THE IMAGE OF THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS
EXPLANATION OF THE IMAGE
The messages of Amsterdam are unique in the history of Marian apparitions because Our Lady gives detailed descriptions of her image in six messages. Mary appears here as the COREDEMPTRIX in three ways:
• She stands, penetrated by God’s light, before the Cross of her Son, with whom she is inseparably united.
• She has a cloth wrapped around her. This is as the Loincloth of the Son.
• Her hands have radiant Wounds.
AN IMAGE FOR MEDITATION
When looking for the first time at the image of the Lady of All Nations you may be surprised to see Mary standing before the Redeemer’s Cross without Jesus. “Does she not block the Cross?” one might ask critically.
It seems almost as if the Mother standing in front of the dark cross wants to encourage us through this unusual image to ask questions and challenge us to meditate deeper about her vocation and place in the divine plan of redemption. Naturally, Mary could stand aside and point to the Redeemer on the Cross. Many artists, in fact, throughout the centuries have depicted the suffering of Jesus and Mary on Calvary like this or in a similar way. It stands in the radiant light of the resurrection from which Mary is enveloped. Our Lady, centered before the Cross, helps us to understand that Mother and Son are inseparably united in their mission. Where the Son is, there is also the Mother. The divine Son himself has called her into the center as Coredemptrix. From there we can joyfully realize that she, as the Mother of all nations, transmits the jointly suffered graces of redemption, intercedes and defends us.
THE ORIGINAL IMAGE OF THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS
The image of the Lady of All Nations was painted in 1951 by German painter Heinrich Repke and placed in a chapel on an estate in Germany, where it remained until the end of 1953. The painting was then transferred to the Netherlands and provisionally placed in the rectory of the Dominican Church of St. Thomas on Rijn Street in Amsterdam. At the end of 1954, the pastor of this church received permission from the local ordinary of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Bishop Huibers, to place the painting in the church’s Chapel of Our Lady. The solemn installation took place on December 19, 1954.
On June 10, 1955, the bishop withdrew his permission, and the parish priest had to remove the painting. The bishop stated as his reason that public devotion could not be permitted pending inquiry into the authenticity of the apparitions. Everything connected with the devotion was removed from the church. The painting was relegated to the rectory—first placed in the library and then in the cellar. It remained there until 1966.
The painting next found a welcome in the little parish church in Ville d’Avray near Paris (1966-1967). Then It returned to the Netherlands—first to The Hague, in the monastery of the Holy Sacrament Fathers (1967-1969), then to their monastery in Oegstgeest (1969-1970), and finally to the house on Diepenbrock Street in Amsterdam. The cellar of this house was transformed into a provisional chapel, and the painting was brought there on June 16, 1970. On August 15, 1976, the present-day chapel was consecrated. The image, having wandered for twenty-five years, had now arrived at its second-to-last destination. Its future and final destination was foretold by the Lady herself in her 52nd message: “a separate chapel” in the “house of the Lord Jesus Christ,” that is, the future Lady of All Nations Church to be built at the Europaplein in Amsterdam.