The Church takes Marian (and other) apparitions quite seriously, and only after great care and study deems a particular apparition as "worthy of belief." There are only a few apparitions of Mary that have been given this status. No Catholic is "bound" to believe in these Marian apparitions, but he is quite safe in doing so and most assuredly should believe, accepting those approved apparitions with the faith of a child.
Until claims of "Mary sightings" have been studied and approved by the Church, they should be approached only with great caution; the Evil One is the father of lies and can use the apparently miraculous to deceive. Read on to find out more about some of the approved apparitions: Mary's appearing to Juan Diego in Mexico, to St. Catherine Labouré in Paris, to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, and to the 3 shepherd children at Fatima.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Good Success
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Our Lady of La Salette
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Knock
Our Lady of Fatima
Statement on Medjugorie
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Date: December 9-12, 1531
Place: Tepeyac, Mexico
Visionary: Juan Diego
In 1531, a poor, 57-year old widowed Indian named Juan Diego, né Cuauhtlatoatzin, meaning "Eagle That Talks," saw a vision of Our Lady, clothed with the sun. She told him that she was the Mother of the True God and asked him to have the Bishop build a church at the site she appeared. The Bishop did not believe Juan Diego, but the latter kept going back to the Bishop in total persistence. The Bishop asked for proof that what he was saying was true. The Virgin appeared to Juan again and told him to return the next day (12 December) for the proof the Bishop wanted.
Now, Juan's Uncle, Bernardino, was seriously ill at that time, so Juan went off to find a priest for him instead of going to where Our Lady had appeared. She appeared to him anyway (also simultaneously appearing to Juan's Uncle and curing him through the power of God) and told him to go to the top of a hill. When he did, he found Castilian roses blooming in the winter frost. These he gathered up into his tilma (cloak) and went to see the Bishop. There, he opened his tilma, revealing the flowers -- and an image of the Virgin "imprinted" (not painted; noone can explain the original image aside from reference to the miraculous) on the cloak itself, the popular image we know today and as seen at left in the picture. That tilma, made of a peasant-quality cloth, should have fallen apart around 20 years after the apparition if it is made like the typical tilma of the time, but it and the miraculous image it bears remain today -- perfectly intact, with no signs of decay (if it is made of hemp, it would last longer).
Mary's title with regard to this apparition comes from her having used the Aztec Nahuatl word, coatlaxopeuh, which means "Who Crushes the Serpent." The word when pronounced sounds much like "Guadalupe," a village in Spain.
Because of her appearing to Juan Diego and the existence of the miraculous tilma, millions of Indians converted to Christianity from the barbaric Aztec religion that involved human sacrifice; Mexico became a Christian nation.
PRAYERS IN HONOR OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
V. Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
R. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. LET US PRAY. O God, Who dost instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost, grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, that in thy celestial apparitions on the mount of Tepeyac, thou didst promise to show thy compassion and pity towards all who, loving and trusting thee, seek thy help and call upon thee in their necessities and afflictions. Thou didst promise to hearken to our supplications, to dry our tears and to give us consolation and relief. Never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, either for the common welfare, or in personal anxieties, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Mary, ever Virgin Mother of the True God! Though grieving under the weight of our sins, we come to prostrate ourselves in thy august presence, certain that thou wilt deign to fulfill thy merciful promises. We are full of hope that, standing beneath thy shadow and protection, nothing will trouble or afflict us, nor need we fear illness, or misfortune, or any other sorrow. Thou hast desired to remain with us through thy admirable image, thou who art our Mother, our health and our life. Placing ourselves beneath thy maternal gaze and having recourse to thee in all our necessities we need do nothing more. O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen. (Here mention your petition.) 200 days indulgence, Edwin V. Byrne, Archbp. of Santa Fe
Five Hail Marys...in gratitude for the four apparitions to Juan Diego and the one to Juan Bernadino.
Prayer of Pope Pius XII
Hail, O Virgin of Guadalupe, empress of America! Keep forever under thy powerful patronage the purity and integrity of our holy faith on the entire American continent.
(It is suggested that three Hail Marys be recited for North, Central and South America. )
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us, keep us under thy mantle and be our salvation.
Let us pray
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession for Holy Church, (protect the Sovereign Pontiff), help all those who invoke thee in their necessities, and since thou art the ever Virgin Mary, and Mother of the True God, obtain for us from thy most holy Son, the grace of keeping our faith, of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, of burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverence. Amen. (500 days as often as recited.)
One Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father...in gratitude for the Miraculous Portrait as a continuing miracle and testimony.
FROM THE ROMAN MISSAL
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Hail, holy Mother, who in childbirth didst bring forth the King Who ruleth Heaven and earth world without end. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 44: 2. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my words to the King. V. Glory.
O GOD, Who hast willed that, under the special patronage of the blessed Virgin Mary, we be laden with perpetual favors, grant to Thy suppliants that, as we this day rejoice in her commemoration on earth, we may enjoy the vision of her in Heaven. Through our Lord.
