Miracles of the Saints, Marian Apparitions


#1

I have read a lot about Catholicism over the past four months as well as listened to a lot of Relevant Radio and watched a lot of EWTN. Many of my questions and concerns have been answered or at least addressed adequately: The Pope, Mary, Tradition, etc. What I am currently working through is the issues of reports of Saints' miracles and Marian apparitions.

It is not that I don't believe in miracles: it's just that I hear far more about miracles from Catholic sources than I do from Protestant or evangelical sources. Of course, there is a good explanation for that, I'm sure...but still. Sometimes, perhaps in my lack of faith, I find myself wondering if all the stories are true...or if some were exaggerated. But then I ask myself: if I can believe in the miracles of the Bible, why can't I believe in the miracles of the Saints?

Likewise with Marian apparitions: Holy Holy Queen by Scott Hahn really helped me understand the basis for Marian theology and devotion, but it did not mention the apparitions. Please forgive me if I am dishonoring the Blessed Mother by saying this, but I sometimes wonder if the modern apparitions are more superstition and folklore than truth. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some, but I need to start working through this if I am going to become a Catholic. I am open minded, but sometimes I feel like I'm being asked to jump off the deep end when I'm not completely ready.

Can any converts relate or offer advice? And what do you more experienced Catholics have to say?

Dan


#2

Hey!

1.) This is a good site to get started: miraclehunter.com/

2.) Some of the apparitions/miracles are supersititious and folklore, but some are not. They need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Two worthy of belief are Lourdes & Fatima. Start with those two.

3.) You are not obligated to believe in them, Church just says they are worthy of belief.

4.) Regarding miracles mostly occuring in Catholic Church; it's no coincidence. It should be a pretty big sign you are headed in the right direction.

Kindly,

James


#3

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]
I have read a lot about Catholicism over the past four months as well as listened to a lot of Relevant Radio and watched a lot of EWTN. Many of my questions and concerns have been answered or at least addressed adequately: The Pope, Mary, Tradition, etc. What I am currently working through is the issues of reports of Saints' miracles and Marian apparitions.

It is not that I don't believe in miracles: it's just that I hear far more about miracles from Catholic sources than I do from Protestant or evangelical sources. Of course, there is a good explanation for that, I'm sure...but still. Sometimes, perhaps in my lack of faith, I find myself wondering if all the stories are true...or if some were exaggerated. But then I ask myself: if I can believe in the miracles of the Bible, why can't I believe in the miracles of the Saints?

Likewise with Marian apparitions: Holy Holy Queen by Scott Hahn really helped me understand the basis for Marian theology and devotion, but it did not mention the apparitions. Please forgive me if I am dishonoring the Blessed Mother by saying this, but I sometimes wonder if the modern apparitions are more superstition and folklore than truth. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some, but I need to start working through this if I am going to become a Catholic. I am open minded, but sometimes I feel like I'm being asked to jump off the deep end when I'm not completely ready.

Can any converts relate or offer advice? And what do you more experienced Catholics have to say?

Dan

[/quote]

Congratulations on being open to truth. Don't try to force yourself to believe something. You have been seeking the truth through some very good sources. Continue your reading of Catholic authors and listening to Relevant Radio. They won't lead you astray. As far as miracles go, some people experience them, while others are unaware of them. Many miss the minor miracles in their lives bcause they dismiss them as coincidences. They are happy events, but you don't have to experience them to love God and gain heaven. Remember that all miracles come through the mercy and power of God. Praying to saints, and asking for favors, is like going through Mom, who then goes to Dad for our request. You can go directly to Dad, but feel that maybe Mom can help your cause. Many, many times I've petitioned the saints and received favors, small and large. As for Mary, the Lord could not refuse her requests when on earth, so I can't imagine Him refusing what she asks of Him in heaven. We know that she has appeared many times to people on earth, but you are not obliged to believe that if you cannot easily do so. She is intent on bringing us to her Son. Good luck and God bless.


#4

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]
I have read a lot about Catholicism over the past four months as well as listened to a lot of Relevant Radio and watched a lot of EWTN. Many of my questions and concerns have been answered or at least addressed adequately: The Pope, Mary, Tradition, etc. What I am currently working through is the issues of reports of Saints' miracles and Marian apparitions.

It is not that I don't believe in miracles: it's just that I hear far more about miracles from Catholic sources than I do from Protestant or evangelical sources. Of course, there is a good explanation for that, I'm sure...but still. Sometimes, perhaps in my lack of faith, I find myself wondering if all the stories are true...or if some were exaggerated. But then I ask myself: if I can believe in the miracles of the Bible, why can't I believe in the miracles of the Saints?

