Correspondent Relates Effort To Find Out If Mary Is Appearing In Saudi Arabia
By Michael H. Brown
From the mailbag and for your discernment:
We're trying to discern the potential meaning of apparitions reported across the Middle East. Are they simply occurrences that crop up now and again all over the world -- alleged occurrences -- or do they have immediate prophetic significance?
The other day we linked to a story on apparitions that reportedly erupted in July at Giza (not far from the great pyramids). The Blessed Mother, or a form taken to be the Blessed Mother, has been seen at St. Mary and St. Maurice Church, Omrania, Giza, Egypt. As in another Egyptian town called Zeitun, where a form resembling the Virgin was first seen in the late 1960s on a church rooftop (around the time of the Six-Day War), and at a second spot near Cairo called Assiut (where she has been appearing since 2000), the Blessed Mother seems to come in a luminosity above or near the roof -- causing huge crowds of Orthodox, Catholics, and Muslims to gather below. They claim to see luminous birds that some describe as pigeons, others as doves, as well as Mary. At Giza she stands spreading Her hands for blessing, carrying the Child Jesus, crying and sometimes kneeling.
Why is she crying? Does it have anything to do with heightened tensions in the region? Could it be related to the disturbances in Israel or the seemingly inevitable war with Iraq?
We note that the Blessed Mother has appeared in Iraq itself -- near the ruins of ancient Nineveh (see the Book of Jonah) -- as well as Israel, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the Middle East in recent decades. Is this just because she appears everywhere?
Whatever the answer, we note rumors (and let us underline the word "rumors") that the Blessed Mother -- or "Miriam," as she is known there -- is now also reported in Saudi Arabia. This is the nation, ironically, that produced 14 of the 19 September 11 suspects. We receive this report from a viewer who has been living in that nation and whose identity we are shielding due to the intense religious repression of Christians -- who are often jailed for openly practicing their beliefs. (Last May Saudi police in Jeddah arrested ten Christians as they arrived at a weekly Friday worship service.) The Spirit Daily correspondent reports the persistent rumor that the Blessed Mother has appeared and may still be appearing in Hofuf near pottery caves, at least to a local "holy man." The information is as yet sketchy.
"The little bit of a story that I can give you about the rumor that Our Lady was appearing in Hofuf goes like this," writes our correspondent, who will be known as Dottie. "I think it was in 1995 during rehearsals for one of my dance recitals. My friend Gail called me to tell me that someone had telephoned her to ask about information to go to Medjugorje. During the conversation she told Gail that someone had told her that Our Lady had appeared to a very Holy Muslim man in Hofuf. Supposedly he asked her who she was. She told him that she was 'Miriam.'
"Nearly a year later we ended up going to Hofuf [in eastern Saudi Arabia, on the nation's largest oasis], to see if we could find anything out. On the way to Hofuf that day I prayed my rosary the whole ride there. As we were passing through desert where they had a lot of jebals the desert was green as far as the eye could see. It was during the time when we received a lot of rain. Though all the years that I had lived here I had never seen the desert so green.
closer we got to Hofuf it seemed to be that much more greener,"
continues Dottie, whose name we will reveal only when she is permanently back in
the States. "When we were in Hofuf we went to the caves. We had been told
that she had appeared in the caves near the place where they made the pottery.
When we were in the caves I noticed how cool it was in the caves. Almost cold.
It was March, but we were in Arabia. Before we found the pottery caves we had
gone to the camel
market. I thought that the camels were going to be behind a fence. The camels were just everywhere sitting around among the parked cars. I couldn't get over it. We went all over the place before we found the pottery caves. We were on our way out of Hofuf when we by accident found ourselves passing by the pottery caves. So I felt that Our Lady was letting me know at
every turn that she was truly there.
was after the Gulf War. But, I knew that something was up. Anytime our sweet
Mother comes, she comes to warn her children. I
have a feeling that we are about to find out why she
came to warn her children at that time. We went by the pottery caves. We had heard from some where that she appeared to the holy Muslim man in a cave. We started asking questions to the man that worked in the pottery shop by the caves. As soon as we were trying to describe to him about hearing about Miriam appearing there he started to walk away from us.
"We followed him outside in case he
hadn't understood us. Every time we would ask him he would walk away. I
realized that he really just wanted to get away from us. While praying the
Rosary during the drive there, it came to me that we wouldn't be in danger, but we could jeopardize things for the Saudis being seen talking to Western women who more than likely are Christians.
"I had been praying the whole time. It's a long story, but I felt that Our Lady had put it in my heart that she was there even before that first phone call. Then afterwards I really prayed and asked for a sign if it was meant for me to go and look into it. So I was really praying to Our Lady asking her if this was God's will for me to be there to find out about this to send someone that had heard something. We were just about to leave when this sort of youngish Saudi gentlemen came up to us to ask if he could be of some assistance. When we told him about the rumor he kept saying that he didn't exactly hear about the rumor.