Epistle, As the vine, from the Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16:
Epistle. Wisdom 24: 23-31
As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor, and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits; for my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that harkeneth to me shall not be confounded, and they that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
Gradual. Cant. 6: 9
Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun? Ecclus. 50: 8. As the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds, and as the flower of roses in the days of spring.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Cant. 2: 12. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come. Alleluia.
Gospel, Mary rising up, from Visitation of our Blessed Lady.
Gospel. Luke 1: 39-47
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
AT THAT time, Mary rising up, went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she cried out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary said, My soul my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Offertory. 2 Par. 7: 16
I have chosen, and have sanctified this place, that My name may be there, and My eyes and My heart may remain there forevermore.
THROUGH thine indulgent mercy, O Lord, and through the prayers of blessed Mary ever a virgin, may this oblation avail to the ensuring to us of prosperity and peace, now and forevermore. Through our Lord.
Communion. Ps. 147: 20
He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and His judgments He hath not made manifest to them.
Postcommunion from the Mass Salve Sancte Parens.
HAVING received the aids of our everlasting salvation, O Lord, we beseech Thee, grant us to be everywhere protected by the patronage of blessed Mary, ever a virgin, in veneration of whom we have made these offerings to Thy majesty. Through our Lord.
Our Lady of Good Success
Date: very early 17th c., first approved 1611
Place: Quito, Ecuador
Visionary: Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres
Full Documents, Details, and Events of the Apparition
ESSENTIAL FOR OUR TIMES!
The story of Our Lady of Good Success is a most fascinating one -- and incredibly important and timely, as many of the prophecies of our Lady and our Lord given to Mariana pertain explicitly to the 20th c. and thereafter.
Mother Mariana was a Spanish Conceptionist nun, blessed with the charismata of discernment and prophecy, who ran a convent in Quito, Ecuador. First, Our Lady told her to make a life-sized statue of her holding the Infant Jesus under the title "Our Lady of Good Success." The statue was begun by a local sculptor, but was miraculously completed in 1611 by the Archangels.
Our Lady told her that at the end of the 19th Century and especially in the 20th Century, Satan would reign almost completely by the means of the Masonic sect. She told Mother Mariana that this battle would reach its most acute stage because of various unfaithful religious, who, "under the appearance of virtue and bad-spirited zeal, would turn upon Religion, who nourished them at her breast."
"During this time, insomuch as this poor country will lack the Christian spirit, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction will be little esteemed. Many people will die without receiving it - either because of the negligence of their families or their false sentimentality that tries to protect the sick from seeing the gravity of their situations, or because they will rebel against the spirit of the Catholic Church, impelled by the malice of the devil. Thus many souls will be deprived of innumerable graces, consolations and the strength they need to make that great leap from time to eternity..."
"As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word. Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of Faith until if reaches the point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. The effects of secular education will increase, which will be one reason for the lack of priestly and religious vocations..."
"The Sacred Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised. ...The demon will try to persecute the Ministers of the Lord in every possible way and he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation, corrupting many of them. These corrupted priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will incite the hatred of the bad Christians and the enemies of the Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church to fall upon all priests. This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church...."
"Moreover, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those who should speak will fall silent."
"But know, beloved daughter, that when your name is made known in the 20th century, there will be many who will not believe, claiming that this devotion is not pleasing to God...A simple humble faith in the truth of My apparitions to you, My predilect child, will be reserved for humble and fervent souls docile to the inspirations of grace, for Our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not, or self-satisfied with empty knowledge..."
Our Lady said, "...the secular Clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to obtain. How the Church will suffer during this dark night! Lacking a Prelate and Father to guide them with paternal love, gentleness, strength, wisdom and prudence, many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger. This will mark the arrival of My hour."
"Therefore, clamor insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the privacy of your heart, imploring our Celestial Father that, for love of the Eucharistic Heart of my Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity and the profound bitterness and sufferings of His cruel Passion and Death, He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those Ominous times, sending to this Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of its priests."
She predicted a truly Catholic president of Ecuador who would dedicate that country to the Sacred Heart and who would be assassinated by Masons (this happened during the presidency of Gabriel Garcia Moreno, 1821-1875).
She predicted that the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility would be strictly defined and declared dogma (these happened in 1854 and 1870, respectively).
She predicted that a Pope would be a prisoner in the Vatican and that there would come to pass "the unjust usurpation of the Pontifical States through the iniquity, envy and avarice of an earthly monarch" (these things happened in the 19th c. during the pontificate of Blessed Pope Pius IX).
Another prediction yet to come concerns the statue shown above left. The Infant Jesus part of the statue isn't original: a Conceptionist sister hid the original statue during a revolution and died before revealing where she'd secreted it. Our Lady told Mother Mariana that the original statue would be found after the restoration of the Church had begun.
Mother Mariana predicted the day and exact hour of her death (she died at 3:00 P.M. on January 16, 1635). After death, her body remained flexible and lovely. A blind girl was cured at Mother's wake when a flower that encircled Mother's head was touched to her eyes.
