INDEX FOR THIS PAGE
This page presents a number of perspectives regarding the local apparitions of Our Lady of Light. Just click on any blue title below to go to a section of interest.
Local Apparition History
Mary the Mother of God has appeared throughout history many times and at many locations all over the world. Such unusual events have nearly always occurred when mankind has been in most need of heaven’s help and guidance. So is it any wonder that, in the present day, we hear of so many places where the Queen of Heaven is appearing and sending messages of hope to her children?
As you browse through this site, keep in mind that no one can give you the faith that you will need to discern these experiences and messages, but we pray that God will grant you this gift when you go to Him and ask for it.
The visionaries, or ‘messengers,’ are not important here, but the messages they bring are, because those messages are meant for each of us. It is also noteworthy here to explain that all of messages
were released. (See the Priests of Note section.)
The reason why Our Lady of Light came here to the Cincinnati, Ohio area was to remove the darkness in our America and lead us to the ‘Light’ of her son Jesus.
So the best advice for anyone finding and reading this web site is to open your heart to this possibility and let your own faith be the expert in determining its authenticity. We hope you will become a regular visitor to this site. We welcome you in the name of Our Lady of Light.
Below are Comments of the Batavia Visionary, as presented at a retreat given by Fr. Frank Kenney, S.M., in April of 1996 (Personal Revelations, Volume 4, pp. 127-134):
In looking back on all the extraordinary events that have occurred, and are still occurring, it is sometimes hard to realize that I’m even a small part of it all. In trying to comprehend it myself, I’m reminded of Our Lady’s words, “God does not always choose the best of people,” because I certainly am not worthy of the graces I have received.
I am just like all of you, an ordinary person, trying to survive in these days of difficulty and uncertainty. I have a large family and have to deal with family life and family problems, just as all of you do, every day. Someone recently asked me, “What’s it like to see the Mother of God?” I was speechless. Because most of the time I don’t realize that this beautiful lady, who has become my closest and dearest friend, is the Mother of God. To me she has become only “my friend.” That is not to say that I don’t give her the respect due her as the mother of Jesus, but simply that she has a most natural way of making you feel at ease and comfortable in her presence, and one might tend to forget her heavenly status of Queen of Heaven. She even told me that it was not necessary that I stay on my knees before her and told me to rise so that she could speak to me. However, whenever Jesus is present, she reminds me to “kneel in the presence of God.” In fact, she herself will kneel in reverence of her Son in any vision of Him as a grown man.
Our Lady is indeed so beautiful that there are no words to describe her. I have been lovingly led and taught by her now for nearly five years. Her ways are those of a loving mother and, when she has a reason to correct or reprimand, she does so with a gentle tenderness. She often says, “My ways are always simple,” and, whenever we do anything for her, she reminds us to “keep it simple.”
She does not want anyone to honor her without first honoring her Son Jesus. I too am often reminded of this by her if I should approach her before I go to Jesus.
Another thing I’d like to share is that Our Lady has a wonderful sense of humor. I see this side of her quite often, mostly in her dealing with me, because I consider myself her problem child. When I first was asked by her to “tell a priest,” I told her I didn’t know if I could do that and had a hard time struggling with this request. Now some of you may wonder, “How could you say ‘no’ to the Blessed Mother?” Well, let me tell you, if you are ever faced with the dilemma of approaching a priest and telling him that the Blessed Virgin sent you to him, then you will understand the inner conflict I experienced. Besides, I didn’t exactly say “no.” I just said “later.”
And then I was reprimanded, for Our Lady sent Jesus to me saying, “Do as My Mother tells you.” That ended my hesitation.
There’s another thing that amazes me, even more than all of you, and that is the subsequent turn of events that followed Our Lady’s appearance when she first came to a field in Indiana on September 1, 1991, to five mothers and told us that she was “The Lady of Light.” That in itself was so overwhelming to us that we still have not returned to normal. But now to see all that has come about from that single experience is really amazing.
Who could have guessed how great was God’s plan here and that the appearance of Our Lady on this night was just the beginning of it? I would like now to briefly explain just what did transpire after this blessed event.
