On March 25, 1945, on the Feast of the Annunciation, Our Lady appeared to a simple woman, Ida Peerdeman (†1996), who lived with her sisters in Amsterdam. This was the first of 56 apparitions, which took place between 1945 and 1959. On May 31, 2002, the local bishop came to the conclusion that the messages of Amsterdam are of supernatural origin. Our Lady appears under the new title, “The Lady of All Nations” or “The Mother of All Nations”. In this time she wants to be made known and loved by everyone under this title. In a prophetic way, she gives, above all, an impressive insight about the situation in the Church and in the world during the second half of the 20th century. In the messages, Mary then gradually reveals the plan with which God wants to save the world through the Mother. Thus, she gives the peoples and the nations an image and a prayer.
The image shows the Lady of All Nations standing on the globe, permeated by God’s light before the Cross of her Son with whom she is inseparably united. From Mary’s hands stream forth three rays of grace, redemption and peace, which she may grant to everyone who invokes her as Advocate. The flock of sheep represents the nations of the whole world, who will not be at rest until they look up at the Cross, the center of the world.
Explanation of the Image
The messages of Amsterdam are unique in the history of Marian apparitions because Our Lady gives detailed descriptions of her image in six messages. Mary appears here as the COREDEMPTRIX in three ways:
|• She stands, penetrated by God’s light, before the Cross of her Son, with whom she is inseparably united.|
|• She has a cloth wrapped around her, about which she explains, “Listen carefully to what this means. This is as the Loincloth of the Son. For I stand as the Lady before the Cross of the Son” (April 15, 1951).|
|• Her hands have radiant Wounds. Thereby Mary describes in an image the suffering of body and soul which she bore in union with her divine Son for the redemption of mankind. |
Again the Lady directs Ida’s look to her hands and thereby reveals to her that she is MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACE: “Now look at my hands and describe what you see.” Now it is as if there, in the middle of her hands, had been a wound. From there, from each hand, three rays of light are coming forth, shining upon the sheep. The Lady smiles and says, “These are three rays, the rays of Grace, Redemption and Peace” (May 31, 1951). Grace from the Father, Redemption from the Son, and Peace from the Holy Spirit.
|“I have firmly placed my feet upon the globe, for in this time the Father and the Son wants to bring me into this world as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate” (May 31, 1951). “This time is our time” (July 2, 1951). |
In a biblical representation, Mary shows the visionary sheep around the globe which symbolize all the nations and races of the earth. Then she says that they will not find true rest “until they lie down and in tranquility look up at the Cross, the center of this world” (May 31, 1951). Again and again, Mary directs our look to the Cross, the center of the world. Mary asks us therefore to spread this image throughout the world because “It is the interpretation and illustration of the new dogma” (December 8, 1952). For this reason, Mary emphasizes several times that this image must precede the dogma. “This image will precede … will precede a dogma, a new dogma” (April 15, 1951).
Considerations on the Image
When looking for the first time at the image of the Lady of All Nations you may be surprised to see Mary standing before the Redeemer’s Cross without Jesus. “Does she not block the Cross?” one might ask critically. It seems almost as if the Mother standing in front of the dark cross wants to encourage us through this unusual image to ask questions and challenge us to meditate deeper about her vocation and place in the divine plan of redemption. Naturally, Mary could stand aside and point to the Redeemer on the Cross. Many artists, in fact, throughout the centuries have depicted the suffering of Jesus and Mary on Calvary like this or in a similar way. Yet heaven does not try in the image of Amsterdam to describe the vocation of the Redeemer and his redemptive sufferings, rather “they will use this image for the Coredemptrix” (April 29, 1951) as it is written in the messages. Yes, this image is meant to describe the vocation of the co-redeeming Mother without ever casting a shadow on the Redeemer. For Jesus is already risen and has returned to the Father in the splendor of heaven. Thus, He is no longer on the Cross. It stands in the radiant light of the resurrection from which Mary is enveloped. Our Lady, centered before the Cross, helps us to understand that Mother and Son are inseparably united in their mission. Where the Son is, there is also the Mother. The divine Son himself has called her into the center as Coredemptrix. From there we can joyfully realize that she, as the Mother of all nations, transmits the jointly suffered graces of redemption, intercedes and defends us.
