Problems with the Amsterdam visions and Ida Peerdeman

Problems with the Amsterdam visions and Ida Peerdeman

Ida Peerdeman, the visionary from Holland, claimed that she first saw Mary during the Second World War, on 25 March 1945, the feast of the Annunciation, and that these visions continued intermittently until 1984, although the main series of fifty-six visions apparently concluded in 1959. On the first occasion, she was at home, talking with her spiritual director, a certain Fr J. Frehe, and her sisters, when she said she felt drawn to the next room where: “I suddenly saw a light and said to myself: ‘Where is this light coming from? What a curious light?’ The wall then disappeared before my eyes. There was instead one sea of light in an empty space, and out of it I suddenly saw a figure moving forward, a female figure.”

Ida goes on to relate how: “She was clad in white and wore a sash. She stood with her arms lowered and the palms of her hands turned outwards toward me. I thought it must be the Blessed Virgin and that it could not be anyone else. I then said: ‘Are you Mary?’ She answered: ‘They will call me the Lady, Mother.’”

By this time she had been joined by the others who heard her repeating what the Vision had said to her, as the priest remarked: “Lady? Well, I never heard that before. The Lady!”

Fr Frehe was right to question such an appellation for Mary, for this title of “the Lady,” rather than “our Lady,” for the Blessed Virgin, is indeed strange. Ida then claimed that the Vision indicated with her fingers three numbers, three, four and five successively, and told her that the five was for the fifth of May, which was later taken as a prophecy of the date of the end of the war in Holland, 5 May 1945.[1]

The second vision happened on 21 April 1945, and it is claimed that she saw extensive scenes from the Old Testament, including the events of the Exodus, when the Jews escaped from Egypt. She also apparently saw a person, who she believed to be God the Father, above them in the clouds, with “his face in his hands,” as the Lady said, “And Yahweh is ashamed of his people.” Quite why “Yahweh” would be ashamed of his people is not explained, but given that the Exodus was a triumph of God’s power it seems like rather a strange divine cameo. Ida also heard locutions of some sort on other occasions but their content is perplexing: cries of “Babylon!” or “Ishmael,” or a thrice-repeated “Ninevah,” [sic] or even a seven-fold “Hagar.”[2] Sadly, these seem more like reports of a person suffering from mental problems of some sort, than the results of genuine supernatural experiences.

On 16 November 1950, a little over two weeks after Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption, on 1 November, Ida claimed that the title of “Lady or Mother of All Nations” was first mentioned to her by the Vision, who also spoke in terms of Mary as “Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.” It was claimed this would be the “last and greatest Marian dogma.”

On 11 February 1951, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, Ida claimed another vision, and reported that the “Lady” had said: “I am the Lady, Mary, Mother of All Nations. You may say ‘the Lady of All Nations’ or ‘Mother of All Nations,’ who once was Mary. I have come precisely on this day to tell you that I wish to be known as this.” She then gave the following prayer to Ida: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of all Nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate. Amen.”[3]

While the sentiments of this prayer are admirable, the phrase “who once was Mary,” is not. And even Ida herself was forced to acknowledge this: “I must admit that the words ‘who once was Mary’ were very strange indeed. I said to myself but surely you always are Mary. Afterwards, when I passed on the prayer to Fr. Frehe, he said: ‘What on earth is this ‘who once was Mary?’ She can’t have said this. She is and would always be Mary.’ ”

This was also the view of the ecclesiastical authorities, who refused permission for this phrase when the prayer was first printed. But apparently, “the Lady,” did not approve of this and told Ida, “The words ‘who once was Mary’ must remain. Tell the theologians that I am not satisfied with the change in the prayer.” Later on, the full text of the prayer was approved, and Ida was then told: “Tell your bishop that I am satisfied. The text of the prayer is now correct.”

