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Today we will visit Africa. Thanks to Immaculée Ilibagiza, Americans are privileged to a great deal of information on the approved Marian apparitions in Kibeho, Rwanda. But, no one in the United States seems to be actively promoting the extraordinary apparitions in Nigeria or South Africa. In 2015, I was staying at a convent where a young Sister from Nigeria was discerning her apostolate. I didn’t get the opportunity to speak with her until her priest friend from Nigeria stopped in town for Mass and breakfast one morning. I love Africa! In high school my group drew the country Tanzania. So we researched this nation and represented it in a program that simulates the United Nations. We worked hard and won an award for our efforts but I was mostly rewarded with an appreciation of this continent. Americans tend to naively think of Africa as a place of huts and wild animals. Although much of it is still rural, Africa is very complex and has modern cities with skyscrapers.

Do we realize how vast this continent is? You would have to add up the square mileage of China, India, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan and all the United States except for Alaska to match the territory of Africa! Yet all that fertile territory has a population smaller than India. Africa is divided into some sixty sovereign states, but we Americans shouldn’t imagine that they correspond to our states. An African state is a separate country and usually far larger than our states. But what is harder for us to imagine is that most states contain multiple cultures and languages. Tribes had been isolated for centuries. It’s very difficult to cut a road in a jungle and keep it open. This is different than Europe where language groups and cultures mutually interacted and shared universities and books written in a common language, Latin.

My friends from Africa explained that Nigerians regard their whole nation as artificial. The British colonized the area and simply marked off a square-like territory on a map and named it “Niger land” (Latin for black). They presumed that all the different chiefs and kings and tribes would assimilate under their educated government and everyone would learn English. Today over 500 ethnic groups want their language to be the official language. In the cities, educated people live across the street from one another, speaking their ethnic language, eating their ethnic foods, and celebrating feasts with their ethnic traditions. Zaire has 200 language groups. If Africans want to broaden their education or travel, they learn English, or French if France had colonized them, then they take a plane to Europe or America, not to other countries in Africa. Even though I had made a special study of Africa (long ago in high school) the lack of interaction between African “states” had not sunk into my brain. It truly shocked me when our visitors told us that the apparitions in Rwanda are virtually unknown in Nigeria. Catholics in Africa are more likely to know about European apparitions, like Lourdes and Fatima. More Americans know about Kibeho than Africans. Perhaps Mary’s messages in Nigeria are likewise a gift destined for Americans even more than the rest of Africa, because Mary specifically told the visionary to learn well to speak English. And her pastor was also a missionary from England.

Everything I’ll be sharing with you is what I’ve distilled from internet sites. You can download PDFs of the messages and of the official church investigative reports. But believe me, it wasn’t easy to research this. Since I wasn’t familiar with the localities, I didn’t immediately separate messages coming from different apparition sites. I presumed they were all connected. Wrong! There are at least half a dozen places that claim to have extraordinary phenomena going on. The main three are at Aokpe {ah-oke-pay}, Umunya, and Enugu. Each of these three have cost me many hours. I will deal with Umunya and Enugu in a subsequent talk entitled “how to recognize false apparitions”. Although the Aokpe messages have all the signs of authenticity—and a large shrine is under construction with the enthusiastic approval of the bishop, and at least one book in English has been published with an imprimatur, and thousands are still going there to pray two decades after the last message—nevertheless—approval is slow in coming because of the false apparitions at Umunya. Umunya is a copy-cat of Aokpe, complete with miracles of the sun and healings. Since the devil can also perform signs, it makes it difficult for Church officials to pronounce authoritatively. The main proof is to judge the tree by its fruits. This takes time and it’s prudent to wait until the rush of enthusiasm has passed. As soon as Bernadette began seeing Our Lady in a grotto, fifty different reports came in of girls seeing visions in caves. Satan tries to distract and confuse everyone. Jesus warned us that a time would come when there would be many false prophets. What is the ratio of true to false visions? I don’t know that answer. But it’s worth the pain of sorting out the chaff to get the wheat! Good prophets were required for Jesus’ First Coming to prepare people’s hearts and to know how to recognize Him: the remote prophets like Isaiah and Micah, and the proximate prophets like John the Baptist. We need good prophets for Jesus’ Second Coming.

