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).
Message of March 28, 1948, Easter
The struggle begins – I see the Lady and she says, “Justice will be the point at issue. Within a very short time grave things are going to happen. These will be preceded by chaos, disorder, doubt and despair. Above St. Peter’s heavy clouds will hang, which will be dispersed with much struggle and difficulty. Otherwise, perdition. All Christians must join forces. That will be accompanied by great pain and misery. Join forces, all of you, for the struggle begins. The gates are opening. The Eastern peoples are holding their hands before their faces in Jerusalem. They will wail over their city. There is a large well in which you all can wash yourselves.”(1) Then I see written: ‘Righteousness’, ‘Love’ and ‘Justice’. The Lady says, “As long as these words are not kept before people’s eyes and are not lived in their hearts, there will be no peace in sight.” Then I see a Cross planted in the ground. A snake is wriggling around it, and everything around me is growing black and dark. Next I see a sword hanging over Europe and the East. From the West a light is coming. I hear the Lady say very seriously,“Christian peoples, the heathens will teach it to you.”
Search your hearts – Then I see the Pope and around him a reinforced bodyguard. There are also other people around him; it seems to me they are all clerics––bishops and cardinals. While pointing at these clerics, the Lady says, “Snares and traps.” Having said this, the Lady looks at me intently. Heavy clouds are hanging over St. Peter’s. Then the Lady says to all those who are sitting around the Pope,“Be righteous and act according to your teaching. Cover your eyes with your hands, and search your hearts.” Then it is as if I would again receive a Cross in my hand, and it hurts. It is so heavy that I can scarcely hold it. The Lady says, “Grip it tightly.” It is as if large rays would stream forth from it. Then suddenly the Lady is gone, and so is the light.
(1) Here there is a striking resemblance to the words of Zechariah 13:1, “When that day comes, a fountain will be opened … to wash sin and impurity away.”
Message of May 7, 1949, 1948
I have to raise two fingers, and then I see a bishop in full pontificals. After that I see a stone bier upon which a high clergyman, also of stone, is lying. At the head of the stone bier a cardinal’s hat is lying, and above that a sword and a crown. That sword is lying diagonally, partly beside the hat, and, because the bier is slanted, it points downwards diagonally.
The darkness of the times – Then I am placed before a large gate. It is opened before me and I have to enter. Someone in a long gown is standing before the gate. I shudder at the thought of stepping across the threshold. Suddenly I see that it is the Lady. She says, “Take that step.” Then we come into a large space which is circular. In that space there is an unending depth and darkness. The Lady says,“That is a dark spot. You must penetrate very deeply into it. It is the depth and the darkness of the times.”
The least of my children – Then all at once I see the Lady seated, dressed in mourning, with a white veil draped over her head. She has very old features and she is sitting stooped. She says, “We are here in the darkness; it is the degeneration of humanity.” Then I see a crucifix before me. The corpus slides down from it, so that the Cross is left bare. The Lady says very sadly, “The Way of the Cross is starting over again.” I see deep wrinkles and big tears on the Lady’s face. After this I go with her deeper into the darkness. We walk on and on and I see nothing but darkness. “Oh, what is that?” I ask. We enter a grotto. The Lady lets me, so to speak, feel the stone; it is a grotto of natural stone. Then suddenly some straw appears in it, and a child is laid upon the straw. Many people are coming in from all around, very ordinary people. The Lady says, “Ordinary people, the least of my children. They can no longer find any room––entire crowds.” She keeps on repeating, “The least of my children.” Now, before my eyes, that cave changes into a church. Immediately after that I see countless rows of churches, and then again that one church. Just as in the cave, there is straw there, and a little child is laid upon it. This is again not an ordinary child, but a heavenly, radiant, and spiritualized Child. Now the Lady takes me along all those churches and points out to me nothing but empty pews. She says, “Do you see the mistake? Emptiness.” And then many white plates, like name plates, appear on those pews. The Lady asks again, “Do you see the mistake?” Now she stretches out her hand over all those rows of pews, and then I see that those pews are bare––all the name plates are gone. “The least of my children”, that voice says again; and then it is as though the Lady wants to fill up those pews with people. Then I see a bishop. The Lady says, “Tell this; tell this.” And she points at those churches. Then she says, “The world, and above all the Church, must be detached from everything.”
