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A Time For Reflection

Lent is a time for us to reflect on the Suffering and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ; to reflect on our sins which caused Him so much agony and pain; and to reflect on how we might try to repay Him in some way.

A vivid account of what Our Lord endured is presented in the book: THE PASSION AND DEATH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST as visioned and narrated by Mrs. Fred (Mary Ann) Van Hoof.  The following are words from the INTRODUCTION to that book.


During the October 7, 1950 Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Mrs. Fred (Mary Ann) Van Hoof, Our Lady spoke to her about a final penance. She said, “My child, (here She smiled so beautiful, or I believe after what followed I would have been scared) after November 12th, your Penance will start every Friday until Christmas and again in Lent. This suffering will be great and at times will last over Sunday.” She also told me to hold up the Good Friday Crucifix and also my Rosary, which She touched with the Crucifix of Her Rosary.

On November 12, 1950 the Blessed Mother said to Mary Ann, (see Vol. 1 of 4 Vols. “My Work With Necedah” by H. Swan, page 59.) “Your Penance for your community starts Friday for five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There will be suffering of the Wounds of My Son, Thy Lord. There will be bodily harm done to you.  You must be careful.  Satan is very angry, angrier than ever before, as you have bent many knees in prayer.”

It was not clear to Mary Ann at the time that this meant she would suffer the Passion of Our Lord through the many years ahead on each of the Fridays of Advent and Lent.

To those privileged to be present it will remain a never-to-be-forgotten spiritual experience, a lifetime inspiration; also, a fuller understanding and deeper appreciation of the great and tremendous sacrifice that Our Lord and God made, so mankind could once again have the opportunity to enjoy the eternal happiness of Heaven. At various times before and after her suffering of the Passion, important messages were given concerning the work, the need for unity, prayer and sacrifice if we were to save our Country, Church, Youth, etc., stress being placed always on the necessity of the Rosary and the Constant Vigil of Prayer.

For the people present, some for the first time, most felt they had a better understanding of the meaning and purpose of Our Lord’s suffering;  also, the great love that Christ had for us, and His complete obedience to God the Father, as He willingly accepted all the pain and suffering that went with the Scourging, Crowning, Carrying of the Cross, and His Death on Calvary.

As we know the Sacred Sacrifice of the Mass is a continuation of Our Lord’s Sacrifice and Death; and, when instituting It, Christ meant to give all the opportunity to share in the great Graces He won for us along with the privilege of sharing His Divinity as He shared our humanity. This to be each time we receive Him into our heart and soul in Holy Communion. A plan so unique and meritorious could only have been devised in Heaven by God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. A greater recognition and appreciation

by everyone is only proper when one considers that it was Our Lord Who took it upon Himself to make atonement for our sins; likewise, that He deserves and expects our cooperation if we hope to share in the “Glory of Glories.” As He expressed it, “Unless you likewise do penance you shall all perish”; “Pick up your cross and follow Me”; “The servant is no better than the Master”; etc.

Human nature no doubt will always be perverse and the temptations of Satan cause man to fall from his dignity of “A Being,” created just a little less than the angels; also, that the attraction of material things will continue to divert man’s attention from the higher and nobler purpose of life.  So, God in His Wisdom and Mercy has seen fit to choose certain special friends who would also suffer Our Lord’s Passion in reparation for some of the many offenses against Him.

To help you and other sincere, good people properly identify and respect these chosen Victim Souls, or Stigmatics some or all of His Wounds, have been given to them. 

Mary Ann is one of those referred to above. She has suffered the Passion of Our Lord as the Blessed Mother said she would on the Fridays of Advent and Lent since 1950; the usual time, twelve noon until three P.M., with the exception of Holy Thursday and Good Friday of 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963.  Then the suffering started on Holy Thursday night at 9:00 P.M. and continued until 12:00 midnight, when Our Lord was in the dungeon.  It started again on Good Friday morning at 9:00 A.M. when Christ left the dungeon, finishing when Our Lord expired on the Cross at 3:00 P.M.

