her eyes, she cut off the braid for me.

I joyfully told all of my relatives that the Lady of All Nations helped my husband. Yes, she brought about this miracle! Even my sister, the one who was in the sect, was touched and told me, “Nina, she was the one, she heard you, the Blessed Mother.” We gave each other a hug because after three years in this sect my sister found the way back.

The doctors at first were very surprised how well my husband was doing after the operation. But then there was a relapse. Once again we prayed, even my mother-in-law who was still part of the sect was on her knees praying the Hail Mary.

I was allowed to visit my husband. I prayed and laid the image of the Lady of All Nations on the wound where they had operated. I was full of confidence and was not in any way afraid regarding his critical condition.

Yes, I actually even went and visited the other patients, gave them a hug and encouraged them. For example, there was a man in a wheelchair with a brain tumor who I told about the Lady of All Nations and the wonderful way she had helped my husband. I told those around me that I went to confession in the evening and encouraged them to pray to Our Lady.

That evening in confession I told the priest that I almost betrayed Our Lady, but that she gave me another chance. I later acknowledged this to everyone I met.

The next morning, in the hospital, I met my cousin who was also an active member of this sect. He told me with tears in his eyes that his seven-year-old son woke him up early that morning and asked if he could go to Holy Mass with him. So he went to Mass for the first time in eight months. I told him, “Peter, it is not a coincidence. Our Holy Mother loves you and our faith is the right one.” At that, he simply responded, “Yeah, I know.”

For nearly two weeks my husband’s condition went up and down. He had to have three more stomach and intestinal endoscopies, and before each one of them, he kissed the picture of the Lady of All Nations. Since that time, we pray her prayer together every day. During the tests, my children and I were always in the hospital chapel. We sang and prayed to Our Lady. In that way all fear would pass. The doctor came in the evening after the last exam and gladly told us, “Your husband is fine.”

On Holy Thursday, after a six-week stay in the hospital, my husband came back home. Healthy! Everything went well, thanks to the Lady of All Nations!

When I look back on that time, I have to say that we, my family, our relatives and I, needed this experience. It woke us all up! Our Lady showed us that there is a reason for every trial.

Contribution from the Shrine of the Lady of All Nations Three Sisters Tell of Their Experiences There

Goede morgen beste pelgrims, Guten Morgen liebe Pilger, good morning,
buon giorno, bonjour, buenos dias, Dobry dien, straastwujtje

Much to our great joy, we have been allowed to take care of the chapel of the Lady of All Nations for the last eight years. We would like to share a few of our experiences with you now.

 

A day in the Shrine

The Lady of All Nations shows us again and again in a very vivid way that she is truly the mother of all nations. A special day for us here, for example, was just recently, on April 27. Aside from the regular visitors who come from in and around Amsterdam to the chapel, on that day pilgrims came one after the next from the most diverse parts of the world. A girl form Ireland who was discerning her vocation, a Cistercian abbot from Switzerland who wanted to spread the prayer of the Lady of All Nations, a woman from Hong Kong who stocked up with a good supply of material in Chinese, and an African lawyer from Cameroon. Fernandez, a Brazilian pilot, was also very interested. Among other things, he took an original size image of the Lady of All Nations for a community in Brazil that has chosen the Lady of All Nations as their patron saint. Then there came also a Turkish doctor working in Amsterdam, who told us that she would like to be baptized. Last but not least, two young American priests celebrated Mass in the chapel. They were so interested in the Lady of All Nations that they are thinking about organizing a day of prayer in Florida. Yes, this is what a day can look like for us here. Of course there are also quieter moments, but we are always amazed who Our Lady sends our way.

It is a great enrichment for us to be able to meet people from the most diverse cultures. Even though we sisters together can speak eight languages, often it is still not enough. With Koreans or Hungarians we can often only communicate with a smile.
Allow us to tell you a few examples:

I will give consolation

The Lady of All Nations promised in the messages to give consolation to everyone. A man who comes to the chapel every day to pray the rosary was able to experience this is in a very special way. His wife died four years ago. In his sorrow, he found peace nowhere. At that time he was far from the Church. For more than 40 years he hadn’t practiced the faith.
In his inner distress he came to the chapel of the Lady of All Nations and found peace and was reconciled with God.

I may be a mother for you

For the past few months, there has almost always been a vase with a single rose in front of the image of the image in the chapel. A forty-something protestant woman who experienced no motherly love as a child, regularly brings a fresh rose for Our Lady because it was there before the image of Our Lady that she recognized that Mary is her very own personal mother who loves and understands her.

The prayer of the Lady of All Nations heals inner wounds

Octave, a young refugee from Rwanda got to know the prayer of the Lady of All Nations a year ago. He said, “I carried such deep wounds within me from the war in Rwanda that forgiveness was absolutely unthinkable. I had already seen the image of the Lady of All Nations once at home, but it was only here in the Netherlands that I came to know the messages. By praying the prayer of the Lady of All Nations, I feel how my inner wounds are healing, how peace is flowing into my heart and how I am becoming capable of forgiving.”

Fr. Joseph Mary Kasasa also wrote to us from Rwanda saying, “We have so many orphans and widows, so many Aids patients and homeless, so many sick and poor. All are waiting for the consolation of the Lady of All Nations.”

Receiving help through the Lady of All Nations

Bert and Maria, a Dutch couple, were able to experience the help of the ‘Lady’ in an especially beautiful manner. They were married eleven years ago.

Through all of these years, their greatest wish was to have children. It appeared, however, that this wish would remain unfulfilled because the mother-to-be repeatedly lost her child prematurely. Even in those painful times Bert and Maria did not stop trusting in the Lady of All Nations. And their trusting prayer was truly heard!