In 1906, Mother Mariana's casket was opened and her body was found to be incorrupt, exuding the fragrance of lilies. One may view it by visiting the convent in Quito.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Place: Convent on Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Visionary: Sister St. Catherine Labouré
Saint Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal
Incorrupt body of St. Catherine Labouré
Mother and Child
The sound of the evening Angelus bells floated across the fields and vineyards of Burgundy. It was the second day of the month of May in the year of Our Lord 1806. In the little village of Fain-les-Moutiers a child of destiny was coming into the world, a tiny instrument of God, who would one day be the confidante of the Queen of Heaven to usher in the age of Mary. Her name was Catherine Labouré, the ninth child of a family of eleven.
The following day, the Feast of the Finding of the True Cross, the small child was baptized. All her life she was to have a deep devotion to the Cross of Our Lord. It would not be long before she was to feel the weight of sacrifice with the death of her mother at the age of nine.
Early one morning shortly after her mother's death, a family servant came silently upon the little one standing on her tiptoes, stretching upwards, impelled by love, until she reached the statue of the Blessed Virgin. As she held the statue in her arms and leaned her head against the Madonna, the servant heard the child say: "Now, dear Blessed Mother, now you will be my Mother!"
Catherine received her First Holy Communion at the age of eleven on January 25th, 1818. From that day on, she rose at four o'clock each morning and walked several miles to assist at Mass and to pray for grace and strength before the start of her day's work. Her only desire now was to give herself without reserve to her dear Lord. Never was the thought of Him far from her mind.
By this time Catherine's elder sister, Marie Louise, had left to join the Sisters of Charity, and the little girl who had always been obedient now had to direct and supervise the homestead. She looked after everything: she made the bread, cooked and did the housework, carried daily meals to the workmen in the fields and cared well for the animals.
A Sister of Charity
Once, when she was in the village church, she saw a vision of an old priest saying Mass. After Mass the priest turned and beckoned to her with his finger, but she drew backwards, keeping her eyes on him. The vision moved to a sickroom where she saw the same priest, who said: "My child, it is a good deed to look after the sick; you run away from me now, but one day you will be glad to come to me. God had designs for you. Do not forget it!" At that time, of course, she did not understand the significance of the vision.
As is the European custom, Catherine's father invited various suitors to seek her hand in marriage and always her reply was: "I shall never marry; I have promised my life to Jesus Christ." She prayed, worked, and served the family well until she was twenty-two, when she asked her father's permission to become a Daughter of Charity. He flatly refused, and to distract her, sent her to Paris to work in a coffee shop run by her brother Charles. During the entire year spent there, she maintained her resolve to become the bride of Christ.
Her aunt, Jeanne Gontard, came to Catherine's aid and enrolled her in the finishing school she directed at Chatillon. Since Catherine was a country girl, she was miserable at this fashionable school. One day, while visiting the hospital of the Daughters of Charity, she noted a priest's picture on the wall. She asked the nun who he might be, and was told: "Our Holy Founder, Saint Vincent de Paul." This was the same priest Catherine had seen in the vision. Later, after much persuasion from her Aunt Jeanne, her father granted permission for Catherine to enter the convent.
In January of 1830 Catherine entered the hospice of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine. This was just after the Reign of Terror in France, where sacrileges were committed in the name of freedom. Licentious women danced on the main altar of Notre Dame. Even the body of St. Genevieve, the Patroness of France, was desecrated. Saint Vincent de Paul's body had been hidden, but four days after Catherine's entry into the Mother House, his remains were transferred back to his own church with joyous processions and ceremonies.
Shortly after her entrance, God was pleased to grant Catherine several extraordinary visions. On three consecutive days she beheld the heart of Saint Vincent each time under a different aspect. At other times she beheld Our Divine Lord during Mass, when He would appear as He was described in the liturgy of the day.
In 1830 Catherine was blessed with the apparitions of Mary Immaculate to which we owe the Miraculous Medal. The first apparition came on the eve of the feast of St. Vincent, July 19. The mother superior had given each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy founder's surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book. She earnestly prayed to St. Vincent that she might, with her own eyes, see the Mother of God.
That night, a beautiful child awoke her from her sleep, saying: "Sister Labouré, come to the chapel; the Blessed Virgin is waiting for you." When Catherine went to the chapel, she found it ablaze with lights as if prepared for Midnight Mass. Quietly, she knelt at the Communion rail, and suddenly heard the rustle of a silk dress. The Blessed Virgin, in a blaze of glory, sat in a chair like that of Saint Anne's.
Catherine rose, then went over and knelt, resting her hands in the Virgin's lap, and felt the Virgin's arms around her, as she said: "God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world."
A pained expression crossed the Virgin's face. "Come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed on all, great and little, especially upon those who seek them. Another community of sisters will join the Rue du Bac community. The community will become large; you will have the protection of God and Saint Vincent; I will always have my eyes upon you." (This prediction was fulfilled when, in 1849, Fr. Etienne received Saint Elizabeth Seton's sisters of Emmitsburg, MD, into the Paris community. Mother Seton's sisters became the foundation stone of the Sisters of Charity in the United States.)