We’re taking a hike to Aokpe today because it’s already virtually approved. Here is a typical testimony from a bishop who had traveled to see one of Christiana’s public apparitions but didn’t get there in time to see the solar miracle:

I may not be around when an official statement of approval of the alleged apparitions is promulgated. Nevertheless, I am bound in conscience to say what I experienced after witnessing the phenomenon of the endless and unprecedented sea of pilgrims on the 27th of January, 1996. I was not privileged to be in the arena of the apparition when a fantastic solar miracle occurred there. However, when I was returning to [my diocese of] Ilorin . . . I took out my Rosary in order to start praying and my mind went back to my whole experience at Aokpe. Then I said, “Lord, I know I am not worthy of you because I am the worst of all sinners. But what am I going to tell the people in Ilorin when they ask me whether the alleged Aokpe apparition was genuine or not? O Mummy Mary, I need a sign.” No sooner had I made the sign of the Cross than something spectacular started to happen. I saw the sun dancing, swirling, spinning and rolling; rocking to and fro. . . . I told the driver to stop the car without telling him what I was seeing. He thought I had forgotten something and asked whether he should turn back. Keeping calm, I asked him to look at the sun and he cried out, ‘O My Lord, the sun is rolling! It is wonderful!” . . . The rocking up and down of the sun was fantastic; truly amazing! The more I looked, the more I wanted to. What surprised me most was that my eyes were not affected, despite the intensity of my gaze. At times there appeared to be something golden at the edge of the sun, at others it was as if a silver ball was rolling, and then turning to pure gold. Sometimes it seemed very near me, as if a large Eucharistic Host covered it, making it safe to look at. But even when the sun was covered by that golden Eucharistic Host, it did not stop rolling. . . . Then, just for a moment, I happened to glance sideways and when I turned back I could not look at the sun again. It was too bright for my eyes. I was almost unspeakably happy. All I could say repeatedly was, Thank you Lord! Thank you Lord! My intention in writing this is not to pre-empt future ecclesiastical judgments on the alleged apparitions at Aokpe. . . .Nevertheless, I shall give glory to God if this witness of mine may be of significance in the cause of approving the Aokpe apparitions as authentic.

+Ayo-Maria ATOYEBI, O.P

Bishop of Ilorin

As for the local bishop, who has official jurisdiction, you will see his enthusiasm. The Blessed Virgin Mary selected twelve year-old Christiana Inebu Agbo as her messenger. Christiana was the ninth of ten children born to her devoutly parents. Her father, Christopher Agbo, was a headmaster at school and a catechist in his parish. He was respected by the missionaries for his honesty. In his youth, when Mass was in Latin, he could recite all the liturgical prayers properly. The mother, Regina worked on the family farm and was a leading member of the Christian Mothers Organization. Regina was well known for her generosity, especially in giving food to the needy. In the Agbo family, God comes first in everything, and there was no slacking in morning and evening prayers which they usually ended by reciting together the Ten Commandments. In this region of Nigeria, most people spoke Idoma. Christiana was just beginning to learn English at the village school.

In the 1990s, Aokpe was not unlike Kibeho and other rural African villages: no running water, no telephones, no electricity, no paved road to connect it to a bigger town. But almost everyone in Aokpe was Catholic. The people recited the Rosary faithfully and looked forward to visits from a priest to their small out-station church. The community had such a reputation for charity and unity that nearby villagers had a saying: “God dwells in Aokpe.” Devout though they were, the Agbo household found it extremely difficult to believe that the Queen of Heaven would select one of their children.

In early October 1992, Christiana and her elder sister Felicia were sent by their mother to weed a portion of the family farm. Christiana became tired and took a break. Standing up after the rest, she saw flashes of light. Felicia said she saw nothing and that it must be sunlight. But Christiana insisted that the light was extraordinary. On another occasion, in the same month, Christiana had climbed a tree to gather some edible leaves when she saw the same flashes of light again. But this time she saw a very beautiful Lady, standing in the air. The beautiful Lady smiled at Christiana but Christiana was so surprised that she felt frightened. She dropped the leaves and descended the tree in haste and the beautiful Lady disappeared. She wanted to tell her mother about this but was mysteriously prevented.

