On 31 May 2002 Bishop Jozef
Marianus Punt of Haarlem, having concluded a period of
investigation, declared the apparitions accorded Ida Peerdeman of
Amsterdam, Holland, in which the Blessed Virgin Mary asked to be
known as Our Lady of All Nations, to be "of a supernatural
Decree of 31 May 2002 (Requires
Adobe Acrobat Reader)
- This decree ends a 45 year period of investigation and
decision, as reflected in the following history:
7 May 1956 - Bishop of Haarlem finds no evidence of the
supernatural nature of the apparitions, and prohibits public
2 March 1957 - Bishop of Haarlem confirms this decision with
consent of the Holy Office (13 March 1957).
24 May 1972 - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
responding to a letter of 29 March from the Bishop, re-affirms
27 June 1974 - CDF affirms its earlier decision, after a
deeper investigation, inviting the faithful to discontinue all
forms propaganda with regard to these alleged apparitions and
31 May 1996 - The then
Bishop of Haarlem, Henry Bomers, published
clarifying the distinction between the title, image and prayer, on
one hand, and the messages on the other. The title, image and prayer
had been approved for private veneration since the 1950s (according to this
decree), and he was now granting the privilege of public veneration,
The belief in the messages had been prohibited, but now was permitted according to
one's own conscience, the Church being unable to rule definitively
"at the moment". As the decree notes, he consulted with
"official authorities", without specifying who those authorities
3 December 1997 - The Bishop writes Letter
(HB-97-403) commending the "Action of The Lady of All
Nations" and the work of Fr. Paul Maria Sigl.
3 May 2002 - In a Letter of 3 May 2002, Raphael Soffner of the public affairs office
of the diocese of Haarlem affirmed to EWTN that the public veneration of Our Lady of
All Nations by title, image and prayer, is permitted to Catholics by
decision of the Bishop of Haarlem, "with the consent of the
Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in
Rome". Catholics may make "a personal judgment according
to their conscience" regarding the messages and
31 May 2002 - Bishop Punt declares the apparitions to be of
July 2005 - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requests "that the words who once was Mary be left out of the prayer of the Lady of All Nations out of consideration for those who do not understand this phrase." The ending of the prayer is now to say: “May the Lady of All Nations,
the Blessed Virgin Mary,
be our Advocate.” (Letter of December 2006).
The Expression "Who Once Was Mary"
In the original approved prayer, the Blessed Virgin was referred to as
Our Lady of All Nations "who once was Mary". It is
explained by the promoters of the devotion in the following manner:
This refers to the fact that Mary is no longer just Mary but
rather The Lady, The Woman at the foot of the Cross.
These words refer to her Eternal Motherhood over all of us, for
she is Mother Whom Jesus gave to us from the Cross with the words:
Woman behold thy Son!
Nonetheless, as noted above the apostolate changed the prayer in 2005 to comply with a request of the CDF, as noted in a 2006 letter.
Answered by Colin B.