At the age of 43, Maria gave birth to a healthy child. To our great joy, the baptism took place in the chapel on January 18 of this year. Sínticha Conchita Maria Dolores is an especially beautiful, adorable and happy child and we always enjoy the chance to hold her for a while.

The spreading of the prayer

Unfortunately, or better said luckily, we do not have enough time to tell you about all those people who do their utmost to spread the prayer. I am thinking for example of Lydia, a Dutch qualified non-medical practitioner. For years she has being doing so much for the spreading of the prayer but especially so in the past few months. Sometimes she goes to a hospital, introduces herself to the station chief and says that she is a Roman Catholic and would like to give a short prayer for peace to the sick who would like it. When she receives permission, she goes from room to room, says a few friendly words to the sick and asks if she may give them a prayer card. In this way she was able to spread 150 prayer cards and to the joy of many.

“Mission in the city is more difficult” Lydia said. Yet in the middle of the pedestrian zone she gets to talking with many and through her open-minded manner she can give the prayer card to quite a few people. Of course there are also many who don’t want to have anything to do with it. But there are also others who are very grateful and nice conversations arise. Just imagine, in the past months she was able to personally give the prayer cards to thousands. She told us, “I am so grateful to be able to do something for Our Lady because I understand more and more deeply how much Mary did for us through her coredemptive suffering.”

The chapel is small but the Lady of All Nations goes out into the world

Many pilgrims who visit the chapel of the Lady of All Nations for the first time are amazed that the chapel is so small.

They are right! Yet the Lady of All Nations goes out to the whole world by herself because she said in her messages, that the image shall go, from country to country, from town to town and that later there will be no nation without the Lady of All Nations.

An essential part of our work consists in no small way in international correspondence. Inquires and orders come from all around the world. Letters from the most diverse different countries arrive here

France, Spain, Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic and Lituania
Kenya, Ghana, Togo, Columbia, Guatemala and Mexico
Australia, Vietnam, Korea, India, Japan and the Philippines

New Zealand

Something interesting from New Zealand: for the second time friends of the Lady of All Nations in Wellington, New Zealand, will be united with us in prayer today. As they did last year, Tineke Timmermans and Gwen Mc Bride sent us an exact description of how the pilgrimage of the Lady of All Nations has gone all across New Zealand.

The way in which Tineke and Gwen began this mission is one I think is very original and worth imitating. Both of them made small information packets with the English video ‘The Crowning of the Marian Era’, a poster sized copy of the Image, and prayer cards. They then passed these packets out to those who were interested at a Marian gathering so that the veneration of the Lady of All Nations would be spread in different areas. More and more people felt called to help out with the spreading.

The Lady of All Nations has found especially open hearts in India for some years now. The Prayer has already been translated there into more that ten local languages and hundreds of thousands has been distributed. This is also thanks to the efforts of Pieter and Chiel. These two professional translators from the Netherlands spend a few months each year in India and visit the bishops in the various dioceses of the country to win them for the Lady of All Nations.

Churches in honor of the Lady of All Nations

The image of the Lady of All Nations is to be found in many churches throughout the world. Fanny Diaz from Columbia wrote to us a short while ago saying that alone in her home town, Medellin, the image is honored in seven churches.

Much to our joy, more and more churches are being built in honor of the Lady of All Nations. In this photo we see a church that is being built in Nigeria. Bishop Oga Orgah of the diocese Otukpo came to the 3rd Day of Prayer in spite of serious illness. Deeply convinced of the importance of these messages, he returned to Nigeria and in a pastoral letter called for the spreading of her Image and Prayer. His former vicar general and now successor, Bishop Apochi, made this intention very much his own. It is a pleasure for us then to have him here in our midst for the first time.

In this photo from Indonesia we see the laying of the cornerstone for a church in honor of the Lady of All Nations by Bishop Angkur. He, like the African bishop Oga Orgah, also took part in the 3rd International Day of Prayer in Amsterdam.
This church in his diocese, Bogor, is, as you see, still being built. And this is how it should one day look.

Vietnam

We could tell you a lot about Vietnam, about the Vietnamese love and self-sacrificing work for the Lady of All Nations. Yet out of consideration for the difficult political situation there, we cannot speak in detail about it. As you know, religious activities in that Communistic country are not very welcome. Our admiration is therefore so much the greater for those faithful who risk for their heavenly mother.

Two Priests in the USA

From the many nice stories from the United States we would like to tell you just one about two priests:

The Lady of All Nations belongs fundamentally to the pastoral renewal program of Fr. Raymond Jackson’s parish in Texas. Every week a different family takes the pilgrim image home with them along with an informational video. “It never yet happened”, said Fr. Jackson, “that the Mother was not accepted.” The pilgrim image comes back with a bouquet of flowers to the parish every Saturday where the next family is already waiting for her.

In this same way, Fr. Jackson brings the Lady of All Nations to the missionary churches along the Mexican border and has had great success among the Spanish speaking population.

Fr. John Hedges from Michigan visited the chapel of the Lady of All Nations a few years ago. He saw the Image of Our Lady there for the first time and it can be said that it was love at first sight. Since then he tries to do what he can for the worldwide action in various ways. He prays the prayer of the Lady of All Nations, for example, with the faithful at every Mass as thanksgiving after Holy Communion.

Prayer cards to Albania

Elly Kool, a Dutch woman, was on vacation in the Austrian mountains. She found there a prayer card of the Lady of All Nations in a small chapel. When she saw from the address that this image came from Amsterdam, her home town, she became curious. On returning home she visited the chapel. Since Mrs. Kool organizes humanitarian aide shipments to Albania, she brought thousands of prayer cards and images of the Lady of All Nations to Albania. There they were gladly accepted and spread since the parish priest there, Fr. Piet Wanrooy, a Dutch Priest with the Missionaries of Charity, already knew the Lady of All Nations.