The Original Image of the Lady of All Nations
The image of the Lady of All Nations was painted in 1951 by German painter Heinrich Repke and placed in a chapel on an estate in Germany, where it remained until the end of 1953. The painting was then transferred to the Netherlands and provisionally placed in the rectory of the Dominican Church of St. Thomas on Rijn Street in Amsterdam. At the end of 1954, the pastor of this church received permission from the local ordinary of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Bishop Huibers, to place the painting in the church’s Chapel of Our Lady. The solemn installation took place on December 19, 1954. On May 31, 1955, the visionary Ida Peerdeman received her 51st message from the Lady of All Nations in the Chapel of Our Lady in the crowded St. Thomas Church. Negative reactions arrived at the diocesan office. Some people feared that the church might develop into a place of pilgrimage—something they wanted to avoid at all cost. On June 10, 1955, the bishop withdrew his permission, and the parish priest had to remove the painting. The bishop stated as his reason that public devotion could not be permitted pending inquiry into the authenticity of the apparitions. Everything connected with the devotion was removed from the church. The painting was relegated to the rectory—first placed in the library and then in the cellar. It remained there until 1966. The painting next found a welcome in the little parish church in Ville d’Avray near Paris (1966-1967). Then It returned to the Netherlands—first to The Hague, in the monastery of the Holy Sacrament Fathers (1967-1969), then to their monastery in Oegstgeest (1969-1970), and finally to the house on Diepenbrock Street in Amsterdam. The cellar of this house was transformed into a provisional chapel, and the painting was brought there on June 16, 1970. On August 15, 1976, the present-day chapel was consecrated. The image, having wandered for twenty-five years, had now arrived at its second-to-last destination. Its future and final destination was foretold by the Lady herself in her 52nd message: “a separate chapel” in the “house of the Lord Jesus Christ,” that is, the future Lady of All Nations Church to be built at the Europaplein in Amsterdam.
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.
The prayer of the Lady of All Nations, together with her image, forms the core of the messages. The Lady of All Nations calls us to pray this short but powerful prayer at least once a day.
“You will go through a great deal yet, in this century. You, nations of this time, know that you are under the protection of the Lady of All Nations. Invoke her as Advocate; ask her to stave off all disasters. Ask her to banish degeneration from this world. From degeneration comes disaster. From degeneration comes war. Through my prayer you shall ask that this be staved off from the world. You do not know how great and how important this prayer is before God. He will hear His Mother, as she wants to be your Advocate” (May 31, 1955).
The Lady of All Nations Says this Prayer Aloud for the First Time
Already in the very first message on March 25, 1945, Our Lady speaks about her PRAYER as if it was already known. “The prayer must be spread,” she desires. Yet it is only six years later, on the feast of Lourdes February 11, 1951, during a visit to Germany that the visionary hears the touching prayer from the mouth of Our Lady. This happens while the visionary is having a prophetic vision of the Second Vatican Council. This fact alone is a clear sign of the universal importance of this Trinitarian prayer. In the message Mary first of all insists, “Let everyone come back to the Cross; only then can there be peace and tranquility” (Feb. 11, 1951). Then Ida writes, “While I was still standing with the Lady before the Cross, she said, ‘Repeat after me.’ To me this was a little bit strange. I thought to myself, ‘But I already repeat everything she says!’ But suddenly I saw the Lady become even more beautiful than she already was. The light which had always surrounded her became much brighter and brilliant, such that I could hardly bear to look into it. She then raised and joined her hands, which she otherwise always held down. Her face became so heavenly, so sublime; you simply cannot express it in words. Her figure grew even more translucent and so beautiful that I looked at it enraptured and thought ‘What will come now?’ Then the Lady said, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father…’ But the way she said it! It goes right through you. I have not yet heard anyone in the world pray it as she did. ‘Send now Your Spirit’ with the emphasis on NOW, and ‘Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of All Nations’ especially stressing the word ALL. She also pronounces the word ‘Amen’ so beautifully and solemnly. As I repeated everything word for word, I was unaware what all this was actually suppose to be that she was reciting to me. However, when the Lady said ‘Amen’ everything was written in large letters before me, Only then did I realize that it was a prayer. The strange thing is that when the message was finished, I never again needed to read this prayer. It was impressed upon my memory. I knew it and always prayed it. Each time, I heard the tone in which she said everything. Of course I cannot repeat it that way. No one can say it the way she did, so beautiful and impressive.” Then the Lady continues her message, “Child, this is so simple and short that everyone can say it in one’s own language, before one’s own crucifix; and those who have no crucifix say it to themselves. This is the message which I want to give this very day, for I am now coming to say that I want to save souls” (Feb. 11, 1951).
