Towards the end of World War II, Our Lady appeared in Amsterdam to Ida Peerdeman. It was the first of a series of apparitions that ended in 1959. In May this year, Bishop Joseph Maria Punt of Haarlem-Amsterdam issued a formal declaration acknowledging their supernatural nature. Professor Courtenay Bartholomew discusses their significance
The Blessed Virgin appeared in Fatima 1917 towards the end of World War I. But what has not been appreciated by many is that she appeared in Amsterdam to Ida Peerdeman, a humble Dutch lady, towards the end of World War II.
She said to her: "The war is going to end soon—thanks to this," showing Ida a rosary, which hung from her fingers. This was on March 25, 1945, significantly, the Feast of the Annunciation. World War II ended six weeks later in the Netherlands on May 5, 1945. It was the Feast of Pope St. Pius V, who initiated the Feast of Our Lady of Rosary which is celebrated on October 7.
The Amsterdam apparitions were a series of appearances between 1945 and 1959 and were, in certain ways, the most fascinating apparitions I have ever researched. Indeed, among other messages, she made many political prophecies which have since come to pass. But it was not until February 11, 1951, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, that she gave Ida a prayer for the world. It is : "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of all Nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate. Amen."
When the bishop heard this prayer, although impressed with Ida and her messages, he found somewhat confusing the statement: "who once was Mary," and so, when he recited the prayer a few weeks later to the congregation after Mass, he omitted those words. However, Our Lady appeared later to Ida and requested that her words be reinstated.
She then explained "who once was Mary." She said: "Over the years I have been known only as Mary. However, in these times I wish to be known as the Lady or Mother of all Nations." The first Eve was given to Adam as a companion or helpmate (Genesis 2:18). She was born immaculate (sinless). It was only when she was seduced by Satan that sin entered the world for the first time. Adam was next to fall. It was then that God rebuked Satan in Genesis 3:15: "Because you have done this, I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. She will crush your head and you will strike at her heel."
Because it was a woman and a man who sinned in the garden of Eden, it had therefore to be a woman and a man to restore man's friendship with God. And so, the Son, the second Adam, left the bosom of the Father and became incarnate in the womb of the second Eve. With her "yes" she became the "Mother of God." But to have that privilege she had to be the Immaculate Conception. In short, she was the single exception to the universal law.
It was the first Marian dogma, and, like all the other Marian dogmas, it was not without opposition. It was defined in 431 AD at the Council of Ephesus. The second Marian dogma (649AD) was the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the third was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854. It was the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and then on November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the dogma of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary as mediatrix has been recognized since the early Church. Indeed, one may well say that at the marriage feast in Cana, she officially established herself as the Mediatrix with the one mediator between God and man, the Son Jesus Christ. Advocate she has been called for centuries, as, for example, in the great Marian hymn, the Salve Regina.
As for Co-redemptrix, she was with the Redeemer from the crib to the Cross, and during those three agonizing hours when she suffered as no woman has ever suffered standing at the foot of
the Cross, close to His death, the Redeemer said to her: "Woman (referring to her as the Woman of Genesis 3:15), behold your son," and to John: " Behold your mother" (John representing mankind). It was His last will and testament. She was, then, not only the Mother of God, but she became the Mother of all
Peoples, the Mother of Mankind, the Mother of all Nations. Redemption, begun at the Annunciation, was completed on Calvary. "It is finished," He cried from the Cross. And so, whereas it was a fruit which hung from a tree in the garden of Eden, which Satan used to bring death to mankind, it was the fruit of Mary's womb, which hung from a tree on Calvary, which restored life and redeemed mankind. The situation was reversed.
She was the co-sufferer under the Cross of the suffering Redeemer. And how she suffered! Indeed, if there were one thousand mothers standing at the feet of a thousand crosses bearing their thousand crucified sons, the sum total of their anguish could not equate in any way the pain and suffering of that woman on that hill on that Friday that "some men call good". The woman and her seed were suffering from mankind, by mankind and for mankind.
Two weeks after the dogma of the Assumption was defined, on November 16, 1950, the Blessed Virgin said to Ida: "Now the moment has come for you to speak about Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate under the title of the Lady of all Nations ("Co" meaning companion, co-operating with but subjugated and not equal to the Redeemer. This must be duly stressed). She later added: "It may be asked why this title is not mentioned in the messages of the first five years. It is because the dogma of the Assumption had to come first."
In April of that year, 1951, she added: "The new dogma will be the dogma of the Co-redemptrix. I emphasize 'Co'. I have already said how much controversy this dogma would arouse. The Church of Rome will have a long struggle over it, but will finally proclaim it. The image and its dissemination — this is the prerequisite to the dogma. This image will be the emblem of the Co-redemptrix. The Lady, Mother, has suffered the sufferings of the Son, both spiritual and corporal."
She later explained to Ida: "By the will of the Father, the Redeemer came into the world. For that, the Father had recourse to the Lady. From the Lady, and from her alone, the Redeemer took flesh and blood; that is to say, His body. From my Lord and Master, the Redeemer received His divinity. In this way the Lady became the Co-redemptrix by the will of the Father. I do not come to bring any new doctrine. The doctrine already exists. Say this to your theologians: 'Already from the beginning, she was Coredemptrix. ...That is why the Lady of all Nations has been compelled to come now, in these present times, for she is the Immaculate Conception and, as a consequence of this, the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. These three are but one."
But when this Mother of all Nations gave birth to the Prince of Peace, she became the Queen of Peace. The Communist Party in Russia dramatically collapsed on August 22, 1991. It was on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.
On May 31, 2002, Bishop Joseph Maria Punt of HaarlemAmsterdam issued a formal declaration approving the supernatural nature of the apparitions that have become known as "The Lady of All Nations."
Professor Courtenay Bartholomew is Emeritus Professor of Medicine of the University of the West Indies. His books include A Scientist Researches Mary, Ark of the Covenant, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother and Co-redemptrix, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations and Her Majesty Mary, Queen of Peace.