The Blessed Virgin Mary is a well-known human biblical figure who was chosen by God the Father to carry the most holy of children, Jesus, or “Eashoa,” as he would have been called in his native Aramaic language. Unique to Jesus and his birth is that, not only is he God the Father in human form, but he would be conceived by his mother not of traditional means, but by immaculate conception of the Holy Spirit directly into her womb. Mary of Nazareth, a young virgin woman who was at the time engaged to Joseph, also of Nazareth, would herself have an apparition of an angel named Gabriel – who would inform her of her chosen role in the history of humanity. According to Luke 1:26-38:
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
It is a common misconception, even among Christians, that following Jesus’ crucifixion, and later Mary’s assumption into heaven, that humanity no longer had, or currently has, the opportunity to interact with either – since both have assumed their righteous places in heaven. However, unbeknownst to many of us, this is actually not the case. Yes, you read correctly; your eyes do not deceive you: There are individuals throughout history, MANY individuals, who have seen and spoken with our Blessed Mother and our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, daily apparitions of Our Blessed Mother continue to this day in a small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina called Medjugorje. I know what you are wondering…why, if this is happening, have I not heard of it?! Unfortunately, I have no answer for you but agree that this is a great question for our friends in the media. Something of such importance, worldly importance – for the betterment of humanity, should be broadcast daily. Or, at least, that’s what one might expect. The fact that it is not is baffling! Or, could this be the work of Satan? The answer may not be known but I, with the help of the great world-wide-web, intend to reach as many of you who have not heard the news, as I can.
For the purposes of this article, the focus will be on those interactions, or apparitions, of the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary – “The Lady of the Rosary,” “The Immaculate Conception,” “The Mother of God,” or as she has more recently referred to herself “The Queen of Peace.” There have also been claims of communications with the Son of God himself, Jesus Christ. Again, in this blog, we will focus on Our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary. The table below lists the many claimed apparitions of the Blessed Mother. When studying this table, one must keep in mind that not all have been approved by the church as legitimate. Some, however, do not truly require approval in order for any logical individual to understand that something miraculous has occurred – manifestations that can only be attributed to those very claims of divine Marian interactions. For further information regarding each apparition, click on the link provided under the “Witnesses” column.
After studying the table provided above, I am guessing that many readers might be tempted to click to the next website because you are thinking “this can’t be true!” Or, “Where’s the proof?!” Well, for you readers of little faith, this next section is presented just for you.
On October 12, 40 A.D., the Virgin Mary appeared to the apostle James while he was evangelizing Jesus in modern day Spain. Following some difficult times, James prayed for help. Our Mother Mary came to his rescue in an apparition where she reassured him that his mission would not end in defeat; the people of Hispania would be converted. She asked that a church be built using the pillar on which she stood and a statue that she gave to St. James. Both were to be used as part of the alter for this new church in her honor, the first known Marian shrine in history. The pillar and statue are on display today at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain.
Still having doubts? Have no fear, I’m just getting started!