Days of Prayer of the Lady of All Nations

During the past International Day of Prayer, a day of prayer took place simultaneously in Congo. A little Church with the Image of Amsterdam was consecrated in 1993 in Bokonzi in the diocese of Budjala. So it was that more than 2,000 believers came together on June 8 of last year. After the Mass, procession and Eucharistic Adoration there was a proper African banquet with two pigs, fish, a small crocodile and other specialties.

Recently, on May 13, Fr. Josafat, a Greek Catholic Basilian priest, organized a Day of Prayer in the Ukrainian city, Lemberg. He was here last year at the Day of Prayer with his bishop Bilyk and today we have the privilege of welcoming both of them again. 1,000 participants were expected in the Ukraine, in the end 3,000 came!

We received an email from Thailand informing us that there will be a Day of Prayer on June 5th in Bankok. The organizers ask all of us for prayers.

Two weeks ago there was a national day of prayer at a Franciscan monastery in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. The day before yesterday. We received some photos from it two days ago.

Dear friends, to finish up, a small request: If the Mother of All Nations has helped and granted grace to you, rewarded your trust or heard your prayers, then we would be glad if you would let us in the shrine in Amsterdam know about these small or great miracles. As they say, a joy shared is a joy doubled!

Thank you.

Conference by Fr. Paul Maria Sigl, Spiritual Head of the Community “Family of Mary”

“Do what Our Mother says”

Your Eminence, esteemed bishops, dear friends of the Mother and Lady of All Nations!

Draw new hope

Faced with the news reports that we receive daily from around the world, more and more people look to the future with growing fear.

Yet today, at her Day of Prayer, the Mother of All Nations absolutely wants to take away all our fear of the future and give us the grace to draw new hope in spite of the threats. Wherever Our Lady has appeared, she has always come at the right time. She did not want just to warn us of imminent danger, but above all to reveal the means by which we can prevent the approaching disaster.

Simply do what she asks us

The deepest intention of my conference is to remind you how current and incomparably significant the ecclesiastically-approved message of the Lady of All Nations is for world peace. All of us absolutely have to understand more deeply how decisive it is to do, here and now, exactly what the Mother of All Nations wishes and to understand just how much the peace we long for depends upon whether we obey her words in a childlike manner or not! All of us are responsible!

Let us learn from Fatima so that we do not make the same mistake. Such unimaginably tragic consequences came to be because the message of Fatima was ignored for so long and Mary’s warnings were not taken seriously and therefore her wishes and pleas were not corresponded to.

She warned us at the right moment about the drama of a second World War, as well as about Russia and the worldwide diffusion of its militant atheistic ideology. As a mother she also simultaneously revealed the concrete means through which all of this could have been prevented. These means were so simple—the Rosary, communion of expiation on the first Saturday of the month and the consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Since the bishops and priests, Christian politicians and faithful, which is to say those who could have understood the message, did not want to listen, a catastrophe struck Europe and the world. I am sure you will allow me to ask a question at this point: If the call of Fatima was not taken seriously back then, in a time when Christianity was still Marian, how will our response to the pleas of the Lady of All Nations look in a time that is not nearly as Marian as it was in those days?

Prevention of a global catastrophe

Let us learn from Fatima. Then we will not make the same mistake with regard to the messages of Amsterdam! Here in Amsterdam, Our Lady appeared—again at the right time—not just to warn the nations about a war and an atheistic ideology, but rather, as she said, from a great global catastrophe. Once again—because she is indeed a mother—she gave the corresponding means to prevent disaster.

How did she do this? She revealed herself under a new title, “The Lady, the Mother of All Nations”, gave us a new image and a new prayer about which she said: “Under this title and through this prayer I may deliver the world from a great world catastrophe” (May 10, 1953). She asked us to spread her image and prayer among all nations and even gave a name to this worldwide spreading: “a Worldwide Action of redemption and peace.” She says this worldwide action is the requirement and direct preparation for a new Marian dogma, which is to say, for a solemn proclamation of the truth of faith that Mary is the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate for all nations.

This final and greatest Marian dogma will give us a new Pentecost and lead all nations into a new time of peace.

…never too late for a miracle through prayer

In order to do that which the Lady of All Nations desires throughout the world, we are, honestly said, fairly late. If, however, at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, we finally do what our mother says here in Amsterdam, then it is still not too late. We will then experience the miracle that she promised. She said already in 1951: “Go with great ardor and zeal about this work of redemption and peace, and you will behold the miracle” (April 1, 1951).

To show that childlike obedience to God is rewarded in undreamed-of ways, I would like, by way of example, to make reference to the miracle of Austria’s liberation from Russian occupation which was attained in prayer through the Expiatory Rosary Crusade.

World War II left Europe in ash and ruins. Russia kept parts of Austria along with the capital, Vienna, occupied by 50,000 soldiers of the Red Army. In Fatima, the Queen of the Rosary had warned us exactly about this. It was, therefore, humanly speaking, already too late. Yet there were simple men and women with faith and also influential politicians who, nevertheless, trusted in the power of prayer.

Victory through the Expiatory Rosary Crusade

When, in 1946, the Franciscan priest, Fr. Peter Pavlicek, prayed for help for a bombed-out Austria before the altar in Mariazell, he heard Mary’s reply in his heart: “Do what I tell you and you will have peace!” And so the Expiatory Rosary Crusade came into being. For ten years, Fr. Peter went all throughout Austria with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, and tens of thousands of good-willed Christians joined his prayer movement. And God granted the longed-for freedom.

