Friday, August 3, 2012

Mary's appearances in Champion, WI & Knock, Ireland

The most most recently approved Marian apparition comes from right here in the U.S. - Champion, WI.  On Dec.8, 2010 the Bishop of Green Bay issued his statement that after careful investigation, he believed the apparition experienced by Adele Brise on Oct.9, 1859, were of supernatural origin.

Mary's appearance to Adele came only a year and a half after the apparitions at Lourdes.  Mary appeared to Adele as she was traveling home from Mass.  It was an eleven mile walk!  Mary appeared beside the path, standing between trees, dressed in a white gown with a golden sash and a crown of stars. (According to the Shrine website) She said,  

“ I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning, and that is well. But you must do more. Make a general confession, and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them ...
What are you doing here in idleness ... while your companions are working in the vineyard of my Son?"
“What more can I do, dear Lady?" said Adele, weeping.
“Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation"
“But how shall I teach them who know so little myself?" replied Adele.
“Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.’ "
Those final words to Adele were the reason this apparition became known as Our Lady of Good Help. Adele did exactly as she was asked.  Throughout the rest of her life she traveled the mostly unsettled state of Wisconsin, often on foot, instructing children in the Faith and talking with their parents about how they were living it out.

Knock was a quiet, remote village in County Mayo, in west Ireland. Our Lady was seen there, in front of the south wall of the parish church, on the night of Aug.21, 1879, by fifteen witness ranging in age from five to seventy-five.  This apparition stands out in two respects:  1)  No messages was given, verbal or written, and 2) A number of other figures were seen.

At Knock Our Lady appeared in a white robe, with a golden crown having a gold rose where it touched her forehead.  She was in prayer, her raised to the level of her shoulders and her eyes directed toward heaven.  All of the figures with Mary were clothed in white too.  On her right was St. Joseph, he slightly gray head bowed slightly in deference to her.  On her left was St. John the evangelist, wearing the short miter of an eastern bishop, a book in his left hand and the index and middle finger of his right hand pointed upward as if he were making a point while preaching.  Slightly behind the three, closer to the wall of the church was an altar, surrounded by adoring angels, with the Lamb of God and a cross laying across it.  The angels' eyes never left the Lamb.  The light emanating from the apparition was observed by one man half a mile away.  

While the observers stood in a downpour, no rain was seen to fall on the figures in the apparition.  When any of the by-standers tried to approach the apparition seemed to retreat slightly toward the church.  The apparition,which began when the sun was low in the sky, was visible for almost four hours.

Although there was no verbal or written message there is so much to be meditated upon - the inestimable value of the Mass, our Lord's Eucharistic Sacrifice and how it unites heaven and earth, the preaching of Jesus' words from the Gospel, and the Magisterium of the Church, the intercession of the saints, the maternal love of our Queen, Mary, and the paternal love of Joseph!

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