Who Once Was Mary
On July 2, 1951, in a clear, short, and simple way, Our Lady explains the prayer, “‘Who once was Mary’ means: many people have known Mary as Mary. Now, however, in this new era which is about to begin, I wish to be the Lady of All Nations. Everyone understands this.” “Many people”, actually the majority of people from then and from now really only “have known Mary”, the mother of Jesus “as Mary” (July 2, 1951) and have called her thus. This has to be admitted. (Do not to forget, only one-sixth of all humanity is Christian!) Now, however, “in this new era which is about to begin”God wants all people to call Mary, not only by an unassociated name, but to accept and to learn to love her as their personal mother. They should, therefore, no longer call her just Mary but rather ‘my mother’, ‘our mother’ as she already said in the first message of Amsterdam, “They will call me ‘the Lady’, ‘Mother’” (March 25, 1945). However, when I say not only “Mary” but “Mother”, then something decisive changes through it in my personal relationship with her. Nevertheless, not everyone is satisfied with this simple explanation. Mary therefore describes in her 41st message, on the basis of Holy Scripture, how this ‘change’ from ‘Mary’ to the title ‘LADY OF ALL NATIONS’ came about. This reference to the gospel should be especially helpful for the theologians. (John 19:26 uses the word ‘Woman’. The Lady quotes it in explaining when she became ‘the Lady’. In Dutch the word‘Vrouwe’ means both ‘Woman’ and ‘Lady’.)
“Tell the following to the theologians: at the sacrifice of the Cross came ‘the Lady’. The Son said to His Mother, ‘Woman, behold your son.’ Thus the change came about at the sacrifice of the Cross. The Lord and Creator chose Miriam, or Mary, from among all women to become the Mother of His Divine Son. At the sacrifice of the Cross she became ‘the Lady,’ the Coredemptrix and Mediatrix. This was announced by the Son while He was returning to the Father. That is why I am bringing these new words in this time, and saying: I am the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary. Tell this to your theologians. This is what these words mean for the theologians” (April 6, 1952).
Are You Not Always Mary?
Nearly every one who hears or says this prayer for the first time stops for a moment in surprise and wonders, as did the visionary and her spiritual director, “But you have always been Mary, the same Mary now as you were then, and not anyone else!” Of course, we can always address Mary as “Mary”, like we repeat many times in the Hail Mary when we pray the Rosary. The LADY OF ALL NATIONS, however, wants to express in this wording that even her vocation wonderfully evolved. So we are always dealing with the same person, Mary. Now though, in Amsterdam, she “who once was Mary” has the desire, at the height of her coredeeming vocation, to be called ‘THE LADY, MOTHER OF ALL NATIONS’. For Mary too became in the course of her life something that she had not yet previously been.
