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5 Breathtaking Apparitions Of The Virgin Mary Approved By The Church

our lady marian apparitions

A Marian Apparition is an appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary who has made her presence known to people on earth through various forms. There have been many reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary throughout history and these apparitions are usually in the form of visions, dreams, physical manifestations or miraculous events.

Our Lady represents a symbol of hope and protection for all and continues to work her miracles in our lives every day.

Though many have claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in real-life, the Church holds stringent criteria for officially recognizing any of these reported apparitions. Here are five of the most well-known appearances of Mary that have been officially approved by the Church.

Mary’s Apparition At Guadalupe

our lady of guadalupe
Titles: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Virgin of Guadalupe
Location: Mexico, Tepeyac Hill
Date: 1531
Witness: Juan Diego
Approved: In 12 Oct 1985 by Pope Leo XIII

The apparition of the Virgin Mary at Guadalupe, Mexico in 1531 is one of the most well-known and widely venerated apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the world. According to the traditional account, Mary appeared to a indigenous man named Juan Diego on four separate occasions, and asked him to request that a chapel be built on the site of her apparitions.

When Juan Diego conveyed this request to the bishop, he was met with skepticism and asked for a sign to prove the authenticity of the apparitions. Mary then provided Juan Diego with a miraculous image of herself on his tilma, or cloak, which he presented to the bishop as evidence.

The image on the tilma has been the subject of much study and devotion, and is considered by many to be a miraculous work of divine intervention. The Virgin Mary at Guadalupe is now one of the most important symbols of Catholicism in Mexico and beyond, and the site of her apparitions is a major place of pilgrimage for Catholics.

Mary’s Apparition at Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes
Titles: Our Lady of Lourdes
Location: Lourdes, France
Date: 1858
Witness: St. Bernadette Soubirous
Approved: In 1876 by Pope Pius IX

One of the most famous apparitions of the Virgin Mary is the one at Lourdes in 1858 where she appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous. Young Bernadette was out gathering firewood with her sister and a friend when she had a vision of a beautiful woman standing in a grotto near the town of Lourdes, France.

The woman, who identified herself as the “Immaculate Conception,” spoke to Bernadette in a gentle voice and asked her to come to the grotto every day for 15 days. Bernadette obeyed, and over the course of the next two weeks, she had a total of 18 visions of the woman.

During these visions, the woman provided Bernadette with messages for the people of Lourdes and the world. She also performed a number of miraculous events, including the healing of the sick and the appearance of spring water that was said to have curative powers.

Today the Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes is a popular pilgrimage destination and one of the most visited Catholic shrines. Many believers from all over the world stop by to visit the miraculous waters and offer prayers & devotion to the shrine of Our Lady where so many miraculous events have taken place.

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima
Titles: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima, 
Location: Fatima, Portugal
Date: 1917
Witness: Lucia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta Marto
Approved: In 1930 by Jose Alves, Bishop of Leiria, Pontifical decree of coronation in 1946 by Pope Pius XIII

In 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal on a total of six occasions.

The children, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia, were tending their sheep when they saw a bright light in the sky and a beautiful woman standing in front of them. The woman, who identified herself as the “Lady of the Rosary,” spoke to the children and provided them with messages for the people of Fatima and the world.

During the apparitions, the Virgin Mary asked the children to pray the rosary and to make sacrifices for the sake of others. She also provided them with three “secrets,” which were said to contain important messages for the future.

The story of the Fatima apparitions quickly spread, and people from all over Portugal and beyond began to visit the site in the hopes of seeing the Virgin Mary or experiencing a miracle. The site became a popular place of pilgrimage, and a chapel was eventually built on the spot where the visions took place.

Mary’s Apparition in Akita, Japan

our lady of akita
Titles: Our Lady of Akita
Location: Fatima, Portugal
Date: 1917
Witness: Lucia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta Marto
Approved: In 1930 by Jose Alves, Bishop of Leiria, Pontifical decree of coronation in 1946 by Pope Pius XIII

The Virgin Mary appeared to a Sister named Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in Akita, Japan on a total of 101 occasions.

During the apparitions, the Virgin Mary provided Sister Agnes with messages for the people of Akita and the world. She also performed a number of miraculous events, including the healing of the sick and the shedding of tears from a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary.

The story of the Akita apparitions quickly spread, and people from all over Japan and beyond began to visit the convent where Sister Agnes lived in the hopes of experiencing a miracle or receiving a message from the Virgin Mary.

In 1988, the Catholic Church officially recognized the Akita apparitions as being authentic. The Shrine of Our Lady of Akita remains a popular place of pilgrimage till today.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Titles: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Medal of Our Lady of Graces
Location: Paris, France
Date: 18 July 1830, 27 November 1930
Witness: Saint Catherine Laboure
Approved: In 1836 by Archbishop Hyacinthe-Louis de Quelen

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is commonly associated with the patronage of special graces, miracles of healing, conversions and prayers for believers. In 1830, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Sister named Catherine Laboure in Paris, France on a total of three occasions.

During the apparitions, the Virgin Mary provided Sister Catherine with a message for the people of France and the world. During the third apparition, the Blessed Virgin stretched out her arms and rays of light fell upon the globe at her feet with the letters:

“Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous”

(O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)

It’s important to note that the design for the Miraculous Medal was actually commissioned by Our Lady herself who promised special graces for all who carry it.

“Have a Medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”

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