At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

Marian apparitions have always been a sign of God’s love. It truly is one of His greatest graces, which physically shows us the Blessed Mother along with her love, words of encouragement and warnings about the world in which we live. Sometimes the Church Militant heeds her call, but sadly often it doesn’t. This article will only cover a handful of Church approved apparitions (this can be a little tricky, more on this later,) but what it will show is that often the Blessed Mother appears in lands that have experienced great suffering with often more suffering to follow. Her message to bring the world closer to her Son and live according to Jesus’ teachings is one of God’s greatest graces, something that is often met with violent, evil attacks. The miraculous events surrounding her appearances often take place in the presense of great vistas; a window of sorts into God’s loving handiwork. The said could be said about Jesus at The Transfiguration and the Sermon on the Mount.

Something to keep in mind before we begin; during the early days of the Church investigative bodies were the last thing the Church was worried about at a time when the Church was trying to literally stay alive during an array of persecutions. Following the Protestant Reformation, a more detailed structure emerged for investigating appartions. They often took a long time to investigate in order to prevent any hoaxes. Most reported modern day apparitions are not approved. In the 20th Century only 8 of the 300+ reported apparitions were approved. This link from the University of Dayton, a Marianist institution, which houses the largest collection of Marian Apparitions, might be a helpful.

The year was 1300. Though parts of Spain remained under Islamic control, a liberated area, near the Guadalupe River would reveal an amazing find. A cow herder named Gil Cordero would be told by the Blessed Mother to dig, and there he would find holy treasure. Though laughed at by his fellow villagers, his faithful dig yielded a secret burial vault that would house many relics including that of a lifelike carving of the Blessed Mother. It was said to be carved by St Luke and transported to Spain in the sixth century by Bishop Leander, a relative of Pope Gregory the Great.

The vault had been placed there as Islamic armies were making their way to Spain.  The lifelike carving, which still exists today, was said to have been processed through the streets of Rome around the year 590 AD, at the direction of Pope Gregory the Great. He had been given the famous carving while he was Papal Legate in Constantinople.

The famous pontiff had ordered this procession during a terrible plague and famine that had engulfed the city, some one hundred and fifty years after the Roman Empire had collapsed.  As the procession ended, the assembled crowd saw the Archangel St Michael sheathing his sword, signifying that the famine and plague were over. (One can still see the statue of the Archangel St Michael atop the Castel Sant Angelo which commemorates this momentous event.)  The carved statue of the Blessed Mother was then sent to Spain where it remains today, seemingly unscathed after spending years underground during the Muslim conquest.

Years later a young Italian navigator named Christopher Columbus would come to pray at this now famous shrine. He was at the end of his financial rope in seeking backing for a “new way to India.” Soon after his prayer, he was granted an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and the rest is history. Few know about this religious side of Columbus. Even fewer know that when he first caught sight of what would be known as the Americas, he had minutes before ordered his crew to pray the Rosary. In gratitude, he named one of the islands he discovered for the site at which his prayers were answered back in Spain, the isle now known as Guadeloupe.

There had been a variety of Marian apparitions in Europe and the Middle East, years before the one reported near the Guadalupe River. One of the earliest recorded Marian apparitions occurred in what is now Zaragoza, Spain, circa 40 AD. The Blessed Mother (before her Assumption into Heaven) is said to have appeared to Saint James and told him to return to Jerusalem. Now for the record, Early Church apparitions don’t have the same approval as say Lourdes or Fatima would have, simply because the Church was still in her infancy. However, as Spirit Daily’s Michael Brown notes in his book, The Last Secret, the Blessed Mother appeared in a place that even the Roman Army found evil and troubling. It appears that ritual sacrifice and murder were quite common there. It would not be the last time that the Blessed Mother would appear in such a dark and evil place to literally give light to the captives.

In 1534 a few decades after Columbus’ famous voyage, another apparition, perhaps the most famous apparition to ever grace the world occurred at Guadalupe, Mexico, near present day Mexico City. Though the modern day mainstream media may glorify the Aztecs and Mayans, especially the Mayan doomsday prediction of 2012, living under their thumb often resulted in death; ritual human sacrifice was very common in Mexico and the neighboring countries to her south.

Shortly after the Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego, Mexico was for all intense and purposes Catholic. The tilma worn by Juan Diego exists today and still baffles the skeptics who can’t figure out how this garment could last fifty years, let alone nearly five hundred. No one can explain the images seen in Mary’s eye (that of Juan and the Bishop.) These images aren’t painted and defy the realm of science. Yet some of the unfaithful who examine it, refuse to tame their egos and believe.

The apparition sent shockwaves through Europe who was in the throes of the Protestant Reformation. As word was reaching Europe of the miraculous events in Mexico, the shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham in England was about to be destroyed by mobs aligned with the more radical forms of extreme Calvinist Iconoclasm.