Likewise with Marian apparitions: Holy Holy Queen by Scott Hahn really helped me understand the basis for Marian theology and devotion, but it did not mention the apparitions. Please forgive me if I am dishonoring the Blessed Mother by saying this, but I sometimes wonder if the modern apparitions are more superstition and folklore than truth. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some, but I need to start working through this if I am going to become a Catholic. I am open minded, but sometimes I feel like I'm being asked to jump off the deep end when I'm not completely ready.

Can any converts relate or offer advice? And what do you more experienced Catholics have to say?

Dan

[/quote]

Look up Marian Appariations and concentrate on those approved by the Vatican.

Also check out the Eucharistic Miracle which occured in Buenos Aries in 1999. A blind scientfic study was performed in CA and then a comparison study was made with the Lanciano Miracle which happened in the 1200s. There are no words to describe the findings. We are in an amazing time when so much can be revealed to us.


#5

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]
I have read a lot about Catholicism over the past four months as well as listened to a lot of Relevant Radio and watched a lot of EWTN. Many of my questions and concerns have been answered or at least addressed adequately: The Pope, Mary, Tradition, etc. What I am currently working through is the issues of reports of Saints' miracles and Marian apparitions.

It is not that I don't believe in miracles: it's just that I hear far more about miracles from Catholic sources than I do from Protestant or evangelical sources. Of course, there is a good explanation for that, I'm sure...but still. Sometimes, perhaps in my lack of faith, I find myself wondering if all the stories are true...or if some were exaggerated. But then I ask myself: if I can believe in the miracles of the Bible, why can't I believe in the miracles of the Saints?

Likewise with Marian apparitions: Holy Holy Queen by Scott Hahn really helped me understand the basis for Marian theology and devotion, but it did not mention the apparitions. Please forgive me if I am dishonoring the Blessed Mother by saying this, but I sometimes wonder if the modern apparitions are more superstition and folklore than truth. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some, but I need to start working through this if I am going to become a Catholic. I am open minded, but sometimes I feel like I'm being asked to jump off the deep end when I'm not completely ready.

Can any converts relate or offer advice? And what do you more experienced Catholics have to say?

Dan

[/quote]

I am a cradle Catholic but I have a few quick things to add that might be helpful:

1) Miracles and Apparitions are not necessary, IOW to be Catholic you need not believe in a single apparition or miracle after the Apostolic age (end of God's revelation). However, these things are useful and very good for the faith and devotions!

2) Probably you hear more about miracles because if Catholicism is true (which I believe it is) then God would give us evidence. Therefore, He has granted many miracles to us through the Saints in order to demonstrate the truth...

3) Modern apparitions- Some are true, some are most likely false, others are definately false in my mind. Fatima seems very convincing for example due to the predictions of the future and the miracle of the sun. The apparitions are not really superstitious...they are not some secret key to heaven or some extra revalelation. For instnace, at Lourdes a very simple message was given along with many many miracles, 67 or so of which have been thoroughly examined by doctors and determined to be not explained by natural causes. Similarly, Fatima did not have any super secret info or practices, Our Lady simply asked that we say the Rosary everyday to avoid hell and the spread of Russia's errors (communism/atheism). So there was nothing that had the feel of superstition or magic or secrecy...simple reinforcement of the message of the Gospel and the Church.

4) Most of the miracles are not just stated as fact....they have been thoroughly examined by physicians and such. So I wouldn't completely discount them.

Keep on looking into Catholicism I'm glad your making progress!!! ;)


#6

Thanks guys for the replies. I am trying to be humble in learning, seeking truth. I will look into the websites, etc. that were suggested.

The thought that keeps occurring to me is that possibly these miracles or apparitions were caused not by God but by some other spiritual force?

I know what the counterarguments to the skepticism would be, though: (1) Jesus was accused by the Pharisees of performing miracles by a power other than God. In the same way, the Catholic saints are being accused by skeptics of that same thing. (2) The Holy Spirit is leading the Church into all truth.

Perhaps it is just an issue of evangelical culture for me. The type of theology I'm used to really kind of downplays miracles--and even asking God for things. Instead it is emphasized that God has fulfilled all of our needs already in Christ and that we should be content with what He gives us.

I think the purpose of this theology is to counteract the so-called "Prosperity Gospel" which says that God wants us all to be rich and healthy, and all we have to do is ask Him. God is like a vending-machine who dishes out gifts, healings, etc. to all who have enough faith in Him.

Sometimes I get uncomfortable with statements like, "The Blessed Mother has really powerful intercession, etc." because it makes me think of the Prosperity Gospel that I have been warned about in my previous church background.

But then I ask myself about my understanding of God as a loving Father, provider, etc. Do I not ask Him for things because I lack the faith that He will give them to me, that He really loves me, etc.? Am I more comfortable with a distant God who did great things in the past (and will do great things in the future) but is not really responding to our prayers in miraculous ways now?

