Our Lady's Requests for Enthronement in Washington D.C.
These pictures were taken in August of 2007, at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France in downtown St. Louis, Mo. as the statue of Our Lady of America began a "solemn procession" through many cities. St. Louis was the starting point due to the Archbishop of St. Louis (AB Burke) and his special love of the devotion and efforts to promote it. His love of Our Lady of America was first manifested on November 15, 2006, when the statue was first publicly unveiled at the USCCB Conference and blessed by him. AB Burke's devotion to Our Lady of America, was also evidenced by an opinion letter that was written and published in the Immaculate Heart Messenger on May 31of 2007, just 3 months prior to the start of this multi-city procession. In that edition of the periodical, he responded to questions about the devotion of Our Lady of America, by writing:
"What can be concluded canonically is that the devotion was both approved by Archbishop Leibold and, what is more, was actively promoted by him. In addition, over the years, other Bishops have approved the devotion and have participated in public devotion to the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of America." The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis May 31, 2007."
Some of the cities involved in the procession that fall were: Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and New York City, New York, on the anniversary of 9/11. The statue's final stop was in Washington, D.C.at the John Paul II Center. Many devotees hoped and prayed this would be a very brief and temporary display after which the Bishops of the United States would quickly move her just a few blocks away in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.(as Our Lady of America had requested on October 13, 1956).
On that occasion Our Lady of America appeared to Sr. Mildred Neuzil (at that time she was known as Sr. Mary Ephrem), in Rome City, Indiana. She was holding a small replica of the Basilica in Washington D.C. in her hands, instead of a lily as she had always appeared previously. Most fascinating is that although Our Lady held the completed replica in her hands on that day in 1956, the actual Basilica would not be completed until 1958!
Here is the actual account from Sr. Mildred's diary: (available for download here ). The bolded areas are my highlights not as they appear in the diary.
Today the Holy Virgin appeared to me as I was working in my room. Our Lady was very beautiful,
and she was again smiling in her heavenly way. She was dressed in the same manner as when I first
saw her, except that her Immaculate Heart did not appear. Instead of the lily, she held with both hands
a small replica of the finished Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. She then began to speak. Her
presence overwhelmed me with its holiness. I was compelled to stop my work, for it was impossible to
go on. I then knelt down and wrote Our Lady's words as she desired:
"This is my shrine, my daughter. I am very pleased with it. Tell my children I thank them. Let them
finish it quickly and make it a place of pilgrimage. It will be a place of wonders. I promise this, I will
bless all those who, either by prayers, labor, or material aid, help to erect this shrine."
granted at Lourdes and Fatima would be granted here in America, the United Stares in particular, if we would do as she desires."
Here is the account of the next appearance of Our Lady of America to Sr. Mildred:
"On the morning of November 15, 1956, Our Lady taught me this little prayer: "By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil.”Our Lady then asked me to draw a picture of her first appearance. She also requested a statue made according to this likeness and placed, after being solemnly carried in procession, in the Shrine of The Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. She wishes to be honored there in a special way as Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin."
The "solemn procession" in 2007 was very promising. Even so, the statue of Our Lady of America still resides in the JP II Center awaiting enthronement in the Basilica as Our Lady first requested almost 56 years ago!