On 4 March 1951, there was another alleged apparition, in which Ida related that “the Lady” appeared with the arms of a cross protruding behind her head and shoulders, and then asked that a picture representing this be distributed widely, with the above mentioned, “who once was Mary,” prayer on the back.[4]  There is something rather disturbing about this picture, which has a dark-haired “Lady,” dressed in white, standing on a globe; There is also a problem with a picture of Mary standing in front of a cross, in that the devotion to “Our Lady of the Cross” is one of those devotions which has been forbidden by the Vatican—why then would “Mary” encourage such a devotion?[5]

Closer examination of the picture reveals some further problematic details: the visionary saw the “Lady” standing in the pose of Mary as seen on the Miraculous Medal, that is with her arms down and palms to the front. She alleged that in the middle of each hand she could see wounds or scars, from which three “rays” shone, rays which apparently represented grace, redemption and peace. Ida also reported that Mary said, “in this era the Father and the Son wish to send Mary, the Lady of All Nations, as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.” She was again instructed to propagate the prayer using “modern methods.”[6]

The first particular, of course, as pointed out above, is that devotion to “Our Lady of the Cross,” is specifically forbidden, so there are problems with having a representation of Mary with wounds in her hands, as if she was crucified. Secondly, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that what we have here is a “rival” to the picture painted for Sr Faustina in the thirties. She had been instructed to have the well-known “Divine Mercy” image of Jesus painted, the one which has Jesus standing with his right hand raised in blessing, while his left touched his breast, from which point emerged two large rays, one red, the other pale, representing blood and water respectively. Thus, instead of this genuine picture and associated devotion of the Divine Mercy chaplet being promoted, we have well-meaning, but regrettably misled, persons distributing pictures of the Lady of All Nations—what better way to muddy the waters and confuse people?

The call for a new Marian dogma was repeated on 29 April 1951:

The new dogma will be the dogma of the Co-Redemptrix. I emphasize ‘Co.’ I have already said how much controversy this dogma would arouse. The Church of Rome will have a long struggle over it, will finally proclaim it. … the Father has sent me in the capacity of Advocate in order to announce the coming of the Holy Spirit. … The world will be saved by the Spirit. The image and its dissemination—this is the work prerequisite to the dogma. Later, this image would be the emblem of the Co-Redemptrix. The Lady, the Mother, has suffered the sufferings of the Son, both spiritual and corporal.[7]

This passage certainly seems to raise some problems: for one thing, is it credible that the Blessed Virgin would refer to the Catholic Church as “the Church of Rome. It makes her sound more like a Protestant. The announcement of the “coming of the Holy Spirit” also seems rather inexact theologically, or at least tending to cause confusion, given that the Holy Spirit “came” to the young Church nearly 2,000 years ago. This exclusive future coming of the Spirit is indicated as follows: “The Lady of All Peoples has now received the power to come and drive out Satan. She comes; and it is to announce the Holy Spirit. It is now, and only now, that the Holy Spirit is to come upon this earth.”

This last statement is pure heresy, and contradicts the whole traditional teaching of the Church that the Holy Spirit “came upon the earth” at the time of Pentecost. But perhaps in the light of the rise of some of the aberrations associated with the “Charismatic” movement, it is not without interest.

That there was ecclesiastical opposition to this idea of a new dogma is apparent from this message to Ida on 2 July 1951: “Now, look and listen. What I am going to say is an explanation of the new dogma. … From my Lord and Master, the Redeemer received his divinity. In this way the Lady became Co-Redemptrix by the will of the Father. It was necessary to begin with the dogma of the Assumption. Then the last and greatest would follow. … Tell that to your theologians. I do not come to bring any new doctrine. The doctrine already exists. Say this to your theologians: ‘Already, from the beginning, she was Co-Redemptrix.’ ”[8]

Apart from the fact that the tone of “Mary” in this passage is hard to associate with the Mary of the Gospels or of Catholic tradition, it is extraordinarily difficult to believe that she could possibly have said “Tell that to your theologians,” a phrase repeated on a number of occasions. And the following sentence is also replete with theological difficulty: “From my Lord and Master, the Redeemer received his divinity.” This statement is verging on heresy, if it is not actually heretical, and indeed it seems to be more akin to Arianism, the belief that the Son was inferior to the Father, than to orthodox Catholic belief. Jesus, as the Redeemer and Son of God, did not receive his divinity from the Father: he is co-equal with the Father from all eternity.

