The Lady of All Nations: A Personal Mission
Filipino couple Chona and Tony Montinola make it their personal mission to spread the prayer and messages of The Lady of All Nations in the Philippines. Below is an interview with the couple.
How did you first find out about the Lady of All Nations?
We first heard about the Lady of All Nations in a roundabout way, through Bishop John Ito, a Japanese bishop. In the early 90s, Bishop Ito was the local bishop assigned to the mountain town of Akita in Japan. There, a wooden statue of Our Lady had reportedly manifested certain extraordinary signs like shedding tears 101 times and developing wounds in her hands. It was Bishop Ito’s responsibility to examine the matter. After a strict Church investigation, they declared it to be of supernatural origin.
Around 1991, Bishop Ito came to the Philippines with a replica of that statue of The Lady of All Nations – a wooden statue with The Lady standing on top of a globe and with a cross at her back.
Bishop Ito told us that the image originated from Amsterdam and how Our Lady appeared to a woman there under the title of The Lady of All Nations. Somehow he kept telling the two of us to go to Amsterdam, and so we did. Directly from the airport and still with all our luggage, we went straight to the address given to us. An old lady opened the door. Little did we know that she was already the visionary, Ida (Peerdeman). We were able to talk to her and she allowed us to print the messages she received from Our Blessed Mother. Later, when we were reading the
messages we discovered how important they were.
What compelled you to spread the words of Our Lady?
Our Lady had several messages, all really quite simple: a call to conversion and to come back to the Cross. One key message of Our Lady is that until the world looks back to the Cross, there can be no peace. She said you have to plant the Cross at the center of the world. There were two things that she asked for which will help the world return to God and gain peace. First is a short and powerful prayer through which she promised really great things. The prayer – to be said everyday – asks for the Holy Spirit to come upon the whole world to save us from degeneration, disaster and war. It asks that The Lady intercede for us for that gift of the Holy Spirit.
The second thing she asked for is a fifth Marian dogma – that the Holy Father declare that Mary is Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. She says to tell the theologians that it is all in their books and that they should just look it up. It is only after this is declared that there will be true peace. So we decided to spread the messages and the prayer soon after we returned to the Philippines. Of course nobody then knew about this. Immediately we printed the book of messages and estampitas (prayer cards) and started giving them away.
How did you go about your personal mission?
We decided to spread the prayer around by printing and distributing it among friends. As to the fifth dogma for which we had to petition the Holy Father, we had no idea how to go about this. It was a couple of years later, in 1993, when we heard about a movement in the United States called Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici. The purpose of that movement is to petition the Holy Father for this fifth Marian dogma. It was just what we had been waiting for. We started working with that group and among bishops (many of our bishops did write to the Pope). Overall, it became an international movement until we had over 500 bishops and cardinals who petitioned the Holy Father for the dogma.
What challenges and difficulties did you encounter in your personal mission?
The Lady prophesied that there will be great opposition to the dogma. However, she also said that this will prevail because God wills it. The problem is the opposition is very strong and it is coming from some factions in the Church itself. There are several issues especially with the use of the word Co-Redemptrix. Some see it as putting Our Lady at par with her son. But in reality the word “co” comes from the Latin prefix “cum” which means “with.” This means Mary worked together with Jesus. She became Co-Redemptrix by accepting to be the mother of the Redeemer. We are told that whatever Jesus suffered she suffered also in her heart. This then truly makes her Co-Redemptrix.
What motivates you to continue spreading the words of Our Lady?
We are just conduits. We believe in our hearts that it really was Our Lady who gave these messages and that she came here for a purpose – to help us and to give us directions. We continue to do this because we believe that through this prayer, the world will change, as she promised. Already the prayer is really spreading in our country and throughout the world.
The Confraternities in Manila and Cebu have been approved by the Church. The one in Cebu has been very strong in spreading the prayer and messages to neighboring islands. Our Lady said that the prayer will spread of its own accord and we are witnessing it now. It is so consoling to hear reports of prayer groups that have been organized; a parish has even been established with The Lady of All Nations as their patroness. Sometimes it just surprises us to hear that the prayer has “traveled” so far.
In one school in Bohol, Philippines over a thousand students recite the prayer every
time they change teachers. Some also pray it in between rosary decades. We are so happy about this. All it really takes is for two or three people to be touched or inspired by this and they in turn will be the ambassadors of the prayer and the messages.
What important personal experiences in the past have helped influence and shape your religious life?
Looking back, we feel we were prepared for this mission. Our 1998 trip to Medjugore had a great impact on our lives. We started praying a little bit more. Then we started fasting the way our Blessed Mother asked us. Through that exercise we began to feel a certain detachment from worldly things. When this “mission” came, we were just ripe for the job. This really is just a personal initiative on our part; it’s not like someone told us that we are now official representatives and we should do this and that. We simply feel that there is something inside us telling us to do this and keep on with it. We never get tired of our mission; it is simply something that has to be done.
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