Ave Maria

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Some Catholics say Mary, the mother of Jesus has appeared to many Catholics across the world in the last few centuries. Would she appear to an 11-year-old protestant?

Submitted: June 21, 2019

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Submitted: June 21, 2019

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1. In the Beginning

Introduction:

Throughout Catholic history, Mary has allegedly appeared to men, women, and children giving messages that are to be communicated to the faithful. In harmony with a good portion of occult tradition, most of these appearances have occurred to children (usually girls) and the illiterate poor. The Church has officially accepted many of these visitation including those at Guadalupe, Mexico (1531), Paris (1830), La Salette, France (1846), Lourdes, France (1858), Knock, Ireland (1879), Fatima, Portugal (1917), Beauraing, Belgium (1932-1933), and Banneaux, Belgium (1933).

(The John Ankerberg Show )

1. In the Beginning

Its easier for a child to believe in God for some reason. Religion in Denmark is not very important. Most are protestants but only 2% actually attend Church. This does not mean that religion is not important as many do believe in God. Religion is just considered a private matter by the Danes. Its nothing to publically admit or boast about.

My name is William and this story takes place in a small town in Denmark when I was 11 years old. For those that do not know, Denmark is a small country in Europe. We are supposed to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and one of the happiest! So you see, living in Denmark was not a bad childhood for an 11-year-old boy.

We lived in a small house and both my parents had good jobs, so I never needed anything. I was the only child and had a good relationship with my parents. I often got in trouble, but they treated me well and overall I was a good kid. I had a lot of good friends at school and got good grades. I suppose you can say that I was a happy boy!

I was not that religious. We never went to Church and we never read the Bible or prayed. I did believe in God, but I just never prayed to him. It would have help if he spoke back to me. The only real connection I had with God was that I heard Bible stories at FDF, which is like the scouts here in Denmark. It's not like we were praying all the time. We did things as all scouts do. Its fun to be at FDF, because my friends are there and we do everything different every week.

We had to go to a Church service once. I like singing and stories. I just wondered was God listening to us? I mean if millions of people say the same prayers and sing the same songs in Churches across the world, would God listen to them all or just one Church? I could understand why people came to church. In a way it was peaceful. It was like I had time to think. The songs made me feel good.

Later that night when we were eating supper, I asked mom and Dad why there were protestants and Catholics. I really did not get an explanation except we believe in some differences and protestants did not think the Pope should have the last say. This made me think of how stupid people were. I mean he was the same God and did it make a difference how we worshipped him, as long as he was our friend.

That was if there was a God! I mean when I prayed to him, he didn't bother in talking with me. People used their entire life trying to prove there was a God and he existed. Millions believe in him or choose to believe in him. I suppose this is a good insurance policy. When you die and there is no God, then you would not know as everything would be blank. On the other hand, if there was a God, you can say you tried to believe and pray.

The next day I was walking home from school when I decided to take a short cut through the park. I was walking on the path when I suddenly saw a huge light from the area the bushes are. This got my interest, so I walked across the grass to the bush. There was this woman floating in the air. She had a white robe on, with a light blue veil and a crown of flowers. She had gold sandals and a light blue belt. The woman must have been a ghost as she was flowing above a bush. Behind the bush was a rock garden. I never really did believe in ghosts but this woman was a ghost as how could she float in the air? She was also like a lamp, as there was light flowing out from her. I tried asking her if she was a ghost and what her name was. She did not say anything but smiled. So I just looked at her and looked around to see if anyone else was looking. It was just me.

I should have been afraid because I could see a ghost. I was not afraid as she was just standing there smiling. The light that went out of her was also warm. This ghost was not evil and wouldn't kill me. So we just stood there looking at each other. I honestly do not know how much time went by. It was not boring just standing there. After all, how many times do you see a ghost?

In the end, it was like the light around her faded and she slowly faded away. Before she was gone, she whispered that I should visit her again.

When I came home, I told mom about the ghost and how she looked. Mom told me that I should draw a picture of her. This frustrated me as I thought why did I not take a picture with my cell phone. I felt so stupid that I did not take a picture. So I spent the next hour drawing a picture of her. I am not a good drawer and the only nice part of the drawing was the bush. It is hard drawing a ghost. She was so beautiful, so how could I draw that? I was not satisfied with the result, but people could get the idea of what I saw.