Twenty years after Austria was freed, the founder of the Expiatory Rosary Crusade, Fr. Peter Pavlicek, whose process for beatification has already begun, gave a homily during a pilgrimage of thanksgiving to Mariazell. He exact word there were:

“Many, many Austrians think nowadays that this freedom was a matter of course and that this just came about so easily. Here I have to tell the truth. It took ten years of struggling hard to achieve this freedom.

“We needed 268 meetings. When the Austrian Chancellor, Figl, returned to Vienna after the 268th meeting in Berlin, he said to me, ‘Fr. Peter, I have never come back from a meeting so sad. Mr. Molotov said straight to my face, “Mr. Figl do not get your hopes up; once we Russians have something, we never give it back again.”’ ‘Fr. Peter,’ said Figl, ‘There is only one hope left: God! We have to pray more, pray more to God and to Mary for freedom!’

“And after that I did everything possible to force prayer among the Austrian people. This exhortation of the Chancellor was followed by innumerable days and nights of adoration in the Franciscan church in Vienna. Lo and behold, half a year later this same Mr. Molotov also had to sign the State Treaty on May 15, 1955 in Belvedere. Incredible! All of a sudden it became possible that Russia let go of an occupied territory. Was it just the politicians who brought this about? Or was it not grace, grace that had been obtained by prayer?

“I also will not forget how we organized the first procession for freedom in Vienna in the year 1950. Back then, there was a lot of ridicule and scorn, a lot of doubt. It was thought that 500 little old ladies would go along. We certainly can’t go too. Then Chancellor Figl said to me, ‘Peter, for my fatherland, it is worth it for me that we pray even if only you and I make the circuit and plead. We will not be freed otherwise!’ At that first procession, people came crawling out of the woodwork; 15,000 came the first time. And there were more at each procession after that, up to 80,000.

“Do you see my dear brothers and sisters: praying is power! One only has to believe in that power, one has to believe that God takes praying seriously! And therefore also we have to take praying seriously!”

Pope John Paul II and the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

An even more impressive example of how graceful the effects of obedience to Our Lady’s wishes are, is the collapse of the entire Russian Soviet Union through the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was put off for decades and sometimes the consecration was not understood and even blocked, by the best of the best in the Church. Even the normally very reserved Sr. Lucia, who we see here in Fatima together with Pope Paul IV and a still-young Bishop Hnilica, said regarding this: “The Lord did not just complain about the great sins but rather also about our lack of enthusiasm and negligence regarding His wishes.”

Even our deeply Marian Pope became fully aware of the importance of the still-relevant message of Fatima only after the painful assassination attempt on May 13, 1981. The Universal Church had not yet fulfilled the wishes of Our Lady.

The Pope, through the dramatic content of the 3rd secret of Fatima which he had brought to him in the Gemelli Clinic, recognized more clearly how important it is to finally fulfill God’s wishes so as to avert threatening danger from the Church and the world.

On March 25, 1984, three years after the assassination attempt, he prayed the consecration for the world in St. Peters Square. For this occasion he had the original statue of Fatima brought to Rome for this, to make it clear to the whole world that he wanted to correspond with Mary’s directions.

The effect of this act of complete entrustment to Mary was immense and exceeded all, truly all, expectations! Only a few years after the consecration of the world and immediately after the Marian Year in 1988, the unimaginable occurred: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, the break-up of the Eastern Block and even the Soviet Union. This great upheaval had already been predicted in the messages of Amsterdam in 1951, 38 years before it happened (cf. December 31, 1951).

Not a single politician would have expected that! Even Pope John Paul II said that “Those events remain surprising … for the speed with which they occurred” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente).

Dear friends, I am only reminding you of all this in order to show you how important it is to put faith in the ecclesiastically-approved messages of Amsterdam and to invite you, purely and simply, to do what the Mother of All Nations wishes: to spread her prayer and her image. But I ask you, do we really believe that the spreading of her prayer card can be a “worldwide action of redemption and peace” which helps to prevent a global catastrophe? Does it not seem to be far too easy to be able to have an effective contribution towards global peace?

A Revolution with the Rosary

In order to be strengthened in our faith of the unfailing power of prayer, I would also like to turn your attention to the dramatic days of the first Filipino Rosary Revolution. It should show us how safely and peacefully Mary guides her children to victory when they place themselves under her protection and her guidance and do that which she wishes.

Much was written in the papers regarding the fall from power of the dictator Marcos, but little about the true background. In 1985, the Filipino bishops had already requested their own Marian Year from Rome. It became a year of conversion and expiation that prepared the hearts of many for the events of the Rosary Revolution.

In 1986, Cardinal Sin called the people to a peaceful protest against the corrupt regime. Within a few hours, 3 to 4 million Filipinos were in the streets of Manila praying the Rosary together. Day and night priests celebrated the Holy Mass in the city squares of Manila. Even children urged heavily armed soldiers to pray and gave bouquets of flowers to the tank drivers who had come to disperse the people. Many soldiers climbed down from the tanks and joined those praying.

Mary demonstrated herself to be the mother of her people in a wonderful way. Even the commander of a helicopter squadron, who was ordered to throw grenades into the huge crowd of people, recounted: “In the moment I was ready to fulfill Marcos’s command, I discovered to my horror that my wife and children were among those praying. Shaken, I gave the command to fly back to our staging point. I immediately drove home and found, to my very great surprise, my wife and kids in the apartment. I asked my wife reprovingly why she went into the city in such danger. But she assured me, ‘I was at home the whole day.’”
It was the feast of Our Lady of Victories, February 25, 1986, when Marcos gave in and went into exile.

The Second Rosary Revolution

Dear friends, the moving things we have just experienced were incredibly repeated again 15 years later in January of 2001, just three years ago!

