Church takes Marian (and other) apparitions quite seriously, and only
after great care and study deems a particular apparition as "worthy of
belief." There are only a very few apparitions of Mary that
have been given this status. In any case, no Catholic is ever bound to
believe in any Marian apparition --- even those deemed "worthy
Until and unless a given claim of a "Mary sighting" has been
studied and approved by the Church by being given the status of "worthy
of belief," it should be ignored or, at least, approached only with
great caution; the Evil One is the father of lies and can use the
apparently miraculous to deceive. Read on to find out more about some
of the approved apparitions: Mary's appearing to Juan Diego in Mexico,
to St. Catherine Labouré in Paris, to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes,
and to the 3 shepherd children at Fatima.
[Note: No matter what you may see in your diocese's newspaper and
otherwise orthodox Catholic websites and media outlets, the apparitions
at Medjugorje have not been approved -- quite the opposite!
While some truly wonderful Catholics have had
nice experiences there and may have even experienced something at least
preternatural and which may have seemed miraculous, great and
scandalous controversy surrounds the whole Medjugorje phenomenon,
including allegations of profit-mongering, money-laundering, out and
out lying and hoaxes, and even that some of the messages attributed to
the Virgin were heretical, for example, her saying that "all religions
are equally pleasing to God." A 1985 statement made by the bishops'
conference of Yugoslavia asserts that there is "no evidence whatsoever
of supernatural phenomena at Medjugorje" and that the visions are the
"fruit of fabrications, fraud, and disobedience to the Church."
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Good Success
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Our Lady of La Salette
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Knock
Our Lady of Fatima
Date: 9-12 December 1531
Place: Tepeyac, Mexico
Visionary: Juan Diego
In 1531, a poor, 57-year
old widowed Indian named Juan Diego, né Cuauhtlatoatzin, meaning "Eagle
That Talks," saw a vision of Our Lady, clothed with the sun. She told
him that she was the Mother of the True God and asked him to have the
Bishop build a church at the site she appeared. The Bishop did not
believe Juan Diego, but the latter kept going back to the Bishop in
total persistence. The Bishop asked for proof that what he was saying
was true. The Virgin appeared to Juan again and told him to return the
next day (12 December) for the proof the Bishop wanted.
Now, Juan's Uncle, Bernardino, was seriously ill at that time, so Juan
went off to find a priest for him instead of going to where Our Lady
had appeared. She appeared to him anyway (also simultaneously appearing
to Juan's Uncle and curing him through the power of God) and told him
to go to the top of a hill. When he did, he found Castilian roses
blooming in the winter frost. These he gathered up into his tilma
(cloak) and went to see the Bishop. There, he opened his tilma,
revealing the flowers -- and an image of the Virgin "imprinted" (not
painted; noone can explain the original image
aside from reference to the miraculous) on the cloak itself, the
popular image we know today and as seen at left in the picture. That
tilma, made of a peasant-quality cloth, should have fallen apart around
20 years after the apparition if it is made like the typical tilma of
the time, but it and the miraculous image it bears remain today --
perfectly intact, with no signs of decay (if it is made of hemp, it
would last longer).
Mary's title with regard to this apparition comes from her having used
the Aztec Nahuatl word, coatlaxopeuh, which means "Who Crushes
the Serpent." The word when pronounced sounds much like "Guadalupe," a
village in Spain.
Because of her appearing to Juan Diego and the existence of the
miraculous tilma, millions of Indians converted to Christianity from
the barbaric Aztec religion that involved human sacrifice; Mexico
became a Christian nation.
of Good Success
Date: very early 17th c., first approved 1611
Place: Quito, Ecuador
Visionary: Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres
The story of Our Lady of
Good Success is a most fascinating one -- and incredibly important and
timely, as many of the prophecies of our Lady and our Lord given to
Mariana pertain explicitly to the 20th c. and thereafter.
Mother Mariana was a Spanish Conceptionist nun, blessed with the
charismata of discernment and prophecy, who ran a convent in Quito,
Ecuador. First, Our Lady told her to make a life-sized statue of her
holding the Infant Jesus under the title "Our Lady of Good Success."
The statue was begun by a local sculptor, but was miraculously
completed in 1611 by the Archangels.
