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THE MEANING OF MAY 31ST

 

It was on March 25, 1945, the feast of the Annunciation, that the Lady of All Nations began appearing to Ida Peerdeman. It was on May 31, 1959, the feast of the Visitation, that these apparitions formally ended. Overlapping this time period were sequential Eucharistic apparitions and experiences, which formally began on May 31, 1958 and ended on March 25, 1984! So what we have here is a simple but very powerful statement in the form of a pattern: the Annunciation is to the Visitation as the Visitation is to the Annunciation!

 

At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel, as the messenger of God, asked Mary if She would consent to be the Mother of Our Savior. As we know, Mary humbly answered "yes" by proclaiming: "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say" (Lk 1:38). In that one, magnificent moment, She, Our Mother, the Immaculate Conception, was "overshadowed by the power of the Most High," Her Spouse, the Most Holy Spirit. At that instant, the Word Incarnate dwelt among us in the womb of Mary. This gift of Our Lord's saving presence among us was highlighted when Mary, with great love and concern, travelled in haste to Her cousin, Elizabeth, in consideration of the fact that she in her old age, by the grace of God, had conceived a child, John the Baptist. "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb" by the grace of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41). And this is followed by the formal pronouncement of Elizabeth that Mary is "the Mother of My Lord." This visit of Mary to Her kinswoman is celebrated as the feast of the Visitation.

 

Now at the Annunciation, we know that Mary was fulfilling the will of God and embracing Her role in salvific history. She, who was created by God the Father as the Immaculate Conception, was selected as the Woman, "called Miriam or Mary [who was] destined, through the Will of the Father, to bring the Son of Man into the world, together with His Church and the Cross" (February 17, 1952). When Mary said "yes" to Her vocation, She became the Woman of Scripture who "bore the Son of Man through the Will of the Father and was thus necessarily allied with the Church and the Cross" (February 17, 1952). So now the Woman, the Lady Mary, Mother of All Nations, the Mother of the Church and the Hope of Our Salvation through the Cross, comes to announce to us the fulfillment of the Messianic times, that the "good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a witness to all nations," so that "all may be one...that the...unity [of His love and ours] may be complete." But, now, we must fulfill the will of God by following Our Mother's example and saying "yes." We must say "yes" to the Cross, to being true models of brotherly love as coredeemers, mediators and advocates. We must say "yes" as Catholics to God's will and proclaim Mary, the Mother or Lady of All Nations conjoined with the fifth and final Marian dogma of the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. We must say "yes" to this "One, Great Cause" of "introducing the Lady of All Nations to the world" and to saying Her Prayer invoking the Holy Spirit! This is our role in salvific history!

 

The Visitation is a particularly eloquent and striking scene. It is so touching and so dramatic in that, we see, Elizabeth, who carries John the Baptist in her womb, the last Messianic prophet of the Old Testament, coming together with Mary, who carries Her Son, Our Lord, the Messiah of the New Testament! In this very beautiful depiction, we see for the first time, through Mary's mediating role, the grace of the Holy Spirit poured forth to Elizabeth and her son, John the Baptist. In this one instance, we see the joining of the Old Testament to the New Testament - the bridging of Judaism to Catholicism through Mary's cooperation as the Ark of the New Covenant! It is a kind of a prefigurement of what will happen today when we truly recognize Our Mother, the Mother of Grace, as the Lady of All Nations and proclaim Her to the world. In a sense, we Catholics are a "stand in" for John the Baptist! Just as John the Baptist herald the coming of the One Who will baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire, so, too, are we to herald: "This is the time of the Spirit" (October 5, 1952)! Through our cooperation, in saying the Prayer, spreading the messages and asking for this final Marian dogma, "the Lady will come to Her apostles and all nations, in order to bring them the Holy Spirit anew" (May 31, 1954). Then we shall see the Victory of Her Immaculate Heart, and true peace and brotherly love! Then, just as we saw through Mary's cooperation the coming together of the Old and New Testament so we shall see flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ coming together in the one, true, universal Church - the Catholic Church!

 

Thus, the relevance of the feast days which open and close the messages of the Lady of All Nations can be regarded as highlighting the aspect of our role in salvific history through following Our Mother's example at the Annunciation and saying "yes" to His will - the path of the Cross. And, in reference to the feast of the Visitation, we herald in the reign of the Holy Spirit upon the world by our cooperation in proclaiming the dogma under the title of the Lady or Mother of All Nations.