Through her FIAT she—the Immaculate Conception, the completely unknown and simple girl from Nazareth—became the Mother of the Divine Son. Through her suffering, united with the Redeemer, the Mother of Jesus also became the Lady, the Mother of All Nations and she wishes now in our time to be recognized and to be loved as such by all mankind. Everything depended on correspondence and faithful cooperation, even in Mary’s case! At this point it may be helpful to show with specific examples how someone, by collaborating with God’s grace and through suffering, matures into that what God has called him:
“May the father and patron of the Church, who once was Joseph, be our intercessor!” It may be applied to a holy pope:“May Pope Pius X, who once was Giuseppe Sarto, intercede for us in heaven!”
When the visionary herself understood better, she also made comparisons like the following to help others understand. Just as the little, playful girl Beatrix already had the vocation to one day become the Queen of the Netherlands, so too, Mary, who once lived as a hidden, simple little girl in the unknown town of Nazareth, became the Mother, the Lady of All Nations.
The Power of the Prayer
“You will go through a great deal yet, in this century” (May 31, 1955), Mary says. She promises, though, that if we pray her prayer, “degeneration, disaster and war may be staved off” (Oct. 11, 1953) and spiritual confusion may be conquered. She has been sent directly in our time as the Lady of All Nations so that “through this prayer, she may deliver the world from a great world catastrophe” (May 10, 1953). What great power this prayer has!
Our Lady clearly describes the spiritual condition of our time, “Satan is still the prince of this world. He holds on to everything he can. … The Lady had to bring her prayer now over this satanic world. For the Holy Spirit is still to come over the peoples” (April 4, 1954). As the Lady of All Nations she is now sent “in order to expel Satan. … You, however, shall pray my prayer which I gave to the world”(May 31, 1955). This prayer is therefore a decisive weapon in the fight against Satan. Since you concretely pray that the Holy Spirit come now at this moment, Satan consequently must vanish here and now. We are not praying “vanish Satan!” like an exorcism or Pope Leo XIII’s prayer to St. Michael the Archangel: “…through the divine power of God, cast into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits…”Much more, the prayer of Amsterdam incites us to pray with all our heart, “Come Holy Spirit!” For our mother knows that where the Holy Spirit, who is Love, can be found, there is no place for demons, and she who “…stands as Advocate now in this anxious time” (cf. Dec. 31, 1951), “…will be allowed to bring peace to the world” (Oct. 11, 1953).
Like a missionary who wants to save all souls, Our Lady tells us already in her first apparition about her heart’s desire, “The prayer must be spread” (March 31, 1945). For she knows the divine plan of redemption for humanity, “This prayer has been given for the redemption of the world. This prayer has been given for the conversion of the world” (Dec. 31, 1951), and therefore she asks us, “Then spread my prayer, the prayer of the Lord” (May 31, 1957).
She wants to give strength and power to all those who contribute to the spreading of the prayer, and she assures, “I shall help them” (Nov. 15, 1951). Ida is the first one charged with this task, “Do your work, and see to the outspreading” (Dec. 31, 1951). “Work for this alone, and give spiritual and bodily help by saying the prayer of the Lady of All Nations” (Feb. 17, 1952).
Once again, Our Lady uses an image of snowflakes to teach the visionary that this prayer should be prayed everywhere. “I see the globe rotating under her feet, and snowflakes are falling thickly everywhere. Then the Lady says, ‘Did you see this? The Lady of All Nations will be brought throughout the world in the same way, from town to town, from country to country. This simple prayer will create one community’” (Feb. 17, 1952). “I want this to be [prayed] in many languages”(March 4, 1951) and the prayer brought also “to those countries where faith has declined” (April 15, 1951), because “The Lady of All Nations is not destined for one country, for one place, but is destined for the world, the peoples” (Oct. 11, 1951). “They all have a right to it” (April 29, 1951). Thus the explicit desire of the Mother of All Nations is understandable, that this prayer “will have to be prayed in all churches” (Dec. 8, 1952). “This prayer shall be spread in churches and by modern means” (Dec. 31, 1951). Yes, the Christians “shall pray my prayer against degeneration, disaster and war, and bring it among all nations” (Oct. 11, 1953). Not least of all, the Lady of All Nations expects that those who spread the prayer do it rapidly, very seriously, and with great zeal, because after all they work“for this cause, which the Son wants to be realized” (April 29, 1951).