On 15th October 1992, feast of the great doctor of prayer, St. Teresa of Avila, Christiana was sent by her mother to go and grind some millet, a staple grain in Africa. Before she had left the compound she saw the same beautiful Lady accompanied by some other heavenly persons, all radiating light. They stayed for few minutes and then disappeared. This time her parents and neighbors were staring at Christiana in amazement. Her father told her that they thought she had died. Christiana was surprised that no one had seen “all the beautiful people.” Her parents, especially her father, attributed the mysterious phenomenon to evil spirits. Although these people were Catholic for more than a generation, African animist religions are replete with evil spirits so this thinking was natural in that culture. In fact, demonic possession is a major problem today throughout Africa.

Aokpe will bear some resemblances to Fatima: apparitions begin with flashes of light, Christiana is visited by the angel of peace, and eventually there will not be just one great Miracle of the Sun, but many, many solar phenomenon. Here is an extract from Christiana’s testimony:

On a certain morning in the month of October, 1992. I went to the stream with my elder sister to wash palm kernel, and I heard a sweet and unusual voice saying, “Go home quickly! You have a visitor.” When I got home, I did not see any one but I started saying the Hail Mary and Our Father. Suddenly the same beautiful Lady appeared to me. Her hands were folded across her breast. I became afraid and I was leaving the room, but she asked me to come back and I said to her, “Please! Who are you and where do you live?” She answered, “Behold! I am the Holy Mother! I will come again to tell you more about myself.”

My brother ran to the farm to tell my mother that I had started seeing the Lady again, and then my mother came, praying that the Good Lord would deliver me from the hands of the Evil One. . . . Later, I was in my room and all of a sudden I saw two angels singing, though I did not understand the language. It was a very sweet song. I went and called my mother. How sad, she could not see them! One of them said he was the Angel of Peace. The angels stayed for few minutes and then disappeared.

Christiana’s mother instructed her daughter to ask the beautiful Lady to pray the rosary with her when next She appears. Within the same month of October, the month of the Rosary the Lady appeared again to Christiana. She habitually wore a blue dress with a shining blue veil that covered her head, back and shoulders. Her hands were clasped on her breast, holding a rosary. Her complexion was neither white nor black, but something in between. Mary introduced herself: “I am the Holy Mother. I come from heaven. I am the Refuge of Sinners. The time of giving my name has not yet come. The name I will bring will be a powerful one. I will do many things in St. Patrick’s Church. Do not be afraid, I will come again to tell you more about myself, and what I want from you. Now Christiana where is your rosary?” They prayed it together, but the Lady only prayed the “Glory be” uttering the words with the whole of her being as if God was before her.

Christiana suffered many humiliations and threats from her fellow villagers, and this extended to her prayer-mates. The local Bishop tried to arraign her for psychiatric tests, while the lay church leaders officially banned parishioners from visiting the apparition site. The community threatened to evict the Agbo’s family from Aokpe village, stating that their daughter Christiana was being visited by an evil spirit, possibly a water spirit. Christiana’s mother lost all her friends and she was dismissed from all her roles in the church. The visit of the parish priest, the Irish missionary, Father John Beirne to Aokpe’s Saint Patrick’s Church only made things worse. Fr Beirne used his homily to tell his parishioners that the vision was the handiwork of an evil spirit. He banned everyone from visiting the apparition area. The parishioners cheered approval of Father’s remarks. Father’s initial disbelief in Mary’s apparitions to Christiana seems to be supernatural, because no one in Nigeria was a greater devotee of Mary.

