Thursday, August 1, 2013


Our Lady of America  (Part I)
The Statue of Our Lady of America


The following lines were penned by a religious Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil), from her cloister cell. She was professed as a religious in 1933. On the exterior, she was much like any other Sister in the Community, trying to be faithful to the Rule and the religious practices of the Community. She received her assignments to work in various houses, mostly in domestic work. From 1951 to 1954 she taught kindergarten classes in a parish school and enjoyed very much working with the little ones.
About 1938 she began to have what seemed like mystical experiences. They may be described as flights of the spirit, interior locutions, etc. Having these did not disturb nor overawe her in any way. In fact, by her own admission she thought they were a common thing to all religious.

In 1948 these experiences were brought to the attention of her confessor. He prudently advised her to be very cautious, lest it be a case of an overactive imagination. The experiences became more vivid and the messages more pressing. She considered seriously entering a cloister, perhaps to find her fulfillment of God's Will there. But various events indicated otherwise. Finally, her own Community established a cloistered group within the active, and in May 1958 she was permitted to enter this cloister.
These supernatural happenings, referred to above, included many things that concerned only her own personal spiritual life: special espousals with Christ, designation as the Little White Dove, etc. During all this time there were no external signs that she was different from any other member of the Community.
After some years she began to write down briefly the happenings during these occasions of special communication with God. These were read by one of the other priests to whom she had gone for direction, and in general they never found in them anything contrary to faith and morals, nor anything to indicate mental debility. On the contrary, some points, especially the great emphasis on the Indwelling of the Blessed Trinity, showed a theological understanding beyond what this Sister had been able to obtain from her regular courses in Religion.

Finally, in 1954 these visits took on the nature of a specific program of special devotion to Mary which this Sister was commanded to propagate. In fulfillment of these expressions of Our Lady which this Sister is convinced Mary wants her to carry out, she has set down in writing this Message of Mary, who presents herself here as Our Lady of America.  Sister Mary Ephrem (Mildred Neuzil) died on January 10, 2000 in Fostoria, OH.

Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D. Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G. Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

(As recorded by Sister Mary Ephrem)
Our Lord often spoke to me in the past, and already in the early 1940's it was made known to me interiorly that my mission was to converge toward sanctification of the family.  I was not further enlightened at that time as to how this was to be accomplished.

In the year 1954, however, Our Lord addressed the following words to me. As they coincided in every way with Our Lady's message concerning the spiritual renewal of souls, I have placed them at the beginning of this manuscript.

Our Lord’s words, May 22, 1954: "My little white dove, if the world is dying, it is because it will not let Me give it life. I am the resurrection and the life, and unless souls seek their life in Me, they will find only death and destruction. They fear man-made destroyers of life, yet destruction is in themselves. Man destroys himself through the evil that is in himself.

Implements of war kill only that which is without. Man kills that within himself which none but he can kill. God is light, man is darkness, and unless he comes into the light, he will be forever darkness. The Voice of My Heart is the Voice of Mercy. If man will not listen, there is no more I can do, for he ties My hands."

May 29, 1954: “My Heart beats with compassion for the sorrows of man. Oh, how gladly would I help him bear the weight of his terrible cross, fashioned, for the most part, by his own guilt! But alas, he will have none of My help. So I am forced to stand by the side of the road and watch him struggle hopelessly in his agony.

“O man, what have I done to you that you should refuse My aid? My little white dove, do you know what I find most lacking in the world today? It is FAITH. There are so few souls that believe in Me and My love. They profess their belief and their love, but they do not live this belief. Their hearts are cold, for without faith there can be no love.

“Pray and sacrifice yourself, My child, that faith may once again find entrance into the hearts of men.”

July 11, 1954: "My daughter, I am not loved in the homes of men. And because I am not loved, the Divine Trinity refuses to dwell herein. Children are not taught to love Me, because those who have charge over them have no time or patience to do so. My Heart grieves over My children in the world. Their hearts are being drawn farther and farther away from Me. They will not even listen to My Mother, because they have never been taught to listen. I am a Beggar for love, but how few give to Me the means by which to satisfy My divine hunger. I hunger for the love of My own, and I receive only the crumbs no other would accept.

