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Updated by Carla Menegaz on Jan 02, 2016
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Sites of Marian Apparitions

List of Marian Apparition sites I would like to visit in my lifetime.

1

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mary proclaimed herself "the Mother of the true God who gives life" and left her image permanently upon the tilma of St. Juan Diego, a man newly converted to Christianity. Her likeness was given as a sign to Bishop Zumarraga, who abided by her wishes and constructed a church on Mt. Tepeyacac, the site of the apparitions. Millions of natives were converted to Christianity during the period following her visit. Our Lady of Guadalupe has been designated as the Patron Saint of the Americas.

The Miracle Hunter

Mexico City, Mexico

Symbolism

The 470-year-old image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is more than simply a picture. It contains
symbols -- in a sense, hieroglyphics, or a story in pictures -- that reveal part of the message the Blessed Mother brought through Juan Diego to the Indians of Mexico and to all the people of the Americas. But the symbols had a special meaning to the Indians, who because of their culture could decipher the code in the Image.

eyes

  1. Eyes The eyes of the image are looking down, a postion of humility, revealing that, as great as she is, she is not a god. Indian gods never looked down; they looked straight ahead.

face

  1. Face The woman's face shows great compassion. The Indians felt that the face was the window of the inner person, a means by which one could read who a person was -- the way a person would act. A good woman to the Indians was one whose femininity showed in her face. The head of the woman in the image shows her with dark skin and dark hair like that of the Indians.

hands

  1. Hands Her hands are not poised in the traditional Western style of prayer, but in an Indian manner of offering, indicating that something is being offered, that something is to come from her.

band

  1. Maternity Band The maternity band around the woman's waist was the sign of a pregnant woman, a mother who is about to give birth, it was a sign to the Indians that someone is yet to come.

stars

  1. Stars The stars on the mantle are a sign that a new civilization, or era, is beginning. The Indian tradition recognized the end and the beginning of different eras throughout the ages, and the destruction of a particular civilization or era was always accompanied by a comet, or a body of stars.

rays

  1. Sun Rays The rays of sun in the image recalled for the Indians that the sun played a key role in their civilization. But the woman in the image is greater than even the sun. She hides the sun, and only the rays come forth. She hides the sun but does not extinguish it.

mantle

  1. Mantle The predominant color in the image's mantle is turquoise, the blue-green color reserved for the great god Omecihuatl. Although the Indians had many "intermediary gods." Omecihuatl was considered the supreme god. It was a mother-father god who sometimes was represented as a man and sometimes as a woman. It was a source of unity for everything that exists.

moon

  1. Moon The woman is standing on the moon, indicating that she is greater than the god of night, the moon god.

angel

  1. Angel The angel at the bottom of the image was seen by the Indians as an "intermediary god" carrying in a new era, the beginning of a new civilization. One era was at an end -- had died -- and a new one was beginning, was being born.
2

Apparition of our Lady at Lezajsk, Poland (1578)

Apparition of our Lady at Lezajsk, Poland (1578)

Summary
A pious woodcutter,named Thomas Michalek saw a bright light in the forest. Tthe Virgin asked him to alert the authorities to build a church. Thomas, scared, did nothing. The Virgin, then, appeared again, asking him to take action and ending his silence. Thomas went to the authorities but was not believed. After the death of the parish priest, a chapel was finally built.
Timeline

1578

A pious woodcutter named Thomas Michalek, through a forest, saw a bright light, in which the Holy Virgin manifested herself. Speaking to him, the Virgin says: "Thomas, I chose this place. Here my Son will be loved and respected and whosoever shall call upon my intercession, will receive my blessing." Our Lady ask him to alert the authorities so that he might build a church. Thomas, scared, did nothing.

The Virgin, then, appeared again, asking him to take action and end his silence. Thomas went to the authorities to tell the tale, but he was not believed and in fact was dragged to court by the curate of the place,who was incredulous and suspicious.

On the death of this curate, the new parish priest, finally built a small chapel.

1606

Maciej Pstrokonski, bishop of Bishop of Przemysl (1601-1608) built a larger church on the site of the apparition.

