The “Lady in Blue” … A Marian Visitation?
A few years ago when celebrating Mass on a Sunday, I saw a dark-skinned woman, veiled in blue, come into the nave at St. Luke’s Church; she didn’t come into the nave but instead walked to where our Lady Chapel was located (I thought at the time that she was probably going to the nursery [next to the Chapel] although she wasn’t carrying a child that I could readily see.
After the consecration, as I was communing my parishioners, I wondered why the woman had not come to join us at the altar; just then, Ed—my adult acolyte asked me, “Father, where’s the woman in blue?” I was pleased that he had seen her, too, and that she wasn’t just some figment of my imagination.
After Mass, Ed and I began to contemplate the significance of the “woman in blue” and what seemed like her miraculous appearance and disappearance. As we shared this visitation with Fr. Walter, my priest associate, almost simultaneously we declared: “It was the blessed Mother of God!” Chills ran up my spine, as we began to ponder the significance of such a sighting.
Weeks later, I was visiting with my brother priest and friend, Fr. Anthony, who is an arch-priest with one of the Orthodox churches in town. So touched was he by my telling of this extraordinary apparition, he asked that I immediately contact his iconographer and, with his blessing, have him paint the plain, white spaces that occupy the altar backdrop around the tabernacle. (This is now moving forward.)
It’s interesting to note that the altar was a consecrated Roman Catholic altar that was given to the parish as a gift from a now-closed Roman Catholic parish—with the relics of St. Louis, King of France, and patron of Franciscan Tertiaries, imbedded in the altar stone. (By the way, I am an Oblate with the Franciscan Order of Divine Compassion.) It’s also interesting that the first known icon of the Black Madonna was painted by St Luke the Evangelist—for which the church is named.
For anyone reading this, I ask for your prayers and Mass intentions, because I’ve been approached by a number of orthodox (English Catholic) clergy to consider—with prayer and fasting—establishing a Shrine to the blessed Mother; and to seek her counsel and wisdom on behalf of her son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
By the way, I was praying with a handmade Rosary that I received from attending the Roman Catholic Bishop’s pro-life dinner last year (they gave them as gifts to any priest who was in attendance). The beads were silver, metallic. Well recently, I brought it to St Luke’s to pray to the blessed Mother that I had seen there some years earlier—I did not see her, but I definitely felt her presence. The next morning, when I woke up, the largest bead had turned color—like gold, I’d say. I asked a friend if I could look at his Rosary that he received; and, indeed, the color on mine is noticeably different from his; my bead is gold, his bead is silver.
What think ye?
About the Author
As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Michael is married to Rachel, a principal with The Classical Academy, and they have two grown children—Patrick and Kayla. They have been married for over 25 years and in 1991 lost an infant daughter, Cara, to a birth defect. Home from Oz (Word) and The Oz Syndrome (Hillcrest) were books that Michael penned shortly after her death that helped him to process her early passing.
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