Her messages from so many past apparitions are just what we need to hear today.
The recent days of October remind us of Mary’s maternal presence to her children. October 9 was the anniversary of the Champion, Wisconsin, apparition of Our Lady of Good Hope, and October 13 marked the miracle of the sun in Fatima, Portugal.
These apparitions of Our Lady, and all apparitions for that matter, are a reminder to believers that Mary loves her children and comes to share a message. As we continue to live in the times of Covid-19, Mary wants to speak to us through her apparitions of years past. What she wants to tell us is that she is with us and praying for us.
In Knock, Ireland, Mary appeared at the gable wall with St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and also with a Lamb on an altar. There was no spoken message. It was simply Mary and the saints remaining with the people for an extended time.
On my podcast, How They Love Mary, I spoke with Fr. Richard Gibbons, the parish priest of Knock, who shared that when the apparition occurred, there was a land war happening, people were starving, and there was a great upheaval.
Fr. Gibbons opines the apparition reminded the people that during a time of distress and dread God was with them and cared for them, and that Heaven was joining them in their time of suffering and praying with them.
During this time of COVID-19, the apparition of Knock reminds us that Heaven is with us. We haven’t had a new apparition to affirm this, but the message remains constant for our time. During these difficult times, maybe what we need is to spend some time with Our Lady and the saints in prayer at our local church or Marian grotto.
The words that appeared in the sky during the Franco-Prussian War on January 17, 1871, in the village of Pontmain, France, also have relevance for today. A group of children in the town saw the Blessed Virgin and the following words appeared in the sky in three different phases: But pray, my children. God will hear you in time. My Son allows Himself to be touched.
These words of our heavenly Mother speak to us right now. We are all praying during the COVID-19 pandemic. We might be praying for someone we know who has COVID, for a lonely parent or grandparent in a nursing home, for protection of your family from the virus, or for the end to the pandemic. The words of Our Lady comfort us — pray my children, God will hear you in time. We might wonder if God is listening or cares. He does. He sees our struggles and plights. He hears our cry. Don’t give up on prayer. Persevere.
When Mary appeared to the 28-year-old Belgian immigrant, Adele Brise, in Champion, Wisconsin, her message pertained to prayer and catechesis. But the parting words of the Blessed Mother to Adele are words we need to hear today. “Go and fear nothing, I will help you.”
There is a lot of fear surrounding the pandemic. We fear getting the virus and becoming really sick. We fear public outings. We fear losing our jobs. We fear the economic repercussions. We fear what tomorrow might bring.
Mary herself heard similar words to those that she imparted to Adele. The angel Gabriel told Mary, “Do not be afraid.”
Maybe a good spiritual practice for us right now is to close our eyes in prayer and hear Mary say those words to us, “Go and fear nothing.” And always remember, Mary is praying for you and your family and is mediating grace to you.
When Mary appeared in Fatima, she requested the daily recitation of the Rosary for peace in the world. When Mary made this request, she did so for the sake of world peace and an end to war. Those who pray the Rosary daily will tell you that praying the Rosary brings peace into their life—a peace of mind, heart, and soul. If you are looking for a way to pray during the pandemic, turn to Mary and ask her to hold your hand as you thumb those beads.
During this pandemic, we know people are in need of healing. And maybe we need to turn to Our Lady of Lourdes, who helped St. Bernadette uncover a healing spring of water. If you know someone who needs God’s healing now, spiritually bring them to the Lourdes water and ask Mary’s intercession for healing.
Send your Guardian Angel there to pray for the person or tune into the Lourdes livestream and visit the grotto virtually. Together, we listen to Mary’s message and ask her to pray with us during these times.