Where have apparitions of the Catholic Saint Mary been Reported?

Saint Mary
During the history of man, many religions have worshipped a mother goddess, a feminine personification of divinity. For the Roman Catholic faith, the highest female saint is Mary, whom they consider to be the Mother of God. Only Jesus himself is more highly revered. There are a multitude of aspects of this Divine Mother, including Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mercy, and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, each with a devoted following. So it should astonish no one that, when rumors of an apparition of this saint occur somewhere, the faithful and the curious come from all over the world, hoping for personal contact with her sacred energy.

These apparitions of the Catholic Saint Mary have been reported in many different countries and in many different time periods. In the year 1208, legend has it that Saint Domenic witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mother in Prouille, France, where the Holy Rosary (the ritualistic string of prayer beads) was revealed to him. In the 1420's Joan of Arc was said to have received many visions of the Holy Virgin, telling her to save France from the English.

Shortly after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, in 1531, Juan Diego, a native and a recent convert to Christianity, interpreted a lady he met on the roadside at dawn as being Mary. His testimony, together with accompanying signs and miracles, convinced the local Bishop that the women Juan Diego had met was the Mother of Jesus. While the local Aztec natives had followed a very different religion for centuries, this Marian apparition was destined to catholicize half a million Indians (as the European invaders erroneously called the original occupants of the American continents). Thus began the legends, and the church, of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

In 1858, a young French girl named Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have met with a lovely lady in a grotto in the city of Lourdes. This lady later identified herself as the Immaculate Conception. No one else witnessed the appearance of this lady, although many visitors were testimony to the effect the visions had on Bernadette. After an ecclesiastical investigation, accompanied by miraculous healings, the local Bishop finally decided that the vision had been of the Virgin Mary.

These apparitions of the Catholic Saint Mary are not limited to what some consider ancient history. In our present century, in the year 1917, 3 children in Portugal had an experience which would reinforce the faith of many Catholic Christians. They believed they had met an angel on several occasions, who was preparing the way for the Virgin Mary to visit them. When this highest of Saints did appear, she performed healings and what was termed a solar miracle, with a flying disk appearing in the sky during a rainstorm and drying all those present with its energy. While nobody but the 3 children could see the Virgin, everyone saw them talking to something in front of them. Reputedly, Saint Mary revealed 3 secrets or prophecies to the children.

In 1968, a white female figure was seen on the roof of a Coptic Orthodox church in Zeitoun, a section of Cairo in Egypt. Witnesses believed they were seeing Saint Mary, revered by the Coptic version of Christianity as well as the Catholics. Similar occurrences were recorded in other Egyptian towns, Assiut in 2000 and Warraq in 2009.

Beginning in 1981, 6 children had repeated encounters with a being which became known as Our Lady of Medjugorje, in the town of that name in Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia). They say she told them to pray for the sick. Apparently, these apparitions continue to occur even today.

In the Brazilian city of So Paulo, a boy in the district called Jaracei began having contacts with the Virgin in 1991, which are said to continue to this day. She presented herself as the Queen and Messenger of Peace, saying that these would be the last apparitions in the world, completing the work begun in Fatima, Portugal. Even so, other apparitions of the Catholic Saint Mary are reported all over South America, some by Catholic Groups, others by a group called the Order of Grace and Mercy (Orden Gra'a Misericordia), which identify the being seen by clairvoyants as the Divine Mother, or as Mainhdra, even while calling her Our Lady in the same manner used by the Catholic church. These last apparitions use a more universal nomenclature, although adhering to the traditional Catholic model of contact in other details.

Mysterious apparitions seen only by a select few are not exclusive to the Catholic church. They happen frequently, and in every corner of the world. The dominant social group of each location labels these experiences according to its understanding and dogmas. While skeptics try to reduce these visions to the level of ignorant superstition or mere dementia, apparitions do seem to have an emotional impact on the participants. Who has never wished for a communication with that which they hold superior to themselves? But whether these apparitions of the Catholic Saint Mary are due to the grace of God, disembodied spirits, extraterrestrials, or some other still unidentified cause, they are taken seriously by many people.

Some modern spiritual groups are returning to the concept of the Feminine as divine. In time, it may be discovered that, behind all dogmas, there is a common and deeper reality that accounts for so many different visions.

Written By : David Michael (Terespolis, Brazil)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

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