Questions about Mary & Jesus apparitions


#1

Hey, this is my first post on this forum.

I am Bible believing Christian who sometimes ponders over Mary’s cult among Catholic brothers. I hope it will not be offensive for you if I say that in my view that cult is not part of God’s will for His people.

To be precise, I would like to ask you some questions about marian apparitions. In all Catholic visions there is assumption made that those people who appear are Jesus and Mary, and not for example Satan pretending someone else. Thus, can you give me some examples of such statements from apparitions where the woman appearing there…:

  1. …identifies herself unambiguously as Mary of the Bible or mother of Christ, etc.? Note: something like ‘I am the Virgin of the Revelation’ is not valid, because it doesn’t identify her as mother of Jesus.
  2. …unambiguously identifies her son as Jesus Christ? She often speaks about her son, but does she give us his name?

…and where the man appearing there…

  1. …unambiguously claims himself to be Jesus?

Please give me examples of such quotes from Catholic visions (or words passed through mystics) that might be answers for my questions. I am interested only in vision approved by Catholic Church.

May God be with all of you!


#2

Are you using the word cult to mean “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object” or “a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing?” In the case of Mariology, we use it in the first sense of the word. :slight_smile:

To be precise, I would like to ask you some questions about marian apparitions. In all Catholic visions there is assumption made that those people who appear are Jesus and Mary, and not for example Satan pretending someone else.

Following your example I will be precise. :wink: No, the visionaries do not assume anything about anyone they may see/hear in an apparition. In all the approved cases the visionaries told their priest/bishop about their vision(s) and followed whatever directions he gave them. It is up to the local bishop to decide if reported visions are “worthy of belief.” The criteria isn’t a matter of who the vision declares herself/himself to be, but rather if the visions are in line with the Gospel–the teachings of Christ, and thus of the Church he founded.

Thus, can you give me some examples of such statements from apparitions where the woman appearing there…:

  1. …identifies herself unambiguously as Mary of the Bible or mother of Christ, etc.? Note: something like ‘I am the Virgin of the Revelation’ is not valid, because it doesn’t identify her as mother of Jesus.
  2. …unambiguously identifies her son as Jesus Christ? She often speaks about her son, but does she give us his name?

…and where the man appearing there…

  1. …unambiguously claims himself to be Jesus?

I’m sorry, but your criteria isn’t relevant. I don’t have to identify myself to others as “the daughter of Betty and Pierre, wife of Jim, and owner of 3 cats” for them to know who I am. I merely give them enough information to know who I am for the purposes of the conversation. When the Lady of Fatima said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” The children knew that Mary has that title, and so knew who she was. The better question would be, “Did the things the persons in the apparition prophesy happen?” One of the reasons the local bishop will not approve an apparition is if what is prophesied doesn’t happen. And isn’t that the standard used in Scripture and not who identifies himself as what?

Please give me examples of such quotes from Catholic visions (or words passed through mystics) that might be answers for my questions. I am interested only in vision approved by Catholic Church.

May God be with all of you!

I cited a couple of examples for you, but if you want to understand what Catholics believe/don’t believe about apparitions, a very good, simple to read book on the topic is: A Still, Small Voice by Fr. Benedict Groeschel.


#3

Okay, I should have written more clearly what I mean. Let’s look at it this way. I think most Catholics would agree with me that Satan can’t contradict himself. Let’s suppose for a moment that the spirit that appeared in Fatima was Satan, presenting himself as young Jewish woman. If that is the case, then in my view the spirit wouldn’t say that:

  • he (Satan) was defeated
  • Jesus is the King of kings

(actually I am not sure whether such claims were stated in Fatima, I’m not a mariologist, sorry). And as far as I know that is a case in Fatima and other places. But even if spirit says something positive about ‘her son’ (that he is redemption for his people, etc.), he doesn’t precise who that son is, so he might be anyone from demonic realm, for example the Antichrist. I hope you see my point of view. This is way I ask about examples of clear identification of persons from apparitions.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

Sorry, I can’t find them :frowning:


#4

I believe at Fatima, Mary said “I am the Lady of the Rosary”. However, this isn’t really important. A good way of knowing if apparitions are false is if the apparition refuses to say blessed names or prayers. The devil and other evil spirits cannot say such holy names. Of course, we know, these apparitions are real because they easily said these things. In fact, at Fatima, the Virgin Mary and Michael the Archangel would pray with them and taught the children prayers.

