Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin, Patroness of America (in short, Our Lady of America) has been a foundational devotion for America since May 28, 1792 when America’s first Bishop, John Carroll, consecrated our nation to her.
On September 26, 1956 that devotion took on a more specific program when Sr. Mary Ephrem was inspired in prayer to pen a specific devotion to Our Lady under the guidance of her spiritual director Archbishop Paul F Leibold. Sr. Ephrem was in the nun’s private chapel of the convent at Rome City, Indiana when the image of Our Lady of America was first formed.
The devotion to Our Lady of America is her specific instruction of how to live the admonition given by our first Bishop of “zealous imitation of her virtues.” The devotion is a re-iteration, call and example of what the U.S. Bishops have already asked of the faithful from the very start of our nation’s history.
On November 8, 1954 a short time after the visit of the Angel of Peace, Our Lady spoke to me in these words: “It is the wish of my Son that fathers and mothers strive to imitate me and my chaste spouse in our holy life at Nazareth. We practiced the simple virtues of family life, Jesus our Son being the center of all our love and activity. The Holy Trinity dwelt with us in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined. For ours was the earthly paradise where once again God walked among men.
“As in our little home no sin was to be found, so it is the wish of the Heart of my Son and my Immaculate Heart that sin should, as far as possible, be un-heard of in the homes of our children.
“The Divine Trinity will dwell in your midst only if you are faithful in practicing the virtues of our life at Nazareth. Then, you also, my children, you also will become another paradise. God will then walk among you and you will have peace.
“I need your help to bring peace into the world. Do not disappoint me.”Excerpt from Sr. Mary Ephrem’s printed diary, November 8, 1954
Due to the good providence of Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the private devotion to Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin, Patroness of America (in short, Our Lady of America) has been allowed to be promoted and practiced by the lay faithful at Mother of Mercy Chapel in Rome City, Indiana. The west transept of the chapel is the home to the Our Lady of America Statue.
From there it is hoped that this devotion will flourish and the American family will be restored through the program of imitating the Holy Family, the Sacraments and prayer.
Just recently the Mother of Mercy Chapel and convent in Rome City, Indiana has become open for pilgrims.
Is she calling your family to imitate the Holy Family? Is she calling your family to be a home for the Holy Trinity? Through zealous imitation of the Holy Family and reception of the Sacraments it can be so!