Michelangelo - The Pieta, in St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome



The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary


The ending of the twentieth century has witnessed an overwhelming number of reported appearances or apparitions of Mary, suggesting we are entering the end times prophesied by the Book of Revelation. Reaffirming the Tradition of the Church, both Pope Pius X in 1904 and Pope Pius XII in 1950 stated that Mary is the "woman clothed with the sun" in Revelation 12:1.

It is important to remember that belief in apparitions is not an essential part of being a Catholic, for it is not an article of faith. One may be Catholic and not accept any of the apparitions. When the Church "approves" an apparition, it merely states that nothing is found objectionable to the faith in a particular apparition.

While most Catholics are familiar with the approved Apparitions of the Church such as Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima, appearances of Mary are being reported all over the world, such as Akita, Japan; Betania, Venezuela; Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina; Damascus, Syria; and Naju, Korea. The image of Mary, a silhouette of the Virgin of Guadalupe, appeared overnight on a side of a bank building in Clearwater, Florida in 1996, and is still there today.

While these reported appearances are still under investigation by the Catholic Church, one cannot ignore the common themes that have been echoed through the ages, especially now as we enter the third millennium. This is a time for repentance, prayer, reading Scripture, fasting, and frequent reception of the Sacraments. It is time for us to be examples of love, mercy, and peace, as our modern world continues to fall away from the Ten Commandments of God.



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Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Medjugorje