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Our Lady smiles photo

She has such a beautiful, soft smile, so compassionate and loving.
Veronica of the Cross, June 18, 1988

Our Lady smiles on SMWA
by Michael Mangan

Statue beams on Feast of the Holy Rosary

Move over Mona Lisa. We have a new masterpiece. This one though is not created by man but by the stroke of God that captures the stunning beauty, grace and sweetness of nature’s solitary boast. 

This great gift from Heaven unfolded on October 7 during the Sunday Holy Hour when some faithful observed the statue smiling, including Vigil Coordinator, Vincent McDonnell and assistant, Perry Montemaro. Near the close of the Holy Hour more pilgrims noticed and after some ending prayers, this priceless photo was taken by Lorraine Zanzonico, Brooklyn, N.Y. organizer.


Our Lady smiles photo

During the course of the Holy Hour, the statue was observed smiling at three different points on the sacred grounds.


Lorraine explains, “When I was in line to kiss the crucifix (kissed by the Blessed Mother on Oct. 29, 1994), I first noticed Our Lady smiling. It made me feel so calm and peaceful. It was a beautiful experience. I understood this to mean that She was happy with the work of everyone, with the praying of the Rosaries and the spreading of the message.”

With America still grieving from perhaps the worst terror attack in history and the war in Afghanistan to be declared shortly after this momentous Holy Hour, there was not a lot to be happy about.

Nonetheless, our gracious Mother found the occasion to share Her appreciation and gratitude for all Bayside devotees. Our Lady is recognizing our heart and dedication. She knows the abuse, the persecution, the struggle and the stigma we have endured for Her desperate cause of the latter days. (Conversely, we know the boundless grace received through Her hands.)

We may not be perfect–in fact it seems perhaps we fail too often–but Our Lady is looking beyond that and admires our gutsy perseverance and deep abiding faith in Her Mission.


Normal statue Smiling statue
Face enlarged Face enlarged
Typical A big smile
The lips are straight, the cheeks are drawn, the expression is solemn. The lips are curled, the cheeks are full, the expression is happy.


That precious countenance you see above comes with a wink and a thumbs up that says: “Yeess! Good job. Keep going. I know it’s tough but hang in there.”

Our Lady needs us to be Her hands and feet and mouthpiece in this world. The Blessed Mother cannot appear to everyone so our role as apostles takes on a great urgency and meaning: “We have great dependence on all disciples chosen in these latter days. . . . The Message from Heaven must reach every corner of the earth before the end of the era” (Our Lady, June 18, 1979).

Naturally, Our Lady is very pleased with the prayers of reparation of the Rosary Vigils and Sunday Holy Hours. It was not by accident that this treasure was given on the Feast of the Holy Rosary.

And here at this outdoor Shrine, thousands of Rosaries, many prayed under severe weather conditions like snow, cold, rain and heat, rise each year from this “center of atonement” (Sept. 7, 1974) to the throne of the Eternal Father begging for mercy for a perverse generation (Acts 2.40).

Besides the Mass, is there any prayer more powerful and pleasing to Heaven?!


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Vincent adds, “Like Lepanto, the Rosary is the answer to war. Plus this smile also proves that Her presence is real. We are not praying to a statue, but to the Mother of God Who is alive and active on these sacred grounds.”

Certainly Our Lady knows the immeasurable value of these prayer services that help hold back the heavy hand of the Father whose patience is running out: “The balance for your nation and your state, My child, lies with the prayers that come to Us from your country and the world” (Sept. 7, 1974).

After Sept. 11, Our Lady was surely pleased with our response too. Here’s some highlights:

• Offered two vigils as a special memorial for the thousands of victims and their families and friends

• Offered the Holy Hour for peace in the world (for three months)

• Ordered Gregorian Masses (30 consecutive days, celebrated Nov. 1-Nov. 30) for the repose of the souls of the victims of terror

• Printed 210,000 Attack on America, HST #12

• Reported and evangelized at Ground Zero for our website, newsletter and national radio program

And so between the prayers and good works there is a lot to ease the pain of Our Holy Mother and even to bring out that beautiful, soft and mystical smile that could melt the coldest heart.

Indeed, it was a similar striking countenance that stunned Fr. Robert Skurla, former international Blue Army chaplain, in June last year at the 31st Anniversary Vigil. The good Father explains, “As I approached the inner circle of the sacred grounds and saw the Blessed Mother, I looked towards the statue and said, ‘Hi, Mary, here I am.’ The Blessed Mother gave me the biggest, brightest smile I have ever seen.

“To me it means that the Blessed Mother is pleased with all those involved with St Michael’s World Apostolate.” (Father will be speaking in June at the 32nd Anniversary Banquet.)

May this warm and compassionate smile of our Blessed Mother always stand as a radiant sign of hope and encouragement as you follow your special calling as a disciple of the latter days.

To receive a 4x6 color print of this masterpiece, please send $1 donation to cover costs. Ask for item no. P24.

Printers version (pdf)


The Virgin Mary appears in America

This beautiful story of grace, peace and redemption opened publicly on June 18, 1970 when the Mother of God visited Veronica Lueken on the grounds of the old St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Bayside, New York and later at the Vatican Pavilion site (blessed by Pope Paul VI) in Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Beginning in 1968, St. Theresa the Little Flower prepared Veronica for these Heavenly apparitions.

For 25 years, the Virgin Mary and Her Divine Son would appear to this mother of five children during Rosary Vigils on these sacred grounds until her passing in 1995. Our Lady asked that this Shrine be called “Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers” and that a Sunday Holy Hour offered for the Pope and priests be held.

Over 300 comprehensive messages packed with wisdom and guidance for these latter days were transmitted through this seer named by Heaven, Veronica of the Cross.

Our Lady of the Roses Shrine is under the stewardship of the lay Order of St. Michael (est. 1977), a vibrant community of dedicated, celibate men who have been appointed by Heaven to lead this global mission. Our Lady has prophesied that this lay Order will bring forth the full-fledged religious Order of St. Michael, an order founded on tradition, which will also include a cloistered convent.

Our Lady has also stated that curative waters will erupt and a magnificent basilica will be erected at the original site of St. Robert’s.

The Vigils and Holy Hours continue to this day at the Vatican Pavilion inspired by Our Lord’s promise: “We have made Our home upon these grounds.” Cures and conversions abound and for countless pilgrims, faith and hope have been restored. We invite you to join us.

For a free rose petal blessed by Jesus and Mary with the power of cure and conversion, a Rosary Vigil calendar, and for more information, contact:

St Michael’s World Apostolate
P.O. Box 514 • Bayside, NY 11361
toll free orderline 1-888-830-SMWA