At first, all of us who saw Our Lady were permitted to sort of keep her to ourselves and enjoy her company. But shortly after she came to us she told me that I should “tell a priest,” and that is how her public mission here in the land of America as Our Lady of Light began. The first priest she led me to was Father Don Rinfret.
When I first met Father Rinfret at a Marian Conference in Chicago in October of 1991, I had no intention of telling him or anyone else about our experience of seeing Our Lady because I thought it was a gift just for us. Boy, was I ever wrong. Besides, who would believe it? We didn’t even tell our own families for a long time because we felt they would only laugh at us.
However, Our Lady had plans of her own, and I found myself pouring out this story to a priest I had just met in confession there. Later I wondered, “Why did I do that?” But then, I reasoned, it was okay because he didn’t know who I was and I probably would never see him again anyway. So I relaxed.
But again Our Lady’s plan took over. Before we left the conference on Sunday to board our bus home, this priest came from nowhere and grasped my arm saying, “There you are! I sent my angel to find you because I want to know more about your experience.” I was caught, so I yielded reluctantly and told him more details. I also promised to call him at the number on his card which he gave me for this reason. But I didn’t say when, I was still dodging God’s Will.
Before we parted company, I also told him with a smile that I felt it wasn’t his angel that found me, but that it was the work of Our Lady that had brought us together.
Now, it could have all ended then and there because he didn’t have my phone number, and, if I didn’t call him, who would know?
Well, one guess! Our Lady knew and must have heard my thoughts, because she reminded me often after I returned home to call her priest and to do it soon. She also said to trust him because he was hers and was even from her land. Now I was wondering what she could possibly mean by this and got his card out to look at it. Sure enough, she was right. He lived in Maryland. She won. I called him.
Our Lady told me that she would be giving me messages for all of her children and that I should send them to this priest. “So, okay,” I thought, “that’s not too hard. He’s a really nice priest and so far hasn’t said that he thinks I’m just a nut, so maybe I could send these messages and he could share them with his prayer group.” I agreed to do this. So we had a deal.
I started sending her messages only to Father Rinfret, but only for a short time, because at the next conference I attended at Notre Dame in 1992 Our Lady had another surprise for me. She appeared there too and very soon had me agreeing to go to another of her priests. This one was a Father Smith whom I did not know, but whose parish I knew was not too far from where I lived.
This time Our Lady was asking for a lot more than delivering her messages, for she wanted me not only to tell him about her appearances but to inform him that she would be appearing at his church (St. Joseph, Cold Spring, Kentucky) on August 31, 1992 at midnight. Oh boy! I really started squirming about this request! How in the world would I ever make him believe me?
Of course, Our Lady again already had it all planned and told me, “Do not worry about convincing him of this for I will do that.”
Well, to make a long story short, I did go to him with her message. She did prove herself to him and proved her message to be true. I guess you could say that the rest is history although it is not over by any means, for it still continues even today.
At the beginning of Our Lady of Light’s messages to me, she said that there would be three priests whom I would be contacting and that these priests would become her three “ambassadors” in the land of America. One would be from the east, one from the center, and one from the west. After the conference at Notre Dame, we now had two, Father Rinfret (the east) and Father Smith (the center). As the days progressed into months, everyone (including me) was asking, “Who is this priest of the west?”
Whenever I would ask Our Lady about him, she would only smile and say, “Do not be concerned of this, for he will appear, but in God’s time.”
Finally, I just sort of forgot about him because Our Lady was keeping me quite busy dealing with her two priests and sending them her messages. However, I did ask her on one occasion who he was and how we would know him. She told me that I should not be concerned about meeting him because he would be sent to me through someone else. I didn’t understand this, but breathed a sigh of relief because now maybe I could go back to another conference. I had been avoiding them because I was afraid Our Lady would ask me there to approach another priest who was to be her priest of the west. I should have remembered that Our Lady always wins with me even when I hold back from doing as she asks. I should have remembered that she always carries through with whatever she promises or says, but does it in her own way.
On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1993, true to her word, Our Lady introduced her “priest of the west,” and I did hear about him through someone else. This someone else was Father Rinfret, her priest of the east.