Then, like a fading shadow, Our Lady was gone.
The Second Apparition
Four months passed until Our Lady returned to Rue du Bac. Here are Catherine's own words describing the apparition:
"On the 27th of November, 1830 ... while making my meditation in profound silence ... I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress. Glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph's picture. Her height was medium and Her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the color of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with Her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and Her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.
"As I was busy contemplating Her, the Blessed Virgin fixed Her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ' This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular.'
"There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ' O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.' Then a voice said to me: ' Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.'
"At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter 'M', surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ' The 'M' with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.' "
"All who wear this medal will receive great graces . . ."
The Miraculous Medal
The Mother of God instructed Catherine that she was to go to her spiritual director, Father Aladel, about the apparitions. At first he did not believe Catherine, but, after two years, approached the Bishop of Paris with the story of the events that had taken place at Rue du Bac. Our Blessed Mother had chosen well Her time for the apparitions as the Bishop at that period was an ardent devotee of the Immaculate Conception. He said that the Medal was in complete conformity with the Church's doctrine on the role of Our Lady and had no objections to having the medals struck at once. The Bishop even asked to be sent some of the first.
Immediately upon receiving them, he put one in his pocket and went to visit Monseigneur de Pradt, former chaplain to Napoleon and unlawful Archbishop of Mechlin who had accepted his office from the hands of the Emperor and now lay dying, defiant and unreconciled to the Church. The sick man refused to abjure his errors and the Bishop of Paris withdrew in defeat. He had not left the house when the dying man suddenly called him back, made his peace with the Church and gently passed away in the arms of the Archbishop, who was filled with a holy joy.
The original order of 20,000 medals proved to be but a small start. The new medals began to pour from the presses in streams inundating France and the rest of the world beyond. By the time of St. Catherine's death in 1876, over a billion medals had been distributed in many lands. This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady's intercession for those who wore it.
In 1841, the most remarkable miracle occured - the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a wealthy Jewish banker and lawyer and also a blasphemer and hater of Catholicism. M. de Bussieres, gave him a medal, daring him to wear it and say a Memorare. After considerable persuasion he agreed to do so. Not long after, Alphonse accompanied M. de Bussieres to the Church of Sant'Andrea delle Frate to make funeral arrangements for a dear friend. There Alphonse saw a vision of Mary as on the Miraculous Medal. He was converted instantly and immediately begged for Baptism.
Alphonse Ratisbonne later went on to become a priest, taking the name of Father Alphonse Marie. Working for thirty years in the Holy Land, he established several institutions. Out of reverence and gratitude to Our Savior, he built the expiatory sanctuary of the Ecce Homo on the spot where Pilate displayed Jesus to the Jews. So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty eight members of their own family.
On the last day of 1876, St. Catherine passed to her eternal reward. For the forty-six years from the year of the apparitions until her death, only she and her confessor knew who it was to whom the famous Miraculous Medal was revealed, despite many pressures she received to reveal the secret. The years passed by, Catherine performed daily her mundane and very ordinary tasks of sewing and door keeping, unknown to the world around her, which was buzzing with the miraculous effects of the medal. Because of this humility, she is often called the Saint of Silence. When her body was exhumed for beatification 57 years after her death in 1933, it was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Her incorrupt body can still be seen today at the Mother House of the Sisters of Charity, 140 Rue du Bac in Paris.
Text courtesy of olrl.org
Our Lady of La Salette
Date: 19 September 1846
Place: La Salette, France
Visionary: Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud
"Fight, children of light, you little number who see clearly,
for behold the time of times, the end of ends"
"Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist."
A warning from Our Lady of La Salette which was fulfilled by the
Apostasy of the Vatican II Church and its fruits
Full and Detailed listing of Events regarding La Salette
Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud were to children from Corps, France, near the town of Grenoble in the southeastern part of France. When Melanie was 14, and Maximin was 11, they were watching cattle in a pasture when they saw a globe of light that "opened" to reveal a most beautiful woman, clad in long dress and apron, with a shawl that crossed in front and tied in back. Around her neck was a Crucifix that depicted the instruments of the Passion, and on her head were a cap and roses. She sat on a rock with her face in her hands weeping.
The Lady said that unless the people repented of working on Sundays and of blasphemy, she'd be forced to let go her Son's arm because it had grown so heavy. She said that crop blights and famine would follow if her wishes weren't heeded. She then told each of the children a secret.
Maximin's secret as written down by him at the Bishop's palace on 3 July 1851, and delivered to Pope Pius IX:
On September 19, 1846, we saw a beautiful Lady. We never said that this lady was the Blessed Virgin but we always said that it was a beautiful Lady.
I do not know if it is the Blessed Virgin or another person. As for me, I believe today that it is the Blessed Virgin. Here is what this Lady said to me:
"If my people continue, what I will say to you will arrive earlier, if it changes a little, it will be a little later.
