The Lady of All Nations

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The Lady of All Nations
The Lady of All Nations Image.jpg
The painting depicting The Lady, as described by Ida Peerdeman.
LocationAmsterdam, Netherlands
TypeMarian apparition
ShrineSanctuary of The Lady of All Nations, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Lady of All Nations is a Catholic Marian title associated with alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Ida Peerdeman of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Peerdeman claimed to have received 56 visions of the Lady from 1945 to 1959.[1] The messages, as recorded by Peerdeman, focus on the universality of Mary's spiritual motherhood,[2] and so refer to Mary with a definite article, as "The Lady of All Nations", in marked contrast to other Marian apparition titles, which typically use the formulation "Our Lady".

The Visionary[edit]

Ida Peerdeman
Born13 August 1905
Died17 June 1996

Ida Peerdeman was born on 13 August 1905 in the city of Alkmaar, Netherlands, the youngest of five children.[3] She was an ordinary woman who worked as a secretary in Amsterdam.[4] On 25 March 1945, Peerdeman reported seeing a woman surrounded in light who identified herself as "The Lady" and "Mother."[5] The apparitions continued until 31 May 1959. Peerdeman spent the rest of her life tirelessly promoting the messages she claimed to have received.[6] She died on 17 June 1996.[7]

The Theology of the Messages[edit]

Chapel-Shrine of Our Lady of all Nations in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The purported messages presuppose a familiarity with Sacred Scripture and with the Catholic theological tradition that links Jesus to Adam and Mary to Eve. Catholic tradition understands Jesus's act of Redemption as reversing the sin of Adam, with Mary as the "New Eve"[8] who cooperates in Jesus's redemptive Passion in a way that parallels, and reverses, Eve's involvement in Adam's fall. In the book of Genesis, Adam names his wife "Woman" at her creation[9] but later gives her a second name of "Mother of All Living" after the Fall.[10] Similarly, in the Gospel of John, Jesus calls Mary "Woman" at the Wedding at Cana[11] but later shifts from "Woman" to "Mother" at the end of the Passion.[12] Ida Peerdeman's apparition messages cite the Gospel of John to claim that Mary, like Eve, has two names,[13] with the first name being "Mary" or "Lady,"[note 1] and the second name expressible as "The Lady of All Nations" or "The Mother of All Nations."[15][note 2]

Because "Mary" is understood to parallel Eve's first name ("Woman") and "the Lady/Mother of All Nations" is understood to parallel Eve's second name ("Mother of All Living"), the speaker in the apparition messages repeatedly identifies herself as "the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary."[18][19] This phrase is used in the prayer which the Lady asked to be prayed throughout the world:

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate. Amen."

The use of the phrase "who once was Mary" was immediately controversial. Peerdeman's bishop edited the prayer to remove the phrase, but relented after Peerdeman reported that the Lady was not happy with this change.[20] In 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered that the phrase "who once was Mary" be replaced with the phrase "the Blessed Virgin Mary" for pastoral reasons.[4][21][22]

The Fifth Marian Dogma[edit]

On 1 November 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. This event marked a turning-point in the messages.[23] According to Peerdeman, the Lady said that the definition of the Assumption brought to a close the era of Marian dogmas having to do with Mary's earthly life,[24] and that the "final and greatest dogma" would be a definition of the heavenly role of the Lady of All Nations under the titles of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.[25]

Supporters of this proposal refer to it as "the fifth Marian dogma," since it would theoretically follow the four dogmatic definitions of Mary as Mother of God[26], Perpetual Virgin[27], Immaculately Conceived, and Assumed into Heaven.

Rulings by Church Authorities[edit]

In the Catholic Church, the task of judging the supernatural character of an alleged apparition normally falls to the bishop of the diocese in which the apparition takes place: in this case, the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam (formerly known as the Diocese of Haarlem).

  • Bishop Johannes Huibers, who was bishop of Haarlem while the apparitions were taking place, gave his approval (nihil obstat) to the title and the prayer associated with the apparition,[28] but on 7 May 1956, he prohibited public veneration and the public use of the word "supernatural" in connection with the alleged events.[21] The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) affirmed his position on 13 March 1957 and again on 24 May 1972 and 25 May 1974.[29]
  • On 31 May 1996, Bishop Hendrik Bomers, with permission of the CDF,[28] permitted public veneration using the title, prayer, and image, while maintaining that the question of the supernatural character of the apparitions themselves was unresolved and left to the judgment of one's own conscience.[30] He reiterated his support in a letter dated 3 December 1997.[31]
  • In July 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith acknowledged Bishop Punt's approval of the apparition, but requested that the prayer associated with the apparition be edited, replacing the words "who once was Mary" with "the Blessed Virgin Mary".[22][21]


  1. ^ "Lady" is one of the possible etymological meanings of the name "Mary."[14]
  2. ^ The use of the word "nation" in the context of a second name echoes God's renaming of Abram to Abraham ("Father of Many Nations"[16]) and of Sarai to Sarah ("Mother of Nations"[17]) in Genesis 17.