I am sure there are others who can relate to this struggle. I love you faithful Catholics. Lots of times I wish I could be more like you. But it's hard to overcome habits, tendencies, and theological dispositions.

Dan


#7

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]
What I am currently working through is the issues of reports of Saints' miracles and Marian apparitions.

[/quote]

Bear in mind that these miracles and apparitions aren't nearly as central to the faith in terms of what is required belief as what's contained in the Creed and Catechism. You don't have to practice a devotion. If reading up on the miracles and lives of the saints helps you, do it, but don't feel a need to study every story furiously.

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]

But then I ask myself: if I can believe in the miracles of the Bible, why can't I believe in the miracles of the Saints?

[/quote]

You can doubt post-Scriptural miracles and apparitions from a scientific as well as other standpoints. Scripture is a little harder to doubt.

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]

Please forgive me if I am dishonoring the Blessed Mother by saying this, but I sometimes wonder if the modern apparitions are more superstition and folklore than truth.

[/quote]

You don't dishonor the Blessed Mother if you don't want to see her in the same that others do. You're held to a smaller requirement of Marian belief as a Catholic than many of the devotionals would hold - simply reference the Catechism. As intriguing as Juan Diego's cloak with the painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe is, your belief or disbelief in it shouldn't change your understanding of Christ, the Eucharist and the work of salvation in your personal life. Just don't think it impossible that the Lord could use Mary as an apparition to further the work of the Kingdom.

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]

I am open minded, but sometimes I feel like I'm being asked to jump off the deep end when I'm not completely ready.

[/quote]

That's an understandable feeling. Bring it up with your RCIA director. If you're not comfortable praying the Rosary, talk about a different prayer - formal, contemplative prayer is fantastic and essential to a mature spiritual life, but if you'd rather hold a devotion to the Holy Trinity, or substitute the Jesus Prayer for the Hail Mary when saying the Rosary, there is no error in doing so.

You will find in this Church (and especially on these boards, which tend to lean Traditionalist) some who are very devoted to Mary and can't understand why any true Christian wouldn't share the same devotion. Keep close to the Lord and follow the path He calls you on - maybe one day you'll pick up the devotion to Mary, maybe to St. Paul, maybe you'll simply spend a lot of time in Adoration or maybe you'll meditate upon Kempis' "Imitation of Christ".


#8

[quote="dsully, post:1, topic:295448"]
I have read a lot about Catholicism over the past four months as well as listened to a lot of Relevant Radio and watched a lot of EWTN. Many of my questions and concerns have been answered or at least addressed adequately: The Pope, Mary, Tradition, etc. What I am currently working through is the issues of reports of Saints' miracles and Marian apparitions.

It is not that I don't believe in miracles: it's just that I hear far more about miracles from Catholic sources than I do from Protestant or evangelical sources. Of course, there is a good explanation for that, I'm sure...but still. Sometimes, perhaps in my lack of faith, I find myself wondering if all the stories are true...or if some were exaggerated. But then I ask myself: if I can believe in the miracles of the Bible, why can't I believe in the miracles of the Saints?

Likewise with Marian apparitions: Holy Holy Queen by Scott Hahn really helped me understand the basis for Marian theology and devotion, but it did not mention the apparitions. Please forgive me if I am dishonoring the Blessed Mother by saying this, but I sometimes wonder if the modern apparitions are more superstition and folklore than truth. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to some, but I need to start working through this if I am going to become a Catholic. I am open minded, but sometimes I feel like I'm being asked to jump off the deep end when I'm not completely ready.

Can any converts relate or offer advice? And what do you more experienced Catholics have to say?

Dan

[/quote]

I am a convert so maybe I can give some prospective. There are a couple of reasons why you usually don't hear about miracles and healing in protestantism. First, on the liberal side, they generally don't believe in them and consider the ones recorded in the Bible to be more myths than anything. On the more evangelical side, while the would believe the ones recorded in the Bible as true, a number believe only the 1st century Church had miracles and that when the apostles died, so did miracles. Likewise and number of them believe erroneously that because we have the bible, Christians do not need miracles from God.
You need 2 verified miracles to become a saint. The process and examination which includes a number of Drs. reviewing medical records is rather intense and not taken lightly.
Also the church does a very careful examination of any Marian apparitions. They carefully look at message, the life of the visionary, if there were any miracles with it etc. Again this is a slow process. Like some of the other posts, they are not required to believe in to be Catholic. It might be helpful to you to look at the process of sainthood and approved apparitions to realize that this is a very carefully done examination and process and it is slow and over time. These things are just not rushed. I hope this helps.