July 2, 1724

Henryk Firlej, Bishop of Przemysl (1631-1635) confirms the supernatural origin of the miracle.

Sept 8, 1752

Pope Benedict XIV himself crowned the image with Waclaw Hieronim Sierakowski, Bishop of Przemysl (1742-1760), after personally blessing the crown.
Appearance of the Virgin

Our Lady manifested herself in a bright light.
Messages of the Virgin

The Virgin said to Thomas: "Thomas, I chose this place. Here my Son will be loved and respected and whosoever shall call upon my intercession, will receive my blessing." Our Lady asked him to alert the authorities that he will build a church.

Shrine

On the death of the curate, the new parish priest finally built a small chapel. In 1606, the bishop of the diocese, Bishop Potrokonski, is committed to the construction of a larger church with the help of King Sigismund III. His successor, Bishop Henry Firliz confirms the supernatural origin of the miracle. On 8 September 1752, Pope Benedict XIV is crowned the image by Bishop Sierakowski, after personally blessed the crown.

3

Our Lady of Siluva

Our Lady of Siluva

Summary

One summer day, in 1608, a number of children were playing while tending their sheep in a field on the outskirts of the village of Siluva. They beheld a beautiful young woman standing on the rock holding a baby in her arms and weeping bitterly. The town which had lost its Catholic identity to the Calvinists over the course of 80 years was restored to the Faith.
Description of the Virgin

The children beheld a beautiful young woman standing on the rock holding a baby in her arms and weeping bitterly. She did not speak, but looked at them sadly as she stood there, weeping as though her heart was breaking. So profuse were her tears that they ran down her cheeks and some of them splashed on the rock. The woman was dressed in flowing blue and white robes, unlike any costume with which the children were familiar. Her long, light-brown hair fell softly over her shoulders. A strange light surrounded both the woman and child.

Messages

The Calvinist pastor who had denounced the apparition claims as satanic and "Roman superstition" was shocked to see the weeping woman and child. He regained his composure and asked, “Why are you weeping?” In a voice filled with sorrowful emotion, she replied, “There was a time when my beloved Son was worshipped by my people on this very spot. But now they have given this sacred soil over to the plowman and the tiller and to the animals for grazing.” Without another word, she vanished.

Click here to read messages.

Miracles, Cures, and Signs

The belief that the Mother of God had appeared in person to chide them for their neglect of the Catholic Faith quickly grew among the people. Most of them heeded her message and began to return to the the Catholic Church. A decade later, on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, more than 11,000 people received Holy Communion during a mass offered at the scene of the apparitions.

A blind man, more than 100 years old, lived in a nearby village. The stories of the apparitions reached him and he recalled a night, some eighty years before, when he helped Father Holubka bury an ironclad chest filled with church treasures beside a large rock. The villagers led him to the field of the apparitions to see if he could help locate the place where the treasures were buried. No sooner had he reached the spot, then his sight was miraculously restored. Falling to his knees with joy and gratitude, he pointed to the exact spot where the chest had been buried.

4

Our Lady of Happy Meetings

Our Lady of Happy Meetings

Summary

Benoite Rencurel, a poor shepherdess, was born in 1647. The Virgin Mary started appearing to her in 1664 and continued visiting her throughout the rest of her life. Rencurel died in 1718.

During the apparitions, the Blessed Mother asked for a church and a house for priests to be built, with the intension of drawing people to greater conversion, especially through the sacrament of penance. The holy site now draws 120,000 pilgrims annually. Numerous physical healings have also been associated with the site, especially when oil from a lamp is applied on the wounds according to the directives the Virgin Mary gave to Rencurel.
Messages

Click here to read the messages of Le Laus.

Mary revealed herself in Laus as the reconciler and refuge of sinners, and therefore she offered signs to convince them of the need to repent. She told Benedicta that the oil from the sanctuary lamp would work miracles with the infirm if they received the anointing with faith in her intercession.

Benedicta took the mission she received from Mary seriously and dedicated herself to preparing sinners to receive the sacrament. She encouraged the two priests at the shrine to receive penitents with charity and kindness in order to help them convert.

Mary asked Benedicta to admonish women and girls about living lives of scandal, especially those who commit abortion. She also encouraged priests and religious to be faithful to their vows.

