What has happened to Heede?
In the early fifties reports of a series of apparitions of
It was alleged that more than one hundred apparitions took place, and that prudent Priests sent by the Bishop to investigate the happenings had made a favorable report.
Some of the statements made by Our Lord and His Blessed Mother are of profound interest to the modern world.
But what has happened to Heede? We very, very rarely hear of it these days. These apparitions have not been authenticated by an official Ecclesiastical commission. Neither have they been reprobated. This means that we may believe if we wish in the reality of the apparitions; that they may freely be discussed written about, etc., as they are, in many cases, under imprimatur.
Recently one of our correspondents received a letter from the parish Priest of Heede giving information about the Shrine erected there. Our correspondent had written over for this information.
However before referring to the contents of this letter we will set out, very briefly, the story of the apparitions in order to refresh the memories of our readers.
When four girls reported, on November 1st, 1937, that the Blessed Virgin had appeared to them, the news was received in the village with predictable skepticism and/or amusement.
It was not until the girls showed a dramatic change in their way of life that the villagers began to wonder. Hitherto given over to pleasures and amusements, the girls switched to long and fervent prayer, impatiently waiting for the hour when they would see the Heavenly Vision again.
Nevertheless, the Pastor and most of the villagers refused to believe in the apparitions for a long time but were finally won over.
Crowds came to Heede when the news percolated to the surrounding towns and villages. But Hitler ruled Germany in those days and the Gestapo swiftly put a stop to this "superstitious nonsense."
The children were taken to a lunatic asylum and the pilgrimages forbidden. After a few weeks the children were released but forbidden to go near the place of the Apparitions. However Our Lady appeared to them in other places, as subsequently did Our Lord.
The message of Heede is very similar to that of Fatima. Our Lady appears to have said little. She appeared to the girls with the Divine Child in her arms, smiled at them and was content to have them enraptured with the beauty of the Divine presence.
When Our Lord — as a grown man — appeared to one of the seers, Greta Gansforth, He had a solemn and sad warning to give her.
“Men did not listen to My Most Holy Mother when She appeared to them at Fatima and admonished them to do penance. Now I Myself am coming at the last hour to warn and admonish mankind! The times are very serious! Men should at last do penance, turn away from their sins and pray, pray much in order that the wrath of God may be mitigated! Particularly the Holy Rosary should be prayed very often! The Rosary is very powerful with God! Worldly pleasures and amusements should be restricted.”
“Men do not listen to My Voice, they harden their hearts, they resist My grace, they do not wish to have anything to do with My Mercy, My Love, My merits; mankind is worse than before the deluge. Mankind is suffocating in sin. Hatred and greed rule their hearts. This is the work of the Devil. They live in great darkness . . .”
“Through the wounds that bleed now, mercy will again gain victory over justice. My faithful souls should not be asleep now like the disciples on Mt. Olivet. They should pray without ceasing and gain all they can for themselves and for others.”
“Tremendous things are in preparation; it will be terrible as never before since the foundation of the world. All those who in these grave times have suffered so much are martyrs and form the seed for the new Church. They were privileged to participate in My captivity, in My scourging, in My crown of thorns and My way of the Cross!”
“The Blessed Virgin Mary and all the choirs of Angels will be active during the happenings. Hell believes that it is sure of the harvest, but I will snatch it away from them. Many curse me now, but these sufferings will come over mankind that they may be saved through it . . . Many expiate all they can for those who curse Me now.”
“I will come with My peace. With a few faithful, I will build up My Kingdom. As a flash of lightening this Kingdom will come . . . much faster than mankind will realize. I will give them a special light. For some this light will be a blessing; for others darkness. The light will come like the Star that showed the way to the wise men. Mankind will experience My love and My power. I will show them My justice and My mercy. My dearly beloved children, the hour comes closer and closer. Pray without ceasing!”
The letter from the Pastor of Heede received recently by our correspondent states, thousands of pilgrims visit Heede each year, and that many pray throughout the night and a number of apparently miraculous cures have taken place. The shrine does not, however, have a Medical Bureau as at Lourdes and Fatima, to decide and determine if the cures are beyond natural explanation.
Miss Greta Gansforth is now 38 and has suffered greatly for the last 17 years. She made an offering of herself as a victim soul and it seems that Our Lord has accepted her offering.
It may well be that the Ecclesiastical authorities are letting Heede "prove itself" by the fruits of prayer and penance and good works that it produces.
Certainly it is a solemn affirmation and re-affirmation of all that Our Lady said at Fatima, a warning of disaster and yet a glorious promise of a new age of the spirit, a reawakening of mankind to the mighty power over evil that emanates from the hill of Calvary. Heede confirms Fatima's great promise of the victory of Mary's Immaculate Heart and the era of peace that is to be conceded to humanity.