I saw a really terrified, honest, innocent and timid child telling us about a divine reality(1) Rev. Fr. Sylveter Onmoke October, 1992 Above was part of an investigation report of Fr. Sylvester Onmoke, an Assistant Priest to his Parish Priest Fr John Beirne, concerning a 12 years old visionary of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, in the village of Aokpe in Benue State, Nigeria. Aokpe is a tiny remote village in the Idoma speaking territory of Nigeria. The remote village has no portable water, telephones or electricity and the access road connecting it to the nearest town of Ugbokolo, about six kilometers away, is untarred, narrow and rough. About 99% of the people of Aokpe are Catholic and they usually recite the Rosary with great devotion. No other teaching has ever been allowed by the villagers to penetrate into their community. Whenever the priest comes from the parish to celebrate mass in the village’s outstation church of Saint Patricks, the people would take the advantage to go for confession and receive the Holy Communion with the outmost reverence. The major feast days of the church were often celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm. The community is united in prayer and whenever a serious problem confronts them, everyone including the children would come together to fast and pray. So, devoted has been the 1
people that there is a saying among the neighbouring villages that God dwells in Aokpe.(2) Christiana is the 9th child of the ten children her parents, Mr and Mrs Regina Agbo. Her mother Regina is a farmer and a petty business woman, a highly devoted Christian and a strong member of Christian Mothers Organization. She is well known for her generosity, especially in giving food to people. Christiana’s father, Mr Christopher Agbo was a headmaster and a catechist and he earned high respect, especially from the early missionaries for his honesty and bluntness. He was a disciplinarian and could say all the liturgical prayers in Latin. In Agbo’s family, God comes first in everything and no one was lazy about morning or evening prayers which they normally ended by saying the Ten Commandments.(3) FLASH OF LIGHT, OCTOBER 1992 In the month of October 1992, Christiana and her elder sister Felicia were assigned by their mother Regina, to weed a portion of the family farm. After weeding for some time, Christiana became tired and decided to take a rest. On standing up after the rest, she saw flashes of light which came with speed as that of lightening. She drew Felicia’s attention to it but Felicia who could not see the light dismissed it as possibly being the rays of the sun, despite Christiana’s insistence that the light was quite different and unique. On another occasion in the same month of October 1992 when her mother Regina sent Christiana to collect herbs from the farm, Christiana climbed a tree and was collecting some leaves when she saw the same flashes of light again. Then she saw a very beautiful lady. She was so beautiful and was radiating with so much light. She was standing in the air. The beautiful lady smiled at Christiana 2
without saying a word. Christiana was so frightened that the leaves she had cut fell from her hands. She came down from the tree and the beautiful lady disappeared. Christiana was stupefied as she kept looking around and wondering where the lady could have come from. On getting home, she wanted to tell her mother about the young lady but she could not even open her month to do so. OUR LADY’S REQUEST TO CHRISTIANA, OCTOBER 1992 On 15th October 1992, Christiana was sent by her mother to go and grind some millet. She was very reluctant to go but on eventually stepping out of their house, but still within the compound to undertake the assignment, she saw the same beautiful lady accompanied by some other people. They were all radiating light. They stayed for few minutes and then disappeared. When Christiana recovered from this vision, she discovered that her parents and neighbours were staring at her in amazement. When her father told her that she almost died and inquired what happened to her, she said “You mean you did not see all the beautiful people”? She described the lady and the people but no one seemed to understand what she was trying to explain. Rather, her parents, especially the father attributed the mysterious phenomenon to evil spirits. Within the same month of October when the Lady appeared to Christiana, she introduced herself to Christiana by saying, “See, I am the Holy Mother. Do not be afraid, I will come again to tell you more about myself, and what I want from you’. Still worried by the mysterious occurrences, Christiana’s mother instructed her to ask the beautiful lady to pray the rosary with her when next she appears. 3