Mom looked at it and said she looks like someone from a child's Bible. I told mom that the ghost said nothing except she hoped I visited her again. This made mom laugh as she told me that it must just be my imagination. She gave me a hug and explained that children had overactive imaginations. Some children could see fairies while others had imaginary friends. She told me not to think about it anymore.

I sat in my room looking at my drawing. Mom was always honest with me and she was wise in many ways. This being said, she must have been wrong about the whole thing just being my imagination. When I thought back on the experience, it seemed so real! I kept on asking myself if I was so tired that she was just my imagination. I remembered that no one else was standing there looking at her. I chose to believe that there are no ghosts and she must have been part of my imagination.

The school was normal the next day. I did not tell anyone about the ghost. They would not be as understanding as mom was. They would think I was crazy or just wanting some attention. The school was boring, so my mind kept on thinking about her. At one stage I took my picture out and just looked at it. I smiled thinking that it would have been so cool if I saw a ghost. However, life was not like a Hollywood film. There were no such things as ghosts.

After school, I thought I should go to the park and make sure. The other boys wanted to play football, so I decided that this was more fun. At least it would be real. So for the next hour, I was a normal 11-year-old playing football. I was good at this sport and it annoyed me when other boys did not play so well. This meant that I shouted at them and told them how they should play. I wasn't the only one shouting and being frustrated. It was part of the game. Even though I could be annoyed at a boy for kicking wrong, it didn't mean that I did not like him.

After the game, we went for a walk laughing and joking. I did not even consider that we were walking through the park. We sat on the grass plane close to a big fountain. I only thought about the ghost once, where I looked towards the bush. There was no strange light. So Mom must have been right. I was not disappointed, as I just continued to have a good time with my friends.

Then I could see the light. I asked my friends if they could see it. They must be blind that they could not see it. So I went to the bush and the ghost lady was standing there again. I told the boys that she was there, but they only laughed and said that I was playing a trick on them! I told them I was not. There was a ghost standing on the bush. They must have been annoyed at me or disappointed they could not see the lady, as one by one, they walked away.

I stayed there watching the lady that was once against smiling.

" Who are you?" I asked.

" It will be revealed to you who I am when you get home. I will ensure that I am not a ghost!"

I continued to look at her as time passed by. The other boys were long gone. The same happened. Her light started dimming as so did she. Just before she vanished, she told me she would be here every Friday, and asked me to come and see her. She made me promise that I would.

When I got home, I told mom and Dad what happened. I told her the lady said she was no ghost and that the other boys could not see her. Dad smiled and asked was I so tired after playing football, that I was seeing things.

Mom was a bit more serious. She called me over to the computer and showed me a picture and asked did the lady look like the one on the picture? I smiled and shouted that she was the same lady.

Mom read the description under the picture, " Painting of our Holy Mother, Mary, the mother of Jesus."

2. Why me?

When mom showed me the picture, I could see that it was the woman I saw over the bush. It was a religious picture of the mother of Jesus. This confused me a lot. Why would Mary appear to me? I hardly have any relationship with God and I definitely never tried to pray to Mary. The woman in the picture definitely looked like the one I seen above the bush. She also said I would find out who she is when I came home. So now I knew the woman was actually the mother of Jesus. The question was why did she show herself to me?

Mom explained that Mary has been appearing all over the world and usually to Catholic children. She wanted the world to repent and pray, as well as be a better place. The fact was that Mary was supposed to have appeared in hundreds of places. So at some stage, she would have picked Denmark!

" So you believe me that I see her?" I asked

" I believe that you see something" mom answered. " I think you need to visit someone to make sure that you are not hallucinating or your imagination is being overworked."

I suppose I could understand why. None of my friends could see her and it seemed as if I was the only one that could see her. I hope I was not going crazy.

Dad admitted he did not believe in it. He asked why would the mother of Jesus bother showing herself to a boy. Dad also said according to Wikipedia, she always appeared to Catholics. Then why would she appear to a protestant? It just seemed like it would be impossible. He put his hand on my shoulder and said that I should admit now if all this was just a joke. Everyone would have a good laugh and then move on. If this joke continued, then it would not be a joke anymore.

