Mary Continues Her Heavenly Mission
The Marian Era is characterized by an unprecedented number of heavenly apparitions, always with an emphasis on prayer and penance, return to God and to the sacraments, and to the whole life of the Church, often with the mention of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. In the United States, Mary appeared to a nun named Sister Mary Ephrem, saying she wanted to be known by us as Our Lady of America, and that she had come to call us back to purity of life. The United States has been formally placed under the patronage of Our Lady as the Immaculate Conception since 1846. Our Lady appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem beginning in the mid-1950s, well aware of what was awaiting this country in the 1960s and beyond, if we didn’t heed her messages. We didn’t, and the results are obvious and disastrous.
Here are a few words of Mary, concerning her message and her Heart:
“I am the Immaculate One, Patroness of your land. Be my faithful children as I have been your faithful Mother… I desire to make the whole of America my shrine by making every heart accessible to the love of my Son… Will my children in America listen to my pleadings and console my Immaculate Heart? …
“Reform of life is what I ask as the sign and proof of my children’s love for me. God looks at the heart, and if it resembles the Heart of His Divine Son, it is with the greatest pleasure that He regards it. But to make your hearts grow more and more like the Heart of the Son, you must go to the Mother, whose Heart is most like His. From this Pure and Immaculate Heart you will learn all that will make you more pleasing to the Divine Heart of the Son of God… Come to me, my children, come to me and learn… Do not disregard the voice of your Mother. It is the voice of love trying to save you from eternal ruin… Come to me, poor suffering and frightened ones. I am your Mother. Never will I forsake you. Only come to me with a wholehearted and loving trust. Place your souls into my keeping. I am that faithful Mother who never forsakes her children. Honor me by your confidence and love…
“My Heart, my Immaculate Heart, is the channel through which the graces of the Sacred Heart are given to men… time passes, and with it wasted graces and constant refusals on the part of man to cooperate with me in the accomplishment of the Divine Will for his own sanctification and salvation. What am I to do, child of my Heart, when my children turn from me? The false peace of this world lures them and in the end will destroy them… Souls who cling to sin cannot have their hands free to receive the treasures of grace that I hold out to them… Behold, then, my Heart pierced by a cruel sword! Oh, what grief my children have caused me! … we must have more souls who love, love unselfishly and without reserve.”
Another rich source of light concerning the heavenly mission of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the book of locutions received by the Italian priest, Fr Stefano Gobbi (1930-2011), through whom Our Lady established the worldwide Marian Movement of Priests. The book of messages, given over a period of about 25 years, carries the imprimatur, which means there is nothing in it contrary to Catholic faith or morals, and the Movement has received the Apostolic Blessing of Pope (Blessed) John Paul II. There has been, however, some controversy over the content of some of the later messages, which contained apocalyptic predictions that evidently have not come to pass. It is not known whether Fr Gobbi misinterpreted certain things that were communicated to him, or perhaps unwittingly allowed some of his own personal convictions to influence and hence somewhat alter Our Lady’s messages.
There is a simple solution to this: don’t bother with the apocalyptic messages. The majority of the locutions—especially the early ones, in the 1970s and 1980s, which are likely to be the most authentic—are mainly focused on our consecration to the Immaculate Heart and how to live it. What is important is to develop our personal relationship with our heavenly Mother. Thus we will be prepared for whatever is to come, without having to spend time speculating about it. Our Lady’s messages here are very beautiful, and they draw us to her Heart in a very tender and loving way—though she is clear that she takes seriously our consecration and does not hesitate to tell us what it means to belong completely to her!
Here are just a few messages from the Blessed Mother:
“Hasten to my Immaculate Heart. Come to me… I have prepared a secure refuge for you where you must gather together to be comforted and saved. This refuge is my Immaculate Heart! … You who are totally entrusted to me, listen to me and follow me… I myself, as Mother, am committed to make you just what my Son Jesus desires you to be… Allow yourself to be formed by me… in a very particular and personal way…
“If you remain in the garden of my Immaculate Heart, you become my property… In my arms and in my Immaculate Heart you will be consoled… I will defend you from the evil one, who can do nothing to harm those who are part of my property… Walk in trust… I am your heavenly Mother and I am at your side. I am protecting and leading you. I am sheltering and defending you. Do not be worried about what is going to happen to you, because everything has already been arranged in my Motherly Heart… I have drawn close to you; I have taken your heart in my hands… Do not be afraid anymore… You always have with you the Mother who leads you by the hand, who presses you to her Immaculate Heart…”
With these and many other messages from Heaven, Mary continues her mission to call us to repentance and a deeper life of prayer and faithfulness to Our Lord by consecrating ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. Her mission is to see to it that God’s will is done in us and to keep us on the difficult but life-giving path to the Kingdom of Heaven. Mary’s heavenly mission will continue until the end of time, until the full number of the elect has been secured for the life of everlasting happiness. As Mediatrix of Grace, she is in a perfect position to help us, so we ought to have frequent recourse to her and not only cooperate with her in the work of our own sanctification and salvation, but also help her to win souls for God by our prayer and sacrifice.
Our Lady said at Fatima: “Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.” It may very well be that some of our own family or friends might be lost forever if we do not pray and offer sacrifices for them, to obtain the grace they need to repent and be saved. We have received much from the Lord, which others have not received. Therefore much will be required of us in return (see Lk. 12:48), for we have a responsibility toward our fellow members of the Body of Christ. So let us help our heavenly Mother to succeed in her ongoing mission to gather souls for the Lord!
To be continued…