29 May 2007

Apparitions - Our Lady of the Roses Revisited

"In the last days, false visionaries will arise like a swarm of flies from hell to try to obscure the true apparitions with false ones." Marie Julie Jahenny of La Fraudais, France, Stigmatist, 1882

A few posts ago, Terry of Abbey Roads commented that my quote from Our Lady of the Roses was actually a condemned apparition. A thousand mea culpas...it is condemned, though I found plenty of websites that present much wailing and gnashing of teeth to the contrary. The bottom line is clear, it is condemned. Eerily enough, many of the apparitions mentioned below that are condemned, have websites by seemingly very faithful and devoted people, dedicated to the promotion of various apparitions. Even more eerie are the websites that seem to be fan clubs of apparitions, listing many known condemned apparations with oodles of information about the sitings, but no mention of the condemnation.

THE FINE PRINT (aka Nota Bene)
What is true about the internet in general, is true here. There is a LOT of information out there on this topic, much to decipher, numerous places of conflicting information and no easy one-stop-shop on the bottom line about the apparitions. Proceed with caution. I have tried my best to be correct and compare a variety of sources and look for the documentation. I have no stake in the validity or not of any of these apparitions. Just an attempt to collect information on a confusing topic. My advice is to stick to the known and approved apparitions. These apparations contain much to ponder and meditate on. Don't confuse the issue with other apparitions that aren't approved or are condemned.

(After much looking and comparing sites, I was blessed to finally find a site that pretty much summed things up in one spot: www.miraclehunter.com If you have more interest in this topic and want to cut to the chase, I would suggest starting there. It will save you wading through a lot of information. Much of the information on the approved apparitions is from that site.)

Not meant to be all inclusive by any means...refer to links at bottom of post for listings of apparitions. The lists are very lengthy and too long to post here.

Our Lady of the Roses (Mary Help of Mothers) - Condemned by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero

Necedah, Wisconsin - Condemned early on, recently also by Bishop Burke

Garabandal, Spain - Condemned by Jose Vilaplana Bishop of Santander

Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Condemned by the Bishops Pavao Zanic (1985) and Ratko Peric (1993, 1997)

Please, don't send me rants about these rulings, especially if it's just comtemptible ramblings against the ineptitude of a particular bishop. I'm just the messenger, not the judge. If the bishops have condemned them and/or the Church, it's enough for me to steer clear, especially when you consider you need to be obedient to what the Church rules. Don't persist with condemned apparitions.

I apologize for any errors.

Some interesting things I learned:
- I have a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother on my stairway. The base says, Maria Rosa Mystica. Never thought about it much as I inherited the statue. Turns out this is also a condemned apparition (1947 Montichiari, Italy, by Pierina Guilli, Discouraged/Condemned) Now what do I do with the statue?
- Friends have been telling me about Garabandal for years. Trying to get me to subscribe to the magazine, even sending me free trial subscriptions...twice. Now I learn that Garabandal is also condemned.
- I had heard of Father Gobbi, who had started the Marian Movement of Priests. His allegations of inner locutions, etc., are not approved by the Church and are not considered the words of Our Lady.
- There are many, many apparitions; many not ruled on by the Church. Who knew?

Be careful out there.

Now for the good news...

Dong Lu, China (1900)

NB: Very few sites mention this approval and I could find no mention of it on the Vatican website. Not denying its validity, just didn't find anything to document it.
Title: Our Lady of China
Investigated: N/A
First Apparition: 1900
Approved: 1932 (Pope Pius XI approved it as an official Marian Shrine)
Last Apparition: 1900
Visionaries: Thousands
Number of Apparitions: 1
Miracles & Signs: 300+ miraculous cures
Summary: The Virgin Mary appeared as a beautiful lady in the skies when Catholics implored Her to save them from their enemies and their city from destruction during the Boxer Rebellion. In thanksgiving for Our Lady’s protection over the city of Donglu, a beautiful church was built in her honour. It was meant to serve as a constant reminder to the people of Mary’s loving and motherly protection.