Mexico City, Mexico
On December 9, 10, and 12 in 1531, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian, on Tepeyac Hill – which now sits in a suburb of Mexico City, Mexico. She came to offer faith and hope to the oppressed natives of Mexico and to reconcile them with their Spanish rulers. Upon leaving an apparition with Juan, she left an imprint of her image on his tilma (cloak). Since this time, the tilma has been subject to extensive scientific testing. Upon examination, the following is found:
- The image is proven to not be painted by human hands
- The image and fabric have miraculously lasted in the original condition for nearly 500 years
- The weak cactus fiber, of which the tilma was made, should have decomposed within 15-20 years of being woven
- No natural or animal mineral colorings, or paint, are found on the image
- The image itself is iridescent, and cannot be produced by hand
- Mary stands on a crescent moon, the same crescent moon that was in the sky on the day of her apparition
- Mary’s mantle is a constellation map, the same constellations that were in the sky as on the day of her apparition
- The constellations tell the story of the Gospel with the arrangement of “Leo” in the womb of “Virgo”
- Our Lady’s garment is a topographic map of the geographic location of her apparition
- On Mary’s neck is a small black cross, identifying her with the Catholic missionary priests
- Over her womb on her dress is a four-petal flower—the Aztec symbol of life and divinity
- In the image Mary is “clothed with the sun” with “the moon at her feet” as described in Revelation 12:1
- A doctor once heard a heartbeat coming from the image when he placed a stethoscope over the womb
- The eyes on the image have the refractory characteristics of human eyes
- Mary’s eyes, when examined through a microscope, reflect the images of the witnesses present at the tilma’s unveiling, including Juan Diego and the bishop
In 1858, a girl named Bernadette Soubirous was out with two friends collecting fire wood. At a point where her two friends had left her behind, Bernadette was startled by a peculiar rustling sound and strong wind. When she looked up at a grotto that was nearby she noticed a golden light emanating from within. As she looked further, she saw a woman dressed in a white robe and blue sash, with a veil over her head. She was holding a rosary and had yellow roses at her feet. The lady smiled at Bernadette and asked her to pray the rosary with her. After praying, Bernadette looked up to find that the woman had vanished. After many more apparitions and townspeople accompanying Bernadette to the grotto (many of whom simply wanted to mock her as they did not believe her), the woman identified herself as Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Her purpose, she stated, was to ask all to pray and make sacrifices for sinners. During one apparition Our Lady instructed Bernadette to dig in a certain location of the grotto to find water. As Bernadette dug, she found moist soil, then mud, and eventually flowing water. This spring still flows today at a rate of 27,000 gallons each day. Bathing in the water has resulted in many miracles – that have been acknowledged by local physicians. Today, over 3 million people visit the site each year, where the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes now sits.
In 1916 in a small town of Portugal three children: Lucia Santos – age 9, Francisco Marto – age 8, and Jacinta Marto – age 6 were out tending to sheep. They report being visited by a young male angel who identified himself as the Angel of Peace. He appeared “as white as snow” – the sun rendered him transparent. He taught the children how to pray, and then proceeded to pray with them before he disappeared. Again in 1916, the children were visited by the same Angel. This time, he instructed them to continue to pray and make sacrifices to God. A third visit that same year involved the Angel providing communion for the children while praying with them. Then, in May of 1917, the children were again tending to sheep when they saw a flash of what they thought was lightening, despite no storm in the sky. After a second flash they saw a lady of dazzling light standing several feet away. They asked the woman where she was from. She replied “I am from heaven.” She proceeded to ask the children to come to that same place on the 13th day of each month, at the same time, for 6 months. After telling family and locals, many individuals began accompanying them. As with other historical apparitions, many came to simply mock the children. As time went on and other apparitions took place, the local government became involved since they were heavily opposed to religion at that time. However, despite being mocked, spat at by other local children, and threatened to boil them in oil by their Mayor, the children did not waiver in their proclamations. In their visits with Our Lady the children were given three secrets. They were also told that Francisco and Jacinta would soon be joining Our Lady in heaven. Lucia, however, was chosen by God to perform some of his work here on earth.
- First secret: visions of hell, where the souls of sinners will go.
- Second secret: WWI will end. There will be another war should people continue to offend God, and Russia not convert (be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary).
- Third secret: the 20th century persecution of Christians and the failed attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II – on the 64th anniversary of the first apparition of the Lady of Fatima.
To prove to the many thousands of people who came to witness the children during their apparition, they asked Our Lady to show a sign that she is real, and they were not lying. Our Lady promised the children a sign to occur on October 13, 1917. This day would draw an estimated 70,000 people to the hillside, during torrential rain, to witness the children’s apparition, and what would be known as the “Miracle of the Sun.” I recommend that you click on the link I have provided and watch the YouTube video. Better yet, there are two movies available portraying the entire story of Fatima. However, in brief, what would occur to the 70,000 people on the hillside, not to mention many others up to 25 miles away, would result in many non-believers conversions to Christianity. After the children were instructed to tell the people to close their umbrellas the rain suddenly stopped and the clouds parted. The sun then danced in the sky while moving closer to the earth. This lasted 13 minutes and resulted in many people screaming due to their fear of the end of the world. After the miracle ended, the ground and all of the people’s clothes were completely dry. Only a few years later, Francisco and Jacinta both succumbed to influenza and joined Our Lady in heaven just as she had foretold.
