St. Augustine on apparitions


An article I read on an apparition states the following:*Since the time of Saint Augustine, who made this now classical distinction, theologians of the spiritual life have classified visions as those which are (1) corporeal in which the bodily eyes perceive an object normally invisible; (2) imaginative in which the representation of an image is supernaturally produced on the imagination and (3) intellectual in which the mind perceives a spiritual truth without the aid of sensible impressions.*The corresponding footnote to this paragraph says:*Cf. Jordan Aumann, O.P., Spiritual Theology (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 1980) 425-427; Antonio Royo, O.P. and Jordan Aumann, O.P., The Theology of Christian Perfection (Dubuqe, Iowa: The Priory Press, 1962) 655-656; Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S., The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology trans. Herman Branderis, S.S. (Tournai: Desclée & Co., 1930) 701-702; Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Vol. II trans. Sr. M. Timothea Doyle, O.P. (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1948) 577, 586-588; Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., A Still, Small Voice (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993) 156-159.*Does anyone have any of these references and can identify which writing of Augustine's made this distinction? Or does anyone otherwise know?


First para makes a reference to St Augustine and his writings on visions.


What work are they referencing in De gen. ad litt., 1. XII, vii, n. 16?

What is “gen.” short for?


Sorry I don’t know. I was just googling to see if I could find something to help you.


I believe it's from 'The Literal Meaning of Genesis' (De Genesi ad litteram).

Let me add that St. Augustine's classification is a great and practical method of approach, though I am not certain I would quite word it the way the above paragraph does.

For example, producing light but not actually having the light reflecting an object, would be one method. Stimulating the optic nerves another possible method.

closed #6

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit