Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Local visionary gives apocalyptic message

Dispute over validity of messages causes Sullivans to leave St. Joseph’s

Raymond Buchheister and James Rada, Jr.
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(7/17/2008) Gianna Talone-Sullivan, who some say is a visionary, recently claimed to have received a message from the Blessed Virgin Mary for the world that has caused some controversy.

“After awhile, you will see a time when there is another body in orbit around your solar system, coming between Earth and the Sun and leading to tremendous devastation. Approximately 60-70 percent of the world’s population, as you know it, will cease. Of those who survive, 60 percent of them could die of disease and starvation,” Sullivan said as part of her June 1 message that she said was from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sullivan has claimed to receive apparitions of Mary since 1989 and has been given messages and teachings from Jesus, and most recently God the Father. The Our Lady of Emmitsburg prayer group currently meets monthly at the Lynfield Complex, where this message was reportedly received.

Local media response

Sullivan was last in the local news in February 2007, but the June 1 message caused Michael Hillman, webmaster for, to post his interpretation of the message, which NBC 25 followed up on with a broadcast report.

Hillman wrote an article called, "Emmitsburg’s own end of the world cult?" In it, he said that the message "is predicting the Earth is about to get smacked by an asteroid or comet." The article lists asteroid tracking information and links, as well as outlined eight "end of the world" cults that have been in the recent news.

He said that reading the message left him “troubled” and NBC 25 quoted him as saying in response to Sullivan, “You’ve crossed the line into predicting doom and gloom.”

The Foundation of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, a web site that publishes Our Lady of Emmitsburg messages published a special Enewsletter on June 30 to explain the revelation in response to the negative publicity.

"That newsletter was put out to demonstrate how the Church has responded in previous approved apparitions," said Sullivan's husband Michael. He said in at least five previously church approved apparitions Mary has given apocalyptic messages.

Future predictions

Hillman’s web site now hosts an “Our Lady of Emmitsburg Cult Watch” and he has posted another article “Debunking the Myth of the Coming ‘Two Suns’.” The article ultimately deals with predictions of the year 2012 as the end of the world.

The date has gotten a lot of attention of late, including programs on The History Channel and a documentary by televangelist Dr. Jack Van Impe. Depending on the site where the information comes from, 2012 has been predicted as the year the world ends or the year that events will unfold related to Christ's second coming.

Sullivan declined to be interviewed, but her husband said the message was about change. One part of the message reads, “When you see the two suns on the horizon, you must know that this is a time of change, a time of this new beginning about which I have spoken to you before.” However, neither Sullivan or her husband offered an interpretation of the message.

The Church’s position

In 2003, Archbishop William Cardinal Keeler of the Archdiocese of Baltimore declared, "that in this case, constat de non supernaturalitate (it is established not supernatural)" and banned Sullivan's messages and visions from Archdiocesan churches and property. The results were the findings of a theological commission that investigated Sullivan's visions and locutions for two years.

Father Vincent O'Malley, pastor of St. Joseph's parish in Emmitsburg said, "Rome has spoken. The issue is over."

"The Gianna movement is on the verge of schism," he said. When asked if he thought this was a cult, he said the Our Lady of Emmitsburg group had "cult-like characteristics."

Michael Sullivan responded, saying, “How can this be a diabolical cult? Gianna attends daily Mass, prays the daily rosary, frequents confession and encourages people to do the same. How is that diabolical?” Father Kieran Kavanugh also serves as her spiritual director.

Michael Sullivan pointed out that multiple current and ex-parishioners have been harassed and intimidated by O'Malley. The Sullivans themselves have left St. Joseph's and are now registered at St. Mary's parish in Fairfield, Pa.

Michael Sullivan, a physician of 33 years, cited O'Malley's quickly changing moods, behavior outbursts, distortions of the truth, and obsession with spreading false statements about his wife and people who are using this private devotion to Our Lady of Emmitsburg, as reasons for their departure.

Furthermore, Michael Sullivan said O'Malley's actions "cause me serious concern for his overall health; and with what appears to be malicious intent, these matters may even constitute what would 'legally' be considered defamation of character, over and above a lack of Christian charity, even though Gianna is considered a 'public' figure."

Father Michael Messaro, pastor of St. Mary's, said he has made no judgment on the matter since he is Sullivan's confessor. However, the Diocese of Harrisburg issued a statement saying it "accepts the findings and conclusions of the theological commission of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in matters regarding Gianna Talone-Sullivan."

"People who expect the world as it is to end soon
 do a lot of very strange things."

Have your own stories or thoughts about the Our Lady of Emmitsburg Cult?
If so, send them to us as

Other Articles on the 'Our Lady of Emmitsburg' Cult