Sixty years ago today the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem and proclaimed these words:
“I am Our Lady of America. I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives.”
By these words she acknowledged our nation’s long and historical dedication to her as the Immaculate Conception, manifested by our nation’s consecration to her and our response to that Dogma which proclaims that she is without sin. With these words she invites all of us to imitate her as the perfect model of purity.
Just the day before (September 25, 1956) she had appeared to Sr. Mary Ephrem as Our Lady of Lourdes. You may recall the apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes was Heavenly confirmation of the dogma of Mary’s immaculate nature proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854. When she appeared to Sr. Ephrem as Our Lady of Lourdes she said:
“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… 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.”
As Our Lady of Lourdes she promises the graces necessary to follow her towards a life of purity. As Our Lady of America she teaches us to seek purity and live life in a state of sanctifying grace through openness to grace, prayer, works and the Sacraments.
Please pray that our bishops will soon fulfill her request and acknowledge her as Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin. By their acts Our Lady promises an outpouring of graces for America and the world.
“By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception, oh Mary, deliver us from evil.