Fight – Then I see St. Peter’s. I see the Pope seated with his head bowed and his bodyguard around him. All that is also placed in the cave. Then the Lady writes a large ‘P’ with an ‘X’ across it. This she puts down at his feet, and in front of it is placed the Cross, the long beam pointed upwards––thus upside down. The Lady says, “Where are your soldiers?” The Pope is sitting with his fingers raised, and above his head is written, ‘Fight’. I see more and more fighting. Then suddenly I see soldiers wearing high caps standing behind the Pope; they are raising two fingers.
Conflict and degeneration – The Lady says, “Then a great conflict will arise in the world.” And I see two powers opposing one another. All at once I see a large field of waving corn; it is moving to and fro very slowly. Then I hear the Lady say twice, “Degeneration!” Then she says, “Russia will do everything in pretence. There will be a complete revolution.” Now I see the earth, and it is as if it makes a turn. Then the Lady says, “Nature is changing too.” I hear, “Christ is no more.” I go looking around and hear, “Realism, a spirit of realism.” I also see that spirit, so to speak.
The spirit they did not understand – Then I have a very beautiful vision. We arrive inside the cave again and I see, so to speak, all the fruits and riches of the earth being put into that cave. Now the Lady looks very cheerful, and she says to me, “We are going to distribute this.” But then she suddenly gets very serious and says, “This was the spirit they did not understand.” And meanwhile it is as if she is distributing. Now the Lady lets me see the bare Cross and lays it down flat on the floor of the cave.
Forces of nature – Suddenly I find myself above the earth; the globe is beneath us. I now see something quite peculiar, something that is unfamiliar to us. In the middle there is an area, intensely blue and of unending depth. Round about it appear rings––circles of beautiful colors––fading off into one another. They are colors that are unfamiliar to us. As I float there in the air, I am suddenly pulled down as if by a magnet. The Lady says, “These are forces of nature. You will hear about them.” It seems to me that it is for later on. We continue on our way and come above those rings or circles into an infinite light, a very strange and peculiar light. Then we come above another circle, which is very heavy to me. My hands and my whole body become numb; it is as if I were floating, going up and down. Then I feel some kind of pain, a terrible pain. I don’t know what this has to do with it. This image disappears and now I see the Lady pointing at something. She says, “That is the bright circle”
The Church surrounded – And now I suddenly see St. Peter’s again, next to it the Church of England, then the Armenian Church and then the Russian Church; this I am again given to understand. A cord is encircling them all. Then I see the Pope sitting at the head, holding the two ends. Behind this, behind the Pope and those churches, I vaguely hear the word: “Atheists”. They form a semicircle around it all. Then another curve appears around it. Thus the Church is, so to speak, surrounded. I hear the Lady say very sadly and emphatically, “We will not make it this way.” Then I see a donkey with people taking to flight. A woman with a little child is sitting on the donkey. Both are shining figures. It is a scene from the East.
A divided world – Then I see Europe lying before me and next to it America. It is as if I would seize something from the middle of North America and sprinkle it over Europe. I do not know what it is. Then in the distance I see a multitude of Eastern peoples.“These he will rouse”, says the Lady. I see this in the far distance.Then a skull appears, and I hear the Lady say, “A great disaster will occur. That will get their attention. The Eastern seas are full; you do not see that.” Now I have to trace a line from north to west, slanting downward. I do not know what this means. Then the Lady says, “They are looking for peace, but it is not to be found.” And now the Lady goes away.