I will assume that after learning of the apparitions at Fatima, and the Miracle of the Sun (involving 70,000+ people), you are now convinced that something divine is truly occurring. However, for those of you who require a bit more convincing, maybe higher numbers of witnesses (yes, more than 70,000), here you go:
Between 1968 and 1971, atop the roof of St. Mary’s Coptic Church in Zeitoun, Egypt, at least 1 million people witnessed the Holy Virgin Mary holding an olive branch (a symbol of peace), bowing in front of a cross, and walking across the church’s domes. In addition, many reported luminous doves flying at night, along with bright flashing colors. During this time many miraculous healings were performed, and confirmed by non-Christian medical professionals. Of course, numerous conversions to Christianity also occurred. Included in those who were witness to these apparitions was, then President, Gamal Abdel Nasser. As a result of the president witnessing the apparitions, he opened communications with religious officials.
Truly, I could write a fairly large book on all of the Marian apparitions. However, that was not my intention with this blog. So, I will leave you with one last (and quite possibly the most important) site of apparitions – those of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovnia.
In 1981, in a small village of then communist Yugoslavia, our Blessed Virgin Mary began daily apparitions to six children: Vicka Ivankovic – age 17, Miranja Dragicevic – age 16, Marija Pavlovic – age 16, Ivan Dragicevic – age 16, Ivanka Ivankovic – age 15, and Jakov Colo – age 10. Through these visionaries, Our Blessed Mother has been sending messages to the world pleading that we follow what is referred to today as “The Five Stones” in order to overcome the power and influence of sin in our lives. Her purpose is to guide each one of us back to her son Jesus. The five “stones” of salvation are: prayer, fasting, daily Bible reading, at least monthly confessions, and at least weekly partaking of the Eucharist. Our Lady warns us that the time to convert is now and it is urgent that we follow her instruction. As with Fatima, secrets are being conveyed to the visionaries in Medugorje – 10 secrets, to be exact. However, it is not certain that all visionaries receive the same secrets, since they do not speak of them even amongst themselves. Additionally, the visionaries receive the secrets at varying times. Some have already received all 10. Others have not. They do mention that some of the secrets reveal troubling times that will occur in the future. After receiving the tenth secret on December 25, 1982, the visionary Mirjana was instructed to choose a Priest to reveal the secrets to, as he will in turn reveal each one to the world when the time is right. She has already chosen Father Petar Ljubicic of Medugorje. Ten days before the event of each secret occurs, Mirjana will reveal the secret to Fr. Ljubicic. Then, for seven days they will pray and fast. Three days before, Fr. Ljubicic will reveal the secret to the world. Interestingly, Mirjana received a scroll from Our Lady during one of her apparitions that has all ten secrets written on it. She describes the scroll as something like parchment paper. She also knows that no one else is able to read the writings on the scroll; when looked at, they will see a prayer of some type rather than the ten secrets written on it. We are told very little about the secrets since, as Mirjana plainly states, “they are secrets” – so she is not able to speak of them. She did, however, provide us with a small amount of insight into the first three: the first two secrets are warnings; the third secret will be an indestructible sign, in the location where the first apparition appeared, that the Our Lady was truly there. Our Lady warns that this sign will be a “last call” for everyone to convert; but it is not wise to wait for that sign.
The apparitions of Medugorje represent the longest lasting apparitions of Our Lady. 2021 will mark 40 years of apparitions to the six visionaries. Our Lady also tells us that this is the last time she will ever appear this way on earth. I encourage all readers to perform your own research. Do whatever it takes to help you understand, believe, and convert. Time is of the essence. I hope the information presented in this blog will help speed your conversion. May God bless you!
Recommended Readings and Resources:
- Any and all of the books authored by Wayne Weible
- “My Heart Will Triumph” by Mirjana Soldo
- “Vicka…Her Story” by Finbar O’Leary
- For inspiration and authentic guidance, Father Donald Calloway, MIC, Dr. Scott Hahn, and The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- For education about the Bible, The Bible Project
– All Content Authored by Victor Duarte