In Upstate New York, Interest Stirred As Public Rosary Halts With Alleged Seer
Are there really apparitions outside of the major ones -- or are the authentic ones as rare as many believe? Is it the case that the Blessed Mother is appearing or speaking to many, or that there are imitators -- as copycats (some darkly influenced) swarmed into the grotto at Lourdes a century and a half ago, in the wake of Bernadette's legitimate ones?
It's a constant challenge of discernment, and it keeps cropping up: On the one hand, there was the quote from the Virgin in the early days of Medjugorje (the famous site in Bosnia-Hercegovina) wherein she allegedly told the seers there that she would appear "in every house" if she had to -- so serious were our times.
Did that refer to locutions, apparitions, and the like -- or simple manifestations, answered prayers, and subtle prompts to the intuition for those who pray the Rosary?
In our time, small miracles certainly abound.
But the issue of apparitions remains. Just about every state in the U.S. has had claims of them -- not to mention reported manifestations, likewise, in virtually every country with a Catholic population, from Canada to Australia. The apparitions sparked in 1981 continue. If they are true, they carry more meaning than secular headlines.
In snow-clad Upstate New York at Auburn about 25 miles from Syracuse is a wife and mother named Mary Sheila Reilly, an ordinary person who is also an artist and shopkeeper, explains a website devoted to her experiences. "In July of 2001, while praying the Rosary at Our Lady's Shrine at St. Mary's of the Lake Church in Skaneateles, New York, Mary was graced with an apparition of Jesus and Our Lady," it says.
Mary, it is alleged, also has had apparitions of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Saint Padre Pio, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Her experiences began in the 1980s when a voice out of the blue reassured her in preparation for a business trip to New York -- the voice, she believes, of the Blessed Virgin.
The shrine itself was built by one Father Marianus Nowakowski, who received three visions of our Blessed Mother while imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp in Poland, during which Our Lady promised his life would be spared and the camp liberated. In thanksgiving, it is said, Father Nowakowski promised to build three shrines in Her honor, and this was the first.
"Our Blessed Mother began giving public messages to Mary for all of Her children who gathered at the shrine at Saint Mary's of the Lake Church," explains the website. "In addition, during all of this time, Our Lord was dictating messages to Mary at her home, usually late in the evening. It is at Our Lord's request that these messages of love and mercy be shared with all of mankind. Our Lord has promised special graces to all those who read His words of love and mercy."
Starting in 2001, the messages were short ones focused on the Blessed Mother as "Queen of Peace" and "Our Lady of the Finger Lakes" -- a title she allegedly requested.
Most of the messages, indeed, were simple exhortations to prayer, Confession, and the Eucharist. But interest was recently stirred when it was announced that Mary no longer would hold a public Rosary, and the messages, especially running up to the cessation of public ministry, or at least the Rosary, became increasingly urgent.
According to Mary, the Rosary stopped simply due to the logistics of the church where the Rosary group had been meeting.
At first focusing almost entirely on personal holiness, with themes too of Mary as a mediatrix of grace, by March of 2004, just before the first wave of heightened hurricane activity, the purported words grew stern -- especially those the housewife attributed (for your discernment only) to the Lord Himself.
“Oh little daughter of My heart, My sorrow increases as My children are so lost," said the missive. "My Mother’s urgent pleas go unnoticed. Signs of miraculous occurrences are passed off as mere coincidences. There is no such thing as coincidence in My Kingdom. All is ordained by the Will of My Father."
Later that same month, Jesus allegedly added: "A time of tribulation and chastisement will come over the world. I am telling you this so you will be prepared. It is my desire for My children to be prepared. A dark hour approaches – thunder, mighty thunder, will roll in, a great rain will come over the earth. Lightning, huge bolts of lightning will strike. Take refuge in the heart of My holy and immaculate Mother. She is your protection. Recall your baptismal vows and recite the Creed. These are the essential rites of My Church. My sacraments are My great gifts to you. Utilize them and receive them worthily.
“Thunder will roll in over the mountains, through the valleys to the depths of the sea. The trumpets will sound, mighty trumpets. At My command, My angels stand ready to do My bidding. The hierarchy of angels stand ready; call on your Guardian Angels and do not underestimate the power entrusted to them as they stand guard over you. Oh, House of Jacob, House of Israel, as in days of old your foundations will crumble."
While increasingly serious, and indicating future turmoil, the messages differed from other alleged missives -- including ones reputedly given to another seer from the area -- in their somewhat subdued tone. Indeed, in places from New York to California, seers have warned of apocalyptic events with language that is often strident and suspiciously specific.
But serious the messages from Our Lady of the Finger Lakes were. By December 2005 -- just months after Hurricane Katrina -- Reilly was reporting words such as, "Children, the world you live in sits on the precipice for the just hand of My Father has begun to come over the world.
