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Act of Entrustment may be
the 'sign for this October'

Originally Published in the 'Bo & Jean Cadle' Emmitsburg Dispatch, Dec, 2000

Emmitsburg has held the attention of many since the September 8th directive of the Archdiocese of Baltimore to discontinue Thursday evening prayer services at St Joseph’s Catholic Church where crowds of 600 to 1000 participated each week. The services, according to the archdiocese, were the platform for the alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Gianna Talone-Sullivan. The reason for the prolonged attention has been due to a message of July 13, 2000, which predicted "a sign for this October." Many waited in anticipation for a miraculous event up to the midnight hour of Tuesday October 31st. A group of about 40 people, myself, a Washington DC reporter and cameraman, and Mercy Foundation camera crew waited in anticipation. In the final hour, the group standing under the streetlight outside the sanctuary entrance of St. Joseph’s church prayed the rosary in 30-degree temperatures.

Questions are raised in regard to why there was no sign in the way many people anticipated. Were the apparitions false? Did the messenger (Sullivan) misunderstand? Was the sign diminished because the prayer services were halted? Or was it allegedly as Our Lady of Emmitsburg said in her message of July 20, 2000, "Be gentle and show acts of love and charity or you will not be able to recognize any sign from heaven because of your own pride and arrogance."

The phrase "a sign for this October" could have many interpretations. The message did not say miracle. Did many misinterpret what "a sign" meant? Individuals speculating that the October sign did, in fact, occur have concluded that the sign was Pope John Paul II’s "Act of Entrustment" of the church, the world, and new millennium to the Blessed Virgin Mary on October 8th.

The headline of a press release issued by Caritas of Birmingham stated, "The world will change for the next 1000 years on October 8, 2000." The non-profit organization and community located in Birmingham, Alabama is dedicated to living and spreading the message of "Our Lady of Medjugorje." The press release quoted the scripture verse Rev 20: 1-3 and encouraged people to be part of this event which it said, "is beyond historic." On October 7th and 8th the Vatican celebrated the Jubilee of Bishops. On October 8th, after the celebration of the mass, bishops united with the Holy Father in an "Act of Entrustment" to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In a newsletter numbered vol.63 and entitled "Words of the Harvesters" Caritas of Birmingham described the events, "In Rome, those from our community who were present expressed to us that there was a strong sense of something in the air, something like what one feels awaiting Christmas. Everyone felt it. Even many of the Cardinals, Bishops and Priests expressed the same. There were 1,156 Bishops and 80 Cardinals present from every corner of the world. Not since the time of the Second Vatican Council has there been so vast a representation of a gathering of the world’s Bishops. The Universal Church was truly present in this historic event." The publication went further to say, "We believe this moment of entrustment was the moment Our Lady was given the graces to crush the power of Satan. This will lead to the moment of triumph, the victory of Her Immaculate Heart. In time, we will see the physical manifestation appear of what has already taken place in the spiritual realm, a complete victory over all hearts who desire Jesus to rule as King."

On the evening of October 7, 2000 there was a local gathering of the faithful that was well attended at the Basilica of St Elizabeth Ann Seton. They participated in a candle light procession with the pilgrim statue of Fatima and recited a similar consecration in union with the Holy Father, and the bishops in Rome. Those speculating that this "Act of Entrustment" was the sign, tied the event to the message of July 13 in which allegedly Our Lady of Emmitsburg said, "Satan’s reign is ending this year and now I am moving swiftly on his turf to reclaim all those who were deceived and lost. I am determined to bring all of my children back to my son." She repeated the prophecy ending the message in the words, "Watch and see for I am about to meet Satan on his own turf and extinguish his ways forever. Watch and see."

Some speculate the sign was the Sullivans unscheduled private audience with the Holy Father. They rationed the meeting to be extra ordinary sighting the normal formalities which one needs to overcome in order to see Pope John Paul II are difficult enough. They believe this due to the fact that their meeting was unscheduled, private, and occurred on October 13th, the same day of the miracle, which authenticated the apparitions at Fatima. The Sullivans, in their commitment of obedience to the archdiocese, continue to remain silent and are unwilling to confirm or deny any speculation in regard to the sign.

Time will provide enlightenment to these events that have occurred here in Emmitsburg for the past seven years. One thing does remain, Gianna Talone-Sullivan truly believes she sees the Blessed Virgin Mary and many others believe this as well. Since the prayer services were discontinued, both parishioners and pilgrims have continued to gather every Thursday evening at various homes in Emmitsburg to pray. At one particular parishioner’s home, crowds between 60 and 180 have gathered each week. On November 2nd, the first Thursday after October, a group of approximately 90 people gathered. Most had their own personal stories and convictions about the events but their primary reason for gathering was to continue to pray. Several stated, "a sign isn’t necessary or needed for us to believe."

The Archdiocese of Baltimore took no action against the majority of the messages; 221 of the 302 are published in the last two books of a six-volume set entitled "I am Your Jesus of Mercy." The action that was taken, however, was directly concerned with the prophetic and apocalyptic aspects, which the July 13th message was apart. The Archdiocese, speaking about the messages, stated, "it finds elements in them that cannot be reconciled with the teaching of the Church, including material that deals with predictions for the future and visions of an apocalyptic nature." The material contained in the messages prior to their statement of September 8 were not strong enough to provoke any action. The church likes to give events like these the benefit of time. Only in time do we understand the fullness of mystical experiences. The apparitions at Fatima occurred over 80 years ago, were authenticated with the "miracle of the sun," and approved by a formal commission study of the church, but it wasn’t until May of this year that part of the message referred to as "the third secret" was revealed by the church and given explanation. No one knows without doubt all the answers to the questions surrounding these events in Emmitsburg, but in time the answers will become clear. We continue to watch and see.  

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