  1. ^ "The Lady of All Nations".
  2. ^ "Mother for Everyone". Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  3. ^ "Idea Peerdeman — The Visionary of Amsterdam".
  4. ^ a b "Our Lady of All Nations: The Fifth Marian Dogma". Catholic Exchange. 2013-10-21.
  5. ^ "The First Apparition". Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  6. ^ "The Visionary: Tireless in Her Apostolate".
  7. ^ "The Visionary: Heavenward".
  8. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 411. "The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the 'New Adam' who, because he 'became obedient unto death, even death on a cross', makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam. Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the 'new Eve'."
  9. ^ Genesis 2:23. "she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (RSVCE)
  10. ^ Genesis 3:20. "The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living." (RSVCE)
  11. ^ John 2:4. "And Jesus said to her, 'O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.'" (RSVCE)
  12. ^ John 19:26-27. "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!'" (RSVCE)
  13. ^ "43rd Message (October 5, 1952)". "At the departure of the Lord Jesus Christ, He gave Miriam, or Mary, to the nations in one act, giving her as ‘The Lady of All Nations’. For He spoke the words, ‘Woman, behold your son; son, behold your mother.’ One act, and by this Miriam, or Mary, received this new title."
  14. ^ "What does the name 'Mary' mean?". The New Theological Movement. 2011-09-12.
  15. ^ "27th Message (February 11, 1951)". "I am the Lady, Mary, Mother of All Nations. You may say: The Lady of All Nations or Mother of All Nations, who once was Mary."
  16. ^ Genesis 17:5. "No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations." (RSVCE)
  17. ^ Genesis 17:15-16. "And God said to Abraham, 'As for Sar′ai your wife, you shall not call her name Sar′ai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her; I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.'" (RSVCE)
  18. ^ "28th Message (March 4, 1951)". "The whole world is degenerating, and because of this the Son is sending the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary."
  19. ^ "34th Message (July 2, 1951)". "‘Who once was Mary’ means: many people have known Mary as Mary. Now, however, in this new era which is about to begin, I wish to be the Lady of All Nations."
  20. ^ "Note 44 on the 41st Message (April 6, 1952)". "Initially the prayer was published without the words 'who once was Mary', due to the intervention of the bishop. Here, however, the Lady expresses her explicit wish that the prayer remain as she gave it. This wish having been communicated to the bishop, the omitted words were then reincorporated into the prayer."
  21. ^ a b c Donovan, Colin. "Our Lady of All Nations". EWTN.
  22. ^ a b Miravalle, Mark. "The Lady of All Nations, the CDF, and 'Who Once Was Mary'". Catholic Online. The letter begins with the direct acknowledgement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that the Lady of All Nations apparitions have received local ecclesiastical approval from the local bishop, Bishop Josef Maria Punt. The CDF consistently instructs that the responsibility of discernment and judgement concerning the supernatural quality of any reported private revelation lies with the authority of the local bishop. The CDF has concern only with "one particular aspect of the devotion" where the Blessed Virgin is invoked with the clause "who once was Mary."
  23. ^ "Note 23 on the 24th Message (November 16, 1950)". "On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. This event constitutes a noteworthy point within the messages, for from here they take on a new direction. In this, the first message to follow the proclamation of the dogma, Mary calls herself 'The Lady of All Nations' for the first time. In the succeeding messages she dictates her prayer, draws attention to her image, and speaks for the first time about the final and greatest Marian dogma: Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate."
  24. ^ "43rd Message (October 5, 1952)". "The other dogmas had to precede, just as her life first had to precede the Lady of All Nations. All the dogmas that preceded comprise the life and the departure of the Lady."
  25. ^ "35th Message (August 15, 1951)". "As Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate I stand here now in this time, in Our time. The dogma of the Assumption had to precede. The final and greatest dogma is to follow."
  26. ^ "Council of Ephesus". "If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (Θεοτόκος), inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [as it is written, The Word was made flesh] let him be anathema."
  27. ^ "Second Council of Constantinople, Canon 2". "If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her: let him be anathema."
  28. ^ a b Soffner, Raphael (2002-05-03). "Letter from the Office of Public Affairs of the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam". Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  29. ^ Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1974-06-27). "Notification regarding the alleged apparitions and revelations of Our Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam". L'Osservatore Romano. p. 12.
  30. ^ Bomers, Hendrik (1996-05-31). "Notification for the catholic faithful of the diocese of Haarlem".
  31. ^ Bomers, Hendrik (1997-12-03). "HB-97-403".
  32. ^ Punt, Jozef (2002-05-31). "In Response to Inquiries Concerning the Lady of All Nations Apparitions" (PDF).

External links[edit]