San Nicolas, Argentina
A brief review of some of the events as Our Lady appears at San Nicolas.
San Nicolas, Argentina, a large industrial city of approx. 140,000 people, 232 km north of Buenos Aires, on the banks of the Paraná, was the residence of Gladys Herminia Quiroga de Motta when Our Lady first visited her on 25/9/1983.
Gladys was reciting the Rosary in her rooms when suddenly she had a brief and silent visit from Our Lady.
A few days later Our Lady appeared to her again, and gave her a message. Between that date and 11 February 1990 when the messages ceased, Gladys received over 1800 messages from Our Lady and 68 from Jesus.
One of Jesus’ message on 6/6/86 was :
“ If this generation does not listen to My mother, it will perish. I ask everyone to listen to her. Man’s conversion is necessary. It is better to look up and to know what He Who is there says, rather than to move adrift. Think about it.
Under the species of the Holy Eucharist, My heart is introduced into all open hearts. It nourishes them; it satisfies them.
My Heart takes all souls into consideration. My Heart wishes the salvation of all souls and loves them, even those who are in sin.”
One of the messages was that Our Lady wanted a Shrine built on the banks of the Paraná , a magnificent river several kilometers wide at that point, and which emptied into the ocean some 250 km further downstream, in the largest estuary in the whole world.
Gladys lives on the edge of San Nicolas, in a working class area. She is a woman of the lower class, keeps much to herself and is not at all comfortable with being thrust into the limelight by these apparitions. A woman who had very little formal education, and had never as much as written a letter to anybody. But in her diary of 25/9/83 she wrote, simply “I saw the Blessed Virgin for the first time”. “For the first time” indicates that she was fully expecting more visits from our heavenly Mother, perhaps by the fact that the first visit was silent. And she did see her again, many times over a six-and-a-half year period.
On September 28, Gladys wrote again in her diary “I saw her again”, and she kept all this to herself.
On October 7, the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary, she felt an interior warning. Closing her eyes, she became aware of a great light, in which she saw the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. She asked Our Lady what she wanted and was shown a picture of a chapel, which she desired to be built on the banks of the Paraná River at San Nicolas.
On October 12, Gladys spoke to her confessor, telling him for the first time what had been going on. He listened, and wisely kept everything secret, to see what might later transpire.
On Monday 13th October, the Blessed Mother spoke to Gladys for the first time.
“You have been faithful, do not be afraid. Come to see me. You will walk (with your hand) in my hand, and you will travel over a long road.”
Beginning in mid-November, the messages came on a daily basis.
On October 15, Christ spoke to her for the first time.“I am the sower, gather the harvest, it will be great.”
On November 16, Our Lady told Gladys: “I am patroness of this region. Assert my rights.”
From the very beginning the Parish of San Nicolas had been entrusted to “Our Lady of the Rosary”
The statue of “Our Lady of the Rosary” had been brought from Rome after being blessed by Pope Leo XIII (the “Pope of the Rosary”) and placed in a prominent position in the Cathedral in 1884.
However an accident occurred and one of the statue’s hands was broken off. The statue was transferred to the belltower until it could be repaired, but the repair never happened.
On the night of November 24, Gladys and a group of people went to the spot chosen by Mary for her Shrine. A powerful beam of light came down from heaven, and pierced the ground, indicating the exact spot that Our Lady had chosen for her shrine.
On November 27 a pilgrim image of Christ arrived in San Nicolas. That very day, Father Perez discovered that the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary was in the belltower, and appeared very much like the description Gladys had given him of the lady who appeared to her. He led Gladys to see the statue, and she was amazed – she recognised it as being identical to the visions she had seen. Immediately, Mary appeared to Gladys, right there in front of the statue, and said, ”They had kept me in oblivion, but I reappeared. Put me up again, since you see me just as I am.”
Father Perez had the statue repaired and replaced the Rosary beads with a new pair, wrapped around the hands of Mother and Child.
On 4/1/84 a second ray of light came down to illuminate the spot where Our Lady desired her shrine to be built.
The foundation stone for the Shrine was laid by Bishop Castagna on 25/9/86, three years after the first apparition. On 21/12/85 Our Lady urgently requested that construction begin before the winter of 1987. Gladys recorded, “I have seen the plan of the Sanctuary (completed by the Architect). Today, also, when I saw our Lady I asked her if she liked it (she had rejected a previous plan) She smiled and told me:”Yes, my daughter, it is a plan which I like, for the Sanctuary will be as large as I requested it. I wish then to see it become a reality, for those who will go there and pay homage to the Lord will be numerous.”