Miracles and Signs

Benita also had appearances of Christ and received the stigmata of his passion. She lived as a hermit in the place of the apparitions and became a teacher of spiritual life for all. Until the end of his life he continued to have apparitions of Mary and died in the odor of sanctity.

Shrine

During the apparitions, the Blessed Mother asked for a church and a house for priests to be built, with the intension of drawing people to greater conversion, especially through the sacrament of penance. The holy site now draws 120,000 pilgrims annually. Numerous physical healings have also been associated with the site, especially when oil from a lamp is applied on the wounds according to the directives the Virgin Mary gave to Rencural.

The Catholic philosopher Jean Guitton called it “one of the most hidden and powerful shrines of Europe.”

5

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Summary

Catherine Laboure, a novitiate in the order of the Sisters of Charity, received various visions of St. Vincent and of Jesus present in the Eucharist before experiencing two apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the first vision, July 18th, 1830, Catherine is told of the impending travails of France and of an unspecified future mission. Several months later she received a message detailing the designs for a medal, later known as the Miraculous Medal, now reproduced over a billion times and distributed around the world. The apparition was investigated in 1836 and later approved. Catherine worked for 46 more years in hospices of her Order until her death in 1876. Her body lies incorrupt at the site of the apparition to this day. She was canonized by the Church in 1947.
Description of the Virgin

"The Virgin was standing. She was of medium height, and clothed in all white. Her dress was of the whiteness of dawn, made in the style called a la Vierge, that is, high neck and plain sleeves. A white veil covered her head and and fell on either side of her feet. Under the veil her hair, in coils, was bound with a fillet ornamented with lace, about three centimeters in height or of two fingers' breadth, without pleats, and resting lightly on the hair. Her face was sufficiently exposed, indeed exposed very well, and so beautiful that it seems to me impossible to express her ravishing beauty."
Messages

The Virgin appeared twice – July 18 and November 30, 1870.

Click here to read messages.

Prophecies

By 1870, forty years after the first apparition, all the prophecies given at the time were fulfilled:

“There will be bad times to come. Misfortunes will come crashing down on France. The throne will be overturned.”

The" throne” of King Charles X was “overturned” in the end of the year 1830;

"The Cross will be treated with contempt, they will hurl it to the ground and trample it. Blood will flow. The streets will run with blood."

Riots broke out all over Paris and Churches were desecrated.

“There will be victims among the clergy of Paris; Monsignor the Archbishop will die.”
The Archbishop Msgr. Darboy (1871) and two subsequent of Paris were murdered during this period.

“Monseigneur the Archbishop will be stripped of his garments.”
The Archbishop was beaten and stripped of his clothes.

“There will be great danger, for this, the [novitiate] and other communities. At one moment when the danger is acute, everyone will believe all to be lost ; you will recall my visit and the [novitiate] will have the protection of God. But it will not be the same for other communities.”

Some of the buildings housing religious communities were burned down; although threatened by angry crowds, the building housing the Sisters of Charity at the Rue du Bac went unharmed.

Miracles

Her incorrupt body remains in the convent chapel at the rue du Bac, where miracles were reported at her tomb.
Design of the Medal

According to the verbal process of the investigation on February 16, 1836 the medal is supposed to be oval in shape It also says the words, "O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!" start at Mary's right hand, continue over her head, and end at the left hand

According to the account written by Catherine's own hand Mary was clothed in a robe of auroral light and her robe had a high neck and plain sleeves. According to her own hand the medal should also have half a globe upon which Mary's feet rest, hands raised up to her waist, fingers filled with diamond rings of different sizes giving off rays of light, and a frame slightly oval with golden letters saying, "O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!" She also added that some of the diamonds did not give off rays. Her fingers each had three rings and the largest stones emitted the most brilliant rays

6

Our Lady of the Miracle / Our Lady of Zion

Our Lady of the Miracle / Our Lady of Zion

Summary

Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne, an anti-Catholic Jew, befriended a baron in Rome and began wearing the Miraculous Medal as a simple test . On Jan 20, 1842 while waiting for the baron in the church Sant Andrea delle Fratte, Ratisbonne encountered a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He converted to Catholicism, joined the priesthood, and began a ministry for the conversion of Jews.
Description of the Virgin