The fiftieth apparition to Ida took place on 31 May 1954, and during this, the “Lady” told her that this was the day she wished to be set aside as the feast day of the dogma of Mary as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.[9]

Quite apart from the above points, the whole tone of many of the messages, as well as their general “visionary” content, is very suspect. We are presented with a “Mary” who seems totally at odds with the figure who has revealed herself in her approved apparitions. Fifty-six visions were claimed by Ida between 1945 and 1959, a period of fourteen years, and both of these figures are contrary to what we would expect, since, most approved apparitions have been in single figures, and over quite a short space of time, days, weeks or possibly months, but certainly not years.

This series of visions have a repetitive and even bizarre quality, which can only be fully appreciated by reading them in their entirety, but the following excerpts and explanations of them will surely make this point clear. There is a disjointed quality about them, as though they were the ramblings of someone with mental problems, which clearly differentiates them from the messages given during the approved apparitions. Again and again, the “Lady” keeps coming back to the necessity of propagating the picture and the prayer, in a way which smacks more of desperation and intimidation than of a genuine heavenly intervention.

The first thing to note about many of these alleged visions, is how closely they correspond to Msgr Farges’ outline of a false apparition. The idea of the Vision appearing out of a very bright light is a constantly recurring theme. An instance of this is the beginning of the twenty-seventh vision which says: “A bright, a dazzling light preceded the Lady.” The twenty-eighth vision is even more explicit in this respect: “There was a bright light. From the centre of the light the Voice was heard. ‘Here I am once more.’ And I saw the Lady standing in the light.” Similarly, the same pattern is found in the twenty-ninth vision, (28 March 1951), which begins: “A brilliant light. From the depths of the light a voice makes itself heard: ‘Here I am once more: the Lady of All Peoples.’ And suddenly I see her there in front of me.”

All of this is very suspicious, and this view is definitely confirmed by the following further examples, the first from the thirty-first vision, (15 April 1951): “A great light. And the Lady, slowly, very slowly, emerges from this light and comes forward.” The thirty-second vision, (29 April 1951), has; “The light; and the Lady, little by little, emerges from the light.”[10]

There is a degree of what might be described as a “liberal” streak in the utterances of the Lady, as for example in the following quote from the fourth vision (29 August 1945), in which Ida saw the Pope, as she heard: “Broad views, more socialized. That must be the goal. Different trends of opinion incline toward a good socialism. That is good, but on the condition that what is done be done under the direction of the Church.”

Given the teachings of the various Popes on the dangers associated with “socialism” it is hard to see how a “good socialism” could possibly be encouraged by Our Lady.

Or what about this complaint from the message of the twenty-fourth vision, (16 November 1950), which sees the Lady with her foot planted on Germany, as she says: “Why is that here in Germany so many priests leave for the missions? They should stay here. There is so much to do here.”

Surely it is hard to imagine Mary complaining about priests sacrificing themselves to go to the missions? On the other hand, it is easy to conceive of the devil having such a grievance.[11]

Another disturbing aspect of these visions concerns the Lady’s repeated appeals that the messages be related directly to the Pope, something which is prominent in the history of false visions and seers. During the forty-first vision, (6 April 1952), we find the Lady saying: “Say it to the Pope: it is well. He will understand me. Tell the Pope to make all preparations in view of a new dogma. Tell the Pope to propose reforms and to discuss them with those whom he will have selected. Tell the Pope that the time is coming. It is coming now.”

Or again, during the forty-third vision, (5 October 1952), she says: “Tell the Pope that the Lord and Lady are assisting him, for his task is burdensome and difficult. Let him make preparations and let him act. He knows what I mean. It is for the times to come.” Likewise, during the forty-fourth vision, (8 December 1952), we read: “Inform the Sagrista [Sacristan] of the Pope, and through him have the Pope advised. The Pope must come to know the Lady of All Peoples. The Pope must prepare the dogma and propose it.”[12]

Then there is the image presented of the Lady as rather an aggressive individual, as the following passages make clear. For instance, the twentieth vision, (16 December 1949), begins with the Lady appearing, “her face severe,” as she shakes “her finger in a gesture of warning,” and speaks of Germany, before showing Ida her “clenched fist.” The twenty-third vision, (15 August 1950), after a description of a strange tableau, which includes a wall, a mountain, a beast, an island, a wolf, a lioness, an eagle, and a dove, has the Lady stretch out her hands, and then close them “into fists.” Then we read, “ ‘Listen well: as often as I strike this blow, you will also strike it.’ She makes fists; I make fists. She strikes her fists, hard, one against the other.”

