to Earth: A Gripping Interview with Michael Brown
by Focus Worldwide Network
In this interview with renowned TV interviewer Mary Lou McCall, Michael says we are racing blindly towards the types of disasters that swept and changed, that terrified, the ancient world, and he warns that without an urgent turn back to Christ, such events are now set to return. There are video clips you'll never forget. After viewing it, you too will agree that we have strayed and that God is about to put us to the test.CLICK HERE
ARCHBISHOP BEHIND 'OUR LADY OF AMERICA' SEEN AS EXCEPTIONAL AND PIOUS MAN DEDICATED TO APPARITION
He was seen by all as an extraordinary man. He was known for his great holiness. He appears to be the first American bishop to have approved an apparition. His name was Paul F. Leibold -- archbishop of Cincinnati -- and he may have been as important to what has become known as the "Our Lady of America" revelation as the seer herself.
As we have previously reported, Archbishop Leibold served as the spiritual director for Sister Mildred Mary Ephrem Neuzil, the visionary, for 32 years, first as a priest, then as a vicar general, an auxiliary bishop, a bishop in Indiana, and finally archbishop of Ohio's most powerful diocese.
Through those years he maintained a regular and often close communication with Sister Neuzil, and according to those close to the situation, he visited Sister Mildred and helped her plan a statue of Our Lady of America right up to his death in 1972 at the tender age of 57.
Indeed, as a bishop Leibold edited the very book of messages on Our Lady of America, made major suggestions for its organization, and even wrote the introduction, according to those close to the situation -- besides lending it his imprimatur, which appeared at the very front of a message book, to prayers generated by the apparition. According to his former secretary, he had absolutely "no reservation" about the authenticity of the alleged revelation, and even struck a medal for it and made a relief to commemorate it, although he never issued a formal proclamation.
That may have been because there wasn't time. There was a genetic weakness in his family for aneurisms, and Archbishop Leibold succumbed to a "cerebral-vascular incident" on June 1, 1972, after attending graduation ceremonies at Xavier University.
But he will not soon be forgotten.
So respected and beloved was Archbishop Leibold that his funeral was broadcast across southern Ohio. There were 700 priests in the pews, and 44 priests concelebrated his funeral -- including Most Reverend Luigi Raimondi, the Pope's apostolic delegate to the U.S., and four cardinals.
Those who couldn't cram into the cathedral held their own Masses or prayer services.
"There have been few prelates in the American hierarchy who possessed all the qualifications of a bishop in as eminent a degree as did Archbishop Leibold," noted retired Cincinnati archbishop Karl J. Alter (who served as Leibold's predecessor and who according to Father Lammeier was almost certainly consulted when Leibold was making some of his determinations about Our Lady of America).
But the main player in the apparition was Archbishop Leibold, and indeed, even after three decades, his name still evokes great reverence. Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans has noted that the Cincinnati prelate was a truly exceptional bishop, and while Leibold's sharp mind and bureaucratic skills are often noted, most point with greatest emphasis to his piety and humility.
This was a bishop who believed in direct communication with heaven. This was a bishop open to the mystical. And this was a bishop who quietly left America its first official apparition.
We're still taking a wait-and-see attitude and plan further investigation but continue to be extremely impressed by the situation surrounding Our Lady of America while it was under the guidance of the archbishop.
Born in Dayton, Ohio -- home of the world's largest Marian library -- Leibold once commented that growing up he "couldn't really recall thinking of anything else, but the priesthood." He attended seminary in the U.S., was ordained on May 18, 1940, and studied canon law at the Angelicum in Rome, where he earned a doctorate. He became a chancellor of the Cincinnati diocese in 1948 and was consecrated a bishop in 1958 -- three years before lending his imprimatur to the design for the medal and five years before helping Sister Mildred with her book of messages -- messages that are now much in demand as details of the situation continue to surface.