Our Lady told her that at the end of the 19th Century and especially in
the 20th Century, Satan would reign almost completely by the means of
the Masonic sect. She told Mother Mariana that this battle would reach
its most acute stage because of various unfaithful religious, who,
"under the appearance of virtue and bad-spirited zeal, would turn upon
Religion, who nourished them at her breast."
"During this time, insomuch as this poor country will lack the
Christian spirit, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction will be little
esteemed. Many people will die without receiving it - either because of
the negligence of their families or their false sentimentality that
tries to protect the sick from seeing the gravity of their situations,
or because they will rebel against the spirit of the Catholic Church,
impelled by the malice of the devil. Thus many souls will be deprived
of innumerable graces, consolations and the strength they need to make
that great leap from time to eternity..."
"As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of
Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and profaned in the fullest
sense of the word. Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact
iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament,
making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation
of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The
Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light
of Faith until it reaches the point that there will be an almost total
and general corruption of customs. The effects of secular education
will increase, which will be one reason for the lack of priestly and
"The Sacred Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and
despised. ...The demon will
try to persecute the Ministers of the Lord
in every possible way and he will labor with cruel and subtle
astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation,
corrupting many of them. These corrupted priests, who will scandalize
the Christian people, will incite the hatred of the bad Christians and
the enemies of the Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church to fall upon
all priests. This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous
sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church...."
"Moreover, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury
which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable
frivolous souls who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be
found in children, nor modesty in women, and in this supreme moment of
need of the Church, those who should speak will fall silent."
"But know, beloved daughter, that when your name is made known in the
20th century, there will be many who will not believe, claiming that
this devotion is not pleasing to God...A simple humble faith in the
truth of My apparitions to you, My predilect child, will be reserved
for humble and fervent souls docile to the inspirations of grace, for
Our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart,
and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to
know what they do not, or self-satisfied with empty knowledge..."
Our Lady said, "...the secular Clergy will leave much to be desired
because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking
the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the
priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches,
which they will unduly strive to obtain. How the Church will suffer
during this dark night! Lacking a Prelate and Father to guide them with
paternal love, gentleness, strength, wisdom and prudence, many priests
will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger. This will
mark the arrival of My hour."
"Therefore, clamor insistently without tiring and weep with bitter
tears in the privacy of your heart, imploring our Celestial Father
that, for love of the Eucharistic Heart of my Most Holy Son and His
Precious Blood shed with such generosity and the profound bitterness
and sufferings of His cruel Passion and Death, He might take pity on
His ministers and bring to an end those Ominous times, sending to this
Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of its priests."
She predicted a truly Catholic president of Ecuador who would dedicate
that country to the Sacred Heart and who would be assassinated by
Masons (this happened during the presidency of Gabriel Garcia Moreno,
1821-1875. Read more here).
She predicted that the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility
would be strictly defined and declared dogma (these happened in 1854
and 1870, respectively).
She predicted that a Pope would be a prisoner in the Vatican and that
there would come to pass "the unjust usurpation of the Pontifical
States through the iniquity, envy and avarice of an earthly monarch"
(these things happened in the 19th c. during the pontificate of Blessed
Pope Pius IX).
Another prediction yet to come concerns the statue shown above left.
The Infant Jesus part of the statue isn't original: a Conceptionist
sister hid the original statue during a revolution and died before
revealing where she'd secreted it. Our Lady told Mother Mariana that
the original statue would be found after the restoration of the Church
Mother Mariana predicted the day and exact hour of her death (she died
at 3:00 P.M. on January 16, 1635). After death, her body remained
flexible and lovely. A blind girl was cured at Mother's wake when a
flower that encircled Mother's head was touched to her eyes.
In 1906, Mother Mariana's casket was opened and her body was found to
be incorrupt, exuding the fragrance of lilies. One may view it by
visiting the convent in Quito.
of the Miraculous Medal
Place: Convent on Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Visionary: Sister St. Catherine Labouré
On the night of 18 July,
1830, a "child" (angel?) awakened Sr. Catherine Labouré in her Parisian
convent, telling her to go to the convent's chapel. There she saw Mary,
who told her she was going to give her a mission.