These are not the only examples of this sort of thing. The twenty-fifth vision, (10 December 1950), has Ida say: “I seem to see the Lady striking her fist against a table.”[13]

Thus we have a “Lady” who acts more like a boxer than the Mother of God.

Some of these messages, though, are merely grotesque, as this example, from the twenty-third vision, (15 August 1950), indicates: Ida is shown England, and sees the Lady place her foot on England, “shaking her finger in a way to indicate admonition,” while placing a “very large crown on England,” and saying: “They will also pull on this.” Then we are told that, “the Lady appears to me to be piercing little holes all around the crown, and passing laces through them, fixes the laces to England. Having done that, she removes the foot that been planted on England.”[14]

Our Lady putting her foot on England and tying a crown onto it with laces? Surely we are in the realm of either diabolical influence, mental illness or complete fantasy here?

There is also the question of those parts of the messages which it is claimed are “prophetic.” The first thing to say about these is that we have no proof that they were genuine prophecies in the first place, that is we don’t know how accurately they were set down and at what times. But apart from that, on examination, these “prophecies” are not so marvelous after all.  For example, on 19 March 1952, the Lady said, “the Church of Rome will enter upon a great struggle.  Before the year 2000 arrives, many things will change in the Church and the community. But the nucleus will remain.”[15]

This seems like a valid prophesy of Vatican II and its aftermath.  But it is clear that this could be little better than an educated guess, or a conjecture of the devil.

Similarly, in the message of 18-19 February 1958, the Lady apparently informed Ida of the death of Pope Pius XII, which was to take place in the month of October that year.  This actually took place on 9 October, but the Pope had been ailing for some time and this prophecy can be quite easily unexplained as another satanic conjecture.  In any case, the next “prophecy” from the Lady, which follows on from this was clearly wrong. After telling Ida not to be perturbed by this news, she went on to say: “his successor will promulgate the dogma.”[16] This is a clear case of a false prophecy, since John XIII did not do this, thus clearly indicating that the messages of the Lady of All Nations are false.

There is also a strong apocalyptic streak to the messages: for example, the Lady is reported as saying, during the tenth vision, on 9 June 1946, “Behold, a new and great disaster is coming upon the world.” The twentieth vision, of 16 December 1949, has a “Voice” saying, “A conflict is coming. An ominous atmosphere, anguish. Then everything will explode. We are not yet at that point.” The twenty-seventh vision has Mary say, “a great natural disaster is coming.”

All this reaches something of a climax in the forty-sixth vision, (10 May 1953), where we are told that ‘53’ is the year when, “great world-wide events will take place; when the threat of universal catastrophes will hang over the world.”[17]

The theme of the necessity of the proclamation of the “dogma” recurs frequently, and culminates in the following statement, given during the fifty-first vision, on 31 May 1955: “When the dogma will have been promulgated, the Lady of All Peoples will give her benediction. The Lady of All Peoples will then give Peace. Yes, she will help you when the dogma will have been promulgated.”[18]

This is all very well, but unfortunately, it flatly contradicts the messages genuinely given by Our Lady at Fatima, and particularly the principle that peace for the world will only come following the Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, as she made clear on 13 July 1917, when, amongst other things, she told the children that: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”[19]

There was no mention of the necessity of any “dogma” being promulgated at Fatima or indeed at any of the approved apparitions, and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this whole business is nothing more than a scheme dreamt up by the devil to sow confusion within the Church. Instead of promoting the message of Fatima, and particularly the need for the spread of the Five First Saturdays devotion, well-meaning people have been wasting their energies, and those of the Pope, in circulating petitions to promote this idea of an indispensable “dogma.”