Another way to know if an apparition is real is if it reaps good fruits. If people are praying as a result of these, it has good fruit. If it is in line with the doctrine of the Church, it has good fruit.


#5

Our Lady told St. Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Since there has only been one woman since Eve to ever be conceived without sin, we know exactly who this lady is. Saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception” is even more precise than saying, “I am the mother of Jesus,” a description that would apply to thousands of women today.


#6

Here’s an apparition that came to mind. It’s an account written by Gregory of Nyssa about an apparition received by Gregory the Wonderworker. I’m not claiming it meets all of *your *criteria, but it’s the first one I thought of:

… Once again [Gregory] was terrified and turned his face away, unable to bear its sight. The vision was especially amazing since the night was gloomy, for it resembled something like a light illuminated by another light. Since he could not look upon this spectacle, he heard from those who appeared to him speaking in detail about what he was seeking. Not only was he revered with regard to true knowledge of faith but recognized the names of each man who appeared when they called each other by their respective names. It is claimed that this vision of a female form told [Gregory] that the evangelist John was exhorted to manifest the mystery of truth to a young man, saying that she was chosen to be the mother of the Lord whom she cherished. He also said that this fitting vision had vanished again from his sight. He was immediately ordered to write down this divine revelation and later proclaim it in the church. In this way it became for others a divinely given legacy through which the people might repulse any evil of heresy. The words of that revelation are as follows:

One God, Father of the living Word (who consists of wisdom, power and who is the eternal pattern), perfect Begetter of who is perfect, Father of the Only Begotten Son.

One Lord alone from him who is alone, God from God, pattern and image of the divinity, mighty Word, wisdom which encompasses everything, true Son of true Father, immortal [Son] of the immortal [Father], and eternal [Son] of the eternal [Father]. One Holy Spirit whose life is from God and who was made manifest through the Son (as well as to men), perfect image of the perfect Son, living source of those who are alive, holy provider of sanctity in whom God the Father appeared who is above all and in all,

Perfect Trinity to whom belongs glory, eternity and kingship which can never change. (Thus the Trinity is not created, has anything else which claims to be first, nor is there anything which exists that can be introduced later. Similarly, the Son neither lacks the Father nor does the Spirit lack the Son; rather, the Trinity forever remains immutable and constant.)


#7

On what do you base you assumption that Satan will not say things that supposedly contradict himself? This is, in fact, untrue.

Satan is the great deceiver, and he will say anything he needs to if it will fool someone into believing him (though he certainly may not like to say certain things).


#8

Hi. First, you don’t have to be a Mariologist, to love or have knowledge of Mary. You can’t get to KNOW someone just by researching, but you can gain some insight and knowledge. So your question is fine. Mary can be understood to some degree within that field of study and God can be understood partly in that area, also, through what He has revealed to us. But let’s please get this straight: the greatest route to getting to KNOW Mary to some level is to PRAY, and to pray the Rosary, as this contains the Holy Mysteries. It contains the Gospels. Theology as a combined total, however, is important - in and with Christology is Mariology and vice-versa. However, Catholic faith at the core, is about (as one tutor told me, correctly) “relationship”. So, before going any further, in response to your own doubts:

When have you ever gotten to know someone without telephoning them a few times or being in correspondence with them somehow or without having spoken with them over time?

I would guess, never. So how do you expect to know God’s Will at greater depth if you don’t speak to God about those He has given us and TO those whom He has given us?