“Be steadfast in prayer; keep My commandments, love one another, as I love you, and be beacons of light and love in the world. Evil is everywhere, the evil one is wreaking havoc and desires the ruin of souls.
"For those who live in the light of My Resurrection, he has no power over you. The Rosary is your greatest weapon. The mantle of My mother's protection covers all of you. Realize this gift and rejoice in My love for all of mankind. Be strong and courageous so that by your daily acts and sacrifices, by your example of love, others will be attracted to My truth through you, as you live in these dark times."
In January of 2005 -- shortly before the watershed deaths of Terri Schiavo and John Paul II -- the Lord was said to have told the artist, who sees Mary as forming in an incredible, ineffable light: “Stay vigilant, unite in prayer and sacrifice. Proceed in faith. This is only the beginning; I desire for all of My children to trust in My infinite mercy and love for them. Things will be revealed at the hour of My Father's choosing. Be at peace; know that I am with you always. Pray much, and always seek Me first in all that you do. Stay suited in holy armor to avoid any traps the evil one has set. My love and My light radiate from you. As the fisherman cast his net and it is drawn from the sea laden with an abundant catch, so too, will the fruit of your work be.
“The state of the world that I have created is in great jeopardy, brought on by the sins of men. All of My creation will be cleansed, a great purging will occur."
Thus far, according to Father Cliff Auth, diocesan chancellor, Mary's experiences "are neither condoned nor condemned." There is no formal investigation. On April 9, 2006, about half a year before the public Rosary stopped, the Lord allegedly told the housewife, "Child, I take you into a secret abode deep within My heart. Listen, My little pearl, to the silent breeze blowing, watch the signs, they are all around you. Can you feel things beginning to change as My new era is advanced? Do not others mention the changes in the world in which you live? All those whose eyes see and ears hear, have been moved by My grace to see the darkness of the world. Lucifer is the prince of darkness; he has infiltrated all parts of society and has caused chaos everywhere. So many, many of My children are lost, allowing themselves to be used as puppets. They have hardened their hearts to Me, their Lord and their God. The pleas of My Mother have gone unnoticed. I, the Lord of all and Kings of Kings, go before you to bring light to all those living in darkness, as the just hand of My Father comes over the world."
It was "foolish men," she says the Lord explained, who deny what was transpiring in the way of "current events."
"A great upheaval in your country is about to occur, resonating to the east," said a message on February 19, 2006. "Many nations will be aligned to pursue their own interests only to be recognized for their own selfish folly. This is a global event. So-called teachers will realize their limitations. Scientists will question their own excesses of pride. It will be utter chaos. My faithful will hear My voice. They will find comfort and will know that their Lord and their God beckons out to them to be beacons of love and light in this dark time. All of this will be permitted, as the world I have created will be purified. The cup is empty. The hourglass is tilted."
In certain aspects the, messages run parallel to what we have reported as the "1990 prophecy." "Be prepared My pearl, as the mountains rumble, the sea roars, winds will blow mightily, and the earth will tremble," said yet another bracing missive on March 20, 2006. "The hour has come when men will see their souls as My Father sees them. Pray that My mercy will be theirs."
Events were coming, Mary says she was told, of "cataclysmic magnitude," but that should cause no fear to those "suited in holy armor."
Were they authentic and pure messages? Or in such cases is there subconscious influence of other messages -- as well as events in the world around us?
They are legitimate questions whenever there are apparitions and at a time that demands both openness to what Heaven might be saying as well as caution in a field where many seers have proven to have flaws, if not outright falsity.
"Dear friends, we will no longer be meeting for the monthly Rosary at this time," said an announcement a short while ago. "Further information will be posted on our website. Please be assured that we keep you and your intentions in prayer. May the love and peace of the Christ Child fill your hearts this Christmas Season."
Added the website: "In the following statement, Mary S. Reilly describes the apparition of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother on January 4, 2006 at 7:00 p.m., Saint Francis Church, Auburn, New York.
“'During the last part of the third decade of the Holy Rosary, Our Blessed Mother appeared. She was wearing a very pale blue mantle, with a white veil and white dress. Our Lady said that it pleased Her to bestow special blessings and graces upon the rosaries and holy objects that Her children had placed at Her feet. During the last decade, I saw Our Blessed Lord; He appeared as a King, wearing a crown of thorns, dressed in Shepherd’s clothing. Throughout the apparition, Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother were surrounded by a profound light, a diffused light of gold and pink. A Light that encompasses where they appeared and as far and wide as I could see, right up to where I was kneeling. At one point last night, there were rays of red light that flowed from Our Lady’s right hand. During the apparition, I am aware that all of my senses are suspended in time, it is only after the apparition has ended that I slowly return to myself.”
[resources: Sent To Earth and The Final Hour]
[As always we urge fasting, Scripture-reading, and deep prayer before visits or involvement with any mystic]
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