By Michael H. Brown
Inexplicable Images Of Mary And Jesus Baffle Many In Remote Part Of Canada
Years ago, while researching a book on the Blessed Mother’s apparitions, I traveled to the former Soviet Union and there, near a place called Buchach, tried to locate a miraculous image that had reportedly appeared on the front window of a home. It was some job trying to track it down. It had happened years before, and under Communism the people had to hide it — switching it between households like contraband.
They were afraid even in 1992 to let me see it. We had to drive through back pastures and thick mud in this peasant part of Ukraine and try three places before finally locating the rumored image (and convincing the caretakers to take it from its hiding place under a bed).
I’ll never forget it. The image was painstakingly wrapped in cloth and carefully tied and I fell to my knees when they unwrapped it and placed it before me on sort of an easel. Here was this simple pane of glass, but with the most extraordinary image. It was extraordinary not because of its size, obviously, nor for its color; it was a simple glass etching. But what was extraordinary was that although it looked like an etching, it really wasn’t an etching. It certainly wasn’t a painting. It was like nothing I’d ever seen. It was just there.
I still can’t find the words. As soon as you saw it, you knew it was supernatural. It seemed somehow divorced from the glass, yet at the same time “on” the surface. It was a bearded man who resembled a disciple. No one is sure who it is — a bearded man with a halo that appeared on Sunday, May 21, in 1987.
I think of all this because lately I hear similar descriptions coming out of Canada: more specifically, the province of Saskatchewan (north of Montana) — where unearthly images of holy figures are reported in two separate places and equally difficult to describe.
It started in a place called Ile-a-la-Crosse, in the northwest part of the province. There — on September 8, the Virgin’s official birthday, shortly after a visit of the Pilgrim Fatima Statue to the province — folks began to notice the image of Mary formed between two sealed glass panes, as if by “fog” or condensation. At times the image was large and clear enough to be seen by crowds of thousands — appearing both on warm days and later when the temperature plummeted to below freezing. According to our correspondent, Joshua Caswell, a student at Our Lady of the North School in Brabant Lake, some see Mary in the large patch of “condensation,” some see the Sacred Heart (at the same time), and others describe an image like the Turin Shroud. It is not a matter of interpretation — but rather like one image fades or changes into another. There have been images of Mary with a rosary that is missing beads (as if to indicate a lack of prayer), and the Sacred Heart turning into a chalice. The images can be more than a meter in size. Joshua tells us there was a very peculiar sunset just before the phenomena first began.
“The Sacred Heart fades into another image — one fades into another — but it’s hard to explain because it’s like you don’t even notice the fading,” he tells us, reminding me of my problem explaining Buchach. “Even though it seems to be part of condensation, they’ll be colors — and meanwhile temperatures have no affect on the fog. Mary usually appears in the evening, after 8:30.”
Some, like Jessie Charles, 17, from Prince Albert and her brother Abraham, 14, were able to see the image better farther away, reports the Brabant Lake Times. “We were in the back of the crowd,” explained Jessie, “we had to stand on top of a chair to see. I was so disappointed because I couldn’t see anything. After a few seconds I suddenly saw her. It was so beautiful. She had a white veil, a dark blue dress, and a silver rosary. All I could do was just stare at her. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. It was like my vision improved for that moment just so I could see her.”
There have been different images of Mary, sometimes varying in size. There have been angels adoring Jesus. This is in an old greenhouse owned by a devout couple. According to the newspaper, the greenhouse owner tried to scrub it away but it reappeared and people reported a strong smell of roses (quite different from the tomatoes grown there). “They said when they first saw it, there was a bright light and there was this woman who is nearly blind from diabetes that said she saw it,” one local man, Lloyd McCallum, said.
Resident Randy Desjarlais saw the image on Monday and said it was glowing with a cross in the center. A cross was also seen in the sky.
A month later — on October 31 — phenomena began 200 miles away in Fond-du-Lac, which is also largely Native American. There the family of a man named John Pacquette, who speaks Chippewan, noted the formation in frost on a living room window (this is way up north, a place inaccessible except by plane during “freeze-up” season). “Mary was all in blue,” he told our correspondent Joshua. “It was incredible, just light and color all around her.” Soon, people were flying in from all over. The images change here also. There is the Shroud as at Il-a-la-Crosse and Mary holding a rosary. Paquette said he had seen such detail as strands of Mary’s hair. Locals were “shocked.”