When the beautiful lady appeared to Christiana again, she remembered what her mother asked her to do. But before she could ask, the beautiful lady asked, “Where is your rosary”? They said the rosary together. The beautiful lady was only saying the Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. She said it with the whole of her being as if God was before her. The Lady told Christiana that she comes from heaven to win souls for Christ and to hide her children in her immaculate heart. She said, ‘What I want you to do is to pray for the souls in purgatory, to pray for the world and to pray to console Jesus. Will you accept’? To this request Christiana answered, ‘Yes’.(4) CHRISTIANA’S TRAVAILS Christiana suffered a lot of humiliations and threats within her community as a result of Our Lady’s visits to her. Such humiliations were also extended to any person associating with her in terms of her visions. The local Bishop tried to arraign her for psychiatric tests while her church leaders officially banned parishioners from visiting the apparition site or believing Christiana’s stories. The community threatened to evict the Agbo’s family from Aokpe village, stating that their daughter Christiana was being visited by an evil spirit, possibly a water spirit. Christiana’s mother lost all her friends and she was stripped of all her roles in the church. The visit of the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. John Beirne [Irish nationality] to Aokpe’s Saint Patricks Church worsened the parishioners’ humiliation against Christiana. Fr Beirne’s whole sermon was all about Christiana. He told parishioners that the vision was the handiwork of an evil spirit. His statements were received with shouts of cheers by the parishes, all fully agreeing with him. In addition, he banned everyone from visiting the apparition area. After mass, the community treated Christiana and her mother 4
with unbelievable scorn. One of Christiana’s prayer mates, a mother of two children, was physically beaten up by her relative for daring to join Christiana in prayers. Christiana begged Our Lady to show a sign to the community so that they will believe her. Our lady agreed and gave a date for the sign. When Christiana passed this information to the community, they vowed to kill Christiana if the sign failed to materialize. Christiana’s father and some of Christiana’s siblings were so scared that they left home; only her prayer mates and two of her sisters stayed to wait for the Blessed Lady. The Blessed Lady appeared as she promised. During her appearance, the sun spurn so violently as if it was going to fall. Everyone become frightened and people saw different things such as a little child, in the sun. From then onwards, the community stopped disbelieving Christiana.(5) OUR LADY’S NUMEROUS VISITS AND MESSAGES Our Lady appeared numerous times to Christiana, well over 106 times as could be recorded and as at time of writing this piece in February 2014. Initially, the various appearances were not recorded partly because no one, including the visionary herself, knew that what started as a flash of light was only the beginning of a rich divine revelation. Moreover, the visionary was only a primary school pupil at the time and her English literacy level, both oral and written was low. Following the instructions of Fr Beirne and Rv Fr Samuel Ehatikpo, the dates and record keeping were eventually kick started by Mrs Grace Afikwu who was a strong believer of Christiana’s stories, even at her time of persecution. Christiana herself used the 15th of October 1992 as a 5
reference point to remember the months of initial visions, though not the days, being the date specially noted by her father as the day on which Christina was feared dead in his compound, when she had a vision of Our Lady and some other people. In another vision Our Lady told Christiana “See I am the Immaculate Conception, I want to be known here as the Mediatrix of All Graces”. She further stated the reason behind her numerous visits, “I am coming down from heaven to remind you of what to do and what not to do; I have told you again and again to avoid sin, my children, pray, pray and pray, do lots of penance, remove the thorns surrounding the sacred heart of Jesus. Pray most especially for those the devil has captured.(6) I want to draw souls to myself so that many souls will be saved.” (7) The encounters mentions in this site are only a selected few from the numerous apparitions of Our Lady to Christiana. More details are provided in films, journals and in books such as Aokpe Message Journals; Am I Going To Heaven Or Not by Fr. John Beirne; The Messages Of Our Lady Of Aokpe by Engr Michael Audu Oteikwu; Apparition Of The Virgin Mary At Aokpe by Christiana Agbo, the visionary. Christiana later pursued university education, after which she wrote her own accounts so that all may hear from ‘the horse’s mouth’. HEALING SPRING Still within the month of October 1992, Christiana saw a cloud and in the cloud was the beautiful Holy Mother. She said “I am the hiding place for sinners. Collect a bucket of water, say the rosary and put it into the water, leave it in the 6
