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Apparitions, Approved

Apparitions, Approved

Q: What Marian apparitions have been recognized by ecclesiastical authorities?

A: There have been uncounted apparitions of Mary reported since the third century. Few have received recognition by the bishop of the diocese in which they occurred. Among those recognized are:

1531, Guadalupe, Mexico - On a hill outside Mexico City, the Blessed Mother appeared four times to a recent convert to Christianity, Juan Diego. Mary proclaimed herself "the Mother of the true God who gives life" and left her image permanently upon Diego's tilma or mantle.

1830, Paris, France - In the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Mary showed herself three times to novice Catherine Laboure (age 24). Laboure said she was commissioned by the Virgin to have the medal of the Immaculate Conception or "Miraculous Medal" made in order to spread devotion to Our Lady.

1846, La Salette, France - Six thousand feet up in the French Alps, Mary is believed to have come to Maximin Giraud (age 11) and Melanie Calvat (age 14) while they tended sheep. Her appearance in sorrow and tears called for conversion and penance for sins.

1858, Lourdes, France - At the Grotto of Massabielle, the Virgin showed herself eighteen times to Bernadette Soubirous (age 14). Under the title "the Immaculate Conception," she called for penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners.

1871, Pontmain, France - Mary appeared on a farm to Eugene (age 10) and Joseph Barbadette (age 12) and Francoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse, students at the nearby convent school. Mary's message was written on a banner that unfurled from her feet: "But pray my children. God will hear you in a short time. My Son allows Himself to be moved by compassion."

1879, Knock, County Mayo, Ireland - During a pouring rain, the figures of Mary, Joseph, John the Apostle and a lamb on a plain altar appeared over the gable of the village chapel, enveloped in a bright light. None of them spoke. At least fifteen people (ages 5-75) saw the apparition.

1917, Fatima, Portugal - While tending sheep, Lucia de Santos (age 10) and her two cousins, Francisco (age 9) and Jacinta Marto (age 7), 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.

1932-33, Beauraing, Belgium - Mary is believed to have come thirty-three times to the playground of a convent school to five children (ages 9-15), Andree and Gilberte Degeimbre and Albert, Fernande and Gilberte Voisin. Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," she called for prayer for the conversion of sinners.

1933, Banneux, Belgium - 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.

More apparitions include Akita, Japan, in 1984; Chontaleu, Nicaragua, in 1987; Kibeho, Rwanda, in 1988; and Betania, Venezuela.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


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