Similar things are being reported in the area of Thermal, California, where the image of a cross appears on windows in a way that many deem inexplicable. We’ll be updating you soon on that, as well as following the conclusion of what is occurring in Saskatchewan.
Allegedly Miraculous Images Appear At Fourth Locale In Remote Part Of Canada
By Joshua Caswell in Saskatchewan
The same phenomena that drew thousands to a tiny greenhouse in Ile-a-la-Crosse and a living room window in Fond-du-Lac in the remote parts of the Saskatchewan province in Canada are now allegedly occurring in a place called Black Lake. An image of the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing on a living room window in the house of Anne and Augustine Sandypoint was first seen Saturday, November 23, by six children and several adults. Now out of a community of 1,200, almost everybody has seen the “inexplicable” images.
Black Lake, like Fond-du-Lac a Dené community, inaccessible by road during certain times of the year. It is about thirty miles from Stoney Rapids.
Mrs. and Mrs. Sandypoint cannot speak English well so I spoke to Marie Donard, their daughter and one of the first people to see the image in her parents living room window. Here is what she told me about her experience: “…At about 3 p.m. my mother came to my house — it is next door to hers. She told me there was something on the window I should see. I went over to the house and she pointed out the image to me… I told her not to tell anybody till we know what is going on, since I didn’t want to spread a story. I tried to wash it off inside the house and outside as well. It wouldn’t come off… It was about 4 or 5 and the sun was setting. As soon as it had gone down the window lit up with colors and the image was very bright. The kids who were playing in the front yard saw Mary on the window, I told them not to tell anyone till we knew for sure… We were looking at the window and I thought the kids were with me, but I turned around and they were gone. They went to tell the neighbors that the Virgin Mary was on the window… People started coming and were asking me if it was true. I said no. I didn’t believe. I just ran home. The phone was ringing and I would just pick it up and say I never saw anything. I didn’t want to spread a story… Other people came too see the window. They all saw Mary and went to tell others. The community has seen it now. I believe it now, to me it is a miracle.”
Describing the images, Mrs. Donard told me, “You can see Mary all in white with a blue rope (sash) around her waist, it looks like the Fatima Mary. All around her there is color like a rainbow, all kinds of colors… Some people see Jesus’ Face… People are taping it with the video camera, the miracle shows on the video too… The image is bigger since the first time I saw it.”
While talking to Mrs. Donard on the phone I could hear many people singing hymns in Dené (Chippewa) in the background. When I had called earlier, I was asked to call back since they were saying the rosary at the time. She also told me that visitors from other communities such as Wollaston and Stoney Rapids were already coming to see the image.
Ile-a-la-Crosse: Over 7,000 Visitors Have Come to See the Images — Outside Communities Affected
Since September, when the phenomena first occurred in Ile-a-la-Crosse, over 7,000 visitors have come from as far away as Alaska to observe what was called by some “condensation” on a greenhouse window.
Andre Bouvier, the owner of the property on which the images of Mary and Jesus appeared on a greenhouse, said that at least thirty people, mostly locals, still come to pray the rosary and sing hymns in Cree, French, and English every evening… even in –30° C weather. He also told me that they had renovated the shed beside the house for people to pray in during the winter. “Volunteers added insulation and a wood-stove,” said Bouvier, “we still offer coffee, tea, and sandwiches every day.” The images do not appear anymore, but that does not deter visitors from other communities who still come in to pray.
As well, Mr. Bouvier told me that the young people from the outside communities such as the Duck Lake Indian Reserve and Turnor Lake have revived their Catholic faith because of their visit to Ile-a-la-Crosse. “People have told me that the Ile-a-la-Crosse feels different… a different atmosphere,” he said, “especially in the north, you can just tell that the respect for the faith is returning… even among the young people. It is like an answer to so many peoples’ prayers.”
The Bouviers and volunteers may turn a part of the property into a permanent shrine. “We’ll wait till spring comes,” Mr. Bouvier said. He hopes that more visitors will continue to come, especially next spring.