I received a phone call from him saying that he had just been to Salt Lake City, Utah, and had met a priest there that was probably the “priest of the west.” He gave me this priest’s phone number and told me to call him. His name was Father Lawrence Sweeney, pastor of Holy Family Church in Ogden, Utah. It seems that this holy priest was receiving special graces already in the form of a miraculous experience during the Consecration of the Mass when a red substance was left in the bottom of the chalice and on the sides when Mass was over. To some this would not seem so ‘different’ but Father Sweeney only uses white wine for the Mass!
Anyway, I’m getting away from my story. So, to get back again, I called this priest right away and found out that he had accepted being Our Lady’s “priest of the west.” She confirmed this fact the next time she appeared to me. She also instructed me to send him a message from her, which I did.
So that’s how the three ambassadors of Our Lady came to be and how I was fortunate enough to meet and work with them for Our Lady. Since that time, I have also come to know another of her wonderful priests, Father Frank Kenney. This priest is in Dayton, Ohio.… He also accepted being a part of her mission here as Our Lady of Light and is working very hard for her and Jesus.
There is one more priest who was called for a special mission by Our Lady and he is Father Ed Carter of Xavier University. He saw Our Lady at St. Joseph Church on the night of August 31, 1992, and has since admitted this publicly. He now receives messages from Our Lady and Our Lord and has written many books to lead people back to God. He also has formed Shepherds of Christ Ministries in order to reach all of the priests. His words from Our Lord are now being sent to priests all over the world (through the Shepherds of Christ newsletter). Just think of the magnitude of this! What a wonderful grace! I was instructed by Our Lady to include him with the priests who were to receive her messages through me.
So you see, Our Lady now has me working with five of her priests. And I didn’t even want to deal with one! I will admit, however, that I have come to enjoy them, for they are all very beautiful souls and all love Our Lady as much as I do. There is also another thing I noted about them and that is that they all have a touch of her wonderful sense of humor which I find very endearing.
Speaking of Our Lady’s sense of humor, in the beginning days, our Lady had promised to send a miracle on December 8, 1991. Well, foolish me, I had expected to maybe see the sun spinning or perhaps to see my rosary turn to gold, or something of this nature.
Now Father Rinfret also knew about this promised miracle and both of us were waiting anxiously for its arrival. On that day, I kept looking toward the sun and checking my rosary beads. Finally at 6 o’clock that evening, I said to Our Lady, “Dear Holy Mother, you promised a miracle today. Did I miss it?”
Then, I clearly heard her say, “Turn on your TV.” “An odd answer,” I thought, but I turned it on. They were just coming on with the evening news and announced, “Communism in the Soviet Union has fallen, etc., etc.” I was dumbfounded and my mouth dropped open in surprise as Our Lady said to me with humor in her voice: “This is my ‘miracle.’ It is for the whole world. Did you think it was to be just for you?”
So Our Lady came through on her word then and she continues to do so today. She is a wonderful mother and wants all of us to listen to her. She herself has said that she would appear in every home if only we would accept her in our hearts. She loves us as every mother loves her children. She also wants us to know that she is real and that God is real. She reminds us that they are not in some far off place, but are right here, right beside us.
Our Lady asks that we convert our lives and acknowledge God in them. She wants us to talk to Them just as we do our best friends. She said that this is real prayer, for, when we do this, we are praying from the heart.
Our Lady has come to earth among us because she loves us, but most of all she has come to take us to her Son Jesus. Once you become her friend, you cannot help but become a friend of her Son.
All of you who are hearing (reading) these words should know that it is no coincidence, because it is your call from Our Lady to come home. It is also your call to help her. Ask her what she wants from you, and I’m sure you will get an answer in one form or another.
Don’t be like me and hesitate. You may as well say “yes” now and give in because, I warn you, she will not give up. She will win you over with her love.
By the way, I’d like to add that, when I called Father Rinfret in Maryland on December 8, 1991 to tell him about Our Lady’s miracle, he answered with an excited voice that he had received his miracle because apparently his whole prayer group had witnessed the miracle of the sun spinning that evening. I smiled before I replied, “Sit down, Father, and let me tell you about her ‘real’ miracle.”