France has corrupted the universe, one day it will be punished. The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it. Then, after [that], nations will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country, now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the support of this country all the other nations of the world will be converted.
Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere. Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand."
(She told me to say it some time before.)
My Most Holy Father, your holy blessing to one of your sheep.
Grenoble, July 3,1851.
Melanie's secret as written by her on 6 July 1851 in Corenc, at the Sisters of Providence, and delivered to Pope Pius IX:
secret which the Blessed Virgin gave me on the Mountain of La Salette on September 19, 1846
Mélanie, I will say something to you which you will not say to anybody:
The time of the God's wrath has arrived!
If, when you say to the people what I have said to you so far, and what I will still ask you to say, if, after that, they do not convert, (if they do not do penance, and they do not cease working on Sunday, and if they continue to blaspheme the Holy Name of God), in a word, if the face of the earth does not change, God will be avenged against the people ungrateful and slave of the demon.
My Son will make his power manifest! Paris, this city soiled by all kinds of crimes, will perish infallibly. Marseilles will be destroyed in a little time. When these things arrive, the disorder will be complete on the earth, the world will be given up to its impious passions.
The pope will be persecuted from all sides, they will shoot at him, they will want to put him to death, but no one will not be able to do it, the Vicar of God will triumph again this time.
The priests and the Sisters, and the true servants of my Son will be persecuted, and several will die for the faith of Jesus-Christ.
A famine will reign at the same time.
After all these will have arrived, many will recognize the hand of God on them, they will convert, and do penance for their sins.
A great king will go up on the throne, and will reign a few years. Religion will re-flourish and spread all over the world, and there will be a great abundance, the world, glad not to be lacking nothing, will fall again in its disorders, will give up God, and will be prone to its criminal passions.
[Among] God's ministers, and the Spouses of Jesus-Christ, there will be some who will go astray, and that will be the most terrible.
Lastly, hell will reign on earth. It will be then that the Antichrist will be born of a Sister, but woe to her! Many will believe in him, because he will claim to have come from heaven, woe to those who will believe in him!
That time is not far away, twice 50 years will not go by.
My child, you will not say what I have just said to you. (You will not say it to anybody, you will not say if you must say it one day, you will not say what that it concerns), finally you will say nothing anymore until I tell you to say it!
I pray to Our Holy Father the Pope to give me his holy blessing.
Mélanie Mathieu, Shepherdess of La Salette, Grenoble, July 6, 1851.
After this, the story gets confused and controversial, just as did the secrets told at Fatima (see below). Some years later, Melanie wrote a much longer version in which she said that part of what Our Lady told her was that Rome was to become the seat of the antichrist. This is how the secret was published in 1879, with an Imprimatur from the Bishop of Lecce, Italy:
The Message of Our lady of La Salette:
"Mélanie, what I am going to tell you now will not always be a secret; you can publish it in 1858.
"Priests, my Son's ministers, priests, by their evil life, by their irreverences and their impiety in celebrating the holy mysteries, love of money, love of honor and pleasures, priests have become sewers of impurity. Yes, priests call forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended over their heads. Woe to priests, and to persons consecrated to God, who by their infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my son anew! The sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no longer is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there are no more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering the spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.
"God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has darkened their minds; they have become those wandering stars which the ancient devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will permit the ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all societies and in all families; both physical and moral punishments will be suffered. God will abandon men to themselves and will send chastisements one after the other for over 35 years.
"Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink the chalice of God's wrath.
"Let not my Son's Vicar, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX leave Rome after the year 1859; but let him be steadfast and generous, let him do battle with the weapons of faith and love; I shall be with him.
"Let him beware of Napoleon; his heart is double, and when he will want to be both Pope and emperor at the same time, God will soon withdraw from him; he is that eagle who, desiring always to rise, will fall on the sword he wanted to use to force the peoples to exalt him.
"Italy will be punished for its ambition in wanting to shake of the yoke of the Lord of lords; thus she will be handed over to war; blood will flow on all sides; Churches will be closed or desecrated; priests, religious will be driven out; they will be put to death, and to a cruel death. Many will abandon the faith, and the number of priests and religious who will separate themselves from the true religion will be great; even Bishops will be found among these persons.
"Let the Pope beware of miracle workers, for the time has come for the most astonishing wonders to take place on the earth and in the air.
"In the year 1864 Lucifer, together with a great number of devils, will be loosed from hell; little by little they will abolish the faith, and that even in persons consecrated to God; they will so blind them, that without a special grace, these persons will take on the spirit of these evil angels; a number of religious houses will lose the faith entirely and cause many souls to be damned.
"Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God's service: they will have very great power over nature; there will be churches to serve these spirits. People will be transported form one place to another by these evil spirits, and even priests, because they will not have lived by the good spirit of the gospel, which is a spirit of humility, charity and zeal for the glory of God. The dead and the just will be made to rise."
[Mélanie interpolated here: "That is to say, these dead will assume the prospect of righteous souls who once lived on earth, in order to seduce men more easily; these so-called resurrected dead, who will be nothing other than the devil under these faces, will preach another Gospel contrary to that of the true Christ Jesus, denying the existence of heaven, if these be not in fact the souls of the damned. All these souls will appear joined to their bodies."]
