From the archives:
In a rare pronouncement the bishop of San Nicolas de los Arroyos in Argentina has reiterated that dramatic prophecies and messages claimed to be from the Virgin Mary and warning the world is in “great danger” have been officially accepted by the Church.
The messages, which came through a woman named Gladys Herminia Quiroga from 1983 to 1990, warn of chastisements and say that mankind is in “very dramatic moments.” But they offer the hope that what looks like a triumph of evil will soon be reversed.
“From the church point of view the messages are approved and they are finished,” states Bishop Mario Luis Bautista Maulion. ” The effects continue, although there is nothing official about new messages.
We presume there are not more messages. If there were it would be up to the church to discern them and publish any new messages after February 1990.”
He adds: “The content of these messages is very spiritual. They call for conversion, prayer, and hope in a hopeless world. The consecration to Our Lady takes us to a very holy life which is the goal of baptism. It is a response to the secularism and materialism of our times.”
While aspects of the apparition have met with previous positive comments from bishops, the latest statement appears to be the strongest endorsement of the prophecy itself, with use of the term “approval” taking it beyond an “imprimatur” (which is simply an acknowledgement that nothing in a message contradicts Church doctrine).
We’ll have more on the content of the messages in coming days. The important point for now is the Church’s stand. The reiteration is of a determination by the previous bishop, Domingo Castagna. Although the apparitions themselves have never been formally approved, Castagna announced construction of a church to serve the faithful who flocked to the apparition during his tenure and records show that along with an archbishop, Jorge Lopez of Rosario, made public statements that left little doubt that both prelates firmly believed that events were manifesting “by God through the Blessed Virgin.”
There have been at least ninety visits to the sanctuary by cardinals, bishops, or auxiliary bishops, according to a website devoted to San Nicolas.
The declaration of Bishop Maulion, made in response to questions formally posed by Spirit Daily, says the actual apparitions have not been formally approved and will not be — a curious decision in that the messages themselves have in effect been declared as supernatural missives from Mary.
“What is important is the ecclesiastic discernment and the pastoral directions which are approved and are what give authority to the Church,” states Maulion according to a preliminary translation. “The most important aspect of the apparitions is the spiritual fruit. They produce prayer, conversion, and other supernatural manifestations given to Our Lady in favor of her children who come to look for and they receive a lot of graces.
I believe since the beginning these apparitions have been producing a lot of spiritual fruits, which increase the faith of the people and which the Church can use to direct the pastoral life of the believers.
These manifestations are like a tree that produces good fruit. If the fruit is good the tree is good. Our Lady is manifesting a lot of graces through these apparitions to a lot of people.”
Some of Maulion’s responses are in reply to a question about his personal beliefs. The bishop says there have been apparitions reported at San Nicolas since 1990 but that his office had not yet discerned them.
Asked if there were similar seers elsewhere in Argentina, Maulion says, “There are some reported and some reports of supernatural events but the Church has not confirmed any of them.”
In response to a query about sun phenomena or other miracles at San Nicolas (about 145 miles north of Buenos Aires), the bishop says “there are a lot of healing, conversions, and miraculous cures but there are so many that they have not been investigated. The testimonies of the faithful and pilgrims are very large and are attributed to the graces received from Our Lady.”
When asked what he thought about prophecies concerning sin and coming chastisements, Maulion says, “All sin requires conversion and purification. It is appropriate in these times when the values are changed by the world, so it is a consequence that requires conversion and suffering at the local, personal, and national levels.
Chastisements and sufferings bring us to conversion. It is through Divine intervention that Our Lady fulfills the request of Our Lord at the foot of the Cross from Jesus: ‘Here is your son.’ She united with her Son and, obedient to Him, brings her children to Him. Filled with maternal love, her actions are the hope for those who ask for her intercession as Mother and Queen of Perpetual Help.”
According to the previous bishop as well as the rector of the sanctuary the Pope has discussed the issue and has been both very interested and “totally positive.”
Approval of the San Nicolas messages joins with two other apparitions in Latin American that have been accepted in the past several decades: Betania in Venezuela and Cuapa in Nicaragua, where both the messages and apparitions themselves met formal Church approval. There are other apparition sites in South America that have been approved through the centuries but none in the U.S.
NEXT: WHAT THE MESSAGES SAY