Message of October 1, 1949
Christ persecuted – I see the Lady. She says, “My child, I am helping you. Have confidence––in difficult moments too.” She puts a Cross in my hand; it is so heavy! The Lady says, “Child, you shall carry the Cross around.” Now I see written before me, ‘1950’ and then ‘1951-1953’. Then I see St. Peter’s in front of me. Drops are falling upon it––tears or rain. Then the Lady says, “Warn that it is not going well this way. My Son is being persecuted again. Take the Cross and plant it in the center! Only then will there be peace.”
War on the Balkans – England – Then suddenly I see the Balkans. There is war there; they are fighting again. The Lady says, “Child, there will be a severe fight. We are not yet out of this fight. Economic disasters will come. England’s empire is tottering.” Now I see the crown of England with a rope attached to it. They are pulling that crown from all sides in order to keep it balanced above that country. Then I see the Pope and a patriarch.
Russia – Then the Lady says, “Come along to Russia.” I now see Russia. The Lady takes me along to glass buildings, underground too––all kinds of people are working there. These seem to be Germans, Frenchmen, Poles, but others too; I hear them speaking different languages. It seems to be deep in Russia, somewhere in the great uninhabited plains of northern Russia. The Lady says, “They are making chemicals there. America, be warned! Intervene, do intervene! Not only human lives are at issue here, but higher powers. Bring faith into the world again. But the faithful …” and the Lady shakes her head. “Live according to it––Love of Neighbor––for Love is the first commandment! Righteousness comes next.”
The Danube countries – Now I travel, so to speak, with the Lady down the Danube. She points all around her and says, “Work has to be done here; work has to be done there.” And she points from left to right. “It must return to God. The people are ripe for it. The top leaders, however, do not want to.”And then all of a sudden the Lady is gone.
Message of November 19, 1949
Italy and Germany – The Lady is there again. She lets me see Italy, saying, “Those in high positions have to take the lead there. Mere words avail nothing. Deeds!” Then it is as if I would see St. Peter’s tottering. The Lady says, “In Italy they have to work better against communism. Warn them of the situation in Germany and Italy; they can still be saved. I say this now so that you may tell them to work against the degeneration of Germany. The people are good, but they are led astray by circumstances. We have to bring the Cross there again and plant it in the center. They have to begin to reawaken the faith among the youth and instill it anew. If hard work is not done in Italy, it will perish. The least of my children must be roused.”
Praying – Then it is as if the Lady takes a great crowd of people to a certain spot. While watching this, I see the Lady pushing these people towards an altar, upon which a large Cross is standing. Then she says, “This is the work of the mighty ones of this world, but …” And then she moves her finger to and fro and keeps shaking her head. “For that reason they all have to work together. Pass it on!” the Lady says. “They have to pray even more. Pray to ward off degeneration. The whole world will destroy itself if this is not done. That is why I showed you this.”
Message of December 3, 1949
Germany – Modern paganism – I see the Lady standing before me. She says, “Child, I am bringing you a message for Germany again. It must be saved.”Then the Lady takes me above Germany. As I see Germany lying there I feel the situation there: a terrible decline of the country, the people, and the youth––and a great apostasy. The Lady says,“The bishops should work. They have to give the order to their priests to work especially among the youth, against humanism––modern paganism.”I see many crosses standing before me. The Lady shows me how those crosses are being taken to various places. Now in Berlin I see a large square, where the Reichstag-building is. The Lady seems to plant a large Cross there, saying to me,“People have to be brought there. The youth have to be kept away from modern paganism. They should work hard on this.”
Rome – Then I see Rome again before me. The Lady moves her finger in warning over Rome and says, “Oh, oh, why not start from there? It has to be completely rebuilt.” It is as though her hands are going around the Vatican, digging underneath and turning everything upside down.
The Netherlands – Then I see the Netherlands lying before me. The Lady says, “The Netherlands are approaching the downward slope, too.” I see the Dutch youth, young people and children, on a downward slope. The Lady says,“They are on a downward slope.”
The chasm – Then it is as if the Lady takes me along somewhere. In front of me I see two very high mountains. In between there is a very deep and dark chasm or abyss. It seems as though I were suddenly placed on one of those mountains. The Lady says, “Look …” And I see an abyss in the middle of the world. All at once it seems that the two mountains are brought together by the Lady, and she says, “This chasm has to be closed.”