"There will be extraordinary wonders every place because the true faith has been extinguished and false light illumines the world. Woe to the princes of the church who will be occupied only with piling up riches upon riches, with guarding their authority and lording with pride!
"My Son's Vicar will have much to suffer, because for a time the Church will be handed over to great persecutions: it will be the time of darkness; the Church will undergo a frightful crisis.
"With God's holy faith forgotten, each individual will want to direct himself and rise above his peers. Civil and ecclesiastical authority will be abolished , all order and justice will be trampled underfoot. Only murders, hatred, jealousy, lying and discord will be seen, with no love of country or family.
"The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I shall be with him till the end to receive his sacrifice.
"The wicked will make a number of attempts on his life without being able to harm him; but neither he nor his successor will see the triumph of God's Church.
"Civil governments will all have the same objective, which will be to abolish and make every religious principle disappear, to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritism and vices of all kinds.
"In the year 1865, the abomination will be seen in the holy places; in the convents the flowers of the Church will putrefy, and the devil will establish himself as king of all hearts. Let those who are at the head of religious communities be on their guard concerning the persons they are to receive, because the devil will use all his malice to introduce into religious orders persons given to sin, for disorders and love of carnal pleasures will be widespread over the whole earth.
"France, Italy, Spain and England will be at war, blood will flow in the streets; Frenchmen will fight Frenchmen, Italian with Italian; then there will be a general war which will be appalling. For some time God will no longer remember France or Italy, because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is no longer known. The wicked will unleash all their malice; even in homes there will be killing and mutual massacres.
"With the first lightning blow of His sword, the mountains and all nature will tremble with dread, because the disorders and crimes of men are piercing the vault of the heavens. Paris will be burned and Marseilles swallowed up; a number of large cities will be shattered and swallowed by earthquakes; all will seem lost; only murders will be seen, the clash of arms and blasphemies heard. The righteous will suffer greatly; their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise to heaven and all God's people will ask pardon and mercy and will ask my help and intercession. Then Jesus Christ, by an act of His justice and His great mercy toward the righteous, will command His angels to put all His enemies to death. At one blow the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all men given to sin will perish, and the earth will become like a desert.
"Then there will be peace, the reconciliation of God with men; Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of Holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitative of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will make great strides in the faith, because there will be unity among Jesus Christ's workers and men will live in the fear of God.
"This peace among men will not last long: 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth.
"A precursor of the Antichrist, with his troops drawn from many nations, will wage war against the true Christ, sole Savior of the world; he will shed much blood and will seek to annihilate the cult of God so as to be regarded as a god.
"The earth will be struck with plagues of all kinds;" [Mélanie added here: "Besides pestilence and famine, which will be widespread"] "there will be wars up to the last war, which will then be waged by the ten kings of the Antichrist, kings who will all have a common design and will be the sole rulers of the world. Before this happens, there will be a sort of false peace in the world; people will think only of amusing themselves; the wicked will indulge in all kinds of sin; but the children of Holy Church, children of the true faith, my true imitators, will grow in the love of God and in the virtues dearest to me. Happy the humble souls lead by the Holy Ghost! I shall battle along with them until they reach the fullness of maturity.
"Nature begs vengeance on account of men, and she shudders with dread, awaiting what must happen to the crime-stained earth.
"Tremble, earth, and you who profess to serve Jesus Christ, while interiorly you adore yourselves, tremble; for God will hand you over to His enemy, because the holy places are in a state of corruption; many convents are no longer houses of God, but pastures for Asmodeus and his own.
"It will be at this time that the Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew nun, a false virgin who will be in communication with the ancient serpent, master of impurity; his father will be a bishop (Ev.). [We spell out the word "bishop" here. In the French text appear only the first two letters of évèque, the French word for bishop, but there is little doubt that this is the word they stand for, because in Mélanie's first draft of the message the whole word is spelled out.]
"At birth he will vomit blasphemies, he will have teeth; in a word, this will be the devil incarnate; he will utter terrifying cries, he will work wonders, he will live only on impurities. He will have brothers who, although not incarnate devils like himself, will be children of evil; at the age of twelve, they will be noted for the valiant victories they will win; soon they will each be at the head of armies, assisted by legions from hell.
"The seasons will be changed, the earth will produce only bad fruits, the heavenly bodies will lose the regularity of their movements, the moon will reflect only a feeble reddish light; water and fire will lend convulsive motions to the earth's sphere, causing mountains , cities, etc., to be swallowed up.
"Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.
"The demons of the air, together with the Antichrist, will work great wonders on the earth and in the air, and men will become ever more perverted. God will take care of His faithful servants and mend of good will; the Gospel will be preached everywhere, all peoples and all nations will have knowledge of the Truth.
