|Marie-Paule Giguere (Mother Paul-Marie)|
Click here for Part 1 of Marie-Paule Giguere, obituary/biography
From 1996 to 2007 this writer was a lay member of the international group called "The Army of Mary" (in French "L'Armee de Marie") that was founded and was lead by a Quebec mystic named Marie-Paule Giguere, who eventually became the mother superior of the Community, and the name in religion that she called herself was "Mere Paul-Marie" (Mother Paul-Marie). For quite a number of years I, along with thousands of other persons in Canada, United States and abroad, was convinced of the authenticity of Marie-Paule Giguere's mystical gifts and charisms. As will be discussed below, in 2007 the Vatican condemned the Army of Mary and excommunicated those members who chose to remain associated with the movement.
As a member of the Army of Mary/Family of the Sons and Daughters of Mary, for 12 years I fervently participated in many of the celebrations and activities of the group, and I spent countless hours reading through much of the writings of Marie-Paule Giguere, most especially her autobiography entitled "Life of Love", and also I have read the vast majority of the Communities official newsletter "Le Royaume" (The Kindgom), along with booklets that were published etc... In other words, I was not simply a passive or uninformed member, but I took my commitment to the movement seriously, and I earnestly examined and studied the ideas and beliefs being presented within.
The American Fox News Network has a trademark saying "We report, you decide". I will modify their saying a little bit and state "We report, your discern". In presenting the facts below, I leave it to the reader to come to his/her own conclusions.
|Marie-Paule Giguere at a ceremony|
Thus as a whole the "Community" and "Family" members consists of professed priests, professed religious brothers and sisters, and lay members, the majority of whom consecrate themselves as "Sons and Daughters of Mary" as members within the movement or "Work" as it is sometimes referred to as.
Most noteworthy however in the Volumes of "Life of Love" are the innumerable spiritual private revelations -allegedly from God, the Virgin Mary and St Michael the archangel, who purportedly guided her in preparation for what she felt was her upcoming mission in the Church as the "Lady of All Peoples." These private revelations or heavenly messages came normally through inner locutions although according to her volumes she was also allegedly given visions on numerous occasions, some heavenly and some demonic, revealing a certain battle that was allegedly taking place concerning her mission in the Church for the salvation of souls.
Next came the proposed war in Iraq. While President Bush was considering forming a coalition of nations and sending American troops into Iraq to overthrow the Iraqi dictator, Sadaam Hussien, because of a supposed threat of weapons of mass destruction, for his part Pope John Paul II was fervently working to keep peace, and to push for diplomatic resolutions to resolve the purported Iraqi 'weapons of mass destruction' threat. On March 1, 2003, the Pope sent his papal envoy, Cardinal Pio Laghi, to an important meeting with President Bush to convey the Pope's request pleading with President Bush not to go to war with Iraq, and strongly urging diplomatic means to resolve the conflict. The Pope also sent Cardinal Etchengray to meet with Sadaam Hussein to urge him to use diplomacy and dialogue with the USA. These were highly publicized meetings and were the last hope efforts for the Pope and those who hoped for and pushed for a peaceful resolution. This article from the Vatican Insider magazine details some of the many efforts that Pope John Paul II did at that time to try to keep peace between the USA and Iraq.
|Funeral of Marie-Paule Giguere (Mother Paul-Marie)|
In the issues of the groups newspaper "Le Royume" starting around the year 2000, the writers began comparing the Community/Family of the Sons and Daughters of Mary to the Apostles and disciples in the early Church. It was (and is) this atmosphere of persecution coupled with a "hidden knowledge" of additional doctrines concerning Mother Paul-Marie which were obviously unknown to those outside the group that seemed to be attractive to many within the Community.
Yet, to confirm her purported mission, God did none of these irrefutable and unmistakable miracles through Marie-Paule. Sure there are some reported cures, but they are not what the average person would deem miraculous. A recovery from heart disease or a remission from cancer is not a miraculous cure---such things happen quite frequently through natural means and also medical interventions. Through Marie-Paule Giguere, God did not make the blind see or the deaf hear, and He did not restore withered limbs or raise a person from the dead who had been dead for hours or days. There has been no thundering Voice from the heavenly Father, as there was with Jesus, saying "This is my beloved Son--listen to Him"....no miraculous Transfiguration, and thus far there has been no Resurrection or Assumption. And so, at least thus far, what is said of her and her mission is based solely on human testimony and interpretations.
The simple explanation for this is that these members have chosen to follow the private revelations of an individual mystic over the highest authority of the Catholic church. And this is why I have written at that top of the home page of this website: "The author submits wholeheartedly to the infallible wisdom and judgement of the Catholic Church in regards to the persons presented on this website" because the great Saints and Mystics throughout the centuries have always taught that the private revelations of mystics and visionaries are always completely subject to the judgement of the rightful church authority (which under most circumstances is the local bishop), and that both the mystic and his or her supporters must always obey the Church's judgement and decisions. And this is why it is often said that for mystics and visionaries, obedience is the "Litmus test" that the Church often uses to test the authenticity of a mystic.
|Mere Paul-Marie (Mother Paul-Marie)|
On the other hand, some followers of certain visionaries and mystics, including the Community attached to Mother Paul-Marie, seem to have the order of obedience and the assent of faith as being God AND private revelation (of their particular visionary) as being on one and the same level, and then next would come the Church founded by Jesus upon Peter and the apostles. And so, instead of having private revelation as not a requirement of faith, some followers of visionaries have the revelations of their visionaries as being above the Church---at one and the same level as God Himself! In other words, important elements of their faith and belief is based on the private revelations of the visionary that they are attached to, in this case Mother Paul-Marie, which supplant or add significant additional elements to the true doctrines and beliefs that Jesus Himself has given to His Church through the Deposit of Faith. Such a practice runs contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which teaches that the role of private revelation is not to "improve or complete Christs' definitive revelation".
When it comes to the Excommunication of 2007, those members who have chosen over the years to remain in the Army of Mary often state that they do so under the conviction that "It is better to obey God than man." The grave problem with this conclusion is that it seeks to justify disobedience to the legitimate Church authority, as instituted by Jesus Himself. For in Luke, 10:16 Jesus tells His apostles, “He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me.” Therefore when one chooses to reject the legitimate authority of the Church on faith and morals, it is not ones Bishop (or in this case, the Pope) that one disobeys, but Jesus Christ Himself.
In closing, since the passing of Marie-Paule Giguere, the current situation of the Army of Mary has been compared by some to the situation of the apostles and early disciples in relation to the situation between them and the Jewish leaders of the Temple, perhaps then those of us in the Church should imitate and take upon ourselves the wisdom of Gamaliel when he was questioned by his fellow members of the Temple concerning what to do with John, Peter and the other apostles who were found preaching in Jesus name:
For those interested in a more detailed historical presentation and investigation into Marie-Paule Giguere, the Army of Mary and its associated Community, as related in a straightforward and factual manner, I would highly recommend the presentation by Dr. Robert Fastiggi entitled "The Rise and Fall of the Army of Mary (L'Armée de Marie)"