Don’t you think that if one is planning a trip to go and visit some people to stay for a short holiday, one might get to know them first, or get to know them at least a little before spending time in their company?

I would guess so. Well how much more ought one feel obliged to get to know one’s family, and not just any family, but a family of holy people whom you will hopefully be spending eternity with, in the same House?

It’s the same thing. And the starting block, is prayer. That gets us going. And as we are on our way, we trust. As the very holy Saint and Mystic, St. Pio, said: “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”

And so I commend you for being brave enough to put forward your questions even if you are skeptical:

Second:

Yes, one can tell whether an apparition is false, by what is said - either in the message but also in the initial address. One ought to be able to tell decisively if an apparition is of Mary, or not, as there are ways of telling.

Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, if real, will relate back to Scripture, and point to her Son. ALL things said from the first moment are to be scrutinized. Fatima, Guadeloupe and Lourdes, seem to fit the requirements, and they have been endorsed.

The Bishop will comment on whether he believes the apparition to be genuine - a supernatural occurrence/s happening - and the Church will also investigate, scrutinizing all aspects of each event. Including, looking at the fruits of the apparition over time, and the lives of the people, who have witnessed such an event.

The Catholic Church does not endorse such a happening on a whim.


#9

First and foremost, no Catholic is obligated to believe in any apparition, even if the Church has declared it “worthy of belief.” That just means that there are no doctrinal errors or anything opposed to what the Church teaches in the apparition’s message. Apparitions are considered “private revelations,” and as such, we are not required to believe in them.


#10

Right. And as I recall, Bernadette flung holy water on the apparition in order to “test the spirits.” She wanted to be sure.


#11

Protestants are extremely suspicious of Mary because she rarely, if ever, appears to them. The Orthodox, Catholics and even Muslims have no such reservations. They love her, and in response, she is allowed to appear to them occasionally. Just because a phenomenon doesn’t happen in your church, doesn’t mean it never happens at all. But a person is always right to test the spirits, which is what the local bishop does when he examines the alleged apparition.


#12

To clear up a misconception, and it is really simply semantic. The CC does not “approve” of any instance such as you question. As one poster stated, the church investigates, and the Church issues a decision as to the nature of the findings. What the church does is state that it has investigated and “finds nothing contrary to the deposit of faith.” Simply there is nothing contradicting Church doctrine. It is not approval as, "okay you should do this’;rather it is saying one is free to have devotion or find enrichment in the incident. DEVOTION,NOT WORSHIP!

As to Marian apparitions, the essence of Mary’s message in these incidences is always the same. It is simply the last words we hear from Mary in Scripture; “Do whatever He tells you.” Her instruction at the marriage feast at Cana

Kimberly Hahn in her and her husband Scott’s book “Rome Sweet Home” makes a very good point about Marian devotion. Both she and her husband came from a very traditional Presbyterian background and came to believe and be received into the Catholic Church. When questioning the worth and rightful position Mary holds in the CC, she made the analogy that if one went to see a famous artist and his masterpiece was on display, would not one be giving glory and praise to the Master artist by adoring (for lack of a better word) his masterpiece?

When it comes to us, humanity, Mary is God’s masterpiece. She in turn always points to her Son in her urging, “Do whatever He tells you.”

My :twocents:


#13

Would Satan do this?

Sister Lucy of Fatima Describes the Vision of Hell.

“She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.”

fatima.org/essentials/facts/hell.asp


#14

Good luck, About 10 years ago I went off to teach those crazy Catholics a thing or two, especially about their ridiculous Saints, and the Blessed Mother. Now I am one!

Do yourself a favor, pray about this, and see where the Holy Spirit takes you.