Fatima, Portugal (1917)
Title: Our Lady of Fatima/Our Lady of the Rosary
Investigated: 1919
First Apparition: May 13, 1917
Approved: October 13, 1930
Last Apparition: May 13, 1917
Visionaries: Lucia dos Santos (9), Jacinta Marto (8), Francisco Marto (7)
Number of Apparitions: 6
Miracles & Signs: Dancing Sun, Healings, Conversion of Russia, Incorruptible body of Jacinta.
Summary: While tending sheep, Lucia de Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reported six apparitions of Mary, who identified herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary." Mary urged prayer of the rosary, penance for the conversion of sinners and consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Beauraing, Belgium (1932)
Title: The Virgin with the Golden Heart
Investigated: 1949
First Apparition: Nov 29, 1932
Approved: July 2, 1949 by the Bishop of Namur
Last Apparition: Jan 3, 1933
Visionaries: Fernande Voisin (15), Andree Degeimbre (14), Gilberte Voisin (11), Gilberte Degeimbre (9)
Number of Apparitions: 33
Miracles & Signs: Miraculous cures, fireball
Summary: Mary is believed to have come 33 times to the playground of a conTvent school to five children. Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," she called for prayer for the conversion of sinners.

Banneaux, Belgium (1933)
Title: The Virgin of the Poor
Investigated: 1935-37
First Apparition: January 15, 1933
Approved: March 19th, 1942 Bishop Kerkhofs of Liege; Aug 22, 1949
Last Apparition: March 2, 1933
Visionaries: Mariette Beco
Number of Apparitions: 8
Summary: In a garden behind the Beco family's cottage, the Blessed Mother is said to have appeared to Mariette Beco (age 11) eight times. Calling herself the "Virgin of the Poor," Mary promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering.

Akita, Japan (1973)
Title: Our Lady of Akita
Investigated: 1973
First Apparition: July 6, 1973
Approved: June 1988 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger CDF
Last Apparition: October 13, 1973
Visionaries: Agnes Sasagawa
Number of Apparitions: 3
Miracles & Signs: Bleeding Statue, Stigmata
Summary: Sister Agnes Sasagawa of the Handmaids of the Eucharist received 101 messages emanating from a bleeding wooden statue.

Kibeho, Rwanda (1981)
Title: "Nyina wa Jambo" (Mother of the Word)
Investigated: April 1982
First Apparition: Nov 28, 1981
Approved: June 29, 2001 (Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro)
Last Apparition: Nov 28, 1989
Visionaries: Alphonsine Mumureke (17), Nathalie Mukamazimpaka (20), and Marie Claire Mukangango (21)
Number of Apparitions: Many
Summary: The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three -- 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire -- have received Bishop Misago's solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries, and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago didn't confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries.

These don't have full Church approval, but have been approved by a local bishop
Amsterdam, Netherlands (1945)
Title: Our Lady of All Nations
Investigated: ?
First Apparition: March 25, 1945
Approved: May 31, 2002 by Bishop Jozef Marianus Punt of Haarlem
Last Apparition: May 31, 1959
Visionaries: Ida Peederman
Number of Apparitions: 56
Notes: Negative judgement was given by the bishop of Haarlem on May 7, 1956, confirmed in 1957 and 1972. Worship authorized by Mgr H. Bomers, bishop of Haarlem, on May 31, 1996.
Summary: During a series of 56 apparitions, lasting 14 years, prophecies were given to Ida Peederman along with an image of the Blessed Mother and a prayer. The revelations emphasize the importance of the Eucharist and portray in detail the events will bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, most importantly the declaration of the final Marian dogma of Mary as The Lady of All Nations: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.

Zeitun, Egypt (1968)
Title: Our Lady of Light
Investigated: 1968
First Apparition: April 2, 1968
Approved: May 4, 1968 by Pope of Coptic Orthodox Church and Local Catholic Bishop
Last Apparition: 1971
Visionaries: Millions
Number of Apparitions: Many
Miracles & Signs: Accompanying objects (Doves, Stars and Glowing Balls of Light, Cross, Incense, Clouds), Healings, Conversions
Summary: Our Lady reportedly appeared in Zeitoun, Egypt hovering above Saint Mark's Coptic Church for a span of three years. She appeared on many occasions especially at night, and sometimes she was accompanied by white doves. The apparitions attracted large crowds up to 250,000 people including Christians, Jews, and Moslems. The apparitions were photographed, filmed and broadcast on Egyptian TV. An estimated 40 million people witnessed the events.