Allegedly Miraculous Images Appear At Fourth Locale In Remote Part Of Canada
By Joshua Caswell in Saskatchewan
Over 10,000 visitors have reportedly visited the three northern communities in Saskatchewan, Canada, where images of the Virgin Mary and other holy figures are appearing on windows. More recently the images are appearing in a community about thirty miles south of Ile-a-la-Crosse where the images first drew thousands of visitors last September [see stories above].
This week hundreds of onlookers gathered at two nearby residences in a town called Beauval to view two separate images on picture windows that began to manifest on January 6. Onlookers went back and forth between the duo of homes until the wee hours of the morning, capturing both images on cameras and camcorders. People are said to be flocking from surrounding communities and some visitors have already come from the cities of Saskatoon and Prince Albert to see the images. See the secular report at [http://uk.news.yahoo.com/030110/80/di9mn.html].
Lillian Aubichon, who owns one of the homes, says the image was actually seen first on Sunday, December 22. “It started out as a white image then color formed later,” says Aubichon. “She appeared with her arms spread open and then she closed them as if in prayer… We could smell roses.”
The image returned again on Monday, the same night an image of the Virgin Mary appeared at the home of Bertha Durocher, about a block away from Lillian Aubichon’s home. Durocher says she first noticed on her home early Monday evening but ignored it until shortly after midnight, when the glowing image became too noticeable to ignore.
“I went to tell the people who were looking at the image on the other house to come over and I even brought Lillian herself,” Durocher says. “We drove up the driveway and Lillian just said ‘Oh my God.’ We shut off the car headlights and that is when she (the Virgin Mary) really glowed… just beautiful. It was its own light.”
Durocher and those who have seen the images say that hands, hair, veil and rosary could easily be discerned and that the main colors of the image are blue, gold and white.
Phylis Jack, a Beauval resident, was one of the many who were astonished at the image. “I was making fun of it when I first heard about it,” she said, “I thought it wouldn’t hurt take a look though… I wasn’t prepared for what I saw… Her hands were moving. She was moving in this ghostly way. I’m still too amazed to think about it. I thought I was seeing things. I never ever dreamed I would see anything like that in my life.”
Both Aubichon and Durocher welcome visitors to come and see the images. “There are two school gymnasiums where people can stay,” says Durocher. “Even if they don’t see the image, they can still watch the videos.”
Fr. John Zunti, the resident priest for Beauval, has visited the homes and although cautious about declaring them miraculous, says they are a call to prayer for everybody.
Fr. Zunti spent a night in prayer with those who viewed the images on the night of Tuesday, January 7. “People are definitely seeing something,” he said. “The atmosphere was very peaceful. I think it is important, that when these things happen, they be guided into prayer.”
Fr. Zunti believes that these images have a personal message from Mary. “We need to pray,” he said. “Why did the miracle at Fatima happen? Because Our Blessed Mother wanted us to pray… It’s the same message in all these communities. It is a message for everybody and not for just for us.”
Virgin Mary Images Appear in Sixth Northern Saskatchewan Community
by Joshua Caswell in Saskatchewan
Similar Phenomena Continue in Previous Locations
A sample of the media coverage on the Virgin Mary images in Saskatchewan
Images of the Virgin Mary are now appearing in the northern Saskatchewan community of Wollaston Lake, while similar depictions of Mary and Jesus continue to draw multitudes of pilgrims to Beauval and Canoe Narrows.
Last Sunday (Feb. 15th), Margaret St. Pierre notified others in the community of Wollaston Lake about the frosty image on her window that residents say is a representation of Our Lady of Guadalupe. St. Pierre, whose second language is English, says the image was noticed three weeks earlier on January 20th but she wanted to be certain it was “real” before informing others.
The image has already attracted the whole community of about 2,000 as well as people from communities more a hundred miles away who have traveled by plane, skidoo or vehicle. Those who pray in the small residence say that the two-foot depiction of the Mother of Christ was accompanied by an unmistakable scent of roses. The image changes size from time to time and appears both day and night.