A later series of alleged visions involving Ida are claimed for the period from the late 1950s until the 1980s, the so-called “Eucharistic experiences.” They seem to follow the same basic pattern as the earlier visions, but they do also have some strange elements and so it is worth looking at them in more detail. Certainly, she seems to have seen a very “bright light” around the altar on a number of occasions while she was in church, and also reported that the Sacred Host seemed to have become bigger, whilst it was on her tongue, and even come alive, such that, “it resembled a living fish in its movements.”

 And other times she claimed that “living water” seem to be flowing in her mouth.  On the 31 May 1964, while receiving Holy Communion, she was allegedly told to: “Go and speak with you Bishop,” and exactly a year later, on 31 May 1965 she claimed that a voice said to her: “Go to Pope Paul and tell him in the name of the Lady of all Nations: This is the last warning before the end of the Council. The Church of Rome is in danger of a schism. … Warn your priests.  Let them put a stop to those false theories about the Eucharist, sacraments, doctrine, marriage and family-planning.  They are being led astray by the spirit of untruth—by Satan—and confused by the ideas of modernism. … Do what the Lord has demanded of you—in sending Me, the Lady or Mother of all Nations. You are the Pope who has been selected for this work. Let the Nations say the prayer before my picture and the Holy Spirit will come!”[20]

Once again we are seeing a characteristic of false apparitions in this direct appeal to the Pope, to say nothing of the gross incongruity of our Lady speaking of “family-planning.” In fact the whole tone of the message, with its talk of the “Church of Rome,” is satanic rather than divine.

On 31 May 1967, Ida had another strange “Eucharistic” experience after receiving Holy Communion, when again a voice spoke to her, pressurizing her to go and speak to her Bishop; she describes what happened as follows: “now a terrifyingly evil pressure was laid upon me and the kneeler seem to collapse under my weight. I saw the world lying before me and felt a fearful danger threatening it. …Everything was as black as pitch. I heard the voice say, ‘This is my last warning to you. I may yet save the world. … From now on my words shall cease. … The Spirit will come.  The contact will remain.’ ”[21]

Again, it is extremely difficult to believe that this “robotic” type of message can possibly be genuine, and in general, accepting the Amsterdam visions and messages as genuine would appear to be verging on the impossible.

[1]               Courtenay Bartholomew, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations, Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta, 1999), pp. 1, 175-76. At Fatima, Mary described herself as, “The Lady of the Rosary,” but that is clearly a sensible title, rather than the abrupt, “the Lady.”
[2]               Bartholomew, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations, pp. 176-77.[3]               Ibid., pp. 176-77.
[4]               Ibid., pp. 178-79.
[5]               Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, s.v. “Devotions Forbidden.”
[6]               Bartholomew, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations, pp. 179-80.[7]               Bartholomew, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations, p. 181. Emphasis in original. This text, as given in The Messages of the Lady of All Nations, ed. Josef Künzli, (Miriam-Verlag, Jestetten, 1987), p. 80, also uses the phrase “Church of Rome.” Unfortunately, the English translation is not very clear in other respects.
[8]               Bartholomew, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations, p. 182; Raoul Auclair, The Lady of All Peoples, trans. E. Massecar, (L’Armée de Marie, Inc., Quebec, 1978), pp. 194-95.
[9]               Bartholomew, A Scientist Researches Mary Mother of All Nations, pp. 183-84.[10]             Auclair, The Lady of All Peoples, pp. 113, 119, 121, 127, 131.
[12]             Auclair, The Lady of All Peoples, pp. 160, 165, 168.
[13]             Ibid., pp. 88, 109.
[14]             Ibid., p. 100.
[15]             Ibid., p. 158.
[16]             Ibid., p. 221.
[17]             Ibid., pp. 6689, 116, 178. No doubt if there are any followers of the Lady of all Nations still around in 2053, then of course they will claim that she was actually referring to that year!
[18]             Ibid., p. 196.
[19]             Kondor, Fatima in Lucia’s own words, p. 162; see also Martins & Fox, Documents on Fatima, p. 402.
[20]          Josef Künzli, Eucharistic Experiences, (Miriam-Verlag, Jestetten, 1987), pp. 150-59.[21]             Künzli, Eucharistic Experiences, pp. 161-62.