Following the term of office of President Corazon Aquino, who we have just seen in the film, a former actor and playboy Joseph Estrada succeeded in winning the 1998 presidential elections. Becuase he plundered the Federal Treasury during his term of office, the average Filipino became even more impoverished. It was impossible to remove him from office through premature elections, though, because Estrada had bribed the Senate. It was a hopeless situation. Once again it was days of prayer by millions that helped the incredible to occur. The commander in chief of the army and leading generals finally changed their minds, detached themselves from the President and supported the people. On the same day the opposing politician and firm Catholic Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was sworn into office as the new President. A few days later, Cardinal Sin wrote in his pastoral letter, “Trusting prayer is more powerful than weapons. Fasting and sacrifices are more effective than strategic planning. The silent power of the nation that holds night vigils is more powerful than military force.”

Humble prayer and trusting self-offering

Dear friends, the historical fact of these two peaceful revolutions in Southeast Asia should strengthen our conviction that also today, in every country and in every moment, it would be possible through an assault of prayer to bring about a change, not just politically but also spiritually.

We certainly understand better now the “worldwide action of redemption and peace” given by Our Lady. Of course, Rosary beads by themselves are useless! But, as we have seen, praying the Rosary full of trust has great power. This is also true for the Worldwide Action. Having a prayer card in our hands is not enough. But humble prayer with trust and self-offering for the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of everyone has power. Mother Ida saw this. She saw how Our Lady pointed to her own heart and then to the hearts of the nations while saying, “Just as the snow melts into the ground, so the fruit, the Spirit will come into the hearts of all people who pray this prayer every day” (April 1, 1951). “You do not know how great and how important this prayer is before God” (May 31, 1955).

The world has no solution

Everything we have heard until now should help us so that, with our eyes fixed on our mother, we may not become discouraged when faced with the current world situation.
Humanly seen, the situation in the world today is so intricate, complicated, and threatening that there is no way out. Allow me, please, to briefly show you a shocking comparison to illustrate this: on the right are American soldiers who mockingly provoke Iraqi’s and on the left Shiite soldiers in Kerbala during the feast of Ashura who are ready for any form of suicide attack.

Laying on the ground here we see Iraqi civilians who were tortured by American soldiers. In answer, Iraqi freedom fighters beheaded an American businessman. Horrors are being committed throughout the world. Are we already prisoners in an inescapably vicious circle of violence?

Regarding this apparently hopeless situation of today, the Lady of All Nations said already 50 years ago: “The world no longer knows where to turn. Very well then, peoples, trust in your Mother, for she has never forsaken her children” (May 31, 1955). “For the world is not saved by force, the world will be saved by the Spirit” (April 29, 1951). In fact, looking at the Israel and Palestine question, at Iraq or at Islamic Fundamentalism is already enough to confirm these words of Mary. Then there is the war of terrorism which has now reached Europe with the terrible attack in Madrid. Terrorism’s incalculable and gruesome nature has set people throughout the world in a state of tension, fear, and helplessness. It appears that the unstoppable escalation of international terrorism and the fight against it are to become the world war of the 21st century.

The most recent opinion poll in Germany from a month ago stated that of the 82 million citizens there, three-fourths were afraid of terror attacks, which comes as a surprise to no one. Already two years ago, fundamentalist Muslims at a demonstration in Berlin showed that if things get serious they would be ready even in Germany to use their children as suicide bombers.

One year ago, a former Secretary of Defense from the United States was convinced enough by reliable information that he went so far as to suggest that the next terror attack against America would take place not with fully fueled jumbo jets like in New York, but rather with nuclear weapons.
This conviction of his is not so bizarre if you know what the Egyptian diplomat Mohammed el-Baradei said in January this year. He is the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and chief weapons inspector for the United Nations. In an interview, he showed himself to be seriously concerned about the nuclear black market. He said: “The number of nations now believed to be capable of creating nuclear weapons is estimated at 35 or 40.” And later, “I worry that atomic weapons will fall into the hands of unscrupulous dictators or terrorists. … Never was the danger as great as today. … An atomic war draws nearer…” And those are the words of the world’s foremost expert in this field.

Peoples be warned

Dear brothers and sisters, does not the third secret of Fatima come to mind or the words of the Lady of All Nations in Akita, where, in tears, she spoke of fire falling from heaven if we do not convert and do what she has told us? We have the choice whether we listen to her or not. She knows the plans of Satan and is capable of stopping them. What do we know? Nothing! And what are we able to do without her?

May I ask you something? Was it really thanks only to the Jordanian security forces that six weeks ago in the capital, Amman, a terrorist attack that planned on using twenty tons of chemical weapons was discovered at the last second?

The poisonous cloud that would have been produced over the city would have taken more lives than all previous Al-Qaida attacks, including the attack on the twin towers in New York. As I heard of this, I involuntarily thought of a message of the Lady of All Nations from 1947 in which the visionary, Ida Peerdeman, had to painfully experience in her own body the effects of a much more terrible attack, namely, a bacteriological attack.

I do not want to go into details about that, however, because each of you can read this motherly warning for yourselves. This message ends with the pleading words: “Peoples, be warned!” (December 26, 1947).

Such serious predictions of attacks with weapons of mass destruction were not given to make us afraid, but rather only so that through conversion and prayer they can be prevented.

The American Secretary of State, Collin Powell, describes here to the US Senate how easily bacteriological attacks can be carried out. Only a minimal amount of bacteria is needed to cause devastating effects. Because they are hard to detect, this type of weapon is easily smuggled anywhere.

Back to the true source of peace

Who can offer us a solution? Church diplomats? Politicians or maybe the United Nations Security Council? Businessmen or financial experts? Officers, philosophers or psychologists? As important as they are, in the end, they can still provide only a temporary solution.

