Ok. Story time. About a month ago, while cleaning my room, I found a folded up newspaper stuffed underneath some books on one of my shelves. The title of the paper was Pilgrims of St. Michael and I couldn’t have guessed where it had come from. Nevertheless, I started reading, and discovered that the main story was about several apparitions to a religious sister from Our Lady of America. I was surprised to even hear that Our Lady of America was a title of Mary, let alone that she had appeared to an American religious sister less than a hundred years ago. I was so intrigued I continued reading. I found the things that Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil had been told by Jesus, Mary and Joseph and written down were fascinating and I wanted to share them with you.
First, let’s start with some context. Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil (her received name was Sister Mary Ephrem) joined a convent in Ohio in the 1930s. Her mystical experiences began in the early 1940s, and the last one she recorded was in 1984. Jesus had initially given her the mission of promoting sanctification of the family, and in a great act of faith and humility, she accepted this mission. As the years went on, appearances from the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph, the archangels Michael and Gabriel, and Our Lord gave her more instruction for the world. I’ll be sharing a few of the messages that really struck me, but obviously, I can’t write all of them down. If you would like to go in-depth and learn more about this story, I will stick a couple of links to my sources below the article.
On May 29, 1954, Jesus told her:
“My little white dove, do you know what I find most lacking in the world today? It is FAITH. There are so few souls that believe in Me and My love. They profess their belief and their love, but they do not live this belief. Their hearts are cold, for without faith there can be no love.” I think this can apply to a lot of us, including myself, who talk the talk in our faith but don’t always walk the walk. Let us pray to Jesus to give us more faith to believe in Him and His plan.
On November 8, 1954, Our Lady told Sister Mary Ephrem:
“As in our little home, no sin was to be found. So it is the wish of the Heart of my Son and my Immaculate Heart that sin should, as far as possible, be unheard of in the homes of children.” When I first read this one, I thought of how many times I have set a bad example when younger people were watching me and how serious that is. Let’s ask Mary to never let us lead children into sin.
On November 15, 1956, Our Lady taught Sister this simple prayer:
“By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil.” This is a great little prayer for any situation when we feel tempted or scared, and it only takes three seconds.
On February 3, 1957, Our Lady gave her this wisdom:
“My sweet child, if love does not have its roots implanted deeply with the soul, it will die out or be rooted up by the first storm that besets it.” Love begins within, and this quote illustrates that point so well. It reminds me of Jesus’s parable in Matthew 13:4-9, which compares seeds that fell in shallow, rocky soil with those that fell in rich, deep soil. The seeds in the rocky soil died quickly for lack of roots, but those rooted deep in the rich soil weathered the storm. Love is the same way.
On August 22, 1957, the feast of the Immaculate Heart, Our Lady told her:
“Patience, sweet child! The Will of the Father must be dearer to you than all else. This is the lesson every soul intimate union with my Son must strive to learn.” I don’t think this one requires any more explanation.
On July 18, 1959, Our Lady delivered a message which especially refers to priests and religious but I found it relevant to everyone:
“Oh, how they resist My grace! How they fight against My love! So fearful are they that I will deprive them of the their tawdry trinkets that they turn their backs lest they see reproach in My eyes.” Such powerful words that make me think. How often have I professed my love for Jesus and Mary only to back out when I might lose something worldly that I cling to?
Sister Mary Ephrem didn’t ever ask to have these mystical experiences. She didn’t say some magic words and then Jesus or Mary appeared. No. Through her humility and listening heart, Sister was able to receive the urgent request from Mary: for sanctification of the family and preservation of purity. And she carried it out by sharing these messages and serving the Church as a sister. But this mission is relevant in our time now more than ever. It’s our turn to take the torch of love and set the world on fire. Let us pray, Our Lady of America, intercede on behalf of our nation and all nations for a greater commitment to Jesus through you. Amen.