A Marian apparition is an event in which the Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more persons.
The central role of Virgin Mary in the belief and practice of Catholicism is reflected in the fact that a lot of Roman Catholic churches contain side altars dedicated to Mary. It is claimed apparitions or appearances are always accompanied by messages to the world.
The term Marian apparition is usually used in cases where visions of just the Virgin Mary herself are claimed. However, there are also cases where visions of Jesus and Mary and conversations with both are reported.
Here are most famous places, where Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared: Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje
|From Petrus: Cardinal Saraiva is also a skeptic on Medjugorje
The Italian Catholic website Petrus has published an interview with the former prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, José Cardinal Saraiva Martins. Cardinal Saraiva has joined in the public debate about the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje in Herzegovina by expressing his own skeptical take on the phenomenon. Here's a translation of the interview. Corrections to the translation are welcome.
Cardinal Saraiva, also, is a skeptic about the apparitions at Medjugorje: "The last word is up to the Holy See, but this has nothing to do with Fatima: it could be a trick of the devil"
by Gianluca Barile
Politicizing the Virgin Mary: The Instance of the Madonna of Medjugorje
Source: Raymond A. Eve , Skeptical Inquirer Magazine Volume 26.6, November / December 2002
Apparently individual experiences of the paranormal can, on some occasions, be shown to arise largely out of the broadest social forces, including even those that result in cross-national warfare.
We live in days of all too obvious tension and occasional outright slaughter between specific Christian nations and certain Muslim ones. With this in mind, we can point to an instructive example of how a similar conflict that has occurred on a somewhat smaller geographical scale can be used to demonstrate that paranormal beliefs sometimes arise from a symbolic conflict between differing religious and ethnic groups. We can further demonstrate how such paranormal beliefs frequently both derive from and add to tensions associated with outright warfare and attempts at ethnic cleansings. To substantiate these claims I examine the case of the widely claimed apparitional appearances of the Virgin Mary in the former Yugoslavia.
Our Lady appears to six visionaries, which can see her and talk with her during regular apparitions. During some of these apparitions, Our Lady gives messages. One of most frequented topics of these messages are appeals for prayers and love.
On June 24, 1981 at around 6pm six little children went outside of Medjugorje on a little hill named Podbrdo, or locally known as Crnica.
Those children were Ivanka Ivanković, Mirjana Dragičević, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan
Dragičević, Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović. While there, they saw a beautiful, young woman holding a baby in her arms. She never said anything that day, but tried to show them with her hands to come closer to her. The children got very scared and ran away, although they all thought they saw Virgin Mary.
Supernatural signs are a method God has used throughout history to know Him and to bring His children to conversion. It is a way God speaks to us or to incite our hearts to believe and come to Him. Yet, Jesus once said:
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
Yet still, Our Lady says:
March 25, 1990
“…God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your life…”