Our Lady of America and Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Distinct but Complementary


      When one speaks of “Our Lady of America” many confuse her with Our Lady of Guadalupe for good reason.  In 1910 Pope Saint Pius X declared the Virgin of Guadalupe the “Patroness of Latin America.”  In 1935 Pius XI extended her patronage to the Philippines.  In 1945 Pope Pius XII called the Virgin of Guadalupe the “Queen of Mexico” and “Empress of the Americas,” and in the following year he referred to her as the “Patroness of the Americas.”   Then in 1961 Pope John XXIII prayed to the Virgin of Guadalupe as the “Mother of the Americas.”  Note in all these titles the plural of Americas, meaning North, Central and South America, the entire Western Hemisphere.

      When asked about this confusion, Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil, the visionary in the 1956 apparitions entitled “Our Lady of America” wrote the following explanation.

 “I have known for many years that the United States and America are two different things, but the United States does belong to America.  Our Lady, it is true, asks all of America to be the first to take up the cause of renewal, but it is the United States that is to lead the world in this.  So Our Lady has stated and made known to me. 

“Therefore, it is for the United States to humbly accept Mary’s choice and to do all that it can to fulfill its mission among the peoples of the earth.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe never called herself Our Lady of America.  I do not know who gave her that title, although I have heard her called and also read that she was proclaimed “Empress of the Americas” by certain Bishops, I believe.  I’m not too certain about this last.  Anyway, Empress of the Americas and Our Lady of America are two different titles and therefore could be held by the same person.  Our Lady did proclaim the message of renewal worldwide.  If you read and re-read the message carefully, you will see that for yourself.  The United States has simply been asked to be the first to take the initial steps towards this renewal.” (Letters - Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil)

In this apparition Our Lady of America is speaking especially to her children in the United States of America.  Her appearance is a favor to us precisely because Our Lady is giving us an important mandate from heaven -- that of helping her lead the world back to Faith and Purity.  The Church has always believed that when one is given a mission, one is first given a gift, a favor-- the grace to carry out that mission.  The gift precedes the call.  While the message itself in this apparition is for all the world, the leadership in the mission is the responsibility of Mary’s children in the United States of America.  With so great a mission comes so great a favor; hence, her apparitions here and her promises of untold grace in particular to her children in America if we carry out the mission she has given us.  

The ultimate mandate is the enthronement of a statue of Our Lady under this new image and under the title “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin” in a place of honor in our Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC where we honor Mary as the Patroness of our beloved land. This enthronement is to be preceded by a solemn procession according to Our Lady’s words.

       Our Lady spoke clearly in regard to this favor and this responsibility.   On the eve of the feast of the North American martyrs, September 25, 1956, Our Lady told Sr. Mildred that “greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima would be granted here in America, the United States in particular, if we would do as she desires.”  Can we imagine such grace?  Must we not hasten to claim that promise and fulfill her desire?

                                                     (Diary, Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil, pg. 9.)    

       Our Lady further stated that her promise would focus more on healings of the soul than of the body for she was anxiously concerned about our inner lives.  Note, anxiously concerned!

I am pleased, my child, with the love and honor my children in America give to me, especially through my glorious and unique privilege of the Immaculate Conception.  I promise to reward their love by working through the power of my Son’s Heart and my Immaculate Heart miracles of grace among them.  I do not promise miracles of the body, but of the soul.”

(Diary, pg. 10.)

Our Lady continued:

“For it is mainly through these miracles of grace that the Holy Trinity is glorified among men and nations.  Let America continue and grow in its love for me, and I in return, in union with the Heart of my Son, promise to work wonders in her.  My child,  I desire that this be known.” (Diary, pg. 10.)

      On the feast of the martyrs itself, Our Lady distinctly identifies herself and states more clearly the mission she has placed in our care.

 “I am Our Lady of America.  I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives….My child, I entrust you with this message that you must make known to my children in America.  I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. 

    The wonders I will work will be the wonders of the soul.  They must have faith and believe firmly in my love for them.  I desire that they be the children of my Pure Heart.  I desire, through my children of America, to further the cause of faith and purity among people and nations.  Let them come to me with confidence and simplicity, and I, their Mother, will teach them to become pure like to my Heart that their own hearts may be more pleasing to the Heart of my Son.”     (Diary, pgs. 10-11.)