On 27 November of that year, Catherine saw a vision of Mary holding a
globe that, Mary told her, represented the world -- especially France,
a country whose faithful had recently suffered horrible persecutions in
the Revolution's Terrors and was still going through "Enlightenment"
perfidy. The vision changed to Mary standing on a globe, rays of light
streaming from her fingers, enframed in an oval frame inscribed with
the words, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have
recourse to thee." The whole vision "turned" showing the back of the
oval inscribed with the letter "M" entwined with a Cross, and the
hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former surrounded with thorns, the latter
pierced with a sword. 12 stars circled this oval frame. Mary told her
to strike a medal in this form, and that all who wore it after having
it blessed would receive graces. This medal, seen below, has become one
of the most commonly worn sacramentals in the Western Church and is
known as the "Miraculous Medal."
St. Catherine Labouré's body remains incorrupt to this day.
of La Salette
Date: 19 September 1846
Place: La Salette, France
Visionary: Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud
Melanie Calvat and Maximin
Giraud were two children from Corps, France, near the town of Grenoble
in the southeastern part of France. When Melanie was 14, and Maximin
was 11, they were watching cattle in a pasture when they saw a globe of
light that "opened" to reveal a most beautiful woman, clad in long
dress and apron, with a shawl that crossed in front and tied in back.
Around her neck was a Crucifix that depicted the instruments of the
Passion, and on her head were a cap and roses. She sat on a rock with
her face in her hands weeping.
The Lady said that unless the people repented of working on Sundays and
of blasphemy, she'd be forced to let go her Son's arm because it had
grown so heavy. She said that crop blights and famine would follow if
her wishes weren't heeded. She then told each of the children a secret.
Maximin's secret as written down by him at the Bishop's palace on 3
July 1851, and delivered to Pope Pius IX:
On September 19, 1846, we
saw a beautiful Lady. We never said that this lady was the Blessed
Virgin but we always said that it was a beautiful Lady.
I do not know if it is the Blessed Virgin or another person. As for me,
I believe today that it is the Blessed Virgin. Here is what this Lady
said to me:
"If my people continue, what I will say to you will arrive earlier, if
it changes a little, it will be a little later.
France has corrupted the universe, one day it will be punished. The
faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not
practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will
practice it without really practicing it. Then, after [that], nations
will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country,
now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the
support of this country all the other nations of the world will be
Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church,
and everywhere. Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be
persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a
long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the
latest in the year two thousand."
(She told me to say it some time before.)
My Most Holy Father, your holy blessing to one of your sheep.
Grenoble, July 3,1851.
Melanie's secret as written
by her on 6 July 1851 in Corenc, at the Sisters of Providence, and
delivered to Pope Pius IX:
secret which the Blessed Virgin gave me on the Mountain of La Salette
on September 19, 1846
Mélanie, I will say something to you which you will not say to anybody:
The time of the God's wrath has arrived!
If, when you say to the people what I have said to you so far, and what
I will still ask you to say, if, after that, they do not convert, (if
they do not do penance, and they do not cease working on Sunday, and if
they continue to blaspheme the Holy Name of God), in a word, if the
face of the earth does not change, God will be avenged against the
people ungrateful and slave of the demon.
My Son will make his power manifest! Paris, this city soiled by all
kinds of crimes, will perish infallibly. Marseilles will be destroyed
in a little time. When these things arrive, the disorder will be
complete on the earth, the world will be given up to its impious
The pope will be persecuted from all sides, they will shoot at him,
they will want to put him to death, but no one will not be able to do
it, the Vicar of God will triumph again this time.
The priests and the Sisters, and the true servants of my Son will be
persecuted, and several will die for the faith of Jesus-Christ.
A famine will reign at the same time.
After all these will have arrived, many will recognize the hand of God
on them, they will convert, and do penance for their sins.
A great king will go up on the throne, and will reign a few years.
Religion will re-flourish and spread all over the world, and there will
be a great abundance, the world, glad not to be lacking nothing, will
fall again in its disorders, will give up God, and will be prone to its
[Among] God's ministers, and the Spouses of Jesus-Christ, there will be
some who will go astray, and that will be the most terrible.
Lastly, hell will reign on earth. It will be then that the Antichrist
will be born of a Sister, but woe to her! Many will believe in him,
because he will claim to have come from heaven, woe to those who will
believe in him!
That time is not far away, twice 50 years will not go by.
My child, you will not say what I have just said to you. (You will not
say it to anybody, you will not say if you must say it one day, you
will not say what that it concerns), finally you will say nothing
anymore until I tell you to say it!
I pray to Our Holy Father the Pope to give me his holy blessing.
