According to Estela Ruiz, she has since 1988 been receiving weekly messages from the Mother of God. In the beginning, the messages were directed at the Ruiz family: The Blessed Mother counseled Estela and her brood to study their Bibles together and to seek a spiritual adviser for the family, which they found in a local Catholic priest. Later the messages broadened, became more and more intended for the world, to the point that the Ruizes now fax them regularly to eager seekers throughout the country.

The messages are repetitious and are characterized by unsurprising advice to pray more, return to God and be aware of evil influences. It is difficult to understand why the Ruizes and others are so inspired by them, but to the devout followers of Marian apparitions, some of whom travel around the world seeking out visionaries like Estela Ruiz, these particular words of wisdom from a supernatural source are special.

Tom Collins, a Texas attorney and Marian apparition tracker who makes a pilgrimage to Arizona once a month in order to attend a Ruiz prayer meeting, says Estela's messages are longer and more sophisticated in tone than is common with Marian visionaries, and that he is particularly proud to distribute them among his educated friends.

Here are some excerpts:

When I have chosen to manifest myself in the world, it has been because I have seen a need. This time is no different. You, my children, are facing grave changes in the world. . . .The world must turn to God! Pray, my little ones. . . .Pray so that the hearts of men will soften, especially those that are holding the fate of the world in their hands.

More than ever you must fill your churches and let God know that you believe He is the only one who can bring about true peace to all men and to the world.

Put your trust in Him, so that you can begin to love and care for those that will come to you seeking strength. If you are to give strength, you must first possess it. Put your lives in God's trust and then allow Him to work through you for others.

Pray that love and understanding of men for each other will prevail over the hatred and greed that exists. Be with me in prayer as I am with you.


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Deborah Laake