In 1966 Leibold was named bishop of Evansville, Indiana (in the state, ironically, where Sister Mildred had her first apparitions). He served there for just three years before returning to Cincinnati as archbishop (which made him the "metropolitan" or first-ranking bishop of Ohio's six dioceses). While Cincinnati's archbishop he gained national attention when he publicly branded Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" as objectionable -- the first prelate to do so. During his tenure as auxiliary bishop he conducted a campaign against the opening of a Playboy Club.
In short, the bishop who was so intimately involved with establishing Our Lady of America was not only the first known to have such an involvement with a U.S. apparition but was an unusually courageous, pious, and high-ranking prelate. That such a man lent his imprimatur to the situation and served as personal spiritual director to the seer up to his death will carry great weight as officials now consider a key request by the Virgin: to install a statue representing Our Lady of America at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The Reverend John Cavanaugh, another colleague of the late archbishop, recalled being surprised by the level-headed Leibold's enthusiasm for Sister Mildred's visions. Despite the Church's "great hesitancy" about such private revelations, Leibold was convinced of their authenticity, said Cavanaugh in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer.
While great controversy and attack against Sister Neuzil's cloister followed the archbishop's death (as controversy often surrounds such situations), during his last years Leibold had served as an even hand on an apparition of tremendous potential importance. He and Sister Mildred were close friends who wrote many spiritual letters to each other. There was clearly a mystical element: according to Audrey Frank of Sacramento, who has been working for Our Lady of America's cause, Sister Mildred predicted many events in Leibold's life. "When he was just a priest she had prophesied that Leibold would be a bishop, and then that he would be an archbishop," says Mrs. Frank. "He not only supported her messages but wrote and edited part of it. They wrote letter after letter, and he always corresponded with Sister Mildred on feast days and anniversaries."
According to Sister Joseph Therese, the lone nun remaining from Sister Mildred's cloister (which was split from the Order of Precious Blood when the head of the cloister got in a dispute with the Mother House over continuing the cloister), there were private visits to the cloister by Archbishop Leibold right to the end. "He was sitting downstairs and they were planning," says Sister Joseph. "He was going to get a big statue of Our Lady of America built and put it right in the front grounds of the cloister. I think he was getting it built in Centerville, Ohio. He may have been the one who made two plaques [of Our Lady of America] for Bishop Leibold. They were in constant writing and she would visit him even when he was bishop in Indiana and she would go to Cincinnati."
According to accounts Sister Mildred may have sensed the prelate's approaching death. A week before he died, according to Mrs. Frank, Sister Mildred visited Archbishop Leibold, tweaked his hair, and said, "Remember, you're not going to leave me alone on this [the cause of Our Lady of America.] He told her, 'Don't worry, I will, even if I have to help from heaven.'"
"He was very prayerful, a humble man, recollected," recalls Father Francis Lammeier, his former secretary. "He did have a very strict scheduled prayer life. He got up early in the morning and prayed and meditated before his daily Mass."
According to Lammeier, Archbishop Leibold had a devotion to both the Blessed Mother and Sacred Heart and had once visited Lourdes. One of his two brothers became a monsignor. Rising through the ranks during Vatican II, Leibold was known as a progressive bishop who sought more involvement of the laity but was concerned about how the Council's work would be interpreted. According to both Sister Joseph and Mrs. Frank, the archbishop began appearing in apparition to Sister Mildred on November 11, 1997 as her own death approached -- coming each day precisely at 1 p.m. It was a period of great suffering for Sister Mildred. The nun -- herself described as tremendously devout and humble -- was not only suffering from heart problems, severe arthritis, asthma, cataracts, and other maladies, but had watched in sorrow as a split developed between her cloister, led by a Sister Florecita, and the Mother House (which was tending away from the contemplative style of life to which the cloister had dedicated itself and was removing nuns from convent life).
The suffering was alleviated by the presence of Mary, angels and, allegedly, the archbishop.
"I am the one who gave the imprimatur," Sister Mildred claimed he told her (referring to Our Lady of America). "And I'm the one who will make sure she gets into the shrine."
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