The Stigmata of the Thorn Wounds of Our Lord were present on Mary Ann during Lent in the years of 1951 and 1952.

Regarding the reference to Calvary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as being one and the same, see the October 7, 1950 Message quote, “To all Priests: Don’t be in a hurry to say your Mass; take your time. Remember the Lord hung on the Cross three hours in agony. Live the Way of the Cross. My Son was crucified here (at this point, Mary Ann held up the Good Friday Crucifix) for your sins, but you forget it. My Son was scourged at the pillar, the blood coming down. His precious blood was all over, but you forget it. The Almighty Dollar is your God. Forget the Almighty Dollar and remember this Cross with the Crucifixion of Your Lord upon it. He died for you.  Now remember Him.”

The question in the minds of some people and Mary Ann’s was, why had the Blessed Mother chosen her? The answer was made clear to all by the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 30, 1950 when She said, “From childhood on, until today, the Stations of the Cross have made your heart heavy, and you shed tears because my Son’s sufferings grieve you. This is why I chose you, my Child.” With a family to care for and at times in poor health, Mary Ann realized that this would be a most difficult mission.  Yet, she said when one looks into the eyes of Our Blessed Lady, you cannot refuse Her anything.

The following excerpts are from the accounts of good priests and reliable doctors who were at the bedside of Mary Ann when she suffered Our Lord’s Passion.

Rev. Leo A. Scheetz, Earl Park, Indiana, states on February 16, 1951 (see Vol. 2, page 167 of the 4 volumes, “My Work With Necedah, by Henry Swan)  “The above statements are merely a brief account of what actually took place as I took notes at the time things were happening. There has been no attempt to establish nor to dramatize what I saw, nor to read anything into the actions and agonies as they transpired. If one were to witness what I saw Mary Ann go through from twelve to three at someone’s death bed it would frighten them sick, but knowing that this was but the seventh reoccurrence of the similar thing, one could rest secure that she was not about to die; otherwise, it would have been too much to take. There remains for her to state what she saw and went through visually or mentally during that time in order to give meaning to so much apparent agony, pain, and what not.” 

Msgr. J. K. Spurlock, March 16,1951: “The sight that we saw was too magnetic to look away.  It seemed to draw everyone of our senses and strain every nerve and muscle. After standing for half an hour my knees were breaking. At the first sight of her sufferings my breath was taken away, and a dull pressure seemed to grip my heart. The expression of her sorrow seemed to tear one’s chest apart, and the thought that came first to me was: Oh, how horrible was Our Lord’s suffering. It hurt to watch it.

I have read many times of the sufferings of privileged people, like Therese Neumann, etc., but never before did realize what it actually meant. I do not know if these others are like this or not, but this is certainly genuine and real.

Only the week before I had seen the slides and heard the lecture on the Holy Shroud of Turin. That was still fresh in my mind, so I noticed how closely her position represented that which the scientists tell us is depicted by the Shroud. Her arms were outstretched at the same angle as we see in the Shroud reproduction of the Cross.  They are very rigid.  Her whole body is rigid and cannot be moved without moving it all at once.

I thought again of the Shroud of Turin and the explanation of the scientists who tell us how Our Lord’s chest was pushed down by His weight, so that He literally died of a broken heart. She held this position for three hours. Her throat was throbbing, at times gasping and speaking, at other times almost like a death rattle. Several times panting as if her breath would tear her apart, then again long labored breathing like a person drawing their last breath. Sometimes she seemed exhausted and lay back in quiet suffering, and one could see and feel the pain growing and growing until it finally would swell up into one sudden outburst of agony. Her head would roll or she would strain at the nails.

The doctors said she did not speak as much this time but seemed to suffer more. The words were filled with sadness, like the repetition several times of the sounds: “Osee” or “Jose” said twice, and then followed by other words. Once it seemed to me she said, “Deos, Deos” or “Theos”, but I am not sure. There did not seem to be any Latin. But they were real words with real inflections.

