On November 14, 1990, the Bishop of San Nicolas, Monsignor Domingo Castagna, issued an edict compromising an "Imprimatur" for the publication of the Spanish edition of the Messages of Our Lady to Gladys de Motta. The Bishop's statement read as follows:
Monsignor DOMINGO SALVADOR CASTAGNA, for the grace of god and of the Apostolic Holy See, Bishop of "San Nicolas de los Arroyos", HAVING: A folder that contains the messages of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas, presented by Father Carlos A. Perez, Rector of the Diocesan Sanctuary, Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas, located in this city, province of Buenos Aires; AND CONSIDERING: That its contents have, in correct form, the formulations of the Catholic Faith that must be transmitted to the believers for the knowledge of the doctrine, and THAT IS THE responsibility of the Ordinary of the place to "take care of the catechization of the Christian population, for their faith, through the Doctrine's teaching, and that the practice of Christian life become alive, explicit and operative" (C. 773), and for the same reasons, give the necessary approval (C. 827.1): FOR THE PRESENT, 1. Grant the "Imprimatur" for the folder that contains the Messages of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas, to be published in Spanish; 2. Remembering that in the publication should be stated: "with the necessary license", in the name of the Diocesan Bishop, Msgr. Domingo Salvador Castagna, and the date of the license granted being that of this decree, and that the approval for the publication is valid for the original text, but not for successive editions, if they come (C. 829). 3. To be communicated to whom it may concern, and file. Given in "San Nicolas de los Arroyos", Bishop's See, the fourteenth day of the month of November of the year of Our Lord, nineteen, ninety.
Signed: Domingo Salvador Castagna, Bishop of San Nicolas Ariel David Busso, Chancellor
The above document was duly recorded with the Diocesan seal and the signatures of the Bishop and the Chancellor involved. This Publisher acknowledges that the above Imprimatur was given principally for the publication of the book of messages in Spanish, and would not necessarily be valid for other translations, or subsequent editions of the book. However, recognizing that the English translation of the messages has been authorized at San Nicolas, through the same authority, we dutifully make known the Bishop's decree, herein.
Following is a brief outline of the events of San Nicolas. San Nicolas is a city of approximately 150,000 people, and is approximately two hours driving time, northwest of Buenos Aires, the Capital of Argentina. The present parish Church of St. Nicolas of Bari (the Patron Saint of the region), dates back to 1884. On that occasion a beautiful statue of the "Virgin of the Rosary" was inaugurated, with a preparatory novena, a yearly tradition. The original statue has always been in San Nicolas. However, due to a breakage of one of the hands, it was relegated to a storage room in the belfry of the current Cathedral.
As the fervor of the claimed apparitions to Gladys de Motta began to sweep across the region, the priest assigned as her spiritual director (Fr. Perez), took Gladys to view the statue, which she had not previously seen. She identified the statue as an exact replica of the "Lady that I see". During the past seven years, the following stages of the development of the Apparitions of San Nicolas have occurred.
Gladys reported that Our Lady asked that a special medal be struck with the image of "Our Lady of the Rosary" on the front, and a symbol of the Blessed Trinity surrounded by seven stars, on the back.
During 1983 and 1984, Our Lady repeatedly asked for a special "Sanctuary" (Basilica), at the site of the apparitions. During two different apparitions, a ray of light appeared, marking the exact location for the construction. It is located in a field or plain known as the "Campito", on the banks of the Parana River.
Shortly thereafter, Gladys received the stigmata of Jesus Christ. During the same period, several outstanding physical healings took place. Pilgrimages began on the twenty-fifth of each month, the anniversary date, and throngs of people descended on San Nicolas. Fervent devotion became an everyday occurrence, with additional Masses being scheduled, perpetual Rosaries, and an overwhelming return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And what is the position of the Church regarding events at San Nicolas?