When this good priest arrived in Nigeria in 1988 there were only a few thousand Catholics scattered in a vast region. Twenty priests, not all of them fervent, could only reach their outstation churches by traveling impossibly poor roads. Father Beirne was a religious of the Holy Ghost congregation. All of the missionaries who preceded him had died in their twenties or early thirties. The constant and difficult travel, the malaria, and the scorching heat took its toll on their health. In England, at St. Helena’s, in the 1980s, the young priest had been introduced to the Messages of Mary to Fr. Gobbi and Fr. Beirne became an ardent participator in the Marian Movement of Priests, initiating cenacles when he arrived in Nigeria. He quickly introduced his parishioners to the Fatima First Saturday Devotions, showing them slides of the Marian shrines of Europe and talking about Mary all the time. Years later, his bishop would tell the people that it’s not surprising that Mary chose Fr. Beirne’s parish to appear in Nigeria because he loved and revered her so much. The apparitions to Christiana would generate large numbers of conversions and vocations. Today there are 200 priests, 2 bishops, a million Catholics and a hundred churches, all this expansion within the ministry of Fr. Beirne who is still very active. He would personally write a book on Christiana’s messages entitled “Am I Going To Heaven Or Not”? But initially, he didn’t believe, and circumstances took him far away to England for awhile.

At some point—the details weren’t clear to me, perhaps it’s recorded more fully in Fr. Beirne’s book—Christiana came to him at her parish of St. Patrick’s, precisely when several devout priests had gathered for a Marian Movement Cenacle. Together they interrogated the girl and she made a good impression. Fr. Beirne appointed one of those Marian priests to be her spiritual director, but after a time this priest’s decision was very favorable, and that annoyed Fr. Beirne, so he appointed someone else. Christiana kept begging Our Lady to show a sign to the community so that they will believe her, never imagining that the trials she was going through were helping her to become spiritually mature, for she would have to face a deluge of publicity that would otherwise overwhelm a fourteen-year old.

Our Lady promised Christiana that She would perform a sign eventually, but first the good Mother spent two years forming her young daughter. She would explain to Christiana that She came from heaven to win souls for Christ: “What I want you to do is to pray for the souls in purgatory, to pray for the world and to pray to console Jesus. Will you accept?” Christiana answered, “Yes.” Christiana’s transformation into a person of serious prayer and penance impressed some of her friends who became her companions in prayer. There were many apparitions from 1992 to 1994, and then eight public apparitions in the next two years which were called “pilgrimages” because so many people would come to the site. After the series of public messages, Christiana experienced occasional apparitions until the last one in 2004. When Mary announced the first public apparition and Christiana passed this information to the community, they vowed to kill Christiana if the sign failed to materialize. Christiana’s father and some of her siblings went into hiding; only her prayer-mates and two of her sisters stayed close to her to wait for the Blessed Lady.

For this conference I’m just going to group some extracts of the messages by themes. The public apparitions were solar displays that were similar, but surpassing in number, the Fatima sun miracle. In the first miracle the sun seemed to detach and fall to earth, terrifying everyone. Then it swirled and danced in the sky, enchanting everyone. Word spread and the crowds became more and more enormous. Her most important message concerned the dogma she had asked for in the apparitions of Amsterdam, which were scarcely known and not yet approved.

Mediatrix of all graces

August 4th, 1995

“Honor me here as the Mediatrix of all graces from God, to be passed on through me to the children of God”.

“What does it mean?”

“I am the Lady who receives all the graces from God and in turn I give them to the children of God”.

Jesus added:

“Your trust in Mary should be immense, knowing that by the will of God, Her power is without limit. Through the graces God has bestowed on her, you approach the Eternal Father more faithfully. All that I could give her, I have given her, and all that she is able to receive she has received in fullness. If you ask anything from her, you are acknowledging the power of Divine Grace. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit and she channels all graces; all such gifts you receive you owe to a positive intervention on her part. She has the power to obtain anything for you from my hands . . . She is the woman who has greatly humbled herself. At prayer, ask her for her intercession, as she will present all your requests to God. She is close to the heart of God. At Mass, She is always present”.

Nov 4th, 1995

Mother, please tell us more about the meaning of Mediatrix.

“All that God is supposed to give to me He has given. God has given me all the graces and the power to bestow them on those who desire it. Ask for them. Ask now for the grace that will enable you to have complete fear of God. My children, receive my motherly blessings. These blessings will remain always with you.”

