Marian Apparitions

Marian Apparitions

Throughout the history of the Church, there have been reports of supernatural appearances of the Virgin Mary, other saints, and even Jesus, sometimes relaying a message.

The Catholic Church teaches that public revelation ended when the last Apostle died. All books contained in the Bible where written before that time and revealed to the whole Church.

Genuine Marian apparitions are considered private revelation which supports the solid foundation of public revelation already known and emphasizes specific parts of it.

Because these encounters can be credible or fake, the Church investigates these claims before giving formal approval as worthy of belief although, even then, Catholics are not required to believe in them.

The Virgin Mary can and does appear in person:

Mary confirms what we already believe to be true:

Authentic apparitions are reminders and words of encouragement:

His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

John 2: 5

Alleged Marian apparitions are investigated by the Church:

Very few Marian apparitions have been approved by the Church:

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 67

The Church recognizes both public and private revelation:

The value of private revelations is essentially different from that of the one public revelation: the latter demands faith; in it God himself speaks to us through human words and the mediation of the living community of the Church. The criterion for judging the truth of a private revelation is its orientation to Christ himself. If it leads us away from Him, then it certainly does not come from the Holy Spirit, who guides us more deeply into the Gospel, and not away from it. Private revelation is an aid to this faith, and it demonstrates its credibility precisely because it refers back to the one public revelation.

Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, September 30, 2010

Devotion is permitted and encouraged, but not obligatory: 

Semi-natural images of Mary are not apparitions:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

A circle that God fully completes:

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