Joe Sha’olle, a resident of Wollaston Lake, has been to the house since the image was made known. “The image is really clear, it looks exactly like the picture,” he says. “I am just so amazed. Many of the young people are praying the rosary here. Lots of people are here, lots.”
Of course, this is not the first apparent image of the Virgin Mary in northern Saskatchewan, as five other communities have experienced related phenomena since the first in September of 2002, when images on a greenhouse drew thousands to Ile-a-la-Crosse. Since then images have attracted thousands to unpretentious homes across the north of the province.
On the small Indian reserve of Canoe Narrows, a six-foot, “rainbow” colored image depicting Mary and Jesus and other holy figures has remained on the deck window/door of a small home. Prayer services following the images at the Band office drew more than 200 instead of the usual twenty.
Billy Opekekiw, who owns the home as well as the neighboring confectionery/gas bar, closed the store for more than a week so he could more fully allow others to pray in his home. He says many people have come daily to pray the Rosary. “Some people pray as many as four times a day,” he says. “Prayer has become a part of my daily life as I live with these images — night and day.”
Opekekiw has personally spoken with the Archbishop of the Keewatin-Le Pas Diocese about the images, which have so far remained within the archdiocesan boundaries. “I invited him to come and observe the image in my home,” he says. “I want him to come see for himself.”
Fr. John Zunti, the resident priest for Beauval, Canoe Narrows, and surrounding communities, has observed that the images, which he has seen, are a call to prayer. He has also blessed them and spent time in prayer with pilgrims.
In Beauval, two separate images, which at first appeared steadily for weeks, still appear periodically. A steady stream of pilgrims continues to pour in from all over the province seeking a spiritual blessing.
Lillian Aubichon, who owns one of the two homes where the images appear, says that an image of Mary and the Child Jesus was manifested in glowing color last week. “It is a lot to take in,” she says. “The effect on the community hasn’t worn off, and I don’t think it will.”
Now Available on OurLadyweb.com, as well as articles, maps, and photos on the Virgin Mary Images in Saskatchewan
“Somehow or other an extraordinary idea has arisen that the disbelievers in miracles consider them coldly and fairly, while believers in miracles accept them only in connection with some dogma. The fact is quite the other way. The believers in miracles accept them because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them because they have a doctrine against them.” —G.K. Chesterton
Shrines Underway As Phenomena Spread In Remote Parts Of Canada, Including An Alleged ‘Image’ Of Mother Teresa
Her name was Judith Lemaigre. Some say she was a saint. At age 68 she passed away from surgical complications. Immediately following her death an image of the Virgin Mary accompanied by other holy symbols appeared on the two-pane picture window. Some smelled roses and others say a cross appeared in the sky.
Residents of the northern community of La Loche, Saskatchewan, reported that at least 5,000 had flocked to see the images and that entire communities visited in the first few days.
Leona Janvier lives not far from the home where the images were appearing. She was able to catch the image on a video camera the first night.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I could see an image of the Sacred Heart. There was also something that looked like a house or a castle with a road leading up to it. We could all smell roses and the image had rainbow colors. I am not sure what it all means but it was really something to see. … It was just beautiful.”
This is not uncommon for northern Saskatchewan, a remote part of Canada where similar events — images that appear as the result of condensation, or ice, or strange, inexplicable glass reflections and luminosities — have been occurring since last September, drawing crowds and prompting prayer that is fervent. It started in a place called Ile-a-la-Crosse, in the northwest part of the province. There — on September 8, the Virgin’s official birthday, shortly after a visit of the Pilgrim Fatima Statue to the province — folks began to notice the image of Mary formed between two sealed glass panes, as if by “fog” or condensation.
What makes this incident unique is that residents of La Loche believe it has a strong connection with Judith Lemaigre.
“Judith was a very compassionate person and she was very devout in the Faith,” says Ms. Janvier. “If someone had a problem she would always try to help the best she could.”
The images at La Loche only lasted for a week, but it was enough to inspire a lot of prayer, says Delores Durocher, who works at the hospital in La Loche. “There is a lot of alcohol and drugs here,” she noted. “We felt left out when the Blessed Mother went to all these other places. ‘What about La Loche?’ we wondered. Some of the elders talked about this at meetings. I think that it was through Judith that the Blessed Mother was finally able to make her presence known.”