It hurt me that my dad did not believe me. At the same time, I understood him. I told him that I was certain that I saw something. He did not speak to me for the rest of the day.

The next day at school, the boys gathered around me and laughed saying they were happy they did not fall for my trick. I was getting annoyed as I shouted at them that it was not a joke. I did see a woman! The boys had the same reaction as my father. They told me that they did not believe in me. They went as far as to call me an attention seeker. This, of course, upset me as I did not choose to see her. She chose to show herself to me.

The boys seemed mad at me as they thought I would not admit it was a joke. I was alone for the rest of the day. In fact, I was alone for the rest of the week. They were mad at me and would only accept me in the flock if I admitted that the whole thing was an elaborate prank. This was something that I refused to do.

The teacher wanted to speak to me one day.

" I heard the problems you are having with your friends, and that you want them to believe that you saw a ghost" She started

 " She is not a ghost."

" That's good that you admit to me there is nothing, but you should also tell your friends"

" Oh you misunderstood me," I explained, " The woman is not a ghost, but we saw a painting of The Virgin Mary, and she looks exactly like her."

" So now you are telling me that you can see the mother of Jesus?"

" I am not sure. I have to ask her"

" Now listen here. This has to stop here. There is no way you are seeing a ghost or anything religious. No one else can see. You told me yourself once that you are not very religious and you are not Catholic. Why would she appear to you?"

" I do not know."

" Then stop this game now. It has already gone too far. I do not want to hear anything more about this!"

I hated when people told me that I lied. I knew what I saw and now people were telling me to admit that it was just some prank. This would be a lie! I never asked any woman just to appear to me and only me. It would just be easier if I admitted that it was a prank. Then people would be mad at me for a short time, but things would get normal again. I would not have a dad or friends that did not believe me. I would not listen to people saying that I was just seeking attention.

I could admit it, but that would be the lie. I would tell the truth and people would have to believe in me.

Friday came, and I went to the park. I was surprised that a friend was there. He told me that he believed in me and wanted to support me. His grandmother was also there. She told me she was a Catholic, so she could pray if the lady came.

The light started becoming stronger and stronger over the bush. I told them that she was coming, but they could not see anything. This made me sad, but I could see the light become stronger and stronger. The lady finally was there. The grandmother said she could not see anything, but said that she felt the warmth. I explained that the light coming from her was like the sun. The grandmother fell to her knees and started praying. For some reason, I did the same.

We stood there staring at each other.

" My mom found a painting. She was the mother of Jesus. She looked exactly like you!"

" I want you to tell people about me," she said smiling

" Who do I say you are? "

" All will be revealed. Your mom says I look like the mother of Jesus?"

" Yes, are you?"

" Wise woman"

" Even if I do tell them No one believes I can hear or see you! They cannot see you."

" Do not worry, something big will happen so they will know it's me and worship me!"

I didn't respond. I suppose it explained why I was on my knees. The light was slowly fading once again and she kept on telling me to tell others about her and come again next week. Then she was gone.

The grandmother said that she did not see her, but she could feel the presence. She didn't hear the lady speak, but she could hear me speak. My friend was not as convinced as she was. He asked me if it was a prank and he also promised he would not tell others. I told him it was not and started walking home.

When I got home, I told mom and Dad about the lady. I said that she said mom was wise and she wanted me to tell people about her. Dad just growled and sat in his chair cursing while mom had this worried look. She told me to sit down and told me that I could cause a lot of trouble. In other words, mom said Religion is important for some people. Some of these people will believe in this lady, They will want to believe in her. So if it was a hoax or something with my imagination, it would be so devastating.

Dad reminded us once again that Mary appearing to people is a Catholic thing, and we were not Catholics. He also wondered why she would want people to worship her and not Jesus himself?

I saw an old woman that week, that was a child phycologist. I told her everything and she kept writing in her notebook. In the end, she did not believe me. She told me that it was part of being the X-factor generation. I was doing something that would give me 5 minutes of fame and attention. She explained it was like having an imaginary friend. This lady could be real for me, but it was my brain overworking. I told her this lady was no imaginary friend. She was real.

