top of page




VISIONARY: Bernardo Martinez


FIRST APPARITION: April 15, 1980

LAST APPARITION: October 13, 1982

APPROVED: November 13, 1982


 “I am the Mother of Jesus. I come to you from Heaven

to ask you to pray the Rosary every day with your family...

...It is important that children, as soon as they reach the age of reason,

pray the Rosary daily with their parents...”


  In April, 1980, the Virgin Mary first appeared to Bernardo Martinez. Bernardo took care of the sacristy in a small chapel, was very poor, in poor health and lived in the back of the chapel.


  While returning from a fishing trip on May 8, 1980, Bernardo saw two lightning flashes. On the second flash, the Virgin Mary appeared to him. Bernardo was not fearful, but he was surprised that when the Virgin Mary gave out her light, he was encouraged to speak. He asked her “what do you want?”


  The Virgin Mary said that she wanted people to pray the Rosary every day within the family, including children old enough to understand. Mary wanted the rosary prayed every day at a set hour when there were no other distractions.


  The Virgin Mary’s message to Bernardo was that she wanted all people to love one another, to fulfill their obligations, and to make peace with one another. Mary wanted to renew the Five First Saturdays. Mary said that prayers should not be rushed, and to read the bible passages that go along with the

Mysteries of the Rosary.


  There are very strong patterns in these Marian Apparitions at Cuapa:


  1. Excepting the dream visions, they all take place between noon and three o'clock, the hours of the Passion.


  2. All of the apparitions took place or were supposed to occur on the eighth day of the month. The reader remembers that all of the apparitions at Fatima took place on the thirteenth of the month. (With the exception of the August apparition.)


  3. The Rosary permeates the apparitions of Cuapa. We are plainly made to see that through the proper recitation of the Rosary and reflection upon its mysteries we can soften hearts, positively change lives and the world, and walk in heavenly procession with luminous hands that radiate whiteness.


  4. Like Bernadette Soubirous, Maximilian Kolbe, Lucia dos Santos, and others before him, Bernardo Martinez decided to deny himself pick up his Cross, and follow Jesus. He became a Catholic priest!






  Nicaragua is one of the largest countries in Central America, nestled between Honduras and Costa Rica. Nicaragua experienced a major earthquake in December of 1972, which killed 11,000 people.  The earthquake injured 20,000 people and over 300,000 people were left homeless.


  Three quarters of the Nicaragua population are Mestizo, a mixture of white and Indian, with about one tenth of the population classified as white. Most of the working people were engaged in agriculture-cotton, coffee and beef cattle.


  In 1980, Nicaragua was going through a period of political turmoil and was fraught with poverty and uncertainty. In July, 1979, the Sandonistas took over the government when the Samoza dynasty was overthrown. The Sandonistas inherited a country in ruins with a debt of 1.6 billion dollars. An estimated 50,000 were killed in the war and 600,000 were left homeless. Nicaragua’s economic infrastructure was devastated, and the political unrest affected the entire country.


  Cuapa, where the apparitions took place, is located 59 miles northwest of the capital of Managua.  In 1880, Fr. Andres Rongier, a Jesuit missionary from Mexico, prophesied that Cuapa would be a famous future site of a Marian Apparition.


Bernardo Martinez


  Bernardo Martinez took care of the sacristy in a small chapel. Bernardo was "down on his luck", close to the breaking point, out of work, in poor health, and extremely depressed. Being out of work was bad enough, but he was also ill and had no means of caring for himself of his family. Often he prayed for death.


  On the evening of April 15, 1980, Bernardo was startled to find the statue of the Blessed Mother radiating light. Remembering that he had falsely accused two helpers of leaving lights on in the chapel on two prior occasions, he realized that he was not bringing peace to his "house," so he publicly apologized to the prayer group after the Rosary and then narrated his "tale of the lights." The group accepted his apology, but not his fanciful story.


  On the morning of May 8, 1980, he decided to go to the river and fish and relax. He stopped fishing at noon and during a heavy rain, he prayed the Rosary at the base of a tree. At three o'clock, he realized that he had to feed his animals and pray the Rosary with his group at five, so he headed for home when he saw two flashes of lightning.




  On May 8, 1980, two flashes of lightning preceded the appearance of the Blessed Mother. Initially, he thought that someone was playing a trick on him, moving the statue of Our Lady from the chapel to the open pasture, but quickly he realized that that would be impossible. Suddenly, a beautiful woman floating on a cloud appeared to him. The lady opened her arms, and the rays of light flowed forth. She said to him “ I am the Mother of Jesus. I come to you from Heaven to ask you to pray the Rosary every day with your family. I wish you to make this message known. It is important that children, as soon as they reach the age of reason, pray the Rosary daily with their parents. Say the Rosary every day at the same time with biblical meditations, as soon as all the household chores are finished.

Nicaragua has suffered much, Nicaragua will suffer more. You, and all God’s people in this country, will continue to suffer unless you change. Do not be afraid. I will help you. Tell believers and nonbelievers that the world is threatened by grave dangers. Please spread this message to all people.”

