The Image and Statue
On September 26, 1956, the Blessed Virgin Mary came from heaven and appeared to Sister Mildred as seen in the Image. Our Lady appeared with a lily in her right hand, symbolizing her purity, clothed in brilliant white, wearing a gold crown. Her heart was encircled with red roses, the symbol of suffering, and it sent forth flames of fire. She said, “I am Our Lady of America. I desire that my children honor me, especially by the purity of their lives.” (Diary 10).
On November 15, 1956, Our Lady asked Sister Mildred to draw a picture of her first appearance and requested that a statue be made according to this likeness and that it be placed, after being solemnly carried in procession, in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. Our Lady wishes to be honored there in a special way as “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin”.
Our Lady promised that the placement of her statue in the National Shrine would be a safeguard for our country, and the placement of her image or statue in the home would be a safeguard for the family.
In 1959 the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was dedicated in Washington D.C. and the Bishops of the United States consecrated the country to the Immaculate Conception. On November 11, 2006, the United States Bishops’ re-consecrated the country to her at the Basilica of the National Shrine.
Two days later, on November 13, 2006, a new statue of Our Lady of America was publicly displayed for the first time at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their Concelebrated Mass Room in Baltimore, Maryland.
Archbishop Raymond Burke requested the display of this statue at the conference for the benefit of all of the Bishops. On November 15, 2006, Archbishop Burke blessed this new statue. This blessing occurred precisely on the 50th anniversary of the request that Our Lady of America made on November 15, 1956, to be placed and honored in the National Shrine.
Previously, Bishop Richard Garcia of California had said, “To have the enthronement of Our Lady of America statue is a timely testimony and reminder to us all of the blessing Our Lady is for all of us who live in the United States of America. Our Lady guides and protects us in this critical time of our history when we need to value even more closely what she as a mother has taught us: to hold Christ in the center of our lives; to value the family and its unity; to do the will of the Father and to evangelize by pointing others to Christ.”
Later, Bishop Garcia said:
Our Lady of Guadalupe is important for all the Americas but to have Our Lady of America and the Immaculate Conception as a special patroness for our nation will bring about the peace we so yearn for (and) a resolution to many social issues, including euthanasia and abortion.
The Blessed Mother is so important to all of us Roman Catholics, and Christian people in particular, and, specifically for our country, for peace within our land; and the intercession of our Blessed Mother is so important on many issues that affect us morally and socially.
Marian devotions, including those to Our Lady of America, also can lead the faithful to really listen to Christ’s message that all must be bearers of the Gospel and bring about Christ’s love.
Our Lady promised that greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima would be granted right here in the United States, if the people responded to her requests.
Let us pray that the U.S. Bishops honor Our Lady of America’s request soon and place her statue in the National Shrine as a safeguard for our country.