In Ratisbonne's own words: "I was scarcely in the church when a total confusion came over me. When I looked up, it seemed to me that the entire church had been swallowed up in shadow, except one chapel. It was as though all the light was concentrated in that single place. I looked over towards this chapel whence so much light shone, and above the altar was a living figure, tall, majestic, beautiful and full of mercy. It was the most holy Virgin Mary, resembling her figure on the Miraculous Medal. At this sight I fell on my knees right where I stood. Unable to look up because of the blinding light, I fixed my glance on her hands, and in them I could read the expression of mercy and pardon. In the presence of the Most Blessed Virgin, even though she did not speak a word to me, I understood the frightful situation I was in, my sins and the beauty of the Catholic Faith."

7

Our Lady of La Salette

Our Lady of La Salette

Summary

Six thousand feet up in the French Alps, the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have come to 11 year old Maximin Giraud and 14 year old Melanie Calvat-Mathieu while they tended sheep. Her appearance in sorrow and tears called for conversion and penance for sins.
Messages

The central theme of the Virgin's messages was turn away from sin and do penance or undergo terrible suffering.

Click here to read the messages of La Salette.

Miracles and Signs

During interrogations from the local authorities, the children were taken to the site of the apparition. A man broke off a piece of rock at the spot of the Virgin's appearance and uncovered a spring. The spring was found to have healing powers which inspired the bishop to begin an official inquiry. Twenty-three cures were attributed to the mountain spring in the first year after the apparition.

Additionally, hundreds of miraculous cures have also been reported at the Basilica of La Salette.

Prophecies

In December 1846, most of the popular crops were disease stricken, and in 1847 a famine hit Europe which resulted in the loss of approximately one million lives, including one hundred thousand in France alone.

Cholera became prevalent in various parts of France and claimed the lives of many children.

Description of the Virgin

"The clothing of the Most Holy Virgin was silver white and quite brillliant. It was quite intangible. It was made up of light and glory, sparkling and dazzling. There is no expression nor comparison to be found on earth. The most Holy Virgin had a yellow pinafore.

"What am I saying, yellow? She had a pinafore more brilliant than several suns put together. It was not a tangible material; it was composed of glory, and the glory was scintillating, and ravishingly beautiful.

"The crown of roses which she placed on her head was so beautiful, so brilliant, that it defies imagination. The different colored roses were not of this earth; it was a joining together of flowers which crowned the Most Holy Virgin.

"The Most Holy Virgin was tall and well proportioned. She seemed so light that a mere breath could have stirred her, yet she was motionless and perfectly balanced. Her face was majestic, imposing. The voice of the Beautiful Lady was soft. It was enchanting, ravishing, warming to the ears.

"The eyes of the majestic Mary appeared thousands of times more beautiful than the rarest brilliants, diamonds, aand precious stones. They shone like two suns; but they were soft, softness itself, as clear as a mirror.

"The Holy Virgin had a most pretty cross hanging around her neck.

"The Holy Virgin was crying nearly the whole time she was speaking to us. Her tears flowed gently, one by one, down to her knees, then, like sparks of light they disappeared. They were glittering and full of love. I would have liked to comfort her and stop her tears."

  • Melanie Mathieu (1851)
8

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes

Summary

At the Grotto of Massabielle, the Virgin showed herself 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous. Under the title "the Immaculate Conception," she called for penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners.
Description of the Virgin

"She has the appareance of a young girl of sixteen or seventeen. She is dressed in a white robe, girdled at the waist with a blue ribbon, which flows down all along her robe. She wears upon her head a veil which is also white; this veil gives just a glimpse of her hair then falls down at the back below her below her waist. Her feet are bare but covered by the last folds of her robe except at the point where a yellow rose shines upon each of them. She holds on her right arm a Rosary of white beads with a chain of gold shining like the two roses on her feet."

Miracles and Signs

In 1859, Professor Vergez of the Faculty of Medicine at Montpellier was appointed to examine the cures. Seven cures were recorded before 1862 promoting the argument for the recognition of the Apparitions by Bishop Laurence. Over 5,000 cures have been documented at the waters of Lourdes. The Church has vigorously investigated and validated 69 of them.

