Our Lady of America visits Washington, DC on Ash Wednesday
WQPH founder Mary Ann Harold and a small group from WQPH made a special trip down to Washington, D.C. on Ash Wednesday with an statue of Our Lady of America. She discusses it in the following interview which we conducted today…
Tell me about this statue of Our Lady of America
This is a 3 foot statue that was made as a custom order from Ecuador. It arrived on February 21st, which was a surprise because it arrived early. In fact, it was delivered to the wrong address.
When I arrived home, my neighbor from down the street was waiting for me in the driveway. She told me that I had to pick-up a package from her. Thinking it was Sacramentals, I told her I would get them right away. “No,” she said, “this is too big to lift, it’s a big box!” I was thinking, how many Rosaries are in this box? But it was the statue.
The statue is very large and heavy, and we needed a car to retrieve it. We took it that day to get it blessed by a priest.
How did you decide to take it down to Washington, DC?
A friend sent me an article about Pope Gregory, who invoked heaven to drive away the plague, and implored the people to pray to an image Our Lady, and it described St. Michael appearing with his sword. I felt that the staue arrived early for a reason. Ash Wednesday was a few days off. I remembered the message of Sister Sasagawa who said “put on ashes and pray a repentant Rosary.” I saw a clear link to Ash Wednesday with the early arrival of this statue of Our Lady of America, who specifically requested to be processed into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
[Editor’s note: the account of Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil states that on November 15th, 1956…Our Lady taught me this little prayer: “By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil.” Our Lady then asked me to draw a picture of her first appearance. She also requested a statue made according to this likeness and placed, after being solemnly carried in procession, in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. She wishers to be honored there in a special way as Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin.]
This devotion has been very significant for our station, and the story from Sister Sasagawa has awakened us to the urgent need for Our Lady’s intervention. Our Lady says specifically in her Akita message, “I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach.”
Looking at all the events happening both globally and in the Church, I was compelled to take the image down to DC.
When did you travel to DC?
I drove down with a small group on the 25th, which is the feast of Saint Rosalia, who interceded for the city of Palermo during the plague. I found it significant that it this was the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the time of repentance.
What did you do with the image of Our Lady in DC?
We brought the statue to the Shrine as requested by Our Lady of America, but we kept it outside. We were counselled by dignitaries of the Church that it was not the time to be brought into the basilica, so we brought it to the shrine but didn’t enter with the statue.
Then we brought it to three significant places in DC. We traveled with Our Lady three times around the White House, the Capital, and the Supreme Court. And at each place we sprinkled exorcised salt.
Being at the Supreme Court had an even greater significance knowing that the law to prevent infanticide had failed to pass. But being there with Our Lady at these locations, in the midst of so much moral decay and now the threat of plague, we felt that this trip took on a great significance and it was something we were called to do.
We asked all the people we met to pray to Our Lady so that she intercedes against the spread of the Coronavirus, and to lead our country out of the spiritual darkness.
What are you hoping to accomplish with this effort?
The most important thing is that people heed the message of Our Lady of Akita, and Our Lady of America, too. We need Our Lady of America. We need her spiritual protection, and we need to turn to her during this Lent, and truly turn to her in prayer.