And note here Our Lady’s favor and gratitude for our devotion to her.

“Our Blessed Mother called herself Our Lady of America in response to the love and desire that reached out for this special title in the hearts of her children in America.  This title was the sign of her pleasure at the confidence our land places in her and as a reward for its staunch and childlike devotion to her.  Her children longed for this personal visit of Our Lady, whether consciously or otherwise, and in her kindness and mercy she responded far beyond all expectation”.  (Diary, pg. 11.)

      Theologians tell us that Mary assumes a prophetic role of calling us back to Faith in God and in her Divine Son when there is great heresy or false teaching within the Church and the world.  With the Aztecs Our Lady’s appearance as a PREGNANT WOMAN in front of the sun and stepping on the moon spoke to them immediately as to the fallacy of their human sacrifices to pagan gods who were so inferior to her, though Mary is not a goddess. Our Lady identified herself to them so magnificently as “I am the ever-Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth.”  Conversion was the only possible response in the light of such clear revelation of truth.  The Pregnant Woman is a symbol of life, hope, joy, expectation and renewal.  She is a symbol that our definition of ourselves is bigger than ourselves, that all creatures carry some unique expression of the overflowing love of God within themselves.  Our call to holiness is a call to live life as mystery, always ready for a miracle to happen!

      Our Lady identified herself to Sister Mildred Marie Neuzil as “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin.  And again in a later vision as “I am Our Lady of the Divine Indwelling, handmaid of Him Who dwells within.”  The message from Our Lady of America, like that of Our Lady of Guadalupe, speaks to the same fallacy of idolatry, atheism and contemporary human sacrifice, not on the blood altars of pagan gods, but on the altars of pregnant women’s wombs; on the altars of the sick and the elderly’s beds; on the board tables of personal and corporate greed; in the courtroom gavels pounding out laws that mock the higher, Divine Law that alone ensures lasting peace and harmony.  Sister Mildred was adamant in her speech to those closest to her that abortion was calling down God’s chastisement upon America and the whole world.  It is THE sin against the dignity of the human person made in God’s image, the ultimate and most despicable human rights violation because of the utmost innocence and vulnerability of the victim owed the fullest care and protection of its parent and of society; THE sin against life itself at its very beginning carried out in the cruelest form.  The sheer numbers of abortions alone can only be referred to as a holocaust of the unborn, holy innocents echoing the cry of Rachel of old for her children who are no more.  When a nation destroys its own infants in the womb, it is destroying itself as well.  Death breeds more death; there is no future. Life around us is being suffocated more each day.  The culture of death and the anti-life movement widen and widen. Why?  Does not the message of Our Lady of America identify the cause as the lack of Purity and Faith?  Only the pure of heart can see God and know and love His ways!  Only the pure of heart truly live!

But Mary is calling us back!  Will we heed her 9-1-1 call?

 “My beloved daughter, what I am about to tell you concerns in a particular way my children in America.  Unless they do penance by mortification and self-denial and thus reform their lives, God will visit them with punishments hitherto unknown to them …. What I ask, have asked, and will continue to ask is reformation of life.  There must be sanctification from within.”   (Diary, pg. 21)

Perhaps some of those punishments are known to us now!

      As we celebrate this season of Advent, the season of THE PREGNANT WOMAN and the time of waiting for the Wonder of God to be revealed through her, --that of the Beloved Son of the Almighty God humbling Himself to our small size to fit within Mary’s womb and to grow there for nine whole months, listening to the sweet music of her beating heart --must we not marvel at the awesome dignity and grace God has bestowed on her! In sanctifying Mary’s womb by dwelling within her, He has sanctified the womb of every woman, making it a holy place where life begins, again and again, intimately identified with the Divine Humanity Who was born one of us.  The highest angels cannot boast a privilege as grand as that of Mary who bore God in her very flesh, nor of us who give His Love a chance to be born again, in flesh, in every human birth, but—

The angels sing in heaven every time a child is born!  

    O Woman! Woman!  Do you know, do you know how God has exalted you?    


Note:  Copyrighted:  Parts of this article that are taken from the letters of Sister Mildred Mary Ephrem are copyrighted and owned by The Contemplative Sisters of the Indwelling Trinity