  Bernardo felt quite intimidated. Suddenly recovering, he replied: “Lady I don’t want problems; I have many of them in the Church. Tell this to another person.” Our Lady replied: “Our Lord has selected you to give the message. Not everyone can see me. People will see me when I take them to Heaven. They should pray the Rosary as I ask.” She told him not to say anything about the apparition and message for eight days.


  Bernardo described Our Lady’s appearance as follows: “Suddenly I saw a lightning flash. I thought and said to myself: ‘It is going to rain’. But I became filled with wonder because I did not see from where the lightning had come. I stopped but I could see nothing; no signs of rain....I saw another lightning-flash, but that was to open my vision and she presented herself....I saw that she blinked....that she was beautiful.....There was a cloud... it was extremely white ... it radiated in all directions, rays of light with the sun. On the cloud were the feet of a very Beautiful Lady. Her feet were bare. the dress was long and white. She had a celestial cord around the waist. Long sleeves. Covering her was a veil of a pale cream color with gold embroidery along the edge. Her hands were held together.... I felt no fear. I was surprised....I saw that she had human skin and that her eyes moved and blinked... My mind was the only thing that I could move...I felt numb.... everything immobilized... She extended her arms and from her hands emanated rays of light stronger than the sun.... She spoke with sweetness ...softer that I have ever heard any woman speak.”


  On May 16, 1980, while en route to water his calf, Bernardo saw two more flashes of lightning at twelve noon. Feeling guilty, because he had not shared her messages, he said to himself: "I didn't go to the place where she first appeared, because I saw her there, and now she appears to me here instead."


  The Blessed Mother spoke softly with a reprimanding tone of voice: "Why have you not told what I have sent you to tell?" "I am afraid of being the ridicule of the people," he whined. "Do not be afraid. Go and tell the local priest what has happened."


  After the Rosary that evening, he told two women whom he trusted everything he had seen and heard. They censured him for not doing what Our Lady had told him. On the next morning, May 17, the ninth day, Bernardo felt a "strange happiness." On that day, he told the messages to everyone who came to his house. Some believed; some did not. Two days later, he confided in the priest, who told him not to reveal any new developments to the people of Cuapa.


  On June 8, 1980, Our Lady appeared to Bernardo in a dream at night, revealing to him the same message that she had delivered on May 8. She appeared over a little norisco tree, it had been a holm oak tree at Fatima—and, raising her hand, signified: "Look at the sky."


  Bernardo saw four groups of people marching in procession. The first group, according to the Blessed Mother, was the first communities of Christians, the first catechumens, many of whom had become martyrs. "Do you wish to be a martyr?" she asked Bernardo. He did not know the meaning of the word, but he said "Yes" anyway.


  The second group, also dressed in white, had luminous Rosaries intertwined between their fingers.  "These are the first ones (the Dominicans) to whom I gave the Rosary. That is the way that I want all of you to pray."


  The third group (the Franciscans) passed, praying their Rosaries, also. They were dressed in brown.  "These received the Rosary from the hands of the first ones."


  The fourth group, looking similar to Bernardo, filed past in huge procession, carrying Rosaries in their hands. Every member of each group possessed hands that radiated whiteness. Bernardo looked at his hands. They were black. Nevertheless, he asked Our Lady if he could join the fourth group.


  She said: "No, you are still Iacking....l have shown you the glory of Our Lord and you people will acquire this if you are obedient to Our Lord, to the Lord's Word: if you persevere in praying the Holy Rosary, and put into practice the Lord's Word."


  Our Lady then elevated herself toward heaven, looking, Bernardo thought, like the statue of the Assumption before she disappeared from sight.


  Bernardo found himself undergoing an ambivalent pull. The priest told him to reveal nothing. But an inner voice insisted that he should tell everything. He obeyed the priest. However, on June 24, the day of the patron feast of Cuapa, the east of St. John the Baptist, the priest told him that he could unburden his secret.


  On July 8, 1980, Our Lady once again appeared to Bernardo in his dreams rather than the pastures. By this time, Our Lady had taught Bernardo to commend his Rosary for peoples of the whole world. On this particular night, he was praying for nuns, priests, religious, the Pope, Nicaragua, the whole world, and a young boy in Nicaragua who was wrongly imprisoned as a counter-revolutionist. (His sister had petitioned Bernardo's prayers.) In his dream he saw an angel appear where Our Lady was accustomed to come and say: "Your prayer has been heard.”

  Bernardo presented the angel with two additional petitions, one for a male cousin who had been drinking too much and a second one for the cousin's sister who might be compromising her faith by working at a job that she needed to survive. The angel told Bernardo to inform his cousin that unless he changed his ways, he would be robbed, assaulted, shot in the left heel, and eventually murdered. The cousin dismissed the warning, saying he would leave his fate to chance. On September 9, the day after the fifth vision, his murdered body was found.


  The apparition of August 8, 1980 did not take place because a forging river prevented Bernardo from crossing to the other side. (This reminds us of Fatima where the apparition of August 13 was postponed because of the local authorities' harsh treatment of the three young visionaries.)


