Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gary I stand corrected there are 9 Approved Apparitions

Reader Gary: Thank you for commenting on my post.   I stand corrected about the "Roman Catholic Churches Official Approved Marian Apparitions".  Researching the issue lead many to what it means to be officially approved.  The belief in the Apparitions is not an article of faith that all Catholics have to believe.  Some apparitions get a bigger nod than others based on the Popes reaction to them and the authorization to build churches or basilicas.  Indeed you are right there are 9 Officially Approved Marian Apparitions as listed below.  The best known are the ones I listed.  Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico(Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn),  The Virgin of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes.  I have traveled in Pilgrimage all three of these and marvel at the message to Serve her Son Jesus with all our hearts and minds!  Indeed my point was to underscore the fact that 2 of the 9 approved sites of apparition have Islamic Names.  Is this God's way of a 2nd Annunciation to Islam to consider the message of the World's Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?   Thanks for the historical correction.  Sincerely.  Doc
Nine Major Approved Apparitions
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These are the nine major approved Marian apparitions of modern times, based on their acceptance by the Church and the importance they have assumed over time. (See, for example, the article "Apparitions" in Fr. Michael Carroll's Theotokos, A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, p.47).
The Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico
Mary appeared four times to Juan Diego in 1531 at Tepeyac hill near Mexico City. She proclaimed herself the spiritual mother of all mankind and left her miraculous image on Juan Diego's outer garment, his tilma. To this day Mexicans have a great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Mary appeared to Catherine Labouré, in the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, at Rue du Bac in Paris, three times in 1830. She showed her the design of the the medal of the Immaculate Conception, the "Miraculous Medal." This medal, when propagated, helped to renew devotion to Our Lady, both in France and eventually around the world.
Mary appeared to two children, Maximin Giraud, aged 11, and Mélanie Calvat, aged 14, in 1846, one afternoon while they were looking after the animals high up on the mountain. She appealed for penance and an end to Sabbath breaking and blasphemy in the region. This apparition is credited with a major revival of Catholicism in the area.
Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, aged 14, a total of eighteen times at Lourdes in southern France, at the Grotto of Massabielle. She asked for penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners, and described herself as the "the Immaculate Conception." Lourdes is most famous for the miraculous spring which has been responsible for many cures accepted by the Church.
Mary appeared in the sky over the small town of Pontmain in north-western France to a group of young children for about three hours in January 1871, as the Franco-Prussian war was threatening the area. Her message appeared on a banner under her feet, and encouraged prayer while emphasising Jesus' love and concern. The village was spared invasion.
Mary appeared at Knock, a small village in Count Mayo, Ireland in August 1879. A number of villagers of diverse ages saw a silent apparition, which lasted about three hours, outside the gable end of the local church. They saw three figures, Mary, Joseph, and St John the Apostle, as well as a lamb on an altar and angels.
Three children, Lucia de Santos, aged 10, and her two cousins, Francisco Marto, aged 9, and Jacinta Marto, aged 7, saw Mary six
times between May and October 1917. She described herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary," while urging prayer, and particularly the rosary, as well as penance for the conversion of sinners, and the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
Mary appeared thirty-three times to a group of children in the winter of 1932-33 at Beauraing in Belgium, in a convent garden near a hawthorn tree. She described herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," while calling for prayer for the conversion of sinners.
Mary appeared eight times to Mariette Beco, aged 11, outside the family home at Banneux, a small village, in Belgium. She described herself as the "Virgin of the Poor," and promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering.
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Marian Devotions and Apparitions

by Rev. William G. Most
The Church does not require belief in any apparition or other private revelation. However, she does exercise her maternal judgment for the protection of the faithful in declaring some apparitions to be inauthentic, others to be "worthy of belief." Investigations into alleged apparitions are rigorous. The three which follow have been judged worthy of belief, and devotions related to them have been encouraged by the truth. Each has miracles associated with it which are unexplainable by the best scientists in the world, as testimony to its authenticity.
Our Lady appeared 18 times at Lourdes, in the Pyrenees mountains in southern France, in 1858, to Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen year old peasant girl. A spring appeared there which feeds the baths at the shrine today. Many miraculous healings are reported from bathing in the waters. The fact that there is no spread of infection, even though no sanitary precautions are taken when people with all sorts of diseases take baths there, is a marvel in itself. Many miracles take place when the Blessed Sacrament passes in procession during the great pilgrimages. In passing, we notice that this fact testifies to the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist there, a Presence which only the Catholic Church has, and only the Catholic Church teaches. There is a medical bureau there, to which any qualified M. D. can come to check alleged cures. Early in this century, Dr. Alexis Carrel came to scoff, but was converted instead. The Church's demands for checking and proof of alleged miracles are so stringent that in the more than a century since 1858 only a few more than 60 miracles have been approved. Madame Bire in 1908 came there, blind because her optic nerve was withered; she regained her sight when the Blessed Sacrament passed. But when the Doctors inspected her eyes, they found she was able to see even though the nerve was still withered--arranged, doubtless, to keep anyone from saying it was a case of suggestion. The nerve did recover within a few weeks.
On December 9, 1531 an Aztec Indian, Juan Diego, saw the Virgin Mary near Mexico City. She put her image on his cloak, a cloak still to be seen in the great shrine of Guadalupe. The fiber of the cloak should have disintegrated in about 30 years, but is still sound. Scientific checks find that the process of impressing the image is nothing known to science. And there are images in the eyes of the picture of several persons, who probably were present when the image appeared. The images are threefold, just as they would be found in a living eye (following the Purkinje Sanson Law).
Momentous for our own times is the shrine of Fatima Portugal, where Our Lady appeared 6 times to three small children, each less than 10 years of age. She asked for penance, the Rosary, and Immaculate Heart devotion, saying that on these conditions, God would keep Russia from spreading her errors throughout the world - this was said at a time when Russia was still greatly religious, under the Czar. The great miracle of the sun dancing on Oct 13, 1917 was seen by thousands, including nonbelievers. The clothing of all had been drenched from heavy rain, yet when the sun settled down again, all clothing was found to be dry. Hallucinations do not dry clothing.

Taken from The Basic Catholic Catechism
PART SEVENTEEN: The Sacramentals
By Fr. William G. Most. (c)Copyright 1990 by William G. Most

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