"We made sure that he understood what we were talking about. Every time we would ask if he had heard about Miriam appearing there to a very Holy Muslim he would say, 'not exactly.' I don't know if you know about the Arab mentality, but that is a perfect example of it. By answering me that way he was protecting himself and letting us know that he most likely had. I pushed on and asked from whom did he hear something. He told us from a Filipino man. Then he said that he would try to find out for us. He gave us his phone number, then took mine. It wasn't long after that that I noticed that my house was being watched. That could have been for most anything though, I told him that I wanted to be able to talk to him to see what Miriam had said to the Holy Muslim man, and why she had come."
This correspondent, originally from Louisiana, is attempting to answer these questions -- and if there is news, we'll report it to you as soon as possible.
But we will
do so cautiously.
"When we speak of our priest we refer to him as 'our guy,'" says Dottie. "You'll see how we talk in like a code. Take care and may God bless and protect all of you in your wonderful work. -- [Name Withheld].
History And Miracles Attest To Mideast As Remarkable Supernatural 'Vortex'
By Michael H. Brown
Why Israel? Why the Middle East? Why does this part of the world loom so ominously in politics -- in prophecy? Why might it be linked to an "end-times" scenario?
We can say with assurance that whatever the answer to those questions -- and whether or not current tensions escalate into a truly dramatic event -- Israel and the Middle East constitute an astonishing supernatural vortex.
It is the spiritual hotspot of history. It's the center of the earth. It is a portal from another dimension For reasons unknown, it is a portal through which God communicates with humanity -- and forms it. It's the region where the Garden of Eden was located (some believe this may have been in Iraq), and it's where the great prophets roamed. It's where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It's the location of Babylon and the place where Ezekiel and Daniel and Jeremiah had their visions, where Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. It's where David was, it's where the Virgin lived, and above and beyond everything else in human history, it's where the Lord Christ manifested in human form.
It is thus a supremely mystical land, and as such it is a magnet for spiritual warfare. This is especially seen by way of its mountains. Once more ( for reasons that are mysterious) mounts and highlands have mystical significance. There is Mount Krizevac in Medjugorje and the grotto in the mountain at Lourdes and the mountaintop of LaSalette ( as well as the Hill of Tepeyac in Guadalupe), but where these mounts are scattered around the planet, where these find wide dispersal, Israel has a tremendous collection of such highlands all in one little nation -- from Sinai to Carmel to Tabor.
Years ago I journeyed to Israel to research a book on paleoanthropology (human origins) and was taken around by a wonderful scientist named Dr. Baruch Arensburg of Tel Aviv University. We visited a number of cave sites, but let me here focus on the most notable: a place called Qafzeh (pronounced kaf-sa), where the oldest anatomically modern homo sapien skull, dated at more than 100,000 years, had been found.
Qafzeh is known as the "mountain of the leap." This is in a cave just south of Nazareth overlooking the kibbutzes of Emaq Yizreel (and also overlooking the embattled towns of Jenin and Nablus). Jewish mythology has it that Christ leapt from here to the Sea of Galilee. It's nestled between the hills of Galilee and Mount Carmel -- where there is a series of caves with ancient artifacts and fossils. One can see everything from the oldest "modern" skulls to those belonging to Neanderthals -- at the very mount where Elijah later battled the prophets of Baal!
As I said, this is a spiritual magnet, an area of turbulence, and we've also seen that in Bethlehem -- at the very spot where Jesus was born -- and in Jerusalem, where the biblical Temple was destroyed, replaced now by a mosque known as Dome of the Rock. According to Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad was miraculously transported from Mecca to Jerusalem, and it was from there that he made his ascent to heaven.
This is the hotspot of hotspots, the spiritual "ground zero" of planet earth.
The Dome and the Al Aqsa mosque were placed on this Biblical holy site as a specific sign of Islamic conquest and many believe that reconsecrating it to Judeo-Christianity will allow Israel to become the moral and spiritual center of the world, according to the words of all the Hebrew prophets.
Thus the major monotheistic religions -- Christianity, Judaism, and Islam -- have some of their holiest sites in the very same city and indeed in the same neighborhood!
That's what I call a "vortex," and many believe that when this temple is rebuilt, it will herald the return of Jesus. It's not just Israel. The vortex extends from Egypt (where there have been apparitions of the Virgin) to Mesopotamia and Iraq ( where there also have been apparitions of Mary and where Saddam Hussein's archeologists are hard at work resurrecting the Southern Palace of Nebuchadnezzar and other aspects of Babylon!)
The Middle East is the crossroads between East and West -- and home to the valley of Armageddon. Most importantly, it is the region where Christ traveled and where He caused His miracles. As one scholar notes, "The mystery of the incarnation and redemption had taken place here. The divine act of salvation, in spite of its universal -- and according to some early fathers, cosmic -- significance, here had its local habitation and incarnate manifestation."
A portal. A place where the next world war could start. A place to pray -- and pray for.
A place where God has most powerfully manifested and where He may well carry out His final battle with that renegade known as the devil.
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