Questions on the "Virgin Mary"

I was reading through some of the post on his forum and some questions started popping up about the “Virgin Mary”

I have a question in regards to this post

“During this apparition, Mary’s hands had 3 rings on each finger. Each ring gave off
rays of colored light. A few rings did not. Mary said that the lights radiating from
the rings are graces that people ASK for. The rings that didn’t radiate she said
were graces not given because they were NOT asked for.”

Apparition? to me that sounds like a spirit, but i admit i have a limited grasp in this subject. Can somone enlighten me on this particular subject on the “Virgin Mary”

I have more questions to follow.

I humbly await your responses.

Never heard of this myself. In any case, no Catholic is obligated by any private revelation such as this apparition.

As I said, it’s a private revelation and thus not required of any Catholic.

That is where my question come from.

I wear a Miraculous Medal but I’ve always been unclear as to what graces are, exactly. Answered prayer?

Interesting thread and comments. :slight_smile:

The image is a symbolc representation of Mary as the Mediatrix of Grace.

Mary has been given the treasury of grace won by her son Jesus on the Cross. These graces Mary distributes according to the will of her son to those who ask for them.

Grace was won for us by Christ on the Cross and comes to us through the hands of Mary who is the Mediatrix of Grace.


There are two types of grace, actual and sanctifying. Both are actions of the holy spirit.

Actual grace can be thought of as a gift or special favor from God. Perhaps it is a special insight into the scriptures at the end of struggling through a particularly difficult passage. It could be a cure from illness, or some unexpected money, or unexpected strength in a difficult situation. Often times it is so small that we fail to notice. Sometimes it can be miraculous. Answered prayer can be actual grace.

Sanctifying grace makes us holy. It can be thought of as friendship with God. Sanctifying grace is what we recieve in the sacraments, especially the sacraments of pennance and the Eucharist. Sanctifying grace is what we need to become perfect so that we can stand before God in heaven some day.

All grace is an action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is The Sanctifier. All grace comes to us through the hands of Mary who is the Mediatrix of all Grace. All grace was won for us by Jesus on the Cross. Without Jesus’ death for us, there is no grace. It is by Jesus merit alone that we have grace at all.


In answer to the initial question, when Catholics talk about apparitions, they’re generally referring to Marian apparitions. If you’ll remember the basics, the entire purpose of Mary is to lead people to her son-- and that purpose doesn’t stop with death. Catholics view the church, the Body of Christ, in three parts-- the Church Militant (people working hard on earth to be good Christians), the Church Suffering (people in Purgatory who have died but have not yet attained the beatific vision due to some attachment to sin at the moment of death <–rough definition]), and the Church Triumphant (people in Heaven who now enjoy the presence of God). Those three states-of-being are best perceived as just that… states-of-being. We don’t stop existing because we die; we just exist in a different manner. And we help each other, pray for each other, and inspire each other’s devotion in different ways according to our abilities in our current state and what’s permitted by God.

Think of it along the lines of the Transfiguration, where Moses and Elijah popped by to have a chat with Jesus, even though a good 4 or 5 centuries separated Moses’ and Elijah’s lives from each other, plus another 900’ish years from the Incarnation.

That specific apparition is an approved apparition to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830, and the medal is a sacramental-- an object to increase devotion or to inspire spiritually profitable thoughts. There are other sacramentals-- holy oil, holy oil, blessed salt, scapulars, medals, etc, and not all sacramentals appeal to all people. There’s no requirement that you make use of them, but if you find profit in it, that’s a good thing-- a Miraculous Medal can serve as a reminder of patience, forgiveness, faith, and repentance, and like was mentioned in the original post, to be open to God’s will and to pray that he bestows on you the graces you most need, rather than asking for what you yourself think you happen to need.

Where does the Church teach this?

Thank you for that very good explanation. It does lead me to another question, how did St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 know the diffrence? I believe the scripture states that demons are spirits ( i am not saying the apparition of mary is a demon) How can a Catholic know the diffrence?

