Necedah Shrine
Necedah Shrine, officially the Queen of the Holy Rosary, Mediatrix of Peace Shrine, is a Marian shrine located in Necedah, Juneau County. Wisconsin. On November 12, 1949, Mary Ann Van Hoof (1909”“1984) reported receiving a vision from the Blessed Virgin Mary. She claimed that in subsequent visions she was told to "bring the truth to people" through prayer and the rosary. The Roman Catholic Church investigated and found the reported visions and other phenomena indisputably faked, and when Van Hoof and her followers refused to desist, put her under interdict.

Visions
Van Hoof reported that she received nine visions between November 2, 1949 and October 7, 1950. Pilgrims reportedly saw Van Hoof in a state of religious ecstasy. The messages she received were recorded on a tape recorder, and written in long hand by at least two people. Some were repeated word for word, but in most cases Van Hoof was inspired by her own language. 100,000 people attended the vision on August 15, 1950, and witness accounts vary significantly. Many of the messages Van Hoof received occurred at home. Van Hoof said that she suffered the Passion of Our Lord on the Fridays of Advent and Lent, but these claims were demonstrated to be false in tests conducted under hospital conditions. Van Hoof reported that she was told in a vision that the most perfect way of offering Mass was the Tridentine Mass approved by Saint Pius V and the Council of Trent for the Latin Church. She was reportedly told that the Novus Ordo Mass, developed in the Vatican shortly after the Second Vatican Council, was watered down. Advocates of the Tridentine Mass oppose numerous changes implemented after Vatican II. The revelations also contain references to imminent chastisement, a thermonuclear World War III, Soviet submarines, and accusations that the mainstream Roman Catholic hierarchy and Papacy had been subverted. In a February 1989 article in Fidelity Magazine Marlene Maloney quoted one of Van Hoof's messages, as detailing that the devotees of the Necedah Shrine would be spared Armageddon when, just before the world's doom, a 1,200 year-old man named Joe would come in a spaceship to save them.

Interdict
After an investigation failed to support the validity of the apparitions, in 1951 John P. Treacy, Bishop of La Crosse, told the Van Hoofs to remove religious artifacts from their farm and stop circulating literature about the apparitions. In an official statement issued in 1955, he declared the visions to be false and prohibited worship associated with them. Van Hoof and her associates did not obey these orders. In May, 1975, Bishop Frederick William Freking (1964”“1983), Treacy's immediate successor, placed Van Hoof and six of her key followers under interdict, precipitating Van Hoof's final schism with the Roman Catholic Church. This did not stop Mary Ann Van Hoof and Myrtle Sommers from maintaining and recording disclosures from a traditionalist Marian apparition manifestation at the site.

Aftermath
Since 1975, the shrine has continued to operate, but has disaffiliated from mainstream Roman Catholicism, and affiliated instead with an Old Catholic, conservative independent Catholic organization. The shrine currently runs a private primary school, established in 1982, and a visitor center. Believers are building a new "House of Prayer" at the spot of the visions. The shrine is strongly affiliated with anti-abortion politics and pro-life groups.

Bibliography
  • Cuneo, Michael. "The Vengeful Virgin: Studies in Contemporary Catholic Apocalypticism" in Millennium, Messiahs and Mayhem. Henry Robbins and Susan Palmer, editors. New York: Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-415-91649-6
  • Johnson, Kevin Orlin. Apparitions: Mystic Phenomena and What They Mean, Dallas, 1998.
  • Kselman, Thomas A. and Steven Avella, "Marian Piety and the Cold War in the United States," Catholic Historical Review 72 (1986): 403”“424
  • Maloney, Marlene. "Necedah Revisited: Anatomy of a Phony Apparition" Fidelity Magazine vol. 8, no. 3 (February 1989) pp. 18”“34. ISSN 0730-0271
  • Swan, Henry My Work With Necedah Necedah: For My God and My Country Inc, 1959.
  • Van Hoof, Mary Ann and Myrtle Sommers. Revelations and Messages as Given Through Mary Ann Van Hoof at Necedah Wisconsin: Vol. 1: 1950”“1970, Vol. 2: 1971”“1975. Necedah: For My God and My Country Inc., 1978.
  • Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra. "Religious Experience and Public Cult: The Case of Mary Ann Van Hoof." Journal of Religion and Health 28 (1989): 36”“57.
  • Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra Encountering Mary: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-691-07371-6


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