Please be patient while page loads...
Click here for a printable version of this page.
Special News Report: Blessed Virgin Mary in Saskatchewan
Canadian Archbishop speaks publicly on Virgin Mary images (February, 2003)Virgin Mary Images appear in sixth northern Saskatchewan community: Wollaston Lake (February, 2003)
The Images are a Call to Prayer says Beauval Priest (January 2003)
Black Lake: Third Occurrence of Phenomenal Images in Yet Another Northern Community (BLT - December 2002)
Saint Mary Visit Sask. (BLT - October, 2002)
Pilgrimage to Ile-a-la-Crosse (BLT - October, 2002)
Where its happening: northern Saskatchewan, Canada
Click on the map above to see a map of Saskatchewan
with the communities where the images have appeared.
[ if the map does not show click here ]
Extraordinary images appear on woman's home immediately after her death
--Shrines underway as phenomena continues in several other places
June 24, 2002 -- Her name was Judith Lemaigre. Some say she was a saint. At age 68 she passed away from surgery complications. Immediately following her death an image of the Virgin Mary accompanied by other holy symbols appeared on the two pane picture window. Some smelled roses and others say a cross appeared in the sky.
Residents of the northern community of La Loche, Saskatchewan reported that at least 5,000 had flocked to see the images and that entire communities visited in the first few days.
Leona Janvier lives not far from the home where the images were appearing. She was able to catch the image on a video camera the first night.
"It was amazing. I could see an image of the Sacred Heart. There was also something that looked like a house or a castle with a road leading up to it. We could all smell roses and the image had rainbow colours. I am not sure what it all means but it was really something to see. It was just beautiful."
This is not uncommon for northern Saskatchewan, where similar events -- images that appear as the result of condensation, or ice, or strange, inexplicable glass reflections and luminosities -- have been occurring since last September, drawing large crowds and inspiring prayer.
"Judith was a very compassionate person and she was very devout in the Faith," says Ms. Janvier, "If someone had a problem she would always try to help the best she could."
The images at La Loche only lasted for a week, but it was enough to inspire a lot of prayer says Delores Durocher who works at the hospital in La Loche.
"There is a lot of alcohol and drugs here. We felt left out when the Blessed Mother went to all these other places. 'What about La Loche?' we wondered. Some of the elders talked about this at meetings. I think that it was through Judith that the Blessed Mother was finally able to make her presence known."
La Loche is mainly Catholic but does not have a resident priest. It is the seventh northern community in the province with the images.
Several other communities over a widespread area have been the recipient of these extraordinary images resembling the Virgin Mary, Jesus, various saints, and even Mother Theresa and the Holy Father.
Pilgrims praying in front of the greenhouse at Ile-a-la-Crosse.
More photos at bottom of page
In Ile-a-la-Crosse, a shrine has been built around the little greenhouse where the Virgin Mary first appeared in northern Saskatchewan.
The rosary has been said daily by a large group ever since the first apparition and now there are prayer meetings and music every Tuesday. Residents report that the images still return occasionally, like during Holy Week when an image of the Holy Face of Jesus appeared "in glowing gold colour" on one of the window panes.
Anyone who visits Ile-a-la-Crosse cannot deny the unmistakable scent of live roses although the greenhouse was only used for growing tomatoes. There are also endless stories about pilgrims returning home with their hands smelling of roses after touching the greenhouse window.
Alex Bouvier, a resident of Ile-a-la-Crosse, says his life was changed because of the images. Only one of the many converts as a result of the Virgin Mary's appearance, he seemed very optimistic about the future. "What happened here really woke people up," Bouvier says, "and it's still waking people up."
Andre and Alexa Bouvier are the owners of the property where the images are appearing, Andre says although things are different with a lot of people coming and going they still try to live their lives as they usually do.
"The hospitality hasn't changed," says Andre, "We are always happy to receive pilgrims."
Sandwhiches and coffee are put out for pilgrims and in the lot next to the property pilgrims can stay in RV's and tents.
"The entire province of Saskatchewan seems to be very devoted to Mary and I think she recognizes that" Fr. Bob LeBlanc
In Fond-du-Lac, at the home of John and Lillian Pacquette, where the images appeared in November, the rosary is still said daily at least by the family. A large statue of Mary along with candles and flowers was placed in front of the window to form small shrine. "I feel very much at ease now," says Lillian, "I just try to take things one day at a time."