One thing good about this was that now I did not feel I was the only one in hot water with Our Lady because one of her holy priests had also thought that this (promised) miracle was to be just for him.
I could go on forever talking about Our Lady....May each one of you receive the blessing of Our Lady of Light because she has made this promise that I could extend her blessing to all I meet. The best part of this wonderful promise also extends to all of you because she said that anyone that I bless with her blessing could then bless everyone they meet with it. So go out from here and bless the world! You can do this silently or in words. Simply say, “I give you the blessing of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.” It works!
...(I)t is just as she says: “I am here to take you to Jesus. In your joy, in your sorrow, and in all things, go to Jesus.”
– A servant of Mary in Batavia, Ohio
Chronology of Events
September 1, 1991 – In a field in Indiana, a beautiful woman appears to five mothers and identifies herself as “The Lady of Light.” One of the five mothers is the Batavia (Ohio) visionary.
October 1991 – At the Chicago Marian Conference, the Batavia visionary meets Fr. T. Donald Rinfret, S.J., of Baltimore, Maryland, later designated the “Priest of the East.”
November 1991 – Our Lady promises a miracle for December 8, 1991 (Vol. 1, p.17).
December 8, 1991 – The miracle occurs (Vol. 1, p.19).
December 1991 – Fr. Leroy Smith, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring, Kentucky receives correspondence indicating that his parish church will be “a place of great devotion…where Our Lady will manifest herself.”
May 1992 – At the 1992 Notre Dame Marian Conference, Our Lady tells the Batavia visionary to contact Fr. Smith and tell him that she will appear at midnight on August 31, 1992, at his parish church, St. Joseph’s.
May 10, 1992 – Our Lady announces that there will be three priests in America called to be her “special ambassadors,” Fr. Rinfret in the east, Fr. Smith in the middle, and another priest in the west. She further asks that September 1st be designated a “Day of Prayer” and that the prayer, Our Lady of Light, be distributed throughout the United States.
May 30, 1992 – Our Lady sends signs promised to Fathers Rinfret and Smith (Vol. 1, p.27).
June 1992 – Our Lady asks the Kentucky visionary (Sandy) to go to St. Joseph Church where she appears as promised (Vol. 4, p.127).
August 31, 1992 – The first of annual public manifestations of Our Lady of Light occurs at midnight at St. Joseph Church. They continue there through August 31, 1994.
December 3, 1992 – Our Lady of Light’s message to Fr. Smith: “I have great plans for my House of Mary (Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center)” (Vol. 1, p.86).
March 15, 1993 – Fr. Smith and the Gospa Prayer Group headquarter at Monk’s Retreat, formerly Mount St. Mary Seminary, later to be named Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, Norwood (Cincinnati), Ohio.
May 1, 1993 – The “House of Mary,” the Monk’s Retreat, is re-blessed, dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and renamed Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center.
August 1993 – The Falmouth Farm site in Kentucky is identified when Fr. Smith accompanies the Kentucky visionary, who experiences an apparition there.
November 29, 1993 – Our Lady confirms the Falmouth Farm site in a private message to Father Smith through the Batavia visionary.
December 8, 1993 – Fr. Lawrence Sweeney, Church of the Holy Family in Ogden, Utah, is identified as the “Priest of the West” (Vol. 3, pp.78-9).
January 7, 1994 – Fr. Sweeney receives his remarkable sign, as promised by Our Lady (Vol. 3, p.88).
January 8, 1994 through October 8, 1995 – “Our Lady, Mary, the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary,” appears to the Kentucky visionary monthly at the Falmouth Farm. The Batavia visionary also receives messages there on the 8th of the month from January 8, 1994 through December 8, 1994. Our Lady confides that this is meant to connect both visionary (Batavia and Kentucky) experiences and to show the purpose of her visits here as being part of the fulfillment of her messages at Fatima (Vol. 4, p.18).
February 1994 – Our Lady asks that Mother Teresa be contacted for her support in returning prayer to places of learning in America (Vol. 3, p.116).
May 16, 1994 – Our Lady’s “special ambassadors,” Fathers Rinfret, Smith and Sweeney, come together to bless all apparition sites in the Tri-State area as Our Lady had requested (Vol. 3, p.167).
