Wisdom is embodied in the hundreds of apparitions of Mary or female beings appearing all over the Earth. These visitations of Wisdom have never stopped. Those who look carefully into the mirror may see a divine woman looking back at them. These apparitions bring messages from the divine and many people are healed at these sites. Visions of Sophia abound and, in some cases, last for years and are witnessed by many.
The Holy Mother has never stopped appearing in apparitions, visitations, healings, and personal manifestations to people all over the earth, no matter what religion or creed. Everyone has a mother from which they came. Everyone wants to return to the heavenly home – somewhere out there. The longing is universal and carries some of the most powerful forces of the soul.
It is not surprising that the feminine divine visions are usurped by patriarchal religions and proclaimed as “Mary” visitations so that the church fathers could control the narrative as part of their own cosmology. However, as you read below, there is a sacred place where the vision of the Great Mother appeared and the Pope through a papal bull conceded that this vision was not of the Church’s, but of a higher source.
Early in the ninth century, a saintly, quiet-loving young Benedictine monk named Meinrad, while passing through the city of Zurich on his way to become a teacher at the small monastery of Bollingen, was deeply thrilled when the Abbess-Princess Hildegarde gave him a lovely three-foot wooden statue of the Mother of God holding the Child Jesus in her arms.
Very often during his several years at Bollingen, young Father Meinrad used to gaze out of the window of his cell with ever-increasing longing at a forest-clad mountain on the other side of the lake, for he wished more than anything else to become a hermit and to live a life of prayer, penance and meditation all alone in those woods, like the great hermit-saints of old. Having at last obtained his superiors’ permission, one day in the year 828 he took up in his arms his cherished statue of Mary and set out in a wide flat-bottomed boat to cross the lake and become a hermit in the Dark Wood on the slopes of Mount Etzel.
Soon after settling in a solitary retreat he found a nest with two young ravens, which he gladly adopted and tamed, perhaps because the Child Jesus of his statue held a small bird in one hand. Meinrad spent seven years on this mountain, and he was a happy young hermit except for one thing: more and more pilgrims were coming to visit him, attracted by his growing reputation as a saint.
Therefore he fled from his tiny cell, taking his statue and his two friends, the ravens, with him. He went still farther into the depths of the Dark Wood until one day he found, in the midst of the lofty pine trees on a small table-land surrounded by hills on three sides, a bubbling spring giving forth sparkling, fresh mountain water. Here he built himself a little log hut and a chapel, in which he reverently placed Our Lady’s statue. His faithful ravens often perched on either side of a crucifix on the gable and watched the holy hermit as he worked and prayed. He was completely happy in this solitude.
After more than twenty years of prayer and penance, while he was saying Mass in his little chapel on the morning of January 21, 861, the Feast of the Martyr St. Agnes, Meinrad learned by a divine revelation that this was to be his last Mass. With perfect resignation to the will of God, he devoutly received Holy Communion as if it were Holy Viaticum. Then with tears of love in his eyes, the old hermit looked up at his beautiful statue of Mary and begged Our Lady to strengthen him, asking her to offer to her Son the death which he was about to suffer for His glory.
During all the years which Meinrad had spent alone in the Dark Wood, he had never been harmed by the mountain bears or wolves or other wild animals who dwelt there. Now, however, two human beasts of prey, two hardened criminals, hearing that people made pilgrimages to the hermit, were tempted by the idea that he must have precious gifts and rich treasure hidden away in his lonely hermitage. And so this cold winter night they made their way through the deep snow to his retreat in the forest.
Meinrad was just finishing his Mass as they approached, and he now heard the shrill screams of warning of his faithful ravens. With a smile of heavenly joy on his lips, he went out and welcomed the two men with loving kindness and hospitality, setting before them some bread and wine. When they roughly demanded that he show them his hidden treasure he humbly led them into the little chapel, and pointing to the plain wooden statue above the altar, he said, “I have no other treasure.”
Then with a last loving look at Mary, he folded his hands on his chest, bowed his head, and added calmly, “That for which you have come, do…” In a mad rage the two robbers seized and brutally beat the saintly old hermit to death with a heavy club, while his two ravens flew wildly about, screaming and trying in vain to help their good friend by pecking at the murderers’ foreheads.
Then the criminals dragged the Saint’s body to his couch of dry leaves in his hut and were about to begin their search for the supposedly hidden treasure when all of a sudden they noticed that a strange yet delicious odor pervaded the place. When they perceived that two candles standing by the hermit’s bed had somehow just been lighted without human hand, the two assassins fled in terror all the way to Zurich. But like the accusing finger of God, Meinrad’s two ravens persistently followed and attacked the murderers until they were arrested and had confessed the crime.