Mélanie Mathieu, Shepherdess of La Salette, Grenoble, July 6, 1851.
this, the story gets confused and controversial, just as did the
secrets told at Fatima (see below). Some years later, after having read
a lot of "end of the world" literature, Melanie wrote a much longer
version in which she said that part of what Our Lady told her was that
Rome was to become the seat of the antichrist. This is how the secret
was published in 1879, with an Imprimatur
from the Bishop of Lecce, Italy:
The Message of Our lady of La Salette:
to the second version of the alleged secret, the Catholic Encyclopedia
has this to say:
"Mélanie, what I am going to tell you now will not always be a secret;
you can publish it in 1858.
"Priests, my Son's ministers, priests, by their evil life, by their
irreverences and their impiety in celebrating the holy mysteries, love
of money, love of honor and pleasures, priests have become sewers of
impurity. Yes, priests call forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended
over their heads. Woe to priests, and to persons consecrated to God,
who by their infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my son
anew! The sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for
vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no longer
is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there are no
more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering the
spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.
"God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants of
the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to
escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people of
God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has darkened
their minds; they have become those wandering stars which the ancient
devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will permit the
ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all societies and in
all families; both physical and moral punishments will be suffered. God
will abandon men to themselves and will send chastisements one after
the other for over 35 years.
"Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest
events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink
the chalice of God's wrath.
"Let not my Son's Vicar, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX leave Rome after
the year 1859; but let him be steadfast and generous, let him do battle
with the weapons of faith and love; I shall be with him.
"Let him beware of Napoleon; his heart is double, and when he will want
to be both Pope and emperor at the same time, God will soon withdraw
from him; he is that eagle who, desiring always to rise, will fall on
the sword he wanted to use to force the peoples to exalt him.
"Italy will be punished for its ambition in wanting to shake of the
yoke of the Lord of lords; thus she will be handed over to war; blood
will flow on all sides; Churches will be closed or desecrated; priests,
religious will be driven out; they will be put to death, and to a cruel
death. Many will abandon the faith, and the number of priests and
religious who will separate themselves from the true religion will be
great; even Bishops will be found among these persons.
"Let the Pope beware of miracle workers, for the time has come for the
most astonishing wonders to take place on the earth and in the air.
"In the year 1864 Lucifer, together with a great number of devils, will
be loosed from hell; little by little they will abolish the faith, and
that even in persons consecrated to God; they will so blind them, that
without a special grace, these persons will take on the spirit of these
evil angels; a number of religious houses will lose the faith entirely
and cause many souls to be damned.
"Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will
everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God's
service: they will have very great power over nature; there will be
churches to serve these spirits. People will be transported from one
place to another by these evil spirits, and even priests, because they
will not have lived by the good spirit of the gospel, which is a spirit
of humility, charity and zeal for the glory of God. The dead and the
just will be made to rise."
[Mélanie interpolated here: "That is to say, these dead will assume the
prospect of righteous souls who once lived on earth, in order to seduce
men more easily; these so-called resurrected dead, who will be nothing
other than the devil under these faces, will preach another Gospel
contrary to that of the true Christ Jesus, denying the existence of
heaven, if these be not in fact the souls of the damned. All these
souls will appear joined to their bodies."]
"There will be extraordinary wonders every place because the true faith
has been extinguished and false light illumines the world. Woe to the
princes of the church who will be occupied only with piling up riches
upon riches, with guarding their authority and lording with pride!
"My Son's Vicar will have much to suffer, because for a time the Church
will be handed over to great persecutions: it will be the time of
darkness; the Church will undergo a frightful crisis.
"With God's holy faith forgotten, each individual will want to direct
himself and rise above his peers. Civil and ecclesiastical authority
will be abolished , all order and justice will be trampled underfoot.
Only murders, hatred, jealousy, lying and discord will be seen, with no
love of country or family.
"The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I shall be with him till the end
to receive his sacrifice.
"The wicked will make a number of attempts on his life without being
able to harm him; but neither he nor his successor will see the triumph
of God's Church.
"Civil governments will all have the same objective, which will be to
abolish and make every religious principle disappear, to make way for
materialism, atheism, spiritism and vices of all kinds.
"In the year 1865, the abomination will be seen in the holy places; in
the convents the flowers of the Church will putrefy, and the devil will
establish himself as king of all hearts. Let those who are at the head
of religious communities be on their guard concerning the persons they
are to receive, because the devil will use all his malice to introduce
into religious orders persons given to sin, for disorders and love of
carnal pleasures will be widespread over the whole earth.
