Mary, Mother of God

The Lady of All Nations: The Bishop's Statement

May 31, 2002       In Response to Inquiries Concerning the Lady of All Nations Apparitions

            As Bishop of Haarlem/Amsterdam, I have been requested to make a statement regarding the authenticity of the apparitions of Mary as the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam during the years of 1945 -1959. Many members of the faithful and bishops have emphasized the urgency for clarification. I also have been personally aware that this development of devotion, which has spanned over 50 years, call for this.

            As it is known, my predecessor, Msgr. H. Bomers and myself had previously given permission for public veneration in 1996. As to the supernatural character of the apparitions and contents of the messages, we did not give our judgment, but declared that "everyone is free to make a judgment for himself or herself according to their conscience." Having had a generally positive attitude towards authenticity, we decided to await further development and to "discern the spirit" further (cf. 1 Thes 5:19-21).

            Over the period of six subsequent years, I observed that the devotion had taken its place in the spiritual life of millions all over the world, and that it possesses the support of many bishops. Many experiences of conversion and reconciliation, as well as healings and special protection also have been reported to me. In full recognition of the responsibility of the Holy See, it is primarily the task of the local bishop to speak out in conscience regarding the authenticity of private revelations that take place or have taken place within his diocese.

            Therefore I have asked once again for the advice of theologians and psychologists concerning outcomes of previous investigations, and the questions and objections deriving from them. Their recommendations state that no theological or psychological impediments for a declaration of supernatural authenticity can be found therein. I have also requested the judgment of a number of brother bishops concerning the fruits and development of the devotion, who within their own dioceses have experienced a strong devotion of Mary as the Mother and Lady of All Nations. In light and virtue of all these recommendations, testimonies, and developments, and in pondering all this in prayer and theological reflection, I have come to the conclusion that the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam consist of a supernatural origin.

            Naturally, the influence of the human element still exists. Authentic images and visions are always transmitted to us, in the words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, "through the filter of our senses, which carry out a work of translation..." and "...are influenced by the potentialities and limitations of the perceiving subject" (Cardinal Ratzinger, Theological Commentary In Preparation for the Release of the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima, L 'Osservatore Romano, June 28, 2000).

            Unlike Holy Scripture, private revelations are never binding upon the conscience of the faithful. They are a help in understanding the signs of the times and to help live more fully the Gospel (cf. Lk 12:56, Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 67). And the signs of our times are dramatic. The devotion to the Lady of All Nations can help us, in my sincere conviction, in guiding us on the right path during the present serious drama of our times, the path to a new and special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Who alone can heal the great wounds of our times.

            To follow the further development of this devotion and to come to an even deeper insight into its meaning, I have installed a commission whose task it will be to continue to document all initiatives, experiences, and testimonies stemming from the devotion in order to help insure and preserve a correct ecclesial and theological progress of devotion.

            I hope this has provided sufficient information and clarification.

                                                                        Jozef Marianus Punt,  Bisschop van Haarlem


Bisdom van Haarlem  Nieuwe Gracht 80, Postbus 1053, 2001 BB Haarlem,


The Lady who was Mary

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 1859.
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 man¹s 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 Co-redemptrix, 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 Co-redemptrix. ...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 Co-redemptrix, 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 Haarlem-Amsterdam 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.

This article first appeared in the 23rd August 2002 issue of The Catholic Herald.

This Version 3rd September 2002


Mary, Mother of God