9

Help of Christians -Filippsdorf, Czech Republic (1866)

Help of Christians -Filippsdorf, Czech Republic (1866)

Summary

Magdalene Kade, an orphaned 31 year woman bedridden due to many illnesses, received a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who immediately cured her. A bishop's commission examined the miraculous event and recognized the healing and supernatural character. In the period between 1870 and 1885 a neo-Romanesque church was built and was elevated to minor basilica by Pope Leo XIII, who officially consecrated it and dedicated to Mary, "Help of Christians." This shrine is still an important place of pilgrimage.
Description of the Virgin

At four AM, Magdalene suddenly called her friend and said, excitedly, "Look at that shine! Look at that beauty." The friend looked but saw nothing. Magdalene was the only privileged one to see the splendor of a lady dressed in white, with a golden tiara in her hair, close to the bed.

Messages

The Madonna moved her lips softly and said, "My daughter, now you are healed!" And then she disappeared.

Miracles, Cures, and Signs

Magdalene was bedridden with many illnesses and could not speak due to extreme weakness. After her vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she was able to quickly get up and find that she was completely healed.

10

Our Lady of Hope / Madonna of the Crucifix -Pontmain, France (1871)

Our Lady of Hope / Madonna of the Crucifix -Pontmain, France (1871)

Summary

During the devastation of the Franco-Prussian War, Mary appeared on a farm to students at the nearby convent school. Mary's message was written on a banner that unfurled from her feet: "But pray my children. God will hear you in a short time. My Son allows Himself to be moved by compassion."
Messages

A white scroll appeared under the Lady's feet and words of gold started to form on them: "But pray, my children". In the next phrase, a larger cross appeared in her hands and a banner with the name of Christ hung from it. Yet another sentence appeared on the scroll: "God will soon grant your request." In the final phrase, a third sentence appeared on the scroll, "My Son allows himself to be moved."

Description of the Virgin

Our Lady wore a blue robe embroidered with numerous golden stars. On her head she had a black veil and a gold crown and on her feet blue shoes with gold ribbons. The Lady was tall and beautiful and looked about eighteen; "smiles of ineffable sweetness played about her mouth." When the cross with Christ appeared in her hands, Joseph Barbedette recalled that "her face was marked with a deep sorrow... the trembling of her lips at the corners of her mouth showed deep feeling... But no tears ran down her cheeks."

The apparition was motionless at first for the inital two hours. After the Rosary began to be prayed, a small red cross appeared over heart and a blue oval frame with four candles appeared around her while the stars in her robe seemed to increase. When the Magnificat was prayed, she elevated her hands with the palms outward in a protective gesture. The candles in the oval frame were lit by a a star, and when the Lady lowered her hands, two white crosses appeared on her shoulders. When the parish priest began his prayers, a white veil rose from beneath her feet and covered her until she disappeared.

Miracles and Signs

At 5:30 on the night of the apparition to the children, the Prussian army halted their advance through France when the Prussian commander claimed to have seen an image of the Lady in the sky. General Schmidt reported: "We cannot go any further. Yonder, in the direction of Brittany, there is an invisible Madonna barring the way." A peace treaty between France and Prussia was signed eleven days later. All the soldiers from Pontmain returned unharmed.

11

Our Lady of Gietrzwald, Poland (1877)

Our Lady of Gietrzwald, Poland (1877)

Summary

Our Lady appeared for the first time to Justyna Szafrynska (13) when she was returning home with her mother after having taken an examination prior to receiving the First Holy Communion. The next day, Barbara Samulowska (12) also saw the ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels over the maple tree in front of the church while reciting the rosary. The girls asked "Who are you?" she answered, "I am the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception!". "What do you require, Mother of God?", they asked, the answer was: "I wish you recite the rosary everyday!"
Description of the Virgin

The Virgin Mary appeared as a ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels.