Changing the laws – Next I see St. Peter’s. The Lady says, “Child, there you see the Pope in full pontificals, holding up two fingers. Listen carefully. The doctrine is right, but the Pope is entitled to change the laws. He should see it through.” All the while I see the Pope sitting before me, holding up two fingers. Next I see a large session hall, in which the Pope is seated. “Child,” says the Lady, “the laws may be changed. They may, they must be changed. The social classes must come closer to each other. Those in Rome should see it through and set the example for the entire world. Consider and speak––and again I say to you: love is the first commandment, and next to it, as if joined to it by an arch, truth and righteousness.”
The doctrine of Christ – “Child,” says the Lady again, “look.” And I see a ‘50’ between the Lady and the Pope. The Lady says, “In that year hard work will have to be done and … not only with words. The doctrine of Christ is right. Why is it not lived correctly and in all its refinement?” Now I see around me little dots and in the middle a big, red one. The Lady presses her hand heavily upon the red dot, saying, “That is the main issue. It is not lived correctly. There needs to be a complete change. If they do not take these warnings to heart, they will perish and end up there.” And I again see those mountains with the abyss. Once more I see the Pope, and the Lady says, “He has but to command and it will happen.” Then I see Italy and unfamiliar clergy of high rank. I see the Pope seated with cardinals and bishops around him, in a large session hall of the Vatican. The Lady tells me he is issuing a decree. Then I see bridging between the upper and lower classes. “This is what it has to come to”, the Lady says. “Keep in mind love and righteousness. Let all who believe work together for the good.”
It will come true through the years – Then I ask, “But are you really the Lady?” (1) She looks at me smiling and says, “Your spiritual director should believe you; he has sufficient evidence. Tell him the following: he has good intentions and has love in his heart––for his work, too; and for the rest …” The Lady then makes a friendly gesture with her head and hands, like a good mother, adding, “And for the rest he need not worry. This is simply the way his life has been guided. The evidence has been given to you. I cannot say more, as of yet. It will come true through the years. Tell him this.” These last words upset me very much, and I think, “Through the years? Then how long will it take?” And then the Lady goes away.
(1) The visionary was instructed by her director, Fr. Frehe, to ask the apparition whether or not she is Mary and what she means by ‘the Lady’. In the original Dutch version of the messages, Mary calls herself ‘de Vrouwe’, which means both ‘the Lady’ and ‘the Woman’. This biblical term, which appears in Genesis, twice in John (at Cana and Calvary) and in Revelation, is traditionally understood to refer to Mary. Throughout these messages ‘de Vrouwe’ is always translated as ‘the Lady’.
Message of December 16, 1949
Poor Germany – I hear the Lady say, as she moves her finger to and fro in warning with a stern look on her face, “Poor, poor Germany! Pick up the crosses and plant them in the center. Rouse the priests. Start from below. The lower classes have to be brought back to Him. Realize that this is the way it works!” And the Lady clenches her fist and shows it to me, very forcefully, even swinging her arm and fist towards me.
Heavy clouds over St. Peter’s – Then I see St. Peter’s. The Lady stretches her hand over it and says, “That shall and must be protected. The other spirit is penetrating so dreadfully.”Then before my eyes I see a great mingling of white and red clouds. It is as though they moved quickly alongside and through one another. Beneath the clouds I see silhouettes of all kinds of domes and spires jumbled together. The Lady points this image out to me, and then it is as if she separates the clouds from one another with her hands. I now see a deep blue area before me, and in the center of that blue area is a bright light. It is just like a very bright star, sparkling before my eyes. The Lady taps that light with her forefinger, very gently, and yet so powerfully that I can hear the impacts as though she were tapping it with a hammer. Then she says, “That is where they have to go.” Then below I see heavy clouds hanging, very black ones, and I see the dome of St. Peter’s. I hear that voice say, “There will be a fight there; it will be fierce; it will break out. We still have a long way to go.”