#9

[quote="dsully, post:6, topic:295448"]
Thanks guys for the replies. I am trying to be humble in learning, seeking truth. I will look into the websites, etc. that were suggested.

As others have said, the miracles and apparitions affirm and attest our faith..to help us in our journey.

The thought that keeps occurring to me is that possibly these miracles or apparitions were caused not by God but by some other spiritual force?

That is a big possibility, that is why the Vatican takes careful study and discernment before approving such miracle and apparition. There are a lot of claims of Marian sightings....(sorry, forgot the website that listed these)...and a handful have been approved.

The most notable I would recommend are Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe.

For Lourdes, the miracle cures have been well documented, and of the hundreds of claims, I think only about 67 or so have been authenticated.

There are also the Stigmatics...Padre Pio, Gemma Galgani...(stgemmagalgani.com/)

There is also one important factor the Church uses to see the truthfulness of apparitions.....obedience...based on this verse: 1John 4.....6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

If you note in Gal 2, the revelation to Paul was to go to Jerusalem, not go out on his own.....Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

Sometimes I get uncomfortable with statements like, "The Blessed Mother has really powerful intercession, etc." because it makes me think of the Prosperity Gospel that I have been warned about in my previous church background.

The BVM will not do anything contrary to the will of God. Everything granted through her intercession is as per God's will and divine providence.

But then I ask myself about my understanding of God as a loving Father, provider, etc. Do I not ask Him for things because I lack the faith that He will give them to me, that He really loves me, etc.?

Am I more comfortable with a distant God who did great things in the past (and will do great things in the future) but is not really responding to our prayers in miraculous ways now?

Yes...He is a loving provider...but I think the difference with others and Catholics is....we ask them in total obedience and submission to His will...He provides and answers our requests as per His will, not as per our will. Sometimes, these prayers are provided in some other way....not something we would expect, some time, it is not immediate...but God takes His time...for some other purpose for us.

I am sure there are others who can relate to this struggle. I love you faithful Catholics. Lots of times I wish I could be more like you. But it's hard to overcome habits, tendencies, and theological dispositions.

Dan

Dan...it will take time...just persevere....take courage and refuge and learn from the Saints. They are provided to us as gifts from God...to help us.

Have you read St. Augustine? He was a natural born sinner....:D His mother prayed for 16 years before he turned his life around.

Another book I would recommend..The Perfect Joy of St. Francis.

[/quote]


#10

I like you OP had this same question, and as stated above its a case by case thing, one I've personally researched is Fatima and I can't help but believe it,

And bravo to you for taking the time to research this


#11

I also would want you to compare how the Catholic church looks at miracles and then compare it to how tv - faith/healing evangelist looks at miracles. The Catholic church always investigates and attempt to authenticate any claim of miracles or apparitions. So called word of faith ministers just take it at face value what someone might claim in this area. Of course, the later can result in false claims and fraud which undercuts real miracles and healing.
Likewise consider that one of the sacraments in the church is the sacrament of healing. since I've been to both healing rallies and then Catholic anointing of the sick there is a big difference. The first is much more for show and hype. When the Catholic church offers anointing of the sick, it is done after mass, it is done with reverence and all seriousness.
You can trust the Catholic church that it carefully looks at healing and miracles, it does not deny that God stopped working in this way but put guidelines and control around what someone might claim to prevent fraud and evil from perverting a real healing and miracles.


#12

I think your questions are very good.

For one, your skepticism is not so crazy. I forget the site but not long ago, I was reading up on this and it said that of hundreds and hundreds of such claims that come up every decade, the vast majority have been dismissed by the church as false (This does not mean that the person/visionary is lying, only that what they believed is a supernatural event has been found not to be so), there's a good number that have been found to be outright fraudulent which means made up for money, attention or whatever. Only a tiny handful have been authenticated by the Church. Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe, Akita, Kibeho, Zeitun and another one recently in either Argentina or Venezuela or Mexico.....I forget the place and the visionary but it was much like Fatima and Guadalupe combined. A man in his fifties, a miracle and evidence of great obedience to the authorities etc. I hope someone remembers.

As others have said, you don't have to believe in any. Personally, I believe in all church approved ones because I trust in the guidance she has from God plus quite frankly, upon looking at the facts surrounding them, I find it difficult to believe they could be anything other than what they are claimed to be, in much the same way that I don't see how the shroud of Turin could belong to anyone other than Jesus of Nazareth. But those who don't certainly don't sin simply by doubting these things.


#13

Thank you for the clarification.

Dan


#14

Currently in my hometown in Ranchi India a miracle of mother mary is happening from the statue hair is growing and blood is coming out and other miraculous stuff is happening just yesterday it happened....hail Mary


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