Messages

Among many questions regarding health and salvation of various persons, the children also asked the following: "Will the Church in the Kingdom of Poland set free?" "Will the deserted parishes in southern Warmia receive their priests soon?" They heard in reply: "Yes, if people pray ardently, then the Church will not be oppressed, and the deserted parishes will receive the priests!"

To those questions was evidenced by oppressions of the Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Poland by tsarist Russia after the January 1863 Uprising and by limitation of its influence in the Prussian sector of partitioned Poland in the period of Kulturkampf.

Our Lady’s answers brought consolation to the Poles. They actually became true. Hence, a great number of Poles from all districts paid visits to Gietrzwald. Due to this fact, the Prussian authorities immediately assumed a resolute negative attitude towards the apparitions. The local administration, the German press and part of the clergy assumed them to be according to Bishop Jan Oblak, a political manifestation, a Polish national demonstration, fraud and superstition, allegedly dangerous to the state, progress and the public peace. They inflicted various punishments on Polish pilgrims, Poles fathers, the local parish priest Father Augustyn Weichsel, including imprisonment, imposition of fines and suspending in the capacity of ministration.

Miracles and Signs

The impact of the apparitions in Warmia was enormous. Most notably, there was a rebirth of moral life and a heightening of worshiper’s awareness. Five years after the events, in a report dated September 27, 1882, Father Augustyn Weichsel wrote: "Not only my parish, but the whole neighborhood has become more pious after the apparitions. This was evidenced by the common reciting of the Holy Rosary all the homes, admittance to the monastery by many people, regular attendance at the church (...) Good effects of the apparitions spread out everywhere, they also infiltrated to the Kingdom of Poland and Russia (...) An apparent result was the habit of the collective reciting of the Rosary everyday. In southern Warmia, the Rosary was prayed in almost at all homes, as well as in the homes of parishes of the Chelmno, Poznan and Wroclaw dioceses".

In the village on the Gilwa River, parishioners were reciting the Rosary in the church three times a day: in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. Moreover, there were numerous cases of conversions of sinners. The Holy Sacraments were frequently received.

Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynskit, was too ill to attend the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady apparitions in Gietrzwald. Large crowds of faithful gathered with the representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Poland headed by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who prayed: "Remember, Blessed Virgin Mary, no one has heard that anybody who has entrusted his needs to your maternal kindness has been disappointed. Therefore, full of trust in face of pleading might of your heart, we are laying down in your generous hands, the health of your servant and our Primate. Look at his loyalty and devotion, with which he has been serving you for many years as priest and bishop, and restore in full his strength so that he may see your glory in the days of the jubilee of the basilica of Our Lady of Cz?stochowa and direct the Church in Poland for many years." The primate recovered from his illness.

12

Our Lady of Knock, Ireland (1879)

Our Lady of Knock, Ireland (1879)

Summary

During a pouring rain, the figures of Mary, Joseph, John the Evangelist and a lamb on a plain altar appeared over the gable of the village chapel, enveloped in a bright light. None of them spoke. 15 people, between the ages of 5 and 75, saw the apparition.
Description of the Virgin

According to visionary Mary Beirne:

"The Virgin stood erect, with eyes raised to heaven , her hands elevated to the shoulders or a little higher. the palms inclined slightly toward her shoulders or bosom; she wore a large cloak of a white color, hanging in full folds and somewhat loosely around her shoulders and fastened to the neck; she wore a crown on the head- a rather large crown- and it appeared to be somewhat yellower than the dress or robes worn by Our Blessed Lady."

According to visionary Bridget Trench:

Mary was described as "deep in prayer", with her eyes raised to heaven, her hands raised to the shoulders or a little higher, the palms inclined slightly to the shoulders. Bridget Trench "went in immediately to kiss, as I thought, the feet of the Blessed Virgin; but I felt nothing in the embrace but the wall, and I wondered why I could not feel with my hands the figures which I had so plainly and so distinctly seen".

13

Our Lady of the Rosary - Fatima, Portugal (1917)

Our Lady of the Rosary - Fatima, Portugal (1917)

Summary

While tending sheep in a field called the Cova de Iria, Lucia de Santos (10) and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reported six apparitions of Mary, who identified herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary." Mary urged prayer of the rosary, penance for the conversion of sinners and consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
Description of the Virgin

"It was a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."