Working through deeds – After that I see the Pope sitting before me. The Lady looks seriously, turns her head to the side and says, “The faithful have to be encouraged. Not merely encouraged, but they also have to work in the true Christian spirit. You think that all that is good, but it has to be worked through deeds. I am being clear enough. Insist even more on social rights, righteousness and love of neighbor, but … act, not with words, but with deeds. Deeds can bring them to the light that I showed you.” Then I see Europe before me. The Lady says, “Europe, be warned! Unite in the good. This is not merely an economic struggle; it is about corruption of the spirit: politico-Christian struggle. It has to come from the top down. They have to set an example, but, unfortunately, the clergy, too. They have to come down to the least of my children.”
Love of Neighbor, Righteousness – Then, above the Pope and St. Peter’s, I see ‘Love of Neighbor, Righteousness’ written in large letters. The Lady says, “This is the great fault of this time. Unless these are lived up to, things will steadily grow worse, and the world will sink lower and lower. Everyone must make it one’s own concern to live up to these.” Then it is as if the Lady would put a Cross in my hand, and she says, while pointing at herself, “Not me, but the Cross!”
Period of a fight and disasters – Next she makes me read a sign on which is written ‘50 – 51 – 53’, and she says, “During this period there will be a fight and disasters.” Then she holds one hand protectively over that dome, and the other before her eyes. I get a terrible, burning pain in my hand. “I cannot bear it”, I say. Then the Lady says with emphasis, “That spirit will continually try to penetrate in all kind of forms––slowly, insidiously. It will penetrate so cunningly that the peoples will not recognize it. Again I warn you to pass this on.”
Lombardi – Then I see Italy. I see there an ordinary, simple man––a priest. It is as if he is standing in the midst of a large crowd, preaching. The Lady smiles and points at him. As I look there, she says, “That Lombardi (1) is doing a good job. He works along lines such as We desire.” After this I see two rows of different churches before me. Then it is as if the Lady walks towards the front row and lightly passes her hand over that row. I see these churches fall en masse and disappear.
The center – Then the Lady says, “Child,” and she draws a sort of diamond shape before me, “child, that is the center.” Now I see a dome and around it a wall in the shape she just drew. Suddenly I see that it is the dome of St. Peter’s. A narrow creek is running round it, marked off by a thin, black line. The Lady points at it and she says again, “That is the center.” Then she moves her finger to and fro very slowly and insistently, and she says, “Let that remain the center! The spirits of the world are at work to destroy that center. I will help you.” Now I notice that the Lady is again holding her hand above the Pope and St. Peter’s. Then on my left I suddenly see a big, black claw with long, sharp nails. It is as if that claw is digging through everything in St. Peter’s. What pain is gripping me. Everything turns pink and red before my eyes. Then that claw begins to hover above everything, and at that moment I see a black eagle in flight. It is flying to the left with great flaps of its wings.
Germany and Italy – I see Germany lying on my right. Then I hear the Lady say, “Germany, be warned!” I see a triangle drawn over Germany. The Lady says, “The spirit of the triangle is trying to penetrate in a different form. The people are good, but they are being pulled hither and thither and can find no way out. Poor Germany! They will fall and already have fallen victim to that other great one.” Then I suddenly see a German bishop before me in full pontificals. He is an older man, a strong figure. On my right a layman appears, likewise a strong, manly figure. I hear, “The bishop in his domain, and then someone enters the other domain. But that is for later on. Germany will try to work her way out; so will Italy.” Then I again see that simple priest, surrounded by people. The Lady says, “He is trying to bring the truth among the people.” Then she tells me, “You shall spread this. Do tell them.” And all of a sudden the Lady is gone.
(1) In 1948 Fr. Riccardo Lombardi, S.J., began his ‚Crusade of Goodness’. In simple words and with untiring energy he preached the Gospel for many years, always placing God’s love in the center. He not only stressed the need for personal conversion, but also the necessity of realizing Christian ideals within the world community. This made a deep impression on many people and touched many hearts.