MANY are now more aware of Marian apparitions of the recent decades, thanks in part to the internet, which is spreading knowledge of them, albeit slowly. But there are other apparitions, approved by the Church, which remain less known but are as relevant to our apocalyptic times.

Such is the case of the apparitions in Nicaragua.

In 1994, Nicaragua Bishop Bosco M. Vivas Robelo of the Diocese of Leon approved the Marian apparitions in Cuapa to Bernardo Martinez in 1980. In doing so, he stated “I hereby authorize the publication of the story of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cuapa and the messages given to Bernardo Martinez... May this publication help those who read it to have an encounter with Jesus Christ in the Church through the mediation of the Mother of Our Lord.”

Bernardo later became a priest.

It all started on April 15, 1980 in the little town of Cuapa, 59 miles northeast from the capital of Managua. Bernardo, then a sacristan, was in an old chapel when he saw a statue of the Blessed Mother emanating “supernatural light.”

He later insisted to the bishop that “the light came from her” and that it was “a great mystery for me, with the light that came from her one could walk without tripping and it was nighttime.”

The following month, May, the Blessed Mother finally appeared to Bernardo. First, there was a lightning flash what was followed by the apparition of the Blessed Mother who stood on a pure white cloud.

Bernardo said the Blessed Mother wore a long white dress with a cord around the waist. She had a cream colored veil with gold embroidery along the edge. Her hands were held together over her breast, in a posture similar to Our Lady of Fatima.

“I was immobile. I had no inclination to run to yell. I felt no fear. I was surprised,” Bernardo recalled.

Then the Blessed Mother extended her hands which emanated rays in the way found in the Miraculous Medal.

It would seem that in Cuapa, the Blessed Mother was emphasizing her messages in the past two apparitions.

The Blessed Mother then told Bernardo: “I want the Rosary to be prayed every day... I want it to be prayed permanently, within the family ... including the children old enough to understand ... to be prayed at a set hour when there are no problems with the work in the home.”

The Blessed Mother also said: “Love each other. Comply with your obligations. Make peace. Don't ask Our Lord for peace because if you do not make it there will be no peace.”

Later, Bernardo explained: “She told me that the Lord does not like prayers we make in a rush or mechanically. Because of that she recommended praying of the Rosary with the reading of biblical citations and that we put into practice the Word of God.”

The Blessed Mother also pleaded: “Renew the five first Saturdays. You received many graces when all of you did this.”

Then she added: “Nicaragua has suffered much since the earthquake. She is threatened with even more suffering. She will continue to suffer if you don't change.

“Pray, pray, my son, the Rosary for all the world. Tell believers and non-believers that the world is threatened by grave dangers. I ask the Lord to appease His justice, but, it you don't change, you will hasten the arrival of the Third World War.”

On June 8, the Blessed Mother, responding to the requests of local folk coursed through Bernardo, said: “Some will be fulfilled, others will not.”

Then the Blessed Mother asked Bernardo to look at the sky. Bernardo later recalled that he saw “something like a movie” during which he felt “transported” and saw different groups of people including those from the early Christian communities now in Heaven. They included those who first received the Holy Rosary and the huge number of people who were later also devoted to praying the Holy Rosary.

Then the Blessed Mother told Bernardo: “I have shown you the Glory of Our Lord, and you people will acquire this if you are obedient to Our Lord, to the Lord's Word; if you persevere in praying the Holy Rosary and put into practice the Lord's Word.”

On July 8, this time in a dream, the Blessed Mother told Bernardo to “pray for Nicaragua and for the whole world because serious dangers threaten it.”

On September 8, the Blessed Mother appeared anew to Bernardo and said: “Restore the sacred temple of the Lord [meaning ourselves]. In you is the gratification for the Lord. She added: Love each other. Love one another. Forgive each other. Make peace. Don't first ask for it. Make peace!”

On October 13, in the same year, marking the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, the Blessed Mother appeared again to Bernardo and again extended her hands from which emanated rays that reached each of the persons in the crowd that had gathered around Bernardo.

Bernardo then related what happened next: “She raised her hands to her breast in a similar position to the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows ... her face turned pale, her mantle changed to a gray color, her face became sad, and she cried. I cried too. I trembled to see her like that.”

He asked why she was crying the the Blessed Mother replied: “It saddens me to see the hardness of those persons' hearts. But you will have to pray for them so that they will change.”

Then the Blessed Mother continued: “Pray the Rosary, meditate on the mysteries.

Listen to the Word of God spoken in them. Love one another. Love each other.

“Forgive each other. Make peace. Don't ask for peace without making peace; because if you don't make it, it does no good to ask for it. Fulfill your obligations.

“Put into practice the Word of God. Seek ways to please God. Serve your neighbor as that way you will please him.”

The Blessed Mother added: “Ask for faith in order to have the strength so that each can carry his own cross. The sufferings of this world cannot be removed. Sufferings are the cross which you must carry. That is the way life is. There are problems with the husband, with the wife, with the children, with the brothers. Talk, converse so that problems will be resolved in peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence. Pray for faith in order that you will have patience.”

Through Bernardo, the Blessed Mother issued this message for the world, repeating what she had said before:

“Do not be grieved. I am with all of you even though you do not see me. I am the Mother of all of you, sinners. Love one another. Forgive each other.

“Make peace, because if you don't make it there will be no peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence.

“Nicaragua has suffered a great deal since the earthquake and will continue to suffer if all of you don't change. If you don't change you will hasten the coming of the Third World War. Pray, pray, my son, for all the world.

“A mother never forgets her children. And I have not forgotten what you suffer. I am the Mother of all of you, sinners.”

The Blessed Mother gave Bernardo this prayer:

“St. Mary of Victory, Favorite Daughter of God the Father, give me your faith; Mother of God the Son, give me your hope; Sacred Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, give me your charity and cover us with your mantle.”