May 23, 1994 – Mother Teresa’s letter of support is received (Vol. 3, p.119).
June 7, 1995 – Our Lady honors Fr. Smith’s request to appear at midnight on August 31, 1995 at “Her House,” Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, in Norwood (Cincinnati), Ohio, instead of at St. Joseph’s Church in Kentucky (Vol. 4, p.94).
February 11, 1996 – Our Lady asks Fr. Frank Kenney to help make her grotto at Bergamo in Dayton, Ohio a place where many will be touched by her light and her love (Vol. 4, p.94).
May 31, 1996 – Fr. Edward Carter, S.J., and the Batavia visionary see Our Lady in the Ohio field. They continue to see her there and receive messages monthly until September 13, 1997 (Vol. 4, p.106).
May 15, 1997 – Fr. Rinfret dies after a long illness.
December 18, 2000 – Fr. Carter dies after a short illness.
May 23, 1999 – Our Lady of Light tells the Batavia visionary to inform Fr. Smith that the last of her public manifestations at midnight, August 31st, at the Center will be this year. (August 31/September 1, 2000 to the present – Our Lady of Light Anniversary Celebrations: Days of Prayer and Mercy at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center.)
Winter 2003 – Fr. Smith resigns as president of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center and moves to Florida for health reasons. He often visits the Tri-state area and remains spiritual director to the Batavia visionary.
May 24, 2004 – The first Our Lady of Light Forum meets at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center.
Summer 2004 – www.homeofourladyoflight.org web site is developed.
Spring 2009 – web site name changed to www.ourladyoflight.org.
I. Father Donald Rinfret, S.J. (1925-1997)
A native of Baltimore, Fr. Rinfret graduated from Loyola High School and entered the Society of Jesus in 1943. He was ordained at Woodstock College in Maryland in 1956. In 1958 he was appointed principal of Loyola High School. He taught at St. Joseph Preparatory in Philadelphia until 1966 when he was appointed president of Scranton Preparatory School, a post he held until 1981. From 1982 to 1988 he served as Director of Planned Giving for the Maryland Province and director of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau in Baltimore. In August of 1987, Father made his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje. He returned more than 10 times, acting as spiritual director for pilgrimages and for several Baltimore area Marian and charismatic prayer groups. When invited to be Our Lady’s “Priest of the East,” Father immediately accepted, even though neither he nor the visionary knew what that meant. All he knew was that Our Lady had announced that she wished to be known as Our Lady of Light and that there would be three priests who would act as her “ambassadors” in America. Father remained in regular contact with the Batavia visionary, received copies of all messages from Our Lady and served on the board of directors of Our Lady of Light Foundation. Following is his letter of affirmation (Personal Revelations, Vol. 4, 1997):
Our Lady of Light has reinforced my devotion to and trust in the Mother of God which a few years earlier had been renewed by Mary’s apparitions and messages at Medjugorje.
Her main message of bringing light to a darkened America has personally awakened me as a priest to the urgency of helping souls return to God, especially through the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.
I have also been deeply edified by the priest and people connected with the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center.
Father Donald Rinfret, S.J.,
Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau
II. Father Leroy Smith
A native of Northern Kentucky and one of five children, Father Leroy Smith was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Covington in 1954. He served as secretary and master of ceremonies to the bishop, editor of the diocesan newspaper, vice-rector and professor of English at the diocesan seminary, and pastor of several diocesan churches prior to his retirement in early 1993 to devote full time to Our Lady’s work. At the May 1992 Marian Conference at Notre Dame University, Our Lady asked the Batavia visionary to approach Father Smith to be the “Priest of the Middle” of the country and to tell him that she would appear at midnight on August 31, 1992, at St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring, Kentucky where Father was pastor. Father hence became the spiritual leader and chief helmsman of Our Lady’s movement in the Tri-state area (Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky). He served as president and chairman of the board of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood (Cincinnati), Ohio, and vice-president of the board of Our Lady of Light Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Our Lady of Light Ministries. For health reasons, Father retired to Florida in 2002. His letter of affirmation (Personal Revelations, Vol. 4, 1997)
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect my life to take such a drastic turn as it did after October of 1988. That was when I took the first of my seventeen trips to Medjugorje. Our Lady took me by the hand and led me from 1988 to 1992 when I received my first phone call from a lady who identified herself as the “Batavia visionary.” The gist of that phone call was that Our Lady would appear in my church, St. Joseph, in Cold Spring, Kentucky, at midnight on August 31, 1992.