I was frustrated at everyone. I did not ask for any of this. I did not ask for this lady to show herself to me. I had a happy life before all this started. Now things were getting messed up. Some people thought I was just an attention seeker, while others thought I was going crazy! On top of this, the lady wanted me to visit her and not only that, she wanted me to tell the whole world about her. This was only bound to make things worse. I did not want the attention, as it was so negative!

Friday came and went to the park to see the lady. This time mom said she wanted to come. There were about 50 people there already. A few were kneeling praying while others were just waiting to see what all the rumors were about. A priest was also there. Mom said we could go home but I told her that I made a promise to come, so I walked past all the people and stood before the bush and waited.

I heard people whisper around me asking if I could see something, and I heard some discussion on what was really happening. I suspected that most thought that I was making everything up and they just came to see me get exposed.

The light slowly came and there was a nice warm feeling as the lady slowly appeared and stood there smiling at me. She started by saying that she was happy some people were there, and she knew that in time many more would come. She wanted people to come and worship her. I told her that people did not believe she was there and thought it was all my imagination. I reminded her that we were not even sure who she was.

She smiled and told me that everyone would know who she was when the time was right. She also promised that there would be a sign that would show everyone that this is not just a prank. She looked at me and stretched her arms out as if she wanted to give me a hug and said that she knew it was hard for me, but she promised to give this sign when the time was right.

Then once again the light faded and she went. However as she was going, I could suddenly see some flowers blossom on the bush. They were so beautiful. For some this was enough as most people got to their knees.

I told mom she was gone but smiled at how speechless mom was. I told her the lady promised a huge sign and mom asked was it the flowers suddenly appearing on the bush? I did not know. All I knew is that things would be change and more and more people would come.

Some press was also there and asked me was it the mother of Jesus? Was the world ending? Did she want us to repent? The asked a lot of questions which I had no answer to. The only thing I could say was that she wanted people to pray and worship her. I did not know if the world was ending and why should people repent? I did not know why only I could see her. I did not know why she picked a protestant child to appear to. I told the press that I actually never prayed or read the Bible.

When we got home, Dad was raging mad. He was walking back in the house and cursing and shouting. When mom asked him what the problem was, he shouted that the whole lady thing was in the news. Then he looked at me and asked was I happy now? I managed to get the attention of the whole world. I was making a fool out of the town and our family. He kept on saying that it was in the news and kept asking me was this my plan.

I just sat and said that I knew the lady was real. If this was a prank, how did I do that with the flowers? I was not going to try and convince him or anyone else if she was real or not. It was up to them to believe it or not.

Dad was mad all night and it seemed like nothing could get him to calm down. Even when I was in bed, he came in and told me that I was no longer allowed to go to the park. I tried telling him that I promised the lady to come. I could see that it was a waste of time. Dad made up his mind.

It was not just Dad, it was also my friends at school. They continued to tease me and told me they were not falling for my prank.

Friday came and despite mom trying to plead for Dad to let me go, he was determined that I should not leave the house. I felt bad that I could not keep a promise.

Then mom turned on the TV. it was live from the park. The newscaster said that it was full of people, but I was not there. The time came when the lady usually appeared but I was of course not there.

"Something strange is happening here." the news reporter said, " William, the young boy is not here and unknown where he is. There is also something going on that is not normal. Inside the park is now totally dark and it is like it is night there. There is hailstone and thunder and lightning. The strange thing is that I am standing outside the park gate, and it is like a great summers day. If I walk through the gate, it is dark and like I am in a dark storm. The people here are starting to panic, asking where the young boy is. Police has been called in, as the situation here is very tense."

Mom looked at Dad and said now it was her time to decide. This was obviously not just a prank. I had to go. So she rushed and drove me to the park.

It was true. It was a sunny day, but when I went into the park, it was dark and raining and there were hailstones that hurt as they fell. There were so many people that were on their knees praying for salvation.

When I stood before the bush, the darkness and storm weather stopped and it was suddenly like a summers day. The lady appeared.

" I am glad you came," she said

" I am sorry, but my Dad would not allow me."

" He will be no problem anymore. I want people to pray to me and worship me."

" Who do I tell them you are?"

" Just say I am Madonna! The time is soon here."