Martin Luther denounced these sorts of 16th Century Iconoclastic Movements which had their roots in the Islamic Conquests of the Middle East and North Africa. Some believe the Iconoclastic outburst that plagued the Eastern Churches in the 8th  and 9th centuries arose out of secular authorities (and Eastern Church authorities as well) fear of Islam. This school of thinking surmises that by placating Islam through obeying their call for Iconoclasm, once they were conquered, Islamic rule might be more tolerant. (From 806-815 The Patriarch of Constantinople was Nicipherous. He condemned Iconoclasm and excommunicated those who pushed for it, and in the process destroyed many priceless works of art. Sadly, he was pushed out by another band of Iconcolasts, but after a short comeback they were eventually pushed out of the Eastern Church. Earlier many priests of the Eastern tradition had appealed to Pope Gregory II and Pope Gregory III to end the madness and save the beautiful Icons.)

Till the day he died, Luther always celebrated the Assumption of the Blessed Mother and believed in her Immaculate Conception. He called those radical reformers who pillaged and destroyed, “under the influence of Satan.” Sir Philip Howell’s haunting lament The Wrecks of Walsingham perhaps foretold the modern era when man claimed to know more than God Himself, thus destroying God’s monuments of Grace. This destruction set up another kind of monument; this one to man’s pride and rebellion.

For Mexico evil would always seem to attack these happy, faithful, earnest and hardworking people. Violent anti religious military leaders inspired by the French Revolution (remember Mexico was once ruled by the French) would lead to the Cristero Uprising that would give the Mexican faithful brave men like Father Miguel Pro SJ. He was assassinated in a Christ like pose, while his executioners had hoped he would grovel. The picture circulated by the military thugs only made the Cristero Movement more popular in the early part of the 20th Century.

Thousands of the faithful would be murdered and many beautiful churches would be whitewashed, but the faith remained even though it wasn’t until the pontificate of Pope John Paul II that the Mexican clergy would be officially allowed to wear their priestly blacks in public. Today a different scourge attacks the good people of Mexico, as drug cartels prey upon civilians and governmental officials. Yet, the Blessed Mother and her message remains in the hearts of most Mexicans, even as they undergo attack from the minions of the evil one.

In Knock, Ireland the Blessed Mother appeared in 1870. The Emerald isle had long had more than her fair share of troubles, ranging from the British conquest to the Potato Famine. Following the model of these apparitions, the Blessed Mother appeared in a land that seen more than her share of heartache. A few decades later, Ireland would rebel against their colonial master during the Easter Sunday Uprising of 1916, a civil war would follow and though she achieved her independence, discrimination against the faithful would continue in the North. Sadly in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the call to arms would be taken up by leaders in the North of Ireland who more often quoted Mao and Castro than Jesus, His Apostles and the litany of Irish saints.

More recently the Abuse Scandal has wracked Ireland. Many have lent their opinions as to why such a cheerful people could be abused by priests whose lives were filled with rage and anger toward God’s most innocent; the young and the orphaned. Perhaps the Blessed Mother’s appearance was a warning that despite their generosity and warmth the Irish people were under attack, perhaps because of their display of these very special gifts.

Thankfully, there are many fine Irish priests and religious who carry on with the Lord’s work under trying times. Perhaps, today the most famous being the healing nun known as Sister Briege McKeena, who experienced her miraculous healing some 40 years ago.  She recently conducted a retreat for bishops and cardinals in Rome. (On a personal note, a few years ago, I had the distinct privilege of sharing lunch and conversation with Sister Briege McKenna. The time spent with her left me very grateful that God had allowed me to meet such a holy woman.)

In modern times, France has seen more Church approved apparitions than any other country. This is more than revealing in light of the many holy saints that have come from France. Along with these holy men and women were troubling political developments, such as the French Revolution and the Political and Cultural Uprising of 1968 that led to radicals glorifying the burning barricades of Paris. These acts of rebellion have not only affected the politics of Western Europe, but emboldened radicals within the Church itself. Perhaps by giving the faithful the Miraculous Medal and appearing at places like LaSallate and Lourdes, the Blessed Mother was reminding the faithful that she is praying for us and imploring Her Son to act on our behalf, even as the western world plunges closer to political anarchy and religious paganism.

France is also the place where Charles (the Hammer) Martel stopped the Islamic Conquest of Europe at Tours in the 8th century. How ironic that Sharia Law is being talked about in Europe even though many paid for their lives to make sure it wouldn’t happen. The Anglican faithful must have been appalled when they read in the Times of London that the Archbishop of Canterbury was arguing for parts of Sharia Law in Britain. Some one thousand years ago, two young people, among many others, paid for their lives in Muslim dominated Spain. They were saints Nunilo and Alodia. These two young Spanish girls refused to live as Muslim woman were suppose to and were martyred for it.

The 1917 apparitions at Fatima, Portugal are most interesting in that it occurs in the only town in Portugal with an Islamic name. We all know about Sister Lucia, and the Blessed Mother allowing her and (her two cousins) to see frightening images of hell, along with futuristic images of a political 20th century that the little peasant girl could barely understand. Yet these events played out before her very eyes as she saw the rise and fall of the Soviet Union within her lifetime. She died in 2005.

However, have we ever thought about the Islamic implication? The town where the Blessed Mother appeared cannot be an accident. Perhaps there is a tie in with the apparitions in Guadalupe. One might recall that shortly after Guadalupe, the Blessed Mother was implored by Pope Saint Pius V, during the naval Battle of Lepanato, to save the faithful of Italy and other points further north, for they surely would be under the thumb of the Ottoman Turks if the battle was lost. The miraculous image seen in Guadalupe was hoisted on Italian Naval vessels to show their solidarity with the Blessed Mother. To this day, military scholars are perplexed as to how the superior Ottoman Naval force was defeated.