You can imagine my disbelief, belief and excitement as she spoke to me. Confirmation came pretty quickly when events that the visionary told me would happen actually did happen. Although I leaned toward accepting everything, I still wanted to discern properly all that was happening.
I called and talked to Father Jack Spaulding in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia, and Sister Breige McKenna in Florida. I even had a private conference with Vicka, in Medjugorje, when I was over there on my trip in April, 1992. I asked all of these wonderful people to pray with me for proper discernment of things that were happening at St. Joseph parish.
As you probably know, Our Lady did appear on August 31, 1992, at midnight as Our Lady of Light. Many people saw her that evening, and that day of prayer in preparation for Our Lady’s coming was beautiful and impressive.
Since then Our Lady, through the Batavia visionary, has sent us many wonderful messages to help us to come to Jesus and understand His great love for us.
Mary continues to be a mother to us all, concerned for our welfare and helping us towards our eternal salvation in Christ. I thank Our Lady for her presence here, and ask her to continue to be with us daily on our journey to Jesus.
Father Leroy Smith, President
Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center
III. Father (later Msgr.) Lawrence Sweeney
Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Ogden, Utah, Father was born in Laramie, Wyoming in 1929, the fifth of seven children. Ordained in Salt Lake City in 1954 as a diocesan priest, he has been involved with the Marian Movement of Priests, various prayer groups, a complement of pastoral activities, and the Holy Land Foundation. On December 8, 1993, Fr. Rinfret called the Batavia visionary to say he had met Father Lawrence P. Sweeney of Ogden, Utah, who could be the “Priest of the West.” The visionary had known that there would be, but whenever she had asked when this priest would appear, she had always been told not to worry, that he would turn up. Father Sweeney was different from the other priests who had known or been associated with people who had had mystical experiences because he himself had experienced unusual occurrences. On several occasions during the celebration of Mass, he had witnessed the phenomenon of white wine turning into droplets of a red substance which left a sticky residue on the inside and outside of the chalice. His statement (Personal Revelations, Vol. 4, 1997):
I think Our Lady is coming here to call all of us back to her Son Jesus, and she is doing so through her messages. All of us should listen and respond to the messages she is sending to us as our loving mother.
Listen and respond, and let the Lord take care of the rest. He will lead us, if we just get out of His way as Our Lady did. Looking at her earthly life, we can see that she totally submitted to the Lord. She responded “yes” to Him, as she “listened” to His call to her from heaven. Now we need to follow her example and respond “yes” to her call to us.
Father Lawrence Sweeney,
Pastor, Holy Family Church
IV. Father Edward J. Carter, S.J. (1929-2000)
The fifth priest-helper sent to the Batavia visionary by Our Lady, Father Carter himself saw the image of Our Lady in the trees at St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring, Kentucky on August 31, 1992. A native Cincinnatian, he attended St. Xavier High School and Xavier University and was ordained in the Jesuit Order in 1962. After receiving his doctorate in theology from Catholic University of America, he taught theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati for 29 years. He authored 14 books on spirituality and gave numerous retreats and talks on the spiritual life. A lifelong devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Father founded and edited Shepherds of Christ Newsletter, directed to all the priests of the United States and the English speaking world. He was theological consultant to Our Lady of Light Foundation and Shepherds of Christ Ministries, a movement he founded, which is dedicated to the renewal of the spiritual life, especially among priests and religious. He was one of the original members of the Board of Trustees of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center. His statement (Personal Revelations, Vol. 4, 1997):
In recent years there have been reports from all over the world regarding alleged visionaries and locutionists. One question that immediately comes to mind is, “Why would there be such a great number of visionaries supposedly receiving private revelations at the same time?”
I myself asked that question about six years ago when I was doing research regarding the writing of a book about our Blessed Mother. Initially, I myself was quite skeptical concerning the great number of persons allegedly receiving private revelations. However, the more research I did, the more convinced I became that many of the messages being received by the reported visionaries and locutionists were authentic.