Testimony about the Prayer
At the Third International Day of Prayer for Pentecost 1999, His Excellency Sooza Pakiam, Bishop of Trivandrum, India made an impressive speech. This nice example is an excerpt taken from it. “Today, the devotion to the Lady of All Nations is spreading in different parts of my diocese. I wonder how I myself came into this movement? What attracted me most was the prayer taught by Our Lady. It is a meaningful, short and profound prayer. It is essentially an invocation of the Holy Spirit. “Now it has been ten years since I was ordained a bishop. During these past ten years, I initiated a number of activities and introduced a series of renewal programs in my diocese. As a result of all these, we now have a beautiful structure appreciated by all. But today what I realize is this: the greatest need of today is not structures and buildings, not methods and techniques, not machinery and blue prints. All these, without the Holy Spirit, are nothing but dead bodies without a soul. That is why in her prayer the Lady of All Nations teaches us to invoke the Holy Spirit so that the Spirit of God may come upon and live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. “For this reason, I wrote a pastoral letter and asked all my priests to learn this beautiful prayer by heart and to teach it to all their parishioners. I myself recite this prayer several times a day, because what we need today is not mainly new legislation, new theologies and new liturgies, but above all a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may take our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. (Cf. Ezek 36:26-27)… “May the veneration of Mary as the Lady of All Nations inspire each and every one of us and all of humanity to imitate the example of Mary’s total surrender to God who “casts the mighty from the throne and exalts the lowly …”(Lk 1:52)
The Title Mother and Lady of All Nations
“Under this title she will save the world.”
In the apparitions of Amsterdam, Our Lady wished to be called by the title “THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS”. In 1996, the bishop of Haarlem, Mgr. H. Bomers, together with his auxiliary bishop and later successor, Mgr. J. M. Punt, issued a decree in which they permitted the public veneration of Mary under this title. , in dem er die öffentliche Verehrung Mariens unter diesem Titel erlaubte.
Already in the first message Mary announces, “They will call me ‘The Lady’, ‘Mother’” (March 25, 1945), but that was not yet the complete title. Only after Pius XII solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven on November 1, 1950, Our Lady presents herself immediately in the next message with her new title, “Child, I am standing upon this globe, because I want to be called the Lady of All Nations” (Nov. 16, 1950).
When attentively reading the messages it becomes apparent that the new title is actually a summery of Mary’s coredemptive , mediatory and intercessory vocation. In order to make this clear to us, Mary uses her title, her new name THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS often in direct connection with Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.
“The Lady of All Nations stands in the middle of the world before the Cross. She comes under this name as the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, in this time” (Dec. 31, 1951). “I have firmly placed my feet upon the globe, for in this time the Father and the Son want to bring me into this world as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate” (May 31, 1951). Further on in the same message she states, “The Father and the Son wish to send Mary, the Lady of All Nations, in this time as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.”
A Biblical Title
(It is important to note that in various languages the same word may be used for both ‘lady’ and ‘woman’ as is the case with the Dutch ‘Vrouwe’ Biblical references in English use only ‘woman’ as in John 19:26 which Our Lady quotes as being when she became ‘the Lady’.)
- Already in the first pages of the Bible, in the book Genesis, Mary is described as the woman (or Lady) who, united with her Son, will crush the head of the serpent. God said to Satan, who had led Adam and Eve into pride and disobedience, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers.” (Gn 3:15)
- At the wedding in Cana, Jesus addressed His Mother for the first time as woman, in order to remind her of her vocation to become the Lady of all Nations. As Mediatrix and Advocate she implores and obtains the miracle.
- On Calvary, our dying Redeemer turns to His Mother with His last strength, and as a personal testament says only four decisive words, “Woman, behold, your son!” With these divine words, Mary as Coredemptrix was made the Lady of all Nations. The message of April 6, 1952 confirms this, “At the sacrifice of the Cross, she became the ‘Lady (‘Woman’), the Coredemptrix and Mediatrix. This was announced by the Son while He was returning to the Father.”