room till the following morning. I will come and bless the water. Some people who will accept and drink the water will have their sickness cured, especially those who have faith”. She then touched Christiana’s rosary. Christina asked if she could fetch the water from the stream. The holy mother replied, “Do not worry, the water will come from the Father. By six o’clock collect a bucket of rain water and do as I have asked you to do”. When it was six o’clock, it rained so heavily and Christiana did as she was instructed. The next day, people came and used the water and some of them were healed.(8) On 24th May 1994, the Blessed Lady appeared and said “You will have to dig a well that will bring water. You will use an axe. The angel will come to point out where you are to dig. Always wait for me to give you instructions when the water starts flowing.” The following day an Angel appeared to draw a line on the floor, with light shining brightly, which everybody in the room could see. Christiana complained to the Angel that it was their room and where would they be sleeping. The Angel replied, “Do not worry, this is what the Blessed Lady asked of you”.(9) Contrary to our Holy Mother’s instructions, Christiana could not wait for her instructions before giving the water to a sick person. The Holy mother was unhappy with her and the supposed purpose of the well in the room was aborted. However, on 16th May, 1996 Christiana went to the site of a spring which is near the apparition site, saying the rosary and the Blessed Lady appeared as she had previously promised her. She asked Christiana to take some of the mud from the water and rub it on her (Christiana’s) arms and then use the water to 7
wash it off. She did as instructed. She further asked Christiana to take some mud and mold it and then drop it in the spring water. The Blessed Lady bent down and touched the water. Her lips moved but Christiana did not hear what she said. Then the Blessed Lady said it should no longer be called just a spring but a Holy Spring; it is for the sick, it will cure some diseases. ‘Jesus my Divine son has sent me here today to help the sick and to purify you my children. From this Holy Spring, many will be purified. Through this Holy Spring, many will amend their ways. The penance which you will undertake before taking the Holy Spring water will bring about the purification of your souls. There should be a path made and you are to crawl on your knees till you get to the crucifix which should be mounted and supported with stones. When you get to the crucifix, bow your head and kiss it and then go to the Holy Spring and wash yourself.(10) When Christiana asked her what then becomes of the well in her room which no longer had water in it, she responded, “I asked you to dig, you did. I asked you to wait for my instruction you did not listen to me. Thank you for having dug the well”. When Christiana asked if she should fill it up, the Holy Mother said “Do not close it, it is a Holy well”. PRAYER TO OUR LADY THE MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES On 1st July 1994, our Blessed Lady gave to Christiana the following prayers which should be recited nine days before the 4th of August, a date she set aside to dispense Graces to those who ask for it. She further told Christiana that whatever we ask with open hearts will be granted to us. Lady of purity of heart, Lady of good heart that humbles herself 8
Sweetness of Angels Your heavenly wisdom and your patience surprise all others. The whole of your life is a purity of heart that has no stain Lady the Mediatrix of all Graces Help us to do without delay the will of Jesus Make us worthy to receive the gift that has been given to us so that we will be holy Give us the Grace to go and greet our Lord Jesus Help us to be pure so that we can see heaven Help us to always do the will of Jesus so that we can share in His glory. Father, fill us with the Grace of the Holy Spirit.(11) The above prayer which was given to Christiana by Our Lady in the Idoma Language, was translated to English in year 2000 by Bishop Fidelis Orgah of Otukpo Diocese. VISIT TO HELL, PURGATORY AND HEAVEN On 30th May 1995, the Blessed Lady took Christiana to hell, purgatory and also showed her a little of heaven. This vision was in response to Our Lady’s promise to Christiana when in the course of their earlier dialogue at the Apparition Site , she asked the Holy Mother, “Mother, where is hell”? The Holy Mother’s response was “Hell is beneath where you are kneeling. When next I come, I will show you hell, purgatory and heaven”. In hell, Christiana saw thousands and thousands and thousands of souls writhing in pains and some were stumbling into a fierce burning fire. It was most horrifying. Another creature that is half human would bring a similar creature into the fire. When these half human creatures saw the rosary of the Blessed Lady, they started 9