The Bishop of San Nicolas, Msgr. Domingo Castagna, acted quickly and prudently regarding these events. He personally studied them, assigned a spiritual director for the visionary, and convened a special Investigative Commission to study the authenticity of the claimed apparitions. The committee was comprised of local priests and theologians of the area, a psychologist, two graphologists, and a team of psychiatrists from the School of Psychology of the Jesuit University of Salvador. All the results of the investigation concerning Gladys were positive, and the studies of the healings continue under the direction of a special medical bureau. There are no negative results at this time. Details of these studies can be found in the book, AN APPEAL FROM MARY IN ARGENTINA, by Fr. Rene Laurentin. The medal requested by Our Lady, has been sanctioned, produced, and is being distributed. The Basilica is under construction, approximately one third completed. Bishop Castagna has taken a positive position in the events, and guides the devotions and pilgrimages with utmost care. He often presides at the special Masses and often leads the procession as the statue of Our Lady is carried to the construction site (similar to Fatima). The fruits resulting from the events of San Nicolas are overwhelming, similar to those of Medjugorje, and spiritual conversions abound.
As you read the messages received by Gladys in San Nicolas, two aspects become evident rather quickly. First, the messages reflect the current world situation with pinpoint accuracy, and give great detail as to the important role of the Mother of God in the salvation of mankind. Second, the messages come complete with specific Scriptural references from Our Lady. She continuously requests that Gladys read certain passages from the Scriptures. It should be noted that Gladys lives a very peasant oriented life, has barely an elementary grade education, no theological knowledge, and no previous awareness of certain aspects of the Bible. The messages denote an extreme urgency! They specifically spell out the current world situation, and give exact guidelines as to what is to be done. Most importantly, Our Lady is adamant as to her role in our salvation, and confirms that she is "The Woman Clothed With the Sun", "The New Eve", and the "New Ark of the Covenant". She states that her "New Sanctuary" will be her dwelling place on earth, and defines that this is the time of fulfillment of her role of leading all her children of the world back to her Son. In addition to the over 1,800 messages received by Gladys, from Our Lady, she also received apparitions and messages from Our Lord, totaling 68. These messages confirm the words of Our Lady. The Bishop's Commission has also studied these messages and has issued no negative report as to any deviation from Catholic Doctrine. Further, on November 14, 1990, Bishop Castagna provided his IMPRIMATUR for the publication of these messages in Spanish, printed in Argentina. Although the Church has issued no formal approval of the Apparitions of San Nicolas, the devotions have been endorsed in substance, the construction continues, the medals and publications are authorized, an the pilgrimages continue in spiritual splendor. The messages that follow in this book are translations from the Spanish printed records, as received by this Publisher. We wish to thank Eleonora O'Farrell De Nagy-Pal for her work in this regard, and also Marie-Helene Gall for the translations. Our thanks as well to Bishop Castagna for the authorization to print these messages, and o Fr. Perez, Fr. Montero and Roberto Lovato, for their assistance.
The messages in this book are the fruit of what is commonly known as private revelation, which in this case, took place in the city of San Nicolas de los Arroyos, Province of Buenos Aires, in Argentina. Since September, 1983, Gladys Motta (formerly Quiroga), claims to see and hear the Blessed Virgin under the invocation of "Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas". Included herein is a brief summary of the events that will help the reader to follow the different steps of this development. The diocesan Church, in the person of the Bishop of San Nicolas and a Commission of priests and experts appointed by him, was faced with the difficult responsibility of discerning these events, looking into the orthodoxy of the messages, directing the faith of the believers and setting necessary guidelines for rules and devotions, and channeling activities into a proper pastoral so as not to smother God's gift. Everything was done at the proper pace, and with the care called for by an event of these proportions. Here again, we wish to stress the fact that the faithful are not obliged to believe in private revelations, since everything has already been said in the Public Revelation contained in Holy Scripture, which closed with the death of the last Apostle. Of this, the Holy Church is guardian and interpreter, and all Christians are seriously bound to believe in it. Nevertheless, although private revelation adds nothing new, it does help as a reminder of what is already known through Public Revelation, and often provides a great incentive to live accordingly. That is why this book places the messages given at San Nicolas at the reader's disposal, in the certainty that they contain nothing contrary to revealed doctrine, and important insight to the current world. If any doubt should arise from reading them, the right interpretation should be sought from priests who govern and serve the communities, embodying the mission of Christ, the Master. The Bishops' authorization to print these messages indicates that they agree with revealed doctrine, and consequently, to read them can be a useful help for a life of prayer and conversion, the growth of Christian virtue, the experience of consecration to the Heart of Mary, and in general, an invitation to sanctity. The Church offers Her children these teachings, inviting them to live them, since in a simple, yet deep language, they explain the infinite wealth of the Lord's Word, to which the messages can be considered a guide and an echo.
Fr. Carlos A. Perez, Rector of the Sanctuary