Secret of Fatima

Between 1935 and 1941, on the orders of her superiors, Sr. Lucia wrote four memoirs of the Fatima events. In the third of these, she recorded the first two parts of the secret, explaining that there was a third part she was not yet permitted by heaven to reveal. In the Fourth Memoir, she added a sentence to the end of the second part of the secret: "In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc." Sr. Lucia also noted that in writing the secret in the Fourth Memoir: "With the exception of that part of the Secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present, I shall say everything. I shall not knowingly omit anything, though I suppose I may forget just a few small details of minor importance." Upon the publication of the Third and Fourth Memoirs, the world became aware of the secret of Fatima and its three parts, including Our Lady’s request that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the pope and the bishops of the world.

First Secret

The first part of the secret—the vision of hell—reveals to individuals the tragic consequences of failure to repent and what awaits them in the invisible world if they are not converted.

Second Secret

In the second part, Mary says: "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."

Cardinal Ratzinger explains: "According to Matthew 5:8, the ‘immaculate heart’ [of Mary] is a heart which, with God’s grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore ‘sees God.’ To be ‘devoted’ to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat—‘your will be done’—the defining center of one’s whole life. It might be objected that we should not place a human being between ourselves and Christ. But then we remember that Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: ‘imitate me’ (1 Cor. 4:16; Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Thess. 3:7, 9)" (op. cit.).

After explaining the vision of hell, Mary spoke of a war that "will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI." This latter war, of course, was World War II, which Sr. Lucia reckoned as having been occasioned by the annexation of Austria by Germany during the reign of Pius XI (J. de Marchi, Temoignages sur les apparitions de Fatima, 346). Our Lady also mentioned that this would happen after a night of the "unknown light." Sr. Lucia understood this to refer to January 25, 1938, when Europe was witness to a spectacular nighttime display of light in the sky. In her third memoir she wrote: "Your Excellency is not unaware that, a few years ago, God manifested that sign, which astronomers chose to call an aurora borealis. . . . God made use of this to make me understand that his justice was about to strike the guilty nations."

Our Lady added: "If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted (Portuguese: converterá - will change, i.e. become peaceful) , and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

Third Secret

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’

And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the holy father’.

Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.
Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God [The Message of Fatima, “Third Part of the ‘Secret’”].


In a interview at Fatima, Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) spoke about visions and apparitions: "To all curious people, I would say I am certain that the Virgin does not engage in sensationalism; she does not act in order to instigate fear. She does not present apocalyptic visions, but guides people to her Son. And this is what is essential."

Third secret of Fatima is not, he said, "sensational or apocalyptic." He continued, "Preoccupation with the message and its presumed predictions of catastrophe are not part of a healthy Marian devotion. The Madonna did not appear to children, to the small, to the simple, to those unknown in the world in order to create a sensation." Mary's purpose "is, through these simple ones, to call the world back to simplicity, that is, to the essentials: conversion, prayer, and the sacraments."

From the Theological Commentary on Fatima from Cardinal Jospeh Ratzinger (future Pope Bendict XVI):

A careful reading of the text of the so-called third “secret” of Fatima, published here in its entirety long after the fact and by decision of the Holy Father, will probably prove disappointing or surprising after all the speculation it has stirred. No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled. We see the Church of the martyrs of the century which has just passed represented in a scene described in a language which is symbolic and not easy to decipher. . . . Thus we come finally to the third part of the “secret” of Fatima which for the first time is being published in its entirety [Ratzinger, MF, op. cit.].

Sr. Lucia herself indicated that she agreed with the interpretation offered by the Vatican: "Sister Lucia agreed with the interpretation that the third part of the “secret” was a prophetic vision, similar to those in sacred history. She repeated her conviction that the vision of Fatima concerns above all the struggle of atheistic Communism against the Church and against Christians, and describes the terrible sufferings of the victims of the faith in the twentieth century [Bertone, MF, op. cit.]. "

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The Virgin with the Golden Heart - Beauraing, Belgium (1932)

The Virgin with the Golden Heart - Beauraing, Belgium (1932)

Summary

From November 29, 1932 to January 3, 1933, Mary appeared 33 times to the playground of a convent school to five children. The children belonged to two families: the Voisins (Fernande, 15 years; Berthe, 13 years; and Albert 11 years) and the Degeimbres (Andre, 14 years, and Gilberte, 9 years old). Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," she called for prayer for the conversion of sinners.
Description of the Virgin

The Virgin Mary appeared as a beautiful lady in white walking above the bridge and the grotto by the convent with clouds covering her feet. The Virgin, with hands joined and turned toward the sky, carried a rosary hanging from her right arm. During the five last apparitions, she showed a heart of gold, surrounded by rays, on her chest.

