Thoughts on Revelations to Saints


Through out history many Saints have had visions and revelations that the church has verified as truly from God.

An example would be the revelations to St Bridget of Sweden.

I have often wondered why these revelations have not been added to scripture or why a “bible two” so to speak has not been created from these revelations to Saints through out history. After all is it not true that many of the books in the Bible where written through revelations to the writer rather than first hand experience.

Christ, His Mother, God the Father, and many Saints spoke to St Bridget and thru this many parts of Scripture where explained and expanded on.

Many of our church traditions and current day beliefs have come from these and other related revelations to our blessed Saints.

Thanks and may God bless us and may we always pray for the grace to do His will.



Because there are what the Church calls “private revelation” and are not binding on the faithful. No one is obligated to accept of believe any of them.

The time of public revelation, which binds the faithful, ended with the death of St. John.


24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

I feel that way when I look at my bookshelf! :slight_smile: The church has a very rich history of some of the greatest thinkers, and people with the deepest relationships with God. And each of them has their own way of explaining ideas or experiences. Just because they’re not in a “Bible Two” doesn’t mean that so much information is inaccessible… it just means that not everyone has the same reading list beyond the basics. If someone’s writings really strikes a chord with you, promote their writings in your conversation. :slight_smile: “So-and-so had a really awesome point to make about such-and-such…!”


Actually, the Church never declares that private revelations are from God, but only that they are worthy of belief.

Church traditions, yes. Like the Sacred Heart. But this isn’t a doctrine, it is a devotion. The doctrine that Jesus loves us is part of the deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles. The devotion in which Christ’s heart aflame symbolizes this love is helpful for many people, but it is not necessary for salvation. Same applies to other devotions.


Exactly. Sacred Heart, for example is now part of the Liturgy of the Church, but its texts do not deal with the apparition, but rather the mystery it symbolizes and celebrates, i.e. Christ’s love and mercy.


Thanks for your all’s thoughts.

John Paul II explained in his Letter Spes Aedificandi: “The Church, which recognized Bridget’s holiness without ever pronouncing on her individual revelations, has accepted the overall authenticity of her interior experience” …from BENEDICT XVI GENERAL AUDIENCE Saint Peter’s Square Wednesday, 27 October 2010

So you all are saying that while the church does not call on or require the faithful to believe the revelations of the Saints …It still institutes part of the teaching within these revelations into tradition and devotions?

It’s hard to see how the Church can take something and say it’s not believable but yet create sush devotions and also expand our known Faith by it.


I would also like to point out the Church doctrine on the Assumption of Mary is not based on any scripture but from revelation alone.


So it does seem that revelation outside of Scripture does play an important part in our Faith, Traditions, and Doctrine.


No one is dissing revelation. What is being pointed out is the difference between public revelation (which ended with the death of the last apostle) and private revelation, which binds no one.

The Assumption is part of public revelation, as our Lady was assumed during the lifetime of the Apostles. It’s not part of Scripture but it is part of the Apostolic Tradition, which is part of public revelation, as the witness goes to prior to the death of St. John.

Do not confuse Tradition with private revelation.

If a private revelation is deemed “worthy of belief” it gives people freedom to believe. It does not give the requirement to believe.

You will need to study up on Public Revelation and Private Revelation. Until you get a solid understanding of the concepts, you will not get far with this discussion.



Thx I shall

I guess what is confusing me is if the pope was using tradition only from the apostles time and no other “private revelations” why did it take until 1954 for the church to add the Assumption to doctrine.

Again thanks.


Um… the Assumption has been part of Church doctrine since the third or fourth century. (Look under “Dormition” for texts.) It was only defined as dogma in the 1950’s, but that is different from just being part of the normal run of Church teachings.


:thumbsup: ^ This. The Church, using the virtue of prudence, rightly sealed public revelation with the death of the last Apostle. If she had not done so, the deposit of faith would be malleable and subject to incessant change. And, we know that the faith was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3)


Doctrine is normally argued and set in stone in response to heresy. Go back to the 300s and we see that the trinity was established in response to the Arian heresy. The canon of scripture was set in stone when the reformers began messing with it. The same when Church authority was challenged. And, since the reformation, Mary, who was always untouchable, has come under attack - particularly with the advent of the radical anti-Catholicism that appeared in America in the mid-late 1800s. The Church is not a doctrine-making machine, but very slowly and painstakingly discerns the truth of a matter before speaking and settling the subject. The fact that not all follow the Church’s instruction makes not one bit of difference to revealed truth. This world has always loved and preferred the lie.



I highly recommend the book “A Still, Small Voice” by Father Benedict Groeschel. He writes about private revelation and clarified a lot of things for me.




As such revelations or visions are neither in the Bible nor in the deposit of apostolic tradition, they are considered matters of private revelation, and the Church does not legally bind us to believe in them. We act with care and thought for the future, though, when we do, so long as the saints have stated these as facts. However, these revelations, even those determined after rigid investigation by the Church to be authentic and worthy of belief, were never intended to stand coequally with Sacred Scripture or apostolic tradition.

There is very much that could be said about the revelations or visions given to contemplatives and how and why they are judged to be authentic, false, or corrupted. It should suffice to say, however, that any authentic vision is the result of infused contemplative prayer - a great grace granted as God will, but mostly to religious who are especially close to God, culminating in mystical union with God, and bearing several hallmarks by which true contemplation can be told from a counterfeit. The finest author regarding contemplation is St. Teresa of Avila. I’d recommend anyone able to read her works, as the mystical theology underlying contemplation is perhaps more important to understand than the contents of any specific revelation itself.


From the catechism, since I haven’t seen it posted here:

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

Private revelations have their role, often for the purpose of clarifying or giving deeper understanding to some aspect of the faith, or of encouraging the faithful, or promoting a believer to act in some specific capacity for God’s purposes. But Christ’s revelation was once and for all. Nothing can change or add to that which was definitively revealed at that time.


That is correct. We are NOT obliged to believe these private revelations even if they have been deemed worthy of belief by the Church. They are not required for faith and salvation and nor do they add to Church doctrine.
If anyone gets some spiritual lift from them that’s fine but they are not part of the Church teachings.
Anyone who does not believe them is no less a Catholic and no weaker in faith.


Thank u all very much for ur replys.


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