"My Father is angry. If My children will not listen to My Heart, which is a Voice of mercy and instruction, punishment will come swiftly and none shall be able to stay it. The pleadings of My Heart have held back the divine justice about to descend on an ungrateful and sinful generation. Woe to parents who set a bad example to their children! Terrible will be their judgment. I will demand a strict account of every soul entrusted to their care. Woe to parents who teach their children how to gain materially in this world and neglect to prepare them for the next! Woe to children who disobey and show disrespect towards their parents! ’Honor thy father and thy mother.’ On this shall they be judged most severely."

July 12, 13, 14, 1954: "Blessed are the homes that honor My Name and the Name of My Father. Blessed are the homes where I am loved, for there the Holy Trinity dwells. Blessed are the parents and children who have made a home for God in their hearts. Little secretary of My Heart, write these instructions for the sanctification of My people. My Father’s house is a house of prayer, and you have made it a den of thieves. My children, every home and every soul is My Father's house, for He made them and they are His. But many of them are no longer sanctified by His Presence. Thieves have entered in and stolen from Him His temples of prayer. It is you, My children, who have let them in. If, My children, you will cleanse your temples, My Father will return and We will come and make our abode with you. "Return, My people, for My Heart hungers and thirsts for your love. If you will not return, the just anger of My Father will descend upon you. What would you have, My love or My Father's anger? Choose, and as you choose, so shall it be done. I will not force your free will, for that is yours to use as you desire."

The next incident took place in the fall of the year 1954, when I was stationed at a different house of the Congregation. I do not remember the exact date, as I did not intend ever saying anything about it. I was sitting in the room next to the kitchen with the intention of saying some of my prayers. Almost at the very moment I began to pray, I saw an Angel. I knew this immediately, although the apparition did not reveal itself as such until later. I saw the Angel standing before me towards the left. He was dressed in a white robe or garment, which was perfectly plain and perfectly white. The whiteness of his robe stood out against the darkness about him. It was like a light in the midst of darkness. He was holding a green palm and a drawn sword in his left hand, the tips of both palm and sword resting against his left shoulder. I saw all this at a glance. The Angel said to me, "Receive the palm of victory.” I became suspicious. I could not think of any victory of mine that deserved such a reward. Besides, it sounded a bit like flattery to me. I have always been wary of words of praise; they put me on my guard. Why was the palm not given to someone else more deserving of it than I? So I shook my head and resolutely went back to my prayers. But the Angel would not go.

He spoke again, "You do not believe me. Will you accept the cross?" For me this struck more nearly home. I said, "Yes, I will accept the cross." To this he replied, "Then you will accept the palm and the sword. With the sword the saints conquered themselves, the world, and the devil. I am the Angel of Peace. I come to those whose hearts are attuned to the Voice of God. To such as these I remain a perpetual light through blinding darkness. I was sent by Him Who said, 'I am the Light of the world.'" Later it was made known to me that the Angel of Peace was St. Michael.  
On November 8, 1954, a short time after the visit of the Angel of Peace, Our Lady spoke to me in these words: "It is the wish of my Son that fathers and mothers strive to imitate me and my chaste spouse in our holy life at Nazareth. We practiced the simple virtues of family life, Jesus our Son being the center of all our love and activity. The Holy Trinity dwelt with us in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined. For ours was the earthly paradise where once again God walked among men. "As in our little home no sin was to be found, so it is the wish of the Heart of my Son and my Immaculate Heart that sin should, as far as possible, be unheard of in the homes of our children. The Divine Trinity will dwell in your midst only if you are faithful in practicing the virtues of our life at Nazareth. Then, you also, my children, you also will become another paradise. God will then walk among you and you will have peace. I need your help to bring peace into the world. Do not disappoint me."

The next incident happened at another mission where I was sent the following year. This date was recorded as November 20, 1955. I found myself in a half sleeping and half-waking state, which I had often experienced before. It gave one the strange effect of being in two worlds. I find no other way to explain this state. I entered a small room, strange and unknown to me. As I was looking around in a rather bewildered fashion, I sensed another presence in the room. I turned toward the doorway, and confronting me was an angel. He was dressed in white, but his garments were arranged in a different manner from those of St. Michael. Although the room was very light, I saw a bright halo surrounding his head. His arms were extended, bent at the elbows, his fingers pointing upwards. A sort of supernatural dread came over me.

I knelt down, then asked him, "Who are you?” He replied, "I am the Angel Gabriel. I have come to tell you that Our Lord is pleased with your effort to do good. He asks that you go to His Mother and learn great purity of heart.” I awakened gradually. The image of the Angel was so impressed upon my mind that he was as a living person beside me.

In the fall of 1956 I was sent to help out at one of our larger institutions. It was at this place that the official visits of Our Lady began, and the special mission entrusted to me revealed. The following is the account of these visits as it was written at that time:

On the eve of the feast of the North American Martyrs, September 25, 1956, as I was making the Holy Hour from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., I was conscious of the distinct and special feeling of the presence of Our Lady. She stood by my side and spoke to me. I felt, rather than saw her, though I did see a part of her white gown and a small portion of her blue sash. I was under the impression that she came as Our Lady of Lourdes, and she herself confirmed this. Our Lady promised that greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima would be granted here in America, the United States in particular, if we would do as she desires.

These are the words she spoke to me at this time: "I am pleased, my child, with the love and honor my children in America give to me, especially through my glorious and unique privilege of the Immaculate Conception. I promise to reward their love by working through the power of my Son's Heart and my Immaculate Heart miracles of grace among them. I do not promise miracles of the body, but of the soul."

Our lady emphasized this very much. She is anxiously concerned about our inner life. She continued: “For it is mainly through these miracles of grace that the Holy Trinity is glorified among men and nations. Let America continue and grow in its love for me, and I in return, in union with the Heart of my Son, promise to work wonders in her. My child, I desire that this be known.”

The next morning, September 26, 1956 the feast of the North American Martyrs, Mass had just been concluded and the Community thanksgiving was almost over. There were a few minutes left when suddenly Our Lady appeared before me, enveloped in a soft glow of light. I knew with unmistakable certainty that it was she, though she did not speak immediately. What I noticed was the smile on Our Lady's beautiful countenance and the lily she held in her right hand. She wore a white veil reaching almost to the waist and a mantle and robe of pure white with not a single decoration of any kind. An oblong-shaped clasp or brooch held the ends of the mantle together at the top. It was all gold, as was the high and brilliant crown which she wore. Her hair and her eyes seemed of medium brown. Her feet were bare, but these I did not always see, as they were sometimes covered by the moving clouds on which Our Lady stood. She continued to smile. Then I saw her heart appear, encircled with red roses, the symbol of suffering as it was revealed to me, and sending forth flames of fire. With her left hand Our Lady seemed to be holding up slightly the upper part of her mantle, so that her Immaculate Heart could be seen. Then solemnly and distinctly, in calm yet majestic tones, I heard these words: "I am Our Lady of America. I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives."
She was very beautiful and her smile held me. But I became conscious of the fact that the other Sisters were leaving the chapel, and I, too, had to go as obedience directed me. I said to Our Lady, "Please forgive me, Mother, but I do have to go now or my work will not get finished." Our Lady understood, but she did not leave me. When I entered my room, she was there waiting for me. Then I noticed the green color of the lily stem in her hand and the white sash or belt which she wore around her waist. It seemed to be made of the same material as the robe. It was narrow, very narrow, and no ends of it could be seen at all. As I had to hurry about my tasks, I could not give Our Lady all the attention I longed to, but every now and then I would direct a glance of love toward her. Our Lady stood there smiling as I had seen her in the chapel. All that day I was conscious of Our Lady's presence in a very special manner, in a way that was distinctly new to me.

On the afternoon of the same day, during the last half of the Holy Hour between 4:00 and 5:00, the Immaculate Virgin spoke to me at length in these words: “My child, I entrust you with this message that you must make known to my children in America. I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. The wonders I will work will be the wonders of the Soul. They must have faith and believe firmly in my love for them. I desire that they be the children of my Pure Heart. I desire, through my children of America, to further the cause of faith and purity among peoples and nations. Let them come to me with confidence and simplicity, and I, their Mother, will teach them to become pure like to my Heart that their own hearts may be more pleasing to the Heart of my Son."

Our Blessed Mother called herself Our Lady of America in response to the love and desire that reached out for this special title in the hearts of her children in America. This title was the sign of her pleasure at the confidence our land places in her and as a reward for its staunch and childlike devotion to her. Her children longed for this personal visit of Our Lady, whether consciously or otherwise, and in her kindness and mercy she responded far beyond all expectations.