Visionaries

The children belonged to two families: the Voisins (Fernande, 15 years; Berthe, 13 years; and Albert 11 years) and the Degeimbres (Andre, 14 years, and Gilberte, 9 years old). These working families were for the most part non-practicing Catholics.

Messages

The Virgin Mary urged the children to pray and sacrifice. She asked, "that people pray much," "that a chapel be built" (December 17, 1932), "that people come here in pilgrimage" (December 23). She promised the conversion of sinners. All these points are common with Lourdes. During the five last apparitions, she showed a heart of gold, surrounded by rays, on her chest. During the fourth apparition (December 4) and the seventh (December 21), she declared herself to be "the Immaculate Virgin" (analogous to Lourdes). During the last apparition (January 3, 1933), she added: "I will convert sinners. I am the Mother of God, the Queen of heaven." Twenty thousand persons were present that day.

The secrets given to the children have never been revealed.

15

The Virgin of the Poor - Banneux, Belgium (1933)

The Virgin of the Poor - Banneux, Belgium (1933)

Summary

In a garden behind the Beco family's cottage, the Blessed Mother is said to have appeared to Mariette Beco (age 11) eight times. Calling herself the "Virgin of the Poor," Mary promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering.
Description of the Virgin

The Virgin was enveloped in a "great oval light" and wore a long white gown with a sash of "unforgettable blue" and a white, tranparent veil covering her head and shoulders. Her right foot was visible and "crowned with a golden rose" between the toes. She had a rosary on her right arm with diamond-like beads and a golden chain and cross. She stood on a cloud with her head and shoulders bent sllightly to the left.

Messages

Calling herself the "Virgin of the Poor," Mary promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering in her eight messages.

Additionally, Mariette Beco had reportedly received a secret which never was made public.

Click here to read the messages of Banneaux.

Miracles and Signs

Many people, including Mariette's father, were converted to Catholicism upon hearing accounts of the apparition. Five hundred thousand pilgrims visit the site of the apparitions every year. Over fifty miraculous cures have been documented at the spring.

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Mother of the Word - Kibeho, Rwanda (1981-1989)

Mother of the Word - Kibeho, Rwanda (1981-1989)

Summary

The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three -- 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire -- have received Bishop Misago's solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries, and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago didn't confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries.

The Virgin appeared to them with the name "Nyina wa Jambo", that is "Mother of the Word", which is synonymous to "Umubyeyl W'iamna" that is, "Mother of God", as she herself explained.
Messages and Visions

In the visions, Mary emphasized the call to pray the rosary. She also asked for penance and fasting. A dreadful vision all three girls received became a key apparition leading to the official acceptance and approval of Kibeho.

These girls reported seeing a gruesome picture: a river of blood, people who killed one another, abandoned bodies with no one to bury them, a tree on fire, an open chasm, a monster, and severed heads. The vision is now considered a prophecy of the ethnic genocide that would take place in the country 13 years later. Tragically, in 1994, visionary Marie Claire became one of its victims.

Click here to read the messages of Kibeho.

Signs and Miracles

From the beginning in Kibeho, in southern Rwanda, there were conversions, prayer meetings, pilgrimages, healings and abnormal phenomena during those public apparitions. Also, the sun appeared to pulsate, spin, or split in two -- a miracle reminiscent of Fatima.

Description of the Virgin

"She had a seamless white dress and also a white veil on her head. Her hands were clasped together on her breast, and her fingers pointed to the sky... I could not determine the color of her skin," said Alphonsine, "but she was of incomparable beauty."