Visions of Mary Question

Many faithful Catholics have reported seeing and conversing with Mary, the mother of Jesus.

How many of these people tested the spirits who claimed to be Mary to see for sure that they really were Mary? Scripture tells us to test the spirits to see if they are from God or not.

(I originally submitted this to the ask an apologist area, but wanted to discuss it with the rest of you as well.)

I have just begun looking into Marian apparitions. Apparently, St Bernadette used Holy Water to test the vision she received. She sprinkled the Blessed Virgin with it who, reportedly, simply smiled and bowed.

One is not required to place any belief whatsover in any “private revelation” whatsoever. Some private revelations have been OK’ed by the Church, but even those are not mandatory. :dts:

I tend to be very skeptical of most private revelations, especially those whith an obvious axe to grind. :confused:

This opinion has been neither endorsed nor opposed by my three cats. :frowning:

What about the brown scepular? That one seems fishy to me.

“Wear this brown piece of cloth and you won’t go to hell. I will personally deliver you from purgatory.”

That one seems suspect, since that spirit being was telling people to put their faith in something other than Christ to abtain salvation.

But does that really prove it was her?

Why didn’t he command her in the name of Jesus Christ to reveal her true identity? It would seem like a more accurate way to test a spirit.

**What about the brown scepular? That one seems fishy to me.

“Wear this brown piece of cloth and you won’t go to hell. I will personally deliver you from purgatory.”

That one seems suspect, since that spirit being was telling people to put their faith in something other than Christ to abtain salvation.**

**This is an example of the “straw man” argument. There’s actually more to this story than you are saying here. **

** Originally Posted by juliasmith View Post
I have just begun looking into Marian apparitions. Apparently, St Bernadette used Holy Water to test the vision she received. She sprinkled the Blessed Virgin with it who, reportedly, simply smiled and bowed.
But does that really prove it was her?

Why didn’t he command her in the name of Jesus Christ to reveal her true identity? It would seem like a more accurate way to test a spirit.**

But she DID eventually give her true identity. Haven’t you heard?

Before continuing these obviously negative & judgemental opinions please read:

WHY WE NEED MARY’S APPARITIONS AFTER PUBLIC REVELATION

Respectfully,

Edward Henry

Enlighten me. :confused:

It’s a “straw man” question because the conditions set up in the question do not resemble the conditions in reality. The brown scapular can no more save you from hell than your wedding ring can save you from adultery. When you get married, the ring is a symbol of committment. You can choose to touch that ring to remind you of your committment, but simply wearing it won’t keep you from temptation and won’t keep you from chosing to commit sin.

Likewise, the brown scapular is a symbol of committment. Small scapulars (like the brown scapular) are based on the full-sized scapulars worn by the monastic orders. While the full-sized scapulars are symbols of a person’s committment to their religious order and to serving G_D, the smaller scapulars are symbols of a lay person’s committment to serving G_D in their secular life.

When you get married, you are making a promise before G_D and the community that you will love, honor, cherish, and be faithful to G_D and to each other. The wedding ring is a symbol of that committment. Implicit in the wedding vows is the promise to help each other to reach G_D. It is to be hoped that each person wearing the ring will take the wedding vows seriously, and have faith that in their married life they will be serving G_D. The wedding ring serves to remind the couple of these vows.

Likewise, it is to be hoped that someone wearing the brown scapular will have seriously considered and will faithfully keep the promises one makes when one chooses to wear the scapular: promises involving prayers and devotions to G_D. They are such that the person who faithfully makes these prayers and devotions becomes closer to G_D and so avoids the pains of hell and purgatory. The scapular is simply something that helps remind the person of these promises.

<><

The brown scapular can no more save you from hell than your wedding ring can save you from adultery.

Good point… but when you are referring to a wedding, you are dealing with mere human promises (even if we are swearing a Covenant.) When you talk about the Scapular, you are dealing with a Heavenly promise. We should NEVER question this, even if our imperfect human minds cannot comprehend the mysteries of Heaven’s Mercy.

God is God and He can distribute His Mercy as He pleases. And Our Lady, His Heavenly messenger’s word, should not be placed in doubt.

To Jesus through Mary :thumbsup:

Edward Henry

Edward Henry, your postings are coming in an awfully small size that is difficult to read.

Just thought I’d let you know.

Did Mary decide to appear to anyone during the holocoust? I mean, all the jews being killed like that, she was such a devout Jew, and she did not appear to them? I bet had she appeared to them in the camps even just one camp, all Jews would have converted. But, she appears in politically turbulent times to certain people only it seems.

The “brown scapular” is the habit of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The small scapulars are simply reduced-in-size habits of that order.

The Scapular Promise is predicated upon the person who wears it promising in his turn to keep his baptismal vows of purity and holiness. IOW, one must live a pure and holy life. It’s simply a way of committing oneself to live for God–a form of spirituality that is meant to help one grow in the virtues with the end being complete union with God. If one does not live one’s life within the will of God one cannot be saved. Anyone who puts on a scapular and thinks of as a “get out of hell free” card is sadly misinformed or delusional.

Mary’s place within the Church is the same as that of Wisdom in the book of Proverbs–to help men find God and be faithful to him. That is why she often appears to those God chooses to reawaken within various peoples devotion and fidelity to God.

