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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marian Apparitions, Part V, Mary of Bayside New York

John J. Delaney, editor, A Woman Clothed With the Sun

 Appearing in the headlines during interesting eras

One thing about the Mary of the apparitions, she certainly comes at politically auspicious moments in history. She was stunning the Catholic Church in Mexico during the sixteenth century Spanish conquest, the same decades during which Copernicus was developing his new and controversial cosmology, also when St. Theresa of Avila was being levitated during her ecstasies, and when the Protestant Reformation was just catching on in Europe.

She was in France in the 1800’s during decades of political and social upheaval (Paris, La Salette, Lourdes).  She was in Fatima (1917) while Marxism was changing the face of Russia, just before the world-wide Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, and just before the end of the WW I. She was in Belgium (Beauraing, Banneux) during the terrible Great Depression, just before Anti-Christ of WWII began his ugly rise to power. In Belgium she called herself The Virgin of the Poor (Delaney), putting herself in direct competition with Marx and Lenin, the alleged champions of the Proletariat, and with the claims of Hitler.

What intrigues me is that “she” came at times and seasons when mankind should have been crying for a sign, for a supernatural intervention or correction, or for hope and divine comfort. Mary showed up when you would want to see God do something dramatic. As I wrote in my early blog, if God isn’t behind the Marian apparitions, He should have been. No wonder Catholics love her so much.

Her 1971 appearance in New York, the headquarters of the United Nations, was another matter. She came to announce through visionary Veronica Lueken that God’s patience with mankind is used up. The heavy, angry hand of Jesus, like the hammer of Thor, was about to come down in spite of her constant pleas for mercy. She warned of unspeakable catastrophes: there was the plot by Cardinals to murder Pope Paul VI and replace him with a look-alike actor. Agents of the Anti-Christ had taken over the Vatican as early as 1971. Not just a sort-of Anti-Christ, but 666, the one that would usher in the Second Coming.

To bolster her claims, she brought in retinue many well-known Catholic Saints, including (allegedly) little Jacinta, the child of Fatima, who died in the flu epidemic. And of course, “Jesus” came with her, to assure the Church that He Himself authorized the threats and complaints against the Church.

Mary the Queen of Heaven mourns and weeps for the state of the Catholic Church. She complains about the evils of abortion, the error of Vatican II, the horrors of guitars in the church, the scandal of higher hemlines for worldly nuns, the deceptive new Bible translations, and the repulsive Mass in English. Priests were being led astray. Some Cardinals are agents of Satan. The Pope is in danger of being replaced.

As a result of these evils, God would send a plague equal to the Spanish flu that would particularly strike young children. They would die in their mothers’ arms, but be spared losing their souls in hell. New York will be destroyed, possibly by a tsunami. If abortion doesn’t stop and if people don’t obey Mary’s demands, the US would be embroiled in another war (1994). As if that wasn’t bad enough, the human race will be almost annihilated by the Ball of Redemption, a comet that would strike the earth. This boogie ball was mentioned month after month after month with ghastly visions of the destruction it would cause.

It all caused me to nickname her Scareware Mary. Scareware on your computer is a false pop-up alert that attempts to frighten you into clicking on a malicious virus link. I first learned about scareware after I ran the scan-scam and fried my hard drive.

Her Queenship already established

By the time of the Belgium visitations in the early 1930’s, again to children, Mary was already hailed as The Queen of Heaven, The Immaculate Conception, A Co-Redemptress with Jesus Christ, the Mediatrix of all Graces going to and coming from God, a way leading to God. She had a “golden” Immaculate Heart equal to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At Bayside she called herself, Our Lady of  Roses, the Help of Mothers. In 1973, Michael the Archangel tells Veronica, “Make haste and listen well to the words of the High Queen of Heaven. Her directions will be followed or you will receive the punishment due an ungrateful generation” (rfh, 2-10-73).

By 1972, several dire prophecies are in place

Millions will be killed by the Ball of Redemption or the Chastisement, a huge, round fiery comet, spinning and glowing orange with fire and heat [Actually, comets are made of dust and ice]. Earth will be “planet-struck.” The air will burn, choking those who don’t die by fire, and few will be left. This is for the cleansing of mankind. Resulting tidal waves will wash away buildings and flood the streets. At some point, New York will be leveled [rfh, 2-1-72; 3-24-72; 5-30-72]. A plague will take away many infants before Satan can corrupt them. The sword [of war?] was predicted by Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel [rfh, 3-24-72]. World War III is coming in which hoards from China march across the land. The Pope is being slowly poisoned and weakened. They want to kill him and replace him. The Anti-christ is in America, and in the Church. [bvm, 11-20-79, tldm] The UN is evil and should be banished. [2-1-72; 4-10-72. rfh]

Complaints against modernization

St. Theresa is horrified at the modernized garments for nuns. She wants arms covered, no hair showing, and skirts to the floor. Today’s nuns will burn in hell for their immodesty. Women must continue to cover their head in Mass (bvm, 2-1-72).
Babies created in a test tube will have no soul [bvm, 2-1-72].
Priests who leave the priesthood will burn in hell, as will all those baptized into the Church who leave for other faiths.

The solutions

Victim souls, no matter how young, must offer their sufferings for atonement for sins, reparation for offenses against God, and conversion of sinners.

People were told to bring their rosaries, medals, and scapulas, etc., for Jesus and Mary to bless them. This practice of looking to medals and statues with extra-natural powers is one of the issues dividing Catholics and Protestants. As a Charismatic Protestant since 1965, I find it amazing that Mary would bind people to this practice rather than wean them away from it. She told people to wear them continually and never take them off. They were also told to wear their rosaries and make their children wear these talismans. And of course, the medals and scapulas are all about her!

When Mary appeared to Catherine Laboure in the 1830’s, she revealed by vision a sacred medal that would keep people safely under her mantle of protection. The Christian approach has always been to put away animistic objects, which really often do carry spiritual influence, at the time of conversion. When we pray the rosary, we are certainly inviting spiritual energy into our environment, whether for good or ill. If we have doubts about who Mary is, then we should NOT pray the rosary. She seems to thrive on the energy those repetitious prayers create.

When we wear the scapula, it may be similar to meditation with a mantra. Though this energy may seem protective, it goes with us, influencing our lives. We don’t actually need those things. Protestants believe that sincere prayer is quickly heard by our Lord. The power of God covers those who love him and call on Him. The Atonement of Christ keeps us all safe if we abide in the secret place with Him (Ps 91:1). He has promised to never leave us nor forsakes us (Heb. 13:5). Evangelicals believe and have experienced the fact that “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9). He said, “My peace I leave you” (John 14:27). And “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

The fear aroused by warnings to constantly wear sacred medals is the bondage of superstition. If someone wants to wear a medal, let it have Scripture on it or a picture of Jesus. Let it be something normal, and not an intense, cultic symbol like a heart with thorns around it.

And we should never put our trust in a medal, thinking it is a talisman of salvation. Mary practically guaranteed salvation to all those who wear the scapula.

Tune in again soon for Part VI, More About Bayside Mary, and what, in my view, it all means.