A lasting solution can only be found in God. Yet God gives his solution for our times through Mary, because as mother she leads all people back to him, the true source of peace. She herself says after all: “Now I speak to the nations of the entire world: … kneel down before your Lord and Creator and be grateful. This world’s science has made people forget gratitude. They no longer know their Creator. Nations, be warned. Kneel down humbly before your Creator. Implore His mercy and He is merciful” (May 31, 1954). “Listen carefully to my words. I am coming to warn the nations. … Nations, be warned of false prophets. … Satan is not yet expelled. The Lady of All Nations may now come in order to expel Satan. She comes to announce the Holy Spirit. … You, however, shall pray my prayer which I gave to the world. Every day and every moment you shall think of the prayer which the Lady of All Nations gave to this world in this time. How strongly Satan is ruling, God alone knows. He now sends His Mother, the Lady of All Nations, to you, to all nations. She will defeat Satan, as has been foretold. She will place her feet upon Satan’s head” (May 31, 1955).

Such victorious words from the mouth of our mother certainly give us new hope and allow us to look to the future with trust.

So that all people may be consoled by her motherly words, it is our missionary task to bring the image and the prayer of the Lady also to those who do not yet know them. It is in accepting the prayer card that they will discover Mary as their mother.

This motherhood of hers is so clearly visible in the image from Amsterdam: before the cross, Mary is our mother because as the Coredemptrix she has suffered for us. She is our mother because as the Mediatrix she transmits all grace.

She is our mother because as the Advocate she answers for us before God and defends us against Satan. Her motherhood for all mankind cannot be pictorially better described!
For those of you who are here for the first time before this image, allow me to point out a peculiarity. The snake representing evil is no longer visible on the globe. This is because the victory over Satan took place on Calvary – through the Redeemer united with the Coredemptrix, as one heart.

She is the Mother for each and every one

Let us not hesitate then to give her image to all! “They all have a right to it” (April 29, 1951) the Lady said. The knowledge alone that she is the mother of every single person must encourage us to correspond to her wish!

Yes, she is the mother of our beloved Holy Father who needs her motherly protection more than ever now.

But she is also the mother of this young person who burned an effigy of the Pope to protest his impending visit.

She is the mother of Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, and yet also the mother of this unbelieving caricaturist, who makes fun of the life of Jesus and the faith with his blasphemous cartoons.

She is the mother not only for the seminarians, priests, and nuns seen here at a solemn liturgy in St. Peter’s Square, but also the mother of these students at a school for Buddhist monks in Tibet who have never yet heard of Mary. She wishes that also these Asian boys may find Christ and become holy.

She is the mother of this Israeli who, after an attack, fought off thoughts of revenge through prayer. Yet she is also the mother of these Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip who have never known a time of peace in their homeland. “…Your Mother knows life, your Mother knows sorrow, your Mother knows the Cross. Everything you go through in this life is a passage that your Mother … went before you” (May 31, 1955).

As a mother, Mary feels for both sides: for the US soldier who obeys a military command just as for imprisoned Iraqis who cast themselves to the ground in fear.

She is mother for the conquerors and for the conquered. She wants to prevent both sides from degeneration, disaster, and war.

Is she not also a mother for movie stars, models, and pop stars? Do they not also have a right to come to know Mary as their very personal mother through the image from Amsterdam?

Mary wants also their conversion at any price, a price which she paid together with Jesus, her divine son, on Calvary. We give this far too little consideration! Every soul has been bought at the high price of the blood of Christ and the sufferings of the Coredemptrix and is therefore of infinite value. Every soul is therefore worthy of respect and true love.
Is not the mother also full of compassion for prostitutes and drug addicts? She loves everyone so personally and full of understanding as if they were her only care. Just as Jesus loves not the sin but the sinner, so too Mary loves not the sin, but rather, with all her motherly love, the sinner.

Our Mother looks with love even upon Satanists who promise happiness to the youth with their suggestive music but in reality only bring death to the soul. She wants to help her children all the more as a mother because they are falling victim to this seduction in droves. My God what a shame! Precisely in that age they would be so formable for that which is good!

I am convinced that if we would give the image of the Lady of All Nations to them, the majority would accept it gratefully.

It is obvious that she is the mother of this girl who spontaneously and with genuine affection kisses her statue!

Yet Mary looks in that same motherly way at this couple in love who perhaps never even think about Mary. Oh how Our Lady would like to do all for the happy success of their marriage.

We do not in any way know this Asian man who bears such burden, and we do not know about his life. Mary, however, is his attentive mother who knows and helps to carry all of his worries for his family and job.

We are perhaps indifferent towards this man that we occasionally see selling ice cream. Mary, however, would like it very much if someone would give him her prayer card so that he may know that in her he has a spiritual mother who is always there for him.

Mary loves this old, dying grandmother so fervently. She knows her entire past. As a mother she wants to be near her also in death. At the same time, though, Mary also looks with tender love upon this little child whose whole life is still before him. As his mother she knows his future.

Does not all of this give us an inkling of the limitless, all-encompassing breadth of the love of this heavenly mother?

A mission done with conviction for Our Mother

Let us have no fear then to fulfill the wishes of Our Lady and to spread out her image to everyone!

At this point, will you allow me to show you an impressive photo that says so much? It will perhaps surprise you, but when I saw this photo, I spontaneously thought about the spreading out of the image of Amsterdam.

This barefooted Iraqi freedom fighter in Baghdad, who was just barely able to save his own life, carries the picture of his idol, the radical Shiite leader Muktada al Sadr. The face of this young man betrays his extreme decisiveness, even his readiness for martyrdom.