The Blessed Mother’s outreach to the Muslim world continued in 1968 at Zeitoun, Egypt. This suburb of Cairo saw one of the most miraculous images ever seen of the Blessed Mother. The event began when a bus driver, who was Muslim, noticed a woman on the church. He thought she was going to jump off the ledge, so he gathered a crowd to convince her to do otherwise. As the crowd gathered, they soon realized it was an apparition. Christians soon realized it was the Blessed Mother. For days crowds gathered, some estimate in the hundreds of thousands, and most were Muslim. The crowds gathered on a site that some believed was a place of rest for the Holy Family on their Flight From Herod to Egypt. Miraculous healings of people from all faiths took place along with some of the most amazing still pictures and television coverage ever seen. Even famed Egyptian military leader and political nationalist Gamel Abdel Nasser came to see.

One year earlier the Arab world had suffered a humiliating defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. Militants were forming radical associations under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many assumed their humiliating defeat to Israel was allowed by God due to their lack of religious adherence, such as enforcing Sharia Law. One might assume that if Gamel Abdel Nasser would publicly make it known of his attendance at the apparition site, some of the young radicals in Cairo might attend as well. One such radical could have been a young seventeen year old Ayman Al Zawahiri, the son of a prominent Cairo physician, known for his moderate views.  Young Ayman would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a physician, but not a moderate.

Five years later the Middle East would be in the throes on another disastrous war. Thirteen years later now Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri was behind the murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and many others killed that infamous day, while the Egyptian leader was reviewing a military parade. The assassination would be the genesis for gathering names and associations that would lead to Al Qaeda. With the radical Muslim world already rallying against the infidel Soviet invasion of Muslim Afghanistan, the dye was set for a toxic mix of evil and anger. Perhaps the Blessed Mother was warning the world over these impending events, which would not stop in Afghanistan but move to the Arabian Peninsula, Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines and eventually the East Coast of the United States.

One final note concerning the Zeitoun Apparition. The event occurred at an Orthodox Coptic Church, which has approved the apparition. Cardinal Stephanos, the Catholic ordinary in Cairo, later approved the apparition as well. A papal emissary of Pope Paul VI arrived in time to personally witness the events.

For all of Radical Islam’s talk of Islamic lands under infidel invasion and control, the ancient relatives of those living in the Middle East and North Africa’s were at one time Catholic. Some of the towering figures of the Church like St Augustine called these places home. The Blessed Mother is perhaps trying to reach out and bring the modern day descendents of the Middle East and North Africa home to the Church Jesus Christ founded some 2,000 years ago.

Three of the most recent Church approved apparitions have occurred in Japan, Rwanda and Venezuela. The apparitions at Akita, Japan which warned of dissension in the Church; taking the form of bishop going against bishop and cardinal going against cardinal was approved after being reviewed by the local Catholic ordinary Bishop Ito and the future pontiff then Cardinal Josef Ratzinger. The apparitions at Betania, Venezuela have warned of similar unrest. Most interesting are some of the political and cultural implications of these apparitions. 

The Rwandan Apparitions in 1981 foretold the gruesome events of the Rwandan Genocide in the 1990s. Two of the seers of the Apparitions were themselves killed in the ethnic genocide between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. The Blessed Mother pleaded for the people of Rwanda to turn back to God and away from violence, jealousy and hatred, perhaps a foreboding of more rage to come in our modern world.

By the 1970s, Japan like their former Axis partner Germany, had become one of the world’s most prosperous democratic nations in the world. A few decades earlier their military regime killed scores in China and Southeast Asia, along with attacking the United States. The Japanese themselves suffered as the war was brought closer to home, especially in the horrific events at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Yet, the country would soon prosper. When the apparitions at Akita occurred in 1973, the Japanese economy was in boom mood. While warning the Church of deception and perhaps some of the Smoke of Satan imagery that Pope Paul VI used, maybe another part of the message of Akita is for us not to be content with the comforts of the world, where technological gadgets have become our personal gods.

The message of Betania is eerie when one considers the rise of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. The country has become quite wealthy and powerful due to her oil money and associations with the likes of Iran. Could this portend a dark message for Central and North American if indeed Chavez hopes to settle scores with the perceived slights by the US and Mexico?

These apparitions are important for us today because we know that if we heed the call of the Blessed Mother to live simply and be obedient to Christ’s Holy Church, all will be well. However, all too often we become enamored with the ways of the Dictatorship of Relativism (Pope Benedict XVI’s revealing term,) by obtaining ever greater numbers of personal possessions and engaging in a hedonistic lifestyle that encourages that every sexual whim and feeling be obeyed. Sadly all of this is occurring, while too many of the clergy have become enamored with being accepted and liked by the new cultural elite.