Though she came in this manner as a token of her love for us, nevertheless Our Lady of America welcomes her children of all nations to her feet, for there will be found true peace. So she has given me to understand, and such are her desires as she revealed them to me. Our Lady, moreover, often emphasized her desire that the Shrine in Washington, D.C., be made a place of special pilgrimage. She wishes to be honored there as Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin. After this date I saw Our Lady frequently. She seemed anxious to impress me with the truth and importance of her appearance.

On September 27, 1956, Our Lady again appeared to me while I was at prayer. She held the world in her hands. From her eyes tears were flowing upon it, as though she longed to cleanse it from its guilt. It was then that I heard these words filled with sorrow and longing: '"Behold, O my children, the tears of your Mother! Shall I weep in vain? Assuage the sorrow of my Heart over the ingratitude of sinful men by the love and chasteness of your lives. Will you do this for me, beloved children, or will you allow your Mother to weep in vain? I come to you, O children of America, as a last resort. I plead with you to listen to my voice. Cleanse your souls in the Precious Blood of My Son. Live in His Heart, and take me in that I may teach you to live in great purity of heart which is so pleasing to God. Be my army of chaste soldiers, ready to fight to the death to preserve the purity of your souls. I am the Immaculate One, Patroness of your land. Be my faithful children as I have been your faithful Mother.  “These are my words, O my daughter. Make them known to my children. I desire to make the whole of America my shrine by making every heart accessible to the love of my Son.''

In early October, 1956, about a week after Our Lady's first appearance, St. Joseph, though I did not see him at this time, spoke to me the following words:  "It is true my daughter, that immediately after my conception, I was, through the future merits of Jesus and because of my exceptional role of future Virgin-Father, cleansed from the stain of original sin. I was from that moment confirmed in grace and never had the slightest stain on my soul. This is my unique privilege among men.

"My pure heart also was from the first moment of existence inflamed with love for God. Immediately, at the moment when my soul was cleansed from original sin, grace was infused into it in such abundance that, excluding my holy spouse, I surpassed the holiness of the highest angel in the angelic choir.

Pure Heart of Saint Joseph, full of Compassion

“My heart suffered with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Mine was a silent suffering, for it was my special vocation to hide and shield as long as God willed, the Virgin Mother and Son from the malice and hatred of men. The most painful of my sorrows was that I knew beforehand of their passion, yet would not be there to console them.  "Their future suffering was ever present to me and became my daily cross. I became, in union with my holy spouse, co-redemptor of the human race. Through compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and Mary I cooperated, as no other, in the salvation of the world."

On October 5, 1956, I felt suddenly urged to write a prayer to Our Lady, Patroness of our land. I knelt by the little table in my room, and as I did so Our Lady came to me. She stood at my right side very close to me. Though I did not hear any words, the thoughts came into my mind one after the other, and I wrote without stopping until the prayer was finished. Then Our Lady disappeared. [See the prayer in "Part II" of this document. cj] 

Following is the account of Our Lady's next visit, which occurred on October 13, 1956: Today the Holy Virgin appeared to me as I was working in my room. Our Lady was very beautiful, and she was again smiling in her heavenly way. She was dressed in the same manner as when I first saw her, except that her Immaculate Heart did not appear. Instead of the lily, she held with both hands a small replica of the finished Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. She then began to speak. Her presence overwhelmed me with its holiness. I was compelled to stop my work, for it was impossible to go on. I then knelt down and wrote Our Lady's words as she desired: "This is my shrine, my daughter. I am very pleased with it. Tell my children I thank them. Let them finish it quickly and make it a place of pilgrimage. It will be a place of wonders. I promise this, I will bless all those who, either by prayers, labor, or material aid, help to erect this shrine."

On the morning of November 15, 1956, Our Lady taught me this little prayer: "By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil.”   Our Lady then asked me to draw a picture of her first appearance. She also requested a statue made according to this likeness and placed, after being solemnly carried in procession, in the shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. She wishes to be honored there in a special way as "Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin."