This young man thought about one thing in the greatest of danger: to save the picture of his leader to be able to convince his people that the solution of their problems is to be found in his role model al Sadr. If we only had a similarly deep conviction in regards to the peaceful Worldwide Action: that the solution to all problems lays in prayer and in trust in our mother, the Mother of All Nations!

The Shrine of Mary’s Motherhood for all people of all times

So let us also not hesitate to lead our friends to the Chapel of the Lady of All Nations!
Has it ever happily occurred to you that the chapel in Amsterdam is the shrine of motherhood, the shrine of Mary’s motherhood for all people of all times? Whoever we are and whatever we feel, she awaits us always with her loving arms wide open and she stands before us as our mother who never accuses us. On the contrary, she calls out to us all, “No matter who or what you are, I may be for you: the Mother…” (May 31, 1954). Then the visionary, Ida Peerdeman, wrote: “Then the Lady gazes far into the distance, as if she were looking for people. It is as if she really wants to draw all people towards her, people who belong to our Church, people who do not belong to our Church and even people who do not belong to any church at all.” Then the Lady said: “See to it, nations, that those who are in need––and by this I also mean spiritual need––are brought to the Lady. Work among the others with my prayer” (May 31, 1954).

A New Blossoming

Why does the Lady want all people to come to know her as their mother?
The voice of the Lord explains the “why” with incomparably beautiful words in the Eucharistic messages: “A church and a people without a mother is like a body without a soul” (May 31, 1965). “The bride was not sent upon the earth for no reason. Bring her among the peoples. Understand this well: also the Lord needed his mother to come to life. Through the mother comes life. Therefore, she must be brought back into your church and among the peoples and you will experience the blossoming!” (March 25, 1973).

“She must be brought back into our church and among the peoples and we will experience the blossoming.” Is that not an incredibly beautiful promise? I firmly believe that then, in a time of spiritual blossoming, the Holy Father will be able to proclaim the longed-for dogma of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. Through that, a new Pentecost will be given us that will guide the Church into a new era.

In this time of renewal of the Church and the world, that wonderful church that Mother Ida was allowed to see in her visions will also be built through the cooperation of all peoples. Imagine, she saw the Church of the Lady of All Nations built just across from this hall where we are celebrating the day of prayer today!

This basilica, according to how it was shown, will be round with three cupolas.

But, let us be well aware that a condition and prerequisite for this blossoming is our effort to bring Mary as our mother back among the nations, as for example here in India or at a national day of prayer in South Korea.

So, according to her words, let us then cooperate with a new vigor in the Worldwide Action of Redemption and Peace as bishops are already doing throughout the world in their own diocese, whether it is in Slovakia or like here in Australia, or in America, Indonesia or Uruguay, in the Ivory Coast or the Philippines. Yes, when we do what our mother wants of us, then we can also rejoice about this new time that is promised!

I thank you, dear friends, for your attentive listening and I ask you: let us now prayer her prayer together, each one in his mother language, as the Lady of All Nations expressly desired.

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,
who once was Mary,
be our Advocate.
Amen.

It is possible to receive the illustrated text of this conference in various languages.
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Homily by His Excellency Paul Maria Hnilica SJ, Titular bishop from Rome

The Power of Prayer in the Life of the People of God

Dear brothers in the Episcopacy, dear priests,
dear pilgrims,

With all my heart I greet you who have come from around the world to Amsterdam to honor the Lady of All Nations. As the apostles in the Upper Room, on this Pentecost we want to be gathered around Mary, the Coredemptrix, to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit for the whole Church and world.

None of us doubt that we need the extraordinary help of the Holy Spirit’s divine consolation in a special way today. We stand now before the danger of a third world war that could easily lead to a worldwide catastrophe. In this the enemy allows himself to be known only in the moment of the attack. The terror threats and attacks, like that of Madrid, put the whole world into a state of fear. The indoctrinated suicide bombers openly proclaim, “We love death!” On top of that, the economic and social situation of our countries is also largely alarming. But we Christians are in no way powerless before these things.

The Holy Father said in a homily during a visit to Kevelar in 1987, “The destiny of humanity will not be written in Berlin, Washington, Moscow, or Rome. The events of the world are not decided at the tables of the politicians and great ones of this world, but rather there where there is prayer, and that is above all in Marian shrines.” That is why we are here today. We want to believe as St. John Chrysostom teaches, “A praying man holds the rudder of history in his hands.”

In Fatima, Our Lady called us to pray of the rosary to obtain the end of the First World War. Already in 1917, however, she spoke openly of the danger of a second world war if what she desired was not done. She asked for the consecration of Russia and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As Pope Paul VI made a pilgrimage to Fatima in 1967, he called out with an imploring voice: “People, be human! Show yourselves as worthy of the divine gift of peace! Be good, be wise, be generous! … Peace is a gift that we have to ask for and that only God can give, but this gift requires our own personal cooperation!”

Precisely the message of Fatima is a dramatic example of the effects of mankind’s freedom of choice. If we would have done that which Our Lady asked in 1917, the Second World War would have been prevented. She promised this in the name of God.

Today we are again before such a decision. In the consecration text from October 8, 2000, the Holy Father describes our situation. It says, “We are the men and women of an extraordinary time, exhilarating yet full of contradictions. Humanity now has instruments of unprecedented power: we can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble. … Today as never before in the past, humanity stands at a crossroads. And once again, O Virgin Most Holy, salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus, your Son.”

The Lady of All Nations described our situation in the messages of Amsterdam already about 50 years ago. In 1951 she said, “This time is Our time. By this I mean the following: the world is caught up in degeneration and superficiality; it does not know which direction to turn. That is why the Father is sending me to be the Advocate, so that the Holy Spirit will come. For the world is not saved by force, the world will be saved by the Spirit” (April 29, 1951).