Betania, Venezuela (1976)
Title: Reconciler of People and Nations
Investigated: 1984
First Apparition: March 25, 1976
Approved: Nov 21, 1987 by Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo
Last Apparition: December 8, 1989
Visionaries: Maria Esperanza
Number of Apparitions: 30
Miracles & Signs: Many cures, bleeding Host, stigmata of Maria Esperanza
Summary: Maria Esperanza of Betania, Venezuela witnessed 31 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the course of 15 years. The Virgin called herself the "Reconciler of People and Nations" and warned of impending war and suffering. Many visitors have come to the site, reporting numerous miracles and signs. On one occasion in 1984, over 100 people claimed to have witnessed a public apparition of the Virgin.

Cuapa, Nicaragua (1980)
Investigated: 1981
First Apparition: April 15, 1980
Approved: Nov 13, 1982 by Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega
Last Apparition: Oct 13, 1980
Visionaries: Bernardo Martinez
Number of Apparitions: 4+
Notes: After the initial 4 apparitions, the Virgin reportedly subsequently appeared in later years with messages of the destruction of atheistic communism and the whole world. She also requested the propagation of the devotion to the shoulder wounds of Christ.
Summary: Church sacristan Bernardo Martinez entered an old chapel and observed a supernatural light illuminating from a statue of the Blessed Virgin. The Virgin later appeared clothed in white and asked for the daily Rosary with Biblical citations and have the First Saturday Devotions renewed. She also warned of future sufferings for Nicaragua if the people didn't change.

San Nicolas, Argentina (1983)
Title: Our Lady of the Rosary
Investigated: April 1985
First Apparition: Sept 25, 1983
Approved: Nov 14, 1990, by the Bishop of San Nicolas, Monsignor Domingo Castagna
Last Apparition: Feb 11, 1990
Visionaries: Gladys de Motta
Number of Apparitions: 1816
Notes: She reportedly additionally received 78 messages from Jesus Christ. Numerous healings, including the cure of a boy with a brain tumor, have been documented.
Summary: An ordinary housewife, a mother and grandmother who had no formal education and no knowledge off the Bible or theology claimed that she was visited by the Blessed Mother daily for a period of over 6 years.

If you are a curious sort, you should check out the listings of all the apparitions. It is mind-boggling. Here are some links.

Miracle Hunter

Catholic Forum - Apparitions

U of Dayton

There are many more out there.


Terry Nelson said...

Wonderful post!

As for your Rosa Mystica statue, that image preceeded any condemned apparitions - it was sculpted in honor of the title, "Mystical Rose" from the litany of Loretto. The statue is fine.

With Garabandal, it hasn't been condemned, it is just that nothing supernatural can be proved. I may be mistaken, but our Carmel, as well as Fr. Altier seem to think it is authentic. Medjugorje has a similar reputation, although the Bishop has discouraged pilgrims, etc. (I don't mean to confuse you.)

But yes, one must be careful of these purported apparitions and the websites of devotees. It gets kind of crazy.

God bless you!

swissmiss said...


Thanks for the information. I included the links for the condemned sites so people could see what I was talking about since I'm obviously no expert. What you say is correct in what I found. Garabandal is "discouraged" and nothing supernatural has been proven (not condemned by the Church, but local bishop). The friends who have encouraged me to look into the Garabandal messages are close friends of Father Altier. The Medjugorje saga is very involved and even more controversial. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

Ray from MN said...

Thanks, Swiss Miss.

I have looked for something like that that has some "detail." Some lists just have the names.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Hi, Joan,

I know you've heard it said before but I really want to make it known that the Bishop of Brooklyn made a declaration on the apparitions at Bayside(not a condemnation). The chancellor of the Brooklyn Diocese at that time said on television that condemn was a strong word and he would not apply it to the Bayside apparitions. Veronica Leuken died a faithful daughter of the Church and was given a proper Catholic funeral and burial. The apparitions have never received a proper Church investigation following the guidelines set down by Rome. God bless you. Joanna

Anonymous said...

Hi, I hope you don't mind me stating that there never was any formal investigation of the apparition site of Our lady of the Roses. I have been there dozens of times over the past 25 years, have seen countless miraculous phenomena and cures. I returned to the faith after receiving a blessed rose petal from there. I called the Bishop's office back in 1987 and asked for a copy of their "investigation". There was none.