These elites often go hand in hand with today’s new social activists who claim to be in alliance with the Church’s mission. However, in reality they have always hated the Church and always will, because in their heart of hearts they are rebellious to the ways of God. The elite media’s treatment of Pope Benedict XVI is one such example. Before he became pontiff, he was hailed for his role in stopping the evil Abuse Scandal. However, once he used term the “Dictatorship of Relativism,” and was given the “keys” he immediately became a target for their vitriol and hate.

One of the common ploys of these elites is to appeal to their inflated sense of ego and intelligence, as if their intellect could save themselves and the world. This is a common ploy used to attack the likes of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. However this is nothing new, Adam and Eve were duped into thinking they would be as smart as God if they would simply eat the apple. In the New Testament, Judas seemed to have no problem letting everyone know that he fancied himself quite a scholar and leader. We see where that got him. All too often this path of hubris leads to disaster which is why William F Buckley wryly noted that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty.

Thankfully, there is good news as many dioceses are heeding the message of the Blessed Mother and once again obeying the teachings of her Son, Jesus the Christ who with His Apostles, Saints, Early Church Fathers and Popes have given us sound teaching and the authority to go with it. While mainline liberal Protestant churches are in a statistical free fall due to a desire for their theology to coincide with the secular world, Evangelical Churches and the Catholic Church continues to grow.

 For Catholics, all of this is made manifest in ordination numbers.  64 to 6 and 14 to 4 stand out. What does this mean? In 2006 when writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I noted that even though the Diocese of Rochester had more Catholics than the dioceses of Lincoln and Omaha combined, Rochester had 6 men studying for the priesthood while Lincoln and Omaha had 64. That same year of 2006 Denver had 14 young men ordained to the priesthood (eleven in May and three earlier in the academic year) while Los Angeles had four; a staggering statistic when one considers that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has 4,300,000 Catholic residents compared to 385,000 Catholics for the Archdiocese of Denver.

In 2006 Los Angeles and Rochester were led by two of the most liberal prelates in the Church, while Omaha, Lincoln and Denver were led by three of the more conservative bishops in the US, a revelatory statistic to say the least. For more on this read my columns, If You Want the Political Left to Run Governments, Look at What the Religious Left Has Done to Religion, (Left It In Tatters,) along with my article, The Coming Open Rebellion Against God.

While liberal convents are strapped for cash because they haven’t had a postulant in years, more conservative orders like the Sister of Mary in Ann Arbor, Michigan are running out of room due to the large number of young professional women coming their way. They are not the only conservative order growing; the Nashville Dominicans among others are also experiencing growing pains.

Sadly some delusional people make up apparitional reports, which only confuse the faithful. In other cases the evil one deludes the faithful into making something out of nothing. This is why the Church often takes many, many years to investigate an apparitional report. While we all too often hear of those who claim to see the Blessed Mother in their piece of burnt toast or their weather beaten garage door, this should in no way take away from God’s grace of allowing the Blessed Mother to encourage, inform and warn us when the time is right.

The Blessed Mother was present at Jesus’ first miracle at Cana, at Calvary and is the “Woman Clothed with the Sun,” mentioned in Revelation 12. She leads all to her Son, all who will listen, but will we listen? In our cruel, cold world we often complain where is God? We often refuse to believe in His graces and blessings because somewhere along the line we have allowed narcissists and bitter skeptics to take away the joy of God’s blessings. These sad narcissists and cold hearted skeptics (so called believers and militant secularists alike ) would rather us believe in their bitter pill of anger, ego and pride than the love of God. The Almighty has given His children a mother for which we are to be thankful.

We might recall that already in the Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15,) Jesus’ coming and that of the Blessed Mother is foretold. In The New Testament, Jesus always addressed his mother as woman, not because He was rude (remember He is the sinless Son of God, so he couldn’t be rude,) but because she is the mother to us all.  Let us thank God for all we have, even as we pray for those who would try to take away God’s blessings and love.

Dave Hartline

41 Responses to At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

  1. Don the Kiwi says:

    Thanks for that excellent post David.
    I had not heard of those earlier apparitions of Our Lady, so that’s very informative.

    God Bless your work.

  2. c matt says:

    Guadalupe, Mexico, near present day Mexico City. Though the modern day mainstream media may glorify the Mayans and especially their doomsday prediction of 2012, living under their thumb often resulted in death; ritual human sacrifice was very common in Mexico and the neighboring countries to her south.

    Are you perhaps confusing the Mayans and the Aztecs? Both practiced human sacrifice, but the Aztecs were more concentrated around Mexico City; the Mayans were more to the south and the Yucatan peninsula (as well as further south of Mexico itself).

  3. Dave Hartline says:

    No C Matt I am not confusing the two. Both civilizations power bases were essentially destroyed by the time the Blessed Mother appeared at Tepeyac Hill. True the Aztec power base was in the north, however, their influence was not greater than the Mayan people. In the south of Mexico even though the Mayan Culture’s power base was dead their descendants still numbered more than the Aztecs. At the peak of the Mayan Civilization, their numbers were over 20,000,000.

  4. Sean says:

    Nice article, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention Medjugorje, especially given how profoundly connected Kibeho is to Medjugorje. I assure you that Medjugorje is the real deal, and one of the most important Marian apparitions in history. The fruits of Medjugorje are worldwide, the conversions are in the millions, and if you take a look at the medical testing done on the visionaries by some of the world’s top doctors and scientists, you will be very surprised. Of course, the devil HATES Medjugorje and has done everything he can to plant the seeds of confusion among God’s children. But look around you and you will see that we’re in battle! God bless you.