La Loche is mainly Catholic but does not have a resident priest. It is the seventh northern community in the province with the images.
Several other communities over a widespread area have been the recipient of these extraordinary images resembling the Virgin Mary, Jesus, various saints, and even Mother Theresa and the Holy Father.
In Ile-a-la-Crosse, a shrine has been built around the little greenhouse where the Virgin Mary first appeared in northern Saskatchewan.
The Rosary has been said daily by a large group ever since the first apparition, and now there are prayer meetings and music every Tuesday. Residents report that the images still return occasionally; during Holy Week an image of the Holy Face of Jesus appeared “in glowing gold color” on one of the window panes.
Anyone who visits Ile-a-la-Crosse cannot deny the unmistakable scent of live roses although the greenhouse was only used for growing tomatoes. There are also endless stories about pilgrims returning home with their hands smelling of roses after touching the greenhouse window.
Alex Bouvier, a resident of Ile-a-la-Crosse, says his life was changed because of the images. Only one of the many converts as a result of the Virgin Mary’s appearance, he seemed very optimistic about the future. “What happened here really woke people up,” Bouvier says, “and it’s still waking people up.”
Andre and Alexa Bouvier are the owners of the property where the images are appearing. Andre says although things are different, with a lot of people coming and going, they still try to live their lives as they usually do.
“The hospitality hasn’t changed,” says Andre. “We are always happy to receive pilgrims.”
Sandwiches and coffee are put out for pilgrims and in the lot next to the property pilgrims can stay in RV’s and tents.
In Fond-du-Lac — at the home of John and Lillian Pacquette, where the images appeared in November — the Rosary is still said daily at least by the family. A large statue of Mary, along with candles and flowers, were placed in front of the window to form small shrine. Not far away, in Black Lake, a large statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, bought by the Indian Band, will be placed in front of the Sandypoint home where the rainbow colored image of the Virgin Mary along with a likeness of Mother Theresa appeared and returns from time to time. Construction will begin for a shrine where people can make a pilgrimage.
Mary Jane Sayazie, a teacher at Father Porte Memorial School, reports that a water-like fluid is coming from the image of the Virgin Mary and that people are coming from various places to collect it in any containers they can find.
The image has had incredible effects on the community that was struggling with alcohol, drugs, and suicide, say residents of Black Lake. Billy Sandypoint, a Black Lake elder, said that in recent years Church services at the Roman Catholic Church saw perhaps five or six people seated in the pews. Now he says Sunday services draw as many as 500. “Some people have to stand at the back,” says Sandypoint, “Just right packed — you can’t walk.”
Fr. Murray Chatlain, the priest for Fond-du-Lac and Black Lake, also says that Mass attendance has changed dramatically after the appearance of the Virgin Mary. Even daily Mass at the little mission Church was drawing 100. “It’s like Christmas Eve every day,” he said.
In Canoe Narrows, where a six-foot image appeared on a patio door, major renovations have taken place.
The patio door with the figures resembling Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Marguerite D’Youville, and the Holy Face of Jesus was removed from the house and set in a shrine on the property with a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Lately, this area along with Ile-a-la-Crosse and Beauval has been the destination of pilgrims from all over Canada and United States. These three communities are more accessible than others and can be reached easily by road. It’s not uncommon to see the occasional group from Detroit, New York, Washington, California, or Colorado praying at the pilgrimage sites.
The fervor has not died down in Wollaston Lake where a startling image of Our Lady of Guadalupe accompanied by an image of the Holy Face of Jesus appeared on the home of Margeurite St. Pierre in February.
Fr. Bob Leblanc is the resident priest of Wollaston Lake. He says the Marian devotion is unlike anything he has seen. “I have served in similar native communities in Manitoba but the devotion to Our Lady in Wollaston Lake is really something,” says Fr. Leblanc. “It has been like this ever since I have been here, but the images have certainly reinforced the Faith.”
Fr. LeBlanc reported that children and youth have been coming to daily Mass even without their parents. “The entire province of Saskatchewan seems to be very devoted to Mary,” Fr. LeBlanc adds, “and I believe she recognizes that.”