We apparently are living in one of the most critical periods of human history, and many of the messages, in one way or another, bring out how a great number of people have seriously strayed from God. Never before has there been such alienation from God. Has there ever been a time in the history of the human race when sin was so widespread?
I am convinced that God, in His great love and mercy, is going to extraordinary lengths to try to wake up the multitudes concerning the seriousness of the situation. This, to me, explains why there are so many claimed visionaries and locutionists in these, our times.
I believe that this book of revelations is among the authentic ones being presented to the world. I believe that the one to whom these messages have been given for all of us is truly a chosen messenger of God.
Father Edward Carter, S.J.
Professor of Theology
V. Father Frank Kenney, S.M.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, the second of seven children, Father Kenney was ordained a priest in 1949. He received a doctorate in theology from Catholic University of America in 1956, his thesis title being Mary’s Spiritual Maternity According to Modern Spiritual Writers. Retired from his duties with the Marianists (he served as high school principal, head of four religious communities, associate university dean of students and chaplain of several university sports teams, and associate pastor), he continues as leader of prayer groups, as moderator of his healing ministry, and as spiritual director to a number of visionaries. He has been involved with the Batavia visionary and has received and discerned her messages since 1993 when Our Lady appeared to her at the Lourdes Grotto at Bergamo, Mount St. John, in Dayton, Ohio. The Bergamo facility is owned by the Society of Mary, Father’s order. His statement (Personal Revelations, vol. 4, 1997):
Along with so many lay people who are devoted to our Blessed Mother, I feel very happy, blessed and grateful to be involved in the Marian apparitions happening all over the world in our times. At the same time, it is so heartbreaking that so few clergy and religious are paying any attention to this urgent, all-significant and grace-filled phenomenon. What a privilege it is to be one of Mary’s apostles, helping her in her apostolic mission, in union with her Son Jesus, of crushing the head of the serpent, as foretold in Genesis (3:15), the first book of the Bible, and also referred to in the Book of Revelation (Chapter 12), the last book of the Bible.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate having such a role in Mary’s apostolic activities in Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and beyond. Leading Marian and healing prayer groups, directing visionaries, giving talks about Mary’s apparitions, attending Marian conferences, being privy to the conversion and mystic accounts of many people are some of the experiences that have lighted up my life.
Thanks be to God and Our Blessed Mother and all who are in this with me.
Father Frank Kenney, S.M.
The Greater Cincinnati (Ohio) map on this page depicts the approximate locations of the seven local sites where the Batavia visionary allegedly received messages and spoke to Our Lady of Light. All but the Ohio and Indiana fields are presently open to the public. Schedules of masses and various devotions to Our Lady at these sites are available at the Contact Us page of this website.
1. Field in Indiana (the farm of a friend of the Batavia visionary) is the site of the first visit of Our Lady of Light. Five women were sitting around a campfire talking when they all saw the Lady of Light who appeared from about 9:30 p.m. until around midnight. This location is to remain hidden.
2. Field near Batavia, Ohio, near a home where the Batavia visionary lives, is another principal site of Our Lady of Light’s appearances. This location is to remain hidden.
3. St. Joseph Church, Cold Spring, Kentucky, is located on Alexandria Pike, U.S.27, just outside the greater Cincinnati I-275 circle freeway. A church with a capacity of over a thousand, it was dedicated in 1960 and serves other communities in addition to Cold Spring. Fr. Smith was pastor there from 1991 to 1993. Our Lady of Light publicly appeared there at midnight, August 31, 1992, 1993, and 1994 (Vol. 2, p.71).
4. Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Avenue, Norwood (Cincinnati), Ohio, formerly Mount St. Mary Seminary, the major seminary for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, was built in 1923 by Archbishop Henry Moeller. The 13-acre site includes the Archbishop’s House, now used as the Priests’ Residence, and the 300-room seminary building. In 1982, the seminary and archbishop’s residence were moved to other facilities. In 1992, Fr. Richard R. Willhelm, a retired archdiocesan priest, purchased the abandoned property with the encouragement and support of several laymen. It became part of his organization, the Monk’s Retreat, which consisted of small homes for clergy rest and recollection in Kentucky and Florida. The Norwood site was re-blessed, dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and renamed Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center on May 1, 1992. Our Lady often refers to it as “My House” (Vol. 2, pp. 54-70).