 

When Ida was graced with mystical experiences and messages from Our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist, these occurrences began conversely on the feast of the Visitation and ended in a chronological juxtaposition to the end of the messages of the Lady of All Nations, on the feast of the Annunciation. On May 31, 1958, the feast of the Visitation and the date of the first Eucharistic experience, the Lady of All Nations says: "He the Comforter and Helper will come." Then Ida sees "a large Sacred Host, irradiating light...Three shafts of rays emanated from the Sacred Host: in the centre a beam of magnificent colours; to the left and right, beams of wonderful, brilliant light. At the end of the right one, there was a Cross and at the end of the left one, a Dove..." On May 31, 1959, the date of the second Eucharistic experience, Ida sees a brilliant, dazzling Sacred Host. Then Ida says: "All at once there came from the Two, an indescribable light and in it I saw, breaking out from the centre...a Dove! It shot like an arrow down to the earth...What splendour, what magnificence - the soaring Figure, majestic, powerful, grand; and now the world all bathed in light from the radiant Dove! And a Voice rang out, 'He who eats and drinks Me receives life eternal and the Spirit of Truth!'"

 

These two Eucharistic visions, as do many of the messages of Our Lord in His True Presence during the period of 1958 to 1984, emphasize the importance of frequent reception of the Most Holy Eucharist by Catholics. As Our Lord said on March 23, 1978: "Let the Fire burn your hearts and let it shine all around again...My people open your mouth and your heart, so that your Lord may enter and animate you." And through returning to daily sacrifice we will have the visitation or indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the "knowledge [that] proceeds from...the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son."(May 31, 1973). This knowledge from the Spirit of Truth is that "it is through the Mother that Life comes" (March 25, 1973) and that She is "the Mother of Christ and Mother of humankind" (Lumen Gentium). "Hence, She must be brought back into...[the] churches (cf. Rev12:1-6, Gn 3:15,16, Mt 24:8) and among the nations and [we] will witness the revival" (March 25, 1973; cf. message of September 8, 1974 and Acts 2:17, Heb 8:8-12, Mt 24:14.) We will be given the grace of understanding that the Lady of All Nations "will lead the nations to Her Lord"; that "Mary leads the faithful to the Eucharist" (Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Redemptoris Mater). We will be animated with a lively spirit to do the Will of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and to annunciate to the whole world that Mary is the Lady of All Nations through whom the Savior comes. Then we shall see the visitation of the Holy Spirit "shot like an arrow down to the earth and the world...all bathed in light" and the era of peace! Hence, we see that from Our Lord's Visitation within us, through frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist, that His Presence will be "manifest in a new way through the Holy Spirit [Who] is the salvific 'hidden God' 'filling the universe' as love and gift" (Pope John Paul II: Dominum et Vivificantem).

 

The overall significance of the dates of March 25 and May 31 in both the messages of Our Lady and messages of Our Lord in the Eucharist can be summarized in this way. The Eucharistic experiences which began on May 31, the feast of the Visitation, reiterate the message of the Lady of All Nations conjoined with the importance of daily reception of the Eucharist among Catholics. Thus the focal point is the Eucharist and that through a return to the daily Miracle we will carry within us Our Lord, as a beacon of the True Light, to all the world, a "people that live in darkness" (Mt 4:16, Mk 16:15). Therefore, just as Mary brought Our Savior and the grace of the Holy Spirit to Elizabeth and John the Baptist, so shall we Catholics filled with His Love, in imitation of Our Mother and in union with Her, bring the Holy Spirit of Truth to the rest of the world! Finally, the messages of the Lady of All Nations began on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation,in order to add prominence to the momentous announcement of the key to the Victory of Our Mother's Immaculate Heart which is the fifth and last Marian dogma. So too the Eucharistic messages of Our Lord ended on the feast of the Annunciation purposely underscoring His Will that we Catholics announce to the world that Mary is the Mother of All Nations: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, thus procuring the Victory of Her Immaculate Heart!