"France, Italy, Spain and England will be at war, blood will flow in
the streets; Frenchmen will fight Frenchmen, Italian with Italian; then
there will be a general war which will be appalling. For some time God
will no longer remember France or Italy, because the Gospel of Jesus
Christ is no longer known. The wicked will unleash all their malice;
even in homes there will be killing and mutual massacres.
"With the first lightning blow of His sword, the mountains and all
nature will tremble with dread, because the disorders and crimes of men
are piercing the vault of the heavens. Paris will be burned and
Marseilles swallowed up; a number of large cities will be shattered and
swallowed by earthquakes; all will seem lost; only murders will be
seen, the clash of arms and blasphemies heard. The righteous will
suffer greatly; their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise
to heaven and all God's people will ask pardon and mercy and will ask
my help and intercession. Then Jesus Christ, by an act of His justice
and His great mercy toward the righteous, will command His angels to
put all His enemies to death. At one blow the persecutors of the Church
of Jesus Christ and all men given to sin will perish, and the earth
will become like a desert.
"Then there will be peace, the reconciliation of God with men; Jesus
Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will flourish
everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of Holy Church, which
will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitative of the
virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and
men will make great strides in the faith, because there will be unity
among Jesus Christ's workers and men will live in the fear of God.
"This peace among men will not last long: 25 years of abundant harvests
will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the
woes which happen on earth.
"A precursor of the Antichrist, with his troops drawn from many
nations, will wage war against the true Christ, sole Savior of the
world; he will shed much blood and will seek to annihilate the cult of
God so as to be regarded as a god.
"The earth will be struck with plagues of all kinds;" [Mélanie added
here: "Besides pestilence and famine, which will be widespread"] "there
will be wars up to the last war, which will then be waged by the ten
kings of the Antichrist, kings who will all have a common design and
will be the sole rulers of the world. Before this happens, there will
be a sort of false peace in the world; people will think only of
amusing themselves; the wicked will indulge in all kinds of sin; but
the children of Holy Church, children of the true faith, my true
imitators, will grow in the love of God and in the virtues dearest to
me. Happy the humble souls lead by the Holy Ghost! I shall battle along
with them until they reach the fullness of maturity.
"Nature begs vengeance on account of men, and she shudders with dread,
awaiting what must happen to the crime-stained earth.
"Tremble, earth, and you who profess to serve Jesus Christ, while
interiorly you adore yourselves, tremble; for God will hand you over to
His enemy, because the holy places are in a state of corruption; many
convents are no longer houses of God, but pastures for Asmodeus and his
"It will be at this time that the Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew
nun, a false virgin who will be in communication with the ancient
serpent, master of impurity; his father will be a bishop (Ev.). [We
spell out the word "bishop" here. In the French text appear only the
first two letters of évèque, the French word for bishop, but there is
little doubt that this is the word they stand for, because in Mélanie's
first draft of the message the whole word is spelled out.]
"At birth he will vomit blasphemies, he will have teeth; in a word,
this will be the devil incarnate; he will utter terrifying cries, he
will work wonders, he will live only on impurities. He will have
brothers who, although not incarnate devils like himself, will be
children of evil; at the age of twelve, they will be noted for the
valiant victories they will win; soon they will each be at the head of
armies, assisted by legions from hell.
"The seasons will be changed, the earth will produce only bad fruits,
the heavenly bodies will lose the regularity of their movements, the
moon will reflect only a feeble reddish light; water and fire will lend
convulsive motions to the earth's sphere, causing mountains , cities,
etc., to be swallowed up.
"Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.
"The demons of the air, together with the Antichrist, will work great
wonders on the earth and in the air, and men will become ever more
perverted. God will take care of His faithful servants and mend of good
will; the Gospel will be preached everywhere, all peoples and all
nations will have knowledge of the Truth.
"I address a pressing appeal to the earth: I call upon the true
disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon
the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I
call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given
themselves o me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom I
bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit; finally,
I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of
Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world and of themselves,
in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence, in prayer and
mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering, and
unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge and come enlighten
the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear children; I am with you
and in you, provided your faith is the light enlightening you in these
evil times. May your zeal make your famished for the glory and honor of
Jesus Christ. Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see
thereby; fir the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.
