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Mary’s Reincarnation and the Banality of Salvation: The Millennialist Cultus of the Lady of All Nations/Peoples

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Abstract This article deals with the transnational Dutch-Canadian apparitional cultus of our Lady of All Nations/Peoples. It analyses how contemporary visionary Catholicism is influenced by religious eclecticism, esotericism, and New Age spiritualities, and how this devotion has shifted into an autonomous millennialist movement. Finding fertile soil in modern societies in socio-economic, political, and religious crisis, and due to the dwindling of existential certainties at the individual level, its ideology of “progressive millennialism” has shown itself to be a successful religious format that mobilizes devotees, even when its deviation brings the movement into conflict with the formal Church. The movement’s prophetic and millennialist views fit into a salvific system of conditionality according to which the visionary, unveiled as the reincarnation of Mary herself, will realize the new millennium if her party will fulfill certain conditions. With its new theology the Quebec movement tries to appropriate the whole Lady cultus as a vehicle for universal salvation. In this way the means for revelation and salvation are taken from the hierarchical ecclesiastical powers-that-be and situated in the “banality” of the everyday life of the reincarnated Mary. In the providential Marie-Paule Giguère, the devotees involved find an appealing prophet who is both Mary and a co-redeeming messiah, and who in the near future is supposed to realize the second millennium, framed in a new, modern cosmology, for all peoples and faiths.

Affiliations: 1: Meertens Institute, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences PO Box 94264 — 1090 GG Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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