It *could *be a demon. Or it could just be all in the person’s head, or a lie. In fact usually when someone sees an apparition of Mary (I remember specifically this happened with Fatima and Lourdes) the initial reaction of the priest may be that the person is lying or that it is a demon. The Church carefully scrutinizes the person who makes the claim to seeing an apparition. A whole investigation is launched, in fact at Medjugorie the church still hasn’t approved the apparition.

Criteria for evaluating apparitions**
In 1978 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly of the Holy Office) issued “Norms of the Congregation for Proceeding in Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations” containing the following provisions:
*]The diocesan bishop can initiate a process on his own initiative or at the request of the faithful to investigate the facts of an alleged apparition. The bishop may refrain from looking into it if he chooses, especially if he thinks that not much will come of the event.
*]The national conference of bishops may intervene if the local diocesan bishop refers it to him or if the event becomes important nationally or at least in more than one diocese.
*]The Apostolic See (the Vatican) can also intervene at the request of the local bishop himself, at the request of a group of the faithful, or on its own initiative.
The steps of the investigation are mandated as follows: An initial evaluation of the facts of the alleged event, based on both positive and negative criteria:

Positive Criteria
*]moral certainty (the certainty required to act morally in a situation of doubt) or at least great probability as to the existence of a private revelation at the end of a serious investigation into the case
*]evaluation of the personal qualities of the person in question (mental balance, honesty, moral life, sincerity, obedience to Church authority, willingness to practice faith in the normal way, etc.)
*]evaluation of the content of the revelations themselves (that they do not disagree with faith and morals of the Church, freedom from theological errors)
*]the revelation results in healthy devotion and spiritual fruits in people’s lives (greater prayer, greater conversion of heart, works of charity that result, etc.)

Negative Criteria

*]glaring errors in regard to the facts
*]doctrinal errors attributed to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or to the Holy Spirit in how they appear
*]any pursuit of financial gain in relation to the alleged event
*]gravely immoral acts committed by the person or those associated with the person at the time of the event
*]psychological disorders or tendencies on the part of the person or persons associated

Thanks! that answered my question!

The Church investigates…as it has been doing so for the last 2000 yrs. One criteria is it does not contradict what has been previously revealed…and obedience of the seer and the apparition to the Church or its bishops.

Apply this passage…from 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.

Listen or obedience to the Apostles…and their successors today…a catholic Bishop.

This is one of the main reasons why the Medjugorje apparition has not been approved…disobedience. The Church will know.

From 1921 to 1963, May 31 was the Feast of “Mary Mediatrix of All Grace.”

*Leo XIII, Encyclical, Supremi Apostolatus officio. Sept 1, 1883
We judge nothing more powerful and better for this purpose than by religion and devotion to deserve well of the great Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, who is the treasurer [sequestra] of our peace with God, and the mediatrix [administra] of graces…

Benedict XV, Encyclical, Fausto appetente die, June 29, 1921
For he [St. Dominic] knew well that Mary … has such influence with her divine Son, that He confers whatever of graces He confers on humans, does so always with her as minister and decision-maker [administra et arbitra].*

Leo XIII, Encyclical, Adiutricem
It is impossible to measure the power and scope of her offices since the day she was taken up to that height of heavenly glory in the company of her Son, to which the dignity and luster of her merits entitle her. From her heavenly abode she began, by God’s decree, to watch over the Church, to assist and befriend us as our Mother; so that she who was so intimately associated with the mystery of human salvation is just as closely associated with the distribution of the graces which for all time will flow from the Redemption.


The doctrine has a strong basis in scripture. Mary’s voice sanctified John the Baptist in the womb.

For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:44)

Her title is prophesied in the Old Testament.

I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. (Sirach 24:24-26)

Many saints and doctors from St. Augustine on up taught the doctrine.

"The Rosary is the most beautiful and richest of all prayers to the Mediatrix of all grace; it is the prayer that touches most the heart of the Mother of God. Say it each day."
–Pope Saint Pius X

Many hope that it will be the fifth Marian dogma. The Church is leaning in that direction. I hope to pray the Rosary on that day.


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