Despite massive inflation which struck Argentina about that time making it exceedingly difficult for those who had promised funds (mostly poorer people) for its construction, work began on October 13, 1988 and the first section was completed by Easter 1989. The statue of Our Lady of the Rosary was transferred to the new Shrine, where Our Lady wanted it to be, on 19 March 1989.
Our Lady’s principal messages about the Shrine were received between 22/5/84 and 7/10/89.
On 16/11/84 Gladys received Christ’s wounds on her wrists, these were the very painful stigmata, or wounds from the Crucifixion. Most other stigmatists had received the wounds in the palms of the hands, but Gladys received them in the wrists, which appears to be more in keeping with the stains on the Holy Shroud of Turin. A red spot appears on the wrists, on Thursdays and Fridays during Advent 1984, and since then in Lent. Blood flows only on Fridays in Lent. When the pain hits, her thumbs begin to turn in towards the palm of her hand, and this is consistent with the reaction of an injury to the median nerve.
She also receives the marks of the Stigmata on her feet, but only on Good Friday, beginning at 3.00pm - the hour of Christ’s death. Her left foot crosses over her right foot, in a position similar to Christ’s feet on the Cross, and both her feet appear as if held together by a nail. Doctors’ efforts to separate her feet are not successful, even though the muscles of her legs are completely relaxed, and this they cannot explain.
On Good Friday Gladys experiences intense pain in her shoulder as well. A very large painful spot appears on her shoulder, sometimes with an open wound, but blood does not flow. This would replicate the severe wound to Christ’s shoulder during the carrying of the Cross.
At Paris in 1830, Our Lady requested Sister Catherine Labouré to have a medal struck, and gave her a visual representation of the medal she desired.
In San Nicolas on 2/12/84, Our Lady said to Gladys; “You must strike a medal with my image and the words ‘Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas’, and on the reverse side the Holy Trinity with seven stars.”
On 25/9/85 (second anniversary of the first apparition)
“My daughter, I am going to tell you the meaning of the seven stars. They are seven graces which my Son Jesus Christ is going to grant to those who wear it on their chest.”
On Thursday October 25, 1984, seven-year-old Gonzalo Miguel, who lived at Pergamino, some 70 km from San Nicolas, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. His mother, Maria del Valle placed herself and her son in Mary’s hands. It appeared that there was no hope, as either with or without an operation, the prospects of his living seemed fairly remote.
The mother was in the seventh month of pregnancy with her seventh child, and great anxiety overtook her. Then, surprisingly, the anxiety disappeared, and a great calm enveloped her.
On Monday October 29, the child’s condition worsened and he was completely paralysed down his right side. Death appeared imminent, and his parents requested that he be given the Last Rites, and First Holy Communion.
Father Ariel David Busso, a friend of the family, came on October 30th, and explained to Gonzalo that he was going to receive Jesus. He placed him under the protection of “Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas”
After receiving Holy Communion he began to improve rapidly. On November 1, 1984, a further examination revealed that the tumour had decreased in size by 70%.
Each day from then he improved, and by November 9 he was fit to leave hospital and return home.
He who had virtually been given up as an impossible case, was inexplicably cured.
The last message which Mary gave to Gladys, on 11/2/1990 (anniversary of Mary’s first apparition at Lourdes in 1858) was:“My dear children, I suggest that you follow my instructions step by step. Pray, make reparation, have faith! Blessed are those who look for refuge for their souls in prayer.
Blessed are those who make reparation for the grave offenses which my Son receives. Blessed are those who have faith in the love of this mother, All those who have faith in God and in Mary will be saved. Glory to God. Preach it.”
Response to Our Lady of the Rosary’s messages and apparitions, by the people of Argentina, and more particularly San Nicolas, has been amazing.
On the 25th of the month, the anniversary of the first apparition, tens of thousands come in procession to the Shrine, to show their love for Our Lady of the Rosary.
On the 25th September anniversary, the crowds reach 100,000, and processions are led by the Bishop, who speaks very favourably about the apparitions.
A commission of investigation has not yet given their final report to the Bishop, which is why these accounts of San Nicolas are in the section of this website headed “Apparitions still under investigation.”