- The last of the four Scripture passages is found in the Book of Revelation. There, at the climax of the history of salvation, the woman again appears, clothed with the sun. She lays in pain, in the birth pangs for the new birth of humanity. (cf. Rv 12:1 ff.) A huge and red dragon appears and pursues the woman, who has borne a son.
The promised WOMAN in Genesis, who, united with her Son, crushes the head of the serpent; the WOMAN at Cana; the WOMAN on Calvary; and the WOMAN of the Apocalypse is the LADY OF ALL NATIONS, because, united with the Redeemer, she suffered for all nations, mediates the life of grace to all nations, and intercedes for all nations.
Mother for Everyone
As a true mother, she assures her children, whether believers or not, black or white, educated or not,“No matter who or what you are, I may be for you: the Mother, the Lady of All Nations” (May 31, 1954). And she promises everyone, “I will give consolation. Nations, 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, the Lady of All Nations, went before you. She went this road before you”(May 31, 1955).“The Lady of All Nations will come throughout the whole world. And in those countries which have rejected me, I shall return as the Lady of All Nations, standing on the globe before the Cross, surrounded by the flock of Christ. This is how I wish to come and will come. I will answer––according to the Son’s will––those who call upon me this way, as the Lady of All Nations”(Sept. 20, 1951).
She Defeats Satan
In an age where in many ways Satan is the prince of the world, Our Lady promises her triumph, “The powers of hell will break loose. They will not, however, defeat the Lady of All Nations” (Dec. 3, 1953). “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” (May 31, 1955). “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).
Peace and Salvation
Love urges Mary to even give us proof that she is truly the Lady of All Nations. She therefore prophesizes, “The sign of the Lady of All Nations will later on be seen throughout the entire world. Let them understand this well. False powers will fall…Once again I say: the Lady of All Nations can and will bring Grace, Redemption and Peace” (Feb. 17, 1952). And again about a year later, “In order to prove that I am the Lady of All Nations, I said: great powers will fall; politico-economic struggle will arise; watch out for the false prophets; pay attention to the meteors; there will be disasters; there will be natural disasters; we are facing great decisions; we are facing heavy pressure…she will save the world” (March 20, 1952). “I will and may bestow Grace, Redemption and Peace upon all who ask me. I promise this today!” (Aug. 15, 1951).“The Lady of All Nations will be allowed to bring peace to the world” (Oct. 11, 1953). Indeed, the Lady of All Nations is sent by her Lord and Creator so that “under this title and through this prayer, she may deliver the world from a great world catastrophe” (May 10, 1953). Until then though, the churches and the nations must in firm unity“invoke Mary under her new title and pray her prayer so that degeneration, disaster and war may be staved off from this world” (Oct. 11, 1953) and that the road is made free for the decisive final Marian dogma which is summarized in the title LADY OF ALL NATIONS and which will be proclaimed under this title.
His Excellency John B. Thakur, a Jesuit bishop from India, made a nice testimony about the title ‘Lady of All Nations’ during the Third International Day of Prayer in honor of the Lady of All Nations in 1999, excerpts of which follow.“… The Church is known for her contribution of good education in our country. People flock to our institutions for admission. The Christian population in our country is about 2.5 percent. Hence 92 to 98 percent of the students attending most of our schools are Hindus, Muslims, Parsees, etc. The children in our institutions respect our religion. They feel free to go and say prayers in the chapel, if there is one in our school facility; and, naturally, they go to the statue of Our Lady, which is always in a prominent place. A nice example from one of our students: A group of young Hindu girls was kneeling and praying respectfully at the statue of Our Lady in one of our schools. After prayer, they looked with surprise at what was inscribed at the pedestal of the statue. It was written, “Mary, Mother of Christians, pray for us.” They did not understand why it was written that way. They went to the principal and inquired why is it inscribed, “Mary, Mother of Christians, pray for us”? They said, “Mary is Mother not only to the Christians, but Mother of us all. We love her, respect her and pray to her.” So there you are. “Mother of All Nations”, declared the mouths of innocent children.