The image has returned several times, reports Flora Natomagon, who works at the Band office in Wollaston Lake. “One time the image returned and it looked like tears were flowing down from Mary’s eyes,” Ms. Natomagon says. “It really looked like she was crying.”
Processions and events in honor of Mary take place all year round. The community has been known for little Marian “miracles,” says Ms. Natomagon.
Of course, this is not the only time the Virgin Mary has been seen on windows. In Clearwater, Florida, a 20-foot high rainbow colored image resembling Our Lady of Gaudalupe was discovered on a financial building in 1996. The image still can be seen and has drawn thousands of pilgrims. Now, on a third floor hospital window in Massachusetts, an alleged image resembling the Virgin Mary holding Jesus has inspired a flood of spontaneous prayer. Whether it is “condensation” or not, hospital officials report that it has drawn at least 40,000 pilgrims.
From Florida to Saskatchewan and to Massachusetts, it is obvious that the Blessed Mother is trying to get her children’s attention. Mary’s message for us is constantly one of prayer. Fr. John Zunti, the priest for Beauval and Canoe Narrows, says that the images are a personal call to prayer. “When did Mary appear and not call us to pray?” Fr. Zunti asks. “Why did the miracle at Fatima happen? Because our Blessed Mother wanted us to pray. … It’s the same message in all these places.”
“Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple book turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love, embracing both trial and joy.” — St. Therese of Lisieux
Images Of Virgin As Well As Saints Were In Region Of Canada Plagued By Mad Cow
In a bizarre twist, it comes to our attention that the very same region of Canada where mad cow disease in North America was first noted — and where wildlife has suffered mysterious and possibly related “wasting” disease — is also where the Blessed Mother and other saints have allegedly appeared on a spate of windows since a year ago.
It started in a place called Ile-a-la-Crosse, in the northwest part of the province. There — on September 8, 2002, the Virgin’s official birthday, shortly after a visit of the Pilgrim Fatima Statue to the province — folks began to notice the image of Mary formed between two sealed glass panes, as if by “fog” or condensation. At times the image was large and clear enough to be seen by crowds of thousands — appearing both on warm days and later when the temperature plummeted to below freezing.
That was followed by similar phenomena from Fond-du-Lac and Stoney Rapid to La Loche — the very northwestern sector of Saskatchewan where, just south, in some cases within eighty miles, there have been outbreaks of mad cow-related disease in deer. Indeed, to the south of La Loche have been at least 13 cases of wildlife wasting disease, as well as 13 instances of strange cattle mutilations.
It was in Baldwinton — south of La Loche and west of Saskatoon — that a cow later diagnosed as having mad cow disease originated. The town of Beauval, another spot where Mary has been reported on windows, is but 80 miles from an outbreak. “This week hundreds of onlookers gathered at two nearby residences to view two separate images on picture windows that began to manifest on January 6,” we reported a year ago. “Onlookers went back and forth between the duo of homes until the wee hours of the morning, capturing both images on cameras and camcorders. People are said to be flocking from surrounding communities and some visitors have already come from the cities of Saskatoon and Prince Albert to see the images.
Lillian Aubichon, who owns one of the homes, says the image was actually seen first on Sunday, December 22, 2002. “It started out as a white image then color formed later,” says Aubichon. “She appeared with her arms spread open and then she closed them as if in prayer… We could smell roses.”
It was a few months later that the cow was found to have the notorious neurogenerative disease, called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, in the province of Alberta. That was followed by the revelation a month ago that a cow in the U.S. also had the highly dangerous disease.
This cow came from the neighboring province of Alberta.
Is there a connection between an outbreak of phenomena featuring images of her and Jesus and saints like Mother Teresa and the subsequent finding of mad-cow disease? Has Mary been issuing a warning?
All we know is that in the region — a remote part of Canada — images that appear as the result of condensation, ice, or strange, inexplicable glass reflections and luminosities are drawing crowds and prompting prayer that is fervent. That it would link not only to the disease outbreak but also to a geographically-overlapping eruption of inexplicable cattle deaths (cows found missing their blood and certain body parts, as if they are being monitored for an infectious disease) is something for all of us to discern.