On Mother's day, a service was held at the home commemorating the apparitions.
Not far away in Black Lake a large statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, bought by the Indian Band, will be placed in front of the Sandypoint home where the rainbow coloured image of the Virgin Mary along with a likeness of Mother Theresa appeared and returns from time to time. Construction will begin for a shrine where people can make a pilgrimage.
Mary Jane Sayazie, a teacher at Father Porte Memorial School, reports that a water-like fluid is coming from the image of the Virgin Mary and that people are coming from various places collect it in any containers they can find.
The image has had incredible effects on the community that was struggling with alcohol, drugs and suicide say residents of Black Lake.
Billy Sandypoint, a Black Lake elder said that in recent years Church services at the Roman Catholic Church saw perhaps five or six people seated in the pews. He says that after the Virgin Mary was spotted in their community, Sunday services drew as many as 500 people. "Some people have to stand at the back," says Sandypoint, "Just right packed-- you can't walk."
Fr. Murray Chatlain, the priest for Black Lake and Fond-du-Lac, says that Mass attendance was changed dramatically after the appearance of the Virgin Mary. He says even daily Mass at the little mission Church drew as much as 100 people. "It's like Christmas Eve every day." he said.
In Canoe Narrows, where a six foot image appeared on a patio door, major renovations have taken place.
The patio door with the figures resembling Our Lady of Gaudalupe, Ste. Marguerite D'Youville and the Holy Face of Jesus was removed from the house and set in a shrine on the property with a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Lately, this area along with Ile-a-la-Crosse and Beauval has been the destination of pilgrims from all over Canada and United States. These three communities are more accessible than others and can be reached easily by road. It's not uncommon to see the occasional group from Detroit, New York, Washington, California, or Colorado praying at the pilgrimage sites.
The Virgin Mary image at Wollaston Lake
More photos at bottom of page
The fervor has not died down in Wollaston Lake where a startling image of Our Lady of Gaudalupe accompanied by an image of the Holy Face of Jesus appeared on the home of Margeurite St. Pierre in February.
Fr. Bob Leblanc is the resident priest of Wollaston Lake. He says the Marian devotion is unlike anything he has seen. "I have served in similar native communities in Manitoba but the devotion to Our Lady in Wollaston Lake is really something," says Fr. Leblanc, "It has been like this ever since I have been here, but the images have certainly reinforced the Faith."
Fr. LeBlanc reported that children and youth have been coming to daily Mass even without their parents. "The entire province of Saskatchewan seems to be very devoted to Mary," Fr. LeBlanc adds, "and I believe she recognizes that."
The image has returned several times reports Flora Natomagon who works at the Band office in Wollaston Lake. "One time the image returned and it looked like tears were flowing down from Mary's eyes," Ms. Natomagon says, "It really looked like she was crying."
Processions and events in honour of Mary take place all year round. The community has been known for little Marian "miracles" says Ms. Natomagon.
Of course, this is not the only time the Virgin Mary has been seen on windows. In Clearwater, Florida a 50 foot high rainbow coloured image resembling Our Lady of Gaudalupe was discovered on a financial building in 1996. The image still can be seen and has drawn millions of pilgrims. Now, on third floor hospital window in Massachusetts, an image resembling the Virgin Mary holding Jesus has inspired a flood of spontaneous prayer. Whether it is "condensation" or not hospital officials report that it has drawn at least 40,000 pilgrims.
It is obvious that the Blessed Mother is trying to get her children's attention. Mary's message for us is constantly one of prayer.
From Florida to Saskatchewan and to Massachusetts, it is obvious that the Blessed Mother is trying to get her children's attention. Mary's message for us is constantly one of prayer. Pray, pray, pray," the Blessed Mother asks us from many of her apparitions around the world. Fr. John Zunti the priest for Beauval and Canoe Narrows says that the images are a personal call to prayer."When did Mary appear and not call us to pray?" Fr. Zunti asks, "Why did the miracle at Fatima happen? Because our Blessed Mother wanted us to pray. It's the same message in all these places. ..."
"Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple book turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love, embracing both trial and joy." --St. Therese of Lisieux
Joshua Caswell, Brabant Lake Times
Canadian Archbishop speaks publicly on virgin Mary images in Saskatchewan
February 23, 2002 -- In an unprecedented move, Canadian Archbishop Peter Sutton spoke publicly on the images of the Virgin Mary appearing on windows of unpretentious homes throughout northern Saskatchewan. Although he says the visions and apparitions are strictly personal, the Archbishop offered guidance on the events for the thousands who heard him speak on a local radio station.