Introduction to the Messages
The messages may be viewed as three groups:
1) The first twenty-five messages, 1945-1950: These messages are more general in topic. Mary, the Lady, presents images, warnings and prophecies which clearly predict the political and spiritual turbulence to come in the second half of the twentieth century.
The first twenty-five messages, given between 1945 and 1950, are not always easy to understand. Initially the meaning of many images and words remained obscure. In a time in which no one could foresee the heavy storms to break out over the Church and the world, the Lady warned of forthcoming degeneration, disaster, and war. Now, fifty years later, this is all the more remarkable, for many of the images have become familiar to us, and many of the prophecies have been fulfilled: the founding of the Jewish state of Israel (message 2), the Cold War (message 23), economic warfare, boycotting, currency crises (message 14), the first landing on the moon (message 7), the Balkan war (message 17), the downfall of communism (message 5), chemical warfare (message 17), and many more. It is with good reason that the Lady says, “It will come true through the years” (message 19) and “The signs are in my words” (message 49). Again and again the Lady points to Christ, to the Cross, “First back to Him, only then will there be true peace” (message 9). There will be no peace on earth until the Cross is truly planted in the midst of the world and everyone looks up to it as the center of creation. The Lady promises to help the world, and she announces the coming of a new Spirit, a white Dove Who will send forth His rays. “I place my foot on the world. I will help them and lead them to the goal, but they must listen …” (message 5).
2) The next twenty-four messages, 1951-1954: Following the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven on November 1, 1950, the messages take on a new direction. The great plan by which the Lady wishes to save the world gradually unfolds. She dictates a prayer which, together with her image, is to be spread throughout the whole world, and she states that this-her ‘worldwide action’-is the direct preparation for the final Marian dogma: Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. In numerous messages she explicates the meaning and importance of this prayer, image, and dogma, and she promises that the dogma will bring about a completely new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
On November 15, 1950, fifteen days following the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, the Lady appeared standing on the globe, and for the first time she mentioned her new title: ‘The Lady of All Nations’. In the following year, 1951, the Lady dictated her short and simple prayer, directed to the Lord Jesus Christ, requesting the sending of the Holy Spirit. She gave instructions for the painting of her image and started to speak about the final Marian dogma: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.The first and greatest commandment: In many messages the Lady speaks to the Church and to all Christians. Time and again she stresses the importance of the great commandment: Love. Thus she says: “The first and greatest commandment for humanity is Love. One who possesses love will honor one’s Lord and Master in His creation, that is to say, see the greatness of His creation, including the Sacrifice. One who possesses love will do to other people everything one would like done to oneself. Love is the first and the greatest commandment which Christ gave” (message 35). The Lady admonishes Christians, telling them to be broad-minded and open-hearted; she continually calls for unity. Love alone can help this shattered world.
3) The last seven messages, 1954-1959: From May 31, 1954, onward, the Lady appears on May 31st every year. In grand visions she addresses the nations of the world, showing them the way to go, the way leading to the daily Miracle, the Eucharist.
Of the final seven messages, given between 1954 and 1959, six of them were given on the 31st of May. In these messages we see the Lady in her heavenly glory. She speaks to the nations of the world, urgently admonishing them, and she shows humanity the way it must go. The series of messages ends with a heavenly vision of the glorified Lady and the Lord in His divine majesty.
The Church, the Community: When referring to the Church, the Lady often calls it ‘the Community’, into which she wants to gather all people, “no matter who or what they are” (message 38). Amsterdam takes on particular significance. It is there that the Lady wants a special church to be built, and from there that her action shall spread throughout the world. She shows the exact place where the Lady of All Nations church is to be built, even giving detailed directions for its construction (message 52).
The Eucharist: The way humanity has to go is towards the great mystery of the Eucharist, the daily Miracle. In her final messages the Lady points with ever greater emphasis towards the Eucharist, the real presence of the Lord under the appearance of bread and wine (message 56). In the heavenly vision of May 31, 1959, the figure of the Lord Himself in all of His grandeur and majesty, emerges from a Host of white fire, and the words resound, “Whoever eats and drinks Me acquires eternal life and receives the True Spirit.”