In the years that followed, pilgrims kept coming to the abandoned little chapel in the Dark Wood, and a few hermit-monks settled there. In the year 906, St. Benno of Strasbourg began to restore and add to the old structures.
And in 934, St. Eberhard, also from Strasbourg, arrived and set about building a large monastery and church, the latter enclosing and protecting Meinrad’s holy little chapel, which was only eight and a half yards long by six yards wide. When this work was completed in the summer of 948, Eberhard, having become the first Abbot of Einsiedeln, invited St. Conrad, the Bishop of Constance, to consecrate and dedicate the Chapel of Our Lady of the Hermits.
Conrad’s party, which included the Bishop of Augsburg and many princes and knights of the Empire, arrived at the hermitage in the Dark Wood on September 13 in the year 948, on the eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
And that night there occurred at the Shrine of Our Lady in Einsiedeln one of the most glorious events in all the history of the Catholic Church.
The holy Bishop of Constance retired to his room early in the evening in order to rest after the trip. However, despite his fatigue, he did not fail to get up, as was his custom, before midnight and to go with several religious to pray in the chapel which he was due to consecrate the next morning. While he was fervently beseeching the Blessed Virgin to accept this holy shrine and to make it henceforth a center of pilgrimages where for centuries and centuries she would heal and help her suffering children, suddenly, at exactly midnight, St. Conrad and those with him began to hear the sound of many harmonious voices chanting a melody of heavenly beauty.
Looking up, he saw with amazement that the sanctuary of the chapel was filled with a brilliant light that made everything clearer than the brightest noonday sun, and that the altar was completely illuminated as for a solemn festival. Then he saw coming down from Heaven a magnificent procession of angels under the leadership of St. Michael the Archangel. Some of them formed the choir and were chanting celestial psalms, while others bearing swinging golden censers took their places before the altar.
After the angels came St. Peter with a crozier in his hand, followed by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John, who preceded three great Doctors of the Church, St. Gregory, St. Augustine and St. Ambrose. Then came, vested as deacon and subdeacon, the Martyr Saints Lawrence and Stephen. And finally, as High Priest, arrayed in pontifical vestments and wearing a violet chasuble, there appeared in all the splendor of His Divinity, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Then, as a breathtaking climax, just before God the Son began the Mass that was to consecrate this holy shrine forever to His Immaculate Mother, Mary herself took her place above the altar of her chapel, radiant with dazzling glory and attended by her train of angelic spirits!
In speechless awe St. Conrad followed every detail of this extraordinary Mass. He observed with rapt attention that the solemn ceremony was performed in the minutest particulars according to the ritual prescribed by the Church for the consecration of a temple, except that at the Sanctus the angels sang: “Holy God, have mercy on us in the court of the Glorious Virgin! Blessed be the Son of Mary who has come to this place and who is to reign world without end!”
More than an hour later, having formally dedicated the shrine to His Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of the Hermits, the King of Kings returned in all His majesty to Heaven with His distinguished company of saints and angels. The beautiful living Virgin vanished too, leaving in her place the lovely statue. The singing ceased. The bright light was magically extinguished. And soon the newly consecrated shrine was to all outward appearances exactly as it had been before.
The saintly Bishop of Constance, however, remained kneeling for hours in ecstatic meditation over the marvels which he had just witnessed. Later that morning, when all the dignitaries had assembled and after he had kept them waiting quite a while, he was politely informed that it was time for him to begin the dedication ceremony.
Still deeply moved, he firmly declared that the chapel had already been miraculously consecrated by God Himself during the night.
But when the Abbot Eberhard and the other officials flatly refused to accept this story and insisted that the ceremony for which so many persons had come together should start at once, St. Conrad yielded. Then another striking supernatural intervention took place: as the Bishop put his foot on the first altar step, the great church was suddenly filled with a strong and impressive voice which everyone present heard exclaim three times:
” Stop! Stop, Brother. The chapel has already been divinely consecrated!”
Later on, a full investigation of these extraordinary events was undertaken by the highest civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and in the year 964, in the presence of the Emperor Otto and of St. Conrad, His Holiness Pope Leo VIII issued a bull confirming the miraculous dedication.
This story from Gloria TV.
Eternal Truth: The Vatican and its emissaries were not needed to consecrate this place of the Holy Mother. Christ and the Hierarchy had already done so before the Vatican patriarchy arrived. The chapel where the Black Madonna of Eiseindeln is honored remains a sacred place where the divine matriarchy has been accessed directly by Her believers since the 800s.