Aruba, in direct communication with the mother of god

It started around the Millennium, when a woman by the name of Valerie reported vivid visions of the Virgin. She said she saw the sky parting, a ray of light penetrating the clouds, the earth shaking, the universe shifting and finally she heard distinct loud voices.

Did you think mental illness? Yes of course. Not in Aruba. That unhinged, charismatic story-teller, with a fertile imagination started collecting a following. A great number of people visited her backyard in Modanza for long sessions of prayers and penitence. The Virgin would appear before midnight, and Valerie would communicate with her, live, which totally impressed a growing number of locals.

Then when her yard became too small to contain the devotees, Valerie searched high and low for an alternative, bigger location, where the instructions from above could be easily received.

As she reached the neighborhood of Koyari, she noticed a large former plantation with its own natural well. Right there and then she got a loud and clear message that this was the location of choice. So she set up shop on that terrain, accepting it as a gift from the pair of believers who live there.

In fast succession she then fundraised in the community for a super-size cross, a glamorous virgin, a biblical Christ, a cherubic divine baby, and finally a chapel with the Holy family inside and a number of angels all around, in fact all three, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, for an added layer of protection.

My girlfriend Jacqueline Suttle interviewed Valerie at the time, for ATV, channel 15th, and she showed off her fluent knowledge of Aramaic, as a proof of her celestial intelligence. She was in fact talking jibberish, some incoherent mumble-jumble, on national TV.

This week Pastor Rey, the Episcopal vicar, made headlines exposing the Koyari story as undocumented and unreal and warned followers to stay away.

The headlines refreshed my memory about the apparition, and about the fact that alternative churches do well in Aruba, fundraising among followers, collecting ten percent of their income, and accepting gifts, as was the case with Valerie who brainwashed the former plantation owners, coercing them into giving their property away.


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January 13, 2017
Rona Coster