In my opinion these three hours of suffering by Mary Ann cannot be explained in any natural way. To me it was more convincing and impressive than even the moving of the sun. More convincing I think for the ordinary observer because it can be checked and re-checked, and there is no chance of illusion. Dr. De Werth said it was not hypnotism. That in my opinion would be impossible in this case. I am convinced of the supernatural cause. Until an official statement is made, however, we can only hold our own private opinions.”

Rev. F. B. Dickman, Wedron, Illinois, May 1970: “Mary Ann has suffered the Passion of Our Lord on the Fridays of Advent and Lent since 1950. I have been present at several of these. She also suffered for several years during the night hours. In fact almost every day of her life since 1950 has been one of suffering. There never has been a time in the Church when so many visions of the Blessed Mother and Saints, and so many revelations have continued for so many years. I have never heard Mary Ann utter a word that in the slightest degree was contrary to any thing in our Faith.  Never have I heard her use any language that showed an unsound mental condition.”

The following is an experience related by Mr. H. Swan after her family doctor, Dr. Meyers, had given Mary Ann some special medication.  It is taken from Vol. 2 of the four Volumes by H. Swan, pages 75-76. Mr. Swan was her protector and present during her suffering periods including the times she suffered the Passion. “The suffering was very, very severe on the 18th of June, and shortly after it started we called out for prayers. Betty Wakershauser was out in a car praying, and was called to do the phoning. At a little after 10:00 P. M., Dr. Meyers and Father Connolly were called and both arrived

shortly thereafter. Father Connolly prayed over Mary Ann and gave her his Blessing. The heart condition seemed to get better, and then physical suffering with its violent action started.

Dr. Meyers wanted to know if he could give her a hypo and I gave my consent, although I had no faith in its effect. Doc gave her the shot and for all the relief of pain it gave her, it might as well have been water. It did however, after about 20 minutes or so make her violently ill, and caused her to gag and throw up. There was no normal reaction to the shot whatever. Father Connolly and Doc after staying until about 11:30 P. M. left for home. I believe, however,

that it was good for both of them to witness her suffering.

Also Dr. Meyers had given Mary Ann medicine to reduce the swelling in her limbs, but this also did not have the result that would normally be expected.  He also tried shots, but received the same results.

A Message that was given on June 21, 1955, stated: “Henry, many tests have been given and more will be given.  That was a test that was permitted to be given the other night.  It was given to convince the doctor and you that medication does not work.  This type of injection is very hard on the Victim and it will take three days for her to recover from it.”  “Other tests will be given.  You must be present when the tests are given and your permission will be needed”.

Mary Ann suffered much during these three days.  There was much gagging and retching.  At the end of the third day it was all over.

Dr. John De Werth, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, March 16, 1951:

Dr. De Werth gives a most complete and accurate description on the above date from a medical standpoint, almost minute by minute, of the suffering of Mary Ann from 12 noon to 3:00 P.M.  For this full account see pages 272-279 Vol. 2 of 4 Vols., “My Work With Necedah,” by H. Swan.  It also includes the Revelations that were given from 2:43 to 2:53 P.M.  Likewise he refers to real words with definite inflections similar to the reference in the report by Msgr. Spurlock.

Some additional interesting facts re: certain happenings during the suffering of the Passion of Our Lord by Mary Ann:

1.   She would go for the full period of Advent as well as the forty days of Lent without eating any solid foods, yet on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday, she was able to eat a full meal without any ill effects.

2.   Anna Katharina Emmerick, a mystic who lived from 1774 to 1824 is and has been with Mary Ann during the suffering of the Passion and has been especially helpful when Revelations or Messages were given and were not fully understood.  In other words when Czar Alex spoke in German, she would give the correct interpretation in English.

3.   On December 5, 1958, a request was made from the Celestials in Heaven to obtain a four-foot white corpus of Our Lord, and have it ready for the December 12, 1958 suffering.  At this time instructions were given for Mary Ann to mark the Corpus with red and purple crayons as she viewed the Scourging of Our Lord.  Mr. Swan held it and though it was very difficult, through the tears Mary Ann marked the bruises, lacerations and blood where they had appeared on Our Lord’s Body.  This was to serve as a model for the sculptors and the artists to follow when making the life-size Corpus, which as requested, is now on the grounds in the Crucifixion Shrine.

