Dec. 15-21, 2005
Feeling the Pain
By Connie Cissell/ SUN editor
There is a Prayer Group within the Diocese that reports Mystic Happenings
LIVERPOOL — As much as one might want to discount all stories about bleeding and oiling statues as myth, there are many other people who believe unconditionally that these things do take place. A trip to Bev and Pat Galtier’s home in Liverpool is nearly a foray into another world. There is an altar and mini-shrine set up in the living room. Statues and religious art work are prominent. A couple of the statues are under glass because they have exuded oil at one time or another.
On a visit last month, Emma de Guzman, a supposed mystic/visionary born in the Philippines on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1949, happened to stop by the Galtier’s on her way to a speaking engagement. She has become a member of Galtier’s extended family over the years. She met Pat and Bev in 1994 and there is a strong connection via their shared spirituality. De Guzman’s manner is humble and her serenity is apparent during conversation.
At various times in her life, she claims to have had apparitions of both Jesus and the Virgin Mary. She has experienced the stigmata as witnessed by the Galtiers and others. She has also apparently been at two places at one time experiencing bi-location.
The Galtiers and de Guzman are not expecting all Catholics to believe their claims but they also produce documentation and photographs to support what they say they witnessed. The Galtiers host a prayer group that meets at their home in the winter months and at the Joy House of Prayer in Constantia during the summer months. The name of the group is La Pieta reflecting the Blessed Mother’s suffering at the death of her Son. Members sometimes travel with de Guzman as she goes all over the world presenting healing services and talking about the messages she has gotten from the Virgin Mary and others.
“I have met people from all over the world,” de Guzman said. “I cannot explain what has happened to me. I always listen to the Lord and I try to fulfill what He asks of me. The name is La Pieta because the Blessed Mother wants us to understand Jesus’ suffering. When we are united in suffering we can receive salvation. In the sorrow there is love and peace and joy.”
De Guzman’s message also relies on the idea of always depending on the will of God, not on other people or things.”God gives us the gift of faith,” she said. “Emma is an example of profound humility and obedience to God,” Bev Galtier said. Galtier’s experience with mysticism began in her childhood. Her sister accidentally dropped a statue of the Virgin Mary out a window when the two girls were small children. After her sister brought the statue back in the house, she kissed it before putting it back in its place. The statue then began to ooze some type of liquid from its eyes. The story was reported in the local newspaper and strangers were walking through the family’s home soon after to get a glimpse at the famous statue.
There are statues which appear to be crying, there are shadows and visions that spring up from time to time — perhaps this simply means there are mysteries that may not have an earthly origin and questions that cannot be answered.
For information about the La Pieta Prayer Group, contact the Galtiers at 122 Cranberry Drive, Liverpool, N.Y.