BY DAN FRANK
THE VATICAN has ruled that Catholics are not permitted to pray to the Virgin Mary under the title of “Lady of All Nations” with the added phrase “who was once Mary”.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines requested clarification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the public veneration of Mary under this title. The devotion, which originated in Holland in 1951, was officially authorised on May 31 1996, by the two bishops of Haarlem, in the Netherlands.
In response Cardinal Angelo Amato, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote: “With regard to the devotion known as ‘Lady of All Nations’ and the Marian apparitions experienced by the late visionary Ida Peerdeman, I wish to advise Your Excellency that although the said apparitions have received approval from His Excellency the Most Rev Joseph Maria Punt, Bishop of Haarlem (Holland), in his Communications of May 31 2002, the CDF has expressed concern regarding one particular aspect of that devotion whereby official prayers invoke the Blessed Virgin as Lady of All Nations ‘who was once Mary’.
“In fact, this Dicastery, in a letter to His Excellency, The Most Rev Francois Bacque, Apostolic Nuncio to the Netherlands, has indicated that Marian devotion must be nourished and developed in accordance with the indications given by the Holy Father in Redemptoris Mater and Rosarium Virginis Mariae and not according to private apparitions nor according to a ‘new’ name of Mary, such as ‘Lady of All Nations who was once Mary’.” Cardinal Amato concluded: “Your Excellency is requested to take into consideration the above mentioned advisory and inform the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines that the CDF does not permit any Catholic community of Christ’s faithful to pray to the Mother of God under the title of ‘Lady of All Nations’ with the added expression ‘who was once Mary’.” Between 1945 and 1959 Ida Peerderman received a series of messages from the Virgin Mary, who said that she wanted to be addressed “in these times” as “the Lady of All Nations”.
Devotions to “the Lady of All Nations” included the phrase “who was once Mary” because of a July 2 1951 vision when Mrs Peerderman supposedly was told: “Many people have known Mary as Mary. Now, however, in this new era, which is about to begin, I wish to be the Lady of All Nations. Everyone understands this.”