Oh and Sister Lucia (Fatima witness), the Blessed Mother told her that all those who pray the Rosary daily are her sons and the brothers of her only son Jesus. I believe that’s one of your requirements…


#15

First of all, before you dismiss the concept of apparitions, you are missing one of the greatest, most momentous apparitions in all of history - and, it is 100% biblical: Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Did not our Lord clearly identify Himself? Were not those others in the party unable to discern what the voice was, or whom? Was there not a blinding light and other supernatural factors, such as Saul/Pauls’ blindness? In a search for truth, begin, not from a default that the Catholic Church is wrong, but that what she examines and approves must be 100% consistent with scripture.

From an Orthodox or Catholic viewpoint, please know that the reformation began a form of theological entropy in which layers and layers of richness of 1,500 years of the Christian faith were slowly peeled away until, in many cases, only bare bones were left. Now, those bones might be “sufficient”, but God is more than sufficient and He desires our relationship with Him to be as rich as we can comprehend. He appeals to us through our five senses, and a very select few receive such private revelations.

Still, and still, no one is required to believe any of them. Zip. Zero. Nada. For those to whom they appeal, they are spiritual frosting on the Catholic/Orthodox cake. If no one perceived any benefit from such devotions, they would have ceased long ago. Like prayer to the Saints. We do it because it works - that old Hebrews 12:1 ‘cloud of witnesses’ - the Church Triumphant in heaven; friends in high places.


#16

I fully agree with what you say.


#17

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joel 2:28


#18

I’m afraid most Catholics would not agree with you that Satan cannot contradict himself. I’d love to know where you got that idea when Our Lord called Satan the “father of lies.” :wink:

Let’s suppose for a moment that the spirit that appeared in Fatima was Satan, presenting himself as young Jewish woman. If that is the case, then in my view the spirit wouldn’t say that:

  • he (Satan) was defeated
  • Jesus is the King of kings

You’re really stuck on the idea that any apparition has to say certain things that meet your criteria. They don’t, you know. :slight_smile: Someone else cited St. Paul on the road to Damascus having a vision of Jesus. Did the apparition of Jesus make any claims for himself along the lines you want? No, he didn’t. Indeed, Paul acknowledged the apparition as “Lord” right away. Jesus only identified himself with the Church Paul was persecuting. He didn’t say the many things he said to St. John in the Revelation. Why not? Because each apparition, those that are legitimate, that is, have a definite purpose. Satan would never tell people to pray more, and sacrifice for the good of others, or warn them about the dangers of hell, etc. as apparitions of Mary usually do (such as at Lourdes and Fatima to name just two).

(actually I am not sure whether such claims were stated in Fatima, I’m not a mariologist, sorry). And as far as I know that is a case in Fatima and other places. But even if spirit says something positive about ‘her son’ (that he is redemption for his people, etc.), he doesn’t precise who that son is, so he might be anyone from demonic realm, for example the Antichrist. I hope you see my point of view. This is way I ask about examples of clear identification of persons from apparitions.

I see your point, but you are over-thinking it, for one thing, and making false assumptions, for another. That’s to be expected since you know very little about apparitions, what they mean in the life of the Church, how they are tested for authenticity by the Church, etc. It’s why I recommended “A Still, Small Voice.” Not because I wish to convert you, but because it is one of the best resources for lay people out there. I wish you to understand, not convince you of anything. That’ “above my pay grade” as the saying goes.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

And Gal. 1:8, yes? And that is one of the criteria a bishop uses to determine if a reported apparition is indeed demonic. You know, the Church wrote the Bible (the OT prophets are among our saints), compiled the Bible, preserved the Bible, and made it available in various translations before Martin Luther was born. We know what it says, and the Church knows how to properly interpret it’s meaning. :slight_smile:

Sorry, I can’t find them :frowning:

Oops. I edited my first draft response and lost some things, it seems. Sorry about that. I have cited two here, although there are other good examples. A simple Google search should bring up any information you need for your researches. There’s plenty for anyone to find. Thank you for your inquiries. I cited the definitions of the word cult because if you mean one thing by it and I mean another, we’d do nothing more than talk past one another. I hope you will stick around to read all the responses–we have nothing to hide and want to help you understand what the Church teaches and why, and perhaps more importantly, what the Church does not teach/support. All the best to you and yours.