"I address a pressing appeal to the earth: I call upon the true disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given themselves o me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom I bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit; finally, I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world and of themselves, in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence, in prayer and mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering, and unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge and come enlighten the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear children; I am with you and in you, provided your faith is the light enlightening you in these evil times. May your zeal make your famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see thereby; fir the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.
"The Church will be eclipsed, the world will be in consternation. But there are Enoch and Elias, they will preach with the power of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted; they will make great progress by virtue of the Holy Ghost and will condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist.
"Woe to the inhabitants of the earth. There will be bloody wars, and famines; plagues and contagious diseases; there will be frightful showers of animals; thunders which will demolish cities; earthquakes which will engulf countries; voices will be heard in the air; men will beat their heads against the walls; they will call on death, yet death will constitute their torment; blood will flow on all sides. Who could overcome, if God doesn't shorten the time of trial? At the blood, tears and prayers of the righteous, God will relent; Enoch and Elias will be put to death; pagan Rome will disappear; the fire of Heaven will fall and consume three cities; the whole universe will be struck with terror, and many will allow themselves to be seduced because they didn't adore the true Christ living in their midst. It is time; the sun is darkening; Faith alone will survive.
"The time is at hand; the abyss is opening. Here is the king of the kings of darkness. Here is the beast with its subjects, calling itself the savior of the world. In pride he will rise skyward to go up to Heaven; he will be stifled by the breath of St. Michael the Archangel. He will fall and the earth -which for three days will be in constant change- will open its fiery bosom; he will be plunged forever with all his followers into hell's eternal chasms. Then water and fire will purify the earth and consume all the works of men's pride, and everything will be renewed; God will be served and glorified."
Apparition of the Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette the 19th of September, 1846
Published by the Shepherdess of La Salette with Imprimatur by Mgr. Bishop of Lecce.
Full and Detailed listing of Events regarding La Salette
Invocations to Our Lady of La Salette- Click Here
Our Lady of Lourdes
Place: Lourdes, France
Visionary: Bernadette Soubirous
At age 14, the poverty-stricken, asthmatic Bernadette Soubirous saw a vision of a beautiful Lady in a grotto on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes, France. Though Bernadette was despised, disbelieved, and harrassed by local French authorities, crowds began to gather when news spread and when she wouldn't recant the story of her vision.
On 25 February, Bernadette was told to dig in in the earth, which she did to much mockery, but there, the healing waters of the now-famous Lourdes shrine were discovered where the Lady had appeared, and on 25 March, the Lady of the vision announced that she was the Immaculate Conception and that a church should be built at the site. Bernadette became a nun at Nevers, France and, suffering much from physical ailments, died young. Her body remains incorrupt at her convent to this day. St. Bernadette's story can be seen in the 1943 movie, "The Song of Bernadette," starring Jennifer Jones, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the Saint.
Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes
First Apparition - Thursday 11 February 1858
Second Apparition - Sunday 14 February 1858
Third Apparition - Thursday 18 February 1858
Fourth Apparition - Friday 19 February 1858
Fifth Apparition - Saturday 20 February 1858
Sixth Apparition - Sunday 21 February 1858
Seventh Apparition - Tuesday 23 February 1858
Eighth Apparition - Wednesday 24 February 1858
Ninth Apparition - Thursday 25 February 1858
Discovery of the Miraculous Spring
Tenth Apparition - Saturday 27 February 1858
Eleventh Apparition - Sunday 28 February 1858
Twelfth Apparition - Monday 1 March 1858
Thirteenth Apparition - Tuesday 2 March 1858
Fourteenth Apparition - Wednesday 3 March 1858
Fifteenth Apparition - Thursday 4 March 1858
Sixteenth Apparition - Thursday 25 March 1858
The Lady Reveals Her Name:
'I Am The Immaculate Conception'
(Que Soy Era Immaculada Conceptiou)
Seventeenth Apparition - Wednesday 7 April 1858
The Miracle of the Candle
Eighteenth Apparition - Friday 16 July 1858
The Final Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Grotto of Massabieille
Our Lady of Knock
Date: 21 August 1879
Place: Knock, Ireland
Visionaries: 15 people
Our Lady appeared in the rain outside Saint John the Baptist Church, Knock, County Mayo, Ireland with St. Joseph at her right, and with St. John the Evangelist at her left. They appeared in a blaze of light and all dressed in white. Mary wore also a golden crown with a golden rose at her brow, and St. John wore a mitre as a Bishop would. Mary stood praying with her eyes and hands raised toward Heaven. Behind them all was an altar with a Cross, lamb, and adoring angels.
The vision was first seen by a woman who'd gone to lock up the church and who ran into a friend. They saw what they thought at first were statues, but wondering at them and moving closer, they saw they were alive and were very much Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John! Others came, and altogether, the vision was witnessed by fifteen people of various ages and both sexes, and lasted two hours. The vision was followed by miraculous healings.
Our Lady of Fatima
Place: Fatima, Portugal
Visionaries: 3 children -- Lucia, Jacinta, Francisco
In the Spring of 1916, on the back edge of WWI, before the Russian Revolution and when the world was beginning to spin even more wildly out of control, an angel appeared to 3 shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal. The angel, who called himself the Angel of Portugal, appeared three times, taught the children various prayers and entreated them to penance and to offering sacrifices to the Lord.