Six separate northern communities, over a widespread area, have received the Virgin Mary images that have attracted over 10,000 people since September of last year. Four of these communities with the phenomena are located in the Archdiocese of Keewatin - Le Pas, Archbishop Suttons Diocese.
The Archbishops twenty-minute interview, aired on February 14, summarized the Churchs position on the reported apparitions and expressed that the images should be leading people to live the Gospel of Christ.
One certainly cannot deny that we are living in apocalyptic times. Archbishop Sutton says. We must take caution when saying such things are miraculous.
His Grace says that from what he has heard there does not seem to be an expressed message attached to the visions.
One cannot downplay prayer, coming or returning to church, etc. hardly a new message or challenge, he states. I guess all this will be judged by the lives of people who claim there is a message.
In his interview, the Bishop noted that it was rare when the Church gets involved. Experts also say that any involvement of the Church on these matters is certainly unusual.
Rev. Thomas Thompson, Director of the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, documents dozens of reported apparitions from around the world.
Unless there are clear signs there are miraculous events going on, the local church does not get involved, Thompson says. If there's something contrary to Church teaching, the church may get involved.
The author of this article recently received a statement from Archbishop Sutton in which he affirms the Churchs position and provides insight on the reported phenomena. The Bishop writes he was visited by a couple from the northern community of Ile-a-la-Crosse, where the image first appeared; They were very calm, spoke about what they saw the first night. They added nothing except that they could not explain and did not understand.
Archbishop Sutton says he finds nothing contrary to the Churchs teachings.
That people want to pray cannot be faulted, he says. My faith in and devotion to Mary, Our Mother does not depend on sightings but on the Churchs authorative teachings.
Lest he be interpreted as being against devotion to Mary, he heartily refers the faithful to what the Bible and the Churchs documents say about Our Lady. He adds that the Church is extremely slow to authenticate visions, apparitions, voices, etc.
In the Archbishops remarks, he brings to light a different miracle, one he calls the greatest mystery of the Church, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This of course does not impress the news media! he says. Do we get as excited about This Real Presence?
To those in Saskatchewan the Archdioceses action came as an encouraging surprise and many believe it is a good sign for the Virgin Mary images.
If all this is good it will endure, Archbishop Sutton says.
Joshua Caswell, Brabant Lake Times
Virgin Mary images appear in sixth northern Saskatchewan community
Similar phenomena continues in previous locations
February 16, 2002 - Images of the Virgin Mary are now appearing in the northern Saskatchewan community of Wollaston Lake [ see map ], while similar depictions of Mary and Jesus continue to draw a multitude of pilgrims to Beauval and Canoe Narrows.
Last Sunday (Feb. 15th), Margaret St. Pierre notified
others in the community of Wollaston Lake about the frosty image on
her window that residents say is a representation of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
St. Pierre, whose second language is English, says the image was noticed
three weeks earlier on January 20th but she wanted to be certain it
was real before informing others.
The image has already attracted the whole community of
about 2,000 as well as people from communities more a hundred miles
away who have traveled by plane, skidoo or vehicle.
Joe Shaolle, a resident of Wollaston Lake, has been to the house since the image was made known. The image is really clear, it looks exactly like the picture, he says, I am just so amazed. Many of the young people are praying the rosary here. Lots of people are here, lots.
Of course, this is not the first apparent image of the Virgin Mary in northern Saskatchewan as five other communities have experienced related phenomena since the first in September of last year when images on a greenhouse drew thousands to Ile-a-la-Crosse. Since then the images have attracted thousands to unpretentious homes across the north of the province.
On the small Indian reserve of Canoe Narrows, a six-foot, rainbow coloured image depicting Mary and Jesus and other holy figures has remained on the deck window/door of a small home. Prayer services following the images at the Band office drew more than 200 instead of the usual 20.
Billy Opekekiw, who owns the home as well as the neighbouring confectionery/gas bar, closed the store for more than a week so he could more fully allow others to pray in his home. He says many people have come to pray the Rosary for a month daily. Some people pray the rosary as many as four times a day, he says prayer has become a part of my daily life as I live with these images- night and day.
Opekekiw has personally spoken with the Archbishop of the Keewatin-Le Pas Archdiocese about the images. I invited him to come and observe the image in my home, he says, I want him to come see for himself.
