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Alleged Apparitions in the United States

Alleged Apparitions in the United States

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: Would you suggest some references on the current status of certain Marian apparitions, especially those in the United States?

A: The USA has been blessed with a number of reported apparitions recently, comparable to those occurred in other countries. We find that these apparitions in the USA have either been rejected as inauthentic or are not yet recognized. There have been twenty-nine alleged apparitions since World War II:

Detroit 1944
Necedal 1949
Denver 1950
Binghamton 1950
Philadelphia 1953
Sausalito 1957
Fort Kent 1968
Bayside 1970
Canton 1982
Bakersfield 1984
Cleveland 1985
Santa Fe 1985
Lubbock 1988
Scottsdale 1988
Phoenix 1988
Tiktaw 1988
Marlboro 1989
Denver 1990
Conyers 1990
Hillside 1990
Arkansas (TX) 1991
San Bruno 1991
Falmouth 1992
Enfield 1992
Belleville 1993
Cincinnati 1993
Rochester 1993
Emmitsburg 1994
Brooklyn 1996

We may say that the numbers increased significantly (see our directory of twentieth-century apparitions). There is probably greater attention and awareness now than in the past. Normally, this is also a a sign that Catholicism has become a more "public" reality, and that apparitions, in general, are better received now than in the past. They coincide with a reawakening of religiosity in our society: some observers consider apparitions to be the Catholic answer to "new age" and other secularized forms of religiosity. Should we pray for more apparitions? For sure we should pray for deeper understanding and more zealous commitment to the message of Christ as comes true in authentic marian apparitions.

The best relatively current book we know of concerning contemporary Marian apparitions is The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary Today by Father Rene Laurentin (1990). Regarding those in the United States, we suggest the following: Our Lord and Our Lady in Scottsdale [Arizona] by Rene Laurentin (1992); To Bear Witness That I Am the Living Son of God [Conyers, Georgia]; and Personal Revelations of Our Lady of Light (two volumes) by Gerald Ross (1992 & 1993). Peter Heintz has written A Guide to Apparitions (1994).

Finally, please note that, to date, no Marian apparition reported in the United States has received formal approval from the Catholic Church. There is one important exception. On December 8, 2010, the bishop of the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, solemnly declared that the 1859 apparitions to Adele Brise do exhibit the substance of supernatural character. He thus approved these apparitions as worthy of belief. This historic decree concerning the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is a first for the United States.

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