#19

[quote=misstherese]In fact, at Fatima, the Virgin Mary and Michael the Archangel would pray with them and taught the children prayers.
[/quote]

Did Mary and Michael the Archangel taught children to pray to the Father? Or the Son? Or the Holy Spirit? If so, please give me a quote.

[quote=nodito]Our Lady told St. Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Since there has only been one woman since Eve to ever be conceived without sin, we know exactly who this lady is.
[/quote]

Would it a problem for the demon of goddess Isida, for example, to call herself this way?

[quote=dshix]On what do you base you assumption that Satan will not say things that supposedly contradict himself? This is, in fact, untrue.
[/quote]

You might be right. But wouldn’t Satan’s pride allow him to contradict himself saying that he is defeated? What’s more, don’t Catholic exorcists force demons of demoniacs to pray to God and Mary in order to humiliate them?

[quote=boomerang]Right. And as I recall, Bernadette flung holy water on the apparition in order to “test the spirits.” She wanted to be sure.
[/quote]

“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4:2-3) Does Mary from apparitions pass this test?

[quote=USMC_Convert]Oh and Sister Lucia (Fatima witness), the Blessed Mother told her that all those who pray the Rosary daily are her sons and the brothers of her only son Jesus. I believe that’s one of your requirements…
[/quote]

Please, give me a quote. By the way, am I not Jesus’ brother if I keep His commandments (Mark 3:35)? Isn’t it some kind of ‘new gospel’ preached by the spirit of Fatima?

[quote=po18guy]Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Did not our Lord clearly identify Himself? Were not those others in the party unable to discern what the voice was, or whom? Was there not a blinding light and other supernatural factors, such as Saul/Pauls’ blindness?
[/quote]

In my view, there is signifacant difference between Saul’s vision and marian apparitions. The first clearly led to Christ, while considering the second one might have some doubts. If marian apparitions really lead people to Jesus, I think protestants wouldn’t have any problem with them, as they do not have problem with Saul’s vision.

[quote=po18guy]Like prayer to the Saints. We do it because it works
[/quote]

Please forgive me, I’ll just give a thought. Ancient people used to burn their children as sacrifices for Baal, because it worked.

[quote=Della]Satan would never tell people to pray more, and sacrifice for the good of others, or warn them about the dangers of hell, etc. as apparitions of Mary usually do (such as at Lourdes and Fatima to name just two).
[/quote]

As you said earlier in your post - Satan is father of lies. He has no problem with mixing truth with false, it’s an old trick from the garden of Eden. And to whom Mary from apparitions encourages people to pray? Not to herself only?

Still I can’t find them :frowning:

Thank you for all your responses. I want to say it clearly - I don’t mean to be offensive. I just looking for truth, I hope the same as all of you. I hope we’ll meet together in the Kingdom of God.


#20

Here are five prayers taught at Fatima by Mary and the angels. The following is taken directly from this link catholiccompany.com/getfed/five-prayers-taught-at-fatima-by-mary-the-angels/

1.) The angel who appeared to the children called himself the Angel of Peace and the Angel of Portugal. (this means the guardian angel of the country of Portugal) He taught them the following prayer:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.

2.) On one occasion, the three children saw the angel prostrate before a host and chalice that hung in the air. Worshiping the Eucharist, (which is Jesus) the angel prayed,

Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit- I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

3.) During the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the children found themselves “moved by an interior impulse,” as Lucia later explained, to say the following prayer together:

Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

4.) The Blessed Mother taught the children to offer all their personal sacrifices to God by praying,
**
Oh my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.**

5.) The Blessed Mother stressed the critical importance of praying the rosary daily for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world. She asked that the following prayer be recited at the end of each rosary decade:

Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.


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