8th May, 1995

Jesus first appeared as a baby in the arms of Our Lady, then reappeared as a fully grown young man, extremely handsome with a fine beard. He said:

“Your trust in Mary should be immense, knowing that by the will of God her power is without limit. Through the graces God has bestowed on her you approach the Eternal Father more faithfully. All that I could give her I have given, and all that she is able to receive she has received in fullness. If you ask anything from her, you place yourself in Divine Grace. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit and she channels all graces; all the gifts you receive, you owe to a positive intervention on her part. She obtains everything for you from my hands.”

While Jesus was speaking, rays of light came from his heart. He also pointed to his mother, and seven shadowy crucifixes came out of her heart. Then our Blessed Lord said, “These signify the painful sorrows she shared with me. I have come to explain her position in the Church, and that she should be highly honored as the spouse of the Holy Spirit. She is the woman with whom God shares his secrets. She is the woman who has greatly humbled himself. At prayer ask for her intercession, as it is she who presents all your requests to God. She is close to the heart of God. At Mass she is always present. She helps her children so much by bringing forward their supplication. She has been crowned with glory by the Holy Trinity.”

Then our Blessed Lady said, “This is the one I present all your petitions to My children should come to me with faith and I will grant their hearts desire. My children, carry out your duties with hearts full of love and respect. While praying for the conversion of sinners, pray for yourself too.”

July 18th 2000

Our Lady dictated a prayer saying: “O how it gives me joy anytime people ask anything of me. The world needs this prayer.”

Prayer to Our Lady Mediatrix Of All Graces.

Lady of purity of heart, Lady of good heart, Lady of honor who humbles herself, sweetness of Angels, your heavenly wisdom and your patience surpass all others. The whole of your life is a purity of heart that has no stain. Lady the Mediatrix of All Graces, help us to do without delay the will of Jesus. Make us worthy to receive the gift that has been given to us, so that we will be holy. Give us the Grace to go and greet Our Lord Jesus. Help us to be pure so that we can see Heaven. Help us always to do the will of Jesus, so that we can share in his glory. Father, fill us with the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Feb 9th, 1992

“My children, I have interceded for you in so many ways, but still many of you do not realize it. I am always your mother and you are my children. Pray always my children, and you will be empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

Pray for the Souls in Purgatory

September 1995

“I am always praying for the souls in purgatory.”

May 14th, 1995

“Do not let the prayer come from your lips alone but your heart too. Persist, and the Lord will grant your request. Love the Church of my Divine Son, renew the vows of your Baptism regularly, and remember to pray for the souls in Purgatory.”

Christiana asked about the souls of some departed members of the community.

They are not yet in Heaven, but those who remember to pray for the souls in Purgatory, whenever those souls see the face of God, they will receive their reward. Those in Purgatory have the hope of seeing the face of God but those in Hell will never see Him. Their suffering is for ever. You have already done so much penance for sins committed. O my child, pray for the souls in Purgatory and you will be rewarded.

The Real Presence

August 4th, 1994

Christiana announced that an Angel would bring her Holy Communion. People gathered and they took pictures of a host that came out of nowhere and rested on her tongue. Christiana said the Host was much bigger than the normal Host but as the angel came closer the Host diminished in size until it reached the normal size.

May 14th, 1995

“My little children, I want you to pray before the Blessed Sacrament often, and while meditating you will find Jesus talking to you. Many people, especially priests, do not believe in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a great misfortune. Attend Mass. During Consecration Jesus is there. If you ask Him anything with a sincere heart, you will receive many blessings and graces from him.”

Pray the Rosary

Jan. 1st, 1994

“God will chastise the world. I pray constantly and ask for mercy on your behalf, but I want you to help by praying the rosary. The prayer of the rosary drives the Evil One far away and vexes him in the extreme, so pray the rosary reverently with all your might, and in doing so you will be helping me bring down the mercy of God, which is what the world needs right now. May Our Eternal Father help you as you amend your ways. You make the Evil One happy when you sin, and you make yourself and your creator sad. If you die in sin, you will never see the Eternal Father again.