As to testing the spirits of apparitions, that is the duty of the Church in these cases. Very often Mary has appeared to simple, common people who may or may not grasp what it means to test spirits. Most often their local priest or bishop determines if anything spiritually beneficial is happening. We had a case of a lady from my parish who claimed (and still does I think) to be receiving locutions from Our Lady. Our bishop determined there was no benefit to the greater faith community in them and ordered her to stop giving talks about them in the parish, which she did. It doesn’t mean that what she is hearing is false, only that it isn’t to be shared with others in a formal, Church sponsored way.

The Church has been dealing with this sort of thing since very early on. You no doubt know about the biblical examples of Simon the Sorcerer and the slave girl following Paul and his helpers around prophesying about them. The Holy Spirit showed the truth to the Apostles and he is still doing so today in such matters.

A good book on the topic of apparitions in the Church is Fr. Benedict Grosechel’s “A Still Small Voice.” He primarily uses the Lourdes apparitions for his example but draws on others in his explanation of how the Church deals with such things.

We may not know if any of those people saw her or not–not until we’re in heaven, and if God chooses to reveal such things to us all.

However, the fact that certain people were targeted and killed, doesn’t mean they ought to have been given any more chances of having an apparition than those who didn’t. We are always to be ready to meet God no matter what our circumstances in life. Everyone dies at some point. I could get hit by a truck while out shopping tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean that God is obliged to give me more chances to see Mary or be right with him than anyone else. He certainly may, but he is not obliged.

No doubt there was a lot of praying going on in the Nazi concentration camps, and God was there. That we haven’t been privileged to know the answers to prayer that he gave doesn’t mean that there were none. Many miracles of escape and living through it are recorded. When in heaven we may learn how Mary and the Saints intervened in many such cases at that black time in history when men decided to go mad and destroy what they had no right to destroy.

Did our blessed virgin Mary appear to anyone during the holocaust? I do not know.

I do know that Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe was imprisioned at Auschwitz. Our blessed virgin Mary appeared to Raymond Kolbe when he was a boy. Did he, at his young age, appropriately test the apparition? Again, I do not know.

If you are not familiar with Saint Kolbe I can recommend
the book titled - Kolbe: Saint of the Immaculata.

If you would like to see a good summation I can suggest the following: auschwitz.dk/Kolbe.htm

May God’s love be with us as it was with Saint Kolbe.

Huh???

Where does this teaching originate? It certainly isn’t in God’s word.

We are to go to God the Father through God the Son. Nowhere in scripture are we told we need to go through Mary to get to Jesus.

fisheaters.com/totalconsecration.html

To Jesus through Mary

Edward Henry

Huh???

Where does this teaching originate?

Jesus’ first Miracle! :thumbsup:

The Apostle John (who had the amazing blessing of living with the Mother of God for many years) makes the point to tells us that Jesus’ first public miracle ever was made through the intercession, and at the request of his Mother. Even if his “hour had not yet arrived!.. wow what a powerful intercession.” If the people at the party received such a blessing through His Mother, why not you?

By the way in spite of many poor translations, the correct translation is * “what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.”*, demonstrating Jesus’ recognition of the ***two ***different but important missions that they both had to accomplish.

Once again:

To Jesus through Mary :thumbsup:

Edward Henry

But didn’t Jesus rebuke Mary in those verses also?

Read the epistles of Paul, Peter, and the others. They always exhort us to go to Jesus to have fellowship with God and salvation. None of them said going to Mary was needed in order to come to Christ. This is a man made tradition that isn’t biblical.

No. He didn’t “rebuke” her. That is a man-made idea that is NOT found in the text or in the traditional meaning given to it. The idea that he rebuked her is quite a new one not found in the Church Fathers nor even among the Reformers, to my knowledge.

By Jesus saying his time had not yet come he was telling her his public ministry would begin, and all that was to follow, with this public miracle. And she very rightly and sensibly left it up to him when she told the servants to: “Do whatever he tells you to do.”

Only those who have some grudge against Mary’s place in God’s plans for us could possibly turn this incident into an indictment against this woman who conceived him in her womb in obedience to God, brought him up according to the Law, suffered exile and fear and poverty to care for him, walked with her Son, wept over her Son, and stood at the foot of the Cross with her Son when all but one of his Apostles had deserted him. Hardly the life of a person Jesus was always having to “put in her place”–a disgusting idea that certainly isn’t inspired by the Holy Spirit, but by quite another spirit.

The whole Mary-takes-Jesus-place thing is simply false. No Catholic thinks of Mary as divine or greater than God or the source of the graces God gives us. The notion that Catholics do think she is divine/God/source of grace is what fuels this suspicion of her, this reluctance to give her her due, this (in some cases) near hatred of her. But it’s a load of hogwash.

Jesus redeemed us, Jesus saves us, Jesus died on the cross for us, Jesus is our object of adoration and worship and God alone is our end. Mary is merely a helper on our spiritual journey–the best one anyone could possibly wish to have, if I may add my own opinions into the mix, and the greatest of the Saints, but she is not God to us nor could she ever be.

Besides, this is all off the topic. You asked about apparitions. We have attempted to give you information on the topic. If you have more questions or comments on it, please continue. :slight_smile:

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