running away. The indescribable groaning of the creatures in hell never stops. When Christiana asked the Blessed Lady if the creatures will ever leave the place, she replied, “This is the fire that they built for themselves while on earth which they are warming their bodies with. They will remain here forever”. Christiana saw another vision where the human beings were in pains too. They were all naked but you could not tell who was a man or woman. They were floating, covered thinly with cloud. The groaning was also very horrifying. The Blessed Lady told Christiana that these ones have the hope of seeing God someday. She said “You have to pray for them. If you pray for them you will be rewarded”. The Blessed Lady showed Christiana yet another vision; she saw steps exceedingly beautiful, shining so bright that she could not look at them. Then she saw a gate, and light from it was like the sun. She saw the crucifix; it was filled with blood and rugged. According to Christiana, “Then I saw beautiful people, light was coming out of their body. They all looked so young and exceedingly peaceful in every way. Then I saw a tree that I had never seen before; it gave joy when looked upon. I will die if I am able to describe what I saw; everything is incompressible”.(12) Christiana’s journey to hell, purgatory and heaven lasted a total of six hours. SEVENTY TWO HOURS DARKNESS On the 3rd of March 1995, while Christiana and her prayer mates were reciting the rosary, Our Lady appeared and said,” My children, I have come to warn you again to amend your ways; the chastisement will be great. God is going to chastise the world and it will be terrible, the anger of God will be felt. There 10
will be a great darkness; this will be for seventy two hours; the world will be shaken”.(13) Christiana was frightened and she asked the Blessed lady, “What are we to do?” To this question she responded, ”Amend your ways and pray, pray earnestly. Have your crucifix close by at all time, fix your eyes on Jesus. Nothing can give you light, but the children of God will be given light.”(14). Our lady also promised to hide her children in her immaculate heart especially during the great darkness. After the darkness, according to her, the devil will be chained for many years. The people that will remain will come back to the one church. Also on Friday 21st May 1999 during a night vigil at the Novitiate at Utonkon, Our Lord Jesus Christ told Christiana in a vision, “ My daughter, yes , be sure the sun will go dark, only the faithful will be given light, and my Dear Mother was so kind to tell you the hours it’s going to last”.(15) CHRISTIANA GIVEN HOLY COMMUNION BY AN ANGEL Prior to 4th of August 1994, Our lady had told Christiana that she was going to receive Holy Communion from the hands of an Angel and that Christiana should prepare for it. She was asked to inform the Bishop to come or send his priests. Bishop Usuh sent Fr Emmanuel Ojaje Idoko with cameras and audio recorders. Fr Idoko came and stayed closely by Christiana, recorded all the events of August 4th 1994 and submitted his report to the Bishop”.(16) According to Fr Idoko, “Christiana at the Apparition Ground suddenly bent down and said “Here Our Lady comes. This was around 11.50am. She was steadily looking up with her two hands in prayerful position in front of her. She was not talking any more. I was by her watching her when, looking into her mouth which was open, there was a host on her tongue and I photographed it. Then I asked her to bring 11
out her tongue with the host on it and I photographed it again. I also called the commercial photographer brought in by Fr Samuel Ehatikpo and he photographed it also.”(17) Our Lady requested through Christiana that those present should sing ‘Ave Maria Oh Maiden Oh Mother’ for her and they did. When asked later, Christiana explained that it was an Angel followed by the shadow of our Lady that brought the Holy Communion and not Our Lady herself. According to her, she saw the Angel bringing the Host and the Host was bigger than the one they normally receive in the church. “The more the Host came closer to me the smaller it become. When I received it, it was the normal size”.(18) “The communion taste like the one Fr gives us when he comes for mass”.(19) Our lady requested through Christiana that those present should sing ‘Ave Maria Oh Maiden Oh Mother’ for her and they did. MESSAGES OF OUR LADY The encounters mentioned in this site are only a selected few from the numerous apparitions of Our Lady to Christiana. More details are provided in films, journals and in books such as Aokpe Message Journals; Am I Going To Heaven Or Not by Fr John Beirne; The Messages Of Our Lady Of Aokpe by Engr Michael Audu Oteikwu; Apparition Of The Virgin Mary At Aokpe by Christiana Agbo, the visionary. Christiana later pursued university education, after which she wrote her own accounts so that all may hear from ‘the horse’s mouth’. In all the messages of the Holy Lady to the people of the world, her pre- occupation is the goal of life, that is, Heaven. In order for humans to attain Heaven, she persistently asked for constant prayer of the Rosary, Penance, Repentance, Reparation, Regular attendance at mass and living the virtues & faith, hope and charity.(20) According to her, “ Those who refuse to say the rosary will one day be sorry about it.” She also said, “Whenever you say the 12
rosary you will receive many Graces from me. Those who say the rosary will never be damned. Blessed are those who want to be holy. Say your rosary without ceasing to make sacrifices for Christ.” And she insists, “You should say the rosary with such concentration as one who has been told would die the next minute and is preparing for this. If you only knew the importance of the rosary”.(21) 13
NOTES 1. Beirne John Rv. Fr. Am I Going To Heaven or Not (Onaivi Printing & Publishing Co Ltd) p8 2. Agbo Christiana , Apparition of The Virgin Mary At Aokpe (Prints & Publishers Ltd, 2010) P 24 3. Ibid, p26. 4. Beirne John Rv. Fr. Op Cit, p12. 5. Agbo Christiana Op Cit, p33. 6. Ibid p11. 7. Beirne John Rv. Fr. Op Cit, p111 8. Agbo Christiana, Op Cit, p39. 9. Ibid, p 52. 10. Ibidp88. 11. Ibid, p 53. 12. Ibid, P67. 13. Ibid,P63. 14. Ibid, p63. 15. Beirne John Rv. Fr. Op Cit, p87. 16. Oteikwu Michael, The Messages Of Our Lady Of Aokpe(Giwa Printers) p16. 17. Ibid, p17. 18. Ibid, p 18. 19. Agbo Christiana, Op Cit, p 55. 20. Ibid, p18. 21. Agbo Christiana, Op Cit, p95. 14


Mariette Beco, waiting for her brother to come home, pressed her face against the window while darkness fell; it was seven o’clock in Banneux. Mrs. Beco was working in a back room; the rest of the family had retired – none of them had attended Mass that Sunday morning – the father was a lapsed Catholic. Suddenly Marietta called, “Mother, there is a lady in the garden. It is the Holy Virgin.” Mrs. Beco scoffed at this. Taking a rosary Marietta had found on the road, she began to pray it. When Julien came home and heard what had happened, he said there was nothing in the garden’ perhaps the icicles reflected weirdly and confused Marietta.
The pastor was informed, but he did not put much stock in the story, thinking the vision of Beauraing and Lourdes was resulting in an epidemic of visions. He sent word to Marietta to forget about it and not spread stories. The next morning, Wednesday, the priest was surprised to see Marietta at Holy Mass – she had quit school because she failed in her First Holy Communion examination three times, and after that had not gone to church any more. That day Marietta went to school and for the first time in her life knew her lessons well. The next evening she went into the garden, knelt and said the rosary; her father followed her with a coat which he threw around her shoulders. He tried to get the pastor who was out, then called a neighbor, a practicing Catholic, and together they followed. The child was being beckoned on to the highway by the lady, till they reached a spring, into which Marietta plunged her hands at the command of the lady, who said, “This spring is set aside for me. Good night!” Then she vanished. When they reached home, the Abbé was waiting for them. Marietta described the lady: “Her robe was long and white; she wore a blue belt and rays of light shone from her head. She was a little more than five feet tall; her right foot was bare and under it a golden rose. Her hands were raised to her breast on which was a golden heart. A rosary hung from her right arm” – all similar to the Lourdes apparition.
There were six or seven more apparitions; at one of these Marietta, at the advice of the pastor asked the lady her name, to which Mary replied, “I am the Virgin of the poor”, and leading the girl to a spring, said, “This spring is for all nations…for the sick…I would like a chapel built. I come to relieve suffering. Have faith in me and pray much. My dear child, pray hard…” At the end of each visit Mary would say “Au revoir”, which means, “until we meet”, but at the last visit she said, “Adieu”, which means, “good-bye”. She blessed Marietta then at which the girl fainted. Marietta did not see the lady depart.
The Beco family and many others became model Catholics. The chapel was built, and the spring became the site of numberless cures. During the German occupation of Belgium in 1942, the bishop encouraged the cult of Our Lady of Banneux, Our Lady of the Poor.