  5. Tito Edwards says:


    This is the best article I have of yours yet!


    In the church in Zeitoun where Mary appeared, that church has a high concentration of saint’s relics. In addition the apocryphal story states that Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, stayed in or near Zeitoun during their time in Egypt.

    These two facts alone can help explain why the Blessed Virgin graced her presence there.

  6. mary says:

    Sean, I would think that Medjugorje wasn’t mentioned because it is not an approved apparition.

  7. Sean says:

    Yes, Mary, nor is it unapproved. What the world needs now, more than ever, is the message of peace and reconciliation that is flowing from Medjugorje. I’ve been to Kibeho, and I’ve been to Medjugorje many times, and they are the same message. The Kibeho visionary Alphonsine actually went to Medjugorje in the nineties, and the priests at the Kibeho shrine believe the two apparitions are linked. I just would have liked to see Dave mention Medjugorje, even with a caveat of it still being under investigation, because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.

  8. Katherine says:

    Sean, the author mentioned in the beginning of the article that he would only deal with approved apparitions. Medjugorje is not approved. Your reaction and defensive stance makes it seem more like a cult with cult-followers. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be seen as unauthentic, which I won’t go into here. Perhaps its popularity is just a sign of the evil times that we live in and the weak-faithed.

  9. Domingo says:

    I concur with Sean. But I think it is out of prudence that Medjugorje should be treated in a future article. Dave, I’ll be waiting on this one.

  10. Dismas says:

    I concur with Katherine. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be viewed with skepticism and may not be authentic. Peace and reconciliation not rooted in truth has no foundation. The last thing the world needs right now is any false concept of peace and reconciliation possibly rooted in and further promoting a worldwide ‘Dictatorship of Relativism.’

  11. Byzcat says:

    Medjugorje is not an approved apparition…

  12. Ted Custer says:

    The apparitions at Cuapa, Nicaragua, May 8 to October 13th, 1980, fully demonstrate that when apparitions like those that took place then occur, trouble is ahead. The country had just gone through a bloody uprising against an entrenched dictator, and 50,000 casualties.
    When the apparitions took place, the so-called “Contra War” was getting underway, and before it was over a decade later, another 50,000 had died. The purported messages of the Most Holy Virgen were of much comfort to Nicaraguans throughout, and a continuing sign of the merciful presence of God. I was there then.

  13. Anita says:

    Though Medjugorje is as yet not been approved I, for one, can truly say, without a doubt, that I know Our Lady is appearing there. I was there in 1987. One only has to go there to understand that truth. I would stake my life on it. Her presence is so apparent that no one leaves that place without believing it. Of course, I know that we need to wait for total church approval. It was also said, concerning these apparitions, that when they totally end that decision will be made. Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.That is not hearsay, it is documented.He met many times with some of the visionaries.Anything that you think could be used against these apparitions is most probably wrong information that you have heard.

  14. Winkyb says:

    I don’t know about the legitimacy of that medjugorje apparition. I do know about the negative comments and rebellion by its followers when a statement by the commission possibly restricting or rejecting begin to rumor. There were no presence of humility or obedience rather defiance and arrogance displayed. More than fruits will need to be considered for legitimacy. There is no spirit of poverty surrounding the visionaries like at Fatima…we must wait til the church makes a decision. I am concerned about one message that says don’t pray for others nut pray for yourself…that’s not like Mary our Mother who say forget your brother when you come before God in prayer! It is neither here nor there that you bet your life on medjugorje nor does your belief or disbelief assures its legitmaticy…only the church can do such…

  15. Liza says:

    Like Anita, I know what I have experience in Medjugorje is sincere and pure. Our Lady has given me to her son, Jesus through his presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I have come to know God’s love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I have seen, heard and know the fruits of Medjugorje. It is all about Jesus and being Roman Catholic who loves our Holy Father in Rome.
    For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible. God bless everyone!

  16. Domingo says:

    I have seen Marija and Ivan in person and I can say that they are as human as anybody else, but yet very humble and prayerful. My understanding is that the visionaries have been obedient to the Church. My family and I have been to Medjugorje and stayed there for 5 days, and though I have not seen any startling natural phenomena except for the water that constantly flows from the knee of the Resurrected Jesus (at the time, I thought it was moisture on the bronze statue forming every day), I always have believed in the apparition there, yes, even long before we visited the place, back in the late 80s when I first heard about it.

  17. lostrego says:

    Excellent article. Only one comment: Christopher Columbus was from Spain

  18. bob says:

    The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus.

    Medjugorje is the most important apparition of Blessed Mary in history, and I will say flat out so as to be unambigous, it is heralding the Second Coming of Jesus.

    For those who don’t listen to their Mother and turn back to God now, it will be too late, as Blessed Mary herself says. She said those waiting for the sign – for many it will be too late. She means that the sign is a ways off yet, and so before then many will die of natural deaths etc. w/o having converted or turned back to God because they were waiting for the sign. It is very possible that Jesus will return BEFORE the Church rules on Medjugorje and many will not be ready.