After these 3 appearances, a lull of 8 months went by. Then, in 1917, when Lucia was 10, Francisco was 9, and Jacinta was 7, Our Lady appeared to the children, asking them to return to that site on the 13th day of each month for the next 6 months. (She would come 6 times to all the children, and also later to Lucia alone.)
During the first apparition (13 May), Our Lady answered questions from the children about their fates. She said that they would all go to Heaven (but Francisco would have a few Rosaries to say first). She told them that of two of their friends who'd died, one was in Heaven and another was in Purgatory. She then mentioned the war in Europe and told the children to pray the Rosary for peace.
During the second apparition, she told the children to pray what has become known as the "Fatima Prayer" during their Rosaries. When asked, she said that Francisco and Jacinta would be in Heaven soon, but that Lucia would stay to help bring people to Christ.
During the third apparition, three secrets were given to the children.
First, they were shown a vision of Hell.
Second, they were told of the "errors of Russia" and how they would spread throughout the world unless the world mended its ways. To that end, she called for penance and said that Russia should be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and the Bishops in union with him, and that the faithful should receive Communion of reparation in atonement for the sins of the world on the first Saturday of each month (the "First Saturdays" devotion). If these things aren't done, Russia's errors would spread, the Church will be persecuted, various nations will be annihilated, and the Holy Father will have much to suffer. She said, though, that in the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph.
Lucia, warned by her Bishop that the apparitions could be demonic, asked the Lady if she would tell them who she was and if she would perform a miracle to help prove to others that the visions were real. The Lady said she would.
During the 4th apparition, Our Lady gave the children instructions concerning the chapel which was to be built and reassured them of the miracle that would take place.
During the 5th apparition, she said that the promised miracle that all could see would take place during her next visit (on 13 October).
During the last apparition common to all the children, crowds gathered; around 70,000 people sloshed through the mud caused by the heavy rains that had fallen all night to see the promise fulfilled. Mary referred to herself as the "Lady of the Rosary," mentioned again the chapel that would be built, and said the war would end soon. Suddenly, the dark clouds that obscured the sky parted, revealing the sun as a softly lit disk of spinning silver or an opalescent pearl shade. Thousands and thousands saw the sun spin, dance, throw off many different rays of color -- red, yellow, purple, blue light coloring all they saw. Some swore they saw the sun crashing toward the earth. Even secular newspapers reported what happened with the sun and that one could witness the phenomenon without hurting one's eyes. People who'd gone to the site to mock the children and the faithful found themselves in tears, staring at the sky in amazement, converted to Christ. Then Our Lady disappeared, and St. Joseph, holding the child Jesus, appeared to the children, blessing the world by signing the Cross in the air. This apparition went away, and then Christ and Mary (as Our Lady of Sorrows) appeared, Christ blessing the world as his step-father had done. Then Our Lady appeared alone again, only to Lucia's eyes, as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. After the miracle of the sun, the crowds saw that the muddy, wet fields and their clothing had dried.
Francisco and Jacinta died very young, as Our Lady said. They were beatified in 2000. Lucia joined the Carmelite Order as a nun where she still lives until her death in 2005. In 1944, Our Lady appeared again to Lucia and asked her to write down the Third Secret given to her at Fatima -- Our Lady also informed Sister Lucia that it was to be revealed prior to 1960.
1960 came and went, but the secret was not revealed; instead, Sr. Lucia was ordered to never speak to anyone about Fatima.
Russia has never been consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart; instead, the Second Vatican Council was convened, and in order to not offend the Russian Orthodox and to have members of that religion present at the Council, the destructive policy of "Ostpolitik" began. This policy ensured that the Council would not condemn the errors of Communism.
The Church's hierarchs did not listen, and the "errors of Russia" spread throughout the world.
The Apparitions of Fatima
Three Apparitions of the Angel 1916
First Apparition - Sunday 13 May 1917
Second Apparition - Wednesday 13 June 1917
Third Apparition - Friday 13 July 1917
Fourth Apparition - Monday 13 August 1917
Fifth Apparition - Thursday 13 September 1917
Sixth Apparition - Saturday 13 October 1917
What happened after the Visions?
Our Lady confirms the Prophecy of St. Dominic
"to save poor sinners, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."
The Decade Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
Note: This prayer is often added to the Rosary, due to Our Lady's request, right after each "Glory Be" prayer. This practice springs from the instructions of Mary given to the young children at Fatima.
The Sacrifice Prayer
O Jesus, it is for the love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary that I pray.
The Pardon Prayer
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee.
The Eucharistic Prayer
Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament
Note: Say three times in imitation of the Fatima children
The Conversion Prayer
By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain the conversion of the whole world!
The Salvation Prayer
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation
The Angel's Prayer
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners and the alleviation and deliverance of the holy souls in Purgatory.