4.   A weight phenomenon was checked and verified several times in 1951 and 1952 during the three hour period as Mary Ann suffered the Passion of Our Lord.  Doctors, clergy, her husband and others tried to lift the foot of the bed.  Normally this would not be difficult.  However, even with great effort it was practically impossible.  Though this was checked on various Fridays, the results were always the same.

From St. John of the Cross and other outstanding authorities in the field of Mystical Theology, the weight phenomenon alone would suffice to prove that her ecstacies are not natural.

Ecstatic rigidity was another characteristic of Mary Ann’s suffering the Passion.  When her arms went out in the form of a cross, before or while Our Lord was nailed to the Cross, her arms and fingers would be completely rigid.  Doctors, clergy and others tried to bend her arms or straighten her fingers, neither being possible until Our Lord expired and her arms relaxed.

The same was true as her left foot went over the right as Our Lord’s feet were nailed to the Cross.

Dr. Imbert Gourbeyre was a professor of medicine for over twenty-five years and the author of research work on mystical phenomena in relation to medicine.  He is one of the few doctors who had the occasion to study both these sciences, so therefore can speak authoritatively on the subject.  In his opinion, there is no need of the phenomenon of weight to prove genuineness of ecstacy, he holds that “ecstatic rigidity alone” is already sufficient proof.

5.   On Friday, March 17, 1967, a Friday of Lent, the Seven Sorrows of Our Sorrowful Mother of the Passion Prayer was given.  It was suggested that it be used as a meditation for the Seven Sorrows Rosary.

Sorrowful Mother Prayer

Oh Sorrowful, Oh Holy Mother, Thy Heart was pierced through when you stood beneath the Cross of Thy Divine Son, who died to redeem man.  The anguish, the pain and sorrow you suffered for man.

     Oh Sorrowful, Oh Heavenly Mother, again Thy Heart is pierced with anguish and sorrow, for man has forgotten the crucifixion, the death of their Lord, and what it stands for.  They continue on their wayward ways while Thy Heart is pierced for love of them.  Oh Sorrowful, Oh Heavenly Mother, pierce my heart of stone and fill its veins with pure blood of love for My Lord and My God, whom I have neglected, whose Wounds I have renewed.  Take me beneath Thy Mantle, oh Heavenly Mother, Protect me, guide me so I cannot go astray and hurt Thy Divine Son and pierce Thy Heart with sorrow, Oh Heavenly Mother.  Amen.

Oh Holy Mother, make us worthy of Thy anguish.  Show us the way, the way to love Thy Son as Thou lovest Him.  Open our hearts as Your Heart has been opened with pain and sorrow.  Open ours with love for Thy Son, Our Lord, Our God, who is hanging there nailed to a Cross, every bit of blood gushing forth from His Body, all for us—so unworthy, so faithless, so thoughtless, so heartless. The film of greed and sin and worldliness is in front of our eyes.

Oh Blessed Mother, pierce that film, tear it away so that we too, can see Thy Son the way Thou hast seen Him.  Open Thy Arms and take us to Thy Bosom, show us the way, the light.  Oh God, have mercy on us.

Oh Sorrowful and Holy Mother, pray for us, guide us, protect us with Thy Blue Mantle.  Lead us on the road to Thy Divine Son, make us worthy of Him.  Amen.

 6.   During the suffering of the Passion of Our Lord, Heaven has shown in vision to Mary Ann what They wanted each of the Fourteen Stations to represent.  Also some of the various other scenes shown to Mary Ann by Heaven are portrayed here as accurately as possible in the pictures of paintings made of them.

  1. November 12, 1974 was the twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s first appearance at the Queen of the Holy Rosary Mediatrix of Peace Shrine, Necedah, Wisconsin.  Therefore, the Blessed Mother as Mediatrix between God and man has been speaking to us all these years trying to help us save Our Country, as well as North and South America.  Her requests are clear as to what the Christian world must do to spare themselves the persecution, suffering and destruction that various parts of the world have already experienced.  

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