In 1947, the bishop approved the devotion. In 1948 the cornerstone of a new basilica was laid; this was to supplant the small chapel. During the war, Marietta married a Dutch salesman. During the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, an American chaplain found them and their fifteen month old baby living in a cellar of a small home occupied by American troops.
Belgium is one more reminder in these days when communism seems to be sweeping everything before it that our great hope – our only hope – lies in our carrying out the requests Our Lady made at Fatima and other places. Mary prays for us without ceasing, but we, too, must pray, must sacrifice. We must do our part, if we expect Mary to help us.

2nd Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima

But as time went by, Lucia became more and more serious and apprehensive . Soon she said to Jacinta , who was still playing, «Quiet. Our Lady is coming.»
It was near noon. Maria da Capelinha was feeling weak. «Will it be long before Our Lady comes?» she asked.
«No, Senhora,» Lucia unhesitatingly res- ponded. They all began the Rosary, and as they finished, one girl began the Litany. But Lucia stopped her, «There’s no time for it now.» Then she got up and shouted, «Jacinta, Jacin- ta, here comes Our Lady. I Just saw the flash.»
The three of them ran over to the smaller holmoak. Everyone followed and knelt upon · the brush and furze. Lucia raised her eves towards the skies, as if in prayer, and was heard to say, «You told me to come here today. What do you want me to do?»
The others heard something that sounded like a very gentle voice did not understand what was said. «It is like the gentle humming of a bee,» Maria da Capelinha whispered.
Lucia in later years tells us as follows: «l want yoo to come here on the thir-
teenth of the next month. Say the Rosary? inserting between the mysterie$ the fol- lowing ejaculation – ‘0 My Jesus, forgive us. us from the fire of Hell. Bring all ·soul to Heaven, especially those in most need.’ I want you to learn to read and write and later I will tell you what else I want.»
Then Lilcia asked Our Lady to·cure a sick person who was recommended to her. Our Lady answered.
«lf he is converted, he will be cured within the yr~ar.»
«I would like to ask you also to take us to Heaven!»
«Yes,» Our Lady answered; «l will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. . You, how- ever, are to stay here a longer time. Jesus wants to use you to make me know a,nd loved. He wants to establish-the Devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the World. I promise salvation to those who embrace it and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne. »
«Am I going to stay here alone?» Lucia asked; full of sadness at the though of losing her beloved cousins.
«No My Daughter.» Lucia’s eyes filled with tears. «Does this cause you to suffer a great
deal? I will never leave you, my Immacu-
.late Heart will be your refuge and the .Wf1IJJ that will lead you to God.»
«As she said these last words,» Lucia tells, ~(the Blessed Virgin opened her hands and communicated to us for the second time the reflex of the immense light that enveloped her. We saW ourselves in it, as if submerged in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be on the side that was ascending to Heaven, and I was on the side that was spreading over the earth. There was a Heart before the palm of the right hand of Our Lady, with thorns pierc- ing it. We understood that this was the Immac- ulate Heart of Mary, so offended by the sins of mankind, desiring reparation.»
The crowd now saw Lucia ·rise quickly to her feet. Stretching out her arm she cried, «Look, there she goes; there she goes!»
Maria da Capelinha reports that when Our Lady left the tree, it was like the his~ing of a distant rocket. She continues: «As for us, we saw nothing but a slight cloud, just a few inches away from the foliage, rising slowly to- wards the East.»
The children remained silent, their eyes fas- . tened in that direction, until a few minutes later, Lucia cried out, «There now!’ It’s all over. She has entered Heaven. The doors have closed.»
The people turned their eyes back to the blessed holmoak and were surprised to see the highest branches, which before were standi1tg upright, now inclined towards the east, as if
they had been tread upon. The onlookers then began to break of the branches and leaves from the. holmoak. Lucia asked that they take only the lower branches, as they had not been touched by Our Lady. Someone suggested that everybody say the Rosary before leaving, but because some had come such a long way, they said only the Litany at the Cova; then depar- ting in a group, they recited the Rosary toge- ther on their way home.