    But alas, I also believe when the warnings come, many will convert and the Church will urge them to do so too – the Church will finally approve the apparition, but it will be too late for those who have not converted between 1981 and then.

    Sad, really. God bless you.

  19. Jay Anderson says:

    “The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus…”

    Seriously? You’re going to compare the rejection of the Messiah (God incarnate, whose coming was essential for salvation) by His own chosen people to skepticism over an unapproved apparition, belief in which (regardless of whether the Church ever decides to speak to its authenticity or lack thereof) is NOT essential to the faith?

    It’s the over-the-top certitude of such statements with regard to Medjugorje in the face of the Church’s caution that (1) causes many to remain skeptical and (2) makes me glad that assent to private revelation is not essential for one to be a faithful Catholic.

  20. Sean says:

    Jay, maybe you don’t “need” Medjugorje because your faith is already so strong and you are on the right path. That’s awesome for you, and I commend your devotion. But, as I’m sure you know, you are the minority in this world. There are so many lost and faithless people out there (I, myself, was one of them) and Our Lady is trying to reach them through Medjugorje. I’m certain that if you ever go there, you would agree with me. Just as Jesus himself said that He came not for the righteous but for the sinners, Our Lady has come to lead the nonbelievers and the lukewarm to her Son. What happens in Medjugorje? It’s not some crazy place where fanatics are running around looking for miracles. On the contrary, it is a shrine filled with people praying, confessing and worshipping God through the Sacraments. It is a place of conversion. You can FEEL it when you’re there. I’ve traveled to approved apparition sites all over the world, but no where is there such a sense of peace and holiness as there is in Medjugorje. Again, it sounds like your faith is strong enough that you don’t need Medjugorje, but I urge you, and everyone who shares your viewpoint, to be patient and not persuade anyone from going there to see for themselves. It could be the difference between life and death for that person, eternally speaking of course.

    Have a look at this video of an apparition:

    I challenge anyone to show me someone — an actress, perhaps — who can cry on command while staring up at thin air, without any wavering of the focal point of her pupils for five minutes straight, and who can turn her voicebox on and off inexplicably (scientifically impossible), and whose brain waves go to such a heightened sense of awareness in a split second (during the apparition) that doctors have never seen it before.

    Medjugorje is 100% real. I’m no fanatic and I don’t believe many things, but this I’m certain of, and one must only go there with an open mind to see God’s work in action. I am incredibly thankful to Our Lady for leading me and my entire family to the Catholic Church. My wife (also a convert after going to Medjugorje) and I are raising our little children in a strong Catholic setting, something that would have been inconceivable to us before Medjugorje ever came into our lives. Our story is no exception. There are millions of us out there. WE NEEDED MEDJUGORJE, and thank God no one told me not to go before I did that first time. God bless you all.

  21. Domingo says:

    Sean, you forgot to mention about the Adoration of the Holy Eucharist from sunset till late evening. Aside from long lines of Confession and full-packed Masses, this devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is one undeniable proof that God is Present among His people in Medjugorje. Who else will know the sure way to lead us to Christ? Who, but the one who nursed Him and lulled Him to sleep while yet He was a baby, and who was there at the foot of the Cross during the last moments of His life?

    All these are tangible manifestations of God’s love for us, while yet we have time. Let’s help bring conversion of everyone to the LORD! Our Lady is here to help us. According to St Louis de Monfort, Mama Mary is the surest way to Jesus. She’s bidding everyone of us to come and go to Him!

  22. Jay Anderson says:

    It’s not about whether I “need” Medjugorje for my faith to be strong or not. I’m as much a weak and sinful person as any other Catholic. But the depth of no one’s faith should be made dependent on whether or not they assent to any private revelation.

    I make no judgments about the authenticity of Medjugorje, other than to note (1) that the Church has not yet spoken on it and (2) that statements like those Bob made comparing skepticism over Medjugorje to the rejection of Christ as the Messiah are WAY over the top.

    I have great respect for many who do believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje. In fact, one of the priests I most admire – the Dominican priest who brought me into the Church and who just so happens to be the Prior Provinical of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph – has been to Medjugorge on a number of occasions. That fact, alone, is enough for me to give some credence to its authenticity.

    But I’ll wait for the Church before giving full assent.

  23. dismas says:


    You said, “because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.” Sorry to disappoint you, but I can’t allow you to mislead anyone reading these comments. You are sadly misinformed or purposely being misleading. Medjugorje is NOT A MARIAN SHRINE, the Catholic Church has not currently raised the status of any Church in Medjugorje to ‘Shrine’.


    You said, ‘Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.’ Did JPII say that, or did someone else say he said that? Please produce the article showing the direct quote. Let me also remind you it is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, was a stalwart supporter of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced, recently deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi.

    For anyone truly interested in discerning the ‘fruits’ of Medugujorje, I recommend the following links. In the meantime, LETS BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!

  24. Dave Hartline says:

    A few points before this thread winds down. I will be happy to write about Medjugorje once the Church takes an official stand on it. In the meantime, perhaps the prudent thing to do is for those who hope the Church rules favorably on the apparition is to politely say “for your discernment.” I believe this is the approach Michael Brown uses. The evil one loves drama and disunity in the Church. I think we can all agree that whatever we believe, we don’t need to give the evil one any new ammunition. We should trust the Holy Spirit.

