The Virgin Mary appeared, in October 1992 to a girl of twelve-years-old Christiana Agbo in Aokpe located in the small village in a remote area of Nigeria. The first appearance came in the morning, while Christiana was collecting herbs in the fields. After the first signs of light, she saw a beautiful woman floating in the sky. The Virgin looked and smiled without saying a word, was standing in the clouds, had a dress with a veil of shining a blue color that covered her head and fell down on Her back and shoulders, hands clasped on her chest and clutched a rosary.
In the first message received from Our Lady, Christiana says: "I am the refuge of sinners. I come from Heaven to gain souls to Christ and to shelter my children in my Immaculate Heart. What I want from you is to pray for the souls of Purgatory, for the world and to console Jesus".
The public appearances became frequent over time, especially between 1994 and 1995, and brought a large number of people to Aokpe.
July 21, 1993:
In the apparition of July 21, 1993 Our Lady invites Christiana to pray fervently for the world long corrupted by sin and foretells the coming of the dark days. Often Christiana has seen the Virgin Mary with tears in Her eyes because of the many souls who go to hell.
Aug 4, 1994:
Our Lady told Christiana that August 4th would become a special Feast day and on that day she received a Eucharistic miracle. This came true, as Christiana received Holy Communion from an Angel. Fr Samuel Ehatikpo made sure there were two photographers present, one was Fr Emmanuel Idoko, the Bishop's representative and the other was a commercial photographer. This is what Christiana experienced:- "I saw the Angel bringing the Host and the Host was bigger than the one we normally receive. The closer the Host came to me, the smaller the Host became and when I was about to receive it, it became normal size. I kept my tongue flat, as Our Lady had previously requested, so it could be photographed."
March 1, 1995:
In the message of March 1, 1995, the Blessed Virgin calls for the recitation of the Rosary, saying: "Those of my children who pray the Rosary frequently and commitment will receive many graces, That I know Satan will not be Able to approach them. My children, When You Are assailed by great temptations and problems and how to take your Rosary to me and your problems will be solved. Every time you say "Hail Mary full of Grace" will receive many graces from me. Those who will recite the Rosary will never be damned."
Tthe last public appearance took place. The apparitions have continued in private though with less frequency.
Wanting to devote herself totally to God, the seer has decided to become a carmelite nun, taking the name "Christiana Maria Bambina".
2004: Last apparition to Christiana -The local church has proven rather favorable to the apparitions from the beginning though, as the Archbishop John Onaiyekan has pointed out, the Church In these cases is quite cautious and is very rare that you approve of the apparitions while they are still in progress. He gave permission for the construction of the shrine of Our Lady asked. His successor, Bishop Orgah granted the Imprimatur to the publication of the accounts of the apparitions and Gave her permission to pilgrimages.
Description of the Virgin -
Christiana saw a beautiful woman floating in the sky. The Virgin looked and smiled without saying a word, was standing on the clouds, had a dress with a veil of shining a blue color that covered her head and fell down on Her back and shoulders, hands clasped on her chest and clutched a rosary.
The ability to speak English - This miracle took place on 13th September, when Our Lady gave Christiana the grace to speak English by the power of the Holy Spirit. This was to be invaluable to Christiana as she could now speak to all the pilgrims who would travel from different parts of Nigeria to Aokpe.
Solar Miracles - The number of Pilgrims increased at each of the eight Public Pilgrimages, except for the last one. In January and February 1996, there were over one hundred thousand people present. One thing that attracted the crowds was the solar miracles. The biggest solar miracle occurred on 21 November 1999. In the past year Aokpe hosted a pilgrimage for about a hundred Seminarians who were treated to a Miracle of the sun by Our Lady.
Healing Waters - One of the miracles in Aokpe, is the presence of healing waters, which took place on 16th May 1996.
*Learn more about these events here, here and here.