She went as she usually did and I looked at all the people. They were all asking what she said. I told them that the lady wants them to pray and worship her. She said time was nearly here for something. I also told them that her name was Madonna. When I said this, they fell to their knees and started praying.

On the way home, I asked mom if Madonna was not some old singer on the radio. Mom smiled and then went serious, sating that Madonna was often a name given to Mary, mother of Jesus.

3. Madonna Mania

Nothing was the same now. If you looked at the TV, there was news about a boy from our little town can see the mother of Jesus. The same in the newspapers. We had so many people coming to the town and praying at the park. There were people from all over the world. It was like every day that more and more people came. They all thought this was history and wanted to be a part of it!

The town was confused as if this was a good thing. There were more tourists than people that lived in the town and people were making money off of the whole thing. Hotels and Restaurants were full and every store experienced a huge increase in sales. There were even souvenir shops that opened up, where people could buy statues of the lady and pictures of me visiting her, as well as every religious thing!

Some people did not like the circus. They lived in a small town because it was not so busy and they could have a private life. They did not like the town became a circus and all the eyes of the world and media were pointed towards us. They felt like the town became a zoo and it was really a PR stunt.

Of course, they blamed me.

I was affected by all this. Dad left one day, saying he could not live with us anymore. That left mom and I back in the house. We never went out as people flocked around me and did weird things. Some sick people thought they would be healed if the touched me. Others would beg to hear what the lady said or ask me to say this or that to her. Besides all that, there were those that said that I should be ashamed because I was a con-artist and all this was just some childish prank.

I forgot to mention the journalists that camped outside our door and flooded me with questions every time they could. I do not understand why people thought I planned all this and wanted all the attention. I was a prisoner in my home and lost my Dad. I could not go out, even to school. I did not ask for any of this, and it was getting worse every day!

It was announced that the Catholic Church was sending some priests to the town. They moved into an old farmhouse and turned one of the barns to a church, where the Catholics could come and pray. This of course annoyed some town people that could only wonder what would happen next.

One of the Catholic priests came to visit me. He wanted me to tell him in detail everything that the lady has said and looked like. He kept on asking the same questions. Then he told me that I should convert and be a Catholic. When we have done this, and if I still spoke with the lady, we could meet with the bishop, so the Church will investigate the whole thing.

Mom and I were silent when he went. Then mom asked me did I want to be a Catholic? I said I was happy the way I was. Mom laughed and said the priest had some nerve. The Catholic Church was just confused and jealous as to why the lady picked a protestant.

Friday came, and we made our way to the park. The police were now helping me through the crowd, but the people were nice enough. They moved when they saw me coming. It took longer for me to reach the bush. I smiled that the flowers that suddenly appeared were still there. I stood before the bush waiting. I could hear some people praying behind me. The park was full of people and there were even people standing outside the park.

The lady appeared as she usually did. When I knelt down, everyone did the same. They could not see anything and the place was so quiet, as people waited and waited for me to say something.

She told me she is happy more and more people were coming to worship her. She also said that the following Friday will be the day when no one would doubt and then she could do her work. This made me happy as then I would not be called a prankster.

She kept on talking and to be honest I did not know what to say. I apologized that the whole town was now like one big circus, where some people wanted just to make money. This just made her smile and say it was only the start. She also told me that my job was soon done.

When she went, I told everyone what she said. Then we went home. I kept on thinking what the lady said. She said my job was nearly done. This made me both happy and sad. Did it mean she no longer wanted to speak with me? I thought that she was a friend. It would be nice not to be the center of attention, but I would miss meeting her.

We could not go out all week, as more and more people flocked to the town. We even had to turn our telephones off. Mom and I felt like prisoners, and we missed Dad so much. In a way, I was happy that he escaped and could do what he wanted to. I knew that he loved us and I felt very guilty that he left. This made me sad most of the time. In a way, seeing the lady has cost me a lot. The worse was that I lost my dad. My friends did not speak with me and many in town were mad at me.

The Pope was on the news one night. He heard about the lady and he was asked what he thought. He warned us to be cautious about appearances and when we believe it is Mary.

The pope warned that faith “finds its roots” in the Gospels, in Revelation, and in Tradition, but never in apparitions. One must beware of the Marian shrines that transform the Blessed Virgin into a “heroine” without reference to her Son. He warned that the lady told people to worship her and there was no mention of Jesus. He also said the town is making a lot of money from it.