"The Church will be eclipsed, the world will be in consternation. But
there are Enoch and Elias, they will preach with the power of God, and
men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted;
they will make great progress by virtue of the Holy Ghost and will
condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist.
"Woe to the inhabitants of the earth. There will be bloody wars, and
famines; plagues and contagious diseases; there will be frightful
showers of animals; thunders which will demolish cities; earthquakes
which will engulf countries; voices will be heard in the air; men will
beat their heads against the walls; they will call on death, yet death
will constitute their torment; blood will flow on all sides. Who could
overcome, if God doesn't shorten the time of trial? At the blood, tears
and prayers of the righteous, God will relent; Enoch and Elias will be
put to death; pagan Rome will disappear; the fire of Heaven will fall
and consume three cities; the whole universe will be struck with
terror, and many will allow themselves to be seduced because they
didn't adore the true Christ living in their midst. It is time; the sun
is darkening; Faith alone will survive.
"The time is at hand; the abyss is opening. Here is the king of the
kings of darkness. Here is the beast with its subjects, calling itself
the savior of the world. In pride he will rise skyward to go up to
Heaven; he will be stifled by the breath of St. Michael the Archangel.
He will fall and the earth -which for three days will be in constant
change- will open its fiery bosom; he will be plunged forever with all
his followers into hell's eternal chasms. Then water and fire will
purify the earth and consume all the works of men's pride, and
everything will be renewed; God will be served and glorified."
A lively controversy followed as to whether the secret
published in 1879 was identical with that communicated to Pius IX in
1851, or in its second form it was not merely a work of the
imagination. The latter was the opinion of wise and prudent persons,
who were persuaded that a distinction must be made between the two
Mélanies, between the innocent and simple voyante of 1846 and the
visionary of 1879, whose mind had been disturbed by reading apocalyptic
books and the lives of illuminati. As Rome uttered no decision the
strife was prolonged between the disputants. Most of the defenders of
the text of 1879 suffered censure from their bishops.
Place: Lourdes, France
Visionary: Bernadette Soubirous
At age 14, the
poverty-stricken, asthmatic Bernadette Soubirous saw a vision of a
beautiful Lady in a grotto on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes,
France. Though Bernadette was despised, disbelieved, and harrassed by
local French authorities, crowds began to gather when news spread and
when she wouldn't recant the story of her vision.
On 25 February, Bernadette was told to dig in the earth, which she
did to much mockery, but there, the healing waters of the now-famous
Lourdes shrine were discovered where the Lady had appeared, and on 25
March, the Lady of the vision announced that she was the Immaculate
Conception and that a church should be built at the site. Bernadette
became a nun at Nevers, France and, suffering much from physical
ailments, died young. Her body remains incorrupt
at her convent to this day. St. Bernadette's story can be seen in the
1943 movie, "The Song of Bernadette," starring Jennifer Jones, who won
an Oscar for her portrayal of the Saint.
Date: 21 August 1879
Place: Knock, Ireland
Visionaries: 15 people
Our Lady appeared in the
rain outside Saint John the Baptist Church, Knock, County Mayo, Ireland
with St. Joseph at her right, and with St. John the Evangelist at her
left. They appeared in a blaze of light and all dressed in white. Mary
wore also a golden crown with a golden rose at her brow, and St. John
wore a mitre as a Bishop would. Mary stood praying with her eyes and
hands raised toward Heaven. Behind them all was an altar with a Cross,
lamb, and adoring angels.
The vision was first seen by a woman who'd gone to lock up the church
and who ran into a friend. They saw what they thought at first were
statues, but wondering at them and moving closer, they saw they were
alive and were very much Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John! Others
came, and altogether, the vision was witnessed by fifteen people of
various ages and both sexes, and lasted two hours. The vision was
followed by miraculous healings.
Place: Fatima, Portugal
Visionaries: 3 children -- Lucia, Jacinta, Francisco
In the Spring of 1916, on
the back edge of WWI, before the Russian Revolution and when the world
was beginning to spin even more wildly out of control, an angel
appeared to 3 shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal. The angel, who
called himself the Angel of Portugal, appeared three times, taught the
children various prayers and entreated them to penance and to offering
sacrifices to the Lord.