We can, however, implore this Spirit only through prayer.

Wherever Our Lady has appeared in the last 150 years, be it in La Salette, Lourdes, Fatima, or in many other places in the world, the request for prayer has been at the center of the message. The same is true here in Amsterdam: “Pray this prayer in all that you do” (December 31, 1951). “I assure you that the world will change” (April 29, 1951).

How often have people of faith been allowed to experience the power of prayer? Just think of the great figures of the Old Testament, like Abraham or Moses. As long as Moses kept his arms raised in prayer before God the people of Israel were victorious against their enemies. God showed his power also in the fight between David and Goliath because David trusted entirely in Yahweh. He said, “Yahweh, who delivered me from the claws of lion and bear, will deliver me from the clutches of this Philistine” (1Sam 17:37).

After his first trip to Fatima in 1982, our Holy Father asked me, “When will we be able to convert Russia?” At that time, there was no prospect that the iron curtain would one day fall. I answered him, quoting St. Padre Pio: “When we have found as many faithful as there are disbelieving atheists in Russia.” And then I added, “This is the message of Fatima.” Our Lady has that same biblical mission today that was once entrusted to Abraham. As Sodom and Gomorrah were about to be destroyed, God asked himself, “Should I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do?” (Gen 18:17b).

But God wants so much to include man in his plans. As Abraham discovered the disaster that awaited the city, he began to bargain with God. He said, “Suppose there are fifty upright people in the city. Will you really destroy it? Will you not spare it for the sake of the fifty upright in it?” The Lord answered, “If I find fifty upright people in the city of Sodom, I shall spare the whole place because of them” (Gen 18). And Abraham kept bargaining with God until he promised him that he would spare the city even for the sake of ten. Unfortunately there were not even ten upright left. If Abraham had just had more faith, and bargained God down to five, he might have saved the whole city.

It is easy for us to give in to the temptation to not truly believe this witness. It lies so far in the past. In that case, may the writings of the great Polish saint of Divine Marcy, St. Faustina Kowalska, help us in our faith.

She wrote, “One day Jesus told me that He would cause a chastisement to fall upon the most beautiful city in our country. This chastisement would be that with which God had punished Sodom and Gomorrah. I saw the great wrath of God and a shudder pierced my heart. I prayed in silence. After a moment, Jesus said to me, ‘My child, unite yourself closely to Me during the sacrifice and offer My Blood and My Wounds to My Father in expiation for the sins of that city. Repeat this without interruption throughout the entire Holy Mass. Do this for seven days.’ On the seventh day I saw Jesus … [looking] down graciously. … Jesus said, ‘For your sake I bless the whole country’” (39).

A few months later the Lord confirmed to Sr. Faustina, that her prayers and offerings had had worldwide effects: “My daughter, … for your sake I bless the earth” (431). “I also withhold My punishments only because of you. … You bind My hands with your love” (1193)

Sr. Faustina was also a just one who interceded before God as once Abraham had done. Through her prayer, sacrifice, and trust she became a transmitter of grace for countless people.

The Holy Father asked me, “How many just ones are needed today to save the world?” I could only answer him, “God alone knows that. But Our Lady will not leave us in peace until the necessary number has been found.”

It was for this reason that she came also here to Amsterdam. She herself has led each one of us here. This then implies a great responsibility. We have to do that which she and the Holy Father, as the representative of Christ, have asked us to do. Then, like Sr. Faustina, we can prevent many disasters. It was only because the servants at the wedding in Cana listened to Mary and filled the jars with water that Jesus worked his first miracle. We too have to do what Mary says and then God will work his miracles also today.

Let us thank God that we can live in this apocalyptic time and be involved in this final battle between Satan and the Woman as St. John describes in the Apocalypse. On the feast of the Archangel Michael, who also in the name of God won in the fight against Satan, John Paul II pleadingly called upon the world to pray. He said,

“We are facing an international situation that is full of tensions, at times threatening to explode. In some parts of the world, where the confrontation is harsher – I think particularly of the suffering land of Christ – we can realize that, even though they are necessary, political efforts are worth little if one remains exacerbated in his mind and no one cares to demonstrate a new disposition of heart in the hope of reviving the struggle and effort of dialogue. … Who but God alone can infuse such sentiments? It is more necessary than ever that from every part of the earth prayer for peace be made to Him. … I wish once again to entrust the great cause of peace to the praying of the Rosary” (Angelus, September 29, 2002).

If we do not do what we can, God will not intervene in the history of humanity, because he absolutely wants our cooperation. If we cooperate too little, we cannot blame God then when terror and persecution break out to an unprecedented degree.

Let us unite ourselves then in prayer and sacrifice with Mary the Coredemptrix. And after this Day of Prayer let us begin with a totally new zeal to make the Coredemptrix known and to pray her prayer. The papal theologian, Georges Cottier, spoke in a global video conference about how important it is “to honor Mary as Coredemptrix.” He says that only when we understand our coredeeming vocation in the right light, are we able to recognize that “every baptized person is called to take part in the mystery of redemption.” St. Paul described this mystery as he wrote to the Colossians from prison, saying, “It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church” (Col 1:24).

The life of holy men and women testifies to the great power of prayer and sacrifice that is united to the redemptive offering of Jesus Christ. It is not a surprise then when Satan undertakes everything to be able to prevent the veneration of the Coredemptrix and thereby to ignore the mystery of coredemption. Recognizing this should be an incentive for us to courageously and resolutely stand up for our mother to whom, after Christ, we owe our thanks for everything. It should also make us do that which she says:
“Very well then, peoples, trust in your Mother, for she has never forsaken her children” (May 31, 1955). “Pray my prayer then, peoples, that the Holy Spirit shall really and truly come” (April 4, 1954). Amen.