 

Our Lady chose May 31 as the day on which She will be crowned. As has already been noted, it is the feast of the Visitation. But, in addition to that, the feasts of Pentecost and Corpus Christi sometimes fall on that date. Corpus Christi is the liturgical feast honoring the Body and Blood of Our Lord truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist. This date had also, at one time, been set aside in recognition of Mary, as the Mother of Grace, under the title Mediatrix of All Graces. The feast of the Queenship of Mary was also celebrated on this date, until it was moved to the calendar date of August 22. The Queenship of Mary was a titled conferred upon Our Lady by Pope Pius XII in 1954 in order to celebrate Her role in the universal Kingdom of Christ. Eventually, when Our Lady is finally crowned on May 31 She will truly and most fittingly be recognized as the Queen of All God's Nations . As St. Catherine Laboure said: "Oh, how wonderful it will be to hear, Mary is Queen of the Universe!" And when that time comes, the time when all nations recognize and acclaim their Mother, She will be, in the words of St. Catherine Laboure, "carried as a banner and She will make the tour of the world!"

 

Now it is worth repeating the fact that the Lady of All Nations chose May 31. On May 31, 1954, She says: "I have chosen this day: on this day the Lady will be crowned." Of course, the Lady never does anything that is not the will of God. Still it is significant that She says "I have chosen this day..." Might this deliberate choice of the use of the personal pronoun 'I' be permitted by God to emphasize just Who the Lady Mary is and what entitles Her to make such a choice? Of course, Mary chose May 31 with the thought of pleasing Her Lord and Creator and to emphasize Her twofold desire to bring glory to Her Son in the Most Holy Eucharist and to bring the love of Her Spouse the Holy Spirit into the hearts of all nations. Thus, out of love, Mary appropriately chose the feast of the Visitation which exemplifies Her mission of love. However, it can not be overlooked that there is special significance in the emphasis that this date was chosen by Her. Perhaps if we call to mind certain events which highlight exactly Who Mary is, we will understand more clearly the authority with which She speaks. At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel says: "Hail" to Mary! This is not an ordinary greeting but a royal salutation for the Angel Gabriel knew he was addressing the Queen! Never was such a royal tribute ever recorded for any other human being except for Mary. Furthermore, the Angel Gabriel goes on to accord Her even more recognition when he says "Hail, full of grace." Thus, the Angel Gabriel is at that very moment identifying Mary as the Immaculate Conception and illuminating to all the very unique and dignified position She held in God's salvific plan - that of ultimately bearing the Savior and being the Woman Who shall crush the serpent's head! And consider this, Mary's fiat to God through the Angel meant that She would also be the Lord's first follower and hence the first example or model for the rest of God's sheep. Therefore, She would not be ruled of this world but assume the posture of a true Queen by leading the flock to Her Lord and Master even to the point of suffering with Her Lord at the Cross by cooperating most perfectly spiritually and physically. As the prophet Simeon foretold Mary, Herself, would be pierced with a sword. But with that magnanimous sorrow and pain "the Lord Almighty has foiled them by the hand of a Woman" (Jth. 16:6). Hence, in the earthly life of Mary, we see through Her humble yet sublime cooperation, the embracing of God's powerful love, which enobled Her to act as the true Queen. God, having deposited that authority with Her through His Holy Spirit, once Mary assented to His Will, would only naturally and most perfectly defer to Her choice of the feast of the Visitation as Her Coronation Day! Our Lord's deference to Mary should make us realize the magnificence of Her Royal Stature in heaven and on earth! It is no wonder that the name of Mary in Hebrew means: unruled by this world; the perfect one; and pierced or bitter with sorrow. No other name is more perfect and no other human being was more perfectly created and suited for that name than Mary. For this most beautiful, most loving and most powerful creation one can only bow with deep love and gratification to God for having given us such a Mother! Hail to You, O Mother of All Nations!

 

"This day [May 31] will in due time, be the 'Coronation Day' of His Mother, 'the Lady of All Nations,' who once was Mary" (May 31, 1954). "Hold yourself in readiness for May 31st" (May 23, 1963). "The Holy Father will proclaim Her Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate" (May 31, 1979). "He has but to command and it will happen" (December 3, 1949). "First, however, let the Church and the nations invoke Mary under the new title and say Her prayer" (October 11, 1953). "...You will have to help him to achieve this [by signing the petition and saying the prayer]. Make no mistake about it" (May 31, 1954).

 

"I have chosen this day: on this day (May 31) the Lady will be crowned!" ("The Lady of All Nations: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate" on May 31, 1954.)

 

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