After these 3 appearances, a lull of 8 months went by. Then, in 1917,
when Lucia was 10, Francisco was 9, and Jacinta was 7, Our Lady
appeared to the children, asking them to return to that site on the
13th day of each month for the next 6 months. (She would come 6 times
to all the children, and also later to Lucia alone.)
During the first apparition (13 May), Our Lady answered questions from
the children about their fates. She said that they would all go to
Heaven (but Francisco would have a few Rosaries to say first). She told
them that of two of their friends who'd died, one was in Heaven and
another was in Purgatory. She then mentioned the war in Europe and told
the children to pray the Rosary for peace.
During the second apparition, she told the children to pray what has
become known as the "Fatima Prayer" during their Rosaries. When asked,
she said that Francisco and Jacinta would be in Heaven soon, but that
Lucia would stay to help bring people to Christ.
During the third apparition, three secrets were given to the children.
First, they were shown a vision of Hell.
Second, they were told of the "errors of Russia" and how they would
spread throughout the world unless the world mended its ways. To that
end, she called for penance and said that Russia should be consecrated
to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and the Bishops in union with him,
and that the faithful should receive Communion of reparation in
atonement for the sins of the world on the first Saturday of each month
(the "First Saturdays" devotion). If these things aren't done, Russia's
errors would spread, the Church will be persecuted, various nations
will be annihilated, and the Holy Father will have much to suffer. She
said, though, that in the end, her Immaculate Heart would
Lucia, warned by her Bishop that the apparitions could be demonic,
asked the Lady if she would tell them who she was and if she would
perform a miracle to help prove to others that the visions were real.
The Lady said she would.
During the 4th apparition, Our Lady gave the children instructions
concerning the chapel which was to be built and reassured them of the
miracle that would take place.
During the 5th apparition, she said that the promised miracle that all
could see would take place during her next visit (on 13 October).
During the last apparition common to all the children, crowds gathered;
around 70,000 people sloshed through the mud caused by the heavy rains
that had fallen all night to see the promise fulfilled. Mary referred
to herself as the "Lady of the Rosary," mentioned again the chapel that
would be built, and said the war would end soon. Suddenly, the dark
clouds that obscured the sky parted, revealing the sun as a softly lit
disk of spinning silver or an opalescent pearl shade. Thousands and
thousands saw the sun spin, dance, throw off many different rays of
color -- red, yellow, purple, blue light coloring all they saw. Some
swore they saw the sun crashing toward the earth. Even secular
newspapers reported what happened with the sun and that one could
witness the phenomenon without hurting one's eyes. People who'd gone to
the site to mock the children and the faithful found themselves in
tears, staring at the sky in amazement, converted to Christ. Then Our
Lady disappeared, and St. Joseph, holding the child Jesus, appeared to
the children, blessing the world by signing the Cross in the air. This
apparition went away, and then Christ and Mary (as Our Lady of Sorrows)
appeared, Christ blessing the world as his step-father had done. Then
Our Lady appeared alone again, only to Lucia's eyes, as Our Lady of Mt.
Carmel. After the miracle of the sun, the crowds saw that the muddy,
wet fields and their clothing had dried.
Francisco and Jacinta died very young, as Our Lady said. They were
beatified in 2000. Lucia joined the Carmelite Order as a nun where, as
of 2002, she still lives. In 1944, Our Lady appeared again to Lucia and
asked her to write down the Third Secret given to her at Fatima -- but
not to reveal it until 1960 because "it will be much clearer then."
1960 came and went, but the secret was not revealed; instead, Sr. Lucia
was ordered to never speak to anyone about Fatima.
In the year 2000, the Vatican released its version of the "Third
Secret"; that text appears below. The official interpretation of this
"Third Secret" is that it referred to the assassination attempt on John
Paul II's life in 1981 and that all of its relevance is in the past.
THIRD PART OF THE “SECRET”
AS RELEASED BY THE VATICAN, MAY 2000
"I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through
his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother
"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our
Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his
left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they
would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the
splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand:
pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a
loud voice: "Penance, Penance, Penance!"
"And we saw in an immense light that is God: "something similar to how
people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it" a Bishop
dressed in White "we had the impression that it was the Holy Father."
"Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep
mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn
trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy
Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with
halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls
of the corpses he met on his way;
"Having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of
the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets
and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the
other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people
of different ranks and positions.
"Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a
crystal aspergilium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of
the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way
Back to Being Catholic