Fr. John Zunti, the resident priest for Beauval, Canoe Narrows and surrounding communities has observed the images that he believes are a call to prayer. He has also blessed the images and spent time in prayer with pilgrims gathered to view them.
In Beauval, two separate images, which at first appeared steadily for weeks, still appear periodically. A steady stream of pilgrims continues to pour in from all over the province. All are seeking a spiritual blessing.
Lillian Aubichon, who owns one of the two homes where the images appear, says that an image of Mary and the Child Jesus was manifested in glowing colour last week. It is a lot to take in, she says, the effect on the community hasnt worn off, and I dont think it will.
Joshua Caswell, Brabant Lake Times
Two separate images of the Virgin Mary draw hundreds to beauval
Fourth Northern Community with Virgin Mary Images Since September
Friday, January 11 - Over 10,000 vistors have reportedly visited the three northern communities in
Saskatchewan, Canada where images of the Virgin Mary and other holy figures are appearing on windows. More recently the images are appearing in a community about 50 km south of Ile-a-la-Crosse [see map] where the images first drew thousands of visitors in September.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered at 2 nearby residences in Beauval to view 2 separate images on the homes' front picture windows that began on Monday, January the 6th. Onlookers went back and forth between the 2 homes until as late as 4 in the morning. Residents have captured both images on cameras and camcorders. People are said to be flocking from surrounding communities and some visitors have already come from the cities of Saskatoon and Prince Albert to see the images.
Lillian Aubichon, who owns one of the homes, says the image was actually seen first on Sunday, December 22nd. "It started out as a white image then colour formed later," says Aubichon "She appeared with her arms spread open and then she closed them as if in prayer... We could smell roses."
The image returned again on Monday, the same night an image of the Virgin Mary appeared at the home of Bertha Durocher, about a block away from Lillian Aubichon's home. Durocher says she first noticed on her home early Monday evening but ignored it until shortly after midnight, when the glowing image became too noticeable to ignore.
"I went to tell the people who were looking at the image on the other house to come over and I even brought Lillian herself," Durocher says, "We drove up the driveway and Lillian just said 'Oh my God.' We shut off the car headlights and that is when she (the Virgin Mary) really glowed... just beautiful. It was its own light."
Durocher and those who have seen the images says that hands, hair, veil and rosary could easily be seen and that the main colors of the image are blue, gold and white.
Phylis Jack, a Beauval resident, was one of the many who were astonished at the image. "I was making fun of it when I first heard about it," she said. "I thought it wouldn't hurt take a look though I wasn't prepared for what I saw. Her hands were moving. She was moving in this ghostly way. I'm still too amazed to think about it. I thought I was seeing things. I never ever dreamed I would see anything like that in my life."
Both Aubichon and Durocher welcome visitors to come and see the images. "There are two school gymnasiums where people can stay," says Durocher, "Even if they don't see the image, they can still watch the videos."
Update: Friday, January 18 - When I spoke to Ms. Durocher
on Wednesday (January 15th), the images were still on her home as
well as the other, although they had ceased for about three days.
She also said that watching the video they can see the Holy Face (from
the Shroud of Turin) on the wall beside the window. "When the
face of Jesus is there, Mary has her head turned toward him... when
the children are kneeling below the window Mary looks down at them."
Fr. John Zunti, the resident priest for Beauval and area has visited the houses where the images of the Virgin Mary draw many onlookers. Although cautious to say that the images are a miracle, he says they are a call to prayer for everybody.
Fr. Zunti spent a night in prayer with those who viewed the images on the night of Tuesday, January 7. "People are definitely seeing something," he said, "The atmosphere was very peaceful. I think it is important, that when these things happen, they be guided into prayer."
Fr. Zunti believes that these images have a personal message
from Mary. "We need to pray," he said "Why did the miracle
at Fatima happen? Because Our Blessed Mother wanted us to pray... it's
the same message in all these communities. It
is a message for everybody and not for just for us."
Joshua Caswell, Brabant Lake
Below are photographs we have released of the Virgin Mary images. The images below are actual photographs and are not digitally enhanced in any way.
Photographs of the Ile-a-la-Crosse Events
Note: These photos are of the Ile-a-la-Crosse, the first community with the images. We do not currently have many photos from the other communities yet, as they are isolated and the residents must travel miles to get film developed. They do not have digital cameras or scanners. We are working on getting more pictures for this web site soon.