    In addition, I believe someone corrected me by saying Christopher Columbus was a Spaniard, no he was an Italian born In Genoa. Finally, what the disgraced Father Maciel has to do with Pope John Paul’s view on Medjugorje is immaterial to this thread. Father Maciel was an evil deceiver who fooled many, so we can’t condemn all those who might have liked the Father Maciel they thought they knew.

  25. Dismas says:


    Please understand, my reference to Father Maciel was not a condemnation of anyone. The purpose of the reference was to highlight how easily we can be deceived and the illogic of using an uncomfirmed JPII quote as evidence of authenticity, an idea I stole from Patrick Madrid:

  26. Dave Hartline says:

    No problem Dismas. God Bless, take care and have a nice weekend!

  27. gb says:

    You’re right in saying that Medj supporters should include “for your discernment”. That would help diffuse things. It would also help diffuse the inflated rhetoric if Medj opposers would also not pull out the “Cult Card” every time the topic comes up. Can we agree?

  28. Great article.
    You may want to research the first apparition of the Blessed Mother in the last millenium.Our Lady appeared the last saturday of April 1001.
    The structure of the present church was approved by St. Pio and Pope John Paul II visited there both before and after his election.
    The shrine is outside of Foggia in so. Italy and is the site of many pilgrimages.
    Your article is very eye-opening and very necessary in our “morality deprived” depraved society.

  29. Dave Hartline says:

    Joseph Forina, sounds like something I will have to research. GB, I certainly agree with your post!

  30. Sean says:

    Dismas, to me and to many other people, Medjugorje is a shrine. Please note that I didn’t capitalize the word shrine. You capitalized it, out of context, and then claimed I was being misleading (or misinformed). Please look up the definition of the word ‘shrine’ and I think you might reconsider your harsh words towards me.

    Please understand that Medjugorje changed my life incredibly, and I’ve seen it change the lives of so many others, so I am passionate about it. I wish everyone could go there to see for themselves.

    Those links you presented from Unity Pub. are not even journalism. They are tabloidism. They’ve been proven wrong many times. Would you like to be judged by the same measure as the people who penned those articles (ie, Unity Publishing)? The one about Caritas is about a group that claims to be related to Medjugorje, but please note that they have no official connection to the parish and should be judged on their own.

    As for documents about what John Paul II said about Medjugorje, please see the book “Medjugorje and the Church” by Denis Nolan, which contains photocopies of actual signed letters written by John Paul to some Polish friends, in which he expresses his belief in Medjugorje. Those letters are available for anyone to see. The book also contains letters from Mother Teresa which indicate her belief in Medjugorje, as well as quotes from numerous priests, bishops, cardinals and clergy — all stating their belief in Medjugorje. If nothing else, it’s an interesting read.

    I will end with this: don’t be so quick to condemn Medjugorje without knowing enough first-hand about it. Be a first-hand witness if you choose to talk about it. Only then will you know.

    God bless you all. Oh yes, this post is for your discernment.

  31. Dismas says:


    I appreciate you considering the evidence I presented and bringing the conversation back into the realm of the rational. I ask for your prayers.

    I have no doubt that Medjugorje has changed your life incredibly and many others as well, that is not the issue of most importance here.

    The fact of the matter, regarding Medjugorje, is the Catholic Church by the local Bishop of Mostar has declared it Non constat de supernaturalitate. The Commission prepared a draft “Declaration” in which were listed the “unacceptable assertions” and “bizarre declarations”, attributed to the curious phenomenon. The Commission also stated that further investigations were not necessary nor the delaying of the official judgement of the Church. The bishop duly informed the Bishops’ Conference and the Holy See, and he then informed the public during his homily in Medjugorje in 1987.[19]

    For the sake of converstion lets throw out the Unity Publishing evidence as well as the Caritas Articles. Let’s soley focus on the Official Bishop of Mostar documents which I notice you conveniently avoid?

    Based on these findings and statements of a Bishop in good standing in the Catholic Church and faithful to the Magisterium, anyone in opposition to his statements and teaching is in grave spiritual danger. Anyone enticing or tempting anyone else to disobedience to the Bishop of Mostar’s statements not only puts themselves in grave spiritual danger but is now responsible for the demise of others as well.

    Pax et Bonum

  32. Dismas says:


    I neglected to respond to your Shrine argument. A Shrine defined within the confines of the Catholic Church is:

    In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon law, canons 1230 and 1231 read: “The term shrine means a church or other sacred place which, with the approval of the local Ordinary, is by reason of special devotion frequented by the faithful as pilgrims. For a shrine to be described as national, the approval of the Episcopal Conference is necessary. For it to be described as international, the approval of the Holy See is required.”[11]

    I have to point out to you that neither the local Ordinary or an Episopal Conference has raised any church in Medjugorje to the status of Shrine.

    I apologize that you found my words harsh, however they are truth. Once again I have to point out the grave spiritual dangers of pride, ego and disobediance that allows anyone to put themselves outside or above the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the safe Barque of Peter.