Oct. 21st, 1994

We were praying the Rosary and all of a sudden I saw a big star, then the Blessed Lady appeared.

“You must learn constantly to walk with me, your mother, in the light of God. I have given you more love than any earthly mother could give. Anything you ask of me I always do for you. Come, walk with me in faith and I will show you the way of Jesus, my divine son. Pray for wisdom and the fear of God; pray with me, in the light of faith. Hold on to your Rosary: it is your weapon. Pray it very well: it is your power.”

Sept. 8th, 1995

The children of God will always overcome the Evil One, for I will always be with you. Do you see the cross I am holding? Love it! Mortify your body for the sake of others. There will be much suffering ahead for you, but be united with me in spirit all the time. If you know how active the Evil One is, you will pray your Rosary constantly.”

Christiana asked: “The way the charismatic group prays, is it pleasing to God?”

“It is good to pray, but not in a noisy way. Pray to your Eternal Father in an obedient and humble manner, and my spirit will direct you.”

Dec. 1st, 1992

After praying the Community Rosary, I came out of the church and I saw the beautiful Lady standing there.“You should go back into the church,” she said, “and pray some more.”

July 28th, 1995

The Blessed Lady appeared while we were saying the Rosary. She asked me to stop because we were going too fast. She said this three times: in Idoma first, then in English, and then in another language.

Conversion while there is time

September 1994

“If you have the grace of God in you, you will be afraid to commit sins. Those misleading souls away from God will pay for all the souls that they have lost. After the Great Darkness, those that remain will come back to the one Church.

So many, many people are leaving the ways of God and are on their way to Hell. Prayer is urgent!”

July 21st, 1993,

“Pray fervently for the world. Evil is increasing constantly,

Jan. 3rd, 1994

Two angels appeared and said, “The Blessed Lady has a message for the world: there is a serious war between the World of Light and the World of Darkness and you must pray earnestly with us. You must become more serious.

April 29th, 1992

“My children, the blood of aborted children is crying so loud. This makes Jesus very sad. This sin makes the blood of Jesus flow so much. You have crucified Jesus again and again. You must make amends, for if not you will be chastised. The children of God are also sharing in this pain of Jesus. Make reparation, pray for the world.”

3rd March, 1995

“My little children, I have come to warn you again to amend your ways, and that if you do not amend your ways, the chastisement will be very great. There will be so much trouble in the world. God is going to chastise the world, and it will be terrible: the anger of God will be felt. There will be a great darkness, the world will be shaken. So many souls will be captured by the Evil One, but at the end my Immaculate Heart will be victorious. In a short time, in the year 1998, the Evil One will increase the error that he has been spreading. There will be a lot of problems and confusion and many will not know which way to follow. The Evil One will claim to be anything and everything, and many will follow him to confuse the children of God. The darkness that will descend on the world will be great: the Evil One could tempt you through anybody, so you must be on your guard, and be prayerful.”

The Sins in the Church

Date?

Jesus said the people of the world should stop complaining about the sins of the priests to Him.

Note: Because of the poverty, it’s a great social advantage to enter the priesthood or religious life. Many do so for self-centered reasons. This is a well-known problem throughout Africa

Aug. 4th, 1994

Do not concern yourself so much about the misdeed of the priests. The priests that have become hardened and refuse to amend their ways are just “wearing” the vestment. But as Jesus my Divine Son said, ‘I know my own, and my own know me.

Sept. 11th, 1994

“Follow Jesus alone as your perfect example, so that you are not misled. If you follow the actions of some of my priests, you will be lost. So many of them have let fall the cross of Christ

Sept. 13th, 1994

“Jesus sent his light into the world but many tried to quench it. Many priests and other religious authorities have strayed from the right path. Priests are called to save souls, but they slip so easily into the ways of the Evil One. Some will suffer because of this, some of them will return to God. . . . The priest must act always with great humility. His primary duty must always be to show the people the way to the loving heart of God so that they may not be lost. My priests must become like little children, so that the true word of God may be spread. They should ask for the grace of God.”