5. Holy Cross/Immaculata Church, Mt. Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1860, annual Good Friday pilgrimages have been made to this site, with the faithful praying the rosary on the steps up to this church, from the street below, on a hill overlooking the city. Thus it is sometimes referred to as “The Church of the Steps” (Vol. 2, p.71).
6. Our Lady’s Farm, Route 59, Falmouth, Kentucky, is notably the site of the apparitions of Mary, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, to Kentucky visionary Sandy from January of 1994 through October of 1995. Situated atop one of the rolling hills in northern Kentucky, Our Lady’s Farm now provides healing waters from a spring (foretold by Our Lady). Also on the grounds are the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, which was built from an old existing barn on the property, as well as an outside Stations of the Cross pathway, with its Holy Sepulcher and Calvary replicas at Cross Hill. All are welcome on the grounds any day from dawn to dusk. For information, phone: 606-654-2379. The Batavia visionary also received messages here from the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Light (Vol. 4, p.19).
7. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Mount St. John, Bergamo, in Dayton, Ohio is a replica of the famous shrine in Lourdes, France. According to the Batavia visionary, this place of pilgrimage is an important part of Our Lady’s plan in this area, and Our Lady will honor the devotion shown here with her presence at this spot. Our Lady confirmed her intentions by leaving her rainbow signature on a photo taken of the grotto (Vol. 2, pp. 125-6).
The Lights and Other Phenomena
Our Lady’s appearances in the Greater Cincinnati area were marked by abnormal light phenomena and personal experiences reported by large numbers of attendees at events. For example, at the midnight hour during evening services ever since 1992, large groups of people have reported seeing flashing lights on surrounding buildings. Reports emphasize that the lights cannot be explained away as resulting from camera flashes or strobe lights, but rather as coming from some almost ethereal source.
Photos taken at the scene of these events often show phenomena which defy explanation. Some photos show an almost smoky cloud wending through the crowd. Others depict what would seem to be a kind of lightning, but again moving quickly through the assembly. In most cases, the people in attendance do not see these darting lights. They seem to appear only on photographic slides and prints.
During daylight, and sometimes during night-time events, large numbers of people have reported seeing circular rainbows around the sun or moon. While these rainbows can often be explained away as ice crystal light refraction in the atmosphere, such unique visual effects would only tend to be seen on extremely cold winter days, while those seen on anniversary days occur regularly during summer days and evenings.
A wide range of other phenomena has been reported during and surrounding Our Lady of Light celebrations. They include the turning of rosary chain links between beads, typically silver colored, to a rich golden color. Less widely observed conditions have shown golden colored chains turning silver and beads even changing shape or color.
Marian apparitions like those associated with Our Lady of Light are often accompanied by a strong, sweet flower aroma, commonly referred to as the “scent of roses.” Not everyone smells such an aroma, but those who do report that the sensation is unforgettable. Such experiences have been common at Our Lady of Light events.
Finally, Marian apparitions in recent memory (e.g., at Medjugorje) have often been accompanied by a phenomenon wherein the viewer sees what seems to be the sun spinning, and is often referred to “the Miracle of the Host.” The sun, even at high noon, is visible as a bright white circle in the sky, and viewers can look at the sun for many minutes without eye injury. Such a phenomenon has occurred often locally, with large groups of viewers gathered to see it together.
No photo will convince the skeptic about the legitimacy of a reported phenomenon. The conclusion will always be that the perceived “miracle” was simply a figment of the viewer’s imagination. However, for those willing to view such reports with an open mind, a group of photographs below is presented. They are not posted as “absolute proof” of supernatural apparitions by Our Lady, but only for consideration by a person of faith that perhaps someone truly spiritually important has visited us. A lady. Our Lady. Our Blessed Mother. Her message to us is very real for our time: “Love as much as you can, especially my Son, who desperately wants you close to him.” Enjoy the photos.