Written by Michael
Daily.com online newspaper. It had been a while since we last
spoke with our dear friends, Reyes and Estela Ruiz of Phoenix, and
so we gave a call last week to catch up with them. For those unfamiliar,
Estela, a former school administrator, and mother of seven children,
began receiving apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1988 (despite
her skepticism of such things). At the time, Reyes, long a devotee
of the Virgin, was on a trip to Medjugorje. During his trip, Estela,
who was afraid her husband had become a fanatic, heard a voice from
a portrait of the Guadalupe Virgin that hung in their hallway --
an image that she was thinking of taking down.
morning, daughter," the voice said in a nearly melodious
way that unforgettable morning.
was a shock to Estela and that was only the beginning. Soon she
was experiencing apparitions. She described the Virgin as appearing
with long dark brown hair hidden in large part under a veil. Bathed
in streams of brilliant white light, the Virgin comes with such
luminosity, says Estela, that it's like the sun has just come out.
"Her face is slightly round, very beautiful and radiates affection
and concern, while her voice is soft and uplifting, with a gentle
maternal tone," recounted writer Thomas Petrisko in a book
about the Ruizes (For the Soul of the Family). "Estela does
not fail to note that while Mary appears small and delicate, she
actually comes across as a strong and powerful woman. Despite
her strength, though, the Virgin radiates a femininity that is total.
She is kind and humble, yet strong and confident."
While the apparitions
did not win formal Church recognition (a commission failed to find
definitive proof of the supernatural), the local bishop, Thomas
O'Brien, allowed distribution of her messages -- and many of them
pertained to the United States, for Our Blessed Mother appeared
to Estela and continues to speak to this day under the title of
"Our Lady of the Americas."
This is not
to be confused with the apparitions to the Ohio nun Sister Mildred
Neuzil (to whom the Blessed Mother appears as "Our Lady of
America," singular). But there is this similarity: both
Estela and Sister Neuzil have formed highly reliable witnesses,
and their experiences are among the very most interesting in a long
line of alleged American visions.
holds a master's degree in education and who with her husband has
opened a school for the impoverished, has long reported messages
pertaining to the corruption of America and its need to urgently
turn back to the Lord. "Oh, my beloved children, I have come
to warn you that what you sow will be what you reap," the Virgin
said in 1993. "What will be your harvest, my children, your
earthly goods, your earthly ways? Or will you heed my call, turn
your eyes on your God and reap love, peace, and joy which only He
She warned many
times of evil. We'll do a separate story on that. While uplifting,
there was always a gravity to her messages. "I come to warn
you, my little ones, that the world is at a crossroad," she
allegedly said in 1990. "It will either cross into the path
of destruction, or allow Our Lord to reign in the hearts of men.
Time is running short. I am here to beg all who listen to turn to
accenting the positive -- and noting that there are bright developments
-- the Virgin years ago told Estela there was a "crisis in
the Church." This came after Estela asked the Virgin about
all the rumors she and Reyes were hearing about priestly scandals
-- something that has long been known to those circulating around
the nation, yet something that could come out only in God's timing.
"She had said, 'This is the beginning of a great crisis
that will occur,'" reported Estela.
we're in the middle of it," added Estela when we spoke last
week. "It's close to peaking. But we're still in the middle
of it, and we're not going to see it go down for a little while
longer. The Blessed Mother said she will soon give me a message
for general publication. I've been waiting because she said 'soon,'
but we found out with Our Blessed Mother that when she says 'soon'
it could be anytime."
messages late last year, Estela says the Virgin, commenting on September
11, said "Why are you surprised that these things are happening?
Did I not come to warn you about these things?' She came to
warn us along time ago and specifically said the world would be
devastated not by God, but by man, that we would destroy ourselves
because of hatred, anger, lack of respect for one another and our
beliefs and faiths. I went back to her message and most of the messages
she gave me were about not being able to love each other as human
beings. Those were her messages to me: learn to love each other
as God loves you. Don't look at yourselves as different according
to race, color, and creed. She spoke a lot about that. And so she
said, 'Why are you so surprised, when that is what I came to tell
you, to warn you?'"
When we asked
how she felt about the United States, Estela expressed concerns
that reminded us of similar comments by Maria Esperanza -- that
the U.S. should be careful about involving itself in war. During
the Gulf War, "Operation Desert Storm," Estela says she
was told by the Virgin that "the battle has been won, but the
war will continue" and that the United States had "now
crossed the path of no return.'"
Could this be
true? Was the Gulf War a major turning point in American history
-- the trigger for what will now be a long-running series of events?
We believe that
could well be. It was soon after that the first attack occurred
on the World Trade Center (in 1993). And we have great respect for
the Ruizes, who have conducted themselves in a humble, faithful
manner despite great trials and obstacles. In the end, humility
is the most important marker for discerning a visionary. Many were
asking for signs, the Virgin told Estela, "yet you ignore the
signs around you." There were "signs of the times"
everywhere, she noted. Mankind had to change, Mary told Estela,
or there would be great war and destruction. "I cannot and
will not stop calling you until I can do it no longer," the
Virgin said -- adding on September 11, 1993, "There
is no horror, no despair, so great that Our Lord cannot conquer
it for you."
Learn about Estela Ruiz messages from The Blessed Mother.