The Dogma: Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Avdocate
Why a New Dogma? From the brochure Origin Messages Significance, 2002 The Lady of All Nations Foundation. Apart from spreading the new Marian title ’the Lady or Mother of All Nations’ and a new prayer, the devotion also encompasses the building of an international church in Amsterdam and the dogmatic proclamation of Mary’s role in Gods redemptive plan as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. It is important to understand this well. The term ‘Coredemptrix’ never intends to take away the uniqueness and universality of Christ’s Mediation, but refers to it and rather shows the strength of it.
The term ‘Coredemptrix’ has a long-standing tradition in the Church. The idea is to be found among Church Fathers, saints and popes. Edith Stein, Maximilian Kolbe, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa and Sr. Lucia from Fatima have strongly advocated it in our times. John Paul II used the term several times. It is interesting that it were the Dutch bishops who in 1943 when entrusting the Dutch people to the protection of Mary, highlighted the title ‘Coredemptrix’ and theologically elaborated on it. The bishops emphasized that only Christ is the Mediator between God and the human being (Cf. 1 Tim 2:5). Everything Mary gives, comes from Him. She is Mediatrix and guardian of her Son’s graces. She intercedes for us with her Son. She is, however, also Coredemptrix because she was instrumental in his work of redemption and participated in it (Cf. Lk 1:38).
Mary’s role, John Paul II says, has its origin in the triune God Himself, “who wanted to bring about and accomplish the great mysteries of the history of salvation by means of the responsible and faithful cooperation of the humble handmaid of Nazareth.” (Pope John Paul II, in an address to the International Colloquium on Mariology, Rome, October 13, 2002) In this way Mary is the image of the Church. In this cooperation a special dimension of the redemption becomes visible that has a direct bearing on us, namely our own participation in the redemption, our own answer to it.
Mgr. J. M. Punt, bishop of Haarlem expressed it as follows: “In essence every human being is called upon to cooperate in the redemption through Christ, in order – as St. Paul writes – ‘to make up in our own body all the sufferings that still have to be undergone by Christ’. All our prayers, sufferings and works become redemptive in as far as the human being is united with Christ, in faith and life (Cf. Salvifici Doloris nr. 25, Pope John Paul II). Mary takes up an unique position in this: her divine motherhood unites her in a supreme way with Him, from the time before his birth till after his death. Conceived without sin, she was created in the original fullness and freedom as God had intended for the human race. That was why she could respond in free surrender to Gods love and redemption on behalf of the human race. As ‘Associate of the Redeemer’ she was predestined to go along the same way as Christ, persevering unto the Cross (Cf. Jn 19:26,27).
Her sorrows merged with his sorrows. Her sacrifice with his sacrifice (Cf. Lumen Gentium 58). Inseparable then, inseparable now. Therefore, as the Church teaches us, she has been taken up to heaven with soul and body. Therefore she is also glorified. This deep union and coredemptive suffering underlie her universal, mediating motherly role.”
The first four marian dogmas focus on Mary’s life and assumption into heaven. The fifth dogma wants to formulate her universal role in God’s redemptive plan now. “Taken up to heaven”, the Vatican Council states, “she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation.” (Cf. Lumen Gentium 62)
This coredemptive, mediating role of Mary is not a human invention, it is a divine plan, deeply willed by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. By solemnly proclaiming this dogma, the Church gives her free consent to the Redemption and glorifies God Himself in fully recognizing his plan of salvation. This solemn proclamation enables Mary to fully unfold the preeminence of her titles and universal motherhood and to bestow ‘grace, redemption and peace’ to humanity and the world. It is the road to a new ‘Cana’, enabling Mary to touch her Son’s heart and bring about a unique outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our dramatic times. It is the gate to a new evangelization and to true ecumenism in the Third Millennium.