Despite what the pope said and the hard life it caused me, I went to the park again when Friday came. There were even more people and journalists from all over the world.

I stood before the bush and waited.

The lady appeared and I fell to my knees. She was not smiling much that day. I had to ask if she was sad. She told me that the Pope was a fool and it was about time she got rid of all the doubts. She reminded me that from today that people would be worshipping her. She told me that she hoped I would still come. She knew that Dad left and my life was hard. Then she smiled and called me her “brave messenger”

The lady rose her arms and the light around her started to become brighter. I had to cover my eyes because it was so blinding. I could hear the people gasp and whisper saying they could see the light. Everyone was now on their knees praying. The light dimmed and the lady stood there. However now, everyone could see her. This was the big sign she was talking about. She was just standing there, smiling as people were on their knees praying. She called everyone her children and told them to worship her every day and to visit the park on Friday. Then she started to fade and was gone.

I got up. I didn't have to tell everyone what she said. They already knew.

I should have been happy. Now no one could call it a prank as everyone could see her. Besides that, it made everything worse. It was like the whole world was coming to our small town and there were so many journalists. Dad did not come home and we were still like prisoners. The strangest thing was that some considered me as a living saint because I was the one she picked. This meant that they did not know me. I was just an ordinary boy that was stuck in this.

The Pope's message also bothered me. I was not that religious, but it did bother me why she wanted people to pray and worship her, and not Jesus. She never talked about people repenting or trying to live a better life. The only thing she said was that people should worship her. Maybe I was too young to understand.

The town confused me as well. The people were not all the concerned that she appeared. They just wanted to make money out of it. There was Madonna mania in the town and it was a game of getting as much money as possible. I kept asking myself if this was what God wanted.

Mom knew that I was thinking a lot and she went as far as to say that my mind is not at peace with itself. She suggested we sneak out and go to the church and pray. We could not go the usual Church, as that was near the park. So she asked me if I wanted to go to the Catholic Church.

It couldn't hurt.

Mom and I knelt down in the old barn they converted to a church. It was quiet and it was so peaceful. It had a nice altar and lots of statues on the side.

I walked up to one of the statues of Mary. She looked like the lady and yet was different. I asked her what she really did want.

A tear came on the statue's face and I could her speak, “This Madonna lady is not me. She used you! This lady in the park is Satan himself pretending to me. People believe the deception and the lies. They will now worship her and not God. Satan will lie to them and slowly they will become his followers and part of his army!”

The statue of Mary told me to warn everyone about the lady in the park and to pray for the people that believe in the lies.

I could not believe it. The devil picked me and now everyone was praying to the devil. She lied to me and now she will lie to the whole world. The Pope was right all along.

Friday came and I did as I usually did. I went to the bush. While everyone waited, I faced the crowd and told them what the statue told me. I told them that we should all go as this Madonna lady was just the devil trying to deceive us. I asked them would the true mother of Jesus tell us to worship her and not her son? Would she not tell us to be better people?

The people started yelling and shouting at me to be quiet as the lady slowly appeared. The obviously did not believe a word I said and I was once again called everything from a troublemaker, a brat and an attention seeker. People were telling me to leave and let them worship Madonna. Some were even throwing things at me, and the things they were throwing became bigger and bigger. All this time, I was trying to say that a statue of Mary told me that this Madonna is nothing except the devil. I suppose they found it hard to believe that I wanted them to know that the Madonna lady appeared to me, and now since everyone can see her, I was telling them a statue spoke to me. They would not believe me.

I started walking out of the park. I looked behind for the last time. People were on their knees and the Madonna lady was looking at me and smiling.

Her eyes were glowing red.

We went back to the Church. I told the statue that I failed. She was not crying or anything. She was now just a statue.

Mom and I knelt down and started praying for the people that were being deceived. I whispered to mom that the Madonna lady used me and I let her. I failed at warning the people.

Mom gave me a hug, saying I did not totally fail.

I looked behind me. Six people came in to join us in praying.

One of them was Dad.

The End

 


© Copyright 2019 Alexander Temple. All rights reserved.

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