From January 1957 to 1958, Our Lady's warnings came to me again and again. These are her words spoken in January 1957: "The hour grows late. My Son's patience will not last forever. Help me hold back His anger, which is about to descend on sinful and ungrateful men. Suffering and anguish, such as never before experienced, is about to overtake mankind. It is the darkest hour. But if men will come to me, my Immaculate Heart will make it bright again with the mercy which my Son will rain down through my hands. Help me save those who will not save themselves. Help me bring once again the sunshine of God's peace upon the world."

To my spiritual director I was asked to send this message: “Hurry, my son, for the time is short but the punishment will be long, and for many, forever. Tell the Bishops of the United Stares, my loyal sons, of my desires and how I wish them to be carried out. Through him who is head over you, make known the longings of my Immaculate Heart to establish the reign of my Divine Son in the hearts of men and thus save them from the scourge of heaven, both now and hereafter."

Our Lady, again addressing herself to me, spoke sadly yet hopefully: "My daughter, will my children in America listen to my pleadings and console my Immaculate Heart? Will my loyal sons carry out my desires and thus help me bring the peace of Christ once again to mankind? Pray and do penance, my sweet child, that this may come to pass. Trust me and love me; I so desire it. Do not forget your poor Mother, who weeps over the loss of so many of her children."

Our Lady, on the morning of February 3, 1957: "My Son asks of souls love, that true love willing to sacrifice itself for the One loved. Man fears to sacrifice himself because he is selfish. If souls would place themselves into my keeping, I would teach them the way of true love. If men truly loved my Son, they would not quarrel with each other and they would have peace in their own hearts.  “Peace is from within, not from without. If mankind were at peace with itself, there would be peace in the world. Man will only have peace if he has in his heart that true love of neighbor that springs from a whole-hearted love for my Son.  My sweet child, if love does not have its roots implanted deeply within the soul, it will die out or be rooted up by the first storm that besets it. O child of my Pure Heart, tell my children to come to me and learn this true love of my Son, which is so necessary for their peace of soul."

Sometime later the same day, Our Lady spoke again: "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 He regards it. But to make your hearts grow more and more like to 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. The Holy Trinity looks down with infinite delight upon such souls and makes them Its heaven upon earth. Come to me, my children, come to me and learn. There is much I would teach you. It is for your own happiness and eternal salvation. Do not disregard the voice of your Mother. It is the voice of love trying to save you from eternal ruin."

In March of this same year, Our Lady spoke in the following manner: "O my sweet child, when will my desires be realized? My Immaculate Heart desires with great desire to see the kingdom of Jesus my Son established in all hearts. Now I have pleaded with my children to open their hearts to Him, but most are cold and indifferent. Has ever a mother shown more love and interest in her children's welfare than I have done? O my little one, daughter of my Pure Heart, you must pray with greater fervor and offer yourself with greater love to the Heart of my Son."

In April 1957, Our Lord's words contained this warning: “My sweet child, unless my children reform their lives, they will suffer great persecution. If man himself will not take upon himself the penance necessary to atone for his sins and those of others, God in His justice will have to send upon him the punishment necessary to atone for his transgressions."

On May 8, I was visited by the Archangel Michael, who spoke in these forceful words: "Write! I am Michael, Angel Captain of the Lord God of Hosts. I come to announce the coming of the kingdom, the kingdom of peace. The time is at hand. Repent, bestir yourselves, O sons of men, repent and make ready your hearts that the King may establish His Kingdom within you. Do not delay, or the time of grace will pass and with it the peace you seek.  Behold, the Queen of angels and of men comes beforehand to make all things ready for her King-Son. My little sister, the message is a clear one, there is no doubt. Make it known, do not hesitate. I, Michael, have spoken."

In the evening of August 5, the feast of Our Lady of the Snow, as I knelt in my room, Our Lady spoke to me about the Divine Indwelling. It was her life and she lived it perfectly, always conscious of His presence, never forgetting that all her greatness came from within, from Him Who dwelt there, working, loving, and doing good through her. This is what Our Lady means when she speaks of reformation, renewal. It is this about which she is so concerned, namely sanctification from within.  As Our Lady spoke this, she seemed at the time to be deeply occupied. Though the serenity of her countenance never left her, she spoke with a gravity that made her words all the more solemn. She seemed anxious to impress me with some idea of the greatness of this gift of God to us, namely, His Divine Presence within our souls through sanctifying grace.
Love, Jeanne