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Virgin Mary Draws Crowd

To the thousands of pilgrims who travel here every year, the small farmhouse 25 miles east of Atlanta is holy ground. CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts reports.

According to Nancy Fowler, the Virgin Mary has dropped by to speak with her for the past eight years.

From October 1990 to May 1994, Fowler delivered the messages on the 13th of each month. Then she announced that the Virgin Mary would appear with a public message only once a year, on October 13. This year, Fowler spoke for the last time to a crowd of 10,000 gathered around the farmhouse.

Fowler said that the final message she delivered from the Virgin Mary was one that the Catholic church does not officially recognize, but a message many believe in.

"If you choose to live apart from God, then you will fall and fall you will," she said.

The message, televised and available via satellite, brought applause and gasps from Fowler's audience.

Although the former homemaker did not give a reason why the Virgin Mary was no longer permitted to visit with her again, Fowler told followers that "she, being the loving mother she is, reassured me that she would always remain with me, just as she reassured me she would always remain with all of you."

For the most part, the crowd was quiet and attentive while Fowler read for 30 minutes.

People fell to their knees when Fowler said that a multitude of souls accompanied Mary in her vision. She said the souls were in purgatory but were being released into heaven in honor of Mary.

Fowler has attracted many visitors from Mexico to hear her messages.

"We in Mexico and Latin America believe in the power of Maria and that's the only thing that can unify us," said Christina Peschard, who traveled to Conyers with her sister and mother from Zacatecas, Mexico.

Some of the faithful said their cameras caught images of Mary, along with strange colors and shapes emanating from the sun.

"I come because of all the miracles I have experienced," said Angie Moogalin of Chester, Virginia, clutching a Polaroid of Mrs. Fowler's house with another shape she claims is a door above the house. "I've seen different lights and different images. There's just a feeling of holiness here."

In her last speech, Fowler told the crowd that she plans to move to Florida.

However, she said, people will still be welcome to visit the Georgia farm in the future. Souvenirs and videotapes will be sold on site and available on the Internet.

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