  Bernardo was worried that he would never see the Blessed Mother again, but on September 8, he saw the Beautiful Lady from Heaven once again. He had quite a surprise. He described her appearance as follows: “I saw her as child. Beautiful! But little! She was dressed in a pale, cream colored tunic. She did not have a veil, nor a crown, nor a mantle. No adornment, nor embroidery. The dress was long, with long sleeves, and it was girdled with a pink cord. Her hair fell to her shoulders and it was brown in color. The eyes, also, although much lighter, almost like the color of honey. All of her radiated light. She looked like the Lady, but she was a child. I was looking at her amazed, without saying a word, and then I heard her voice as that of a child... a child of seven...eight...years.


  Bernardo tried to entice her to make herself manifest to the witnesses who were there, but she said: "No. It is enough for you to give them the message because for the one who is going to believe, that will be enough, and to the one who is not going to believe, though he should see me, is not going to believe."


  Switching gears, Bernardo asked the Child Mary: "Do you want us to build you a chapel or a church?" Mary said: "No, the Lord does not want material churches. He wants living temples which are yourselves. Restore the Sacred Temple of the Lord. In you is the gratification for the Lord."


  Before she disappeared on a cloud, she implored the Cuapians to forgive one another and make peace, and she informed them that she would not return on October 8, but rather on October 13.


  On October 13, a Monday, about fifty people accompanied Bernardo to the apparition site. At the end of the singing of the hymn "My Queen of Heaven," a luminous circle Formed over the ground. A circle casting off different colors took shape in the heavens, also. It was three o'clock in the afternoon. Once again two flashes of lightning preceded Our Lady's appearance. Bernardo pleaded with her to make herself visible to the witnesses. Instead, she began to weep. Feeling guilty, because he thought that he was the cause of her tears, Bernardo said: "And why are you crying?"


  Absolving him from blame, Our Lady said that it saddened her to see the the hardness of people's hearts. She told Bernardo that he would have to pray for them to soften their hearts. Then she gave her final message to the people of Cuapa:


  "Pray the Rosary. Meditate on the mysteries. Listen to the Word of God spoken in them. Charity is a way of life that builds up humanity and the world. Love each other. Forgive one another. Make peace. Don't ask for peace without making peace.

  Fulfill your duties. Put the Word of God into practice. Seek ways to please God. Help others as a way to please God. In that way you will be pleasing to God. Do not ask God constantly for things that are unimportant. Ask God to increase your faith so that you have the strength to carry your own cross.

  The sufferings of this world, and these times, cannot be taken away from you. Such is the way of the world. There are problems with the husband, with the wife, with the children, with the brothers and sisters. Talk, communicate with one another so that your problems will be resolved in peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence. Ask instead for faith in order that you will have patience.

  You shall no longer see me in this place.”


  Bernardo was shocked to hear her farewell. He began to shout: “Don’t leave us, my Mother! Don’t leave us, my Mother! Don’t leave us, my Mother!” He then heard her beautiful voice once again:


  “Do not be grieved. I am with you even though you do not see me. I am the Mother of all of you. I am the Mother of all sinners. Love one another. Forgive each other. Make peace, because if you do not make peace there will be no peace. Do not turn to violence. Never turn to violence.  Nicaragua has suffered a great deal since the earthquake and will continue to suffer if you do not change. If you do not change, you will hasten the coming of the Third World War. Pray, pray, my son, for all the world. Grave dangers threaten the world. This mother never forgets her children. I have not forgotten what you suffer. I am your Mother who never forgets her children. I am with you though you do not see me. I am the Mother of all sinners. I am with all of you, especially in your suffering. Love each other. Pardon each other.


  Please pray this prayer knowing it is pleasing to my Son: ‘Most Holy Virgin, you are my Mother, the Mother of all sinners. Help me, my Bother, help my Family, my country, my world. Amen.”


  Of her departure, Bernardo stated: “She was elevated as if the cloud were pushing her...she disappeared. I am no more than a decayed cane through which this message is passed. In my ignorance, I say it poorly....The Holy Virgin tells us to make peace and the peace is Jesus Christ. I will never cease repeating the message. For as long as my tongue has movement I will shout it to the four winds.”






  In 1995, at the age of 64 years, Bernardo Martinez was himself ordained as a priest in the Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua. Bernardo died in 2000.




  In 1982, both Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General Bosco M. Vivas Robelo of the Archdiocese of Managua, and Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega Mantilla, of Juigalpa (the diocese of apparitions) released statements positively affirming the apparitions at Cuapa, Nicaragua.


  On November 13, 1983, Bishop Vega published his approval of the apparitions.


  In 1994, Bishop Robelo who then led the Diocese of Leon stated “I hereby authorize the publication of the story of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cuapa and the messages given to Bernardo Martinez…”. May this publication help those who read it have an encounter with Jesus Christ in the Church through the mediation of the Mother of Our Lord.




The Catholic Travel,au/Caupa.htm l

The Miracle Hunter: Marian apparitions:Caupa

www,all for

Meetings with Mary, Visions of the Blessed Mother - Janice T. Connell - Cuapa, Nicaragua: 1980

Roses in December, Mary’s Garden of Miracles - Dom Forker - Our Lady of Cuapa

bottom of page