  33. Sean says:

    Again, you capitalize the word shrine, thus taking my comment out of context.

    Still, I’m confident that I’m on the right side of things here. This may be of interest to you:

    Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb, a member of the Bishop’s conference that studied Medjugorje, said: “After three years of studies by the Commission, we, the bishops, have accepted Medjugorje as a Shrine, as a sanctuary. This means that we have nothing against the veneration of the Mother of God in accordance with the teaching of the Church and our faith… This is why we leave this question to further studies of the Church. The Church is not in haste.”

    So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?

    Here’s more on that:

    You accuse me of pride and ego, and yet in the preceding sentence you classify your words as “truth.” Maybe you should write a letter to the cardinal who called Medjugorje a Shrine and give him the “truth.”

  34. Dismas says:

    Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. I advise you give this article further discernment and reflection. In response to your question: ‘So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?’ If not solely for the sake of prudence and caution, then because both local Bishops of Mostar; Bishop Zanic and his successor Bishop Peric are not in agreement with the Conference of Yugoslavia and have the support of the Holy See. Please see the excerpt from your article refuting the findings of the Conference of Yugoslavia:

    Nevertheless, Mgr Pavao Žanic, Bishop of Mostar, interprets the Declaration of Zadar as a negation of the supernaturality of the events of Medjugorje, and as a document forbidding pilgrimages. The Ordinary of Mostar continues to uphold this position: “The Ordinary has on several occasions warned that the supernatural character of the apparitions cannot be spoken about nor announced publicly in churches, as it was not possible to state that Our Lady is appearing. This is why official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are not allowed”, writes Mgr Ratko Peric, successor of Mgr Pavao Žanic. (See Prijestolje Mudrosti, Mostar 1995, p. 282) And he continues: “Neither the diocesan bishop, as head of the local diocese and Church of Mostar-Duvno, nor any other competent person, have until now declared the parish Church St James of Medjugorje as a Marian shrine, nor confirmed the “cult” of Our Lady based on the supposed apparitions. On the contrary, because of its contestability, he has on many occasions prohibited to speak on the altar or in the church about supernatural “apparitions and revelations”, and to organize official pilgrimages in the name of parishes, dioceses, and generally in the name of the Church. These and similar warnings were published also by our former Bishops´ Conference and by the Holy See itself. Anyone acting in an opposite manner, is acting expressly against the official position of the Church, which, after 14 years of supposed apparitions and developed commercial propaganda, are still valid in the Church”. (Ibid, p. 285-286)

  35. Sean says:

    I urge you, go see for yourself, and in the meantime, don’t squelch the fruits that continue to flow from Medjugorje.

    This will probably be my last post here because I’m off to La Salette and Medjugorje. All the best and God bless. Please pray that I have a safe journey, and I will in turn pray for everyone here. God bless.

  36. […] Yet, the Catholic Church keeps reaching out her hand, this time further East to the Orthodox Church. For some 1,300 years the faithful have been under attack by radical Islam. Many have left for the west, but the Holy Father still reaches out for the faithful in the Middle East and North Africa to come to Rome, all the while the Blessed Mother reaches out to the Islamic world, much of whose ancestors were at one time Catholic. (If these last few sentences interest you please read this article.) […]

  37. […] The apparitions at Fatima and Zeitoun have been approved as worthy of belief by the Catholic Church. Some Protestant readers may object since the Blessed Mother has little role in their particular church. Sadly this may be the case, but she has had large role in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches which date back to their founding by Jesus Christ. Mary was referred to in the Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15) and in the Book of Revelation (Chapter 12 the Woman Clothed With the Sun.) In addition, for many Catholic theologians the reason Jesus never called Mary, “mother” was due to the fact that she is the Blessed Mother of the entire world. (If this paragraph interests than please read. At Marian Apparition Sites, Great Trials and Tribulations, Follow The Appearance of the Blessed Moth… ) […]

  38. […] I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention the various Marian apparitions that many feel demonstrates the Blessed Mother’s continuing outreach to the Muslim world. Fatima in Portugal is the only town in Portugal with an Islamic name, and yet this is where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917. Zeitoun in Egypt not only saw many Christians healed of various ailments, but it also saw many Muslims cured as well. Even famed leaders like Gamal Adbul Nasser came to see and believe in the 1968 apparition. One must remember that Christ never called Mary, “mother, “because she is the world’s mother. Perhaps through these apparitions she is reminding the Muslim world that before the Middle East and North Africa was Muslim, it was Christian. (For more on this please read, Trials and Tribulations Follow Marian Apparitions.) […]

  39. […] I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention the various Marian apparitions that many feel demonstrates the Blessed Mother’s continuing outreach to the Muslim world. Fatima in Portugal is the only town in Portugal with an Islamic name, and yet this is where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917. Zeitoun in Egypt not only saw many Christians healed of various ailments, but it also saw many Muslims cured as well. Even famed leaders like Gamal Adbul Nasser came to see and believe in the 1968 apparition. One must remember that Christ never called Mary, “mother, “because she is the world’s mother. Perhaps through these apparitions she is reminding the Muslim world that before the Middle East and North Africa was Muslim, it was Christian. (For more on this please read, Trials and Tribulations Follow Marian Apparitions.) […]

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