June 24th, 1995

The Blessed Lady appeared again.

“My little children . . . I do not want you to be lost. Pray for peace in your family and in the whole world; pray for peace for the Church of my Divine Son. Behold, evil ways have eaten deep into the Church, and evil is growing in Her. Pray, and pray always.”

August 4th, 1995

Some priests have been completely entrapped by the Devil and now offer sacrifice to the Evil One. You see how they are so attached to the world and so forgetful of the concerns of God, they have made themselves priests in the sight of men only. Their reverence for the Holy Eucharist should be profound and should be without limit. There is urgent need for them to amend their ways. You have to pray for them because they offer Holy Mass for you, and always remember, those that are close to my heart will be of great help to you during the period of Great Darkness.

August 4th, 1995

“My children comfort the Most Merciful Jesus, whose mercy is infinite. . . Unbind the thorns from around the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Evil One is dragging many souls to Hell: you must pray because those possessed by the Evil One will attack you too.

Nov. 11th, 1997

You must pray more, especially the Rosary. There is war everywhere: there is war even in the hearts of brothers. Moreover, there is war in the Church of my Divine Son. Some of my children no longer listen to his teachings: they want a new teaching and practice. All this is caused by the malice of the Devil.

5 years later–Dec. 16th, 2003

“The heart of Jesus bleeds so much, dear children, because the true love of neighbor has continued to die every day. I too am sad because the love I brought to your homes has not been allowed to grow. I know the pain you go through, and that is why I have come today. Be courageous like your heavenly Mother. I bless you always.”

September 9th, 2004

The last message of the Holy Mother

“I am always with you. Sometimes the cross will be heavy and at other times it will be light. Offer all to Jesus, for in terms of God’s time none of it will last for more than a moment. Remember always to call upon me: do not let the Evil One make you forget to call upon your ever-faithful mother in Heaven. If you remember all the things I told you, you will always love God and pray for his children. Do not let the Evil One tempt you to disgrace yourselves before Jesus, my Divine Son. I give you my blessing, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Twenty years later the government still hasn’t fixed the roads but the pilgrims still come by the thousand. They defy the scorching sun and intermittent rain to sit and pray in the open field around the Altar of Perpetual Adoration, the Crucifix of Jesus and the Good Shepherd Garden. On special anniversaries temporary souvenir shops dot the road to the center as traders display foods and gift items, such as rosary, candles, pendants, religious cassettes and CDs. The road is horrible, but the village finally has electricity, although the service is erratic.

On Monday, August 3, 2014 [2015?] eight masses were celebrated Bishop Michael Apochi of the Otukpo Diocese, who presided at the main Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary that lasted for three hours. The rector of the center, Fr. Ejembi Vincent, said that the spiritual and social challenges of Nigerians are enormous. “We are living at a time when immorality is gaining ground, insurgency, Boko Haram, youth unemployment and other economic crises.”

The visionary is now married. Mrs. Christiana Agbo Nathaniel Ejeh is in her mid thirties. One site said she’s a lawyer but another site said she had planned to become a Carmelite. It would not be surprising if she seriously considered a vocation to religious life, but the official websites say that she is married.

On Feb. 17, 2017, the United States House of Representatives has said that Nigeria has been cited as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world. Christopher Smith stated: “My subcommittee has broadly investigated the crises facing Christians in Nigeria today. My staff director, Greg Simpkins and I have made several visits to Nigeria, speaking with Christians and Muslim religious leaders across the country and visiting fire-bombed churches, such as in Jos.” Nigeria has been cited as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world and impunity for those responsible for the killing of Christians seem to be widespread.” . . . “Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria continued to be troubling during the reporting period. . . . members of Boko Haram, the terrorist group force Christians to convert and force Muslims to adhere to its extreme interpretation of Islam. Boko Haram violence and recurring clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers continue to impact negatively religious freedom and interfaith relations in the country. The Nigerian federal government fails to implement effective strategies to prevent or stop terrorism and sectarian violence and it does not bring to justice those responsible for such violence, thus fostering a climate of impunity.”

That was a very sanitized report of the actual brutality!