Appearances : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Does anyone here know which is the most recent appearance (by Jesus, Mary, saints) that is believed by the Church?



-- Hannah (, March 11, 2001


Hey Hannah- well there's always that fairly bizarre "appearance" of Mary on the mirrored glass side of a bank building in Clearwater, FL. As far as I know however, it's not sanctioned by the Church. Funny little place tho....the bank parking lot is now a shrine of sorts. When I went there a semi tractor trailer was parked right next door. Hmmmmmm....but, who knows??

But to answer your question, honestly I don't know. Fatima, maybe?


-- jane (, March 11, 2001.

Dear Jane,
None of these phenomena are sanctioned by Church authority. In fact, most bishops will insist the faithful avoid creating scandal by giving them their attention. I must suppose Hanna h is really asking in which most recent apparition is Mary believed to have been actually present, at least by responsible Church investigators. Probably Medjugorie is the latest. And the Church is not yet ready to declare it as genuine. I rather think soon it will. Another site at which Mary was fervently believed to be truly appearing was Garabandal in the late 60's. The visionaries that were reported to see her are now all grown-ups. There was also a prophesied catastrophic chastisement announced in those apparitions, (without the world's penance) --that is apparently not forthcoming. I really fail to see that any penance of note has taken place. So, it might be that Garabandal was not genuine. Any other ideas here?

-- eugene c. chavez (, March 11, 2001.

Hey, we had one of "those" in nearby Marlboro, NJ recently. Mary and Joseph (wearing plaid shorts) appeared to a man in his back yard on a regular basis. Only he could supposedly see or hear them, and tens of thousands of people would cram his tiny neighbourhood on the appointed day (something like the first thursday of every month or something) for months. After the Mary and Joseph (in a vision) asked him to build them a patio back there, interest began to wane.


-- Anthony (, March 11, 2001.

Good one Anthony, very funny. Thanks for sharing that with us.

:) That's my first way out loud laugh of the day.


-- jane (, March 11, 2001.

Thanks, guys. I've been going to some websites about apparitions, but they never say if the Church has declared them "worthy of belief" or not. (I do know that Fatima was, and I think Medjugorje will be, too.)


-- Hannah (, March 11, 2001.

Dear Eugene:

Thanks for the Garabandal reference. The predictions of Garabandal (the Warning and the Miracle) and the possible chastisement have not come true (yet), and of course the Church will not approve the apparitions unless they do. The people at the Garabandal website say that "The Final and decisive Judgement of these events belongs exclusively to the Supreme Magisterium of the Church. St. Michael's Garabandal Center accepts any decision fully, from the moment it shall be pronounced."


-- Hannah (, March 11, 2001.


Hi, Hannah.
I believe that Jane is right in thinking that the apparitions at Fatima (1917) are the most recent ones that the Vatican has called "worthy of belief" by all Christians.

Next most notable are alleged Marian apparitions of 1969+ to Sister Agnes Sasegawa of Akita, Japan -- which were approved by her diocese's bishop. To my knowledge, the Vatican has not made a statement about this, which appears to be a tacit approval (though I cannot be sure).

From "observing the scene" since 1985, I have found that people tend to get quite emotional about either defending or trashing alleged apparitions, locutions, etc. -- especially in the cases of Medjugorje and Garabandal. I have found that the wisest policy, when it comes to uncertain matters related to the faith (such as allegations of the supernatural), is to keep an open mind, not to try to make a firm decision (since we are not in possession of all the facts), and to leave the whole thing in the hands of God and the Church.

So I won't say anything positive or negative about M & G, but I will recommend that everyone read theologian Colin Donovan's short essays on the two subjects and their current status, available through the FAQ (frequently asked questions) part of the EWTN experts page. Anything can change -- and even rapidly -- in this uncertain world, but I have noticed the indications gradually increasing, through the years [and the Donovan essay tends to confirm this] that the Medjugorje apparitions, which allegedly are still continuing after 20 years, are unlikely to be approved as supernatural and "worthy of belief."

I am indebted to an anonymous British writer on apparition discernment for the following words about, and quotations from the great Carmelite mystic of the 1500s, St. John of the Cross:

This is what St. John of the Cross, the acknowledged spiritual master in these matters, has to say about the dangers which visionaries are open to, in his "Dark Night of the Soul" (2.2:3) ...
"... the devil causes many to believe in vain visions and false prophecies; and strives to make them presume that God and the saints are speaking with them; and they often trust their own fancy. And the devil is also accustomed, in this state, to fill them with presumption and pride, so that they become attracted by vanity and arrogance, and allow themselves to be seen engaging in outward acts which appear holy, such as raptures and other manifestations. Thus they become bold with God, and lose holy fear, which is the key and the custodian of all the virtues; and in some of these souls so many are the falsehoods and deceits which tend to multiply, and so inveterate do they grow, that it is very doubtful if such souls will return to the pure road of virtue and true spirituality."

Speaking of visions in general, and in particular of the danger of desiring them, he writes in "The Ascent of Mount Carmel" (2.11:8 and 12):
8. "... So it has happened to many incautious and ignorant souls, who rely on these things to such an extent that many of them have found it hard to return to God in purity of faith; and many have been unable to return, so securely has the devil rooted himself in them; for which reason it is well to resist and reject them all. For, by the rejection of evil visions, the errors of the devil are avoided, and by the rejection of good visions no hindrance is offered to faith and the spirit harvests the fruit of them."
12. "It is clear, then, that these sensual apprehensions and visions cannot be a means to union, since they bear no proportion to God ... And so the devil rejoices greatly when a soul desires to receive revelations, and when he sees it inclined to them, for he has then a great occasion and opportunity to insinuate errors and, in so far as he is able, to derogate from faith; for, as I have said, he renders the soul that desires them very gross, and at times even leads it into many temptations and unseemly ways."

St. James, pray for us. St. John of the Cross, pray for us.
God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 11, 2001.

Thanks, John.


-- Hannah (, March 11, 2001.

Dear Hannah, I know this is a little late in the game, but I believe the latest approved apparition of the Virgin Mary occured in Rwanda. About 5 Catholic girls and one Muslim or pagan boy saw the Virgin Mary who warned them that unless people changed rivers would run with blood. Inside of a short period, hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the Rwandan massacre. This happened in the 1990's I think. The Church approved it recently. There are lots of online sites. Sorry if my information is not 100 percent. Check it out! jb

-- Janice Burkard (, January 26, 2002.

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